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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1306 – Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops

Effective
December 1, 2000
Last Updated
February 3, 2014
Last Reviewed
February 3, 2014
Responsible University Officer
Director of Systems and Operations
Responsible Unit
Systems and Operations

Policy Statement

External conferences are those that involve the attendance of persons other than the employees of a single State department, institution or agency.

Conferences sponsored or cosponsored by the University are authorized when they meet the following limitations/requirements. "Sponsorship" is defined as having the University in an active role in planning, coordinating and/or organizing the event.

  • The conference is planned in detail in advance, with a formal agenda or curriculum.
  • There is a written invitation to participants, setting forth the calendar of events, the social activities, if any, and the detailed schedule of costs.
  • Whenever feasible, assemblies should be held in state facilities. Non- state facilities may be rented.
  • Registration fees may be charged by the sponsors to participants. Registration fees may not include cost of entertainment, alcoholic beverages, setups, or flowers if State funds are to be used.
  • Sponsors may provide refreshments for "coffee breaks" provided that there are twenty (20) or more participants and costs do not exceed four dollars fifty cents ($4.50) per participant per day.
  • When assemblies are to be held under the sponsorship of the University in which the funding for all participants is budgeted, lump-sum payments to a conference center or an organization may be made upon written authorization from the department head. The authorization must provide:
    • The purpose and duration of the conference
    • The number of persons expected to attend
    • The specific meals to be served at the conference (law prohibits lunches being provided to state employees unless registration fees are charged to all attendees)
    • The approximate cost per person for the duration of the conference
    • The name of the conference center, hotel, caterer, or other organization providing the service
  • It is the responsibility of the departments to ensure that reimbursement for meals included in the lump-sum payment is not also included in reimbursement payments made to employees who are conference participants.

Internal Conferences

Internal conferences are those that involve the attendance of employees within that particular department. No payment for meals is allowable unless overnight travel criteria are met.

Requirements/Limitations

  • The conference is planned in detail in advance, with a formal agenda or curriculum.
  • There is a written invitation to participants, setting forth the calendar of events and the detailed schedule of costs.
  • No excess travel subsistence may be granted for internal departmental meetings, conferences, seminars, etc., and such meetings must be held in state facilities when available. No registration fee may be charged.
  • Sponsors may provide refreshments for "coffee breaks" provided there are twenty (20) or more participants and costs do not exceed four dollars fifty cents ($4.50) per participant per day.

Reason for Policy

This policy is to ensure compliance with State regulations.

Exclusions

A routine staff meeting is not an internal conference.

State funds cannot be used to provide promotional or gift items to be distributed at the conference, to support or underwrite a rally, celebration, reception, employee appreciation activity, or similar function, nor to support or underwrite a meeting, assembly, conference, seminar, or similar function by whatever name called that promotes any cause or purpose other than the mission and objective of the department .

Special Situations

None

Procedures

  • 1306.1 – Paying for Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the University offer money to sponsor an event?
A: No, this would be considered a donation, which is against University policy.

Related Data

Travel Allowances for State officers and employees G.S. 138-6(a)(3)
State Budget Manual Section 5.8

Contacts

SUBJECT CONTACT TELEPHONE FAX E-MAIL
Travel Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356 travel_team@unc.edu
Travel Policy Systems & Operations 919-843-5098 919-962-2356 operations_team@unc.edu

History

Revised:
February 3, 2014: Added definition of “sponsorship” to Policy Statement section.
June 3, 2011

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