Section VII: Financial Services

Travel Regulations

Chapter: 6
Date Updated: December 9, 2016

6.1 Introduction

Travel reimbursement rules and regulations applicable to travel by University employees, as well as guests and consultants as applicable, is governed by a variety of sources including the State of Texas Travel Regulations Act, the General Appropriations Act, the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents, the State of Texas Travel Guide (Textravel), official interpretations of the Travel Act as made by the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Internal Revenue Code and Internal Revenue Service Publication 463, and by the University policies, rules and regulations.

6.1.1 Employee's Responsibility

All University employees are Texas state employees, and therefore required to be aware of the state laws and the rules and regulations governing travel by state employees.  Failure to comply with these laws, rules and regulations could result in non-reimbursement of travel expenses and/or disciplinary action up to termination, and/or prosecution in the case of fraudulent misrepresentation of travel expenses. Additional information regarding travel regulations is available from the University Accounts Payable Office.

Stricter guidelines may be imposed by individual departments and, in addition, some sources of funds may impose additional restrictions, (e.g. contract and grant funding).

6.1.2 Definitions

6.1.2.1 “Business Day" is any weekday except a weekday on which a national or state holiday occurs.

6.1.2.2 “Cancellation Charge” is a fee, charge or payment that a provider of travel services assesses or retains because of the cancellation or change of a travel reservation or other travel plan.

6.1.2.3 “Commercial Lodging Establishment” means (1) a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house, or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay; or (2) a person or establishment that provides lodging for pay that the comptroller determines to have a sufficient number of the characteristics of a commercial lodging establishment for the purposes of the Travel Regulation Act.

6.1.2.4 “Commercial Lodging Receipt” means a lodging receipt issued by a commercial lodging establishment, a travel agency, or a broker, and is acceptable and must include the following information required by Texas Government Code Section 660.115:

i. The name and address of the commercial lodging establishment

ii. The name of the employee,

iii. The single room rate,

iv. A daily itemization of the lodging charges, and

v. Proof of payment.

6.1.2.1 “Commercial Transportation Company” is a person that offers to the public to transport people or goods for pay.

6.1.2.2 “Contiguous United States” consists of the District of Columbia and all states of the United States except Alaska and Hawaii.

6.1.2.3 “Designated Headquarters” is the city and state where the traveler’s employment is located. This is usually El Paso, Texas, for those employed at the University.

6.1.2.4 "Duty Point” is the destination, other than the Designated Headquarters, to which a University employee travels to conduct official University business.

6.1.2.5 “Eligible Expenses” means a travel expense that must be incurred before it is eligible for reimbursement.  For lodging and transportation expenses, proof of payment must be documented to validate that the expenses were actually incurred.  A University employee who receives free transportation or lodging in exchange for points or other non-monetary credits has not incurred an expense for reimbursement purposes.

6.1.2.6 “Gratuity/Tips” is something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually in response to or in anticipation of service.

6.1.2.7 “Incidental Expense” is an expense incurred while traveling on official University business.  The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and an applicable tax, except a tax based on the cost of a meal.  The term does not include a meal, lodging, transportation expense, and personal expense, an expense that an individual would incur regardless of whether the individual were traveling on official business and a Tip or Gratuity.

6.1.2.8 “Lease” is a contract with a term of at least one month that gives the lessee possession and use of property or equipment while the lessor retains ownership of it.

6.1.2.9 “Lodging Expense” is a charge imposed by a Commercial Lodging Establishment as consideration for providing lodging.  The term does not include money paid as a donation, Gratuity, or Tip to the establishment.

6.1.2.10 “Lowest Available Airfare” means the lowest available airfare as quoted in the Sabre® Passenger Reservation System or the Worldspan Reservation System.

6.1.2.11 “Meal Expense” includes a tax that is based on the cost of a meal.  The term does not include a Tip, a Gratuity, or a mandatory service charge paid or imposed in conjunction with a meal.

