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TRAVEL GUIDELINES
Revised 09/2008

PURPOSE:

State regulations related to travel of Texas A&M University System employees and members of the Board of Regents are based on state and system guidelines. All such travel is to be evaluated as to its applicability to the official position of the employee, its necessity, and its benefit to the State.

CONSERVATION OF FUNDS

Requirement of the State of Texas Travel Regulations Act.

A State agency shall minimize the amount of travel expenses paid or reimbursed by the agency. The agency shall ensure that each travel arrangement is the most cost-effective considering all relevant circumstances.

All University Travel reimbursements/payments are issued under the following rules and regulations:

1. State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide
2. Texas State Travel Directory
3. State Travel Management Program
4. State of Texas Electronic Mileage Guide
5. State of Texas Out-of State Meal and Lodging Guide
6. TAMU System Travel Manual and TAMIU University Travel Guidelines

PROCEDURES:

The following guidelines are used to evaluate both travel requests and travel vouchers based on the above information.

TAMIU TRAVEL COORDINATOR - LAURA REA, PURCHASING DEPT

Laura Rea in responsible for distributing all travel information to University employees.

Travel Forms

Please note: An employee must check with their department secretary for internal department procedures regarding the travel forms. The travel forms are available below:

University Employee Travel Request

An employee must complete and obtain approval prior to the date of departure. Failure to do so may lead to the non-reimbursement of expenses.

Prospective Employee Travel Verification

The form is to be filled out and signed by prospective employee. The form outlines details of trip. All receipts are required, with the exception of meals. The form is to be attached to the Travel Voucher and submitted to the Business Office.

Request for Foreign Travel

In addition to the University Employee Travel Request form, the Request for Foreign Travel form must be submitted to the President’s Office at least six weeks prior to travel. The signature of the President is required. When State Appropriated Funds are to be used to pay travel expenses, a second approval is required from the Texas A&M System Chancellor. The State Appropriated Funds accounts begin with a 1. Employees need to check with the department secretary for other internal departmental procedures.

Travel to Washington, D.C.

In addition to the University Employee Travel Request, the individual must submit the Travel to Washington, D.C. form electronically to the Office of State Federal Relations (OSFR).  For fiscal year 2008 and on, only state travelers who intend to confer on legislative or appropriations issues with U.S. Congress/The Federal Government, staff, or officials, should submit travel information to the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations (OSFR).  The department secretary or the traveler can fax the confirmation received from the OSFR office to the following required office listed below.

Dr. Lee Peddicord
Office of the Vice Chancellor for
Academic & Student Affairs
301 Tarrow, 7th Floor
J. B. Connally Bldg.
College Station, TX 77840-7896
Fax:  (979) 458-6044

Contract Travel Vendor Exception Form (Revised 10-20-06)

State Agencies are required to participate in the State Travel Management Program who has awarded contracts for travel agencies, charge card providers, rental car companies, airlines and hotels. The contract must be used and use of non-contract vendors may be allowed under certain conditions. Refer to the Contract Travel Vender Exemptions Form.

State of Texas Travel Voucher (Revised 01/09)

The voucher must be completed immediately after the travel is completed. The travel voucher must be typed. Original signatures are required on vouchers. No exceptions. The voucher must be signed by the claimant and the employee’s supervisor. An acronym can be used on the details section of the travel voucher if they have been previously defined. Corrections should be clear & initialed by the traveler. Do not use liquid paper to make corrections. (Sample Travel Voucher - Revised 10-23-06)

Coordination of Travel Infeasibility

The form must be used if coordination of travel has been recommended, but due to official business reasons cannot be accompanied.

Justification of Mileage vs Airfare on Out-of-State

The form provides a comparison between the actual mileage incurred to the airfare quote plus other related expenses such as rental car, gasoline, parking, and taxi fares that might be incurred when flying. A justification for claiming mileage reimbursement is needed when claiming Out-of-State mileage. A comparison should be made in determining the most cost-effective method of transportation.  Please attach airfare quote to form.

Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate

For In-State Use only. The certificate is to be used for business only and not for private purposes, under penalty of law. Religious, charitable or educational organization or employee are exempt from State taxes only. It is the responsibility of the State employee to identify himself/herself as a state employee when required. If a state employee fails to obtain the tax exemption, taxes will not be reimbursed to him/her.

Required Receipts

In order to receive reimbursement for travel expenses incurred on a business trip on behalf of Texas A&M International University, the following required receipts must be submitted at all times:

1. Lodging- Contracted Rates Available
Receipt should be under the University employee's name at all times. Reimbursement will be at the Single rate. Contracted hotel rates should be used when possible unless an allowable exception exists. The name and address of the of the commercial lodging establishment, the name of the employee, the single room rate, and a daily itemization of the lodging charges must be included on a lodging receipt. Reservations for lodging over the Internet are discouraged since lodging receipts do not comply with all state receipt requirements.

2. Airfare
An itinerary/passenger receipt or e-ticket is required for reimbursement purposes. The receipt must contain the following:  name of the employee, name of the airline, ticket number, invoice number, class of transportation, fare basis code, travel dates, amount of the airfare, and the origin and destination of each flight.

TAMIU airfare reservations can be made through National Travel Systems (NTS) or Corporate Travel Planners (CTP).

National Travel Systems (NTS) has been contracted by the State Travel Management Program of the Texas Building and Procurement Commission.  If the University employee is a frequent flyer, an Individual Traveler Profile must be submitted to NTS.  If the employee is a non-frequent flyer, an individual travel profile is not required.  Reservations can be made by calling 1-877-717-7768.  The University code of 761 must be given to the travel agent when making reservations.  A one time service fee of $12.75 is assessed for phone reservations which includes rental cars and hotel reservations.  If reservations are made online, a $14.75 service fee will be assessed.  These fees are in effect through December 31, 2008.

For other fees and provisions of the National Travel Systems:

http://www.tbpc.state.tx.us/travel/travagen/html

To access the Individual Profile form:

http://www.nationaltravelsystems.com/state/intro2.htm

Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) is a travel agent and a HUB vendor that can be utilized by TAMIU employees.  CTP is able to provide the same services as NTS.  Individual Travel profiles can also be setup for frequent travelers.  For more information contact Laura Rea at the Purchasing Dept or visit their website at:  http://www.ctpi.org.

Corporate Travel Planners, Inc.
7550 IH 10 West, Suite 1300
San Antonio, TX 78229
1-800-523-9036
or (210) 293-8604
Mmartinez@ctpi.org

3. Rental car- Contracted Rates Available
It is the responsibility of the State employee to verify that contracted rates are provided. Contracts include Collision/Damage Waiver also known as the Loss/Damage Waiver and the Liability Insurance. The Collision Damage Waiver covers all damage to the rental car if it was rented under the state contract. The Liability Insurance covers persons and property outside the rental vehicle. The amount of the primary liability insurance is $100,000 per person, $300,000 per incident, $50,000 for property, for a total of $350,000 per accident. The rental car contracts do not cover persons and property inside the rental vehicle. State employees, while in the course and scope of their employment, are covered by Worker’s Compensation. All other insurances are the traveler’s personal expenses. Rental car contracts are contracted for calendar year, and do not coincide with state’s fiscal year.

5. Transportation - Receipts must be itemized on the travel voucher stating the following information: date, Point-to-point destination, and amount. Transportation includes taxi, shuttle, bus, train, etc

6. Parking
If there are no receipts available, a memo signed by the traveler stating the amount and the name where he incurred the expense will be accepted.

IN-STATE TRAVEL

Meal reimbursements- Receipts not required

For FY 2009- Reimbursement of meals is based on actual expenses not to exceed $ 36.00 per day. A carryover from one day to the next is not permitted. For example: If a state employee incurs expenses of $ 38.00 on day 1 of a trip and $ 18.00 on day 2 of the trip, only $54.00 of those expenses are reimbursable.

