6217RR - Travel

                                                                                                                                        RR 6217

                                                                                                                                                     

MANAGEMENT SUPPORT

 

Travel– Authorization and Reimbursement

 

 

The Superintendent or designee will periodically review these procedures, issue procedural bulletins,and submit recommendations for continuance or modification to the Board of Directors.The Superintendent may authorize travel for business and professional purposes within the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. He may also authorize automobile travel within the District for program and business needs. Board approval is required for all other out-of-district travel.  However, the Superintendent may, in extenuating circumstances, approve out-of-state travel and so inform the Board of Directors as soon as possible but no later than the next Board Meeting.

 

 

I.        DEFINITIONS

 

A.     Local Area Travel is travel by district employees to conduct official district business within Benton City and the Tri-City area.  This includes travel between district locations.

 

B.     Non-Local Area Travel is travel outside of the Local Area Travel, as defined above, by district employees to conduct official district business.

 

C.    Travel Status: You are in travel status if (1) your duties require you to be away from the general area of your regular work location substantially longer than an ordinary day’s work, and (2)you need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away.  This rest requirement is not satisfied by merely working overtime at a great distance from your residence or by napping in your car.

 

 

II.       LOCAL AREA TRAVEL

 

A.     Approval Process

 

        Expenditures                                                         Prior Required

                 

                  Registration Only                                                         Yes

                  Mileage and/or Parking Only                                        No

                  Prescheduled W.I.A.A.Sanctioned Event                    No

 

To allow sufficient time for processing and approval before departure, a Request for Advance Travel(Advance) form should be completed at least five (5) days before departure.  Within the schools, the Advance form will be submitted to the building administrator for approval, who will approve or deny the request.  For all other employees, the immediate supervisors will forward recommended requests to the appropriate department heads, who will approve or deny the request.  The original Advance form and attachments must be submitted to the District Office

for processing. A copy of the approved Advance form will be returned to the applicant upon request. If travel precedes written administrative and budgetary approvals,reimbursement for travel expenses may be denied.

 

All Advance forms must be accompanied by documentation of registration.

 

 

B.     Reimbursable Expenses

 

Employees operating a private vehicle for district business shall (a) be in possession of a valid driver’s license, (b) have vehicle liability insurance, and (c) carry an insurance identification card while driving a vehicle, verifying they have a valid vehicle liability insurance policy.

 

Reimbursement for use of a privately owned vehicle for official travel shall be allowed at a rate established and published by the Office of Financial Management (OFM).  Any future rate changes published by OFM shall be effective on the date published by OFM, unless the rate is established retroactively by OFM, in which case it shall become effective on the first day of the month following publication.

 

In addition to the standard mileage allowance, necessary and reasonable charges for the following automobile-related expenses are allowed: parking fees and tolls for ferries, bridges and tunnels. Traffic and parking fines will not be reimbursed.

 

Daily commute transportation expenses between the employee’s official residence and official work site is a personal obligation of the traveler and is not reimbursable by the district.  When an employee is assigned to work at more than one location, they may be reimbursed only for the miles driven between the work locations.

 

When two or more employees are attending the same conference, plans should be made to use the minimum number of vehicles necessary to transport everyone.  Only the driver may submit a claim for mileage when more than one district employee shares a vehicle.

 

C.    Claims for Reimbursement

 

Claims for reimbursement of travel expenses shall be submitted for approval on a district Monthly Mileage Reimbursement (Monthly) form to the building or department administrator who initially recommended approval of the travel.

 

Employees should complete a Monthly form at a minimum of every 30 days to claim in-district personal vehicle mileage, or at greater intervals if the amount due is less than $20, at the discretion of the employee.

 

All Local Area Travel reimbursement claims shall be submitted within fifteen (15) days following the end of the fiscal year in which the expenses were incurred.  Claims submitted later than that will not be reimbursed.

 

 

III.      NON-LOCAL AREA TRAVEL

 

A.     Approval Process

 

A district Advance form must be completed for all Non-Local Area Travel with reimbursable expenditures, except for travel to prescheduled events sanctioned by the W.I.A.A.