6.1.2.12 “Non-Working Hours” are all hours in a calendar day except Working Hours.

6.1.2.13 “Personal Leave” is applicable paid leave entitlements and any compensatory time accrued.  Paid Leave entitlements include vacation, holiday, sick leave, and, under certain circumstances, may also include other specialty leaves. 

6.1.2.14 “Prospective University Employee” is an individual that the University is considering for employment with the University.

6.1.2.15 “Rented or Public Conveyance” means a motor vehicle, train, aircraft, boat or bicycle that a University employee rents or pays a fare for a period of less than one month.

6.1.2.16 “State Funds” These funds are appropriated by the General Appropriations Act or the Texas Constitution.

6.1.2.17 “Travel Expense” is a meal, lodging, transportation or incidental expense incurred while traveling for official University business.

6.1.2.18 “Travel Voucher” means the information that a department submits to the University Accounts Payable Office for the purpose of requesting the University to pay or reimburse a travel expense on the University employee’s behalf.  The information is submitted electronically with supporting documentation being sent to Accounts Payable Office for review and approval.

6.1.2.19 “University Employee” is an individual employed by the University, including a key official unless the travel guide specifically provides otherwise.  The term includes a Prospective University Employee.

6.1.2.20 “Work Day” is a day on which a particular University employee is regularly required to conduct official University business.

6.1.2.21 “Working Hours” are the hours during which a University employee is regularly scheduled to conduct official University business.

6.2 Travel Authorization

6.2.1 Prior Approval 

Prior supervisory approval for all business travel is required for absences from the University campus (or other designated headquarters) for periods of half a day or more during the normal working period, whether or not there is a cost to The University.

6.2.2 Request for Travel Authorization 

6.2.2.1 A Request for Travel Authorization must be completed prior to travel, and approval is delegated to the immediate supervisor. Approved requests must be routed through the department chair or director and forwarded to the appropriate Dean or other administrative officer for approval. 

6.2.2.2 The Request for Travel Authorization must state the traveler's name, dates of travel, destination, purpose and benefit of travel, and the cost center/project to be charged. Appropriate arrangements for disposition of duties must be made in advance of the travel. Travel requests by faculty members must contain a statement describing the disposition of work and/or classes missed during the period of travel. If classes are to be missed, a qualified member of the instructional staff shall be identified and approved by the departmental Chair as a substitute instructor. Under normal circumstances, classes should not be rescheduled.

6.2.3 Student Travel Policy

Refer to the Student Affairs section of the Handbook at http://admin.utep.edu/hoop.  Texas State law prohibits students from traveling using State Funds.

6.2.4 Prospective University Employees

When a prospective employee is requested to travel for an employment interview, he or she may be reimbursed for travel expenses in the same manner as a University employee. A travel advance may not be issued to a prospective employee. Prospective employees are not exempt from hotel occupancy taxes and may be reimbursed for those taxes as an incidental expense.  

6.2.5 Disabled Officers and Employees

6.2.5.1 A disabled officer or employee who is required to travel on official University business may be reimbursed for attendant care travel expenses. The attendant travel expenses are subject to the same rules as the employee. First class or business class airfare for disabled employees is allowable only if it is medically necessary and approved as a reasonable accommodation.

6.2.5.2 The supporting documentation for the reimbursement of the attendant travel expenses and/or additional expenses arising out of the University employee’s reasonable accommodations must include a written determination signed by the University’s ADA Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity that the reasonable accommodation is approved.

6.2.6 Special Travel Regulations for Non-Educational and General Appropriations Act Funds

Employees may travel under the budget of contracts, gifts, grants, or other designated funds, in which case the following requirements will apply:

6.2.6.1 Travel on Sponsored Project (Grant) Funds, Gifts, and Designated Funds

6.2.6.1.1 Travel allowances under Grants or sponsored project contracts will be in accordance with the terms of the corresponding Grant and/or contract. However, if the Grant and/or contract does not specify terms for travel, then the applicable University travel regulations will apply. For travel from, or derived from, federal or state agencies, travel allowances will be those specified in the applicable University travel regulations.