Please note: Meals will only be reimbursed if the employee stays overnight.

Lodging Reimbursement- Receipts required

For FY 2009 - Reimbursement of lodging expenses for In-State is based on actual expenses not to exceed $85.00 per day.

Please Note: Taxes are not considered part of the lodging amount, but are considered incidental expenses. For In-State travel, city, county, and municipal taxes are the only reimbursable taxes. It is the responsibility of the traveler to present the Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate. Reimbursement of Lodging taxes will be based on the lodging amount being reimbursed.

OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL

Note: The Out-of-State meals and lodging rates are available on the State Government website at:

http://www.window.state.tx.us/fm/travel/out_of_state/mealrates.htm

Meal Reimbursements - Receipts not required

For FY 2009 - Reimbursement of meals is based on actual expenses not to exceed the federal Out-Of-State Lodging and Median Meal rates set by the Comptroller of Public Accounts. A State employee must incur the expense before he/she can claim it.

Please Note: Meals will only be reimbursed if the employee stays overnight.

Lodging Reimbursements - Receipts required

For FY 2009 - Reimbursements of lodging expenses is based on actual expenses not to exceed the federal Out-of-State Lodging and Median Meal rates set by the Comptroller of Public Accounts.

FOREIGN TRAVEL

***SPECIAL NOTE: Request for Foreign Travel Form must be filled out six weeks in advance.***

The form is to be filled out in addition to the University Employee Travel Request form. The President of the University will finalize approval when local funds are used to reimburse travel expenses. If State appropriated Funds are to be used, then the Request for Foreign Travel form must also be sent to the TAMU’S Board of Regents for approval. (Note: Appropriated fund accounts in FAMIS start with a #1)

Meal Reimbursement - Receipts not required. Reimbursement is based on actual expenses.

Lodging reimbursement - Receipts required. Reimbursement is based on actual expenses.

**Foreign currency exchange rate used for conversion to U.S. dollars must be noted on travel voucher.**

MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT

For FY 2009- Effective January 1, 2009 the rate is 55 cents per mile.

For in-state mileage: Use the State of Texas Electronic mileage guide. Any other local mileage needs to be documented on a point-to-point basis.

For Out-of-State mileage: The Justification of Mileage vs Airfare for Out-of-State Travel form is required for mileage reimbursement. Estimated cost of airfare, mileage to airport, and parking expenses must be listed for justification of savings to the University and the State.

Incidental Expenses

A. Reimbursable expenses (Receipts required)

  1. Hotel occupancy or similar taxes for which a state employee is entitled to be reimbursed.
  2. Business related telephone calls and/or internet service.
  3. Gasoline charged when rented or state-owned or leased motor vehicle are used.
  4. Toll charges if reimbursable under Section 4.10.
  5. Copying charges.
  6. Repair charges when a state-owned or motor vehicle is used.
  7. Freight charges for state equipment or materials.
  8. The cost of money orders.
  9. Foreign Travel: passport or visa charges, airport boarding passes, departure taxes, and inoculations.
  10. Postage.
  11. Mandatory charges or mandatory service charges:
    • by a commercial lodging establishment other than the room rate and additional persons charges; or
    • paid or imposed in connection with a meal; or
    • for loading and unloading state equipment.
    • by commercial airline for checked baggage.
  12. Books or documents purchased for and while attending a seminar or conference.
  13. Facsimile charges.
  14. Parking fees.
  15. Service charges validly imposed by a travel agency or an internet reservation booking service.
  16. Preparation of the remains and personal property of a deceased state employee.
  17. Notary fees.
  18. Charges to exchange U.S. currency for foreign currency and vice versa.