 

To allow sufficient time for processing and approval before departure, an Advance form should be completed at least five (5) days before departure. For out-of-state travel, all forms must be submitted 30 days prior to registration deadline for Board review.Within the schools, the Advance form will be submitted to the building administrator for approval, who shall approve or deny the request.  For all other employees, the immediate supervisors will forward recommended requests to the appropriate department heads, who shall approve or deny the request. The original Advance form and attachments must be submitted to the District Office for processing. A copy of the approved Advance form will be returned to the applicant upon request.

 

An Advance form is also required when requesting advance mileage & meal per diem funds prior to travel.

 

All Advance forms must be accompanied by documentation verifying reason for travel, provided meals (if any), and mileage (i.e. Map Quest).

 

The Superintendent or designee may report all such travel authorizations to the Board of Directors.  The Board may take action to authorize such travel.

 

If travel precedes written administrative and budgetary approvals, reimbursement for travel expenses maybe denied.

 

B.     Reimbursable Expenses

 

1.   Meals and Incidental Expenses

 

Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) are defined as:

 

a.   Meals;

 

b.   Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, motel maids, and others; and

 

c.   Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, if suitable meals cannot be obtained at the lodging or conference site.

 

A per diem allowance for M&IE as defined above will be paid to employees traveling on district business while they are in travel status. The amount of per diem paid will be based on OFM per diem rates by location as published in the most current IRS Publication 1542.  In accordance with the IRS definition of M&IE, taxi fares to restaurants for meals are included in the per diem amount; the district cannot separately reimburse an employee for such taxi fares without taxable consequences to the employee.

 

No receipts for mealsare required to be submitted with the Travel Expense Reimbursement (Expense) form;however, the daily per diem amount must be logged in the appropriate place on the form.

 

Reimbursement for meal expenses will not be authorized when an employee does not incur expenses for meals because they are furnished, either by the host facility or as a part of the registration or lodging fee.

 

Reimbursement of actual expenses for meals and related costs shall be allowable when acting as host to guests of Kiona-Benton City School District or other official business functions provided the purpose and the event are shown on a separate reimbursable expense statement.  Receipts or other satisfactory evidence of payment must be attached to the claim. All reimbursement claimed under this authority shall be clearly identified and a special report submitted with each reimbursement request documenting the nature of the business discussion or activity.

 

2.   Lodging

 

Reimbursement for lodging expenses shall be at an actual rate for single occupancy standard accommodations, plus applicable taxes. The maximum reimbursable amount shall be 150 percent of the OFM per diem rate by location as published in the most current OFM Publication, plus applicable taxes.  Amounts above this maximum are not reimbursable.

 

To verify OFM allowable Per Diem rates, go to www.ofm.wa.gov and click on “Per Diem Rates” under Travel Resources.

 

Exceptions:

 

a.   When a block of rooms has been reserved at a conference hotel site for the use of conference participants and the amount per room exceeds this maximum, the higher rates for lodging at the location of a convention or conference will be allowed, without special approval, up to the amount indicated in the convention or conference brochure.

 

b.   When costs in the area have escalated for a brief period of time either during special events or disasters.

c.   When lodging accommodations in the area are not available at or below the maximum lodging amount, and the savings achieved from occupying less expensive lodging at a more distant site are consumed by an increase in transportation and other costs.

d.   When meeting room facilities are necessary and it is more economical for the traveler to acquire special lodging accommodations such as a suite rather than to acquire a meeting room and a room for lodging.

Employees must submit an original receipt containing the hotel name and address; dates of stay; and itemization of lodging, meals, telephone charges, and personal items. Lodging reimbursement shall be made for commercial lodging facilities only.

 

No overnight lodging will be reimbursed for locations within fifty (50) miles of the closer of either the traveler’s official residence or official office,except for one of the following conditions:

 

a.   An overnight stay in a commercial lodging facility to avoid having a traveler drive back and forth for back-to-back late night/early morning meetings,

b.   When the health and safety of travelers is of concern, or

c.   When it can be demonstrated that staying overnight is more economical to the district.

