Travel Policy June 2016
Travelers submit travel claims in the following time frames:
Every 30 Days for Claims Under $200.00
Travelers submit travel claims once every 30 days when the claim is under $200.00.
There are two exceptions to the 30 day rule, for travelers who have:
• left the agency; or
• secured new positions within the agency.
For either exception:
On the paper claim form 4104, the traveler writes “No Longer Employed,” or “Secured New Position” in the top border on the front page.
In eTravel, the traveler enters “No Longer Employed,” or “Secured New Position” in the Traveler Comments towards the bottom of the Summary Page of the online travel claim and saves the comments.
Immediately for Claims of $200.00 or More
When the total accumulated expenses on the claim equal or exceed $200.00, travelers may submit the claim immediately.
Within 90 Days of the Last Date of Travel for All Claims
Travelers are required to submit travel claims within 90 days from the last date of travel.
Submitting Late Travel Claims
Travel reimbursement requests over 90 days require that the traveler obtain two levels of approval:
• 1st Level of approval-direct report supervisor
• 2nd Level of approval-program administrator, ROSA, or appropriate level dependent on the program area
The paper travel claim process requires the Late Travel Form 4107, which is embedded in the travel claim Form 4104, to be completed. A brief description is required detailing the reason the travel claim was late. Travel reimbursement requests over 90 days will be honored but may result in corrective action at the discretion of the regional or division director.
In eTravel, the approval process for late travel does not require a form, but it is part of the online travel claim approval process. The system calculates if the travel claim is within 90 days from the last travel date. If the travel claim is late, the Summary Page will state “I have failed to submit my travel claim within 90 days for the following reason: (Please provide a brief description).” The traveler is required to enter the reason into the Comments field.
For when to expect reimbursement, see 1600 Reimbursements.
Travel Policy June 2014
Justifications on a travel claim need to be concise, but they also need to be clear enough that auditors can understand them. Abbreviations are acceptable as long as they are defined on the travel claim.
If abbreviations are used to explain duties, then a definition of the abbreviation must be given.
In eTravel, the Traveler Comment field on the Summary Page or the Comment field alongside transactions within the online Travel Claim will be used to enter any justifications necessary.
Travel Policy May 2015
An authorized traveler who leaves official duties for personal reasons must clearly show the hours and dates of departure and return on the travel claim.
On the Form 4104, in the Reimbursement for Lodging and Meals section of the travel claim, the traveler indicates the dates and times the traveler started or returned to state business in the Leave Headquarters section, and ended or left state business in the Arrive Headquarters section. In the Record of Transportation (ROT) and Duties section of the travel claim, the traveler indicates the dates and times that personal business started and ended by stating “Went (off or on) official duty at (date and time).”
In eTravel, additional lines indicating the additional departures and arrivals associated with the personal leave must be entered in the Expenses section of the online Travel Claim. The traveler must add the necessary comments in the Traveler Comments field for each line of the Expenses page, and the Trips page. In the Trips tab in the Duties section of the travel claim, the traveler indicates the dates and times that personal business started and ended by stating “Went (off or on) official duty at (date and time).”
Travel Policy June 2014
All paper travel claims require the original signatures of the traveler and approving authority. Use of blue or red ink on the signature is preferred to indicate an original signature.
A travel claim for a member of a committee or council is completed by the liaison office for the group the member serves. Before the liaison can complete a travel claim, the member of a committee or council must submit all the necessary supporting documentation (receipts, point-to-point travel, and so on) to the office responsible for preparing the travel claim.
Expenses that authorized travelers cannot claim include those expenses:
• not related to official state business;
• used to attend association meetings and conferences that did not involve training or other official state business;
• that are personal (video rentals, personal phone calls, tips or gratuities, excess baggage charges, laundry and dry cleaning charges, fuel for personal vehicles, and so on); and
• used to attend award ceremonies when the traveler is not nominated for, receiving, or presenting an award.
In eTravel, the approvals are automated and scheduled through a workflow process. eTravel is the agency travel system, and executive level management have mandated that eTravel be used for all travel reimbursement claims. Only a few exceptions can be turned in and processed:
• Small Claim Travel Vouchers (see 1100 Terms and Definitions)
• Travel Claims for non-HHS Enterprise State Employees
• Supplement Travel Claims associated to previously processed travel claims completed outside of eTravel
• Out of Country Travel Claims
Travel Policy June 2014
To claim an additional expense or to correct an error after an initial claim has been submitted and processed, an employee must file a “Supplemental” Travel Reimbursement Claim (Form 4104). A supplemental travel claim cannot be processed until the initial claim has been paid.
Write “Supplemental” and the original claim number across the top of the travel claim, and include additional expenses or those expenses that are to be corrected. Original signatures are required on the supplemental travel claim. Attach a copy of the original travel claim previously submitted.
Travel Policy June 2014
A travel claim for reimbursement of travel to a workshop, meeting, or conference must include:
• the name of the event; and
• the training received or information gained
This information must be documented in the Duties Performed section of the travel claim.
