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Travel policy guideliness 

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WORCESTER STATE UNIVERSITY

EMPLOYEE TRAVEL
POLICY AND GUIDELINES

 

           

The following policy has been adopted to guide the faculty and staff of Worcester State University with regard to travel and reimbursement for travel while on University business.  This policy applies to all payments and reimbursements for travel expenses by the University regardless of the source of funding.  Failure to comply with this policy may result in no monies being reimbursed and may negate insurance coverage provided by the University and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

The University will reimburse travel expenses incurred by employees of the University while conducting University business or attending an approved professional development program.  All reimbursements require original, itemized receipts and proof of payment.

 

TRAVEL STATUS

 

When the conduct of University business requires an employee to travel to a site away from the employee's normal workplace, and they have received proper authorization to do so, the employee is in travel status on official University business.

 

When traveling on University business, actual expenditures for transportation including bus, railroad, airline, subway, taxi and personal auto will be reimbursed to the extent that these expenditures exceed the normal daily cost of commuting to and from the institution.  The least expensive mode of transportation that is appropriate for the travel should be selected.

 

AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL

 

Authorization is required for travel on official University business whether or not reimbursement from the University is sought.  Authorization is obtained through approval of the Request for Travel form.  This must be done prior to the start of travel for which approval is being requested. Failure to obtain authorization in advance of the travel may result in no monies being reimbursed and may negate insurance coverage provided by the University and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  This form is to be approved by a department supervisor/chair and division Vice President.  If Grant Funding is being used, it must also be approved by the Grants Office.  A Blanket Travel Authorization may be submitted for day trips within New England.   Any overnight stays require a separate authorization form regardless of destination.  Travel outside of New England also requires a separate authorization form with approval by the President.  The President may delegate, in writing, this authority to a designated Vice President.  The President’s travel is to be approved by the Board of Trustees.

 

PROCUREMENT CARDS

 

When deemed appropriate by the Budget Manager and the Vice President of Administration and Finance/CFO, Procurement Cards (PCards) shall be issued to authorized employees of the University.  Whenever possible, employees should use their PCards, in accordance with the Procurement Card Policy and Procedures Guide,
for travel expenses.   Unauthorized upgrades and additional insurance should not be charged to the PCard.

 

When the PCard is used, insurance should not be taken on automobile rentals and Massachusetts Sales Tax and Massachusetts Meal Tax should not be paid.  WSU is exempt from sales tax in other States as well.  Please check with the Procurement Office to see if a tax exempt certificate is available for the State in which you plan to travel.

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

 

WSU has contracted with PanAm, Inc. to assist travelers with all aspects of travel plans.  This includes booking airfare, hotels and car rentals for both domestic and international travel.  To take advantage of the discounted rates and many services offered, this option should be used whenever possible.  The CustomerCare portal for WSU is http://customercare.panam.travel, the dedicated phone number for WSU is (508) 866-0648 and the dedicated email for WSU is worcester@panam.travel.  Please check with Procurement for additional information.

 

REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES

 

Reimbursement for any travel expenses shall be contingent upon the availability of funds within the department’s budget, as determined by the budget manager, Division Vice President or Finance Office.  Reimbursement requests will be returned to the appropriate budget manager if funds are unavailable. Reimbursement requests will be returned to the originator if it is not complete or if a Request for Travel form is not on file.  The University will not reimburse for any unauthorized upgrades or additional insurance.

 

A Request for Travel Reimbursement form, along with all original, itemized receipts, must be submitted to the Procurement Office within 30 days of the final day of travel and prior to the close of the fiscal year in which the travel takes place.  If an original receipt or invoice is not available an original credit card statement along with a Missing Receipt form may be accepted.  Please note that this is an exception and may be used only under special circumstances.  If the requested reimbursement is equal to or less than the amount authorized on the Request for Travel form, it need only be signed by the employee.  If the requested reimbursement is greater than the amount authorized on the Request for Travel form, the budget manager must provide additional approval.  Reimbursements that require budget manager approval will be returned to the originator if the approval is missing.

 

In accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), travel expenditures will be recorded in the fiscal year during which the travel occurs and shall be subject to an annual audit.

             

COMBINING UNIVERSITY BUSINESS TRAVEL WITH PERSONAL TRAVEL

 

The University will reimburse the business portion of a trip that is combined with personal travel.  Documentation must be provided to support the business portion of the trip in addition to a detailed allocation of the expenses that are business related.  The traveler should obtain a quote at the time of booking to document the incremental cost that is a personal expense and include it with the Request for Travel form.  Reimbursements will be at the lesser of actual paid or would have paid had the travel not been combined with personal travel.

 

 

RATES AND CONDITIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES

 

The Board of Trustees shall review and approve the President’s travel expense reimbursements.  Allowable travel expenses will be reimbursed at actual cost less sales tax except as provided herein.  Expenditures will be reimbursed only upon submission of original, itemized receipts unless otherwise noted.  The University will use Map Quest mileage, calculated at the current IRS reimbursement rate (updated monthly) less the normal daily cost of commuting to and from the University.