District employees may share lodging when two or more employees are attending the same conference. When employees share rooms, they will be reimbursed up to 150% of the Federal per diem rate for that location as stated above, plus any amount charged for the difference between single and double occupancy.  When two or more employees share a room, they shall each claim an equal share of the total bill on the Expense Report form, plus applicable taxes.

For out-of-state travel, reimbursement of expenses is allowed for one travel day preceding a conference and for one travel day following the conference. For example, if the conference starts on Monday and travel begins on Sunday,reimbursement is made for the travel day, which is Sunday. However, if the same conference begins on Monday and travel begins on the proceeding Friday,reimbursement is made for the travel day, which is Friday. There will be no reimbursement of expenses for Saturday and Sunday preceding the conference. The same applies for travel following the conference.

If an exception to the rule in the previous paragraph for out-of-state travel reimbursement is to be considered, the employee must clearly show a cost saving as a result of arriving at the destination earlier or leaving the conference site later than the one day before or after the conference dates.

Travel must be by the most direct route possible and any employee traveling by an indirect route must assume any additional expenses incurred.

 

3.   Combined Business and Personal Time

When combining business and personal time on a trip, the dates of the personal time must be indicated on the Advance form (and location, if alternate destination routing). In cases where this can be arranged, it is understood that the employee will be responsible for the additional costs to be incurred as a result of the alternate site routing and a notation must be made on the Advance form of that cost. Reimbursement of expenses on those dates is NOT allowable.To determine the additional cost of alternate site routing, the traveler must provide a written quotation of the cost of round-trip airfare directly to and from the business destination. The difference between the cost of the round-trip airfare including the alternate site routing versus the cost of the round-trip airfare directly to and from the business destination constitutes the additional cost of alternate site routing. The employee must pay the personal portion of the plane ticket or lodging prior to the trip.

 

4.   Airfare

 

Airline tickets maybe purchased through the district’s accounts payable department using a district Purchase Order or through a procurement card.

 

Employees may choose to make their own travel arrangements on the Internet.  Purchasing airline tickets on the Internet is an option only if using a Department procurement card. For auditing purposes, thee-confirmation showing the itinerary, cost and proof of payment for airline tickets purchased through the Internet must be submitted by the employee with their Advance form or Expense form.

 

The cost for a lost airline ticket is the responsibility of the employee after he/she has taken possession of the ticket.

 

5.   Personal Vehicle Use

 

Employees operating a private vehicle for district business shall (a) be in possession of a valid driver’s license, (b) have vehicle liability insurance, and (c) carry an insurance identification card while driving a vehicle, verifying they have a valid vehicle liability insurance policy.

 

Reimbursement for use of a privately owned vehicle for official travel shall be allowed at a rate established and published by the OFM. Any future rate changes published by OFM shall be effective on the date published by the OFM, unless the rate is established retroactively by the OFM,in which case it shall become effective on the first day of the month following publication.

 

No personal vehicle mileage will be reimbursed for mileage to entertainment locations or for transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken.

 

When two or more persons are attending the same conference, plans should be made to use the minimum number of vehicles necessary to transport persons, presentation materials, and luggage.

 

6.   Rental Vehicles

 

Every effort should be taken to minimize the number of rental cars when employees are traveling to the same location.

 

When using a rental vehicle for personal use at the beginning or end of a business trip, employees shall execute separate rental agreements; one in the district’s name for the period of time it will be used for district business, and one in the employee’s name for any personal use days. Insurance coverage for a rental vehicle begins and ends with the employee’s business travel status.

 

7.   Registration

 

Registration fees, materials, and supplies are reimbursable expenses; receipts are required.

 

8.   Telephone Reimbursement and Business Services

Telephone calls will be reimbursed as follows provided that proper documentation is submitted showing destination (number or person called), charge per call, and justification.A prepaid calling card may be purchased for business use when engaging in foreign travel.

a.   For district business:100% allowable with justification provided on the Expense form.

b.   For personal telephone calls: one telephone call is allowed on the first day of travel (or upon arrival at destination) to confirm safe arrival and one telephone call on thelast day of travel to confirm departure plans.