B. Non-Reimbursable Expenses

1. Any expenses that are not related to official state business.
2. Any expense, with the exception of parking and toll expenses, that is related to the operation of a personally owned or leased motor vehicle.
3. Tips or gratuities.
4. Excess baggage charges for personal belongings.
5. Personal expenses, such as the rental or purchase of a video tape for personal entertainment, alcoholic beverages, dry cleaning, or laundry.
6. Kennel expenses for a pet.
7. Sales and use taxes if applicable law provides an exemption from those taxes and the state employee or legislator either fails to claim the exemption or does not follow the required procedures for claiming it.

4-Per Car Rule-Coordination of Travel

When two or more employees are traveling with the same itinerary on the same dates, they are required to coordinate their travel and ride together. Mileage can only be claimed for one car for every four people attending a conference. Should schedules, classes, etc. prevent employees from traveling together, a reason must be noted on the travel voucher.

Justification of Traveler

When more than one employee employed by the same state agency travel on the same dates with the same itinerary to conduct the same official state business, justification of travelers must be stated on the Travel voucher. An Example of such justification is : Co-presenter of paper or Concurrent sessions are held which require two employees to attend in order to attend all sessions.

Prepaid expenses

There are two travel expenses that can be paid in advance to reduce expenses to the state employee.   These expenses are registration fees and airfare expenses.
 

Registration fees can be prepaid by submitting an "R" requisition with the registration form to the Business Office or by charging registration fees to the Division's Procurement Card.  

A "L" requisition can be used to pay certain qualified airfare expenses.  The expenses can be charged to the corresponding JP Morgan Chase Bank CBA Division account (Travel Card).  An "L" requisition must be completed in FAMIS stating the traveler's name as the vendor and Texas A&M International University as the reimburse I.D. The "NOTES" section of the requisition should provide details of the upcoming trip such as:  travel dates, destination, and purpose of the trip. 

The "L" requisition must have a copy of the University Employee Travel Request and the passenger receipt or E-ticket should be routed to the Business Office for payment.  For a listing of prepaid qualified airfare expenses, see section of "JP Morgan Chase Bank Central Billing Accounts".

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK CENTRAL BILLING ACCOUNTS -Referred as CBA Accounts-

TAMIU has several JP Morgan Chase Bank CBA accounts assigned to the different Colleges of the University. These accounts have been setup strictly to handle airfare charges and can be used in the following instances.

1. Airfare for prospective employees.

2. State employees who did not qualify to receive an individual credit card issued by the University to handle their travel expenses and charging the airfare to the University’s CBA account is the method of guaranteeing the contracted rate.

3. Airfare must be purchased in advance in order to qualify for a discounted airfare rate and by charging the airline ticket to the division account will prevent the employee from being billed to his credit card.

**Use of the JP Morgan Chase Bank Central Billing Account must be authorized by the College Dean**

APPLICATIONS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL JP MORGAN CHASE BANK TRAVEL CREDIT CARD CAN BE OBTAINED AT THE PURCHASING DEPARTMENT WITH LAURA GAMEZ.

TRAVEL CODES SUMMARY

Description of
Travel Expense

In-State
Code

Out-of-State  Code
Public trans-rental car only
3010
3110
Public Trans-Airfare, taxi, other
3011
3111
Mileage rate not to exceed maximum
3016
3116
Actual expenses-Overnight travel
3020
3120
Incidental Expenses
3025
3125
Meals and lodging not to exceed State allowances
3030
3130
Prospective Employee Expenses-All Expenses
3210
Foreign Travel-All expenses
3310
Student travel Expenses
3410

Description of
Other Expenses

In-State
Code

Out-of-State
Code
Registration fees
5215
5215

This guide provides general travel information. For more information contact Marta Laura Medina (ext. 2817) or Sara Vallarta (ext. 2149).

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Office of the University Comptroller
Phone: (956)326-2378, Fax:(956)326-2159
5201 University Boulevard KL 162
Laredo, Texas 78041-1900

5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100