Travel Policy June 2021
The traveler attaches the following receipts and documents to the travel claim or settlement:
- Receipt for airfare if paid by employee. The travel authorization (TA) process in eTravel must be in TA Completed status before making the airfare reservation. (If a receipt is not available, see the Comptroller of Public Accounts website for additional requirements.)
- Itinerary or receipt for direct-billed airline reservations. The TA process in eTravel must be in TA Completed status before making the airfare reservation.
- Receipt for rental car if paid by employee or direct-billed to DFPS. The TA process in eTravel must be in TA Completed status before making the car rental reservation. (If a receipt is not available, see the Comptroller of Public Accounts website for additional requirements.)
- Receipt for bus fare (city to city) if paid by employee or direct-billed to DFPS. The TA process in eTravel must be in TA Completed status before making the bus reservation.
- Receipt for train fare (city to city) if paid by employee or direct-billed to DFPS. The TA process in eTravel must be in TA Completed status before making the train reservation.
- Itemized gas receipt for a rental car. (Pre-pay receipts are not reimbursable. The itemized receipt must show the number of gallons purchased, the price per gallon, and the total cost of gas.) The TA process in eTravel must be in TA Completed status before making the car rental reservation.
- Itemized receipt for registration fee (such as for a conference) paid while in travel status.
- Original lodging receipt, itemized and showing zero balance. (If a receipt is not available, the traveler includes the canceled check or credit card slip used to pay the lodging expense, the credit card bill on which the lodging charges appear, or a copy of the receipt, check, slip, or bill.)
- Confirmation email from contracted hotel vendor.
- Itemized receipts from grocery and convenience stores.
- Itemized receipts for attendant care while in travel status.
- Itemized receipts for personal attendant services (such as interpreters or communication devices) while in travel status.
- Itemized receipts for miscellaneous expenses (such as copies, faxes, supplies, or postage) while in travel status.
- Itemized receipts for any expenses for a minor client (such as meals, lodging, or entertainment) while in travel status.
- Authorization (signed by the Commissioner or designee) for reimbursement for lodging and meals at a higher rate than indicated by the U.S. General Service Administration. (The traveler uses Form 4181 Comparison Tool - Increasing the Maximum Lodging Rate to determine whether a higher rate is more cost effective and, if so, submits Form 4180 Request to Increase Maximum Lodging Rate for signatures.)
- Authorization for reimbursement for lodging, meals, and other expenses while traveling outside the United States (Form 4186 Travel/Car Rental Authorization).
- Authorization (Executive Memo) for reimbursement of actual expenses, up to twice the maximum rates for lodging and meals, while traveling with the Commissioner.
- Authorization (Executive Memo) for overnight travel expenses less than 50 miles from both the traveler’s designated headquarters and residence.
- Certification for training (Form 7905 Request for Certification for Internal Training) for attending training conducted by DFPS if travel expenses are incurred.
- Texas Office of State-Federal Relations (OSFR) Report of State Agency Travel to Washington, DC for all travel to Washington, D.C., for activities that involve obtaining or spending federal funds or that affect federal policies. OSFR provides this form to the traveler, and it must be attached to the travel claim. Also see the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations website.
All travel forms are on the DFPS intranet under Travel Forms.
In eTravel, all attachments must be uploaded into the appropriate online Travel Claim/Settlement before entering travel expenses in the Expenses tab. The traveler uses the Docs/Receipts tab to upload the attachments and associate each of them with the online Travel Claim/Settlement.
For out-of-state travel, the travel authorization must be in TA Completed status before traveling in a personal vehicle or by public transportation.
Travel Policy June 2014
Travel claims with errors create delays in processing the claims for payment. To ensure that travel claims are not delayed due to errors, the travel claim must be thoroughly checked by the traveler for completeness and accuracy. Supervisors are required to sign their employee’s travel claims, certifying that they are true, correct, and unpaid. A common sense review by supervisors to ensure claims are “REAL” (Reasonable, Economical, Accurate/Authorized, and Logical) must be performed.
State law requires agencies to audit travel claims to ensure state and agency travel regulations are followed and that calculations are correct. The Travel Claims Unit performs this function. If a paper travel claim has an uncorrectable error, the Travel Claims Unit will:
• complete Form 6139 Notification of Error on Travel Voucher, giving the reason for rejecting the travel claim and the name of a contact person;
• attach the Form 6139 to the travel claim; and
• return the travel claim to the submitting employee for correction.
After correcting the travel claim, the employee must attach Form 6139 to the front of the travel claim (to speed processing) and return it to Travel Claims Unit at mail code E672.
In eTravel, all errors identified by the Travel Claim Unit will be returned to the traveler or the traveler’s supervisor for appropriate and corrective action. At this point, all Travel Claims must go back through the approval process. The traveler must make the appropriate changes or supply additional supporting documentation. Once the Travel Claim is re-approved by the appropriate chain of command, and since the claim has been through an initial approval process, the corrected Travel Claim instantly goes to the top of the auditors work list for completion.