Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory masthead LBNL Home A-Z Index U.S. Department of Energy logo Phone Book Jobs Search

RPM

REQUIREMENTS AND POLICIES MANUAL

Search the RPM
 
Home

Events and Meals Policy

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

    Title:

    Events and Meals Policy

    Publication date:

    8/11/2021

    Effective date:

    7/1/2021

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    This policy describes the requirements for:

    • Attending an event: This includes attendance at conferences, meetings, retreats, seminars, symposiums, or similar activities that include travel.
    • Hosting an event: This includes events where Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is serving as the host or cohost, or when the Laboratory plans and manages an event.
    • Sponsorships: This includes events where the Laboratory provides monetary support to an event host or allows the use of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) or Laboratory logo.
    • Working meals: Meals and/or refreshments provided while conducting Laboratory business, which may be as part of attending an event or hosting an event, or part of a smaller meeting.

    Costs incurred for the activities above must comply with the terms of Berkeley Lab's contract with DOE, and with the requirements set forth in applicable DOE guidance/requirements and other federal regulations, where applicable.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    • Employees and nonemployees who attend events
    • Employees who participate in the hosting of events
    • Employees who wish to sponsor an external conference
    • Employees who provide working meals as part of an event or meeting
    • Employees who serve in the division approver roles

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    Conference Services Lead or [email protected]

    Title:

    Events and Meals Policy

    Publication date:

    8/11/2021

    Effective date:

    7/1/2021

    POLICY

    Table of Contents

    1. Attending an Event

    1.1 What Is an Event?

    1.2 Request Process

    1.3 Approval Process

    1.4 Travel and Conference Registration

    2. Sponsorship of an External Event

    2.1 Overview

    2.2 What Is Sponsorship of an External Event

    2.3 Request Process

    2.4 Approval Process

    2.5 Making the Sponsorship Payment

    3. Laboratory-Hosted Events

    3.1 Overview

    3.2 What Is an Event?

    3.3 What Sources of Funds Can Be Used for a Hosted or Cohosted Event?

    3.4 What Are Allowable and Unallowable Event Costs?

    3.5 Cost Allowability Crosswalk to Sources of Funds

    3.6 Surplus Revenues and Deficits

    3.7 Hosted Event Life Cycle

    3.8 DOE-Required Event Cost Reporting

    3.9 Cohosting an Event

    3.10 Other Hosted/Cohosted Event Requirements

    4. Working Meals

    4.1 Overview

    4.2 Criteria

    4.3 Request Process

    4.4 Approval Process

    4.5 Catering Contract Management Requirements

    4.6 Payment of Working Meal Costs

    4.7 Working Meal Closeout

    5. Emergency Event Meals

    A. Purpose

    This policy describes the requirements for:

    • Attending an event — this includes attendance at conferences, meetings, retreats, seminars, symposiums, or certain activities that include travel.
    • Hosting an event — this includes events where the Laboratory is serving as the host or cohost, or when the Laboratory plans and manages an event.
    • Sponsorships — this includes events where the Laboratory provides monetary support to an event host or allows the use of a DOE or Laboratory logo.
    • Working Meals — meals provided while conducting Laboratory business, which may be as part of attending an event or hosting an event, or part of a smaller meeting.

    The word "you" in this document refers to you, the attendee, event host, etc. The term "division" referenced throughout this policy includes Associate Laboratory Directors (ALDs), divisions, departments, and all working units within those organizations.
    Costs incurred for the activities above must comply with the terms of DOE Contract 31, and with the requirements set forth in applicable DOE guidance/requirements and other federal regulations, where applicable.

    B. Persons Affected

    This policy applies to all employees. You are responsible for becoming familiar with the rules and guidelines and complying with policy requirements outlined in this document.

    C. Exceptions

    Requests for exceptions to this policy require an email to the Conference Services Lead from the Event/Conference Chairperson or division Business Manager.
    Requests for exceptions must be submitted prior to the event/conference. The request must outline the circumstances that support the exception and contain relevant documentation.
    Submission of an exception request does not mean the exception has been granted. Each exception request is researched to determine allowability, and responses are returned to the requestor and Business Manager. The typical turnaround time is three to five business days. On occasion, exception requests may require additional research and additional levels of review to make a final determination. In these instances, the turnaround time varies.
    Any request for an exception to policy that includes guidance expressly stated in the DOE Acquisition Letter AL 2015-09, Conference Related Activities and Spending, requires approval by the Laboratory Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the DOE Contracting Officer. Any other requests for an exception to policy require, at a minimum, approval by the Laboratory Conference Services Lead.

    D. Events and Meals Policy

    How to Use This Document

    There are many ways to locate information in this document:

    • Use the Table of Contents to find the subject you are looking for.
    • Use the hyperlinks embedded in the text to locate information about a particular policy.
    • Use Control + F on your computer keyboard to search for a term.

    1. Attending an Event

    1.1 Overview

    The DOE has established requirements and guidelines for Laboratory participation in events. These requirements ensure good stewardship and appropriate use of federal funds. To comply, Berkeley Lab is required to:

    • Review participation by employees and nonemployees (e.g., affiliates and guests) prior to the event.
    • Ensure that approval and reporting is performed as required by the DOE.

    Conference Services coordinates this process in partnership with Laboratory divisions.

    Attendees (employees and nonemployee attendees, e.g., affiliates and guests) may attend events that are directly and programmatically related to the Laboratory mission as defined in Contract 31, and that have been approved in accordance with Contract 31 and DOE guidance.

    Attendees must request approval to attend an event from Conference Services.

    • Costs to participate in the event may not be incurred until approval is received.
    • If Conference Services approval is not obtained, the attendee is not allowed to participate in the event. If an attendee goes to an event without proper approval, the situation (1) will be escalated to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) and division management and (2) reimbursement of expenses may be denied.

    1.2 What Is an Event?

    Events may be DOE Sponsored or Non-DOE Sponsored:

    • DOE Sponsored — hosted or sponsored by a DOE program or DOE contractor
    • Non-DOE Sponsored — hosted by an external organization for which no DOE or Laboratory funds have been provided as "sponsorship," and no use of official DOE or Laboratory seals/logos has been authorized

    Events include conferences, meetings, retreats, workshops, seminars, symposiums, or certain activities that include travel and:

    • Registration and/or registration fees.
    • A published agenda.
    • Scheduled speakers and/or panel discussions.
    • Exhibitor and/or sponsorship fees.

    Individual events may qualify as conferences without meeting all of the key features listed above, but generally meet some of them.
    Examples of events that require advance approval include:

    • Participation in professional society meetings.
    • Workshops sponsored by others in which Laboratory employees attend or participate, including as speakers.
    • Workshops or forums at which the DOE seeks to "showcase" programs to the public or provide the opportunity for an "exchange of information" or sharing of "best practices" with other entities (whether federal or nonfederal).
    • Meetings to develop "best practices" or update others regarding developments in the DOE complex.
    • Meetings and events hosted by other DOE labs or entities.
    • DOE programmatic meetings.