6.2.6.1.2 For all gifts, designated funds, and Grants the travel allowances will be for expenses involving meals and lodging, not to exceed daily rates specified in the applicable travel regulations. This applies for both in-state and out-of-state travel.  Commercial Lodging Receipts must be submitted for reimbursement of claims. The transportation allowances will follow the provisions of the general travel regulations.  Meal expenses incurred on a calendar day that did not involve an overnight stay away from the employee’s designated headquarters will not be reimbursed.

6.2.6.1.3 The provisions above are subject to the terms and conditions of the particular gift or grant involved, which may supersede the above provisions. When not prohibited by the terms of the contract or grant, employees may be reimbursed for required registration fees or similar expenses incurred while attending meetings of organizations or associations. Receipts for such expenses must be secured and electronically attached to the document if reimbursement is expected.

6.2.6.1.4 An employee may be reimbursed for travel expenses from both a non-state agency source and from the State of Texas so long as the total reimbursement from all sources is not greater than actual expenses.

6.2.6.2 In addition to institutional approval, special written approval from the granting agency may be required if specific authorization is not provided for under the terms of the contract or Grant. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to secure all necessary approvals; failure to do so will result in disallowance of the travel expenses.

6.2.5 Registration Fees

6.2.5.1 Reimbursement for registration fees or similar expenses incurred when attending any type of organization or association meeting will be made only if the associated membership is directly related to the duties performed by the employee and the type of conference attended. Receipt showing who paid and the form of payment must be submitted.  The reimbursement will be processed only upon completion of the travel.

6.2.5.2 Meals and lodging may not be claimed in the registration fee except when the meals are included as a non-optional, incidental expense of the fee.  If meal and lodging expenses are optional, then the reimbursement may not exceed the meal and lodging per diem limits.

6.2.5.3 A registration fee can be paid in advance by the University, but only if the fee is paid in the same fiscal year as the date of the conference.

6.2.5.4 Notwithstanding section 6.2.5.4, a registration fee that includes a membership fee may be paid in advance and charged to the current year's budget, if the request is made no earlier than six (6) weeks prior to the date of the conference. Every effort should be made to attend "paid in advance" conferences and, with the approval of the supervisor, one employee may replace another employee at the conference.

6.2.6 Packaged Travel Arrangements 

The use of third party websites such as Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, etc. are not allowed for making packaged travel arrangements for University travel.  All travelers must use the University contracted travel agencies to make travel arrangements.

6.3 Travel Expense Reimbursement

6.3.1 General Rules

6.3.1.1 Travel Expenses will be reimbursed only from funds budgeted for travel.  When processing travel reimbursements from State Funds, the Texas Travel Regulations Act and the official interpretations of said act made by the State Comptroller of Public Accounts must be followed.

6.3.1.2 Requests for travel authorization (TA) and/or Travel Expense reimbursements should identify the nature of the official University business performed within the legal responsibilities of the University.  When recruiting of faculty and staff is involved, names of persons contacted, letters or agendas or e-mail correspondence are appropriate supporting documentation.

6.3.1.3 The University will not reimburse an employee for meal expenses incurred on a calendar day that did not involve an overnight stay away from the employee’s Designated Headquarters, regardless of the funding source.  

6.3.1.4 Itemized commercial receipts are required for all Travel Expense reimbursements. 

6.3.1.5 Employees may not claim Lodging Expenses for more than actual costs including room taxes.  The University will reimburse Lodging Expenses only with a proper Commercial Lodging Receipt from a Commercial Lodging Establishment.

6.3.1.6 Only single occupancy rates can be claimed as a Lodging Expense.  If two or more employees share lodging, the Lodging Expense should be divided equally between the employees, and documented on both expense reimbursement reports.  Excess Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses for one day may not be carried forward or backward to another day.  Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses are not reimbursable without an overnight stay.

