September 22, 2005
                                                                                                In Reply Refer To:
                                                                                                1510 (850) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-001
Expires: 09/30/2007
To:              All Washington Office and Field Officials
From:          Assistant Director, Business and Fiscal Resources
Subject:      Purchase of Refreshments or Meals with Appropriated Funds
Program Area:  Acquisition
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes procedures and guidelines for approval and purchase of refreshments or meals with appropriated funds.
Policy/Action:  Refreshments or meals may be purchased with appropriated funds only when specific enabling legislation or statute exists, such as Amendment 89 to the Federal Travel Regulations; the Government Employees Training Act; the Government Employees Incentive Awards Act; Public Law 98-540, to amend the Volunteers in the Parks Act of 1969;or various Comptroller General decisions. In the absence of a specific authority, the purchase of refreshments or meals is not authorized for either Government personnel or non-Government personnel, such as partners orvisiting dignitaries. This IM does not apply to meals provided in conjunction with emergency firefighting.
When contemplating any purchase of food with appropriated funds, the information contained in the attached Refreshments Reference Guide – March 2003should be considered. A written determination must be made and filed with the obligation document, e.g., purchase order or charge card account. 
Authority for approving expenditures (other than conferences with over 30 attendees, requiring approval by the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management) is delegated to the  State Director, Washington Office Assistant Directors, and Center Directors.  This authority may be redelegated.
Timeframe: This IM is effective upon receipt.
Budget Impact:  A positive impact on the budget should result when funds for these expenses have been approved and determined appropriate in accordance with this policy.
Background:  This policy reiterates previous policy established in IM No. 2003-207 dated July 3, 2003, and clarifies allowable expenditures for meals for volunteers. It incorporates the General Services Administration Travel Advisory, dated January 30, 2003, that rescinds allowing employees in non-travel status to receive refreshments. It also suspends the Department of the Interior guidance that allowed us to pay for refreshments for non-Federal attendees at conferences. The policy for provision of meals to Resource Advisory Council members has been added. 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  The Bureau of Land Management Manual Section 1510 - Acquisition.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with Procurement Analysts, Human Resources, and Volunteer Coordinators.
Contact: If you have any questions about these procedures or delegation of authority, please contact Nancy Adrain, Property and Acquisition and Headquarters Services Group (WO-850), at (202) 452-5175.
Signed by:                                                  
Authenticated by:
Mark Davis                                                 
Barbara J. Brown
Acting Assistant Director                             
Policy & Records Group, WO-560
Business and Fiscal Resources
1 Attachment