FAIRMONT STATE COLLEGE POLICIES & PROCEDURES















NO. 14





TRAVEL RULES AND REGULATIONS





Effective July 1, 1996







GENERAL



This rule governs the rules and regulations concerning management of in-state, out-of-state, and international travel and for reimbursement of expenses to employees and other non-employees traveling on behalf of Fairmont State College.



Consultants and contractors are not required to use these regulations. All consultant and contractor travel should be included as part of the consulting/contractor fee agreement.



Reimbursement of travel expenses paid from federal, state, or public grants shall be governed by the terms and conditions of the grant if they differ from those contained in these regulations; otherwise, these regulations shall govern such reimbursement.



According to the West Virginia Code, it shall be unlawful for the Auditor to issue a warrant in payment of any claim for travel expenses incurred by an employee or non-employee traveling on behalf of Fairmont State College unless such claim meets all the requirements of these regulations.





TRAVEL REGULATIONS



Authority to manage, approve or disapprove all travel and travel related expenses is delegated to the Department Chairperson or the individual fiscally responsible for the organizational unit requesting travel. The exception to the Department Chairperson/Organizational Unit Head being the final approval would be for international travel, tourist city travel (i.e., Las Vegas, Reno, etc.), travel to the Greenbrier, and when more than two (2) travelers are traveling to the same out-of-state destination. In these instances, the appropriate Vice President shall approve or disapprove the travel request. Additional restrictions may be added by the respective Vice President impacting their areas of responsibility. NOTE: The Department may find helpful the establishment of a Travel Committee within their department for approving and/or disapproving travel.



Travel may be authorized only for official business and only if the department has the financial resources to reimburse the traveler for travel expenses.



Approval to travel shall be secured in advance by the employee from the Department Chairperson or, when necessary, appropriate Vice President. Under no circumstances should an employee travel without proper prior approval.



It is the responsibility of the traveler to complete and submit an approved Travel Authorization form to the Accounts Payable Unit for all out-of-state travel, all international travel, and in-state travel when any of the expenses are direct-billed to the College. This form must be submitted five (5) days prior to the departure date of the travel. The Accounts Payable Unit will encumber the Travel Authorization forms.



The Department Chairperson shall establish guidelines for in-state travel approval when no expenses are direct billed to the College.





Travelers requesting a cash advance through the Auditor's Office must submit an approved Travel Authorization form and a Cash Advance Request form to the Accounts Payable Unit three to four (3 to 4) weeks prior to departure date.



Travel Authorization forms submitted to the Accounts Payable Unit after-the-fact will be reviewed and requires the approval of the appropriate Vice President.



Travelers are responsible for accurately completing and submitting a Travel Expense Account Settlement form to the Accounts Payable Unit. This form must be submitted within three (3) business days after the last day of the approved travel in order to qualify for reimbursement of expenses. Required receipts and/or confirmations must be attached to this form. The Travel Expense Account Settlement form must be initialed by the Department Chairperson/Organizational Unit Head.



The Accounts Payable Unit is responsible for auditing the Travel Expense Account Settlement. Approval of this form by the Accounts Payable Unit means that the Travel Expense Account Settlement meets all criteria established by the State's Rule for reimbursement. The Accounts Payable Unit shall submit an accurate expense account settlement for reimbursement to the State Auditor's Office within the timeframe prescribed by the State Auditor and the Travel Management Office.





TRANSPORTATION



Air Transportation. Allowable reimbursement for commercial airline travel shall include the actual expense or cost for the least expensive logical fare via the most direct route, or a reasonable alternate route if it results in lower fare.



All airline reservations must be made through the contracted travel service vendor. Reimbursement for tickets where reservations were not made through the contracted travel service vendor requires a waiver from the contracted travel service vendor before reimbursement will be made.



A copy of the itinerary, confirmation, or waiver from the contracted travel service vendor must be attached to the travel expense account settlement for reimbursement. Reimbursement may be made to the traveler in advance for airfare purchased between 45 and 180 days before the trip begins.



In order to receive reimbursement, the traveler must submit the "passenger receipt portion" or certified copy from the commercial airline ticket. If airfare is reimbursed prior to the trip, it must be referenced on the traveler's final expense account settlement. Refundable or unused airline tickets shall be returned immediately to the ticket issuer for proper credit/refund.



If a change in the cost of airfare is incurred, the charge is reimbursable if the traveler is directed by the supervisor to change travel plans, or if other extenuating circumstances arise. Increased or extra charges incurred due to the traveler's negligence will be considered a personal expense of the traveler and shall not be reimbursed.