6.3.1.7 A receipt that has been altered by any person other than the entity issuing the receipt is unacceptable. A receipt to which additional information has been added is considered unaltered if the information does not conflict with the original information on the receipt.  The paper version of a receipt delivered through the Internet or electronic mail by a Commercial Lodging Establishment, travel agency or broker is considered original.

6.3.1.8 If a Commercial Lodging Receipt is unavailable, the supporting documentation must include the canceled check or credit card slip used to pay the Lodging Expense, the credit card billing on which the Lodging Expense charges appear or a copy of the receipt, check, slip or billing.

6.3.1.9 The meal per diem allowance is calculated on a fractional day’s basis.  This is generally the first and last days of a trip as indicated on the travel authorization.  University will reimburse 75% of the total meal rate regardless of the departure or arrival time for the first and last day of travel.

6.3.1.10 University must use the federal rates provided by the General Services Administration (GSA) for both in-state and out-of-state travel within the Contiguous United States. University employees who travel to Alaska, Hawaii, a U.S. possession or a foreign country must be reimbursed according to the guidelines established by the GSA.

6.3.1.11 When traveling to non-listed locations, University employees are limited to the GSA’s Domestic Maximum Per Diem Rates.

6.3.2 In-State Travel

This section applies when a University employee travels to a Duty Point within Texas with an overnight stay outside their Designated Headquarters.  

6.3.2.1 University employees are required to use State contracted Commercial Lodging Establishments.  Only single occupancy rates can be claimed as a Lodging Expense.  If two or more employees share lodging, the Lodging Expense should be divided equally between the employees, and documented on all expense reimbursement reports.  Excess Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses for one day may not be carried forward or backward to another day. Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses are not reimbursable without an overnight stay.

6.3.2.2 Employees of the University are exempt from Texas state hotel occupancy taxes collected by a Texas Commercial Lodging Establishment.  A traveler must present the hotel with a completed exemption certificate.  If a hotel refuses to honor the certificate, the traveler will be reimbursed for the tax, and the state comptroller should be notified of the hotel's refusal. University employees are not exempt from county or municipal hotel occupancy taxes, and these taxes are reimbursable.  An employee who fails to present a properly completed exemption certificate will not be reimbursed for state hotel occupancy taxes.

6.3.2.3 Meal Expense and Lodging Expense reimbursement for in-state travel on State funds is limited to State of Texas per diem rates.  Excess Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses and associated hotel occupancy taxes may be paid from Local funds with departmental approval.

6.3.2.4 The above provisions are applied strictly when the cost of travel is to be paid from State Appropriated Funds. For special exceptions, see State of Texas Travel Guide (Textravel).

6.3.3 Out-of-State Travel, but within the Contiguous United States

This section applies when a University employee travels to a Duty Point outside Texas but within the Contiguous United States with an overnight stay outside their Designated Headquarters.  The Contiguous United States consists of the District of Columbia and all states of the United States except for Alaska and Hawaii.

6.3.3.1 Only single occupancy rates can be claimed as a Lodging Expense.  If two or more employees share lodging, the Lodging Expense should be divided equally between the employees, and documented on all reimbursement reports. Excess Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses for one day may not be carried forward or backward to another day.  Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses are not reimbursable without an overnight stay. Employees of the University may be reimbursed for state hotel occupancy taxes collected by a Commercial Lodging Establishment as established in section 6.3.6 below.

6.3.3.2 Meal Expenses and Lodging Expense reimbursement for out-of-state travel on all funds is limited by the federal travel regulations for those localities.  Excess Meal Expense and Lodging Expense and associated hotel occupancy taxes may be paid from Local funds with departmental approval.  Locality limits are based on key cities within a state.  When traveling to a city not listed, the limit is based on the county in which the city is located.  If neither the city nor the county is listed, the maximum reimbursement rate is the standard rate for the state in which the duty point is located per GSA.  

