Unrestricted Fund Expense Policy

Effective Date:

December 1, 2017



Policy Review Date:

To be reviewed every 3 years from effective date

Issuing Authority:

Research Foundation President

Responsible Party:

Chief Financial Officer

Contact Information:



Reason for Policy

Under the 1977 Agreement between the Research Foundation for The State University of New York ("Research Foundation" or "RF") and the State University of New York (SUNY), the RF administers funds that are received from the federal government and other authorized sources to support research, education, and other institutional activities of SUNY. This policy ensures proper stewardship and appropriate use of funds received through:

Statement of Policy

Unrestricted Funds may be used by the RF central office or operating locations only to support:

Examples of Permissible Expenses

Expenditures that are permissible may be paid directly or reimbursed from Unrestricted Funds. The following list highlights examples of expenditures that generally are permissible and does not identify every expenditure that is permissible.

Examples of Non-Permissible Expenses

Non-permissible expenses must not be paid or reimbursed from Unrestricted Funds and must be paid out-of-pocket by the employee. All expenses must be paid for and reimbursed based on existing RF procedures or paid for by a corporate credit card. The list below highlights expenditures that are generally not permissible, but is not intended to identify every non-permissible expenditure.

Unrestricted Fund Expenses and the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Rates

Expenses from unrestricted funds are included in the periodic calculation of Facilities and Administration (F&A) rates, and for the purpose of completing the F&A cost proposal the F&A rates must include only federal allowable costs as defined by OMB 2 CFR Part 200. As such any federal unallowable expenditures of Unrestricted Funds from indirect cost recovery must be charged to one of the expenditure types identified as unallowable. (This process is often referred to as a "scrub" of unallowable costs from the F&A rate.) Federal Unallowable Expenses must not be charged to federally funded (direct or flow-through) awards or projects or to cost sharing on a federally funded award.


Exceptions for expenditures that would be otherwise non-permissible under this Policy may be made in writing by the OM or an officer of the RF. The exception must describe, in detail, the justification for the granting the exception, but the expenditure shall not be exempt from the Policy Statement requirements above.


The following table outlines the responsibilities for compliance with this policy:

Responsible Party


Every individual who initiates, processes, reviews, approves, or records financial transactions on behalf of the RF.

Responsible for complying with and administering this policy.

Operations Managers or designee

Responsible for oversight and management of implementation of this policy at operating locations.


Discretionary Spending Accounts- Refers to an account or sum of money under the control of a listed person with respect to which he or she is not accountable to the organization, whether or not actually used for any personal expenses as defined on Schedule J of the Form 990.

Federal Unallowable Costs- Expenses that are not reimbursable by the federal government, under regulations identified in OMB 2 CFR Part 200.

OMB 2CFR Part 200- The federal regulations for administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements for federal awards.

Permissible Expense- A necessary, reasonable, and appropriate expense incurred for the benefit of the RF or SUNY and therefore permitted to be reimbursed or paid directly from Unrestricted Funds.

Agency Services- Campus related organizations that use RF human resources, payroll or purchasing/payables administration services and pay fees that are included in Unrestricted Funds.

Tax indemnification and Gross-up Payments- Organizations payment or reimbursement of any tax obligations of a listed person on Schedule J of the Form 990.

Related Information

Travel Site

Credit Card Programs Policy

Documentation Guidelines for Purchasing and Payment Activities

Fixed Price Balance Award Administration Policy

Fixed Price Balance Awards Procedure

Procurement Site

Excerpts of Unallowable Costs

Non-Salary Payments Policy

Taxation and Reporting for Non-Salary Payments Guidance

Taxation and Reporting for Non-Salary Payments Procedure

IRS Publication 5137 - Fringe Benefit Guide



Change History


Summary of Change

January 5, 2022

Policy reviewed

December 1, 2017

Minor updates including raising the dinner threshold from 110% to 150% and capping retirement gifts at 30 years of service.

December 26, 2014

Updated for change to 2 CFR Part 200.

December 7, 2012

New policy. Effective 3/15/2013



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Copyright © 2012 The Research Foundation for The State University of New York