    1.2.1 DOE Exemptions from Reporting and Approval

    Certain DOE-hosted events may be exempt from DOE reporting and approval., Conference Services is not required to report attendance for exempt DOE events in the DOE reporting system. Conference Services, sometimes in consultation with other DOE labs and entities, determines whether an event is exempt. Even if the division or attendee thinks an event is exempt from DOE reporting, the division should still submit an attendee request to Conference Services for determination of exemption. The following are examples of exempt DOE events:

    • Statutory Oversight Meetings, such as investigations, inspections, audits, or nonconference planning site visits.
    • Internal DOE Business Meetings at a Federal Facility to consider internal agency business matters.
    • International Cooperation Engagement — bilateral and multilateral international cooperation engagement, such as delegation visits from other countries or international universities.
    • Other DOE/Federal Meetings, such as:
      • DOE Program Kickoff and Review meetings (including those for grants and contracts).
      • Advisory Committee and Federal Advisory Committee meetings.
      • Solicitation/Funding Opportunity Announcement Review Board meetings.
      • Peer Review/Objective Review Panel meetings.
      • Evaluation Panel/Board meetings.

    1.2.2 Conference Reporting and Approval Requirements

    All events are subject to Conference Services review and approval with the exception of the following:

    • Formal Classroom Training that does not exhibit indicia of a formal conference. However, if the training is held as part of a larger conference, it is considered an event and requires approval.
    • Meetings where you are doing work (as opposed to sharing information). For example, if staff is traveling to another lab to conduct an experiment or decide on how a DOE project should be managed, that is considered "work" and not an event.

    Please also note that reporting is not required if the attendee is not using DOE funds for the entirety of their attendance.

    1.3 Approval Request Process

    1.3.1 Key Points

    Employees who intend to attend an event should submit a request for Conference Services approval as soon as they are aware of the event. This includes sending a nonemployee attendee whose costs are paid for by the Laboratory. Any event for which an attendee uses DOE funds to attend a meeting should be reported. This includes Laboratory employees attending an event that takes place at the Laboratory or locally if DOE funds are being used for local travel (parking) or registration fees, etc.

    For those events that require DOE approval, attendance can "lock" (i.e., be restricted for new attendees) six months to one year in advance. Once DOE "locks" the event, no new attendees can be added. If a possibility of attendance exists, attendees should submit for approval. An example would be if the potential attendee submits an abstract. Your request does not commit you to attend, but ensures that you are not precluded from attending once the event is "locked" by DOE.

    For events that are Non-DOE Sponsored and have over $100,000 in Berkeley Lab costs, Laboratory senior management approval is required. Once approved, the spending limit for that event is "locked" and the Lab cannot exceed the approved limit.

    Employees must not incur costs or make financial commitments (i.e., travel arrangements) until they have received Conference Services' approval to attend.

    1.3.2 Process for Submitting Attendance Request

    Division

    Attendees should work with their designated division staff to enter the request to attend into Conference Services' Attend Event Request (AER) system.

    Conference Services

    Conference Services will determine the applicable approval steps based on:

    • Whether the event is DOE or Non-DOE Sponsored.
    • Whether the event is exempt from reporting.
    • Whether attendance can be added to the event, if it is DOE Sponsored.

    Whether the event is Non-DOE-Sponsored, exceeds $100,000 in Berkeley Lab costs, and requires Lab senior management approval

    Conference Services will take the necessary steps to ensure that the Lab complies with the DOE Conference Reporting guidance and requirements, including obtaining DOE approvals.
    Through the entire request review process, automated email notifications are sent from Conference Services' AER system to the division staff for all request status changes. In addition, both division staff and attendees are notified for approvals, cancellations, or waitlisted requests.

    1.4 Attendance Approval Process

    1.4.1 DOE-Sponsored Event Approval

    Conference Services will ensure reporting of attendee numbers into the DOE Conference Reporting system is performed as necessary for all (nonexempt) DOE events. DOE approval requirements are based on the following dollar thresholds.

    • DOE-Sponsored events with estimated net DOE complex-wide expenses under $100,000 do not require DOE approval.
    • DOE-Sponsored events with estimated net DOE complex-wide expenses over $100,000 but under $500,000 require approval by a DOE Under Secretary.
    • DOE-Sponsored events with estimated net DOE complex-wide expenses over $500,000 are prohibited unless a waiver is granted by the DOE Secretary.

    If DOE approval is necessary, the host lab or DOE entity will prepare an approval package and work with DOE headquarters to secure approval. The DOE will notify all DOE labs once approval is secured.

    1.4.2 Non-DOE-Sponsored Event Approvals

    For Non-DOE-Sponsored events with over $100,000 in estimated Laboratory costs, Conference Services will work with the Laboratory Deputy Director to secure their approval.
    Once approved, the spending limit for that event becomes "locked" and the Lab cannot exceed that limit.

    1.4.3 Approval to Attend

    Once Conference Services has received DOE or Laboratory Deputy Director approval for the event, Conferences Services will approve the request in the AER system and notifications will be systematically sent to both the attendee and requestor. In the event of a disapproval, a systematic notice will also be sent to the attendee and requestor.

    Waitlisted and Cancelled Requests

    Attendees may be waitlisted in the following situations:

    • DOE-Sponsored events: the attendee request to attend an event is received after a DOE-sponsored event is locked and approved and no further reporting is allowed.
    • Non-DOE-Sponsored event: a Non-DOE-Sponsored event exceeding $100,000 in Berkeley Lab expenses has already been approved by the Laboratory Deputy Director at a specific spending limit.

    Attendees may attend only if there is a cancellation by an already approved attendee, and there are sufficient funds available to cover the waitlisted attendee. To accommodate a waitlisted request, Conference Services will work to secure cancelled slots from other DOE labs and within our Laboratory.

    Additionally, waitlisted attendees for a locked Non-DOE-Sponsored event approved by the Laboratory Deputy Director may request an exception to attend with division management approval. Exception requests must be submitted to Conference Services, which coordinates review and approval with the Laboratory Deputy Director, as appropriate.

    Waitlisted attendee approved: If a cancelled slot is found, the attendee will be approved within the AER system and the attendee will receive an approval email.

    Waitlisted attendee not fulfilled: If a waitlisted attendee cannot be fulfilled, Conference Services will cancel the attendee request within the AER system. This typically happens around the time of the event start date. Attendees are notified of cancellations via an AER email.

    1.5 Travel and Conference Registration

    • Conference Services-approved attendees may book travel and registration.
    • Attendees must ensure that travel arrangements (e.g., airfare/transportation, lodging, and meals) adhere to the requirements in the Laboratory's Travel Policy.
    • Events held in a foreign location require a separate DOE approval for foreign travel in advance of booking travel. Approval for travel via the Foreign Travel Management System does not constitute Conference Services or DOE approval to attend an event or conference.

    2. Sponsorship of an External Event

    2.1 Overview

    Sponsorship of external events applies to both DOE and Non-DOE-Sponsored events:

    • DOE-Sponsored events: sponsorship of a DOE-hosted event is common and does not require DOE approval.
    • Non-DOE-Sponsored events: sponsorship of non-DOE events is generally discouraged by the DOE. The Laboratory may sponsor external events in limited circumstances.

