UACES Facebook Travel Policies for the U of A Cooperative Extension Service

System Management -Travel

C.E.S.P. 6-1: Travel

Revised: 1-1-2016
Supersedes: 4-1-2012

Request to Travel

The following travel policies, which include most of the provisions of the State Travel Regulations, are applicable to all members of the University of Arkansas-Div. of Ag-Cooperative Extension Service (CES) staff, and official guests.

All travel related expenses must be reasonable, necessary, and cost effective for CES.

A Travel Authorization (TRAV-210 or TRAV-229) MUST be on file in Financial Services before a Travel Claim may be submitted for reimbursement.

Prior to traveling, a Travel Authorization should be completed and approved by the required managers.  In those instances where prior approval was not received, a justification signed by the Travel Supervisor explaining why prior approval was not received should be included with the Travel Authorization when submitted.

For details related to specific UACES procedures and processes.

Travel Card – T-Card

Travel Cards (T-Cards) are for business use only!

Travel Cards issued by US Bank are special VISA credit cards. They work similarly to your personal credit cards, except the charges are billed directly to Extension and paid by Financial Services. Extension supports the use of Departmental/Administrative Travel Cards.

Travel Reimbursements

Claims for travel reimbursement will be allowed only for actual expenses incurred within the limits and restrictions of these regulations.  Reimbursements are NOT at per diem.  Except as otherwise noted herein, all claims for travel reimbursement must be made by the traveler, and payment will be approved only upon the basis of personal reimbursement, unless otherwise approved by the Travel Office. 

Travel Administrators & Travel Supervisors

State law restricts the authority for travel authorization to the administrative head of the agency.  Due to the size of our organization, the Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension has been authorized to designate the individuals in charge of each division to act as his agent in performing the duties of the Travel Administrator, which includes approving out of state trip applications and special travel situations.  The Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension has also designated certain other employees to act as Travel Supervisors for the purpose of examination and approval of travel expense documents.

Both travel administrators and travel supervisors should be cognizant of the state travel regulations and our travel policies.

Meals

For the purpose of these regulations, the travel day commences at 6:30 am, and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a full day of travel.  Although the Travel Office does not require meal receipts, your department may still require them to be attached to the Travel Claim.

When traveling by either privately owned automobile or a state owned vehicle, reimbursement for meals and lodging while en route to and from your destination shall be limited to actual expenditures.  Total reimbursement for both travel and room and board shall always be based on the most economical means of travel.

Meals with an Overnight Stay

The maximum full day meal allowance will be the Federal-per-Diem rate.  The Federal-per-Diem rate includes tax and up to 15% tip.  The traveler is only eligible for 75% of the daily allowance for meals on the first and last day of travel.   Tips are allowable on meals not to exceed 15%.  The Federal-per-Diem rates are located by accessing the Federal-per-Diem site.  When travel is overnight, reimbursement of meals enroute and from the employee’s original station will be subject to the following rules:   

    1. Breakfast may be claimed if the employee leaves their official station prior to 6:30 am.
    2. Lunch may be claimed if the employee leaves their official station prior to 11:30 am and when returning to home station if he/she arrives by 12:30 pm.
    3. Dinner may be claimed if the employee leaves their official station prior to 5:00 pm and when returning, they arrive by 6:30 pm. Claims shall not exceed the maximum daily allowance plus applicable sales tax. Reimbursement is to be claimed for actual expenses incurred.   MAXIMUM MUST NOT BE CLAIMED.
    4. Note:  Regardless of time in transit only 75% of the daily allowance may be claimed for meals on the first and last day of travel. 

Meals without an Overnight Stay

Per PMGS 12-1, reimbursement of meals for one day travel without an overnight stay is not allowed.

Guide to Reimbursing Tips

Effective August 1, 2007 the State of Arkansas began allowing reimbursement of tips on meals.   This revised regulation is for meals when traveling and will also include meals that fall under the “Official Function” Policy. Please note that any events that took place prior to August 1 will be reimbursed using the old regulation.

The following guidelines must be adhered to when claiming reimbursement.

