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30.05 Travel Reimbursements

30.05 Travel Reimbursements, Chancellor's Office Business Policies & Procedures

Index

Purpose:

To establish policies and procedures related to travel reimbursements, document Chancellor's Office elections related to system-wide travel policy, and provide Chancellor's Office-specific clarifications in applying system-wide travel policy.

Policy:

It is the policy of the Chancellor's Office to reimburse employees for expenses incurred while traveling on official OUS business. Such reimbursements are subject to Fiscal Policy Manual and departmental budget availability. The following policy elections, clarifications, and procedures will be used for processing travel expense reimbursements.

Chancellor's Office Policies:

The Chancellor's Office follows the OUS travel policy (FPM 95.100). Where the OUS policy indicates, "Campus policy applies regarding ...", the CO policy is defined here.  
 
Policy on Pre-Approvals: OUS policy (FPM 95.100, section .260) provides for institutional policy regarding the method of authorizing overnight travel. Chancellor's Office staff are required to obtain verbal approval in advance by authorized personnel; written approval is not required.  
 
Policy on Portland Exception: OUS policy (FPM 95.100, section .260) provides for institutional policy regarding a Portland Exception.
Chancellor's Office staff will be reimbursed at the OUS standard per diem reimbursement rate for lodging in the Portland Metropolitan area. Limited exceptions may be granted in cases where time and cost savings arising from close proximity to worksite, security issues, etc. are fully documented, approved by the department head and included with the travel claim.  
 
Policy on Lodging Receipts: OUS policy (FPM 95.100, section .260) provides for institutional policy regarding whether or not lodging receipts are required. When being reimbursed for lodging expense using the per diem method, the Chancellor's Office does not require receipts. When being reimbursed for lodging expense at actual cost above per diem (e.g., using conference exception), the Chancellor's Office does require receipts.  
 
Policy on Travel Agency: OUS policy (FPM 95.100, section .210) provides for institutional policy regarding the purchase of airline tickets. Common carrier fares (e.g., airlines and railroads) for the Chancellor's Office will be purchased from any of the travel agencies with which OSU, PSU, and UO contract, as well as from the state contractor. Exceptions are allowed if lower prices from another source can be documented.  
 
Policy on Rented Vehicles: OUS policy (FPM 95.100, section .350) provides for institutional policy/standards as to when vehicles other than compact or economy may be rented. Chancellor's Office policy allows the equivalent green class for compact/economy vehicles. In addition, for the Chancellor's Office, vehicles other than compact or economy (and their equivalent green class) may be rented when:
  • more than two individuals will be in the vehicle, and/or
  • additional cost of a larger vehicle is no more than one dollar per day, and/or
  • inclement weather conditions require a larger vehicle (e.g., 4-wheel drive), and/or
  • space requirements for the trip require a larger vehicle (e.g., transporting large equipment). 
Rental reimbursements for non-authorized vehicle classes will be reduced to the standard economy class rate for the applicable rental company and location.
State of Oregon Car Rental Agreements: Chancellor's Office employees have the option of using State of Oregon car rental contracts (Enterprise/National and Hertz). (See Procedures for Chancellor's Office Employees using State of Oregon Car Rental Contracts near the end of this policy.)

Chancellor's Office Clarifications:  

Payments for lodging

Lodging costs may be paid a variety of ways. Summarized below are the various situations and order of preference for paying for lodging costs.

Lodging for Employee Travel

Attending a conference (when conference exception applies for reimbursement of actual and reasonable cost):

  • 1st - employee pays; gets reimbursed on travel reimbursement
  • 2nd - department procurement card (department must ensure the employee doesn't claim on travel reimbursement)
  • 3rd - direct bill (department must ensure the employee doesn't claim on travel reimbursement) 

Other travel (per diem lodging rate applies):

  • 1st - employee pays; gets reimbursed on travel reimbursement
  • 2nd - direct bill (department must ensure the employee doesn't claim on travel reimbursement). NOTE: department procurement card is NOT allowed for these charges (ONLY to hold rooms) 

Lodging for Hosting Groups & Guests (e.g., PASS moderator meeting and interviews)

  • 1st - direct bill for all attending (OUS employees and non-employees)
  • 2nd - individual attendees pay; get reimbursed on travel reimbursement
  • 3rd - department procurement card (if not over credit card limit)

Qualifications for the travel policy conference exception:

The following information is meant to help provide some useful guidance in distinguishing between a meeting and a conference.