    Divisions must request Conference Services approval to sponsor an external event.

    • Costs to sponsor an external event may not be incurred until approval is received.
    • If approval is not obtained, the sponsorship is not allowed.

    2.2 What Is Sponsorship of an External Event?

    Sponsorship of an external event occurs if the Laboratory does one or both of the following:

    • Contributes funds from a DOE funding source: contributing DOE-provided funds, including indirect funds, of any amount for an event. This includes providing funding to help plan, promote, or implement the event. Examples include purchasing "sponsorship" packages for a conference or providing funding to rent a conference venue.
    • Authorizes use of the Laboratory or DOE logo: authorizing the use of a DOE seal, logo, or trademark, including any of the Laboratory's logos, to promote an event. Examples include the use of the Laboratory logo on a conference's website, brochures, and programs. For additional information, see the Use of Berkeley Lab Name, Logo, Letterhead, and Brand policy.

    Examples of activities that do not represent a sponsorship include:

    • Laboratory staff participation, specifically:
      • Serving as an honorary chairperson.
      • Participating in planning committees, review panels, or panel discussions.
    • Use of the Laboratory name to denote the employer of conference attendees (including committee and review panel participants).
    • Speaking or presenting at a conference and the related use of DOE/Laboratory logos on material created for presentations and papers distributed at the event.
    • Booth rental and the related use of DOE/Laboratory logos on booths and in material created for booths.
    • Contribution of non-DOE funds (Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP)) to an event host. In this instance, the Laboratory may not authorize the use of DOE or Laboratory logos.
    • Transferring excess registration fees to future conference hosts

    2.2.1 Participation Support
    Participation Support provides funds to an event host to be used specifically in support of conference participation costs for external attendees (e.g., students, retirees, or speakers). The total amount provided to the sponsor cannot exceed $10,000 per event.
    Participation Support requests should be submitted through Conference Services' AER system. Such requests are subject to approval requirements enumerated in the "Attending an Event" portion of this policy. In addition, the submission request requires that the division provide information on the expected benefit to the Laboratory.

    Sponsorship vs. Participation Support


    Sponsorship

    Participation Support

    Definition

    1) Funding the event
    2) Allowing the use of a DOE logo or any Berkeley Lab logo, including division logos

    Funding for the participation of external students, speakers, retirees, etc. in the conference

    How funds can be used

    Funds provided can be used only for DOE allowable expenses.

    Funds are limited to supporting participation (travel, registration, etc.).

    Limitations

    No limit to how much can be given

    $10,000 maximum

    Approvals required

    For DOE-hosted events, no approvals required

    No DOE approval required for either DOE- or non-DOE-hosted events

    For non-DOE-hosted events, DOE approval is necessary.
    Note: Berkeley Lab works with the DOE Office of Science. Sponsorships of non-DOE events are very rare.

    Approval process (non-DOE events)

    - A request for DOE approval must be submitted 12 months prior to the event start date (preferable) per the Office of Science's request.
    - If any DOE funds (travel or registration, etc.) have been expended for the event by any DOE Lab or entity prior to approval, then sponsorship is not allowed.
    - Conference Services will collaborate with the division and work with the DOE to determine if sponsorship is possible.

    Not applicable

    2.3 Sponsorship Request Process

    2.3.1 Key Points

    Sponsorships and participation support requests are submitted using the Conference Services' AER system.
    Divisions must not incur costs or make financial commitments, nor authorize the use of DOE/Laboratory logos, until they have received Conference Services' approval.


    2.3.2 Process for Submitting a Request

    Division

    Designated division staff submit requests for sponsorship or participation support through Conference Services' AER system.

    Conference Services

    Conference Services will determine the applicable approval steps based on whether the sponsorship is related to a DOE- or non-DOE-Sponsored Event. If approval is required, Conference Services will coordinate approval with the DOE.
    Through the entire request review process, automated email notifications are sent from Conference Services' AER system to the division staff for all request status changes. In addition, both division staff and attendees are notified for approvals, cancellations, or waitlisted requests.

    2.4 Sponsorship Approval Process

    2.4.1 Sponsorship Provided to a DOE-Hosted Event

    DOE approval is not required for sponsorship of DOE-hosted conferences, but the conference itself may still require DOE approval if the estimated conference costs exceed $100,000. In addition, participation is subject to approval requirements enumerated in the "Attending an Event" portion of this policy.

    2.4.2 Sponsorship Provided to a Non-DOE-Hosted Event

    Sponsorships to a non-DOE-hosted event will be considered only when:

    • No DOE funds have been expended (including for attendee travel), either directly from DOE or from a DOE contractor.
    • No use of an official DOE or DOE contractor seal/logo has been authorized.

    Conference Services must first work with all other labs to determine if any DOE funds have been expended. If no DOE funds have been expended, Conference Services may proceed with the request for DOE approval.

    2.4.3 Approval to Sponsor an External Event

    Once Conference Services has received DOE approval for the sponsorship, Conference Services will update the request in the AER system. In turn, the AER system will email the requester with instructions on how to proceed with sponsorship payment.

    2.4.4 Disapproval of a Request

    If DOE denies the sponsorship request, Conference Services will update the request in the AER system. In turn, the AER system will email the requester about the disapproval.

    2.5 Making the Sponsorship Payment

    Once sponsorship or participation support is approved, the division should prepare and submit a Payment Request in the Financial Management System (FMS) The payment request must include documentation from the event host supporting the disbursement (e.g., an invoice or sponsorship agreement), as well as evidence of sponsorship approval from the Attend Event Request (AER) System. For more information, see the Payment Request policy.
    Along with the check, Conference Services will send written instructions to the hosting organization stating that the sponsorship funds are to be used only for specifically designated allowable costs subject to validation and/or audit.

    3. Laboratory-Hosted Events

    3.1 Overview

    This section of the policy applies to events where the Laboratory is serving as the event host or cohost.
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established requirements and guidelines for Laboratory-hosted or cohosted events. These requirements ensure good stewardship and appropriate use of federal funds. In addition, the Laboratory must ensure conferences do not include any activities that create the appearance of taxpayer funds being used in a questionable manner. To comply, the Laboratory is required to:

    • Review hosted or cohosted events, prior to the event occurring.
    • Ensure that approval and reporting is performed as required by the DOE.

    Conference Services coordinates this process in partnership with Laboratory divisions. Divisions may host or cohost events that are directly and programmatically related to the Laboratory mission as defined in Contract 31 and have been approved in accordance with Contract 31 and DOE guidance.
    Divisions must request approval from Conference Services to host or cohost an event.

    • Costs to host or cohost the event may not be incurred until approval is received.
    • If approval is not obtained, the division is not allowed to host/cohost the event.