6.3.3.3 When traveling out of state, the Meal Expense reimbursement rate may be reduced and a corresponding amount used to increase the Lodging Expense reimbursement rate.  However, Lodging Expense reimbursement rate may not be reduced to increase the Meal Expense reimbursement rate.

6.3.4 Out-of-State Travel to U.S. possessions, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or the United Mexican States (Mexico)

This section applies when a University employee travels to a Duty Point in a U.S. possession, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Mexico with an overnight stay outside their Designated Headquarters.  

6.3.4.1 Employees who travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico or any U.S. possession, are not allowed to use State funds.  If a department only has state appropriated funding, a “Request for an Exchange of Funds” is required to be sent to the University Accounts Payable Office.  The request should include the cost center, the amount to be exchanged, the traveler’s name and purpose of the travel.

6.3.4.2 Employees of the University may be reimbursed for hotel occupancy taxes collected by a Commercial Lodging Establishment as established in section 6.3.7 below.  Excess Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses and associated hotel occupancy taxes may be paid from Local funds with departmental approval.

6.3.4.3 Meal Expense and Lodging Expense reimbursement for out-of-state travel on local funds is limited by the federal General Services Administration (GSA) travel per diem rates for those localities.  Locality limits are based on key cities within a state.  When traveling to a city not listed, the limit is based on the county in which the city is located.  If neither the city nor the county is listed, the maximum reimbursement rate is the standard rate for the state in which the Duty Point is located.  A department may further limit the per diem amount allowed.  

6.3.4.4 When traveling out of state, the Meal Expense reimbursement rate may be reduced and a corresponding amount used to increase the Lodging Expense reimbursement rate.  However, Lodging Expense reimbursement rate may not be reduced to increase the Meal Expense reimbursement rate.

COMMERCIAL LODGING RECEIPTS ARE REQUIRED. Employees may not claim lodging that is more than actual costs including room taxes.  University will reimburse 75% of the total meal rate regardless of the departure or arrival time for the first and last day of travel, which is in accordance with Government Services Administration policy.

6.3.5 General Rules for Travel to Foreign Countries other than Canada and Mexico

This section applies when a University employee travels to a Duty Point in a foreign country other than Canada and Mexico. 

6.3.5.1 COMMERCIAL LODGING RECEIPTS ARE REQUIRED. Employees may not claim lodging that is more than actual costs including room taxes. 

6.3.5.2 Only single occupancy rates can be claimed as a Lodging Expense. If two or more employees share lodging, the Lodging Expense should be divided equally between the employees, and documented on all expense reimbursement reports.  Excess Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses for one day may not be carried forward or backward to another day.  Meal Expenses and Lodging Expenses are not reimbursable without an overnight stay. 

6.3.5.3 University employees who travel to a foreign country are not allowed to use State funds.  If a department only has state appropriated funding, a “Request for an Exchange of Funds” is required to be sent to the Accounts Payable Office.  The request should include the cost center, the amount to be exchanged, the traveler’s name and purpose of the travel.

6.3.5.4 Per Diem will be based on the U.S. Department of State per diem tables.  If the Lodging Expense is over the allotted per diem, the overage can be reimbursed on a local account using an expense report; no overage can be paid on “Meals and Incidentals” per diem.  Incidental Expenses are accounted for within the Meal Expense per diem, therefore certain Incidentals Expenses would not be reimbursed as individual expenses.  

6.3.5.5 Non- reimbursable Incidentals include:

i. Tips;

ii. Laundry;

iii. Telephone calls;

iv. Internet connections;

v. Travelers check charges;

vi. Fee to exchange U.S. currency for foreign or vice versa; and

vii. Money Orders.

6.3.5.6 All travel expenses must be converted to US dollars and each exchange rate used for the conversion specified on the voucher.

6.3.5.7 Travel to countries on the U.S. Department of State (DOS) warning list must be approved by the University International Oversight Committee (IOC), including daily travel to Mexico.