Reimbursement for Meals While on Travel Status:

  1. The revised regulation is very specific in that the tip for meals may not exceed 15%.
  2. You are still limited to the Federal Per Diem Rate allowable.  This amount is to include your meals and the tip. For example:  A full day of meals in Dallas, TX is $59.00 plus applicable sales tax.  This will still be the maximum allowable, but now you can legitimately include your tip as part of the expense.
  3. If you are processing a “group” meal on a trip where you are providing itemized meal receipts for the entire group, (this will be mainly functions such 4H oriented trips) you will be limited to a 15% tip.
  4. Although the state does not require meal receipts to be submitted when traveling, (unless group meals) if your department requires receipts you are to adhere to that.
  5. Reimbursement may not be claimed for meals if Extension paid an additional amount for a meal(s) with the registration.  When meals are included as part of the registration (at no additional cost), if any of those meals are eaten, then that meal should not be claimed on the Travel Claim.

Meals Included in Conference Registration

Meal reimbursement requests must be reduced for meals provided as part of the conference registration by deducting the appropriate amount as shown under the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) breakdown (see current M&IE breakdown at http://www.gsa.gov).

Allowances may be made in writing to allow the traveler to claim meal reimbursement if any of the conditions below are met: 

    1. The traveler is unable to consume the meal provided because of medical requirements or religious beliefs;
    2. The traveler purchased substitute meal(s) in order to satisfy their medical requirements or religious beliefs;
    3. The traveler was unable to take part in the provided meal due to the conflict of official business.

Complementary Meals

Meals provided by a common carrier or a complementary meal provided by a hotel/motel does not affect the maximum meal allowance per the Federal Travel Directory.

Meals that fall under the Official Function Policy (Not on Travel Status):

Group meals can be paid through the requisition/PO/invoice process, a personal reimbursement, a CES p-card or a CES t-card.

An itemized meal receipt is always required.  Any gratuity, regardless of description, shall not exceed 15% of the total bill, unless special approval has been granted.  An approved FIN-214 must be submitted with the invoice.  

Lodging
  • Reimbursement for lodging is limited to the single room rate, plus applicable taxes.  If a safe is in the room, the cost of the safe, if applicable, may be included with the hotel amount
  • If more than one person occupies a room, the single room rate must be noted on the receipt.  If the room rate is the same regardless of number of people in room, then this too must be noted.
  • The maximum allowance, (without Special Authorization) will be limited to the Federal-per-Diem rate, depending on the location for the entire trip.
  • No expenses for meals or lodging will be allowed within the city or town of the employee's "Official Station" (unless specifically authorized by the Department).
  • Payment will not be approved for claims made out in the name of a hotel or any claimant other than the traveling Extension employee.

 Special Travel Authorization for Lodging

If an employee has not originally requested a “Special Travel Authorization” for lodging (TRAV-213), and they exceed the Federal-per-Diem Rate, a TRAV-213 form can be sent in at the same time as claiming the expenses.

Transportation

Per PMGS-12-1, when choosing to drive rather than fly, the reimbursement for mileage may not exceed the following: A) Lowest cost airfare for a reasonable schedule booked more than two weeks in advance of travel, B) $8 per day airport parking, C) Roundtrip mileage from home office to nearest airport, and D) $50 for round-trip taxi or shuttle to and from hotel/airport.

Common Carriers

  • Travel by commercial air shall utilize coach class non-refundable accommodations.  Tickets should be purchased at least 14 days in advance when possible.  Airline tickets purchased less than 14 days in advance require justification on the TRAV 210 form as to why the tickets were not purchased at least 14 days in advance.  No business or first class tickets may be purchased, unless an approved exception is on file with Financial Services. The purchase of travel insurance is not allowed unless exception is on file with Financial Services. 
  • When purchasing an airline ticket you have the following options for purchase:
  • T-Card
  • Personal Funds
  • Financial Services staff
  • If using a T-Card, the traveler has the option of purchasing an airline ticket from any airline, travel agency or reputable online booking agency such as Expedia, QualityAgent, Travelocity, etc.
  • If purchasing ticket with personal funds you have the same purchasing options as the T-Card, but you will not receive reimbursement until after you return from the trip.
  • If using Financial Services, your ticket will be purchased from an authorized travel agent.  Please complete a request for airline reservation (TRAV-231) and submit it with your out of state trip application (TRAV-210).
  • Individuals whose travel is supported by federal funds should follow the guidance provided in the Fly America Act, in regards to using American flag carrier airlines.
  • Reimbursement of bag fees is limited to one bag per trip unless documentation is made regarding the necessity of additional bags.
  • The cost of preferred seating should not be selected by travelers unless no other seating is available and must be justified in writing with the reimbursement request.

