Official Occasion


All official occasions paid for with university funds must be be approved using an Official Occasion Expense Form (OOEF). An "official occasion" is defined as a reception, dinner, lunch, or similar event that is sponsored and funded by the department. An OOEF is the document you sign and submit, along with all itemized receipts, to our department's Finance person to process for reimbursement.

Occasions that may incur qualifying purchases might include:

  • Recognition or promotion of academic achievement and/or service to the university

  • Recruitment of faculty, staff, and students

  • Communication of intellectual ideas and/or exchange of administrative and operation information

  • Support of institution sponsored events or of a program of continuing education.

(You can find a more exhaustive definition of OOEFs in the UTexas Handbook and also read below for an outline of the submission process.)

Guidelines and Rules

  • The OOEF and Event Sheet should be submitted at least 1 week prior to the event date to ensure the account allows entertainment, etc. For larger events needing catering, etc, please submit a month ahead.

  • Original, itemized, paid receipts must be submitted.

  • We cannot reimburse sales tax, except for dine-in. (If you will purchase food or beverages from a grocery or others store, or from a restaurant as carry-out/takeaway, you must provide a tax exemption certificate to the vendor.)

  • The limit of $100 per person (incl tax and tip) cannot be exceeded. A person may elect to expend more per person on the entertainment event; however the actual reimbursement will be limited.

  • Tips and/or gratuity cannot exceed 20% of the subtotal. 

  • Alcohol expenses cannot exceed the cost of food. See Alcohol Guidelines

  • Catering agreements must be approved/signed by the Business Contracts Office at least 7 days prior to the event .  Faculty and staff do not have signature authority. If a form is submitted after the fact, the finance office cannot guarantee that all expenses will be reimbursed.


  1. Fill out an OOEF. Be sure to fill out all relevant fields, including:

    1. Participants/Group Attending: List names and titles of each attendee (if fewer than 10) or note estimated number of attendees (if more than 10).

    2. Purpose:  Include type of occasion (breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments) and brief explanation of the purpose of the event.

    3. Benefit to UT: Provide brief explanation of benefit.

    4. Estimated Costs: If a reception or other large event, attach an event or catering sheet with proposed vendor, items, and cost. If alcohol will be served attach a copy of the email approval. See Alcohol Guidelines for obtaining approval.

    5. Average Cost per Person: Entry required. The cost per person must not exceed the established per person limits listed in Guidelines and Rules (see above).

    6. Catering Agreements: The Business Contracts Office is the only office approved to sign catering agreements. Please submit a copy of the detailed agreement along with the OOEF and relevant documentation at least 7 business days prior to the event.

    7. Signatures:
      Requestor signature is for the authorized signer for the account. 
      Department signature line is for authorized Department Administrative staff. APPROVED signature line is for authorized COFA Administrative staff.

  2. Attach an Event Sheet if the OOEF encompasses multiple vendors/services for the event date.  A Word Document should list each proposed occasion (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack) and/or service (facility services, rentals, on campus events such as bowling, swimming).  Add the estimated dollar amount.

  3. Submit OOEF and Event Sheet to Michelle Belisle ( for departmental approval prior to the date of the event. If a form is submitted after the fact, the finance office cannot guarantee that expenses can be reimbursed.

  4. Once Departmental Approval has been obtained, Michelle Belisle will contact requestor regarding direct billed or individual purchases.  Any and all itemized sales receipts and invoices must be submitted after the event.