FPM 95.100, section .260 provides for lodging related to attendance at a meeting to be reimbursed at per diem rates while lodging related to a conference may be reimbursed at actual and reasonable costs with appropriate documentation. Sometimes the distinction between a meeting and a conference may be unclear since they often have attributes in common (i.e., formal agenda, external speakers, educational purposes, etc.). Even so, past experience provides some useful guidance. Generally, to qualify for the "conference exception" the event should be:

  • externally sponsored by an organization other than OUS;
  • at a location beyond the control of OUS;
  • attended by a majority of persons who are non-OUS employees.

The Chancellor's Office places a high level of responsibility for compliance with the OUS travel policy with the head of each Department. For lodging to be reimbursed under the "conference exception" (in the absence of registration materials external to OUS) the head of the Department should sign and date a statement specifying that the event meets criteria for a "conference exception." The statement should also include a brief description of the event, an agenda, date(s), location, attendees, and the lodging rate. This statement should accompany each attending employee's travel claim and should be retained for audit. 

Lunch reimbursement on one-day trips: The following information is meant to help provide clarification on the Chancellor's Office long-standing application of the rules for lunch reimbursement on one day trips.

FPM 95.100, section .250 states that when a traveler departs and returns the same day, meal expenses are reimbursed "when directed or required to attend mealtime business meetings, including community or public relations meetings." The standard that has been applied is that "mealtime business meetings" are official business meetings that are scheduled to be held at a specific location during or over the regular meal time, such as Board meetings, Administrative Council, Academic Council, Directors of Business Affairs, or community or public relations meetings, attendance at which is a required part of your work. 

Breakfast allowance on one-day trips: The following information is meant to help provide clarification on qualifying breakfast allowances on one day trips and the taxability of such allowances.

FPM 95.100, section .250 provides for a breakfast allowance when an employee leaves their official station for out of town business two or more hours before the beginning of the normal work schedule. These breakfast allowances are taxable to the employee. Account code 28502 (Overtime Meal Allowance) should be used on the travel reimbursement. The taxable amounts are processed through payroll and taxed on a monthly basis. They will appear on the earning statement as a "perquisite-non-cash" item and will be included in taxable income on the W-2 at the end of the year.

Note: These breakfast allowances are taxable ONLY to employees. These breakfast allowances for non-employees are NOT taxable and should be coded with the appropriate travel account code. 

Dinner allowance on one-day trips: The following information is meant to help provide clarification on qualifying dinner allowances on one day trips and the taxability of such allowances.

FPM 95.100, section .250 provides for a dinner allowance when an employee returns to their official station two or more hours after the end of the normal work schedule. These dinner allowances are taxable to the employee. Account code 28502 (Overtime Meal Allowance) should be used on the travel reimbursement. The taxable amounts are processed through payroll and taxed on a monthly basis. They will appear on the earning statement as a "perquisite-non-cash" item and will be included in taxable income on the W-2 at the end of the year.

Note: These dinner allowances are taxable ONLY to employees. These dinner allowances for non-employees are NOT taxable and should be coded with the appropriate travel account code.

Personal phone call home while on overnight travel status: The following information is meant to help provide clarification on how the Chancellor's Office defines "reasonable" for the purpose of claiming reimbursement for personal phone calls home while on overnight travel status.

FPM 95.100, section .270 states that one long distance call to a family member is allowed on the first day of travel and alternating days thereafter and that institutional policy applies regarding the length of the call or dollar limits.

Allowable personal calls will be reimbursed up to ten minutes or $5 each ($15 each for international calls) whichever is less. Those personal calls on hotel receipts that do not show duration will be reimbursed only up to $5 each ($15 each for international). 

