CG. Travel Policies and Procedures

PURPOSE

The purpose of this travel policy is to inform all campuses and individuals of the procedures for any and all travel associated with their assigned duties at South Plains College.

APPROVAL

All travel requests and reimbursement forms must be signed by a Vice President. This is in addition to the dean, director or supervisors approval.

GENERAL PROCEDURES

Travel Request

The purpose of the Travel Request Form (ATTACHMENT 1) is:

1. Seek approval for travel in advance.
2. Initiate arrangements for coverage of classes/duties during absence.
3. Scheduling of college vehicles.
4. Verify that students are absent from classes while representing the college.
5. Provide information regarding itinerary and place of stay in case of emergencies.
6. Prepare cash advance when travel involves students.

Travel Request Forms should be submitted a minimum of seven (7) days prior to departure. Groups traveling with students in college vehicles are encouraged to submit travel requests 30 to 60 days prior to departure if possible so vehicle reservation is assured.

If travel involves students, a duplicate copy of request should be submitted to Dean of Student's office. Notice of absence from class will be issued to the sponsor of the trip for each student listed.

Division Heads will send duplicate copies to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Vice President for Student Affairs, Provost as appropriate. These duplicates must be in the Vice President's/Provost's hands before date of travel.

The Director of the Physical Plant must have a copy of a Travel Request Form signed by a Division Dean or Vice President to release a vehicle.

 

Payment of Registration Fees.

Registration fees can be processed 90 days in advance, or earlier if payment discount applies. A requisition should be entered into the DPS system and the original registration form forwarded to the purchasing office for payment processing.

Travel by rented or public conveyance

Air

Airline reservations can be made through an approved travel agency 90 days in advance. This requires a requisition to be entered into the DPS system and the purchase order number called to the travel agency within 24hours. If an employee should prefer to pay for their own airline reservations, they can be reimbursed this cost after the travel has occurred. The college will reimburse an employee for the actual cost of commercial airfare. The amount of reimbursement shall not exceed the lowest available airfare, considering all relevant circumstances.

Rented Vehicles

The college will reimburse an employee for the actual cost of renting a motor vehicle. Reimbursement costs include, applicable taxes, and similar mandatory charges. Charges for collision damage waiver charges, liability insurance supplements, personal accident insurance, safe trip insurance and personal effects insurance are not reimbursable. The college carries this type of insurance.

Travel by Mass Transit, Taxi or Limousine

The college will reimburse an employee for the actual cost of transportation by these modes of travel. The fares must be itemized on the voucher and receipts attached.

Travel by College Vehicles

Request for College Vehicles

Vehicles are reserved for college employees by use of the Travel Request Form as described earlier. In emergencies vehicles may be reserved by calling the Director of Physical Plant. Note that to insure getting a vehicle, requests should be made well in advance.

Expenses

When using a college vehicle, credit cards are issued for fuel, oil, etc. These credit cards are the property of the college and may be used only for the operation of a college vehicle.

Parking expenses shall be itemized on the travel voucher for reimbursement and receipts attached

Travel by Personal Vehicle

The college will reimburse an employee for the mileage incurred during his use of a personally owned vehicle. With the exception of parking expenses, a mileage reimbursement is inclusive of all expenses associated with the operation of the vehicle. The state mileage guide can be found at www.window.state.tx.us/comptrol/texastra.html. The college will set the mileage reimbursement rate.

Rules for personal auto mileage reimbursement can be found in Attachment #2.

Mileage reimbursements for travel that occurs on a regular basis should be submitted at the end of each month on the Mileage Reimbursement Form, (Attachment #3).

Coordination of Travel

Coordination of travel should occur when two to four college employees are traveling to the same destination, at the same time, in a personally owned vehicle. In such instances, the college will reimburse only one of the employees for mileage.

Lodging

South Plains College will reimburse an employee who travels with overnight stays for lodging expenses not to exceed authorized travel reimbursement amounts set by the State Comptroller. These limits can be found at www.window.state.tx.us/comptrol/texastra.html.

If lodging is arranged through the seminar provider, SPC will pay the agreed upon rate per night per person. If there is no prearranged lodging, SPC will pay the limit set by the state of Texas.

When two or more employees’ share lodging, the college will reimburse each employee for his share of the actual lodging expense. Each employee must submit a travel voucher.

When necessary an employee may reduce his meal expenses/reimbursement rate and use that reduction to increase his lodging expense reimbursement rate.

Most hotels will exempt college employees state sales tax provided a tax exemption certificate is provided. Billfold size tax-exempt certificates are available in the Purchasing Department. All efforts must be made to make sure SPC is not charged sales tax. It is the responsibility of the employee to contact the hotel if tax is charged and provide them the necessary documentation to remove the charge.

