Travel

Travel

POLICY OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF PEARL RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE 
Tuesday, February 13, 1979 
Revised 5 Thursday, June 14, 2022 
Personnel

Employees of the College will be reimbursed for approved expenses related to job responsibilities.

Employees of Pearl River Community College shall be reimbursed for approved expenses related to job responsibilities where budget funds are available. An employee traveling on official college business is expected to exercise the same care incurring expenses as would a prudent person traveling for personal reasons. Travel for college business should be conducted at a minimum cost for achieving the success of the purpose of the travel.

Procedure

One Week Prior to Travel:

The employee will fill out the Travel Authorization Form at least one week prior to the event.

The Travel Authorization Form is to be signed by the department chair, the appropriate administrator, and the appropriate Vice President:

• Complete the Travel Authorization Form with a breakdown of all estimated travel expenses and designate if any travel advances are requested. Travel advances may be obtained for out-of-state travel. State law prohibits receiving an advance for in-state travel with the exception of officially approved travel involving student groups and organizations.

• Travel related to conferences require a copy of the conference agenda to be attached to the Travel Authorization Form.

After Travel is Complete:

After the event, the employee is to fill out a voucher for reimbursement of expenses and attach copies of bills, receipts, stubs, etc. This is to be signed by the department chair and the appropriate administrator.

• Complete a Travel Voucher Form for reimbursement upon returning that includes all travel expenses incurred including any advanced funds, prior trip expenses, or expenses paid for with the institutional credit card. Secure receipts of all expenditures such as meals, motel rooms, gasoline, airfare, or other expenses. No receipts are necessary for meals except in high-cost areas. Secure travel authorization and any required supporting documentation (agenda, proof of insurance, quotes, etc.) to the travel voucher.

Reimbursements will be processed by the Business Services Office weekly.

Travel Advances

Travel advances must be a minimum of $100.00 and are only allowable for out-of-state travel or in-state travel that includes students. Travelers are not eligible for an advance once travel status has begun. Advances must be issued prior to the trip.

Travelers may not have more than two outstanding travel advances at one time.

A Travel

Voucher Form to resolve the advance funds must be submitted within 10 working days after the end of the month in which travel was completed or the employee’s paycheck will be held until the debt to the state is resolved.

Transportation

A College Vehicle or Rental Car Must Be Requested First.

Transportation options for the employee will include either a college vehicle or a rental car supplied by the College in accordance with U. S. General Services Administration (GSA) website.

If for reasons beyond control neither option is available and proof of such request is provided (attached to Travel Authorization Form), the employee will be allowed to use his/her personal vehicle at a reimbursement rate of $0.58 per mile. If the employee chooses to use his/her own vehicle and a College vehicle or a rental is available the employee will be reimbursed at a rate of $0.18 per mile. However, if deemed fiscally responsible and authorized by an administrator, an employee can receive a reimbursement rate of $0.58 when using a personal vehicle. Proof that the employee had insurance on the personal vehicle that was used has to be attached to the travel voucher before funds can be paid.

When travel is by private vehicle, the total travel expenses reimbursed, including meal and lodging costs incurred as a result of driving instead of flying, shall not exceed the cost of the lowest unrestricted air fare, unless a complete written justification signed by the employee’s supervisor determines that it is in the best interest of the agency that the employee drive, or that, on comparison of “total driving” and “total flying” expenses, it is less expensive to drive than to fly. If the employee chooses to drive and expenses exceed the cost of the lowest unrestricted air fare, reimbursement will be limited to cost of flying. To determine reimbursable driving expenses the “total cost of driving” must be compared with the “total cost of flying”.

Maximum Daily Meal Allowance

The current maximum daily allowances* are as follows:

   Breakfast Lunch Dinner Daily

Allowance

In-state $6.00 $10.00 $18.00 $34.00

Out-of-state except high cost $8.00 $12.00 $20.00 $40.00 Out-of-state high cost $56.00 High Cost Area Meal Allowance High cost meal reimbursements will be made based upon actual meal receipts submitted by the employee not to exceed the allowance for the day for high-cost area.

High-cost areas are those

cities designated in the Federal Register.

https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates

Receipts

The college will not require receipts for reimbursement of meal expenses, except for Out-ofState High-Cost area, while in an official travel status.

With the elimination of the receipt

requirement, the College will only reimburse 50% of the daily meal allowance on the days of departure and return. The College will only reimburse up to the maximum dollars per day, not per meal or time period. (Meals for day trips are not reimbursable.) Meal Tips Meal tips should be included in the actual cost of the meal unless the inclusion of the tips causes the meals to exceed the maximum daily meal reimbursement. If the daily meal limitations would be exceeded, then the tips can be separated and recorded as other expenses.

All tips reported in this manner should be totaled for the day and not exceed 20% of the maximum daily meal reimbursement or the actual meal expense, whichever is less.

