Lewis-Clark State College Travel Policies and Procedures
Lewis-Clark State College
Travel Policies and
Lewis-Clark State College
Travel Policies and Procedures Manual
Revised: March, 2014
Statement of Policy………………………………..………………..p.3
General Guidelines……………..………………………………….. p.3
Mode and Route of travel…………………………………………...p.4
- Rental Vehicles……………………………p.5
- Personal Vehicles………………………….p.5
- College Owned Vehicles…………………..p.6
- Air Travel……………………………….…p.7
Advance Payment of Travel Expenses………………………………p.12
Substantiation of Travel Expenses…………………………………..p.12
Spousal Travel and/or Related Expenses……………………………p.13
Student Group and Athletic Team Travel…………………………...p.14
Student & Part-time Employee Travel………………………………p.15
Per Diem Expenses – For purposes of this policy, per diem expenses represent the daily reimbursable travel limits for specified travel costs incurred by College employees while traveling on official College business. Meal costs are reimbursed on a per diem basis, which includes meals, and meal gratuities. Per diem also includes the cost for fees and tips to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, or stewards.
Ticket Order Number – A ticket order number is like a purchase order number but for travel expenses that are being direct billed to the College. To obtain a ticket order number, contact the Controller’s Office with the traveler’s name, travel date, travel location, vendor name and cost center number.
Travel Authorization Request (TA) – The official form used by College employees to define the nature of travel and submit a cost estimate of the trip for supervisory approval. The form is an Excel document and is located on the Controller’s Office website under General Accounting.
Travel Expense Claim (TE)– The official form used by College employees to request reimbursement for actual cost incurred while on approved official College business. The TE is an Excel document and included on a separate tab on the original TA.See General Accounting
Workstation –The city in which the employee is permanently stationed; or all territory within a two-mile radius of his/her permanently assigned official duty post if not situated in an incorporated city.
Travel Policies and Procedures
The purpose of these policies and procedures is to convey the basic guidelines for all personnel, defined as employees of the State of Idaho, when traveling on official Lewis-Clark State College business. It is the intent of this policy that the individual traveler should neither gain nor lose personal funds while in travel status. All reimbursable travel must have been properly authorized, actually incurred, essential in achieving the goals or fulfilling the responsibilities of a particular department, and conducted in the most economical and practical manner for the Institution.
1. Conflict of Interest
No employee should be or appear to be subject to influences, interests, or relationships, which conflict with the best interests of the Collegerelative to the utilization of institutional funds while traveling on official business.
2. Observation of Budgetary Constraints
In the conduct of travel assignments, each employee is expected to plan and execute assignments so that costs do not exceed budgetary limitations. College funds should neither be committed nor should travel expenses be incurred without prior approval by the appropriate department head or supervisor.
3. Travelers with Disabilities
With prior approval of the department head, employees with disabilities may be allowed payment of certain additional travel expenses to accommodate their disabilities. These allowances include, but are not limited to, subsistence and transportation of an attendant, the cost of specialized transportation, the increased cost of specialized services for public carriers, or special baggage handling.
4. Third Party Reimbursements, Rebates, Promotions
When a third party is expected to reimburse the College for travel costs, that information along with the name and address of the third party must be included on the Travel AuthorizationRequest (TA). The reimbursement must be made payable to Lewis-Clark State College or endorsed in the Institution’s favor.
Travel awards and benefits such as frequent flyer miles awarded as a result of College travel will become the property of the traveler and will not be claimed by the Institution.
5. General Guidelines
The traveler is responsible for complying with Lewis-Clark State College travel policies and procedures and obtaining and maintaining required documentation related to the travel. Reimbursement for personal expenses incurred while on official College business is not permitted. When a single trip has more than one purpose and the traveler is eligible for reimbursement from more than one source, the traveler is expected to arrange an equitable distribution of the total costs among all sponsors, both internal and external. If a group of employees traveling together on official business incurs joint expenses to be reimbursed by the same source, some or all of those joint expenses may be paid and reported by one traveler. If a person traveling on behalf of the College is accompanied by a person not on official business, then reimbursement to the individual on official travel is limited to the actual expenses incurred or to the amount that the traveler would have incurred if traveling alone, whichever is less.Refer to Policy 4.112, Use of College-Owned and College-Rented Vehicles, prior to permitting persons not on official business to accompany official travelers in a college owner or rented vehicle.
6. Travel Authorizations
All business travel away from an employee’s official workstation must be supported by a properly completed Travel Authorization Request (TA), available on the Controller’s Office website under General Accounting. To initiate approval of travel involving College funds, a TA must be completed, approved by the appropriate department head or equivalent administrator, and received in the Controller’s Office prior to departure.
- A traveler may not approve his/her own Travel Authorization Form, but must obtain the signature of their Department Head, Dean or Director, Vice President, Provost or President, as appropriate. The approval level must be at least one supervisory level above the traveler.
- A traveler must obtain approval from the account administrator for each account that will be charged.
- After approval by the appropriate administrator(s), the TA is sent to the Controller’s Office, and scanned into WebNow for future reference.
