Meeting Meals and Refreshments Policy

Policy Statement

LCVR payment for meals should be kept to a minimum and reserved for special situations.

LCVR may pay for and VA employees may accept meals paid for by LCVR provided that the

expenditure is incidental to a business meeting that has a legitimate research or operations

purpose. Federal employees are not restricted to federal per diem rates when being reimbursed

by a non- governmental organization; however, both VA and IRS regulations prohibit


LCVR will not support

  • Meals for routine VAMC or LCVR staff, committee or department meetings

  • Meals for a single person or group of persons on such a frequent basis that it could

  • create the appearance of attendees using their official VA positions to derive a personal

  • benefit

  • Alcoholic beverages


Meetings, conferences, workshops, seminars, grand rounds, town halls, symposia, and other

similar meetings are accepted features of conducting research. Meetings held for recruitment

purposes should be documented with an agenda. Additionally, certain events, such as retreats

and board meetings as well as fundraising and public relations, are necessary for the conduct of

business. Incidental to the business purpose of such meetings, it may be appropriate to serve

meals or refreshments.


Meals are considered gifts, but refreshments that are not part of a meal have so little intrinsic

value that they may be accepted without undue concern about who is giving them or why. As a

result, federal employees generally may accept refreshments.

Various regulations, the federal ethics standards and the statute that authorizes LCVR influence

whether expenditures for meals are appropriate for LCVR support. A meeting must have a

documented research or LCVR business purpose. LCVR will not support “entertainment”

expenses such as social activities, parties, ceremonial occasions or those that provide


Requests for LCVR support will be reviewed and approved by the executive director. LCVR will

provide direct payment or reimbursement for reasonable meeting costs based on submission of

original receipts. In the event of disagreement, the request will be referred to the full board as