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2700 Other Travel Expenses

2710 Conference and Seminar Expenses

Travel Policy May 2015

Reimbursement for travel expenses to conferences and seminars may be paid only if the conference or seminar clearly involves justifiable state business which will benefit the agency. The traveler must complete the Travel Authorization (TA) process in eTravel to receive supervisory approval. The traveler must include a statement on the travel claim that describes the specific state business addressed by the conference or seminar and how it is directly related to the authorized traveler’s duties.

2711 Registration Fees

Travel Policy May 2015

DFPS may either pay the registration fees directly to the sponsoring organization on a purchase voucher, or reimburse an authorized traveler on the travel claim if the fees were paid personally. Receipts must be attached to the travel claim. If the registration fee includes:

  •   non-optional meals, the fee is reimbursable and the traveler should include a statement on the claim that “meals provided with registration were non-optional;”

  •   optional meals, the fee is reimbursable as part of lodging and meals only to the extent they would be reimbursable had they not been packaged with the registration fee;

  •   no meals, a statement on the claim should indicate, “no meals included;”

  •   lodging, entertainment, and other optional personal expenses, the fee is not reimbursable.

In eTravel, the same travel guidelines apply. The only difference is that the registration fee will be claimed on the Expenses section of the online Travel Claim. The scanned receipt would be attached to the specific per diem. Additional information should be noted in the Comments field of the online Travel Claim.

Membership in organizations is only paid when it is carried in the name of the agency and is approved by the commissioner or designee.

DFPS administrators must make every effort to ensure full attendance at any seminar or conference that has been paid in advance. One authorized traveler may replace another at a conference or seminar if the claim includes an attached receipt and a statement explaining the circumstances.

An authorized traveler who prepays a registration fee and then withdraws for medical reasons after the deadline may be reimbursed even though the sponsoring organization does not refund the fee. The traveler must attach to the travel claim:

  •   a statement indicating that a medical emergency or sudden illness prevented attendance;

  •   a receipt for the fee;

  •   a copy of the letter to the sponsoring organization requesting a refund; and

  •   a letter from the organization rejecting the request. If the sponsoring organization does not respond, a statement to that effect must be indicated on the claim.

No-show cancellation charges are reimbursable only for medical and business reasons.

In eTravel, the same rules apply. All documentation must be scanned and attached to the online Travel Claim. The required statement outlining the medical reason that prevented attendance must be entered in the Comments field of the online Travel Claim.

2720 Reimbursement for Travel to Job Interviews

Travel Policy June 2014

Employees affected by a reduction in force may be reimbursed for in-state travel expenses for job interviews with other health and human service agencies. Reimbursement is available for a maximum of three interviews, or until a job offer is made, whichever occurs first. Prior written approval by appropriate executive level management is required for travel reimbursement for DFPS agency interviews. The approval memo must be attached to the travel claim. (See 1100 Terms and Definitions for "Executive Level Management")

2730 Incidental Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

Incidental expenses are travel costs not included under the reimbursement for lodging and meals, mileage, or transportation on the travel claim.

2731 Allowable Incidental Business Expenses

2731.1 Business Related Administrative Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

  •   Business phone calls (local and long distance)

  •   Document copying

  •   Notary fees

  •   Money order fees

  •   $25 or less for emergency cash purchase of postage

  •   Freight charges to ship state equipment or materials

  •   Traveler’s check charges when the agency requires employees to buy the checks

  •   Fax charges

  •   Mandatory service charges for loading or unloading state equipment

2731.2 Business Related Vehicle Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

  •   Gas for rented or state-owned vehicles (itemized gas receipt required)

  •   Parking fees (must indicate dates and amount on Record of Transportation or include a receipt. Valet parking is not reimbursed unless mandatory)

  •   Toll charges (must indicate dates and amount on Record of Transportation or include a receipt)

  •   Airport parking while traveling (itemized receipt required)

  •   One-way mileage for employees transferred from one HQ to another

  •   Repair parts, labor, and towing charges for state-owned vehicles

2731.3 Business Related Foreign Travel Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

  •   Charges for foreign travel – passport or visa charges, airport boarding passes, departure taxes, and inoculations (original receipts are required with the travel claim when submitting for reimbursement)

  •   Charges to exchange U.S. currency for foreign currency and vice versa (losses caused by exchange rate fluctuations are not reimbursable)

2731.4 Personal Attendant Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

  •   Admission fees while accompanying clients

  •   Personal attendant fees and the attendant’s actual travel expenses within the service limits stated for the traveler attended

  •   Personal attendant services and expenses approved by supervisor to provide a reasonable accommodation (such as interpreters and communication devices)

2732 Unallowable Incidental Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

  •   Gas and repairs for privately owned vehicles

  •   Tips

  •   Excess baggage charges for personal belongings

  •   Any other personal expense items (such as rent or purchase of movies for entertainment, alcoholic beverages, dry cleaning or laundry, purchase of clothing, and personal phone calls)

  •   Immunization expenses for employees

  •   Driving record expenses

  •   Mileage for immunization expenses

  •   Mileage and per diem for summer enrollment insurance fair

  •   Mileage and per diem for retirement seminars

  •   Birth certificates

2740 Travelers With Disabilities

Travel Policy June 2014

Authorized travelers with disabilities may receive reimbursement for an accommodation by providing a letter from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator that verifies the determination of disability. The letter must be attached to each travel claim involving an accommodation.