    The hosted event life cycle includes the following:

    Pre-event activities

    1. Consultation between Conference Services and the division, as required


    2. Division submission of preliminary event details into the Event Request System


    3. Vendor sourcing


    4. Conference Services pre-approval


    5. DOE approval (if necessary)


    6. Finalize event details

    Hold event


    Post-event activities

    7. Payment of event costs


    8. Event closeout by division requestor

    3.2 What Is an Event?

    Events include conferences, meetings, retreats, seminars, symposiums, or certain activities that include travel and:

    • Registration and/or registration fees.
    • A published agenda.
    • Scheduled speakers and/or panel discussions.
    • Exhibitor and/or sponsorship fees.

    Individual events may qualify as conferences without meeting all of the key features listed above, but generally meet some of them. Therefore, it is important for divisions to coordinate with Conference Services to determine if DOE approval is needed before hosting an event.
    Examples of events that require advance approval include:

    • Workshops or forums at which the Laboratory seeks to "showcase" programs to the public or provide the opportunity for an "exchange of information" or sharing of "best practices" with other entities (whether federal or nonfederal).
    • Meetings to develop "best practices" or update others regarding developments in the DOE complex.
    • Federal Advisory Committee meetings, as they are advisory in nature and related to how the DOE does its work, as opposed to actually carrying out the work.

    3.3 What Sources of Funds Can Be Used for a Hosted or Cohosted Event?

    DOE and Strategic Partnership Project (SPP) funds can be used to host or cohost an event when the work scope related to the funding is in alignment with the purpose of the event. In addition, Laboratory indirect funding can be used if the event is consistent with the purpose of the indirect pool.
    In addition, the following sources of funds can be collected and used to support the hosted event.

    Registration fees

    • A registration fee may be charged to event attendees to offset the costs of an event.
    • The hosting division determines the appropriate registration fee in partnership with Conference Services. The registration fee should be set at an amount that generates sufficient revenue to cover the specified items to be financed through registration fees, but not an amount that would lead to excess revenue. 
    • Registration fees may be used only to cover allowable costs.

    Special events/excursion fees

    • Separate fees may be collected for optional, unallowable activities (e.g., entertainment and excursions). Fees must be collected separate from the registration fee and are segregated in the financial system. Special event/excursion fees may be used only to cover unallowable costs. 
    • Costs incurred for unallowable event-related activities must be reasonable in amount and prevent the appearance of extravagance. Conference Services may evaluate the reasonableness of any and all costs.

    Exhibitor fees

    • An exhibitor is a party that participates in the event to display products and services that relate to the purpose of the event. 
    • The division should coordinate with Conference Services to determine the appropriate amount to charge for exhibitor fees. 
    • Exhibitor fees collected can be used for allowable or unallowable costs. The allocation of allowable or unallowable funds from exhibitor fees is determined by the division and is included in the event budget. For DOE-funded exhibitor fees, funds will be used for allowable activities.
    • Exhibitor fees collected to cover unallowable costs will be segregated in the financial system. 
    • Costs incurred for unallowable event-related activities must be reasonable in amount and prevent the appearance of extravagance. Conference Services may evaluate the reasonableness of any and all costs.

    External sponsorships

    • External sponsorships are contributions received from outside organizations to be used for general event costs or a specific event activity. 
    • The Event Sponsorship Agreement form is used to manage external sponsorships. 
    • External sponsorships can be used to support allowable or unallowable costs, in accordance with the restrictions set forth by the sponsor. The allocation of allowable or unallowable funds from sponsorships is determined by the division and is included in the event budget. 
    • Sponsorship from other federal agencies, DOE labs, or DOE entities should be used only for allowable costs. 
    • External sponsorships collected to cover unallowable costs will be segregated in the financial system. 
    • Costs incurred for unallowable event-related activities must be reasonable in amount and prevent the appearance of extravagance. Conference Services may evaluate the reasonableness of such unallowable costs.
      Laboratory sponsorship of an event is covered in section 2 of this policy.

    3.4 What Are Allowable and Unallowable Event Costs?

    When hosting or cohosting an event, funds from DOE, SPP, and Laboratory indirect cost pools can only be used for allowable costs. Additional information on the allowability of costs can be found in the Cost Allowability policy and the Allowable/Unallowable Reference Guide on the Conference Services website.

    As noted in section 3.3 above, certain non-DOE sources of funds can be used for unallowable costs in limited circumstances.
    Divisions must exercise discretion and judgment in ensuring that event expenses are appropriate, necessary, and managed in a cost-effective manner.

    Allowable event costs may include, but are not limited to:

    • Meeting room rental.
    • Audio/visual equipment rental.
    • Program content (e.g., printed conference programs and published proceedings).
    • Ground transportation (shuttle or coach services).
    • Working meals, in accordance with section 4 of this policy.
    • Gratuities and service charges for the event are allowable expenses but may not exceed 25% of the total event cost.
    • Honoraria payments for speakers and invited affiliates must be processed in accordance with the Laboratory Nonemployee Payments (Affiliates and-or Visitors) policy.

    Service charges can include, set up fees, rentals, etc. Depending on the vendor, service fees may be itemized or consolidated. Please check with Conference Services, which will inquire with the vendor.
    Unallowable event costs may include, but are not limited to:

    • Entertainment.
    • Promotional items and gifts.
    • Décor.
    • Non-working meals.
    • Alcoholic Beverages — the Laboratory's policy on serving alcohol at Laboratory events provides additional details as to restrictions on serving on-site (see the Serving Alcohol at Berkeley Lab Events policy).

    3.5 Cost Allowability Crosswalk to Sources of Funds

    Sources of funds

    Allowable event costs

    Unallowable event costs

    DOE direct and indirect

    X


    SPP

    X


    Registration fees

    X


    Special event/excursion fees


    X

    Exhibitor fees

    X

    X

    External sponsorship fees

    X

    X

    External sponsorship from other DOE Entities

    X


    3.6 Surplus Revenues and Deficits

    Surplus event funds should be minimized when planning and budgeting the event. In the circumstance where third-party receipts (registration, exhibitor, and sponsorship fees) result in surplus funds, the following methodology applies:

    1. Excess funds, if material, will be refunded to the applicable third party (sponsors/exhibitors) who provided the funding.
    2. If the surplus funds are immaterial, the excess funds will be transferred to the Conference Reserve. 
    3. If funds were collected from exhibitors or sponsors and were originally identified for unallowable purposes, surplus funds will be used to offset allowable costs.
    4. If the event is recurring (e.g., an annual or biennial event) and there is an expectation that a portion of the surplus fees will be carried forward for use in the next occurrence of the event, the surplus funds may be forwarded to the subsequent host or retained for future use if the Laboratory is the subsequent host.

    The balance of the Conference Reserve will be utilized at the discretion of the Laboratory Deputy Director for Research.

    3.7 Hosted Event Life Cycle

    3.7.1 Consultation

    The Conference Services team provides consultation and guidance to divisions in the planning of Laboratory-hosted events including:

    • Budget creation.
    • Sourcing of event-related vendors:
      • Venue(s).
      • Guest room blocks (divisions should consult the procedures on the Conference Services webpage for guidance on booking room blocks at the Berkeley Lab Guest House).
      • Catering and menu planning.
      • Audio/visual.
      • Ground transportation (shuttles and coaches).
      • Event equipment rental (tents, poster boards, tables, chairs, etc.).
    • Registration website management.
    • DOE and Lab Policy Compliance.