 Privately Owned Aircraft

  • When a privately owned aircraft is used for travel on University business, the rate of reimbursement will be the rate as established by the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State.  This rate is currently .52 cents per nautical mile.   

Charter Flights

  • When it is necessary for employees to charter a plane, the total cost is reimbursable. If, however, the plane was chartered only for the personal convenience of employees, reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of airfare for a "scheduled" airline flight to the same location.

Private Vehicle

  • If a private vehicle is used, mileage shall be reimbursed and computed using map mileage.  Mileage shall be computed from the traveler’s official station or residence; whichever is less, to the destination.   Reimbursement will be the rate as established by the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State.  This rate is currently .42 cents per mile.
  • There are several tools available for use in determining official miles.  You may use http://www.randmcnally.com/ or http://www.mapquest.com for mapping trips.
  • Extension will reimburse for official miles driven only.  Extension assumes no responsibility for any maintenance, insurance, operational costs, accidents, or fines incurred by the owner of the vehicle while on official business.
  • Individuals driving their own private vehicles on official business are entitled to vicinity mileage reimbursement.  If traveling from Fayetteville to Northwest Regional Airport (XNA) a traveler is entitled to 35 miles each direction, for a total of 70 miles to be reimbursed.  Individuals driving from Little Rock to the Little Rock Airport are allowed 10 miles each direction, for a total of 20 miles to be reimbursed.

 Vehicle Rental

  • When renting vehicles within the State of Arkansas and where available within the United States, the mandatory Enterprise rental car contract must be utilized unless a documented exception is noted. Acceptable exceptions include the type/size of vehicle not available or an Enterprise location or not available at destination for rental. 
  • If renting a vehicle within the State of Arkansas, the administrative t-card, or personal funds may be used.  If renting a vehicle while out of state, then the traveler is to rent vehicle with personal funds and claim reimbursement on Travel Claim upon return of trip or use the t-card, if available.
  • For car rental use within the United States of America, its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico, and Canada, the optional collision Damage Waiver (Loss Damage Waiver) offered by car rental companies should be declined since the Extension’s Business Auto Insurance provides this coverage.  Extension will not reimburse an employee for the cost of CDW or any other optional insurance offered by the car rental company UNLESS the car will be operated in a foreign country. The Enterprise rental car contract also provides insurance coverage; see the car rental section for details. 
  • When renting a vehicle, you should take a copy of the U of A insurance carrier information with you.  Contact UACES Facilities Management office for copy of insurance card.
  • In cases where a traveler travels to a destination where the intended activities require extensive travel, a car may be rented. Trips involving the need for transportation to and from the airport and/or to and from place of lodging do not justify "car rental." It is the responsibility of each department to authorize the mode of transportation most economical before travel occurs. If alternatives such as "taxi" are more economical due to the limited number of miles to be traveled, then that should be authorized.
  • IMPORTANT:  When renting a vehicle, always pay special attention to the “walk around” prior to renting the vehicle, which will identify any dents, etc. that may already be on the vehicle.  If renting an SUV, van, or other large vehicle, make sure you inspect the top of the vehicle prior to renting in order to identify any imperfections.  

 Fuel Card

Fuel cards (gasoline credit cards) are available for use when using either a rental or Extension vehicle.  Fuel cards should NEVER be used in a private vehicle.  Benefits of using the Fuel card is ease of use, no out of pocket expenses, lower gasoline prices, and the Federal excise tax is removed automatically.  If your department does not currently have a Fuel card you may contact the UACES Facilities Management office at (501)671-2275 for further information.

Moving Expenses

For CES procedures related to moving expenses, see CESP 3-27.

Relocation Expense Information

Arkansas Code 19-4-522 (5) (e) allows the payment of employee moving expenses from state funds by institutions of higher education.  Within the fiscal limitations of departmental units, a dean, director, or department head may pay up to 10% of the annual salary in moving expenses for new faculty or professional staff employees.  The Associate Vice-President of Agriculture-Extension may authorize payments greater than this amount.  The terms of agreement for payment of moving expenses should be included in the letter of appointment. 

When agreement has been made to pay moving expenses UACES will pay for the following:

    1. Moving the employees household goods and personal effects, including in-transit or foreign-move storage expenses, and
    2. Travel, including lodging from the former residence to the new residence.  This includes one nights lodging upon arrival at the new home destination.  Subsequent nights of lodging are the responsibility of the employee.

