Tarleton State UniversityOffice of Business ServicesTravel Training Leah Bartelt 968-9434
Introduction • In State Travel • Rental Cars • Out of State Travel • Airfare Guidelines • Travel to Washington D.C. • Foreign Travel • Prospective Employee • Consultant/Facilitator • Registration • Miscellaneous • Top Ten Errors • Need Help?
In-State Travel • Answer the basics – who, what, when, where & how? • Travel Request must be approved by Supervisor, Dept. Head, Dean and Vice President as applicable. • The current reimbursable rate for mileage in your private vehicle to and from a location is 55.5 cents per mile. • Use Mapquest to document mileage for the destination traveled. You may also use odometer readings for mileage. This form can be found on our Business Services website. Please use the most cost effective route. • The current in-state maximum lodging and meal rate will vary with destination. • Meals are only paid for overnight travel. Meal receipts are not required for reimbursement on travel. • The maximum for meals is not a per diem; it is a maximum allowed rate only. Please claim only what you have spent up to the amount allowed.
Lodging • Maximum Lodging and Meal rates have changed. As of September 1, 2009 government rates found at www.gsa.gov can apply (Open the GSA page and click on “per diem rates” found on the left hand side). However, preference should be given to contracted hotels. If one cannot be found at your destination, you may use the federal maximum rate for that area. If no contract hotels are available and your destination is not listed on the government site then you should revert back to the standard rate of $77 per night for lodging and $46 per day for meals. • In-State contracted hotels • Contract hotels must be used whenever possible. The web link for contracted hotels within the state of Texas may be found at: www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/ • Original hotel receipt showing zero balance is required for reimbursement. • If you are unable to provide an original receipt, please state a reason for the copy (lost, needed to have it faxed for zero balance, etc) • Remember to take a Tax Exemption Certificate form with you to give to the hotel upon check-in. As a State of Texas employee, you are exempt from STATE hotel tax.
Travel Exceptions • “More than 3” traveling • Pre-approval by your Dean or Vice President is required when more than three employees are traveling with the same business. The approval can be in memo form and must state “More than 3” at the top of the memo. This also applies if there are more than 3 traveling in separate departments. • Four Per Car Rule • When two or more employees are traveling with the same itinerary on the same dates, they are required to coordinate their travel and ride together. • Mileage can only be claimed for one car per every four people attending the same event. All exceptions must be pre-approved by your Vice President on a trip-by-trip basis.
Rental Cars • The State of Texas currently has contracts with Avis and Enterprise. Preference must be given to these vendors except when: • A contract rental car company does not offer services in the city being visited. • The contract car rental company is sold out. • Alternative car rental arrangements can be made at a lower total cost including the base rate, loss/damage waiver protection, mileage charge, applicable taxes, service charges and cost for comparable liability insurance protection. • A Contract Exception Form must be completed if a contracted rental company is not used. • The following web link will take you to the contracted rental car company information: www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/ • When using a rental car arranged by Tarleton’s Transportation Department, please use the fuel card issued with the car packet to fuel the vehicle. The fuel charged to this card will not include certain taxes for which the University is exempt. • In an effort to conserve funds a traveler must get the most economical vehicle suited to their travel. Justification will be required for larger, multi-passenger vehicles.
Out of State Travel • Out-of-State travel follows the same guidelines as in-state travel with few exceptions. • Travelers will receive reimbursement for actual expenses up to the maximum rate for meals and lodging based on federal travel regulations for the duty point area. You may find these rates at the following link: www.gsa.gov (Travel Resources – Per Diem rates) • If the city or county is not listed use the standard rate • Vice President must approve all out of state travel. (The President must approve all travel for the Vice Presidents.) • If you decide to drive out of state, you must complete a Justification of Mileage vs. Airfare worksheet.
Airfare Guidelines • When traveling by air, consult the following link for contracted rates and carriers: www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/ • The state of Texas currently holds a contract with National Travel Systems as our travel agent. You may contact them at 1-877-717-7768. • Identify yourself as a Tarleton State Employee and request the “state rate” for direct billing. • If a contract airline is not used, you must complete a Contract Exception Form . If a different agent is used, contact NTS to see if they can match airfare when found at a lower rate. • Unless you go through an approved travel agent for the state of Texas, you will not be able to utilize the State of Texas contract rates, therefore a Contract Exception Form must be completed with the travel voucher.
Airfare cont… • In order to have your airfare pre-paid with the Centrally Billed Account you will need to complete the following steps: • Submit to Business Services an approved Travel Request • Contact NTS and have them hold an appropriate flight itinerary. Ask for a refundable rate. They will email the information to you as well as Business Services. • Submit the itinerary with a Request to Purchase form. The RTP should detail the trip. (Who, When, Where, Why) • After all required documents are reviewed for accuracy, a member of Business Services will contact NTS and approve the charge.
Airfarecont… • Airfare must be charged to either the Centrally Billed Account or to an employee’s State of Texas Travel Card. The only exception allowed is in the instance where an employee receives a fare lower than the contracted rate and an airline ticket charged to personal credit card provides the traveler with more accident insurance coverage than the CBA or individual Corporate Card. Both the CBA and the individual Corporate Card provides door-to-door $500,000 accident insurance to the traveler. • Remember – Airfare charged to the CBA is the only method in which to have travel pre-paid. All other expenses are reimbursed after travel occurs.