    Please visit the Conference Services website to review the most current required lead times and service response times.

    3.7.2 Preliminary Event Details and Approval

    • The Event Request System (ERS) captures the preliminary event details and is the repository for the agenda, attendee list, Meal Eligibility Form, and budget for Laboratory-hosted and cohosted events.  
    • Laboratory-hosted and cohosted events with an associated cost must be entered in the ERS.
    • Events exceeding net DOE costs of $100,000 require additional lead times for DOE approval. Net DOE costs include all event-related costs and all DOE travel costs (Berkeley Lab, other labs, etc.) minus revenue (registration and non-DOE sponsorships). Relevant costs to determine whether DOE approval is necessary are pre-burden.


    Event Submission Lead Times

    Events in excess of $75,000

    Should be submitted as early in the planning process as possible. Events at this threshold level may reach the level* requiring DOE approval. 6–9 months should be the expected lead time required.

    If the planning process dictates a longer lead time, then divisions should factor in additional time for submission.

    No DOE funds, including indirect funds, can be committed or spent, or contracts entered into, until DOE approval, as applicable, is secured.

    Events between $25,000 and $75,000

    Events at this threshold level do not require DOE approval. 4–6 months should be the expected lead time required.

    Events between $5,000 and $25,000

    Events at this threshold level do not require DOE approval. 2–4 months should be the expected lead time required.

    Events less than $5,000

    Events at this threshold level do not require DOE approval. These events should be entered prior to the event occurring.


    All hosted and cohosted events that exceed $100,000 in total net DOE costs require submission to DOE for approval. Total net DOE costs include costs related to hosting the event as well as attendee travel for attendees throughout the DOE laboratory complex.
    As each event is unique, divisions are strongly encouraged to submit events into the ERS as early as possible. Information required in the ERS includes the following:

    Agenda

    • Listed business topics.
    • If working meals are to be served during the event, the agenda should include specific topics to be addressed during food service.

    Meal Eligibility Form

    • If working meals are being provided, a Meal Eligibility Form must be completed.
    • The initial Meal Eligibility Form documents expected participants, their affiliation, confirmation of 10% required external participation, and substantiation that the meal does not exceed meal per diems.

    Attendee list

    • An attendee list with affiliation/home organization of each participant.
    • Attendee lists can be listed as “to be determined” initially, but the number of attendees must be included. When the attendee list is finalized, it must be updated in the ERS.

    Location

    • Divisions are encouraged to conduct events on-site whenever possible to minimize event costs.
    • For any off-site event, the rationale for meeting off-site must demonstrate that the decision to conduct the event off-site was reasonable.

    For the purpose of the ERS, the term "on-site" refers to Laboratory-owned or leased facilities located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Event budget

    An event budget is composed of a cost budget and a revenue budget.

    Cost budget:

    • A cost budget is required for events with costs over $5,000.
    • Cost budgets include all costs associated with hosting or cohosting the event, including the applicable burdens. Example costs include:
      • Venue(s).
      • Working meals/catering.
      • Audio/visual.
      • Ground transportation (shuttles and coaches).
      • Event equipment rental (tents, poster boards, tables, chairs, etc.).
      • Speaker honoraria and travel.


    Revenue budget:

    • A revenue budget is required for events that include registration fees, special event/excursion fees, exhibitor fees, or external sponsorship fees. The revenue budget assists in ensuring cash is appropriately segregated in the financial system.
    • The revenue budget must be uploaded into the ERS using the template provided by Conference Services, available on the Conference Services website. For the purpose of the ERS, the term "on-site" refers to Laboratory-owned or leased facilities located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Estimated DOE Travel Costs (All Attendees from DOE Labs and Entities)

    • In addition, the total budget for the event should include estimated travel and registration for all DOE attendees (e.g., Berkeley Lab, other DOE Labs and DOE headquarters, etc.) They are part of the overall DOE costs of the meeting. These costs will be used to determine whether the event requires DOE approval.
    • The host division is responsible for estimating:
        • Airfare costs based on point of origin.
        • Lodging at per diem.
        • Meals not provided at the conference, at a per diem rate.
    • The estimated DOE attendee travel costs are recorded in the last section of the budget template.

    As it relates to foodservice during the event, criteria identified in the "Working Meals" section of this policy must be adhered to for the costs to be allowable. Funds from other sources (e.g., exhibitor fees or external partnerships) may be used to cover the cost of food service deemed to be unallowable.
    All events must be approved by the division approver and then by Conference Services.

    3.7.3 DOE Approval

    Hosted and cohosted events that exceed $100,000 in total net DOE costs require submission to the DOE for approval. Events with the potential to exceed $100,000 will be monitored by Conference Services. Certain types of DOE events may be exempt from DOE reporting and approval. Please refer to following section, 3.7.3.1.

    Total net DOE costs include:

    • Costs related to hosting the event as well as attendee travel for attendees throughout the DOE laboratory complex.
    • Registrations, which offset the event costs and DOE travel costs.

    Working in partnership with the division, Conference Services will prepare the package required by the DOE, and work with the DOE to facilitate approval. The DOE requests that approval packages be submitted at least six months prior to the event start date. In cases where funds are required to secure event venues, approval packages should be submitted six months prior to when funds need to be expended.
    No DOE funds can be committed or spent or contracts entered into until DOE approval is secured.


    3.7.3.1 DOE Exemptions from Reporting and Approval
    Certain DOE-hosted events may be exempt from DOE reporting and approval. Conference Services is not required to get DOE approval of a Berkeley Lab hosted event if the event is deemed exempt.

    The following are the types of events that may be exempt from DOE approval requirements. Due to the complexity of interpreting exemptions, division consultation with Conference Services is necessary so that the appropriate assistance can be provided in evaluating the event against the DOE requirements.

    • Statutory Oversight Meetings, such as investigations, inspections, audits, or nonconference planning site visits.
    • Internal DOE Business Meetings at a Federal Facility to consider internal agency business matters.
    • International Cooperation Engagement — bilateral and multilateral international cooperation engagement, such as delegation visits from other countries or international universities.
    • Formal Classroom Training that does not exhibit indicia of a formal conference. However, if the training is held as part of a larger conference, it is considered an event and requires approval.
    • Other DOE/Federal Meetings, such as:
      • DOE Program Kickoff and Review meetings (including those for grants and contracts).
      • Advisory Committee and Federal Advisory Committee meetings.
      • Peer Review/Objective Review Panel meetings.
      • Evaluation Panel/Board meetings.
      • Solicitation/Funding Opportunity Announcement Review Board meetings.

    3.7.4 Vendor Sourcing

    3.7.4.1 Contract Management Requirements

    Conference Services and Procurement are the only Laboratory departments authorized to source, negotiate, sign, and approve third-party contracts. Conference Services manages event-related third-party contracts, including but not limited to:

    • Venue(s).
    • Hotels.
    • Transportation.
    • Rentals.
    • Working meals, including banquet event orders.
      • For events where total working meal costs are below $5,000, the division may arrange catering with the vendor directly. However, if the meal vendor requires completion of a contract or agreement, then Conference Services must review and sign the contract or agreement.
      • Further requirements pertaining to working meals can be found in section 4, "Working Meals."