UACES has contracted with a moving company whose use is preferred but not mandatory.  Move scheduling should be done as soon as possible upon acceptance of employment, within one year from start of employment.  If the UACES contracted moving company is not used, three written moving estimates must be secured and justification provided if the firm with the lowest estimate is not selected.

NOTE: The department should enter a requisition directly to the contracted moving company, when possible instead of a personal reimbursement. Receipts are required for all reimbursements.

Travel Agency

Financial Services uses a travel agency to purchase airline tickets.  Employees should submit a preferred itinerary for their trip, along with their completed TRAV-210 (out-of-state trip application) and TRAV-231 (request for airline reservation).  Travel agency fees associated with purchasing the tickets will be charged back to the Unit’s fund and org number.    

Departments should be utilizing the Administrative Travel Card, whenever possible.   When the T-Card is used, you have the option of using any reputable travel agency, airline, or other online booking tool. 

If the traveler uses personal funds, tickets may be purchased from any travel agency or online booking tool.  Reimbursement will be made to the traveler once the trip has been taken.

Miscellaneous Travel Expenses

All miscellaneous expenses incurred in connection with travel reimbursement requests must be clearly identified and explained in detail on the travel expense statement.

Storage, Handling and Transporting Baggage, and Business Articles

Charges incurred in storing, handling, and transporting items used in connection with an employee's official travel and standard charges for handling baggage other than "personal" may be reimbursed. (Maximum one bag per trip unless special permission granted)

Registration Fees

Cost of registration at conventions and meetings is an allowable item of expense when supported by a receipt, canceled check, or organization notice of meetings, which states the amount. When a registration fee payment includes the cost of such items as meals and lodging, the traveler must not claim the same items separately.

Registration fees should be paid on a Purchase Order, p-card or Administrative T-Card.  A copy of the Registration form MUST be submitted to Purchasing before the Purchase Order will be sent to the vendor. 

Parking Fees and Toll Charges

Parking fees and toll charges for private, rental, or Extension vehicles are reimbursable and may be claimed on the Statement of Travel Expense, with appropriate receipts attached.

Taxi Charges

Taxi charges may be claimed on the Statement of Travel Expense.  Receipts are required for tax charges over $25.00.

Expenses of Non-Extension Employees & Official Guests

Unless prior approval is obtained, when a Non-Extension employee, official guest or job applicant travels on behalf of UACES, he/she shall be allowed reimbursement for actual expense up to per diem for meals, lodging, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses when submitted on a Statement of Travel Expense Form (TRAV-207 ). A Travel Authorization for Non-Extension Employees and Guests (TRAV-229) must be approved and be submitted before a claim can be paid.

It is the responsibility of each department to ensure these individuals are not being reimbursed from any other source for their travel expenses.  Federal employees who travel for Extension shall be regarded as a UACES employee and shall be reimbursed as such.  The Statement of Travel Claim should show that this employee is on the payroll of the Federal Government and assigned to Extension.  Alcoholic beverages are NOT allowed.

If your department utilizes the services of volunteer workers who perform duties similar to Extension employees, they are subject to the same rules and regulations governing Extension employees.  Unless specifically related to employment recruitment, or being part of the official party at an Extension event, reimbursement for spouse’s expenses will not be allowable.

The person submitting the TRAV -229 form for Non-Extension Employees, official guests, and Federal Employees cannot be the Non-extension Employee or official guest.

Required Receipts

Receipts are required for the following items when requesting reimbursement

  • Lodging (itemized receipt). A credit card receipt only is not acceptable.
  • Commercial Airfare (include a copy of complete itinerary showing passenger name and a detailed itemized billing of charges.)
  • Train
  • Registration Fee
  • Car Rental
  • Taxi  (when cost exceeds $25)
  • Misc. items purchased while on travel status. (Example: film, ice, hardware, etc. Also detailed explanation of why these misc. items had to be purchased.)
  • Parking
  • Communication expenses
  • Toll charges

