SECTION CD.8


BUSINESS AND SUPPORT SERVICES
TRAVEL PROCEDURES

Procedure


TRAVEL PROCEDURES


The purpose of the procedure is to ensure travel expenditures are reasonable, customary, and necessary to conduct official college business.  The College provides options for employees who incur business related travel expenses in the performance of their official duties.  An employee may receive a travel stipend, the use of a fleet vehicle, or be reimbursed for economical and practical travel expenses associated with line of duty (service area) or professional development (conferences) travel.

Employees traveling under contracts and grants (federal, state, local, or private) shall be reimbursed for travel expenses and allowances on the same basis as other College employees, except in those instances where the terms of the contract or grant specify travel guidelines and reimbursement rates which are more restrictive than the College reimbursement rates.


SERVICE AREA


As defined by the Texas Legislature the official service area for Navarro College includes all of: Ellis, Navarro. Freestone, Limestone, and Leon counties.  Campuses are located in the cities of Corsicana, Waxahachie, Mexia, Midlothian, and Fairfield.  The service area may differ for government sponsored awards, contracts, and agreements.

Line of duty travel expenses may be paid with a monthly stipend processed through payroll, or, reimbursed through a claim that is processed by the accounts payable department.


TRAVEL STIPENDS


Travel Stipends may be issued to employees who frequently travel within the service area.  The employee should make the request for an appropriate amount to the respective Vice President.  A travel stipend may be issued if warranted at the discretion of the District President.  Those receiving a travel stipend will not be reimbursed for travel expenses under these procedures other than those not covered by the stipend.


LINE OF DUTY AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


A Request for Authorized Absence and Travel Request Form/Online Requisition must be completed for employees who wish to use a fleet vehicle or who will seek reimbursement for travel expenses associated with line of duty or professional development travel.  The form is completed and signed by the employee and sent to the appropriate supervisor for approval prior to the trip date.  Out-of-state travelers should seek approval from the District President at least one month in advance.

  1. Complete a Request for Authorized Absence and Travel Request form/Requisition to notify all interested parties of the associated costs and to seek approval from the Dean/Director/Supervisor to attend a function on behalf of the College.
  2. List all travel dates regardless of the day of the week of the trip. This will include the actual time the employee expects to leave from their duty point or home and the expected time to return back to their duty point or home.
  3. Complete the Remarks/Purpose section and list the City/State and whether the trip is Line of Duty (service area) or Professional Travel (conferences).
  4. Please provide the full account number in the following format XX-0-XXXXX-XXXX-XX (Fund-0-Dept.-Function-Location).
  5. Use the “For Travel Only” section to list all expenses associated with the trip. This section includes College Direct Billed amounts such as credit card transactions for hotel/ airfare and/or purchase orders for registration fees.  This section also includes an Employee Estimate of the Reimbursed amounts which are typically mileage, bridge and road tolls, and meals that the employee will be out of pocket. Please do not leave any parts to this section blank.  If there are no costs associated with the trip please indicate so by marking these fields with zeros.
  6. Attach the trip agenda, a list of co-travelers (if applicable), a MapQuest for mileage estimate (one page), and any other supporting documentation associated with the trip.
  7. Supervisors, Directors, & Deans will check the estimates for reasonableness and for funds availability using the financial data found in Colleague. A budget transfer may be needed and should be generated prior to the request to prevent delays in processing the form.
  8. A purchase order number will be issued by the Business Office and funds will be encumbered in the name of the employee for the amount listed as the Employee Estimate to be reimbursed.
  9. A requisition to the College’s credit card provider should be issued to account for all funds to be expended directly by the College.

REIMBURSEMENT


Complete a Travel Expense Voucher or a Request for Reimbursement of Mileage form upon returning from the trip as soon as possible. The form must be submitted within ten (10) business days upon returning to work but no later than sixty (60) days after incurring the expense. The college will follow IRS Revenue Ruling 2003-106 which states that a travel claim received later than sixty days after incurring the expense the reimbursed amount will be added to the taxable wages section of the W-2. Original receipts must accompany vouchers. The Director of Business Services and Cashiers Office and/or Director of Payroll and Accounts Payable may refuse to process expense vouchers submitted that are incomplete, late, or are missing receipts. A voucher must be received in the Business Office by noon on Wednesday in order to be processed that week.