Typically it is much less expensive to make calls on a personal calling card or prepaid calling card rather than through a hotel switchboard. Hotels often add exorbitant surcharges to long distance phone calls. Note: Departmental calling cards are not to be used for personal calls.

Mileage reimbursement when a trip starts or ends at an employee's residence: The following information is meant to help provide clarification on how the Chancellor's Office reimburses for mileage when a trip starts or ends at an employee's residence.

FPM 95.100, section .330 states that when a trip starts, or ends, at the employee's residence, the shorter of the residence-to-destination and official-station-to-destination distances should be used in calculating the mileage reimbursement.

The overall intent of applying this rule is to provide a fair reimbursement to the employee without reimbursing them for mileage that they would ordinarily incur on a daily basis for their commute between their residence and their work station. Three examples are provided to illustrate this concept:

Example #1: Employee A lives in Corvallis and works in Eugene. The employee has an 8:00 am meeting in Corvallis. They go directly from their home to the meeting and then proceed to their official station following the meeting. In this case, their destination is Eugene. Their residence-to-destination distance is 40 miles and their official-station-to-destination distance is 0. Therefore, the lesser mileage is 0 and there is no reimbursable mileage.

Example #2: Employee B lives in Salem and works in Eugene. The employee attends an all day meeting in Portland. They go directly from their home to the meeting and return directly to their home in the evening. Their residence-to-destination distance is 47 miles each way and their official-station-to-destination mileage is 110 miles. The lesser mileage is 47 miles each way and they would be reimbursed for a total of 94 miles for the round trip.

Example #3: Employee C lives in Salem and works in Eugene. The employee attends an 8:00 am meeting in Corvallis. They go directly from their home to the meeting and then proceed to their official station following the meeting. In this case, their destination is Eugene. Their residence-to-destination distance, which would ordinarily be 64 miles by a direct route becomes 75 because of making a detour through Corvallis. Their official-station-to-destination distance is 0. Under a strict interpretation of the Fiscal Policy Manual policy the reimbursable mileage would be 0. However, since the employee had to travel an extra 11 miles over their ordinary commuting distance (75 minus 64), the employee should be reimbursed for the 11 miles.

Procedures:

  1. Traveler or department staff completes Travel Reimbursement Request form. To view a completed Travel Reimbursement Request form, see the Sample Completed Travel Reimbursement Request.
  2. Traveler signs travel reimbursement request, provides necessary receipts to create travel reimbursement packet, and routes packet to department head or department approver.
  3. Department head or department approver assigns the index from which the payment should be made.
  4. The Department head or department approver approves the travel reimbursement for payment with an approval signature/initials and date. The department head or department approver makes the approval within the following parameters:
    1. Approval means attesting that the payment is (a) within his or her delegated authority to approve; (b) in accordance with OUS travel policies; (c) an appropriate charge to the index designated; and (d) within budget.
    2. The approval is made within delegated authority on file with business processing staff. If the payment is over the designated dollar limit for that index, the department head performs this approval. For payments less than or equal to the designated dollar limit, the department head or department approver performs this approval.
    3. The department head and department approver may not approve his or her own reimbursement; approval must be made by a supervisor. If the supervisor is not available, approval must be made by a superior. Upon the supervisor's return, the travel reimbursement packet should be provided for "after the fact" review by the supervisor.
  5. The department head or department approver routes the approved travel reimbursement packet to business processing staff for input into FIS.
  6. Upon confirming that the travel reimbursement has all necessary approvals, the business processing staff assigns the appropriate account code, verifies that the payment is in accordance with OUS travel policies, inputs the payment into FIS, and records the FIS invoice number on the travel reimbursement form.
  7. The business processing staff routes the travel reimbursement packet to the FIS approver.
  8. The FIS approver approves the payment in FIS if, upon examining the travel reimbursement packet:
    1. All necessary approvals have been made.
    2. The information which has been entered into FIS agrees with information on the travel reimbursement.
    3. The travel reimbursement appears reasonable and within the normal range of business activity for the Department.
    4. Prior to final approval in FIS, the approver brings any unusual items to the attention of the Business Services Manager for resolution. The Business Services Manager:
      • reviews the unusual items,
      • clarifies the facts and circumstances (as needed),
      • researches applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, past practices, and approved exceptions,
      • consults with Controller's Division staff and Controller (as needed) to determine resolution, and
      • coordinates communication of resolution to department head and appropriate department approver.
  9. Periodically (at a minimum of quarterly), business processing staff reconciles documentation (travel reimbursement request and any necessary receipts) with activity in FIS.
  10. Following the reconciliation, business processing staff files the travel reimbursements in accounts payable archive files.

