Travel Information

Official Business Travel – General Rules

The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Travel Policy has been developed in accordance with Oklahoma Statutes.  Office of Management and Enterprise Services website Statewide Accounting Manual 50.30 Travel Vouchers – Pages 181 – 260. Employees on official travel for the state may be reimbursed for authorized and approved travel expenses essential to the transaction of official business.  Other persons who are not state employees, such as volunteers, students, etc., who perform substantial and necessary work or service for the state may also be reimbursed for expenses incurred during official, authorized travel.

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Employee’s Responsibility

Employees traveling on official travel for the state are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business.  Excess costs, circuitous routes, luxury accommodations and services unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business are not acceptable and should be avoided as a standard practice.

Persons performing official travel as authorized by their agency are responsible for the preparation and submission of their travel claim, although the agency should assist in such preparation when appropriate and/or provide training in the process.  The traveler should obtain appropriate receipts for all applicable charges and keep a personal record of miscellaneous expenditures chargeable to the state, noting each item as the expense is incurred. In this way, all necessary information will be accumulated and available for preparation and submission of the travel information claim form.

All expenses claimed for reimbursement must be fully denoted and properly declared under the appropriate section of the Travel Information Claim Form. Reimbursable travel expenses are confined to those expenses that are essential to the transaction of official business in connection with the purpose of travel (i.e., “nature of official business”) as indicated on the Travel Information Claim Form.

The employee’s signed affidavit affirms that all travel was performed as indicated and that the voucher for reimbursement represents a true and correct account of travel and related expenses. It is further implied from the traveler’s signature that any expenses claimed have not be reimbursed or otherwise provided for by other sources. This includes the certification that “No frequent travel miles earned from any official state transportation have been used for personal transportation purposes.” By their signature on the affidavit, the employee is held liable under possible penalty of law for any falsified expense or misstatement of voucher.

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Guidelines for Filing of the Travel Information Claim Form

All travel claims for reimbursement for travel expenses must be submitted on approved Travel Information Claim Form with expenses itemized. Payment shall be subject to the availability of the amounts in the agency’s budget.

The traveler is responsible for preparation and submission of their travel information claim form. Proper completion of all pertinent information fields is essential for prompt payment. Incorrect or partial completion of any of the required information risks rejection of the claim resulting in delays in the payment of expenses.

To expedite payment for reimbursement of expenses attach all required documentation and secure all the proper signatures. If you have problems printing, go to “Page Setup” and adjust the scaling on the “Page” tab or call Kay Lynn Roberts x2977

The employee must clearly state the purpose of travel or “Nature of Official Business” on the travel information claim form. The statement of purpose of travel should be concise, but clear enough that a person apart from the agency may understand the precise nature or purpose of the trip. For example, indication of “Meeting” for “Nature of Official Business” is too vague of a statement to convey the clear purpose of travel. A notation or statement, such as “Attend Office of State Finance Meeting on Travel Claim Preparation, May 3-5, 2007″ provides a better and more useful description of the purpose of travel.

Travel Information Claim Form shall not cover periods of over 31 days.  This can be a single trip or multiple trips over a period of time.

Each point of travel (including en route stops for lodging) with its location (e.g., city and state) and the exact date and time of starting and ending overall travel must be shown on the claim form. This information is required in part to verify the use of the most direct route in travel.

An employee may be reimbursed only for expenses he/she personally incurred and is entitled to claim.  Paid receipts or other evidence of payment must be provided for each expense item for which a receipt is required as the basis of payment (e.g., lodging, registration, tolls, parking, other actual and necessary expense items)

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Travel Reimbursement Guidelines

  • Claimant: Claimant’s Name
  • Vendor Number
    • Vendor number can be found on copy of a paid travel claim that has been returned with reimbursement check. Social Security Number has been removed.
  • Address
    • Address of Claimant
  • Account Number/Account Name/Limited $ Amount
    • 3 lines for account numbers and account names
    • If limited funding, include limited $ amount
  • Is Claimant a State Official or Employee?
    • Mark “Yes” or “No”
    • Do Not leave blank
  • Official Duty Station
    • Town Where Assigned Office is Located
    • Do Not leave blank
  • Misc/Overnight Costs – No Cost Reimbursement Requested (Informational Only) – top left hand side of form
    • Informational Only – Not to be included in the Reimbursement Cost Section
    • Information is required if claim is limited to funding
      • Enter Registration Fee Paid and Purchase Order Number
      • Enter Lodging Paid and Purchase Order Number
      • Enter Airfare Quote booked thru All Seasons Travel and Requisition Number (found on email from Office of Finance staff noting approvals and Requisition Number)
  • Is Claim Limited to Funding?
    • Mark “Yes” or “No”
      • If “Yes” fill in $ amount
  • Vehicle Used
    • Mark “Personal” “University” or “Passenger”
      • If “Personal” or “University”
        • Tag Number – Required for both University and Personal vehicles
      • If “Passenger”
        • List Driver
  • Is claim for overnight travel?
    • Mark “Yes” or “No”
      • If “Yes” complete “Lodging” and “Per Diem” sections – page 2
  • Nature of Official Business
    • The employee must clearly state the purpose of travel or “Nature of Official Business.” The statement of purpose of travel should be concise, clear enough that a person apart from the agency may understand the precise nature or purpose of the trip.
      • For example:
        • Indication of “Meeting” for “Nature of Official Business” is too vague of a statement to convey the clear purpose of travel. A notation or statement, such as “Attend Office of State Finance Meeting on Travel Claim Preparation, May 3-5, 2007″ provides a better and more useful description of the purpose of travel.
    • Do Not abbreviate

Each point of travel (including en route stops for lodging) with its location (e.g., city and state) and the exact date and time of starting and ending overall travel must be shown on the claim form. This information is required in part to verify the use of the most direct route in travel.