Deliberately causing increased costs or delays for the purpose of obtaining personal gratuities, such as denied boarding compensation, frequent flier points or mileage, or similar benefits is prohibited. Conversion of airline tickets for personal benefit, such as downgrading tickets, returning unused tickets for cash, credit, or personal airline tickets, or similar actions, is also prohibited. Any credits, rebates, or refunds resulting from these actions must be returned to the State of West Virginia. Should this occur, contact the Accounts Payable Unit for further information and directions.



Privately owned aircraft may not be used.











Ground Transportation. The traveler may use a state owned vehicle, privately owned vehicle, courtesy vehicle, or a commercial rental vehicle for ground transportation. The availability and use of a state owned vehicle will be determined by the Motor Pool Service at Fairmont State College.



The operator (traveler) of a vehicle must possess a valid operator's license. The operator is personally responsible for any fines and/or penalties resulting from citations, charges, or warrants attributable to operator negligence. Such fines and/or penalties shall not be a reimbursable expense.



In cases where a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly while on business, reimbursement will be based on actual in-transit expenses (mileage, hotel, parking, meals, etc.), not to exceed the lowest available commercial airfare plus local transportation, and parking (where required) to and from the airport.



Roadside assistance services, if needed, may be reimbursed at actual cost if deemed appropriate and reasonable by Motor Pool Service.



When a state owned vehicle is not available, the use of a commercial rental vehicle may be less expensive than the use of a privately owned vehicle. Commercial vehicle rentals must be reserved through the contracted travel service vendor.



State Owned Vehicles. State owned vehicles may be requested from the College motor pool by submitting a completed Request for Vehicle form to the Motor Pool Service.



State owned vehicles are for "official business use" only and must be operated by an employee of the state agency. Exceptions to non-employee passengers must be specifically approved by the Vice President for Administration and Finance or the Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance.



Commercial Rental Vehicles. Commercial rental vehicles may be used when traveling on state business. Reimbursement will be made at actual cost for the daily rental fee for a mid-size or smaller vehicle, plus mileage fees and fuel costs. For travel of more than a few days in duration, weekly rental rates may be reimbursed if they will result in a lower total cost than the daily rate. Reimbursement may be made for full size vehicles if more than three (3) people are traveling together on state agency business, and for larger vehicles if a group of five (5) or more is traveling together.



Travelers using their corporate credit card should not purchase any collision damage waivers for rentals. This insurance is covered on the corporate credit card. When other forms of payment are being used, collision damage waivers for rentals of seven (7) days or less should be taken.



Collision damage waivers for rentals of more than seven (7) days are not reimbursable and should not be taken. The State of West Virginia insurance program automatically covers collision insurance for vehicle rentals in excess of seven (7) days. No other insurance or insurance-like product is reimbursable for rentals used in the United States, unless required by law. Full coverage insurance is a reimbursable expense for any approved rental vehicle used outside the United States.



Rental vehicles must be reserved through the contracted travel service vendor. In order to receive reimbursement, a copy of the confirmation from the contracted travel service vendor must be attached to the expense account settlement.



Receipts and/or documentation is required for reimbursement for car rental and mileage charges or fees. Reimbursement may be made for actual fuel costs. Receipts should be attached if available. Travelers are encouraged to return rental cars with a full tank of fuel to avoid high refueling costs charged by rental agencies.











Privately Owned Vehicles/Courtesy Vehicles. Privately owned and courtesy vehicles may be used when traveling on state business. Reimbursement will be made at the prevailing rate per mile established by the Internal Revenue Service, excluding commuting mileage, for actual miles traveled using the shortest practicable route to the point of arrival at the traveler's destination. This rate is intended to cover all operating costs of the vehicle (including fuel, maintenance, depreciation, insurance, etc.) and no additional reimbursement will be made.



Appropriate business insurance should be obtained. Travelers should check with their personal auto insurance companies for further information.



Receipts are not required for reimbursement.



Rail Service. Travelers are expected to make advanced bookings through the contracted travel services vendor and use the least expensive logical fare via the most direct route, or other reasonable route that results in a lower fare.



Receipts/documentation is required for reimbursement.



Miscellaneous Ground Transportation. When courtesy transportation is provided by a hotel, motel, or other service facility, the traveler is encouraged to use their service.



Travelers may be reimbursed for taxi fare, bus fare, and other forms of public transportation. Receipts are not required if under the authorized Travel Management Office limit.





LODGING



Allowable reimbursement for lodging shall include the actual expenses for overnight accommodations and all applicable taxes and surcharges.



Reimbursement for a single occupancy shall be at the least expensive single room rate available.



