Procedure No. 040: Travel

 

Procedure Number: 40 Effective Date: 07/01/97
Title: Travel Procedure Revised: 01/07/06: 07/23/10: 12/1/12
Approval Date: 04/19/06 President’s Signature: on file

STATEMENT:

This procedure summarizes travel-related regulations and State laws as contained in West Virginia Code §12-3-11.  Actual sections of the travel regulations are incorporated by reference and are available for review by request to the University’s Business Office.

PROVISIONS:

I. TRAVEL FORMS:

A.  Approval to travel must be secured in advance.  A “Travel/Vehicle Request” must be completed and approved prior to travel.  Under no circumstances should an employee travel without proper approval.  The Travel/Vehicle Request form can be found on the Business Office webpage.  All travel shall originate from and terminate at the University.  The CFO may approve travel originating from and ending at an employee’s residence if doing so would result in a cost savings to the University.  Any such approval shall be in writing.

B.  A “Travel Settlement Form” must be completed and submitted to the Business Office within 15 calendar days after the last day of travel.  If it is not submitted within 15 days, then you will not be reimbursed.  The Travel Settlement form can be found on the Business Office webpage.

II. PURCHASING CARD (P-CARD) FOR TRAVEL:

A P-card can be obtained by contacting the P-card coordinator at the University and completing required training.  A P-card can be used for University travel. 

III. MASTERCARD TRAVEL CARD:

A United Bank MasterCard travel card is available upon request to all University travelers for approved business and institutional travel only.  Each cardholder is responsible for all items that are charged to their United Bank MasterCard travel card.  To apply for a card, you must request an application form from the Business Office.  You will be subject to a credit review through United Bank and could be denied a card based on that review.

IV. REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL:

A. All reimbursements for travel will be processed by the Business Office within five (5) working days after receiving the properly completed forms and receipts.  If errors exist or information is missing, more time will be required for processing. After processing, an employee will normally receive a reimbursement check within two pay periods.

B. AIR TRANSPORTATION – University travelers may use National Travel Service to book all air transportation.  National Travel may be contacted at 1-800-262-4054.  The employee must mention that they are employed by the State of West Virginia at West Liberty University. Airline tickets may be direct-billed on the MasterCard Corporate travel card only if using National Travel but must be referenced on the traveler’s settlement form as a direct-billed item.  Conversion of airline tickets for personal benefit, such as down-grading tickets or returning unused tickets for cash, credit or personal airline travel, is prohibited.

C. GROUND TRANSPORTATION –A traveler may use a state owned vehicle, privately owned vehicle, a commercial rental vehicle, or rail service for ground transportation when traveling on official business of the institution.  The mileage reimbursement rate is 47 cents per mile for business use of an employee’s personal vehicle.  This rate is reviewed bi-annually by the state and is subject to change.  The availability and use of a state-owned vehicle will be determined by the Maintenance Department upon proper request on a “Travel/Vehicle Request Form”.

1. The operator of a vehicle must possess a valid operator’s license and must have passed the required Driving test.  The operator is personally liable for any fines and/or penalties resulting from citations, charges or warrants attributable to operator negligence.  Such fines and/or penalties are not a reimbursable expense.

2. Where a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly while on business, reimbursement will be based on actual in-transit expenses (mileage, hotel, meals, etc.), not to exceed the lowest available commercial airfare plus local transportation to and from the airport.

3. Roadside assistance services may be reimbursed at actual cost if such services are considered appropriate and reasonable by the University.

4. Reimbursement for commercial rental vehicles will be made at actual cost for the daily rental fee for a mid-sized or smaller vehicle, plus mileage fees and fuel.  Weekly rates may be reimbursed if lower than the daily rate.  A full-sized vehicle may be reimbursed if more than three (3) people are traveling together or for longer vehicles, if a group of five (5) or more is traveling.  Receipts are required for reimbursement.  Travelers should return vehicles with a full tank of fuel to avoid high refueling costs charged by rental agencies.