  • Beginning and Ending Travel – “Date” and “Time”
    • Enter Beginning Date and Time and Ending Date and Time
  • Point Travel Begins and Ended
    • Enter Town travel begins and Town travel ended
  • All Points Visited
    • List “All Points Visited” in order traveled
      • Examples:
        • DFW to Las Vegas, NV to DFW
        • Hugo to Idabel to Valliant to Rock Creek

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Mileage Reimbursement Guidelines

Travel must be by the most direct route possible, and any individual traveling by an indirect route must bear the extra expense. Regardless of the mode of transportation (including privately owned vehicles), reimbursement for out-of-state transportation shall not exceed that of coach airplane fare.

  • Map Miles
    • Must be the shortest distance between two points visited
      • For Example:
        • If official duty station is Durant and you live in Sherman, TX and leave from home to go to DFW – “Map” should be Sherman to Dallas – Not Durant to Dallas
    • If you choose to drive to meeting that generally requires Airfare
      • Complete “Airfare Comparison” Section A on page 2
        • Mileage reimbursement will be limited to All Seasons Airfare Quote plus mileage to DFW (200 miles allowed)
          • If mileage $ amount claimed is equal to or exceeds the limited $ amount – parking reimbursement would not be allowable due to limitation
        • Attach All Seasons Airfare Quote
    • Mileage Chart (Print and Attach)
      • Go to www.okladot.state.ok.us/hqdiv/p-r-div/howfar/okmile.htm for Oklahoma townships, or
      • MapQuest for small Oklahoma townships not listed on the ODOT site and townships outside State of Oklahoma
        • Mileage Chart not necessary for the following out of state trips
          • Durant to DFW – 200 Map No Vicinity is allowed
          • Durant to Grayson County College – 42 Map 18 Vicinity is allowed
  • Vicinity Miles
    • Refers to travel that is in excess of map mileage performed in a privately owned vehicle while conducting University business.
      • Use odometer to track vicinity miles

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Miscellaneous Reimbursement Costs

All miscellaneous travel expenses must be itemized on the Travel Information Claim Form and original Paid receipts attached

  • Registration Fee
    • Attach original Paid receipt for registration fee. Must be a paid receipt. Copy of the registration form is not sufficient.
      • If No Paid receipt
        • Copy of credit card statement, or
        • Copy of cancelled check (front and back)
    • When meals are provided through the cost of registration or package plan paid by the agency or directly by the employee and reimbursed, the employee’s daily meals expense allowance shall be adjusted by 1/4 for each meal provided or actual meal cost if known via a receipt or event documentation.  (Per Diem calculation on page 2)
  • Tolls
  • Parking Fees
  • Cab fare – Local Transportation
    • Refers to transportation to and from the airport
    • Attach original Paid receipt
    • If No receipt
  • Telephone
    • Telephone charges may be reimbursed when incurred conducting University business
      • Memo of explanation must be attached
      • Attach original Paid receipt
  • Other Misc Costs
    • Internet charges may be reimbursed when incurred conducting University business
      • Memo of explanation must be attached
      • Attach original Paid Receipt

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Lodging and Per Diem (Meals) Expenses for Overnight / International Travel

State agencies are allowed direct purchase of lodging for employees.  Direct purchase of lodging facilities can be made by obtaining reservations directly with the facility by processing a purchase order in the Distributed Purchasing System (DPS). The purchase order must be processed prior to the traveler’s departure and must include the following information: conference designated rate with verification attached, dates lodging will be required; name of individual(s) for whom lodging is to be provided; location; and purpose of trip.

Requests for reimbursement for lodging must be accompanied by an itemized paid receipt from the hotel reflecting a zero balance.

If a hotel is designated by the conference, the designated single rate will be reimbursable, not to exceed single occupancy rate. Documentation must be attached from the conference indicating that this was a designated hotel. The single room rate must be specified on the conference literature.

Employees attending meetings, workshops or conferences which are conducted at a designated hotel, motel or other type lodging facility may choose to acquire optional public lodging at a lesser expensive charge.  The employee may be reimbursed the actual lodging not to exceed the single occupancy room rate charged by the designated (host) hotel. If an employee opts to use other lodging besides the designated hotel at which the object of travel is conducted or held, reimbursement for any incurred local transportation (such as taxi, rental car) for travel between the optional lodging location and the designated (host) lodging facility shall be allowed in an amount not to exceed the difference between the cost of the designated lodging and the cost of the optional lodging.