Conference or Banquet Meals

If conference registration fees include certain meals, do not claim the covered meals as an item of expense on the travel voucher.

Prior to Travel Expenses (PTE)

Employees can be reimbursed for public carrier tickets, deposits required by hotels, and conference registrations not paid directly by the college. PTE can be paid any time prior to the trip. Request for PTE reimbursements should be submitted to the Business Services Office on the Voucher for Reimbursement, along with a copy of the employee’s approved Travel Authorization Form.

• Public Carrier – a copy of the itinerary and receipt must be attached • Hotel Deposits – a copy of the hotel confirmation and policy requiring a deposit must be attached • Conference Registrations – a copy of the conference registration showing proof of payment must be included When an employee receives a PTE reimbursement for a trip that is subsequently cancelled the employee must immediately notify his/her supervisor and the Business Services Office. If the trip was cancelled for personal reasons by the employee, the PTE reimbursement must be repaid to the College. If the trip was altered by the employee for personal reasons that increase the travel expenses, the employee will be responsible for those increases.

Public Carrier (Air Fare)

A cost comparison documenting the most economical fare is required. A minimum of two quotes for public carrier (air fare) must be submitted along with the employee’s request for reimbursement. Commercial airlines shall be booked at the lowest and best rate.

Taxable Meals

Taxable meals are meal expenses that occur during official travel where overnight stay is not required. State law requires that taxable meals be included in employee earnings and are subject to federal income tax withholding social security, and Medicare taxes. Therefore, taxable meals will not be reimbursed.

Lodging

For in-state travel, employees may request a check by providing confirmation and reservation documentation with the travel authorization, or be reimbursed upon return.

Institutional credit

cards will only be used to reserve or pay for hotel rooms for out-of-state travel or in-state travel that includes students. The institution will not cover any hotel incidental costs; this may require the employee to provide the hotel with a personal credit card. If an employee stays with a relative or friend, he/she should make a footnote on their travel reimbursement voucher by explaining why there is no hotel/motel receipt.

Group Meals

College employees may be reimbursed for the cost of group meals while carrying out employment duties. A group meal is defined as a meal for one or more College employees and one or more individuals that are not employees of the College (Examples include business/industry professionals, individuals representing college partnerships, etc.). The request for reimbursement for group meals should include an itemized receipt for the cost of the meals. The memorandum should indicate the names of the persons in attendance, the nature of the meeting and a sign-in sheet for all attendees. The average cost should not exceed

$25.00 per person including taxes and tips. A Meals and Entertainment Form should be completed and approved by the appropriate Vice President prior to the expenditure. Meals that exceed the $25.00 per person limit must be approved by the President.

Group Meals (Faculty/Staff Only)

A business meeting involving only faculty and staff of Pearl River Community College may include a meal if the expense is in lieu of a break, is approved by the Vice President of that department prior to the meeting and does not exceed daily maximum in-state meal allowance per person for the meal that is being provided. Meals must be a necessity of carrying out the business of college and cannot be for employee appreciate/celebration. An appreciation meal is a personal expense. A Meals and Entertainment Form should be completed and approved by the appropriate Vice President prior to the expenditure.

Meals Involving Student Travel

All student events involving travel, whether for a sporting event, competition, conference, or field trip, are permitted to receive meals following the institutional policy for the times of travel. The maximum per-meal allowance for students is $8.00.

If an employee of the College receives advanced funds to be given to students for meals, the following documentation must be submitted by the employee with their voucher for

reimbursement:

• Student Name

• Date of Event

• Amount Received

• Student’s original signature acknowledging receipt of funds For meals not involving travel that are hosted on campus:

• First option – Request the Peal River Community College contracted food services provider to furnish the meals, in house or to-go meals.

• Second option – If contracted food services cannot accommodate the meals then meal funds can be advanced for the occasion. An approved travel advance must be completed and documentation showing contracted food services was given first right of refusal must be included.

• Third option – Meals may be catered externally but must not exceed the maximum permeal allowance for students.

If a credit card or check is used to pay for those meals it should include a listing of the students attending the function.

Other Travel Costs

Any expenses $10.00 or less do not require a receipt for reimbursement. If multiple $10.00 expenses are claimed on one reimbursement, an explanation of expenses is required.

• Parking – Airport, hotel, lot, valet, etc. In excess of $10.00, itemized receipt required.

• Tolls – In excess of $10.00, itemized receipt required.

• Tips – Maid tips, reimbursable up to $5.00/night. Baggage handling tips

– $1.00/bag/leg

of trip

• Airline baggage fees – Baggage ticket or airline printout required.

• Registration – Receipt required. In-state conference registration that requires its fees to be paid in advance can be invoiced or paid by institutional credit card, if invoicing is not an available payment method.

Missing Documents

• For any missing documents or receipts employees will be required to complete a notarized Missing Document Affidavit and submit with the reimbursement voucher.

*Dollar amounts for meals, mileage, etc. are subject to change in accordance with federal guidelines.