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3000 Travel Claims

3100 When to Submit Travel Claims

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.

3200 Justifications

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.

3300 Combining Personal and State Business

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).”

3400 Completing Travel Claims

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

3500 Supplemental 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.

3600 Workshops, Meetings, and Conferences

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.

3700 Attachments Required

Travel Policy May 2015

Attach the following receipts or documents to the travel claim:

  •   Receipt for airfare if paid by employee. The Travel Authorization (TA) process in eTravel must be completed prior to the airfare reservation

  •   Receipt for bus fare (city to city) if paid by employee. The TA process in eTravel must be completed before the bus reservation

  •   Receipt for train fare (city to city) if paid by employee. The TA process in eTravel must be completed before the train reservation

  •   Receipt for rental car if paid by employee. The TA process in eTravel must be completed before the car rental reservation

  •   Itemized gas receipt for a rental car (Pre-pay receipts are not reimbursable. The itemized receipt must show the amount of gallons purchased and the price per gallon). The TA process in eTravel must be completed before the car rental reservation

  •   Registration fees

  •   Original lodging receipt, itemized and showing zero balance

  •   Itemized grocery receipts

  •   Receipts for attendant care

  •   Receipts for personal attendant services (such as interpreters or communication devices)

  •   Receipts for miscellaneous expenses (such as copies, faxes, supplies, or postage)

  •   Receipts for any ward of the state expense – meals, lodging, entertainment, incidentals, and so on

  •   A charge card receipt or other proof of payment if the airline or hotel receipt is not available

  •   Authorization for out-of-state travel before travel must be completed through the TA process in eTravel

  •   Authorization for out-of-state lodging and meals reimbursement in excess of Federal Rate Schedule signed by the Commissioner or designee (Form 4181 Comparison Tool - Increasing the Maximum Lodging Rate or Form 4180 Request to Increase Maximum Lodging Rate)

  •   Authorization for actual expenses signed by the commissioner (decision memo)

  •   Certification for Training — If an authorized traveler attends any training classes conducted by DFPS and travel expenses are incurred, the employee must obtain a copy of Form 7905 (Certificate for Internal Training) from the instructor and submit it with the travel claim. Form 7905 may only cover one training session. Altered 7905s are not acceptable. If the certification document is not provided, be sure to request it from the instructor before the class concludes.

  •   A copy of the Office of State-Federal Relations (OSFR form) for all travel to Washington D.C. The form will be supplied by state office Budget to the traveler and must be attached to the travel claim.

All travel claims and forms can be located on the DFPS Intranet under “Travel Resources.”

In eTravel, all attachments must be uploaded into the appropriate online Travel Claim before entering and recording travel expenses in the Expenses section. The traveler must use the Docs/Receipts function to establish and associate each of these attachments with the online Travel Claim.

3800 Travel Claims With Errors

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.

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