2741 Transportation Reimbursement

Travel Policy June 2014

A reasonable transportation allowance may be authorized for an authorized traveler who has a disability that prevents driving but who must travel within the HQ city. The amount must not exceed the amount for similar travel outside of the HQ city. The allowance is the actual cost of transportation by mass transit or taxi, or a mileage allowance as designated by the comptroller for a car driven by an attendant or volunteer driver. The traveler must itemize transportation on a trip-by-trip basis on the claim.

Example

To Lighthouse for the Blind, 2831 Manchaca (by taxi)

$6.90

To HQ (by taxi)

$8.00

 

Daily Total: $14.90

Authorized travelers claiming this type of allowance must indicate on the travel claim the statement “Claiming taxi fare in HQ city due to physical disability.”

2742 Attendant Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

An authorized traveler with a disability who requires a full-time attendant can be reimbursed for attendant care and any other necessary expenses incurred when traveling inside the HQ city to conduct supervisor approved business.

Attendant care expenses for traveling to work are not reimbursed.

An authorized traveler with a disability who requires an attendant for the trip can be reimbursed for attendant fees and actual travel expenses while traveling on state business. This reimbursement would be allowable only when travel is approved by a supervisor, outside the HQ, and overnight.

Attendant fees cannot exceed $50 per day without prior written approval by the commissioner or designee.

A request for exceptions to a policy concerning reimbursement for attendant expenses must be initiated in a memo from the employee’s supervisor and submitted through the management chain to the commissioner or designee for approval. A copy of the written approval must be attached to the travel claim.

2742.1 Allowable Attendant Travel Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

Attendant expenses must be in addition to and separate from the expenses of the person being attended. The traveler cannot claim personal expenses through the attendant.

Attendant travel expenses may include commercial transportation, meals, and lodging. They must not exceed allowable expenses for the person attended. When a traveler and attendant share lodging, half of the cost is included with the attendant’s expenses and half with the person being attended.

Attendants accompanying employees with disabilities may be reimbursed for first-class airfare provided it was medically necessary or it was the only available class of travel.

2742.2 Preparing Claims for Attendant Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

On page one of the Employee’s Travel Claim in the Other Travel Expenses section, the traveler itemizes the attendant fees and travel expenses, and enters the total.

On page two of the Employee’s Travel Claim:

  •   in the Actual Expense Meals and Lodging section, the traveler writes “Attendant” above the headings, and enters the cost of the attendant’s meals and lodging; and

  •   in the Record of Transportation and Duties Performed (page three), the traveler enters the total attendant expenses for each day.

In eTravel, the traveler records the expenses in the Other Expense category and enters the Type as “Other”. The traveler uses the Comments field to describe the expenses.

Receipts are required for reimbursement of attendant fees and travel expenses. The receipt must include:

  •   an itemized description of services;

  •   dates of service;

  •   name and address of attendant and name of traveler attended;

  •   the attendant’s fee; and

  •   the attendant’s signature.

In eTravel, the scanned receipt must be attached to the Other Expense line item in the online Travel Claim.

2742.3 Porter Assistance

Travel Policy June 2014

“Red cap” or porter assistance is an allowable expense for a traveler with mobility impairment. The traveler must obtain a receipt to attach it to the travel claim, if possible. Tips, however, are not an allowable expense for reimbursement.

If a receipt is not available, the traveler records the following on the travel claim:

  •   Itemize the porter costs on page one in Other Travel Expense and enter the total

  •   Enter the total porter cost for each day, along with this statement on page three in the Record of Transportation and Duties Performed: “Assistance with baggage because of physical disability. No receipt available. No tip included.”

In eTravel, the scanned receipt must be attached to the Other Expense category with a Type of “Other.” If a receipt is not available, the traveler follows the same basic procedures outlined in this section. The traveler uses the Comments field to provide additional and necessary information associated to the itemized porter costs.

2742.4 Personal Attendant Services and Accommodations

Travel Policy June 2014

With supervisor approval, a traveler with a physical disability may be reimbursed for miscellaneous personal attendant services or expenses such as interpreters or communication devices. The traveler must obtain receipts to attach to the travel claim in order to be eligible for reimbursement. The traveler records the following on the travel claim:

  •   Itemize the costs on the front in Other Travel Expense and enter the total

  •   Enter the total per day in the Record of Transportation and Duties Performed

In eTravel, the traveler must follow the same basic guidelines outlined in this section. The scanned receipt must be attached to the Other Expense category with a Type of “Other” to the online Travel Claim. The traveler uses the Comment field to provide detail information.

2750 Foster Child and Ward of State Expenses

Travel Policy June 2014

Expenses for foster children or wards of the state incurred while in travel status may be submitted on a travel claim. Meals, transportation (if not direct billed), lodging, and small miscellaneous items are reimbursable. All expenses, including meals, require a receipt for reimbursement.

Any larger purchases being claimed for children must not be paid on a travel claim. These types of expenses may be claimed through county, child welfare boards, or other youth organizations. Employees may also contact Accounts Payable through the ACCT Policy mailbox to see if they can submit the claim on a DFPS Purchase Voucher (Form 4116).

In eTravel, expenses for wards of the state will be entered in the Other Expense category with the appropriate ward of the state Type. The scanned receipt is required and must be attached to the appropriate expense line in the online Travel Claim. Any additional information can be provided in the Comments field.

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