6.3.5.8 All international travel must be arranged by a UT System contracted travel agency. This includes airfare, hotel, and car rentals.

6.3.5.9 It is mandatory for all travelers to register with International SOS.

6.3.5.10 International Travel that is not booked through the UT System contracted agencies will not be approved for reimbursement.

6.3.6 Additional Reimbursement Rules

6.3.6.1 An employee can only be reimbursed for his or her own expenditures. Employees are not allowed reimbursement for expenditures incurred by other individuals. 

6.3.6.2 Non-reimbursable expenses include:

i. Alcoholic beverages;

ii. Any expense, with the exception of parking and toll expenses, which is related to the operation of a personally owned or leased motor vehicle (Rented Conveyance);

iii. Excess baggage charges for personal belongings;

iv. Personal expenses, such as the rental or purchase of personal entertainment, dry cleaning or laundry; and

v. Kennel expenses for a pet.

6.3.6.3 The University may reimburse an employee for business internet and telephone calls as an Incidental Expense.

6.3.6.4 While state funded accounts may not be used for Tips and Gratuities, local accounts may be used to reimburse reasonable tips and gratuities at the University’s discretion.

6.3.7 Hotel Occupancy Taxes

A University employee may be reimbursed for travel outside the State of Texas for the required payment of hotel occupancy or similar taxes. The reimbursement is classified as an Incidental Expense. The taxes are not classified as a Lodging Expense for the purpose of the maximum reimbursement rate for those expenses.

6.3.7.1 Maximum Reimbursement. When a University employee is entitled to be reimbursed for payment of a hotel occupancy or similar tax and the Lodging Expense amount incurred exceeds the maximum allowable Lodging Expense rate, the following calculation methods for the tax reimbursement must be used:

When the tax is calculated as a percentage of the Lodging Expense rate, then the amount of the reimbursement is equal to the percentage multiplied by the maximum that may be reimbursed to the employee for Lodging Expenses.

6.3.8 Lease of an Apartment or House

6.3.8.1 An apartment or house rental expense may be reimbursed if:

i. The purpose of the rental is the conservation of state funds, and

ii. The agency reasonably anticipates that the employee will be using the apartment or house while conducting state business throughout the term of the lease.

6.3.8.2 Application fees and other mandatory costs associated with applying for the rental of the apartment or house are reimbursable.

6.4 Transportation

This section specifies the supporting documentation requirements for reimbursement of a state employee for the expense of transportation by Rented or Public Conveyance.  The employee should select the most cost effective method of transportation available.

6.4.1 Travel by Mass Transit, Taxi, or Limousine

6.4.1.1 A University employee is entitled to be reimbursed for the actual cost of transportation by bus, subway, other mode of mass transit or taxi if incurred to conduct state business. 

6.4.1.2 The cost is only reimbursable if provided by a Commercial Transportation Company.  A University employee is entitled to be reimbursed for the actual cost of transportation by limousine only if it was the least costly transportation available considering all relevant circumstances.

6.4.1.3 The University requires receipt and documentation of the fare and date for reimbursement of any expenses incurred for transportation.

6.4.1.4 If a taxi or limousine is shared by two or more University employees, then only the employee who paid for the transportation may be reimbursed for that expense. The other employees may be reimbursed only for charges imposed on an individual-by-individual basis.

6.4.2 Rental Vehicle 

6.4.2.1 University employees are required to use the rental companies under contract with The University of Texas System, unless any of the contracted car rental companies are unable to provide service in the location and dates required for travel, documentation regarding the unavailability of contracted rental companies must be provided when requesting reimbursement. Secondary drivers are allowed, and associated fees are waived, only if the additional driver is operating the car during the course and scope of official University business.

6.4.2.2 The names of currently contracted rental car agencies are available on the Travel website, under Rental Car Reservations.

