Partners for Education at Berea College

Travel Policy: Berea College-Paid Staff

Externally Sponsored Programs

Travel Reimbursement Procedures for Berea College Paid Staff

Scope: All Berea College Externally Sponsored Programs Paid Staff, Kentucky College Coaches and AmeriCorps VISTA members

Effective Date: November 1, 2012

Purpose: To ensure that individuals traveling on Berea College Externally Sponsored Programs business neither gain or lose personal funds as a result of that travel

Introduction

Employees of Berea College may charge against appropriate College accounts normal and reasonable travel and travel-related expenses incurred for a College business purpose.

The purpose of the College travel policy “is to ensure that individuals traveling on Berea College business neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of that travel.”   Additionally, reimbursement and expenditure guidelines are in place to ensure College employees adhere to compliance requirements established by the Internal Revenue Service and other oversight agencies (e.g., federal grants).

Employees of the Externally Sponsored Programs Department must follow both the departmental travel procedures outlined herein and the College Travel Policy available at the following link:

http://www.berea.edu/vpf/accounting/documents/TravelPolicy.pdf.

For the purposes of this policy, there are two types of travel:  National Travel and Local Travel.

National Travel

For the purposes of this policy, national travel is defined as any travel where an overnight stay is necessary.  This includes overnight instate travel.  National travel arrangements such as conference fees, lodging and transportation must be made in conjunction with the Operations Department – Rachael Anglin, Mary Jane Stancil or Cherri Brock – at least 30 days in advance of the travel date.   Other expenses incurred during national travel may be paid by pcards, cash advances or personal means of the employee.  When the most economical means of transportation and lodging are not used, a justification shall accompany the travel report.

In cases where a person has two or more possible starting points, such as home or work locations, personnel must use the lesser of all to calculate mileage.

Transportation During National Travel

Employees will be reimbursed for transportation costs to and from the hotel or to and from the conference site when lodging is not in the conference hotel.  Additionally, employees will be reimbursed for necessary transportation costs for taxis, rental vehicles or public transportation to obtain meals when there are not affordable restaurants in or near the hotel.  Shared transportation is preferred and employees should indicate the persons traveling, the reason the transportation was necessary and the destination on all transportation receipts.    One piece of luggage per employee is approved as checked baggage.  Checked bags in excess of one (1) must be paid by the employee.  Transportation for personal benefit such as for sightseeing is not allowable.

Lodging During National Travel

In the interest of sound stewardship of the grant funds, when groups of more than 12 employees are traveling together, employees of the same gender are expected to share lodging.   Exceptions to the shared lodging policy will be granted by the Director in cases where an employee requires privacy.  Requests for single lodging should be made well in advance of the travel commitment.  Travelers with flights leaving before 8 a.m. or who live more than 50 miles from the airport are eligible for overnight accommodations the evening prior to the flight.

Meals during National Travel

Meals purchased during national travel must meet the following conditions:

  • A meal was not provided through the conference.  A conference agenda should be attached to pcard and/or travel expense report when meals are claimed.  If the conference registration includes meals, employees will not be reimbursed for food costs.
  • An original itemized receipt is obtained.
  • The cost of the meal is below the Externally Sponsored Programs maximum cost standard discussed below:
    • Breakfast should not exceed $18 per person including all non-exempt taxes and gratuities.
    • Lunch should not exceed $25 per person including all non-exempt taxes and gratuities.
    • Dinner should not exceed $42 per person including all non-exempt taxes and gratuities.

Maximum meal cost standards are not meant to encourage staff to order a higher priced meal.  Employees are asked to be good stewards of funds and to make prudent choices regarding meals.  Costs for room service should be limited and must include an explanation as to why room service was the most economical choice or how room service was for the convenience of the college.  Cost standards are based on the average meal prices for typical conference locations such as San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC.

National Travel Expense Reports

A separate travel expense report is required for each national travel activity.   Original receipts should be attached to the travel report with other supporting documentation such as a conference agenda.  National travel expenses paid by Operations or another college employee should be noted on the travel report form in Section 2, but not included in the totals.  National travel expenses paid by pcards, cash advances and personal means of the employee should be listed in Section 4 and included in the totals.

Travel expense reports for national travel should be submitted to the Project Director by the last day of the following month.  For example, a reimbursement for any travel in June must be submitted by July 31st.   Reimbursement requests submitted after this timeframe will not be reimbursed.  Facsimiles or copies cannot be accepted for travel reimbursements and originals are required.  Travel reports with cash advances must be submitted to Finance and Operations with both the employee and supervisor signatures no later than 20 days after the date the cash advance was requested.  Late fees resulting from failure to submit reports timely are the responsibility of the employee.  Contact finance for instructions on submitting travel reports when a cash advance was used and money is due to the college.