Procedures for Taxable Meal Reimbursements

On a monthly basis, business services staff processes in payroll for respective employees all amounts processed that month on account code 28502 (Overtime Meal Allowances).

Guidelines for Submission of Travel Reimbursement Requests:

Given administrative costs associated with processing reimbursements, employees are encouraged to submit travel reimbursements on a monthly basis when practical and appropriate for the circumstances of the reimbursement. Travel reimbursements should be submitted on a quarterly basis at a minimum (although monthly is preferred).

Procedures for Chancellor's Office Employees using State of Oregon Car Rental Contracts:  

Note: The Hertz and Enterprise/National Contract Summaries, including rate information, are linked from the State of Oregon Travel and Contract Information website at http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/SSD/SPO/travel-menu.shtml. Scroll down to Car Rental Information, and click on the Hertz Summary and/or the Enterprise/National Contract Summary. 

ENTERPRISE/NATIONAL

  • State of Oregon Price Agreement #9950
  • Call Enterprise at 1-800-261-7331 -or- Online:
    (Official State of Oregon Business Travel)-or-Online: Emerald Club Link https://www.nationalcar.com/offer/XZ46WOR
  • As you make your reservation put in the Corporate Number: XZ46WOR

HERTZ

  • State of Oregon Price Agreement #9949
  • Call Hertz at 1-800-654-3131 or online at http://www.hertz.com  
  • Discount Program Number: CDP  #67309 (State of Oregon)

To reserve a rental car online go to www.Hertz.com  Put in all the information for 1-3 and click on the “Enter a Discount or Promo Code”, then put in our CDP # as seen in instructions below:

Instructions

 

Authoritative References:

Forms & Examples:

Banner Input Forms:

  FAAINVD Invoice/Credit Memo Cancel Form
  FAAINVE Invoice/Credit Memo Form
  FOADOCU Document by User
      Used to query by originating user ID (inputter) all documents that are completed, approved, incomplete, or cancelled.   This screen is helpful when the inputter wants to make a correction to a completed document prior to it routing for FIS approval.  The inputter can use this screen to deny (disapprove) a completed (but not approved) document so that corrections can be made.
  FOAUAPP User Approval Form
      Remove name displayed to view all documents in all queues
     

Banner Query Forms:

  FAIINVL Invoice/Credit Memo List Form
      (Open, Paid, Suspense, or Hold)
  FAICHKH Check Payment History Form
      Shows status of check (e.g., check date and date cashed for final reconciliation).
  FAIVNDH Vendor Detail History Form 
      More specific information can be obtained by querying on elements in the lower block.
  FGIDOCR Document Retrieval Inquiry Form
      Query on posted invoices with option of seeing FGQDOCP document postings (accounting detail information)
  FOIAPHT Approval History Form
      Query by document code to display originating user and approver.
  FOIDOCH Document History Form
      Query by Invoice number to show status (incomplete, complete, approved)
Shows other documents tied to the payment (e.g., PO, check, and asset tag)
 
Banner Reports:
  FARINVA Invoice Activity Report
      Print detail and summary invoice activity for a specified period of time.
CAUTION:  Remember to enter 05 option of Vendor ID to avoid getting ALL vendors activity within a given time period.
  FWRVHST Single Vendor History Report
      Print detail and summary invoice activity for a specified period of time.
     

Last Updated: 01/01/13