NDSU Accounting has discontinued routing banquet and meeting expenses to Provost/VPs for approval when the business meal costs exceeds the “reasonable amount” referred to in NDUS policy. This change results in a firm limit on business meal costs at NDSU. After closer examination, under NDUS policy an institutional official (such as Provost/VPs) does not have authority to approve excess meal costs.
Under certain conditions, NDSU can reimburse employees or directly pay for the cost of business meals for employees and guests. There has to be a business purpose and an outside (non-university) guest. NDUS Policy 806.1, part 6, states the following:
“The cost of a meal paid or reimbursed by the NDUS or NDUS institution under this policy may not in any case exceed a reasonable amount. The chancellor shall adopt an implementing procedure defining what is reasonable.”
NDUS Procedure 806.1, part 8, defines the “reasonable amount” as 125% of the GSA rate. Currently in Fargo, 125% of the GSA rate breaks down by quarter as follows: breakfast $13.75, lunch $20.62, dinner/supper $34.38.
This change was reviewed with the Provost in June 2019 and passed along to the Deans at that time. No excess meal costs have been approved since that time. My apologies for not passing this along on our accounting list-serve at that time.