           

Meals

 

Per Diem Policy

 

For travel of less than 24 hours, travelers are entitled to breakfast per diem if the traveler begins business travel before 6:45 a.m.; travelers are entitled to dinner per diem if the traveler completes business travel after 7:00 p.m.  No lunch per diem is payable for travel of less than 24 hours.  Lunch per diem is paid on the first day of travel after 24 hours.

 

Meal per diem will be excluded for any meals provided as part of a conference or workshop.  A copy of the conference/workshop brochure must be included with the Request for Travel Reimbursement form. 

 

Meal per diem is paid to travelers at rates established by and in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement applicable to the employee. 

The rates for the President and non-unit employees are as follows:

The President is allowed meal per diem of $50 a day: $9.50 – breakfast, $16.50 – lunch, $24 – dinner.

Non-unit employees are allowed meal per diem of $35 a day: $6.50 - breakfast, $11.50 - lunch, $17.00 - dinner. 

Please remember that the University is exempt from Massachusetts meal tax.  Whenever possible, this tax should not be paid.

 

Transportation

 

Travelers are expected to travel via the least expensive means available.  Travelers choosing a more expensive means will be reimbursed for the amount of the lesser means.

 

In no event will air travel at other than coach fare be reimbursed.  An itemized receipt showing the actual amount paid must be provided.  Frequent flyer miles will not be reimbursed.  Travelers who cancel reservations or miss connections are personally liable for lost deposits and costs incurred for substitute transportation unless the change is required by the University, Business-related or a result of uncontrollable circumstances.  Reasonable baggage fees will be reimbursed with appropriate receipts.

 

Expenditures for ground transportation for taxi, limousine, bus, etc., require receipts for reimbursement.

 

Fines for traffic and parking violations are not reimbursable under any circumstances.

 

Private Vehicles

 

Employees may use their privately-owned vehicles (POV) as means of travel on University business.  Reimbursement for mileage will be at the IRS rate in effect at the time of travel and only for those round trip miles required to reach the business related destination, net of the employee’s normal roundtrip commute.  For travel that occurs on a weekend, there will be no deduction for employee’s normal roundtrip commute.

 

The cost of transportation will not be reimbursed for the normal commute between the traveler's home and the University. Only business mileage that exceeds the traveler’s normal work commute is reimbursable.  In the event a POV is used as the means of transportation for a business trip in excess of 24 hours, reasonable incidental travel to/from the hotel, local restaurants and related conference center will be reimbursed at the IRS mileage rate in effect at the time of travel. 

 

Example A: An employee’s routine work commute is 20 miles roundtrip; Employee drives to a one-day seminar in Boston, MA which is 45 miles round trip from their home; Reimbursed is the 25 miles which exceeded employee’s normal work commute of 20 miles.

 

Example B: An employee lives in Boylston, MA which is 24 miles round trip to work, and attends a three-day conference in Providence, RI which is a 120 miles roundtrip from the home address.  If the conference begins and ends on a normal workday, deduct 48 miles (two round-trip work commutes) from the total miles for a reimbursement of 72 miles.  If the conference begins on a weekend and ends on a workday, deduct 24 miles (one roundtrip work commute for the weekday) from the total miles for a reimbursement of 96 miles.

 

Expenses associated with the use of a POV, including tolls, parking, etc. require original receipts in order to be reimbursed.  Reimbursement will not be made for operating expenses such as gas, oil, repairs, etc.

 

Rental of Vehicles

 

For local travel, including getting to and from airports or train stations, if a traveler chooses to rent a vehicle instead of using a POV, the traveler will be reimbursed for the lesser of the actual rental cost or the IRS mileage rate as if the traveler used a POV.

 

When traveling by air or rail, traveler may rent a car upon reaching the destination only if it is less expensive than other transportation modes such as taxis, limousines or shuttles.  The University has an account with Enterprise Rent A Car.  They will bill the University directly.  The contract includes CDW insurance, so it should not be purchased separately.  Be sure to reference account # XZ10686 when booking.  Expenses associated with the operation of a rental vehicle, including tolls, parking, gas, etc. require receipts for reimbursement. 

 

When renting a vehicle, the cost of the actual rental and any applicable fees will be reimbursable.  All other costs must be approved in advance of the rental.  The cost of purchasing Personal Accident Insurance will not be reimbursed as you will be covered by Worker’s Compensation (provided there is an approved Request for Travel form on file).  In addition, Personal Effects Insurance will not be reimbursed.  

 

All accidents and damage to rented vehicles must be reported immediately to the rental agency as well as to the Director of Procurement at the University.  

 

Lodging

 

The traveler is expected to incur the least expense to the University when a selection of rooms and rates are available.  Always inquire as to the cost of a single room in the event it is less expensive than a double room.

 

Hotel costs (room and tax only) should be paid by purchase order whenever possible.  Other payment options include a University PCard, a University check brought with the traveler or personal credit card.  The traveler will most likely have to present a personal credit card at the time of check-in to cover any incidental purchases.  All hotel bills regardless of the method of payment must be original, itemized and indicate a zero balance.  If the hotel bill indicates a balance due, original proof of payment documenting paid in full is required. (i.e. credit card statement, original cancelled check, original credit card charge slip).  Receipts must contain the facility logo and not be generic in nature.

