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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: TRAVEL INDEX: F-1

SUBJECT: REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES


POLICY

It is the policy of the institution that all reasonable expenses for official travel shall be reimbursed in accordance with the guidelines set forth below. It is recognized that exceptions are necessary from time to time and these should be cleared in advance through the supervisor or department head.

 

PROCEDURE

State Funds

All travel on state funds will be reimbursed according to the State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide Textravel Websitecan be accessed from the State Comptroller's web site.

All mileage reimbursements must be obtained by using Texas Mileage Guide or web based http://maps.yahoo.com

 

Local Funds

The Textravel will be applicable for all local travel situations that are not specifically covered in the UHV Travel Policy and Procedures.

 

FOUR PER CAR RULE

Even though coordination of travel is always a good business practice, exceptions to the “four per car rule” may be made by submitting written justification to the department head or cost center authority prior to travel.

 

TRANSPORTATION

Airplane. Air coach should be used in the interest of economy. If such accommodations are not available to use, the next highest class travel is allowable if a proper explanation is provided on the travel expense voucher. Original ticket stubs or e-ticket itinerary must be attached to the voucher for reimbursement and dates of travel must agree.

Automobile. Travel by private auto is reimbursable at the current state mileage rate per mile, provided such total reimbursement does not exceed equivalent air coach fare or other reasonable available transportation. Necessary extra costs for food or lodging while en route are not reimbursable if the traveler is reimbursed on a mileage basis in preference to air travel or other public transportation.

The Texas Mileage guide shows the mileage between two locations. The electronic mileage guide is adopted under TEX.GOV’T CODE ANN. 660.053(a)(2)-(3). It is intended as a guide for state employees to use when traveling by automobile.

Mileage may also be reimbursed by using the following:

  1. Odometer readings: Point to point destinations obtained from the employee’s odometer readings along with complete address (ie., name, street address, city, and state) to address may be used. Intercity mileage can be reimbursed from odometer readings using a Mileage Reporting Form when point to point addresses are stated on travel voucher.
  2. Web based maps and directions may also be used for mileage reimbursements.

Taxi, Bus or Limo Service Fares including reasonable tips are allowable if no other reasonable public transportation is available. Receipts must be attached to the voucher for reimbursement.

 

PER DIEM

Employees traveling in state, out of state, or foreign may be reimbursed for lodging and meal expenses. Lodging expenses require receipts. Meal expenses may be reimbursed from actual itemized detail receipts not to exceed the per diem rate or the per diem rate without receipts. Travel vouchers cannot be processed without the necessary receipts. If the original receipt receipt is lost, or not available, complete a Lost Receipt Affidavit.

Meals

Per diem or meal expense should be claimed only when there is an expense. If meals are provided at no cost to the employee as part of a registration fee or an airplane ticket, those meals should not be claimed by the traveler.

An employee traveling and not requiring overnight lodging may not claim reimbursement for actual meal costs, UHV Policy F-4. The employee must be away from the campus over night to claim meal reimbursement. When a traveler is reimbursed for per diem, instead of actual meal expenses, the traveler may claim up to 100 percent of the per diem for the first and last days of travel, at the discretion of the cost center authority, not to exceed their actual meal expenses. The ability to claim per diem is not based on the time of departure or return. The meal breakdown can be found on the State Comptroller’s website: Per Diem Breakdown

State Funds

Meals paid from state funds will be reimbursed at the current state per diem rate found on the State Comptroller's web site.

Local Funds

Meals paid from local funds will be reimbursed at the current state per diem rate found on the State Comptroller's web site. When requesting current state rate, receipts are not required.

Actual meal expenses, when supported by itemized detailed receipts, may be reimbursed from local funds. Actual meal expenses must not exceed the current state rate, or current out-of-state rate, or foreign rate. Per Diem for foreign travel can be found on the following website: http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/

Hotel

State Funds

Requests for reimbursements from state funds may not exceed the current state contracted hotel rate found on the State Comptroller's web site.