Meal Per Diem

South Plains College will reimburse an employee for meal expenses, not to exceed thirty dollars ($30) per day. Qualifications are:

If departure from the city limits or airport is before 8:00 am or return is after 8:00 pm you may claim 20% of the daily meal allowance for breakfast, or $6.00.  If departure from the city limits or aiport is before noon or return is after 1:00 pm, you may claim 30% of the daily meal allowance for lunch or $9.00.  For out of state meals, use 30% of the allowed expense.  If departure from the city limits or aiport is before 5:00 pm or return is after 7:00 pm you may claim 50% of the daily meal allowance or $15.00.  For out of state meals, use 50% of the allowed expense.

Meals should be paid by the employee and reimbursed upon return.  Meals may not be put on a SPC travel credit card.  Reimbursement limits do not carry over from one day to another.

Employees may also be reimbursed for meals incurred during travel on college business that does not require an overnight stay.  The per diem rate per meal may be used ($6 for breakfast, $9 for lunch, $15 for dinner) in lieu of receipts for actual meal expenses incurred.  Otherwise, actual meal receipts must be furnished in order for reimbursement to be made to the employee.

The college is aware that, in extraordinary circumstances, actual daily meal expense incurred by the employee may exceed the maximum daily allowable expense as previously set forth.  Should that situation arise, meal receipts must be furnished and reimbursement approved by both the appropriate department head/director and the appropriate vice president.  In addition, those reimbursements may be subject to review by executive administration.

All employees must submit a Travel Expense Form to claim reimbursement for meal expense.  Employees may elect per diem reimbursement in lieu of submitting actual meal expense receipts.

 

Parking

The college will reimburse an employee for parking expenses incurred when traveling in a personally owned or rented vehicle. The parking expenses must be itemized and receipts attached.

PAYMENT METHODS

1. Travel Card

South Plains College provides travel credit cards for use during job related travel. These cards are to be used for hotel, car rental, parking and other miscellaneous expenses incurred during your time away from the college.

If use of the college travel card is requested, a purchase requisition must be entered into the DPS system and approved before the credit card will be checked out to the user. These cards are held by the Director of Purchasing and can be checked out from the Purchasing office. The cards cannot be picked up by student workers, but can be picked up by department secretaries or the actual card user. See Attachment #4 for travel card rules.

After return to work, a Credit Card Report form (Attachment #5) must be completed and signed by appropriate supervisors and vice president. This form along with receipts for all charges to the credit card will be submitted to the Purchasing Office.

 

2. Travel Advances

The college does not pay anticipated travel expenses in advance except when accompanying student groups. The advance will be for the anticipated cost of faculty/student meals only.

3. Travel Reimbursements (Personal Funds)

If an employee chooses to use personal funds while traveling on college business, they will be reimbursed their expenses after travel has occurred.

A travel reimbursement form must be completed for personal expenses. These forms must be approved as stated in this policy and forwarded with supporting documentation to the Business Office.

VOUCHER REQUIREMENTS:

Complete documentation must accompany all vouchers. This includes airline ticket receipts, receipts for actual expenses incurred for meals, lodging, and other necessary expenses. All forms must include reason for travel, the dates, times and places traveled and supporting documentation.

All signatures must be obtained before submission of the forms to the Business or Purchasing offices. Incomplete forms will be returned to the employee.

TRAVEL INVOLVING STUDENT GROUPS

Student Groups

The college will reimburse student groups and their sponsors for travel when representing the college (such as judging teams, athletic teams, cheerleaders, music groups, etc.), provided specific budgetary funds have been approved.

Voucher Requirements

Receipts for actual expenses incurred for meals, lodging, and other necessary expenses must be attached to the Travel Voucher.

MISCELLANEOUS SITUATIONS

Prospective Employees

The college will reimburse prospective employees for travel expenses related to employment interviews. Travel expenses will be paid at the same rate as for college employees. Note that travel expenses will not be reimbursed for prospective employees who are offered employment, but do not accept.

 

Incidental Expenses

The following is a partial list of reimbursable and nonreimbursable incidental expenses:

1. Reimbursable Expense - (The following expenses are reimbursable if they are incurred for official college business reasons.)

a. Hotel occupancy and similar taxes that a college employee is not exempt from paying.
b. Telephone calls.
c. Gasoline and toll charges when rented vehicles are used.
d. Repair charges when college owned vehicles are used. NOTE - If charges are substantial, approval must be received from the Director of Physical Plant and/or Division Dean.
e. Copying charges.
f. Admittance fees to events related to purpose of travel.
g. Postage.
h. Emergency medical or health costs incurred on students while traveling.
i. Tips and gratitudes.

2. Non-Reimbursable Expenses

a. Expenses that do not relate to official college business.
b. Any expenses, with the exception of parking expenses that are related to the operation of a personally owned vehicle.
c. Personal expenses such as the rental or purchase of videotapes for personal entertainment, alcoholic beverages, and dry cleaning.

 


Press | Facebook | iTuneU | Listen Live to Texan Radio | MySPC | Blackboard | Contact Us