New travel policy announced

7/10/2007 7:00:00 AM

Late in this past legislative session, the state approved new travel regulations effective July 1, 2007. The new state regulations require the university to follow the federal travel per diem rates, with no exceptions. Federal per diem rates represent the maximum allowable reimbursement to travelers. Below is a summary of the changes in the travel policy, the transition process to the new policy and contact information should you have any questions.

Changes for Travelers:

The in-state hotel per diem rates have increased significantly and better reimburse actual costs.

The meal per diems are set at reasonable rates according to travel location. A sample of per diem calculations is provided below in Table 2.

Hotel rates are determined based on your primary destination and differ by city and, in some cases, by the time of the year. Please note the new state policy does not allow for any exceptions to the federal rates for hotels. This is a significant change from previous policy where an exception to hotel rates was granted with prior approval.

Hotel rates for foreign travel will now be capped at the federal foreign rates for the city and country of travel. No exceptions will be allowed above the federal rates. Foreign travel rates can be found at http://www.state.gov/m/a/als/prdm/

Lodging taxes are not included in the federal lodging travel rates and are reimbursed in addition to the lodging costs (i.e., a $100 rate would allow taxes to be reimbursed in addition to that amount). The federal policy requires receipts for all hotel charges. A sample of federal hotel, meal and incidental rates is provided below in Tables 1 and 2.

You must view the rates at www.gsa.gov/perdiem for your primary destination to determine which hotel and meals and incidental expense (M&IE) rates apply. If a city is not listed on the federal travel per diem web site, the rate will be $60 for lodging and $39 for meals and incidentals.

Please note that the first and last day of travel is only reimbursable at 75% of the M&IE regardless of departure times.

Incidentals: Federal travel regulations allow a $3 per day charge for "incidentals," which is included in the M&IE rate. This replaces the $2 allowed for incidental expenses in the former policy.

Transition to new rates:

There will be a transition period from the former rates (effective through 6/30/07) to the new federal rates (effective 7/1/07). If the traveler had an out-of-state travel request approved prior to July 10, 2007 for travel occurring prior to September 30, 2007, the hotel rates approved on the request will be reimbursed. For all travel occurring after September 30, 2007, and for all travel requested and approved after July 9, 2007, hotel reimbursement will be based on the federal lodging rates. These new rules apply to in-state, out-of-state and foreign travel.

The University Administrative Manual will be updated shortly.

For questions, please contact the Travel Office at 784-4167 or 784-1203.


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