For multiple occupancy, reimbursement may be claimed fully by one traveler with no claim filed by the other traveler, or each traveler may be reimbursed at equal percentages of the total actual cost for accommodations.



If a change in the lodging charge is incurred, the change is reimbursable if the traveler is directed by their supervisor to change their travel plans, or in other extenuating circumstances, as approved by the immediate supervisor of the traveler. Charges incurred due to the failure of the traveler to notify the facility will be considered the personal expense of the traveler.



All out-of-state lodging reservations must be made through the contracted travel service vendor. In order to receive reimbursement, a copy of the confirmation from the contracted travel service vendor must be attached to the travel expense account settlement.



Receipts are required for lodging reimbursement. The hotel/motel invoice or folio shall be the official document utilized for reimbursement to the traveler.



















MEALS



Meal expense reimbursement is limited to actual expenses for food, service, and gratuities up to the applicable maximum daily rate authorized by the Travel Management Office. Specifically excluded are alcoholic beverages and entertainment expenses. Where a percentage of the maximum daily rate is used, the traveler may round the calculated amount up to the next whole dollar. Meal reimbursement is allowed when lodging is listed as "gratis" or "no charge."



Meal reimbursement amounts will be set by policy memorandum annually or more often if necessary.



Receipts are not required for meal reimbursement.



When meals are provided for a traveler, the traveler's maximum daily rate shall be reduced by an appropriate amount. To determine the amount of deductions for meals, allowances for meal expenses shall be deducted accordingly:



Breakfast 20% of the maximum daily rate

Lunch 20% of the maximum daily rate

Dinner 60% of the maximum daily rate



Meal expense reimbursement for single day travel (when there is not an overnight stay) is allowed when travel time begins and/or extends more than two (2) hours beyond the traveler's normal work day. Reimbursement will be made for actual expenses up to the maximum daily rate as follows:



To be eligible for breakfast, the traveler must begin the trip at least two (2) hours before the traveler's normal work day commences.



To be eligible for dinner, the traveler must end the trip at least two (2) hours after the traveler's normal work day ends.



Any employee who qualifies for either breakfast or dinner may also qualify for lunch, provided the employee is traveling or is in travel status during their normal lunch period.



To determine the amount(s) allowable for meals for single day travel, the traveler may claim reimbursement for actual expenses according to the following schedule:



Breakfast 20% of the maximum daily rate

Lunch 20% of the maximum daily rate

Dinner 60% of the maximum daily rate



The following qualifications for extraordinary meal expense reimbursement require the exercise of good judgement in determining what is a "reasonable" expense to incur for the situation.



Guardian Travel: Travelers transporting students shall be reimbursed the actual cost of meals up to the maximum daily rate for each person. Receipts are required.



NOTE: Travelers continually requesting the maximum daily rate for reimbursement will be noted and the department chairperson will be notified. MEAL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE ACTUAL MEAL EXPENSES INCURRED.













REGISTRATION FEES



Fees or charges for attendance at conferences, meetings, seminars, and/or workshops, as well as event related materials, are reimbursable expenses to the traveler. Reimbursement for registration fees at meetings or conferences is allowable and must be supported by a receipt.



Employees should verify acceptable payment methods with the conference prior to the conference. Registration fees should be charged to the employee's corporate credit card. If this is not possible, the registration can be direct billed. The Accounts Payable Unit will encumber the direct billed expenses from the information supplied on the Travel Authorization form. The traveler must attach a copy of the registration invoice or other proof of attendance to the expense account settlement.



Receipts are required for reimbursement. The receipt/documentation provided by the event sponsor shall be sufficient for reimbursement.



Travelers are reminded to adjust meal reimbursement requests for meals included with the registration fee. The traveler will not receive an allowance or reimbursement for lodging or food that is included in registration fees.



If a cancellation charge is incurred, the charge is reimbursable if the traveler is directed by their supervisor to change travel plans, or if other extenuating circumstances arise and are approved by the Department Chairperson. Charges incurred due to the failure of the traveler or the traveler's representative to notify the event sponsor will be considered a personal expense to the traveler.





OTHER EXPENSES



Travelers may incur miscellaneous business related expenses for which reimbursement may be made if appropriate. Receipts are not required unless reimbursement is greater than the current Travel Management Office limits for miscellaneous expenses. Such expenses and reimbursement may include, but are not limited to:

Baggage handling and gratuities when using public transportation or conveniences (i.e., taxi, limousine, air porter services, or airport/rail curbside check-in), or when using a lodging facility that has porterage (i.e., "bell person") services rather than a facility where the traveler is expected to carry their own luggage.



Baggage storage between appointments, and between hotels and meeting places.



Tolls, garage and parking fees, including gratuities.



