Policies Regarding Food Purchases
August 26, 2020
As indicated by leadership in a communication to faculty and staff on April 16, most discretionary spending is being paused, and the University is under an essential purchasing directive. Procurement would like to remind staff that departments and schools should not be arranging for the University to pay for food for virtual meetings while working remote. Also, as we prepare to return to campus, here are some important reminders to keep in mind regarding food purchases:
- In accordance with the Northwestern University Purchasing and Payment Policy and Procedures and the Travel, Entertainment & Courtesy Guidelines we remind you that food purchases must conform to University policy.
- Modest refreshments at school-wide or department meetings are allowable at either monthly or quarterly intervals. Food purchased for a regularly scheduled weekly meeting or for daily consumption within an office or classroom is an inappropriate use of University funds.
- Utilize the primary on-site preferred vendor for catering whenever possible, which is the Compass Group, whenever possible. More information is available on the Northwestern Dining website.
- If Northwestern Dining cannot meet your needs for a particular event, choose one of the other Northwestern Preferred external caters. More information is available on the Preferred Vendor List.
- Payment methods are the purchase order process, payment request process, or the Corporate Card for each individual event. Payment methods are the same for non-preferred suppliers.
- House accounts (open lines of credit/the extension of credit by a vendor, allowing payment of goods or services over a period of time, or on a summary invoice or bill) are not permitted. That means each meal needs to be settled individually.
For questions about food purchases we encourage you to speak with your department/school business office, or contact Procurement at email@example.com.