Washington D.C. Travel • Only travelers who intend to confer on legislative or appropriations issues with the U.S. Congress/Federal Government, staff or officials should submit travel information to the Office of State – Federal Relations (OSFR) and send a copy of the request to the Texas A&M System Chancellor’s Office, attention Lorie Ferguson. • The Report of State Agency Travel to Washington D.C. can be completed online at the address below www.osfr.state.tx.us/travelform.asp The Texas Office of State Federal Relations (OSFR) Phone: 512-463-1803 FAX: 512-463-1984 • Notification of travel should be given no less than 7 days prior to departure date. • All other out-of-state travel rules apply. • Please send copy of the request to: Lorie Ferguson Chancellor’s Office The Texas A&M University System College Station, Texas 77843-1138 FAX: 979-458-6044
Foreign Travel • Prior approval by the President is required for Foreign Travel. • Only local funds will be allowed for Foreign Travel. • Meals and Lodging expenses are reimbursed at actual expense. Currency conversion rates apply. Those rates may be found at: www.oanda.com/convert/classic Foreign Travel using state appropriated funds: • Please check with your administrator regarding foreign travel with state appropriated funds. We are currently not allowing reimbursements using state funding. • Foreign Travel must also be approved by the Chancellor 30 days prior to travel if you are using state funds. • You may fax your request to the Chancellor’s Office at 979-458-6044
Prospective Employee • Prospective Employee travel • Prior approval by your Dean or Vice President must be submitted for prospective employee travel reimbursement (in memo form). • Prospective Employees are reimbursed in the same manner as University employees. The amount of reimbursement is limited to the amount that may be paid or reimbursed to the individual who holds the position for which the candidate is being considered. • Prospective Employees are not exempt from state hotel taxes. We are only exempt from state hotel taxes if we have their hotel charges direct billed to the University.
Consultant/Facilitator • Consultant/Facilitator Travel when employed by the A&M System • When a system employee is being brought in as a consultant or facilitator, their travel must be submitted on a Travel Voucher. • We must have a statement by them that they are seeking travel reimbursement solely from Tarleton State University. • We must have approval for them to travel attached to the Travel Voucher. • These rules apply only to system employees.
Registration fees • Registration fees • Conference registration fees may be paid up to 6 weeks in advance of the conference. For pre-payment, submit the following: • Approved Travel Request • Completed Registration Form • Approved Request to Purchase • You may use your procurement card to pay for registration fees. You will need the same documents submitted when submitting your procurement card statement for payment. • To have your registration reimbursed on your Travel Voucher you will need a copy of the registration form detailing registration costs as well as a paid receipt for your registration. • Membership and/or Dues CANNOT be reimbursed on a Travel Voucher! • Note: If meals are included in the registration fee, the receipt or the conference program should clearly state which meals are included. Otherwise, the meal expense must be separated from the registration fee.
Miscellaneous • Cancellation Charges • A state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for a cancellation charge related to expenses incurred due to an illness or a business related or personal emergency. Situation must be well documented and submitted with Travel Voucher. • Increase Maximum Lodging Rate • If you will be staying at a hotel in or out of state which will cost more than the state allowed rate per night and you wish to be reimbursed for the full amount, you must complete the Request to Increase Maximum Lodging form. This form must be completed and approved by your department’s Vice President prior to the travel date. • The overage amount for lodging and taxes may only be paid on a local account. Do not use state funds for overages! If you must split the overage to a local account, you will need a separate voucher for the 2nd account being used.
More Misc… • Awards or Discounts • Frequent flier miles and other awards or discounts given for frequent use of a commercial airline are not “things of value” (Section 39.02, Penal Code) belonging to the state government. • Occasionally, an employee purchases a ticket from a commercial transportation company (for state business) and receives a free second ticket under a promotional program sponsored by the company. The employee may not use the free ticket for a private purpose until the state agency determines whether the use is prohibited by law. When two people travel to the same place at the same time, they should use the free ticket for Tarleton business. • State Travel Management Program: • The state of Texas has developed the State Travel Management Program in an effort to reduce the cost of travel expenditures. All travel expenditures, regardless of funds, are required to adhere to the program guidelines, unless the specific exemptions mentioned on exception form apply. Various fiscal offices throughout the A&M System have developed a Travel Exception form which they require to be completed for all travel not adhering to program guidelines.
More Misc… • Conservation of Funds • A state agency shall minimize the amount of travel expenses paid or reimbursed by the agency. The agency shall ensure that each travel arrangement is the most cost-effective considering all relevant circumstances. The agency shall use teleconferencing and other telecommunications technologies to the maximum extent possible to reduce agency travel expenditures. • Blanket Travel Request • A Blanket travel request may be completed if an employee will be traveling to a certain destination or for a certain purpose multiple times throughout an extensive period of time.
The following items need to be provided on the travel voucher: • Approved Travel Request • Signature of Traveler • Department to which trip expenses will be charged • Account # to be charged • Departure and Arrival times • Designated Headquarters stated • Destination • Mode of transportation • Name and Title of person traveling (no abbreviations) • Benefit Statement – How this travel will benefit the University • Itemized receipts for public transportation, parking, taxis, registration fees, airfare, hotels (All receipts must show payment made)
Top Ten Errors on Travel Vouchers • Benefit Statement missing • Mode of Transportation not listed • Place of departure and arrival not clearly stated • Acronyms and job titles not spelled out. • Failure to attach documentation for mileage being claimed. • Acronyms must be spelled out at least once in order to use them. • Not attaching Request to Increase Maximum Lodging or Contract Exception form when necessary • Not attaching official Conference or Symposium information when traveling to attend such event • Day to day business not stated on Voucher • ADDITION ERRORS – this is a larger problem than you may think!
Need help or have questions? • Leah Bartelt 968-9434 • firstname.lastname@example.org • Marenda Horton 968-9928 • email@example.com • Deanna Powell 968-9431 • firstname.lastname@example.org You can find this power point and many other helpful tools for your travel needs at the following link: www.tarleton.edu/~bussvcs/facultyandstaff/travelinfo.html