Rates for reimbursement are as follows:


MILEAGE


If an employee is not already receiving a travel stipend for service area travel, or did not use a fleet vehicle, he/she may seek reimbursement of mileage for use of their personal car on College business.  The rate that will be reimbursed is the Navarro College Board of Trustees approved rate which is currently $0.45 cents per mile. The mileage reimbursement rate is inclusive of all expenses associated with the employee’s use of his or her vehicle.

Calculation of mileage may be based on actual odometer readings or by utilizing MapQuest.  The miles are counted from the point of departure (which could be from campus or from the employee’s home so long as it benefits the College) to the destination and then back to the point of return.

The number of reimbursable miles may not exceed the number of miles of the most cost-effective route between two duty points. In determining the most cost-effective route, the College may consider the route that provides the shortest distance, the quickest drive time or the safest road conditions.  Reasonable mileage for incidental travel such as travel between lodging and meeting location or restaurants is allowable.

Whenever an employee travels out of state in a personal vehicle no meals or lodging will be reimbursed while in route.  Mileage will be reimbursed at the price of an airline (coach) ticket or at the prescribed mileage rate, whichever is less.

Mileage within the city, town or immediate vicinity of one’s duty station is not reimbursable.  The Midlothian and Waxahachie campus are both located in Ellis county and mileage to and from the campuses is not reimbursable.  Exceptions require written pre-authorization in memo format from the District President. A copy of this authorization must accompany the corresponding expense reimbursement request that is approved by the appropriate dean or director.

Any claims for local transportation must be accumulated and submitted at least monthly on the Request for Reimbursement of Mileage form and will include the date, itinerary, purpose and mileage for each individual trip.

Travel expenses incurred between an employee’s home and work location are considered to be a commuting expense and will not be reimbursed.


TRANSPORTATION


Airline tickets and car rentals will be reimbursed at actual cost. Personal expenses such as extra cabin space or insurance are not reimbursable.  To preserve your department’s budget, employees may benefit from making use of state resources.  The State of Texas negotiates contracts with certain transportation vendors. The following link provides a list of approved vendors as well as contact information for State Travel Coordinators for assistance: http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/.


LODGING


For travel to conventions or professional meetings, the lodging rate reimbursed would be that of the convention hotels. For other business-related hotel stays employees may contact the State of Texas staff who negotiates these contracts with certain hotels.  Click the following link http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/ for a list of approved vendors as well as contact information for State Travel Coordinators for assistance.

Governmental lodging rates are found on http://gsa.gov/portal/.  These rates are updated annually and may change each governmental fiscal year beginning in October.

A tax exempt form should be obtained from the purchasing department prior to the trip and presented to the hotel for Texas State sales tax exemption.


MEALS


An employee may be reimbursed for his/her actual meal expense up to the maximum meal reimbursement for that location.  The maximum should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate.

Example#1: lunch receipt is $10.25 / per diem is $11.00 (claim should be for $10.25).

Example#2: lunch receipt is $12.25 / per diem is $11.00 (claim should be for $11.00).

The time of departure and return listed on the Request for Authorized Absence and Travel Request form will be used to calculate meal allowance.  Breakfast will not be paid for employees who depart later than 8:00 a.m.  Lunch will not be paid for employees who depart later than 2:00 p.m.  Dinner will not be paid for employees who depart later/return no sooner than 8:00 p.m.

Reimbursement rates differ depending on whether the travel is in-state or out-of-state.

For routine In-State travel the College will reimburse at the Navarro College Board of Trustees approved rate which is currently $36.00 ($7.00 for breakfast, $11.00 for lunch, and $18.00 for dinner). The College does not reimburse for incidentals (fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, and hotel staff).

Out-of-state meals and lodging rates are found on http://gsa.gov/portal/.  These rates are updated annually and may change each governmental fiscal year beginning in October.

If your trip includes meals that are already paid for (such as through a registration fee for a conference) you will need to deduct those meals from your voucher.

Under no circumstance will reimbursement be made for alcoholic beverages.

It is unallowable for Federal funds to pay for gratuities.