Communication expenses such as: (1) local calls which may include a surcharge, (2) long distance calls which may include tolls charges and surcharges and must be made on the current corporate communications credit card, (3) surcharges for long distance calls when the toll charges are direct billed, and (4) facsimiles, cablegrams, and telegrams which may include toll charges, surcharges, and delivery charges.



Currency conversion



Guides, interpreters, and visa fees.



















For trips involving multiple days of travel or for single day travel where the traveler is unexpectedly delayed for business reasons, the traveler may make one personal telephone call home per day. Reimbursement shall be made at the actual cost, not to exceed the limit authorized by the Travel Management Office. This call must not be made on the state telecommunication card.



Non-reimbursable travel related expenses include the cost of passports, interest on late payment of individually held credit cards, laundry fees, and personal flight or baggage insurance. Exceptions must be approved by the Vice President for Administration and Finance.



Persons traveling in foreign countries should report their expenditures in United States dollars. The total expenditure in foreign currency must be converted into United States dollars at the rate or rates at which the foreign money was obtained. The rates of conversion and the commissions charged must be shown. Travelers are encouraged to use the corporate travel card to receive the best conversion rates and avoid high currency conversion fees.





FORMS OF PAYMENT FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL



Travelers should use the corporate charge card issued by the State of West Virginia for business related travel expenses.



Should the corporate credit card not be accepted, some travel expenses may be direct billed to Fairmont State College.



Travelers may obtain a cash advance from an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) using their corporate credit card.



Travelers who do not have a corporate credit card should obtain one as soon as possible. Applications for the corporate credit card are available from the Accounts Payable Unit.



Travelers may use personal forms of payment for approved travel expenses.



Should the above methods of payment for travel expenses not meet the traveler's needs, the traveler may request a cash advance from the Auditor's Office.





Cash Advances using State Corporate Credit Card



A cash advance for either in-state or out-of-state travel is permissible when an employee travels a minimum for two (2) consecutive days on official business.



A cash advance is for business purposes only. No cash advance for personal purposes is permitted.



The preferred method of obtaining a cash advance is to use the state corporate credit card at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).



Cash advances are limited to the maximum amount authorized by the Travel Management Office.



The employee will be reimbursed for only one (1) ATM cash advance transaction fee, and associated fees, per trip or rolling seven day period, whichever is shorter. The receipt ticket from the ATM machine is required for reimbursement.











Cash Advances from the State Auditor's Office



This form of payment should only be taken if all other forms of payment do not meet the traveler's needs.



Travelers requesting this form of payment, must submit a Cash Advance Request form with the approved Travel Authorization from to the Accounts Payable Unit. These forms must be submitted three to four (3 to 4) weeks prior to the departure date of the travel. Cash Advance requests from the Auditor's Office require the approval of the Vice President for Administration and Finance or the Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance.



Cash advances may be received by employees for business travel for the payment of registration fees and/or daily miscellaneous expenses where the state corporate charge card is not accepted. Cash advances may be issued for: (a) out-of-state travel, (b) a minimum of four (4) days and a maximum of the number of days approved for travel at the rate of $30.00 per day for miscellaneous expenses, (c) the exact amount of registration fee which is $100.00 or more, (d) the total estimated expenses for a student or student group, and (e) other circumstances approved by the Vice President for Administration and Finance.



It is the responsibility of the traveler to submit a completed Travel Expense Account Settlement and a Cash Advance Settlement form to the Accounts Payable Unit. Such settlements shall be submitted by the Accounts Payable Unit to the State Auditor's Office for final settlement within the time frame prescribed by the State Auditor's Office.



Failure to settle a cash advance within the time frame prescribed by the State Auditor's Office may result in suspension of cash advance privileges to Fairmont State College.





REIMBURSEMENT FORMS



The form(s) used for reimbursement of travel expenses shall be those promulgated by the Travel Management Office and State Auditor's Office.





OTHER PROVISIONS



According to the West Virginia Ethics Commission, frequent flier miles, hotel bonus points or other travel incentives resulting from official business travel may be used only for future business travel.





EXCEPTIONS



Any exceptions to this rule must be explained in writing and approved by the Travel Management Office.



























TRAVEL NOTES





TELEPHONE NUMBERS



Accounts Payable Unit 367-4108

National Travel Service 1-800-262-4054

Diners Club 1-800-234-6377



Questions concerning travel may be directed to the Accounts Payable Unit. The Accounts Payable Unit is located in Hardway Hall, Room 236.







FORMS



Travel Authorization Form: This form must be completed to obtain approval of all out-of-state travel, all international travel, and in-state travel when expenses are direct billed to the College. Available in the College Stockroom.