Current state-contracted hotels must be used unless the voucher is accompanied by written justification.

 

Local Funds

Actual reasonable hotel expense, when “reasonable” is determined prior to travel, is reimbursable from local funds when supported by receipts

Out of State Travel and Foreign Travel

Employees traveling out-of-state using state funds receive a flat rate for meals and lodging. Out-of-State Rates can be found on the State Comptroller's web site. Per diem meal receipts are not required.

Other Necessary Miscellaneous Expenses.

Category #1:  Reimbursement Requires Receipts

    1. Hotel occupancy or similar taxes
    2. Mandatory charges by a commercial lodging establishment other than the room rate;
    3. Gasoline charges when rented or university-owned or university-leased motor vehicles are used;
    4. Repair charges when a university-owned motor vehicle is used;

e.   Books or documents purchased for and while attending a seminar or conference

f.    Passport or visa charges, departure taxes, and inoculations for foreign travel

g.   First Baggage fee for airline travel, additional baggage fees must be justified for business purpose

 

            Category #2:  Reimbursement from either Actual Receipts or up to a total of $15 per day for all category #2 itemized expenses without receipts

     a.   Telephone calls (only related to university business);

b.       Toll charges

c.        Copying charges;

d.       Postage;

e.        Notary fees;

f.        Charges to exchange U.S. currency for foreign currency and vice versa.  The exchange rate used for conversion of monies must be stated;

g.       Travelers check charges;

h.       Tips for baggage handling or other services where it is customary to tip.  Discretion must be used to ensure tips are given only in appropriate circumstances and for appropriate amounts.  However, if meals are reimbursed by the Foreign M&IE per diem, tips for baggage handling may not be reimbursed separately, since M&IE per diem already includes an allowance for baggage handling tips;

Facsimile charges: Parking; Laundry and dry cleaning expenses incurred during travel for a trip lasting longer than six days.  However, if meals are reimbursed by the Foreign M&IE per diem, laundry and dry cleaning expenses may not be reimbursed separately, since M&IE per diem already includes an allowance for laundry and dry cleaning.

MISCELLANEOUS

Travel Request. The Travel Request must be approved by (1) the traveler’s supervisor or unit head paying for the travel expenses and (2) certifying signatory for the cost center(s) on the Travel Request.  Both signatures are required even if the Supervisor and Cost Center Authority is the same person. This is a requirement for insurance. Exception: A Travel Request is not required for a non-overnight stay when using a personal vehicle.

Point to Point. A building, house, address, highway intersection, or other similarly-localized spot.

Purpose of Travel. A clear statement of the purpose and necessity of travel must be stated on the travel voucher.

Designated Headquarters. For purposes of per diem and mileage, 3007. North Ben Wilson, Victoria, Texas 77901 is designated headquarters for UH-Victoria; 3402 N. Ben Wilson, Victoria, Texas 77901 is designated headquarters for Small Business Development Center; 14000 University Blvd., Sugar Land, Texas, 77478 is designated headquarters for Fort Bend campus; 4242 S. Mason Rd., Katy, Texas 77450 is the designated headquarters for Cinco Ranch.

Insurance. The cost for employee life or disability insurance premiums cannot be claimed for reimbursement by the employee.

Acronyms. Acronyms are not acceptable. The organizations’ name must be spelled out at least once on the travel voucher.

Cash Advances. A cash advance is not available.

Current State Contracted Hotels. A listing of State Contracted Hotels are published by the Texas Building & Procurement Commission.

Current State Mileage Rate: As stated in the Textravel Website

Current State Per Diem Rate: As stated in the Textravel Website

Current State Lodging Rate: As stated in the Textravel Website

 

Approved:

Signature Obtained           02/26/2009         
Tim Hudson, Ph.D.           Date
President

Next review date:  September 2011
Origination:  Finance Department

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