Administration and Finance
 
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Administration and Operations Manual

2.05 Travel

Last Revised: 7 October 2013
Refer Questions To: Coordinator, Administrative Services, A & F

Scope

This policy applies to faculty, teachers, sponsored student groups, student work study, and staff in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.  It also applies to any non-Gallaudet person whose travel is being paid for by a University department or grant. 

Policy

Gallaudet University reimburses faculty, teachers, students and staff for travel expenses incurred while on official University business as long as the travel and expenses are: (1) consistent with the institution's overall mission; (2) within budgetary limitations and approved by the Budget Unit Head; (3) cost effective; (4) reasonable; and (5) in compliance with the TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDELINES as approved by the President and appended to this policy.

Travelers are required to make air, train and rental car reservations using the Rearden online reservation system or by contacting Travel-On. Hotel accommodations must be made using Rearden or Travel-On unless attending a conference or workshop that offers a discounted conference rate. All overnight accommodations must be in moderately priced lodging facilities. Air and train reservations cannot be charged to the department’s purchase card or the traveler’s personal credit card. Expenses for meals consumed while traveling on official University business are reimbursed at the per diem rates established in the TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDELINES. Complimentary meals provided on air carriers or meals included in the cost of a conference are not reimbursed.  If attending a conference, the agenda should be attached to the Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form. 

Travelers requiring the use of an automobile at their destination are reimbursed for the cost of the rental. Travelers should select a compact class automobile unless group travel requirements dictate otherwise. Employees using their personal automobiles are reimbursed at the per mile rate established by the administration, up to an amount equivalent to the lowest airfare available to the destination. 

Other related expenses incurred while on official University business are reimbursed at actual cost, e.g., taxi fares, tolls, parking, reasonable hotel tips, and business-related telephone charges. Luggage fees charged by airlines are reimbursed as described in the TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDELINES. Personal expenses, such as lthe purchase of luggage, traffic fines, gifts, club dues, travel insurance (other than for rental cars), in-room movies, passport fees, visa fees, immunization fees, personal entertainment, airline clubs, baby-sitting fees, clothing, and personal automobile repairs are not reimbursable. Spouse travel expenses are not reimbursed unless the spouse is on official University business and unless the travel is approved in advance by the administrative officer.

An expense advance may be provided to the traveler based on the estimated cost of non-ticketed expenses. Upon return, faculty, teachers, students and staff must submit an accounting of expenses to the Finance Office within five business days. Authorized expenses exceeding the advance will be reimbursed.

Failure to comply with this policy and with the TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDELINES may be cause for delay or non-reimbursement. Additionally, faculty, teachers, and staff with outstanding travel advances may be subject to payroll deductions.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration

Guidelines

TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDELINES

  1. TRAVEL RESERVATIONS
    Gallaudet requires that all faculty, teachers, and staff and student groups use the online Rearden online reservation system or contact Travel-On to arrange travel requiring the use of scheduled carriers, tour vendors, overnight lodging, and/or car rentals. GSA fares are available only by contacting Travel-On. Travel-On and Rearden bill the University directly for scheduled air and rail transportation charges. Travel-On charges a fee for its services. A reduced fee is charged for reservations made online through Rearden. The traveler’s University departmental credit card or personal credit card cannot be used to purchase air or train tickets.
  2. TRAVEL APPROVAL
    Approval for travel must be obtained from the appropriate administrator prior to purchasing tickets or requesting a travel expense advance. The Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form should be completed and signed by the approving administrator two times, prior to travel and upon return. A copy of the signed Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form must be given to the Finance Office prior to the start of the trip. Failure to do so will result in non-reimbursement of travel expenses upon return. International travel must have dual approval by the senior administrative officer and the University president prior to the purchase of tickets. Faculty and/or organizers for student group travel, including study abroad and travel paid through grants, should refer to the academic approval requirements detailed on the Office of International Programs & Services web page. 
  3. TRANSPORTATION FARE SELECTION
    When traveling on official University business, faculty, teachers, student groups, and staff should select the lowest logical fare to their intended destination whether by air or rail. Travel-On can advise regarding GSA schedules and fares whenever possible. Travelers are not expected to use GSA schedules and fares if space or scheduled flights are not available in time to accomplish the purpose of the trip, if the GSA fare is higher than the lowest non-refundable fare, or if the use of the service would require the traveler to incur unnecessary overnight lodging costs.  Failure to use a GSA fare that accommodates the travel logistics, and is lower priced, could result in a penalty being charged to the department by the carrier used.  Travel being funded by a Federal grant requires the traveler to use a U.S. air carrier and comply with this policy, the OMB Circular A-21 and the Federal Travel Regulation requirements.
  4. PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE

    Beginning on January 1, 2014

    Standard mileage rate for the use
    of a personal vehicle

    56 cents per mile for business miles driven

    At times it may be more convenient for travelers to use their personal car instead of scheduled carriers. The lowest possible airfare to the destination should be obtained from Travel On and that information attached to or recorded on the Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form.  The University reimburses actual mileage from home or office, whichever is less, and return at a per mile rate. The University may reject claims for mileage expenses that exceed the lowest logical fare available at the time of the trip. A record of the beginning and ending odometer readings should be recorded on the Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form. Estimated total mileage is not acceptable.  Students should not be transported in an employee's personal vehicle. 
  5. LODGING SELECTION
    Travelers should select accommodations from moderately priced properties. Preference should be given to facilities that offer preferred rates to the University, unless the location is inappropriate for the purpose of the trip. For example, when attending seminars and conventions, travelers may stay at the facility hosting the meeting and these reservations can be made directly with the conference or convention organizer. Travelers are not required to share accommodations. Reimbursement will not be made for hotel accommodations less than 50 miles from Gallaudet.  All lodging accommodations for student group travel must be made through Travel On. 
  6. VEHICLE RENTAL
    Gallaudet asks travelers to conserve institutional resources by renting a compact vehicle for business travel. Travelers should rent a car, rather than use a transportation service, unless the requirements of a group dictate otherwise. Travelers who need a large vehicle with a value exceeding $35,000 must notify the Office of Risk Management and Insurance prior to the trip. Also, travelers should make sure to understand the company's refueling policy and select the option that has the least expense to the University.

    When traveling for Gallaudet University, faculty and staff should check their departmental guidelines before purchasing insurance from the rental car company. Gallaudet carries liability insurance to protect the institution and its employees, and it carries physical damage coverage that pays to repair the rental vehicle. Travelers are encouraged to get an insurance card from the Office of Risk Management and Insurance prior to the trip. Rental companies often impose "loss of use" and other administrative fees if the rental vehicle is involved in an accident. The department sponsoring the trip is responsible for any costs or fees not covered by Gallaudet's insurance, and it can opt to either: (a) purchase additional insurance offered by the rental company, or (b) directly pay any uninsured costs or fees from the departmental budget.  All international student group ground transportation must be arranged through Travel On. 
  7. PER DIEM MEAL RATES

    Standard Per Diem Meal Rates
    Breakfast $ 8.00
    Lunch $10.00
    Dinner $24.00
    Daily Total $42.00

    Per diem expenditures are at the discretion of the traveler, but no expenses in excess of the allowable per diem will be reimbursed. Travelers are not eligible for a diem allowance if the travel is less than 50 miles from Gallaudet University. Tips are included in the per diem rates. Meals provided in conjunction with seminars and on transportation carriers may not be claimed as part of the per diem allowance. Breakfast or dinner per diem expenses are not honored if travel begins after 9 a.m. or ends before 6 p.m. respectively. The University defines a trip as beginning no more than two hours prior to the initial flight or one hour after the final flight or rail travel. Travel being funded by a Federal grant will be eligible for the per diem allowance established by the University.
  8. OTHER REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES
    The following travel related expenses are reimbursable: airline imposed baggage fees for one bag per traveler, taxi fares and airport transfer vans, parking charges, tolls, gasoline for rental cars, baggage handling tips, excess baggage charges for University equipment, business-related telephone charges, currency conversion charges, and other incidental expenditures incurred while on business travel. These expenses must be recorded on the travel voucher and supported by receipts.
  9. NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES
    The following expenses are not reimbursable: hotel accommodations and per diem allowances for travel less than 50 miles from Gallaudet, the purchase of luggage, fee for more than one personal bag, traffic fines, gifts, club dues, travel or flight insurance, in-room movies, personal entertainment, airline clubs, baby-sitting fees, check cashing charges, clothing, and personal automobile repairs, maintenance, and gasoline. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable. Spouse travel is not reimbursable unless the spouse is traveling as a representative of the University and the travel is approved in advance by the administrative officer. For all travel being paid for by the University: failure to obtain signed approval by the appropriate administrative officer and send a copy of the signed Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form to the Finance Office prior to travel will result in expenses not being reimbursed upon return.
  10. INSURANCE
    Worldwide flight insurance is provided with each ticket issued to University employees by Travel-On or Rearden. Gallaudet does not reimburse additional insurance costs incurred by the traveler such as personal flight insurance and personal accident insurance. Additionally, Gallaudet assumes no liability for damages or other losses that may occur during travel.  University sponsored group travel must be arranged by Travel On.  Comprehensive cancellation, health and liability insurance will be included in the cost of the trip. 
  11. INBOUND TRAVEL
    When inviting guests to campus at Gallaudet's expense, the department covering the expense must use the services of Travel-On or Rearden to make arrangements and prepare the appropriate Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form. 
  12. SPONSORED TRAVEL
    In cases where travel is at the expense of another organization, the traveler should recognize his/her obligation to minimize expenses. Travelers may make arrangements in compliance with these guidelines and invoice the hosting organization. Upon receipt of payment, the check should be deposited in the Cashier's Office to the traveler's department account. Travel being funded by a Federal grant are required to comply with this policy and the OMB Circular A-21 and the Federal Travel Regulations requirements.
  13. STUDENT GROUP TRAVELFaculty or staff organizing/leading student group travel must use Travel On for all air reservations, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, and tour vendors.  Travel On will contract with all transportation, accommodation and tour vendors and the Gallaudet department will remit funds to Travel On for arrangements. 
  14. RECEIPT REQUIREMENTS
    Only expenses actually incurred are reimbursed. Original receipts are required for all expenses except for per diem meal costs. Receipts should be detailed vendor receipts rather than the more general charge transaction slips. The last original copy of the airline, rail, or bus ticket must be attached to the Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form. Reproduced copies are not acceptable.
  15. EXPENSE ADVANCES
    An expense advance will be issued to the traveler when an authorized, Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form detailing estimated expenditures for the trip, is submitted at least two weeks in advance to the Finance Office. Advances are made to Gallaudet personnel and students only. The advance is calculated based on the appropriate per diem meal rates and estimated out-of-pocket expenses to be incurred by the traveler. Scheduled carrier transportation expenses are billed monthly directly by Travel-On and Rearden to the traveler’s department.