Cash Advance Request Form: This form must be completed by the traveler requesting an advance from the State Auditor's Office. The traveler must meet the criteria set in the Travel Rules and Regulations. This form is to be submitted to the Accounts Payable Unit with a completed and approved Travel Authorization form. Available from the Accounts Payable Unit.



Cash Advance Request Settlement Form: This form must be completed by travelers who received a cash advance from the State Auditor's Office. This form is to be submitted to the Accounts Payable Unit with a completed Travel Expense Account Settlement form. Available from the Accounts Payable Unit.



Travel Expense Account Settlement Form: This form must be completed by the traveler in order to receive reimbursement for travel expenses. The required receipts and/or confirmations must be attached to this form. Available in the College Stockroom.






Approved Travel Authorization forms must be submitted to the Accounts Payable Unit at least five (5) business days prior to departure date of travel.

Completed Cash Advance Request forms (through the State Auditor's Office) with an approved Travel Authorization form must be submitted to the Accounts Payable Unit within 3-4 weeks prior to departure date of travel.



Completed Travel Expense Account Settlement forms must be submitted to the Accounts Payable Unit within three (3) business days after the return date of travel.

















CORPORATE CREDIT CARD: DINERS CLUB CARDS



The Diners Club card is the preferred method of payment for travel expenses.



All travelers should obtain a Diners Club card. Applications are available from the Accounts Payable Unit.



Diners Club cards are to be used for business use only.



The individual traveler is responsible for the payment of the corporate credit card.



Individuals traveling a minimum of two (2) consecutive days on official business may obtain a cash advance for miscellaneous expenses at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) using the PLUS network.



1-800-CITI-ATM (1-800-248-4286) - Information on location of ATMs.







CONTRACTED TRAVEL SERVICE VENDOR: NATIONAL TRAVEL SERVICE



All out-of-state lodging reservations, all vehicle rental reservations, and all airline reservations must be made through National Travel Service. If reservations are not made through National Travel Service, a waiver from National Travel Service is required for reimbursement.







TELECOMMUNICATION CARDS: AT&T



All business calls must be made using the telecommunications card.



Frequent travelers making several business calls may obtain a telecommunications card from the Accounts Payable Unit.



Occasional travelers may obtain a telecommunications card from the Accounts Payable Unit for their travel. This card must be returned to the Accounts Payable Unit after the traveler has returned.

Reimbursement of personal phone calls is limited to $3.00 per day.



Each department is charged monthly for calls made on their telecommunications card.







MEAL REIMBURSEMENT



Travelers are to claim ACTUAL meal expenses up to the maximum daily rate.



In-State $30 maximum daily rate

Out-of-State $50 maximum daily rate















MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT



Privately Owned Vehicles $ .315 per mile

Courtesy Vehicles $ .15 per mile



Call the Motor Pool Service of Fairmont State College to reserve a state vehicle as soon as possible. Complete a Request for Vehicle form and forward to the Motor Pool Service of Fairmont State College.



When state vehicles are not available, travelers may want to check the expenses of renting a vehicle versus the expenses of using a privately owned vehicle.



NOTE: Estimated expenses for a single day trip to Charleston.



Rental Vehicle (approximately) $40.00 per day

Fuel Expenses 20.00

Total Estimated Expenses $60.00



Privately Owned Vehicle (300 miles) $93.00



An approximate total of $33.00 may be saved on a department's budget per trip to Charleston.







MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES



Current Travel Management Office Limit: $75.00



Receipts are not required for miscellaneous expenses unless the expenses exceed this limit.







FORMS OF PAYMENT



The individual's DINERS CLUB card should be used to pay for travel expenses.



If DINERS CLUB is not accepted, the registration fee may be direct billed to the College.



Travelers may use personal forms of payment for travel expenses.



Cash Advances by ATM: If travelers meet criteria set in Travel Rules and Regulations, they may receive a cash advance of $30 per day. System limits with Diners Club are a minimum of $50 and maximum of $200 in a rolling seven day period.



Travelers are charged a $5.50 fee on their Diners Club card for this advance. This fee is a reimbursable expense. ATM receipt is required.

Cash Advances from the Auditor's Office: If travelers meet criteria set in Travel Rules and Regulations, they may receive a cash advance from the Auditor's Office.











REQUIRED RECEIPTS



1. Airline Receipt and Confirmation from National Travel Service.



2. Lodging Receipt and Confirmation from National Travel Service.



3. Vehicle Rental Receipt and Confirmation from National Travel Service.



4. Registration Receipt.



5. ATM Cash Advance Receipt



6. Meal Receipts for team travel, student group travel, etc.