An official occasion is defined as a reception, luncheon, dinner, or similar event that is sponsored and funded by The University of Texas at Austin and is often hosted by an administrative officer. These functions are normally associated with special programs, university guests and donors, faculty meetings, and staff recruitment. Examples include conferences, workshops, seminars, development events (donor receptions, fundraising activities, etc.), planned retreats, staff meetings, unit or department morale-building events, and other similar activities.
For all of these events, an Official Occasion Expense Form (OOEF) is required for payment or reimbursement.
- Entertainment expenses are limited to $75 per person for an event/meeting (including tax and gratuity). If expenses are to exceed this amount, please let your CBS team know prior to the event so that they may request an exception from Dean Randy Diehl. Please note that exceptions are not always approved.
- Gratuity cannot exceed 20% of the subtotal of an event
- Expenses for alcohol may not be the primary expenditure, that is, greater than the total food expense. Note: If multiple payment documents are submitted for the same event and alcohol is paid separately, then a copy of all backup documentation related to the event must be included to verify alcohol expense is not greater than food expense. An OOEF may be created for the whole event to cover all payment documents.
- Entertainment expenses are not allowed on state funds (14 & 20 accounts), indirect cost (19-accounts), or service center funds (18-accounts). For a complete list of the account types that are allowed for entertainment expenses, please refer to this chart.
- Sales tax on purchases at grocery stores will not be reimbursed, except in the case of alcoholic beverage tax. Please use the Texas State Sales Tax Exemption form when making purchases.
- Sales tax can be reimbursed for business meals. The university is not exempt from the mixed beverage sales tax and this can also be reimbursed.
- Receipts over 60 days old received by CBS will not be reimbursed per college policy.
AT&T Dining Cards can be used to purchase meals for Official Occasions at the AT&T Center (this includes Gabriel's Cafe and The Carillon restaurant). All AT&T related entertainment expenses must have an approved OOEF on file.
Some events are classified as Official Occasions and should follow the same general procedures as Entertainment. Contracts are required for events when the caterer requests a down payment or prepayment or when a bartender serves alcohol on-campus. For an on-campus event, prior approval must be obtained to serve alcohol and a TABC licensed bartender is required.
Flowers or other perishables (cookies, fruit, chocolate, pre-cooked meals, or basket of pre-packaged food) being presented to or for individuals that are not associated with a university-funded event, must be sent in the name of the sending department or office. These may be purchased for funerals, memorial services, hospital stays, and extended illnesses or for congratulations or recognition and may be paid by reimbursement to the purchaser or by direct payment to the florist or vendor. This type of expense requires an Official Occasion Expense Form. Total expenses for flowers including tax, tip and delivery cannot exceed $100.00. Please see the OOEF policy chart for further information.
Cost of consumable/disposable, non-food/non-beverage items not associated with a university-funded event (such as coffee filters, plastic utensils, paper plates, paper towels, and soap) do not require an Official Occasion Expense Form. However, when purchased with state funds, the department must document how the purchase is necessary to accomplish a public purpose that is related to the agency’s legal authority or duties.
Monthly charges such as water coolers, coffee and tea delivery, and kitchen supplies must include approved OOEF. Blanket OOEFs can be created and used for repeat charges during the fiscal year.
Some outings or gatherings also require an approved OOEF. Some examples are: taking a group (visitors, students, faculty, etc.) to a play, movie, show, or museum.
Entertainment expenses purchased with a ProCard must include an approved OOEF. Grocery store items/catering (Whole Foods, Central Market, HEB, Wheatsville) are the most common examples of entertainment expenses allowed on the ProCard. Monthly water cooler rental and delivery charges, coffee and tea charges, and cleaning supplies are also allowable. In-person purchases must be free of Texas sales tax.
A comprehensive listing of prohibited purchases on a ProCard can be found here.
Expenses related to Official Occasions may be reimbursed to individuals and must include an approved OOEF. Sales tax on purchases made at a grocery store will not be reimbursed. Mixed beverage sales tax may be reimbursed.
An itemized receipt and proof of payment are required for meal reimbursements.
|CBS Team 1||Shweta Saharan
|CBS Team 2||Mai Damianov