- If it becomes necessary to change the amount or dates on the TA, these changes should be requested in writing to the Controller’s Office. The Controller’s Office will then modify the original accordingly.
- Official out-of-state or foreign travel by College employees requires additional advance approval by the President or the President’s designee. Completion of the Out of State Justification on the TA, block 3, is required.(See paragraph 12, below, for foreign travel)
- Travelers should not book non-refundable travel until the authorization has been finalized.
- Submit the TAonly once.
- If there are no expenses to be incurred by the traveler, a TA still needs to completed, approved, and sent to the Controller’s Office. The TA will be scanned into WebNow for future reference. If expenses are incurred on zero travel authorities, exceptions can be requested in writing through the applicable Vice President or President’s offices.
College employees traveling during regular duty hours, but who are not on duty or on approved College business, are not covered by institutional liability insurance or industrial accident insurance.
7. Mode and Route of Travel
Travelers are required to use the most economical and practical form of transportation available, taking into account travel time and expense, and office or teaching responsibilities. Reimbursement for travel by commercial transportation shall be limited to the lowest cost means of travel unless it is impractical or not available. For example, if a traveler chooses to use, for personal reasons, their own vehicle to travel to Boise, reimbursement will be limited to the cost of coach airfare, rental car or mileage, whichever is less. In such cases, the reimbursement must show the departure and return times and the cost that would apply if the travel had been by rental car or air. Claims for meals or lodging for additional travel time resulting from driving cannot be reimbursed. Unless the department head specifically authorizes a leave of absence, excess travel time incurred by the use of a private vehicle for personal reasons during working hours shall be charged to the traveler’s accrued leave.
- Before traveling in College owned, leased or personal vehicles refer to Policy 4.112, Use of College-Owned and College-Rented Vehicles.
- Rental Vehicles
When traveling by vehicle, employees are generally expected to use a rental car through one of the College’s primary state contract vendors when the rental car results in the lowest cost compared to mileage reimbursement (also see Personal Vehicles below). However, if an employee travels to a destination where a state-contracted vendor is not available, or if the state vendor cannot meet special purpose vehicle requirements, another rental car company can be used. In these instances, travelers are recommended to decline the alternative rental car company’s Collision Damage Waiver, (CDW) insurance coverage. All car rentals should be made in the name of the State of Idaho, and of the College.
- The College will reimburse for rental of up to a standard size vehicle. The incremental cost of renting a larger or specialized vehicle is the traveler’s responsibility, unless specifically approved as part of the TA.
- The vehicles owned by the College are insured for auto physical damage coverage subject to certain limitations in the event of an automobile accident. Those limitations are:
- $500 deductible, an department’s expense
- Some rental car company loss of use claims
- Uninsured auto loss costs, a department expense
Should a traveler or department have a question about whether or not to purchase CDW coverage from a rental car company they should contact the Risk Mgmt. Coordinator in Administrative Services (ext 2240).
- Personal Vehicles
Travelers are never required to use their privately owned vehicle for official travel. When an employee elects to use a privately owned automobile for official travel, the resulting mileage reimbursement will be calculated at the approved State of Idaho mileage rate. An employee of the College claiming mileage for travel in their own personal vehicle should travel by the shortest travel route. Mileage is calculated utilizing official state maps or charts. Refer to the standard mileage chart within the travel form.
- The cost of transportation by private vehicle shall be paid at the rate set by the State Board of Examiners and can be found on the Travel Expense form.
- A lesser amount for mileage reimbursement may be authorized by a department head/director to conserve department funds or meet specific limitations stipulated by grants and contracts. Explanation must be clearly communicated on the TA.
- Personal Vehicle Liability - Employees who choose to use their personal vehicle for official travel do so as a matter of their own convenience and at their own risk. In the event of an accident, the employee’s personal insurance carrier is primary for both liability and physical damage coverage. Employees who elect to use their personal vehicles on a regular basis to perform College business are advised to contact their private insurance carriers, to verify their coverage, as per Policy 4.112.
- Automobile storage or parking fees will be an allowable expense when necessary to protect State or private property or for other reasons when advantageous for the State and College. Receipts attached to the Travel Expense Claim (TE) must substantiate claims for storage or parking fees.
Standard Distances Between Travel Points
Allowable in-state mileage is computed according to the latest official State of Idaho highway map or mileage charts. Allowable out-of-state mileage shall be computed according to highway maps, MapQuest, or similar sources.
- The first point of origin on a trip should be the employee’s workstation (Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, etc.).
- The end point of origin on a trip should be the city destination. (Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, Boise etc.)
- Vicinity mileage should be recorded separately (see below).
- Mileage between an employee’s home and workstation is generally considered to be personal and not reimbursable. If an employee begins business travel from home, the reimbursable distance is the lesser of the mileage between their workstation or home and the travel destination.
A standardized roundtrip mileage reimbursementhas been calculated for the following cities:
Lewiston to Boise540 miles
Lewiston to Coeur d’Alene238 miles
Lewiston to Spokane210 miles
Lewiston to Grangeville144 miles
Lewiston to Orofino 84 miles
Lewiston to Moscow 68 miles
Lewiston to Pullman 64 miles
In addition to mileage for travel between localities, reimbursement is authorized for the use of private vehicles for travel in and about a community while in travel status in the conduct of official business. Such mileage should be consolidated and reported as “vicinity travel” on the TE. If total vicinity travel is greater than 20 miles, an explanation of the travel destinations and related business purpose must be submitted with the travel reimbursement request.