 Expenses Not Allowed & Other Restrictions

  1. No reimbursement will be allowed to any traveler for personal entertainment, valet services, tips, flowers, alcoholic beverages, personal telephone calls, traveler's check service charges, laundry or cleaning, printing items, or any other items not considered to be official business expenses, unless approved exception is on file in Financial Services.
  2. No expenses for meals or lodging will be allowed within the city or town of the employee's "Official Station" (unless specifically authorized by the Department)
  3. All claims for travel by employee must be made out by the traveler and payment will be made only to the traveler. One employee may not include in his travel expense statement the expenses of another employee traveling in his company.
  4. Payment will not be approved for claims made out in the name of a hotel or any claimant other than the traveling Extension employee.
  5. No expenses will be allowed for rental of space, entertainment, or other arrangements in connection with banquets held solely for the benefit of employees.
  6. Reimbursement may not be claimed for meals if Extension paid an additional amount for a meal(s) with the registration.  When meals are included as part of the registration (at no additional cost), if any of those meals are eaten, then that meal should not be claimed on the Travel Claim.
  7. In cases where a traveler travels to a destination where the intended activities require extensive travel, a car may be rented. Trips involving the need for transportation to and from the airport and/or to and from place of lodging do not justify "car rental." It is the responsibility of each department to authorize the mode of transportation most economical before travel occurs. If alternatives such as "taxi" are more economical due to the limited number of miles to be traveled, then that should be authorized.

 Foreign Travel

An International Travel Approval Form PMGS 12-4 and Out of State Trip Application- TRAV-210 must be turned into Financial Services before traveler engages in travel.  The form must be signed by the appropriate Unit Head/Department Head.  If traveler encumbers costs prior to approval they risk their claim not being paid.  After completion of the trip, traveler must submit the approved PMGS 12-4, approved TRAV-210, and submit a TRAV-207 with required receipts and documentation to Financial Services for processing.

Meals for foreign travel will be reimbursed at actual expense, not to exceed $50 for a full day of travel, or $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner.  Authorization for reimbursement beyond these limits will be approved only in extenuating circumstances.  When such additional authorization for foreign travel is needed, a “Special Travel Authorization” form should be filed.

Actual expense for lodging on foreign travel may be claimed without special authorization.

**See Division of Agricultural Policy on International Travel PMGS 12-4 for additional information.

Travel Advances

Travel advances are available only for out-of-state travel on official business, where Extension funds are being used. 

Travel Advances are allowed for the following:

  • Anticipated meal costs of the authorized traveler within the limits allowed by State Regulations.
  • Anticipated mileage expense at rate provided by law when an individual is required to use their personal vehicle for official travel at the rate provided by law.
  • Anticipated taxi fares.
  • Travel Advances for employees traveling out-of-state are limited to 50% of allowable estimated reimbursables as defined above.
  • To be eligible for a personal Travel Advance, the advance must be at least $200.00. 
  • Travel Advances for employees on foreign travel status are limited to 75% of allowable reimbursable expense.
  • Travel Advances for ‘group’ trips may be advanced up to 90% of the allowable anticipated reimbursable expense.

Processing the Travel Claim upon Return

In order for an individual to obtain reimbursement of authorized travel expenses, a Travel Claim (TRAV-207 must be completed and submitted for approval. 

Processing of Travel Reimbursements

Reimbursements must be submitted to Financial Services for processing within the following time frames.

  • Reimbursements for In-State Travel – In-state travel reimbursement requests should be received in Financial Services within 90 days after the completion of the month of travel.
  • Reimbursements for Out-of-State Travel – Out-of-state travel reimbursement requests should be received in Financial Services within 90 days after the last day of the out-of-state trip.
  • Travel reimbursement requests for travel in April, May, and June should be submitted prior to July 5th or as directed by the Travel Office for year-end processing.
  • Reimbursement requests received after 90 days will not be processed without approval from the appropriate Travel Administrator.

 Disposition & Processing by Travel Section

  • The signed, approved Travel Claim is to be forwarded to the Travel Office for processing.
  • The Travel Office will examine the Travel Claim for correctness and propriety in accordance with travel regulations. Improper items or excessive amounts will be deleted or amended, as appropriate, by the Travel Office. Travel Claims improperly completed, lacking required receipts, will be returned to the department for corrective action.
  • The Travel Office processes the travel claim for payment.  The claimant should normally receive payment within one to two weeks after submitting the claim to the Travel Office, unless corrective action is needed.

 Procedures for Group Travel                           

See CES Procedures for Processing Group Travel.

Accidents and Insurance Questions

Reports of any travel related accident and any questions regarding insurance coverage should be directed to the UACES Facilities Management office at (501)671-2275.

All accidents must be reported without delay so that claims can be handled as promptly as possible.