5. Collision damage waivers for rentals of seven (7) days or less are reimbursable and should be taken unless the rental was made using the state issued MasterCard travel card or Purchasing Card which provides collision damage coverage at no cost for rentals of up to sixty (60) days.  Collision damage waivers for rentals for more than seven (7) days are not reimbursable.

6. Rental vehicles must be reserved through Enterprise Rental.

D. TRANSPORTATION – MISCELLANEOUS

When courtesy transportations are provided by a hotel, motel or other service facility, the traveler is expected to use the service.

V. LODGING

A. Reimbursement shall include actual expenses for overnight lodging, use of a room during daytime and for all applicable taxes and surcharges.  Single room occupancy shall be reimbursed at the least expensive rate provided by the facility.  Where multiple occupancies occur, reimbursement may be claimed fully by one traveler with no claim filed by the other(s), or each may be reimbursed equal percentages of the total.  In cases of multiple occupancies where only one traveler is on University business, the reimbursable rate shall be as for single occupancy or at 80% of actual lodging costs if documentation is not available or is not presented.

B. All out-of-state lodging reservations can be made through National Travel Service.

C. Receipts are required for all lodging reimbursement.  The hotel/motel statement, invoice or folio shall be the official document submitted for reimbursement.

D. Travelers may have lodging charged to their Purchasing Card.  Lodging also may be charged to your personal United Bank MasterCard travel card account.

VI. MEALS

A. Meal expense reimbursement is limited to actual expenses for food service and gratuities up to the maximum daily rate determined by the University.  Excluded are alcoholic beverages and entertainment expenses.  Meal reimbursement is allowed when lodging is listed as “gratis” or “no charge.”  Meal receipts are required to be turned in with the travel settlement.

B. Daily meal allowance for in-state travel is $39 per day, and out-of-state allowance is $50 per day including the tip for the server.  The tip for the server should not exceed 15%.  On the first and last day of travel, meal allotments are regulated by one-day travel rates.  The normal work day used by University travelers shall be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

C.  Meal reimbursement is NOT allowed on single day travel (when there is not an overnight stay) unless the workday begins and/or extends two (2) hours more that the normal work day.  If you leave 2 hours before your normal work day, then you can be reimbursed for breakfast at 20% of the daily rate.  If you return 2 hours after your normal work day, then you can be reimbursed for dinner at 60% of the daily rate.

D. Travelers will not be reimbursed for meals included in registration fees.

VII. REGISTRATION FEES

A. Fees charged for attendance at conferences, meetings, seminars, etc. as well as event-related materials are reimbursable expenses.  Registration fees should be charged to your Purchasing Card.  Advance payment is permitted if required by the sponsor.  Any material a traveler is reimbursed for becomes the property of the University.

B. Receipts are required for reimbursement.  No reimbursement will be allowed for lodging or food that is included in the registration fees.


C. Charges incurred due to failure of the traveler or the traveler’s representative to notify the event sponsor in a timely manner of a change in travel plans will be considered a personal expense to the traveler and will not be reimbursed by the University.

VIII. OTHER EXPENSES

A. Cash advances are not permitted for personal travel or other personal purposes.  Cash advances from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) using the United Bank MasterCard travel card are permissible when travel is for a minimum of two (2) consecutive days on official University business with overnight stays.  The minimum cash advance amount is $100, and the maximum amount per day is $500.  A ticket receipt from the ATM is required for reimbursement of the ATM transaction fee and bank fee, if any.

B. In accordance with West Virginia Code §6B-2-5(2), employees may use bonus points acquired through frequent traveler programs while traveling on official government business, as long as the employee’s participation in the program does not result in an additional cost to the state.

C.  When a traveler is on overnight travel, reimbursement for personal phone calls shall be made at actual cost not to exceed $3 per day.  Business phone calls will be reimbursed at actual cost as listed on the hotel folio.  List these reimbursement expenses under “Other Expenses” on the travel settlement form.

D.  The following expenses are reimbursable under Other Expenses:

Tolls, garage and parking fees, including gratuities.

Baggage handling and gratuities when using public transportation or conveniences (i.e. taxi, limousine, shuttles or airport/rail curbside check-in) or when using a lodging facility that has a bell person.