6.4.2.3 When renting a vehicle from a contracted agency, the daily rate includes both Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Liability coverage. Additional insurance, including but not limited to, personal accident insurance, safe trip insurance, and personal effects insurance is not reimbursable.  A collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver is reimbursable only when a traveler is required to use a rental car agency that is not a UT System contract vendor.

6.4.2.4 A University employee is entitled to reimbursement for the cost of renting a vehicle to conduct state business.  The reimbursement includes all applicable taxes and mandatory charges.  A charge for an additional driver may only be reimbursed if incurred for a business reason.

6.4.2.5 For a state employee to be reimbursed for a car rental expense, the employee must provide proof that the expense was incurred. A complete receipt issued by the rental company serves this purpose. The receipt must include the following:

i. The name of the rental company;

ii. The name of the employee renting the vehicle;

iii. The starting and ending dates of the rental;

iv. An itemization of expenses incurred; and 

v. Proof of payment

If the receipt does not include all of the above listed items, the rental contract may also be included to provide that information.

6.4.2.6 A receipt that has been altered by any person other than the entity issuing the receipt is unacceptable.  A receipt to which additional information has been added is considered unaltered if the information does not conflict with the original information on the receipt.

6.4.2.7 If the individual listed on the receipt is different than the state employee listed on the voucher, the supporting documentation must include proof that the employee paid the expenses for which he or she is claiming reimbursement.  The proof may be in the form of a credit card slip or billing, a canceled check or a receipt from the individual listed on the receipt.

6.4.2.8 If the receipt and contract are both unavailable, the supporting documentation must include a copy of the receipt or contract, the canceled check or credit card slip used to pay the rental expense or the credit card billing on which the rental charges appear.  If any of these alternative methods are used as supporting documentation, the above information required from the receipt must still be included in the documentation.

6.4.2.9 When associated with rental vehicles, reimbursable expenses include Texas and other state sales taxes, gasoline, parking fees, and toll charges. 

6.4.2.10 If an employee should have an accident while in a rental vehicle, regardless of fault, he or she should notify the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs as soon as possible.

6.4.2.11 Employees are personally responsible for paying for any traffic tickets that are issued to them. In addition, charges for frequent flyer credit, GPS, satellite radio and other non-business essential services will not be reimbursed.

6.4.2.12 Refueling Provisions. Vehicles are commonly provided to travelers with a full tank of gas. Fuel is not included in the car rental rate. If a vehicle is returned with less than a full tank of gas, refueling fees will vary based on the vendor and location.  Refueling fees are generally higher than "gas pump" prices and can be as much as fifty percent (50%) above local market price.  It is strongly recommended that a prepaid fuel option be chosen at the time of the rental or that the vehicle be returned with a full tank of gas.

6.4.3 Use of Personal Car on Official University Business

6.4.3.1 An employee may be reimbursed for use of a personal vehicle if it is the most cost-effective as compared to car rental. The Constructive Car Rental Cost should be used to determine the option that offers the greatest conservation of funds (worksheet requires estimated gas price information).  The comparison between the Constructive Car Rental Cost and the estimated mileage reimbursement calculation using MapQuest will be used to determine the mode of travel.

6.4.3.2 Personal Car Mileage. A University employee is entitled to be reimbursed for mileage incurred to conduct University business.  The reimbursement amount may not exceed the product of the actual number of miles traveled for business and the maximum mileage reimbursement rate.  The mileage reimbursement rate is inclusive of all expenses associated with the employee’s use of his or her vehicle.  The University is not required to reimburse employees at the maximum rate.  The University may specify a mileage reimbursement rate that is lower than the maximum allowable rate per mile.

6.4.3.3 Route determination. The number of reimbursable miles may not exceed the number of miles of the most cost-effective reasonably safe route between two Duty Points. In determining the most cost-effective reasonably safe route, the University may consider the route that provides the shortest distance, the quickest drive time or the safest road conditions.