    As it relates to unallowable activities that may be included in an event, the division consults with Conference Services to determine the appropriate sourcing mechanism.
    Division staff are not authorized to source or negotiate with vendors for event-related services on behalf of the Laboratory.
    For events requiring a contract or contracts, division staff must submit a request to Conference Services. Please visit the Conference Services website to review the most current required lead times and service response times. Preferred venues or vendors can be identified in the request.

    3.7.4.2 Off-Site Venue Selection

    "Off-site" venues refer to non-Laboratory-owned or leased facilities. The University of California, Berkeley, campus building space is considered an off-site facility.
    For events with cost exceeding $10,000, Conference Services performs a cost analysis comparing three venues and recommends the most appropriate site. Overall pricing (guest room, audio/visual services, etc.) and cost reasonableness are primary factors, but space function, proximity to transportation, audio/visual capabilities, and other factors are considered as part of the review process.
    Any site visits to determine or select an off-site meeting venue require that a Conference Services Planner be in attendance.

    3.7.5 Finalize Event Details

    For most events, Conference Services will ask the division 30 days prior to the event to provide the final agenda, Meal Eligibility Form, attendee list, and budget in the ERS.

    3.7.6 Payment of Event Costs and Closeout

    Payment of event costs is processed through either the Laboratory's existing Payment Request or Conference Services PCard processes.

    • To ensure appropriate segregation of costs, Payment Requests for unallowable costs utilize a paper-based, manual process. Please see the Conference Services website for specifics.
    • For working meals, the Meal Eligibility Form is required. The form outlines actual participants, their affiliation, confirmation of 10% required external participation, and substantiation that the meal does not exceed meal per diems.
    • Invoices submitted for payment from the unallowable project will not be paid if there are insufficient funds.

    Invoices will be reviewed and compared to contract terms by Conference Services prior to payment.
    The division is responsible for closeout of the event within 90 days after the event is completed. Failure to close out an event that has taken place may result in a delay in approval of new events submitted.
    Event closeout includes:

    • Entering final costs in the ERS, to include an upload of detailed actual costs.
    • Uploading the final agenda, Meal Eligibility Form, attendee list, and completed budget template with actuals if applicable into the ERS.
    • For events exceeding $25,000 in total Laboratory costs, actual cost variances exceeding 10% of the budget must be explained in the ERS.

    Subsequent to division event closeout, General Accounting will:

    • Process disposition of event-related surplus funds in accordance with section 3.6 of this policy.
    • Close the unallowable activity related to the event.

    3.8 DOE-Required Event Cost Reporting

    On an annual basis, the Laboratory is required to submit actual costs for certain DOE-selected events. Conference Services leads this process with inputs from divisions, as requested.

    3.9 Cohosting an Event

    Agreements for cohosted events exceeding $25,000 in total Laboratory costs require appropriate documentation outlining the financial responsibilities of both the Laboratory and the cohost and must be obtained prior to significant costs being incurred. Significant changes to these agreements must also be appropriately documented. The Cohost Agreement template should be used to document the partnership. For cohosted events below $25,000 in total Laboratory costs, Conference Services will determine if a Cohost Agreement is necessary.

    3.10 Other Hosted/Cohosted Event Requirements

    • Events Held in Foreign Locations. Conferences held in foreign countries require separate approval. Additional information on foreign travel requirements can be found in the Laboratory Travel Policy. Approval for travel via the foreign travel approval process does not constitute DOE approval to host an event or conference.
    • External (Non-Laboratory) Meeting Planning Services. Contracting of external meeting planning services requires Conference Services review and approval.
    • Expenses Incurred for Event Management Staff Working During the Event. Laboratory staff performing event management functions at an event may be provided working meals, consistent with those working meals provided to event attendees. For purposes of calculating the external participation rate, event management staff should be excluded.
    • Project/Activity Set Up and Funds Control
      • Segregating event costs assists in ensuring that (1) proper burdens are applied to events and (2) allowable and unallowable components of an event are properly accounted for. To properly segregate event costs, the hosting division must:
        • Open a separate activity for allowable costs related to the event.
      • Request, from General Accounting, that an activity be opened for unallowable costs related to the event.
        • The division is responsible for ensuring that appropriate funding sources are used to cover unallowable costs. See further information in sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of this policy.
    • Public Relations Events. When conducting any type of community event where information is released to the public, the Laboratory must comply with Contract 31 guidelines (Clause I.107). This requires advance coordination between Strategic Communications and the DOE Berkeley Site Office. Please contact Strategic Communications when planning this type of event.
    • Registration Website. Conference Services will build, test, and manage the registration website on behalf of the division. Divisions are required to utilize the Laboratory registration website platform, managed by Conference Services, for events that require attendees to pay a registration fee.

    4. Working Meals

    4.1 Overview

    Working meals may be provided when they contribute to the achievement of the Laboratory's mission and the criteria outlined in section 4.2 "Criteria" are met.

    Meals provided while conducting Laboratory business are to be supplied in a reasonable manner that minimizes costs and remains consistent with the public perception of appropriateness wherever possible. The number and cost of meals provided must be reasonable as they apply to the circumstances of the event's professional activities and goals.

    Providing meals to Laboratory affiliates, visitors, or sponsors, where the primary purpose is or may appear to be social rather than business, is unallowable and not reimbursable.

    Please also refer to the Laboratory's Serving Alcohol at Berkeley Lab Events policy.

    4.2 Criteria

    Meals provided while conducting Laboratory business may be reimbursable for Laboratory events when all six criteria are met:

    1. The event is conducted for a purpose that supports the Laboratory's mission.
    2. The event requires work to be conducted during food service without a break; attendance during the meal is essential for full participation in the event/meeting.
    3. The event is at least four hours in duration.
    4. At least 10% of the total event attendees must be external (non-Laboratory employees).
    5. The event is not routine.
    6. The event is not a ceremony or celebration.

    The number and cost of meals provided must be reasonable as they apply to the circumstances of the event/meeting's professional activities and goals. For example, for a full-day meeting, it may be reasonable to provide lunch and snacks. For a four-hour meeting through the lunch hour, it may be reasonable to provide only lunch. Working meals are not provided for regular routine activities. Examples include staff/department/division meetings, employee orientation, and training.

    4.2.1 Limitation on Cost

    Working meals must comply with the maximum allowable reimbursement amount for meals and will be reimbursed at the lesser of either (1) actual costs or (2) 150% of the locality's meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) rate for daily meals. Daily refreshment costs, if determined allowable, will be reimbursed at the lesser of (1) actual costs or (2) 25% of the locality's per diem M&IE rate. Current meal per diem rates can be located on the Conference Services website and the GSA website for cities outside the Bay Area.

