In-State Actual and Out-of-State Travel: Changes Effective July 1, 2018
The guiding principle behind the policies and procedures governing travel is to travel responsibly. The word “responsibly” means that the traveler exercises the same care in incurring expenses for travel in service of the state that a prudent person would exercise if traveling at personal expense.
An individual traveling in service of the state is responsible for 1) obtaining authorization and any required certifications from the head of his or her agency prior to traveling; 2) incurring only those costs that are reasonable and necessary for carrying out service to the state; and 3) seeking reimbursement for qualifying expenses in accordance with the procedures outlined below. A traveler must seek pre-authorization to travel and include
all foreseeable travel expenses including, but not limited to, registration, meals, hotels, and transportation expenses with the pre-authorization request. A traveler must submit a request for reimbursement within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of travel.
Complete the Statement of Out-of-State Travel (Appendix GG) and Statement of In-State Travel Actual (Appendix FFF) to request reimbursement. To request reimbursement of In-State Actual or Out-of-State travel expenses, the following must be sent to the Accounts Payable Office: (1) the approved Pre-Travel Authorization Form (Appendix EE),completed In-State Actual or Out-of-State Statement of Travel form with appropriate signatures, (3) original itemized receipts for allowable expenses (excluding per diem), (4) a copy of the per diem for travel city, (5) a mileage map from your home address and from your base campus. Credit card statements alone are not sufficient for reimbursement and will not be accepted.
Federal Per Diem is a flat-rate allowance intended to cover costs for meals and incidental expenses. Incidental expenses include tips and service charges related to lodging, baggage, and transportation. To determine the per diem, enter the city and state of your destination as instructed by this link: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates. This documentation must be retained with the travel reimbursement request. A copy of the per diem must be submitted with each travel and reimbursement request. A traveler will not be required to submit receipts for these items, nor will they be allowed to claim any extra expense related to them.
- Note: If the conference or meeting provides meals for the traveler the per diem rate amount will be reduced by the meal rates per the GSA site. To determine the per meal cap, enter the city and state of your destination as instructed by this link: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates. As an example, if the travel destination qualified for the $51 M&IE rate and a lunch was provided as part of the conference, the agency head will reduce the per diem allowance to be claimed by the$12 lunch.
- On travel days, the traveler will be entitled to per diem for M&IE at a rate of seventy- five percent (75%) the daily rate. The daily rate of 75% for the day before and day after the conference/event will be evaluated based on the need to travel before or after the conference/event. For all other days for which the individual is traveling, full per diem for M&IE will be paid. M&IE will not be paid for personal days. Travel will be reimbursed in the most economical method for the college.
- Travel-related expenses other than meals and incidental expenses require a receipt for reimbursement of actual expenses.
In-State Travel Actual and Out-of-State travel must be approved by the employee’s appropriate administrator and the President through the completion of the Pre-Travel Authorization Form. Actual reimbursement of expenses is allowed for employees traveling in-state to a state or nationally sponsored event for which the institution or the individual is a dues paying member. Documentation of the dues membership must be provided with the Pre-Travel Authorization Form. State of Alabama policies allow for reimbursement of only the person in travel status.
To be reimbursed for transportation expenses, miles driven to and from destination must be recorded. All vicinity mileage should be recorded as such, and if it exceeds more than twenty miles on any day, major points of travel covered must be indicated. Reimbursement at the current state-mandated rate per mile is paid to employees traveling by private car at state expense. If an employee chooses to drive a personal car, providing the air fare rates of the time frame of travel is required. The College does not reimburse for travel insurance.
Room fees and taxes associated with the fee are reimbursed as applicable. An original, itemized receipt of paid expenses is required. Movies charged to the room are not reimbursed. Postage, telephone, telegraph, and e-mail expenses are reimbursed only if business-related. Phone calls made to home are not reimbursed. Miscellaneous items for reimbursement may include car rental (the College does not reimburse for rental insurance), parking fees, taxi fares, and registration fees. Receipts and justification are required for these items. Baggage handling or portage fees should be itemized on the appropriate date in the miscellaneous section of the claim for reimbursement.
An employee’s registration fee can be paid by one of the following methods: (1) the vendor can accept a purchase order and be paid after the meeting is held; (2) the traveler can pay the registration fee and be reimbursed by the use of the Out-of-State Travel Reimbursement Form; or (3) the College may issue a check for the traveler to carry to the vendor, provided the President approves pre-payment.
Prepayment of travel expenses is defined as payments made directly to the vendor on behalf of an employee. The In-State Travel Actual and Out-of-State expense that may be prepaid by the College is a registration fee with the following guidelines:
- Prepayment is not to be made directly to the traveler.
- No prepayment of expenses will be made from one fiscal year’s funds if the trip is to be made in a different fiscal year. Payment must be processed in the fiscal year the trip occurs.
- In the event the trip is not made due to personal, professional, or business reasons, any prepayment of travel expenses made on behalf of an employee should be reimbursed to the College.