- College Owned Vehicles
The use of College vehicles for personal or other non-official business is strictly prohibited. Home to office driving is permissible only when beginning or ending an authorized trip outside of regular business hours.
Individuals who are not on College business, including family members, may not operate or ride in a College vehicle or College rented vehicle unless prior approval has been granted by the appropriate Vice President or President in accordance withPolicy 4.112. Supporting documentation must be attached to the TA.
State and local traffic laws must be observed at all times. Any employee committing an infraction of these laws shall be personally liable for any damage if the employee is acting outside the course and scope of official duty. Employees shall be personally liable for any fines arising from infractions of state and local traffic laws. Only individuals who possess a valid operator’s license may operate College vehicles. Seat belts must be worn at all times and cell phone usage, where permitted by law, is discouraged while operating or riding in College vehicles.
- Air Travel
The cost for commercial air travel shall be limited to the lowest available fare class, such as “coach” or similar classification. Baggage fees charged by commercial airlines are allowable but should not exceed one checked bag and one carry-on bag per departure, unless additional baggage costs are necessary and approved in advance.
Airline tickets can be purchased by using several different forms of payment:
A.Employee payment and reimbursement
C.Direct bill by travel agent
A. Employee Payment
In finding the most economical airfare, an employee may choose to pay for airfare with personal funds and request reimbursement on the TA. By attaching proof of payment and completing blocks 7 and 8 on the TA, reimbursement can be made prior to the date of travel.
B. P-Card Payment
Payment of airline tickets is an allowable P-Card expense. Refer to the Purchasing Card Policy and Procedure Manual.
C. Direct Bill by travel agent
Departments are encouraged to purchase airline tickets directly from the airlines to avoid travel agency charges. When doing so, a TA should be prepared and approved prior to committing college funds.If charging airline tickets on behalf of full-time employees through a travel agent, the traveler or designated departmental personnel must contact the Controller’s Office in advanceand provide the following information:
1. Name of the employee for whom the ticket is being obtained.
2. Intendedtravel destination.
3. Date of travel.
4. Name of the travel agency the department intends to contact.
5. Cost Center (account number) to which the airfare expense is to be charged.
The Controller’s Office will record the date and the name of the employee who provided the above information. Upon proper submission of the above information a Travel Order Number will be released immediately. One Travel Order Number must be obtained for each airline ticket ordered.
The Travel Order Number provides for airline ticket identification and should not be construed as providing travel authorization. Evidence of travel authorization is not required to obtain a Travel Order Number.
Departments are responsible to provide the Travel Order Number to the travel agency when booking a ticket. Charging an airline ticket without a Travel Order Number is prohibited.Airfare at the expense of the College must be in connection with official College business.
Departments will process a TAwithin forty-eight (48) hours of ordering the ticket to support the airfare charge.
Departments will record the Travel Order Number on the TA in the description field beside the wording Airfare; example “Airfare –#123-Global Travel”.
The Controller’s Office will tender payment directly to the travel agency upon receipt of the billing. If a completed TAhas not been received by the time the airline ticket is processed for payment, the Travel Order Number logbook will be used to determine the appropriate Institutional account to charge.
Members of the campus community who are not full-time employees must follow Purchasing Department regulations to acquire airline tickets.
Non-Refundable airline tickets
Airlines are continuously changing their fares and the policies governing those fares. A common way to obtain a deeply discounted ticket is to buy a "non-refundable" ticket. However, most airlines will no longer exchange a non-refundable ticket after the plane has departed. Some airlines will allow for standby on the same day of original departure with a $100-$150 exchange fee.Check with the travel agent or airline websites for exact rules and how the specific airline and fare type work, and coordinate the refundable/non-refundable strategy for the ticket with the authorizing supervisor.
- Most nonrefundable tickets must be used on the ticketed date of travel.
- Many tickets are non-refundable, while others may be subject to a refund penalty, which limit their refundable value. In most cases, the words non-refundable or non-ref are generally printed on the ticket and ticket receipt.
- Certain tickets allow no exchanges/refunds at all. Other tickets may allow exchanges (other than a name change) with a fee. Most airlines charge a $150 fee at the time an unused ticket is exchanged.
- Fully unused non-refundable tickets may be applied as a credit towards the purchase of one new ticket in the passenger's name.
- Travel must commence within 1 year of date of original issue. If the fare for the new journey is lower, any residual amount will be forfeited. Additional fare amount and change fees may apply..
Employees with non-refundable tickets that allow changes normally have a full year from the date their original ticket was issued to reschedule without losing the value of their ticket, provided they cancel their reservations prior to scheduled departure time.The rescheduled trip will need to be approved through the normal routes and reflect the use of a non-refundable ticket in the comments field of the TA.It is up to the department to monitor and make sure any non-refundable tickets are used within the airline time requirements and used toward approved College business.