    4.2.2 Strategic Planning Working Meals

    For strategic planning meetings, the 10% external participation requirement is not applicable. The objective of a strategic planning meeting is to discuss goals and strategies that affect the division (or a department within the division). Specifically, strategic planning meetings are limited as follows.

    • Division Strategic Planning
      • Each division (or department reporting directly to the director's office) is allotted three strategic planning meetings during the fiscal year.
      • Each division (or department reporting directly to the director's office) is responsible for tracking the number of strategic planning events to ensure the limit is not exceeded.
    • Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) Strategic Planning
      • Each ALD is allotted three strategic planning meetings during the fiscal year.
      • Each ALD is responsible for tracking the number of strategic planning events to ensure the limit is not exceeded.
    • Institutional Strategic Planning
      • Institutional strategic planning meetings are meetings that are led/called by the Laboratory Director, Laboratory Deputy Director, or Chief Operating Officer.

    4.3 Request Process

    Working meals must be requested and approved through the Event Request System (ERS). Information required in the ERS includes:

    Agenda

    • The agenda should include specific topics to be addressed during food service.

    Attendee list

    • An attendee list with affiliation/home organization of each participant

    Meal Eligibility Form

    • If working meals are being provided, a Meal Eligibility Form must be completed.
    • The Meal Eligibility Form outlines actual participants, their affiliation, confirmation of 10% required external participation, and substantiation that the meal does not exceed meal per diems.

    Location

    • Divisions are encouraged to conduct events on-site whenever possible to minimize event cost.
    • For any off-site event, the rationale for meeting must demonstrate that the decision to conduct the event off-site was reasonable in cost and nature.
    • For the purpose of the ERS, the term "on-site" refers to Laboratory-owned or leased facilities located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Budget

    Cost budget

    • If the event cost is over $5,000, the budget template must be completed. Please refer to 3.7.2 for budget details.

    4.4 Approval Process

    Working meals require approval by the ERS division approver and by Conference Services.

    4.5 Catering Contract Management Requirements

    Conference Services and Procurement are the only Laboratory departments authorized to source, negotiate, sign, and approve third-party contracts.

    • For events below $5,000, the division may arrange catering with the vendor directly.
    • For events in excess of $5,000, Conference Services manages event-related third-party contracts for working meals, including banquet event orders.

    4.6 Payment of Working Meal Costs

    Payment of working meals is processed through either the Laboratory's existing Payment Request or Conference Services PCard processes.
    For working meals, the Meal Eligibility Form and attendee list must be submitted with payment requests related to food costs. The form outlines actual participants, their affiliation, confirmation of 10% required external participation, and substantiation that the meal does not exceed meal per diems.

    4.7 Working Meal Closeout

    The division is responsible for the closeout within 90 days after the working meal is completed. Closeout includes:

    • Entering final costs in the ERS.
    • Uploading the final agenda, Meal Eligibility Form, attendee list, and budget template, if applicable, into the ERS.

    5. Emergency Event Meals

    When the Laboratory's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated, meals may be provided on a limited basis using the following criteria.

    • The EOC must be scheduled to be operational for a 12-consecutive-hour period, as determined by the Emergency Director.
    • A designated EOC team member may purchase one meal per person (as designated on the list provided by the Emergency Director) during each 12-hour shift, while the EOC is operational. Reimbursement will not be made on an individual basis.
    • Meal costs, including tax and tips, may not exceed per diem.

    This section does not apply to routine working meals or other operational shutdowns.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Role

    Responsibility

    Conference Services

    Attending an event:

    • Reviews event participation, prior to the event occurring and employees or nonemployees (e.g., affiliates and guests) attending, and ensures that approval and reporting is performed as required by the DOE.
    • Manages the approval process for attending conferences.
    • Provides consultation and guidance to divisions, and functions as a liaison to the DOE and other labs.
    • Ensures conference attendance and expense information received from divisions is aggregated and entered into iPortal as necessary.
    • Maintains conference reporting website information for division access.
    • Ensures approval packages are managed in accordance with DOE requirements.
    • Ensures non-DOE conferences for which Laboratory costs are estimated to exceed $100,000 are approved by the Laboratory Deputy Director.
    • Completes required annual reporting of actual costs.
    • Manages the approval for Laboratory external sponsorships and participation cost requests.

      Hosting an event:
    • Provides specialized event planning and management services.
    • Reviews, approves, and manages all Laboratory event information entered into the ERS to ensure timeliness and compliance with Laboratory policy and DOE Contract 31.
    • Sources, negotiates, reviews, and approves third-party contractual agreements for event services, such as hotel contracts, audio/visual services, chartered transportation services, etc.
    • Reconciles vendor contracts, where applicable, against corresponding invoices prior to payment for events exceeding $25,000 in total Laboratory costs.
    • Oversees the registration website process and reconciles registration payments to ensure all applicable fees have been paid and all payment information is captured.
    • Reviews invoices and receipts against unallowable projects to ensure allowable and unallowable costs are separated appropriately.
    • Reports event data to the DOE as required.

    Divisions

    Attending an event:

    • Designated division staff enter attendee requests into the Attend Event Request (AER) system.
    • Ensure funds are not committed prior to obtaining DOE approval.
    • Control costs to ensure costs are reasonable and do not exceed the reported estimate.
    • Ensure conference reporting requirements are communicated broadly within their division.
    • Submit AER requests for approval for Laboratory external sponsorships and participation cost requests to Conference Services.

      Hosting an event:
    • Have overall responsibility for the financial management of the event.
    • Designate an Event Host/Organizer who has responsibility for working closely with Conference Services to plan and manage the event.
    • Provide administrative support for the event.
    • Establish appropriate project and activity accounts or requests as necessary.
    • Complete the submission in the Laboratory's Event Request System (ERS), which includes agenda, attendee, and funding and budget information, for approval by Conference Services.
    • Develop and maintain the event budget and appropriate financial records.
    • Within 90 days of the conclusion of an approved event, burdened actual costs will be reviewed against estimated costs (i.e., the event budget) and all variances for events over $25,000 in budget exceeding 10% must be documented in the events database with final agenda and attendee list uploaded.
    • Identify allocation of allowable and unallowable costs and income from exhibitors and/or sponsors in the event budget.

    Employee/traveler

    • Notifies designated division staff of the upcoming conference/event as soon as the event is known.
    • Coordinates with the designated division staff to determine if DOE approvals are required.
    • Does not incur costs or commit funds until all necessary approvals are obtained.
    • Submits timely expense reports within 30 days of travel.

    Division approver (or designee)

    • Approves all Laboratory-hosted or co-hosted events in the Event Request System (ERS).

    Laboratory Director (or designee)

    • Approves all non-DOE conferences for which Laboratory costs are estimated to exceed $100,000.
    • Approves all Laboratory-wide Strategic Planning Meetings.
      Note: The designee for the Laboratory Director is the Laboratory Deputy Director, Associate Laboratory Director for Operations, or Laboratory Director's Chief of Staff.