An employee may be reimbursed for non-overnight meal expenses. The function must be located outside of the service area.    Receipts are required in order to claim non-overnight meal reimbursement. The maximum should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate. These reimbursable amounts are considered to be income and are subject to IRS rules regarding taxable fringe benefits.  These payments will be reported as wages on the employee’s W-2 tax form.

An employee may not be reimbursed for a meal expense incurred within the employee’s designated campus unless it is mandatory and connected with training, a seminar, or a conference (Texas Government Code Sections 660.113, and 660.009).  Therefore, the College does not reimburse meals when traveling within the service area.

Using the procurement card to cover the cost of a personal meal is prohibited.

Business meals for the purpose of recruiting and other student related activities may be purchased with a procurement card and must follow the documentation requirements for business meetings outlined in the Business and Support Services, Purchasing and Acquisitions, CE.5 Procurement Card Process.  Names of College participants, their department name, and campus must be included on, or attached to, each receipt.  The purpose of the meeting/activity must be business related and stated on the receipt attached to the travel voucher or credit card reconciliation statement.  According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a business meal must be documented to substantiate the bona fide business purpose of the meal/activity. Student Event meal documentation requirements are the same; names of students and chaperones should be written on receipts

When necessary, employees may be granted an exception and allowed to purchase meals on a procurement card while attending a conference which requires the employee to be gone at least three days.  The employee will need to seek written pre-authorization from the appropriate Vice President before the trip in memo format and the approval will be attached to the Request for Authorized Absence form.  The employee will visit the purchasing department before the trip to obtain a procurement card and receive instructions on using the card.


CONFERENCE FEES


Most conference registration fees are paid in advance to the conference rather than being paid by the individual. However, if the fee is paid by the individual, they cannot be reimbursed until the travel is complete. The conference registration fee should be included in the travel reimbursement claim. Documentation for registration fees includes proof of payment and the conference brochure and/or registration forms that identify the applicable costs. Social/recreational activities associated with a business conference are not reimbursed. If you think a social activity is applicable and should be reimbursed, write a justification and submit it with the claim.  Membership fees are sometimes included in the conference fee but need approval from the District President.


INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES


An adjunct faculty member who commutes to an instruction site that is more than 60 miles one-way from his/her place of residence will be paid a flat rate of $250 per semester for travel in addition to their regular teaching agreement.

Full-time faculty who are teaching overloads and must commute to an instructional site that is other than their main campus assignment will be paid the standard College mileage rate. The faculty member should submit a BPO (Blanket Purchase Order) at the beginning of the semester and then a mileage reimbursement form at least once a month to be reimbursed.

Off-campus faculty who travel to the Corsicana campus are encouraged to car pool when attending events such as In-Service activities, committee meetings, etc. Travel will not be paid when off-campus faculty travel to the Corsicana campus to attend convocations, graduation ceremonies, UIL contests, personal business, etc. All travel for which reimbursement is requested must have prior approval.


TEAM TRAVEL


The Athletic Director must approve all requests for travel other than to games/competition. Out-of-state travel must be approved by the District President.  An approval for coaches to travel is required twenty-four (24) hours prior to travel.  The appropriate college travel authorization forms must be used.

Vouchers for reimbursement must be submitted within ten (10) days upon returning to work. Appropriate receipts must accompany vouchers, and the Director of Business Services and Cashiers Office and/or the Director of Payroll and Accounts Payable may refuse to process expense vouchers that are submitted late, incomplete, or are missing receipts.

All team travel must be budgeted and coaches will make their own travel arrangements.  College buses are issued on a first-come first-serve basis. Therefore, requests for vehicles must be made in advance of the trip.  If all buses have already been scheduled, budgeted Athletic funds may be used to charter private buses.


COLLEGE VEHICLE USE


Navarro College provides College-owned and insured vehicles for use for College-related activities. The College has buses, sport utility vehicles, and other passenger vehicles available for use. Please refer to Section CI.1, Business and Support Services, Transportation Management for procedures on using fleet vehicles.


Approved: April 17, 2015

Date Issued: July 8, 2016

Updated: September 6, 2016

Revised: April 4, 2017; August 13, 2019