CBC. Food Purchasing Policy
It is the policy of the Board of Regents that all purchases be made within the laws and guidelines established by the State of Texas. This includes the Texas Education Code (TEC) Sec. 44.031 Purchasing Contracts, Attorney General Opinions, Texas Local Government Code Chapters 171 and 271, Texas Uniform Commercial Code, Texas Government Code Chapter 2267 Construction Contracts, and established Board policies. The College President is authorized to delegate the coordination of the college purchasing process to an appropriate member of the administrative staff. Those authorized to purchase food items and all other consumables with College funds will abide by the following requirements.
1. Employee Meals for Travel
Any College funds used for employee meals must be obtained by requisition of a purchase order requesting monetary reimbursement for per diem to be issued in the name of the employee traveling. A purchase order is required prior to travel.
Per diem is reimbursed at the rates listed below:
- An employee may be reimbursed for meal expenses on a per diem basis not to exceed forty dollars ($40) per day for in-state travel and fifty dollars ($50) for out of state travel. To qualify for per diem reimbursement, the approved trip must be an overnight trip for official college business. All meals included as part of any conference or seminar fee, are not eligible to be reimbursed at the per diem rate. Only in cases where an employee has a legitimate reason for not eating the conference provided meal will the employee be reimbursed at the per diem rate listed below.
- Only half of the daily per diem rate ($20 for in-state travel and $25 for out of state travel) will be applicable for days of travel to and from the approved work assignment event/ conference. For work events attended on the same day as travel, the employee can be reimbursed per diem at the full-day rate.
- Travel must result in an overnight stay for per diem to be reimbursable to employee.
- Event agendas are required to be submitted to the Purchasing Office accompanying the
required Travel Expense Report Form.The amount of reimbursement approved for daily per diem will be reduced by the following
amounts for meals provided by an external organization such as the conference attended:
- 20% for breakfast
- 30% for lunch
- 50% for dinner
Payment for employee meals for travel are not prepaid. Payment for meals is reimbursed to the employee via check upon completion of travel and submission of the Travel Expense Report Form to the Purchasing Department.
Use of SPC credit cards for employee meals is prohibited unless student meals are also paid for under the same transaction.
2. Student Meals for Travel
Any College funds used for student meals must be obtained by either:
- A requisition of a purchase order requesting petty cash from to Business Office for per diem to be issued to each student traveling. (Preferred)
- SPC credit card.
Per diem rate for each student is paid at thirty dollars ($30) per day of approved events and fifteen ($15) on days of travel to and from events.
Employees responsible for student travel and petty cash, must sign for the cash prior to receipt.
Petty cash not expensed during the trip for which it was requested must be returned to the Business Office within 2 business days following the return to campus. If all cash was expensed, notification to the Business Office must be made within 2 business days following the return to campus. A receipt of return will be issued to the employee.
The employee responsible for student travel and petty cash must obtain a signature from each student to which cash was distributed and submit the signature page to the Purchasing Office upon return of excess petty cash and/or when acquiring receipt of return.
Petty cash is the preferred method of payment for student meals whenever possible. If petty cash distribution to students is not possible, a South Plains College credit card may be used to purchase student meals with prior approval from the employee’s supervisor. The supervisor must notify the Business Office of the intent to use the South Plains College credit card prior to use.
3. Prohibited Non-travel Related Meals
South Plains College does not fund meals for employees for activities occurring on campus, or for work assignments off campus that do not require travel to a different city and an overnight stay.
South Plains College funds cannot be used to provide meals for meetings, parties, or gatherings. Employees will be required to reimburse South Plains College for credit card purchases of this nature. Requisitions for purchase orders and re-imbursements for employee meals occurring outside of approved travel will be denied.
Exceptions to this policy may arise resulting in the necessity to provide food and beverages for certain College sanctioned meeting parties and gatherings. Such food and beverage provisions must adhere to the procedures outlined in Section 4. Permissible Non-travel Related Meals.
4. Permissible Non-travel Related Meals
It is understood that certain meetings, parties, and gatherings, by their very nature, may necessitate provision of food and beverage with South Plains College funds. Such permissible non-travel related meals must adhere to the procedures listed below:
A. South Plains College funded food and beverages purchases for meetings, parties, and gatherings must be limited to:
1) Meetings or trainings for which external organizations are in attendance
2) Meetings or trainings for which students and/or student workers are attending.
3) Meetings or trainings that employees are required to attend which must take place during the employees’ breakfast or lunch hour. All efforts should be made to hold meetings and trainings outside of employees’ breakfast and lunch hours; however, it is understood that certain circumstance such as accommodation of all attendees requires meal time meetings. Such food purchases must have written approval from the Vice President presiding over the requesting department as defined in Section 4.D.
4) Receptions pre-approved by the President.
B. The supplier/ vendor of food and beverages purchased with South Plains College funds must be;
1) Great Western Dining for all South Plains College funded food and beverages supplied to events on the Levelland Campus.
2) A vendor, provider, restaurant, or caterer approved of by the Vice President presiding over the requesting department for Lubbock, Reese, and Plainview Centers.
C. The preferred method of payment for food and beverages is a purchase order. South Plains College credit cards or personal credit cards for which the payment may be reimbursed to the employee may be used for approved food and beverage purchases with prior written approval from the Vice President presiding over the requesting department. Failure to provide itemized receipts to the Purchasing Office will result in the employee assuming responsibility for payment or reimbursement to the College.
D. Written approval from the Vice President presiding over the requesting department is required for all purchases listed in section 4. Permissible Non-travel Related Meals. Written approval must be in the form of either:
1) an email from the Vice President granting approval issued before the time of purchase, or
2) a requisition for purchase order. If no email from the Vice President is obtained, the requisition must reach the level of "Outstanding," which designates all approvals have been provided in the system electronically, prior to purchase of food and beverages.
5. Prohibited Food and Beverage Items
The following items are prohibited from purchase with South Plains College funds.
A. Snacks for employee consumption during normal operational procedures, including but not limited to, candy, coffee products, and beverages.
B. Bottles of water for consumption during normal operating procedures with the exception of water for South Plains College provided and maintained water coolers.
C. Alcoholic beverages other than those purchased for a specific educational purpose, including but not limited to, culinary instruction. A requisition for a purchase order must be submitted prior to purchase for items of this nature.
Approved by Administrative Council: 5/3/2023