 

Reimbursement will not be provided for alcohol, room service, amenities, movies, laundry or any other items of a personal nature.  Business phone calls, business fax charges and business internet connection charges will be reimbursed if the business nature is detailed on the request for reimbursement. 

 

Gratuities

 

The University will reimburse reasonable gratuities.  Gratuities to wait staff exceeding those already included in the meal cost are not reimbursable.

 

Phone Calls

One personal phone call of a reasonable duration per evening is reimbursable.  An itemized statement showing the time of day and the number called must be provided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             REQUEST for TRAVEL

 

Any employee of the University who is eligible and wishes to be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with the travel reimbursement policy, and/or is planning to travel for approved University or professional business must complete the following form in advance of the travel.

 

NAME OF EMPLOYEE:                                                    DEPARTMENT:       

 

EVENT/LOCATION:                                                         CITY/STATE:                                             

 

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION:       

 

DATES OF TRAVEL:  DATE/TIME:                                DATE/TIME:       

 

REASON FOR TRAVEL:            

 

JUSTIFICATION AND RATIONALE FOR TRAVEL:            

 

DO NOT FORGET TO CHECK WITH PAN AM BEFORE BOOKING!


SIGNATURE:  _____________________________________________                  DATE: 
          

 

(If you plan to request reimbursement for travel, please complete the following.  All requests for reimbursement MUST be submitted within thirty days of the final day of travel.) 

 

REGISTRATION COST $:                                              TRANSPORTATION TYPE:       

 

HOTEL/MOTEL: $                                                           TRANSPORTATION COST: $      

 

MEALS ALLOWANCE: $                                                MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT: $       

 

OTHER DESCRIPTION: _______________________________________           $       

 

TOTAL REIMBURSEMENT REQUESTED $:     

 

BUDGET LINE TO BE CHARGED:       

 


APPROVAL FOR TRAVEL (SIGNATURES):

 

DEPT. SUPERVISOR/CHAIR:  ______________________________          DATE:  ___________________

 

DIVISION VICE PRESIDENT: ______________________________           DATE:  ___________________


GRANTS OFFICE (If applicable): ______________________________      DATE:  ___________________

 

OUT OF NEW ENGLAND TRAVEL REQUIRES THE PRESIDENTS AUTHORIZATION:

 

PRESIDENT: ____________________________________________          DATE:  _________________


                REQUEST for TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

 

NAME OF EMPLOYEE:

VENDOR #

EMPLOYEE, STUDENT,CONTRACTOR

                            (Please Identify)

 

     

 

 

     

     

 

HOME ADDRESS:

DATE PREPARED:

     

 

 

 

EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT

OBJECT CODE

LIQUIDATION AMOUNT

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

$ 

ACTIVITY

SUBSIDIARY

 

 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

TOTAL LIQUIDATION

$

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that the above amounts as itemized are true, correct, and incurred by me during necessary travel in the service of the Commonwealth, and conform fully to the Travel Rules and Regulations.

I hereby certify that this travel was necessary and authorized.

 

SIGNATURE OF TRAVELER                                 DATE

 

APPROVING AUTHORITY SIGNATURE                              DATE

DATE

DESCRIPTION

PRIVATE

AUTO MILEAGE

 

 

 

 

 

MEALS

TOTAL

 

*“PURPOSE”

 (SEE NOTE BELOW)

Miles

 

Amount

 

Air/Train Travel

Taxi Fare

Auto Rental/ Gas

Parking/Tolls

Hotels

 

Breakfast

 

Lunch

Dinner

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

 

Totals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*NOTE DESCRIPTION ABOVE: Itemize by day and explain fully, including cities and towns visited.  When listing privately owned car mileage report under “Purpose” the names, if any, of all other employees transported together with the city or town and addresses between which they are transported.  You will need to manually enter all figures and calculations.   It is your responsibility to check all calculations and entries along with having all documentation/receipts attached to voucher

 

 

 

               Missing Receipt Form

 

Explain why the original receipt, invoice or other appropriate documentation is missing.

 

 

 

 

 

Print Name:  ______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Sign & Date: ______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Department Chair Approval: ________________________________________________________________

 

This form is be used as documentation only if the original receipt, invoice or other documentation is unavailable for a transaction made on the Procurement Card or Reimbursement Request.  It will be allowed only as a rare circumstance.  It must be filled out completely.

Purchase Description                                                                                             Cost

 

 

 

 

 

 (Confirm no sales tax is included in the total.)                                   Order Total     _________

 

Supplier/Merchant Information

 

Name

 

Phone Number

 

City & State

 

Date Order Placed

 

Other Info

(such as name of person taking order, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Version: 4.0 
Created at 3/19/2012 12:16 PM  by Hoxha, Anisa 
Last modified at 11/18/2013 11:38 AM  by Hoxha, Anisa