||Coffee and Light Refreshments
The Agency Head has delegated responsibility to Administrators
to approve the serving of coffee and light refreshments
in the conduct of official state business at certain
agency-sponsored meetings. The agency-sponsored meeting must meet the criteria
described below. Meetings held in the normal course of business do not
meet the criteria and coffee and light refreshments cannot be provided by
expected to exercise prudent judgment in approving Coffee and
Light Refreshments at business meetings
and to apply this policy in a way to ensure that employees are not treated
differently under like circumstances.
All State Employees
For state purposes, coffee encompasses any non-alcoholic beverage, such
as coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, or milk.
- Light Refreshments:
An edible item that may be served between meals, for example:
doughnuts, sweet rolls, and pieces of fruit or cheese.
- Official State Business:
Activities performed by an official or state employee, authorized volunteer,
or contractor, work experience program participant, student or employee
of another governmental jurisdiction as directed by his or her supervisor
in order to accomplish state programs or as required by the duties of his
or her position or office.
- Integral part of the meeting:
An activity within a business meeting that is essential to the completeness
of the meeting.
Hosting includes, but is not limited to, those activities that are intended
either to lobby a legislator or a governmental official, or are to be a
social rather than governmental business event, and include expenditures
for coffee and/or light refreshments for those whom agencies are not legally
authorized to reimburse.
- To qualify for coffee and light refreshments,
meetings must meet all of the following criteria:
- The purpose of the meeting is to conduct official state
business, provide formal training sessions that benefit
the state, or recognize agency or employee accomplishments, and
- The meeting must involve elective or appointive officials, state
employees, or others the agency is legally authorized to reimburse per
- The coffee and light refreshments are
an integral part of the meeting.
- All legally authorized Boards and commissions may provide
coffee and/or light refreshments at their official public
meetings, including executive sessions.
- Advisory Committee Meetings: RCW 28B.50.252 makes
vocational advisory committee meetings state business, and assuming compliance
with these statutory requirements, the college may pay for coffee and/or
light refreshments to be served as part of such advisory committee meetings.
- If the meeting meets all of the above criteria in 1 (above), or qualifies
under 2 or 3 (above), coffee and light refreshments
may be served with prior administrator approval. Without prior
administrator approval, a reimbursement may be denied by the college.
- A properly completed “Green River Community
Meals with Meetings Approval
Form” must be completed and authorized no later than 48 hours prior
to the scheduled event.
- Itemized receipts for the actual costs of the coffee
and/or light refreshments must accompany a request for
reimbursement. Non-itemized credit card receipts are not an acceptable
- The cost of coffee and light refreshments
is limited to no more than 50% of the current lunch per diem rate for
King County per person.
for coffee and light refreshments are prohibited in some cases:
- Anniversaries of agencies; events to recognize new, existing, and/or
retiring employees or officials; interview committees; training sessions
for new staff; elections celebrations.
- Any “hosting” activities.
- Alcoholic beverages.
SAAM 70.10 “Coffee and Light Refreshments”
RCW 43.030.050 (4) http://www.leg.wa.gov/RCW/
of Policy or Procedure
Draft: April 4, 2005
Adopted: January 6, 2006
Contact: Patty Sikora, Purchase Manager, ext. 3301
President’s Staff Sponsor: Rick Brumfield, Vice President for Business Affairs,