Ineligible Operating Expense List

When expenses are being paid for with Lakehead University funds, it is expected that their benefit to the university and/or its students should be demonstrable to help ensure that such funds are being used appropriately. This is a list of ineligible operating expenses and is not intended to be all-inclusive.


  • Any expenditure for personal purposes; this would include (but not be limited to) supplies, photocopying, long distance calls, courier & postal services. Exception to this exists if a reliable system exists within the department that ensures personal costs are identified and recovered on a timely basis and that sales taxes are remitted to the appropriate government.

Employee personal related expenses

  • Personal gifts (e.g. flowers, chocolates, books, cards, food baskets, alcohol) to faculty and/or staff. When there is a reason to share happiness (birthdays, weddings, births) or sorrow (bereavement, sickness), the University expects that individuals or groups should express themselves personally, without using University funds.
  • Donations to charitable organizations or political parties including fundraisers.
  • Decorations for non-public spaces such as framed art and plants.
  • University parking permits.

Travel Related

  • Movies in hotel.
  • Personal phone calls greater than one call or $5 per day.
  • Sightseeing trips that are not part of a basic conference registration.
  • Surcharges and expenses related to spouses or any individual who is not on University business and accompanies, meets, or joins the University employee.
  • Personal items lost or stolen in transit.
  • Fuel for personal vehicles.
  • Repairs/modifications to personal property.

Fines & Penalties

  • Tickets and fines for traffic and parking violations.
  • Interest charges levied on overdue Corporate Card statements, service charges, interest charges, or annual fees associated with personal credit cards. (It is the responsibility of the claimant to pay these statements in a timely fashion and to file expense forms on a timely basis to avoid interest and other service charges.)

Meals, Entertainment & Social

  • Expenses for personal entertainment.
  • Memberships in social clubs where there is no demonstrated benefit to the University.
  • Beverages (coffee, tea, fruit juices, bottled water, soft drinks) and refreshments for the general use of faculty and staff (this does not include seminars, faculty meetings, or special approved events).
  • Meals or ticket costs to social or private departmental events (seasonal, retirement, departure parties) involving “University only” employees (and/or spouses) where attendance is not a requirement of University business.
  • Departmental/school special events and/or lunches/dinners for faculty and staff must be kept to a reasonable level (in line with Lakehead University’s Travel Policy) and all require VP or Presidential approval in advance.
  • Unreasonable food and/or beverage expenditure for any university-related business.
  • Prior to the purchase of corporate table tickets for an external organization fundraising/sponsor, approval by the offices of the President or Vice-Presidents is required


  • Normally the signing authority is the individual responsible for the budget account to be charged. The individual approving the expense statement is responsible for ensuring that the expenses are for University purposes and comply with this policy. Signing approval limits are the same as those specified in the Financial Controls and Signing Authority Policy. Under no circumstances may an employee authorize his/her own expenses.