When optional lodging is used in connection with an object of travel conducted or held at a facility (convention center) separate from the designated lodging place, and transportation costs would otherwise be incurred (e.g., going between the lodging place and meeting location), reimbursement may be allowed for necessary local transportation for travel to and from the meeting or conference facility.

Reimbursement for other charges (internet/telephone) appearing on the hotel receipt must be justified in writing. The reimbursement should be included in the itemized “Miscellaneous Reimbursement Costs” section on the appropriate line.

  • Overnight Travel Reimbursement Costs – complete page 2
    • Per Diem Rate information (Print and Attach)
    • Lodging: Are you claiming lodging?
      • If claim is for overnight travel Mark “Yes” or “No”
        • If “No” – Must state reason
          • Examples: Paid on PO, Stayed with relatives, or Other (explain)
          • If stayed with friends or relatives you have the option to claim a per diem allowance in lieu of subsistence – extra $10 on the “In Lieu of Subsistence Per Diem Days” line
        • If “Yes” – complete section
          • Attach original itemized Paid receipt from hotel, motel, etc
          • If a hotel is designated by the conference, the designated single rate will be reimbursed, not to exceed single occupancy rate.
            • Documentation such as Brochure / Schedule must be attached from the conference indicating that this was a designated hotel.
              • A sponsor may arrange a meeting, workshop or similar travel objective to be held at a host or headquarters lodging facility. In such travel instances and when the hotel or motel is specified by the sponsor’s announcement or notice (e.g., conference brochure), reimbursement may be allowed for the actual cost of lodging not to exceed the single occupancy room rate charge as indicated on the paid lodging receipt.
            • The single room rate must be specified on the conference literature.
            • If No designated hotel conference rate
          • Enter allowable reimbursement expense on page 1 “Lodging”
    • Per Diem: Are you claiming per diem?
      • If claim is for overnight travel Mark “Yes” or “No”
      • If “Yes” complete section
      • Use military time for “Time Left” and “Time Returned”
      • Per Diem Rate information (Print and Attach)
      • If personal time is taken while in travel status (travel starts more than 24 hrs prior to beginning of conference/meeting or travel ends more than 24 hrs after conference/meeting ends
        • If left more than 24 hrs prior – Per diem will begin at the time of the registration / time conference begins
        • If return later than 24 hrs after – Per diem will end at the time the conference / meeting ends
      • Documentation such as Brochure / Schedule is required to verify per diem days allowable if claiming per diem reimbursement
        • Verify Beginning and Ending Dates and Times of the Conference or Meeting
          • Standard 24-Hour Travel Rule (unless personal time is part of travel time)
            • Reimbursement for meals and lodging expenses shall not extend more than 24 hours before and/or more than 24 hours after the date/time the object of travel (e.g. meeting, workshop, conference, etc) began and/or ended.
        • Calculate per diem days based on date/time left and date/time returned
          • Use Per Diem Table (page 2)
        • Calculate days for meals provided in registration
          • If meals were included in the registration fee, the number of meals provided should be indicated on the form and 1/4 of each day’s meal and incidental expense allowance should be deducted from the per diem for each meal provided.
            • Highlight meals provided
            • “Continental breakfasts” and refreshments, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc., provided during meeting breaks are not considered meals.
              • Claimant may opt to count as a meal

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Authorization for Out-of-State Overnight / International Travel

All out-of-state overnight $1,500 ore more and all international travel must be approved by the President prior to travel.  Once email is received from Office of Finance staff noting approval and requisition number, then departmental secretary (PCard cardholder) is authorized to book airfare thru All Seasons Travel Agency and pre-pay registration if meets criteria for pre-payment. The approved Out-of-State Overnight / International Travel Request is kept on file in the Office of Finance.

Airfare may be booked by another agent (e.g. Online, other agency) only AFTER an Airfare Comparison has been received from All Seasons Travel. Airfare reimbursement is limited to All Seasons Quote (print and attach copy of All Seasons quote to travel reimbursement claim form)

Airfare:

  • If Airfare booked thru All Seasons (No reimbursement requested)
    • Enter Airfare Quote and Requisition Number in the “Misc/Overnight Costs No Cost Reimbursement” section on page 1 top left hand side of form
      • Requisition Number can be found on email sent from Office of Finance staff noting approval and requisition number
  • If Requesting Airfare reimbursement
    • Reimbursement is limited to All Seasons Quote
    • If airfare booked with another agent (e.g. Online, other agency)
      • Complete “AirFare Comparison” Section C on page 2
      • Attach All Season’s Airfare Quote
  • If you opt to drive to meeting vs. airfare
    • Complete “Airfare Comparison” Section A on page 2
      • Mileage reimbursement will be limited to All Seasons Airfare Quote plus mileage to and from DFW
        • Attach All Seasons Airfare Quote

Rental Car:

  • Justification must be completed on page 2

Travel Information Claim Form should be reviewed by someone other than yourself prior to sending to Office of Finance for processing to ensure that all required documentation is attached and all signatures have been secured.

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