Reimbursement is not to exceed $5 per call.

9.   Miscellaneous

 

A receipt will be required for reimbursement of all approved miscellaneous expenses over $40.  If the expense is less than $40, the employee has two options for requesting reimbursement: (1) provide a receipt showing the date, time, place, amount paid and to whom, or (2) log the expenditure on the Expense Report, showing date, time,place, amount paid and to whom.

 

Miscellaneous expenses may include parking fees, taxi and shuttle fares, and tolls for ferries, bridges and tunnels. Traffic ticket and parking ticket expenses will not be reimbursed.  A tip, not to exceed fifteen percent (15%), is reimbursable for taxi fares and shuttles when they are not used for transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken or to places for entertainment.

If the traveler does not have a required receipt, one of the following processes must be followed:

a.   Obtain a duplicate original receipt from the hotel or vendor.

b.   Provide a written statement, signed by the traveler, which includes information on the type of expense, the date, the vendor, line item amounts and an explanation of what happened to the receipt(missing, lost, never issued, etc.).

If a traveler would like to combine a vacation or other personal use onto a legitimate business trip, it is allowed only where ALL of the following conditions exist: (a) the primary purpose of the trip is official district business; (b) the traveler uses his/her approved leave for the vacation or personal part of the trip; and(c) the district does not incur any extra expenses beyond what it would normally incur had the trip occurred without any personal use coupled to it.

 

An employee of the district traveling on official district business is expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses and accomplishing the purpose of the travel that a prudent individual would exercise if traveling on personal business.  Excess costs, indirect routes,delays, or luxury accommodations considered unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official district business travel are not acceptable.

 

Employees shall be responsible for any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience except in cases to comply with ADA.

 

The number of employees from the district attending a particular meeting or activity should be the minimum necessary, consistent with the benefit to be derived from it.

 

When an employee’s travel expenses are to be reimbursed to the district by an outside entity, Kiona-Benton City School District travel policy and procedures shall apply.

 

Non-reimbursable expenses are: alcoholic beverages,valet services; entertainment expenses; taxi fares or other transportation costs to or from places of entertainment and other non-district business locations; costs of personal trip insurance; personal telephone calls (except as noted above); tips or gratuities associated with the personal expenses listed here; out-of-pocket charges for vehicle service calls caused by negligence of the traveler (i.e. delivery of fuel, retrieval of keys from locked vehicles, jump starting vehicles when lights have been left on, traffic or parking citations/fines, etc.).

 

10. Claims for Reimbursement

 

Claims for reimbursement for non-local area mileage only shall be submitted on the Monthly form. All other non-local travel with multiple expenses including mileage shall be submitted for approval on the Expense form. Forms shall be submitted to the building or department administrator whoinitially recommended approval of the travel.

 

The per diem meal allowance total must be listed for each day of travel, including any partial day amounts.  Lodging, including taxes,must be listed for each day.  Transportation and other miscellaneous expenses, whether under or over $40, must be itemized and listed for each day in the appropriate categories on the Expense form.  Times of both departure and return must be shown on the form.

 

All non-local area travel reimbursement claims shall be submitted within fifteen (15) days following the end of the fiscal year in which the expenses were incurred.  Claims submitted later than that will not be reimbursed.

 

 

 

Legal Reference:        RCW 28A.320.050, RCW 42.24.090, WAC 82.28.060,WAC 82.28.080

Supreme Court Opinion No. 45711, dated October 11, 1979

                                    Policies, Regulations and Procedures of the State of Washington, dated March 1, 1983

                                    IRS Publications

 

Forms:                         Request for Advance Travel Form

                                    Monthly Mileage Reimbursement Form

                                    Travel Expense Reimbursement Form

 

 

Approved:     1/28/2008

 

Revised:        3/12/2012