    The minimum advance is $100. Petty cash travel advances are prohibited. Advances are direct deposited whenever possible. Advances are not given to employees or students with past-due Travel Advance/Reimbursement Forms.
  16. REGISTRATION FEES
    Advance registration fees for seminars and conventions should be paid using the University purchasing card.
  17. EXPENSE REPORTING
    All expenses incurred must be recorded on the Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form. Upon return from a trip, a completed travel form must be submitted to the Finance Office within five working days. Travel Advance/Reimbursement Forms must be approved by the unit administrator two times, once prior to travel and again upon return when requesting expense reimbursement. Reimbursements are processed within five working days and are direct deposited to the traveler's account whenever possible. Refunds from travel advances must accompany the travel form. Travelers may not enclose cash with the travel form. If necessary, cash refunds should be deposited in the Cashier's Office, and the cash receipt attached to the travel form.
  18. UNIVERSITY VEHICLES
    University vehicles are available for official regional travel. Requests for University vehicles must be approved by the appropriate unit administrator and received by the Transportation Department a minimum of five working days prior to the trip. Transportation forms and procedures can be found on the Transportation Department's web page.
  19. ENTERTAINMENT
    All entertainment expenditures must be approved in advance by the unit administrator and/or senior administrator. Prudence should be exercised when entertaining guests of the University whether in Washington, D.C. or out-of- town. Only actual costs are reimbursed. Meals are reimbursed at the scheduled per diem rates, unless otherwise authorized. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.
  20. MEETING ARRANGEMENTS
    Travel-On offers assistance in planning sponsored meetings, negotiating preferred rates for accommodations, group travel, and securing special transportation discounts.
  21. SPOUSE TRAVEL
    Occasionally spouses are asked to travel on official University business. A separate Travel Advance/Reimbursement Form must be completed and signed by the appropriate administrator for University-sponsored spouse travel.
  22. BUSINESS AND PERSONAL TRAVEL
    In instances where a traveler interrupts business travel for personal convenience, travels by an indirect route, or is accompanied by his/her spouse not on University business, the traveler must maintain accurate records for official business travel. The University does not reimburse any expenses incurred on behalf of the spouse or for personal travel.  Travelers on a Gallaudet sponsored trip, who desire to extend their stay or join the group at a later date must secure written permission from the tour organizer/leader PRIOR to the start of the trip and before group tickets have been issued.  The travelers are responsible for any charge assessed for deviation from the group itinerary. 
  23. ACCIDENTS
    Any accident, injury, or threat of litigation that occurs during business travel should be reported to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance within 24 hours. This includes: (a.) an injury to the employee traveler; (b) an injury to a student or volunteer traveling with the employee travelers; (c) an injury (physical or alleged violation of civil rights) sustained by someone who claims that it was caused by an employee of Gallaudet University; and (d) any other misunderstanding, alleged breach of contract or promise, or other threat or incident that might result in litigation. Under no circumstances should a traveler admit liability or fault on behalf of the University nor should he or she compromise the University's ability to defend against any claim in any way. If travelers are uncertain as to the reporting requirements, they should err on the side of making a report to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance.
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