Catering and hospitality procedure

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Version number 2.4 | Version effective 27 January 2022
Catering and hospitality procedure


Department-wide and Parents and Citizens’ Associations


The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance to all staff about when catering and hospitality is and isn’t appropriate for departmental staff, customers and stakeholders.


Catering is a form of hospitality and, as such, is regarded as a gift according to the Gifts and Benefits Directive 22/09 with the exception of:

  • meals provided to staff working over normal meal times or away from their usual place of work; and
  • catering and refreshments provided to recognise services provided by volunteers.

Decisions about accepting/declining hospitality and catering offered to departmental staff

Refer to the Gifts and benefits procedure, other than for the exceptions noted above.

Providing hospitality and catering

Catering must be commensurate with the circumstances of the meeting, function or event. Gain an appropriate delegate’s approval for all expenses. Delegates should use their judgement when making decisions about whether to offer catering and the nature of that catering. When determining what, if any, catering is appropriate, delegates must consider:

  • Attendees: If the only attendees are departmental staff, keep catering to a minimum.
  • Purpose: Will providing catering support the objective of the event, such as building community goodwill?
  • Duration: The longer the duration, the more appropriate it may be to provide refreshments in order to maintain attendees’ energy levels and attention spans.
  • Timing: Where events are held over normal mealtimes, it is acceptable to offer reasonable catering as participants will not otherwise have access to meals.
    • It is also acceptable, and in some circumstances an entitlement (such as for staff undertaking official travel or working approved overtime), to provide reasonable catering where participants are attending to official business outside of their normal working hours.
  • Location: Where attendees do not have access to normal facilities, it is acceptable to provide catering. Do not choose offsite venues as a substitute for meetings which would ordinarily be conducted in the workplace.

Other considerations:


All staff

  • Adhere to all relevant whole-of-Government and departmental policy requirements.

Expenditure delegates


When offered hospitality:

Refer to the Gifts and benefits procedure, other than in the exceptions noted above.

When considering catering for an event or function:

  1. Determine whether or not catering is appropriate, based on the considerations outlined above.
  1. Obtain approval from a delegated officer before placing any orders.





A person who performs work for the department without payment, except for a meal or refreshment in accordance with this procedure.


  • The Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 (Qld) (ss4 – 9) requires that we demonstrate integrity and impartiality, including the primacy of the public interest. This includes accepting and valuing the duty to manage public resources effectively, efficiently, economically and transparently.
  • The Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld) (s61) requires that value for money be obtained by ensuring the operations of the department are carried out efficiently, effectively and economically.
  • The Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019 (Qld) (s6) requires a governance framework is in place that incorporates openness, integrity, accountability, due care, public defensibility and ethics principles.


Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 Catering and hospitality

2.0 Catering and hospitality

Review date

24 April 2022
Attribution CC BY


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