National Travel with Family/Companion

Members of an employee’s family may accompany the staff person during national travel at the discretion of the Director.  Considerations for approval include the type of training, the course agenda, whether shared lodging is necessary and the role and responsibilities of the employee during the conference.   Requests for traveling with family/companion should be made well in advance of the travel.

Although lodging is paid for the employee, payment from grant funds for other expenses associated with the spouse/companion travel is prohibited.  All travel costs for the spouse/companion must be separated from the employee’s cost.  When travel by car is for the convenience of the traveler, the mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of coach round-trip airfare.  An airfare quote obtained by Operations must accompany the travel report and should be requested at least three weeks prior to the trip.   In cases where travel time is increased for the convenience of the traveler, such as in cases where the traveler is driving instead of flying, the staff person may be required to use vacation days for the additional travel time.  Staff members must obtain approval for allowable travel time from the Director.

Local Travel

Local travel includes any travel within the local region where an overnight stay is not required.

For the purposes of this policy, local travel is further delineated by “Berea College Campus,” “Working Locations” and “Programming Service Area.”

The “Berea College Campus” refers to all locations where External Programs offices operate, such as the Middletown School, Bruce-Trades and the Forestry Building.  Salaried personnel will not receive reimbursement for any travel within the Berea College Campus area.  Hourly personnel may request reimbursement only if approved by the Director and in cases where no college vehicle was available.

“Working Location” refers to all work locations within a county or counties where a person must travel as a function of performing the job.  For example, persons working in two or more schools within a county will not receive reimbursement for travel between the schools.

“Programming Service Area” refers to all other sites within a county or counties where school-based staff may travel, such as a student’s home, government offices, etc.  School-based grant personnel paid by Berea College will receive reimbursement for travel within the programming service area.

In cases where a person has two possible starting points, such as home or work locations, personnel must use the lesser of all to calculate mileage.  If a person is starting from their home, then they must choose the lesser of the two distances, but if they are starting and ending at work then they will be reimbursed the full distance.  When there are different starting and ending points, a person must factor their daily commute from work to home. This is calculated by finding the distance from work to destination and then home and then subtracting out the normal travel home.

Mileage Reimbursements for Local Travel

Employees should use Externally Sponsored Programs vehicles if available.  If vehicles are not available, employees may use personal vehicles or reserve cars through the college motor pool.  When more than one employee is traveling to an event and an Externally Sponsored Programs car is not available, employees should carpool.  Mileage reimbursements will not be paid to more than one employee traveling to the same event unless prior approval has been given by the Director.

Meals for Local Travel

Meals for local travel will not be reimbursed except in cases where the employee is away from the primary work location past 8 p.m. or where prior approval has been given by the Director.  In no case will breakfast expenses be reimbursed for local travel.  When the Director has given approval for other meals, the per-person-cost should not exceed the maximum cost standards outlined in national travel section.

Local Travel Expense Reports

Local travel for a month must be combined on one travel report.  Original receipts should be attached to the travel report with supporting documentation for each event.  Supporting documentation includes sign-in sheets, student activity reports, meeting agendas, Mapquest for mileage confirmation, or email thread scheduling the event.  Requests for monthly reimbursement for local travel should be submitted to the Project Director by the last day of the following month.  For example, a reimbursement for any travel in June must be submitted by July 31stReimbursement requests submitted after this timeframe will not be reimbursed.  Facsimiles or copies cannot be accepted for travel reimbursements and originals are required.

Tipping Policies

The College will reimburse reasonable gratuities.  The following are suggested guidelines:

Airport porters: $1/bag

Hotel bellhop: $1/bag

Chambermaids: $1/night and $1 for special services (extra towels, hangers, etc.)

Restaurant waitstaff: 18%

Taxi drivers: 15%

Tax Exemption

Employees who are traveling are responsible for requesting tax exemption in states where a tax exemption agreement is in place.  Tax exemption certificates for several states are available on the college website at  http://www.berea.edu/vpf/office-of-purchasing/.  Berea College currently has tax exemption in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Alcohol

Alcohol is not a reimbursable expense and should not be charged to a pcard or listed on any travel reports or receipts.

Travel Policy: Berea College-Paid Staff

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