    Controller's Office/General Accounting

    • Deposits registration fees and/or sponsorship funding and records revenue in the Laboratory's Financial Management System.
    • Upon approval from Conference Services:
      • Opens an unallowable project for the event.
      • Sets up an allowable project for the event.
      • Issues payment for event expenses approved by Conference Services.
      • Closes and reconciles event project(s).
      • Provides general guidance on event accounting.
      • Prepares final resource adjustments to zero out the projects at closeout.

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    Affiliates

    Non-Laboratory employees engaged in on-site Laboratory activities. Affiliates are subject to training in safety and other subjects. They are also issued a Laboratory identification badge. Affiliates may receive system accounts, research access to facilities, and a per diem allowance for housing and living expenses. Examples: facility users, scientific collaborators, students.

    Cohost

    An organization that shares event hosting responsibilities with another organization (see "Host"). An event cohost exists if more than one organization shares control of the conduct or management of the event, or provides some form of nonmonetary services.

    Cosponsor

    An organization or individual that provides support to the event and shares in the planning and/or decision-making. A cosponsor is an official colead for the event.

    DOE-Sponsored event

    An event hosted or sponsored by a DOE program or a DOE contractor

    Event

    Events include conferences, meetings, retreats, seminars, symposiums, or certain activities that include travel and:

    • Registration and/or registration fees 
    • A published agenda 
    • Scheduled speakers and/or panel discussions 
    • Exhibitor and/or sponsorship fees 
    • Individual events may qualify as conferences without meeting all of the key features listed above, but generally meet some of them

    Event project/activities

    An allowable and unallowable project/activity are established for each Laboratory-hosted/cohosted event. The projects are used to collect registration fees and other external funds and to pay invoices for event costs. Invoices for unallowable event related activities (e.g. excursions, other activities) may only be paid out of the unallowable project/activity. Appropriate burdens will be applied to both allowable and unallowable expenses.

    Exhibitor An individual or organization that participates in the event to display or present products and services relative to the purpose of the event

    Host

    An organization that has control over the conduct or management of the event (e.g., sufficient to influence costs, venue, program content, or similar aspects)

    Non-DOE-Sponsored event

    An event hosted by an external organization for which no DOE or Laboratory funds have been provided as "sponsorship," and no use of official DOE or Laboratory seals/logos has been authorized

    Sponsor

    An organization outside the Laboratory (i.e., a benefactor) that makes a voluntary contribution to support the event

    Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) funds

    The performance of work for non-DOE entities by DOE/contractor personnel and/or the utilization of DOE facilities that are not directly funded by DOE appropriations

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    None

    H. Implementing Documents

    Document Number

    Title

    Type

    11.03.003.000

    Serving Alcohol at Berkeley Lab Events

    Policy

    11.01.019.005

    FMS Payment Request (for payment of allowable expenses)

    Form

    11.01.019.000

    Request for Issuance of Check (RFIC) (for payment of unallowable expenses)

    Form

    11.06.001.000

    Travel Policy

    Policy

    11.03.003.006

    Cost Allowability (Examples of Unallowable Costs)

    Policy

    10.07.002.000

    Use of Berkeley Lab Name, Logo, Letterhead, and Brand

    Policy


    The Event Sponsorship Agreement form

    Form


    Meal Eligibility Worksheet

    Form


    Event Budget Template

    Template


    The Cohost Agreement form

    Form

    N/A

    Updated Guidance on Conference-Related Activities and Spending (Dated August 17, 2015)

    Guidance

    I. Contact Information

    Conference Services Lead or [email protected]

    J. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By Whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) Affected

    Change Type

    1/2/2012

    1

    More

    Reformat for wiki

    All

    Minor

    6/22/2012

    1.1

    L. Young

    Align to revised Serving Alcohol at Berkeley Lab Events

    D.13.4, Implementing Docs

    Minor

    11/11/2012

    1.2

    Hennessey

    Annual review complete 9/30/12, no changes

    Pub & rev dates

    Minor

    12/14/2012

    1.3

    Hennessey

    Included changes reflecting recommended audit actions

    Added Gratuities, Staff Working section, updated Roles/Resp, D.7, D.9 & D.10

    Minor

    1/29/2013

    1.4

    Hennessey

    Added guidance. Staff working at events are not to be included in calculation for nonemployee attendees.

    D.15

    Minor

    9/10/2013

    1.5

    Hennessey

    Added guidance re 150% per diem limit.

    Brief/Policy Summary, Policy/Purpose, D.1, D.2, D.6, D.8, D.9–D.11, D.14.4, D.16.1, D.19

    Minor

    10/15/2013

    1.6

    Hennessey

    Added guidance re conference reporting and sponsorships

    Brief/Policy Summary, Policy/Purpose, D.1, D.2, D.6,Roles and Responsibilities, Definitions

    Major

    4/23/2014

    2

    Hennessey

    Reformat entire document-Move information about attending conferences to new policy. Retitle policy.

    All

    Major

    2/1/2016

    3

    Wang

    Updated for new DOE Guidance and to address audit recommendations.

    All

    Major

    2/19/2016

    3.1

    Wang

    Clarification of eRFIC requirements

    D.8

    Minor

    1/11/2017

    4

    J. Butler

    Combined Events and Meals — Planning and Reporting Policy and Attending Events Policy into one policy. Overall revision of content.

    All

    Major

    2/14/2017

    4.1

    T. Carlson

    Update link to Meal Eligibility Form (also called Meal Eligibility Worksheet)

    D.3.7.6, D.4.6, Implementing Documents

    Editorial

    9/13/2017

    4.2

    J. Weiner

    Change "Public Affairs" to "Strategic Communications"

    D

    Editorial

    12/13/19

    4.3

    T. Carlson

    Add Emergency Meals

    D.5

    Minor

    8/11/21

    4.4

    E. Walker

    Cyclical review; minor changes for clarification

    All

    Minor

    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Events and Meals Policy

    Document number

    11.03.002.000

    Revision number

    4.4

    Publication date:

    8/11/2021

    Effective date:

    7/1/2021

    Next review date:

    6/30/2024

    Policy Area:

    Events and Meals

    RPM Section (home)

    Events

    RPM Section (cross-reference)

    Section 11.02

    Functional Division

    Financial Management

    Prior reference information (optional)


    Source Requirements Documents

    • Contract 31, Section H, Clause H.49 — Conference Management

    Implementing Documents

    Document number

    Title

    Type

    11.03.003.000

    Serving Alcohol at Berkeley Lab Events

    Policy

    11.01.019.005

    Payment Request (for payment of allowable expenses)

    Form

    11.01.019.000

    Request for Issuance of Check (RFIC) (for payment of unallowable expenses)

    Form

    11.06.001.000

    Travel Policy

    Policy

    11.03.003.006

    Cost Allowability (Examples of Unallowable Costs)

    Policy

    10.07.002.000

    Use of Berkeley Lab Name, Logo, Letterhead, and Brand

    Policy


    The Event Sponsorship Agreement form

    Form


    Meal Eligibility Worksheet

    Form


    Event Budget Template

    Template


    The Cohost Agreement form

    Form

    N/A

    Updated Guidance on Conference-Related Activities and Spending (Dated August 17, 2015)

    Guidance

    • No labels