6.4.3.4 Mileage calculation. The number of miles traveled by an employee for state business may be determined by point-to-point itemization. Point-to-point mileage may be documented by an employee’s vehicle odometer reading or by using MapQuest. The itemization must be sufficiently detailed for the University reimbursing the mileage to verify the number of miles.

6.4.3.5 Travel between residence and an airport. The University may determine when it is appropriate to reimburse an employee for mileage between an employee’s residence and an airport.  An employee may be reimbursed mileage for travel between employee’s home and the nearest airport. If travel occurs during work hours, reimbursement may not exceed the reimbursement that would be received had the employee traveled from employee’s Designated Headquarters to the airport.  The scheduled departure and arrival times of the employee's flight determine whether the travel to the airport was during work hours. University has standardized and maintains a maximum twenty (20) mile reimbursement for mileage to and from the airport at a rate designated by the Vice President of Business Affairs.

6.4.3.6 The University may determine when it is appropriate to reimburse the mileage costs associated with transporting an employee to (two-way trip) and from (two-way trip) the airport by another person. The reimbursement may not exceed the reimbursement amount that would have been paid if the employee had parked at the airport.  If travel occurs during work hours, reimbursement may not exceed the reimbursement that would be received had the employee traveled from Designated Headquarters to the airport.

6.4.3.7 Travel between employee’s residence and place of employment. A University employee may not be reimbursed for mileage incurred in traveling between the employee’s residence and Designated Headquarters in a personally owned or leased motor vehicle unless the travel:

i. Is necessitated by extraordinary circumstances; or

ii. Occurs outside of the hours the employee is working.

6.4.4 Multiple Travelers

6.4.4.1 Coordination of travel must occur when two (2) to four (4) employees, employed by the same department, travel from the same Designated Headquarters to the same Duty Point at the same time.  When coordination of travel is required, only one of the employees may be reimbursed for mileage.  However, mileage incurred to travel to a pick up point by other employees may be reimbursed.  Coordination of travel is not required if it is determined infeasible for business reasons.

6.4.4.2 With the exception of tolls and parking expenses, reimbursement of mileage is inclusive of all expenses associated with the operation of a personally owned or leased vehicle.

6.4.5 Personal Travel

Personal travel does not require notice, and personal activities combined with official business travel should be identified in the Electronic Travel Request and the Travel Reimbursement as such, but no personal agenda is needed.

6.4.6 Weekend Travel

6.4.6.1 If official state business temporarily ends on Friday and resumes on Monday, the employee may have the option to stay at the Duty Point or return to Designated Headquarters for the weekend. If the employee chooses to remain at the Duty Point, expenses for the weekend are subject to the same limitations as weekday travel. If the employee decides to return to Designated Headquarters, the travel reimbursement shall be limited to the lesser of the expenses that would have been reimbursed, had the employee stayed at the Duty Point, and the transportation expenses incurred returning to Designated Headquarters and going back to the Duty Point.

6.4.6.2 Reimbursable expenses are limited if an employee leaves a Duty Point and travels for personal reasons to a location other than Designated Headquarters for the weekend. Weekend travel expenses may not exceed the average weekday travel cost multiplied by the number of days in the weekend.

6.4.7 Travel While On Personal Leave

6.4.7.1 If an employee on personal leave at a location outside the Designated Headquarters is required to travel to a Duty Point, the travel expenses incurred may be reimbursed. The reimbursement shall not exceed the lesser of the amount of actual travel expenses and the amount that would have been incurred had the employee traveled from their Designated Headquarters.

6.4.7.2 When an employee is required to return to headquarters while on personal leave, he or she may be reimbursed for the travel expenses incurred while traveling to headquarters and returning to the place he or she was staying while on personal leave.

6.4.8 Travel by Commercial Air

6.4.8.1. All University employees are required to purchase airfare using the UT System contracted travel agencies.

6.4.8.2 Exceptions for not using the UT System Contracted Travel Agencies:

i. When travel is paid by an outside entity (not funded by the University);

ii. Extreme weather conditions or emergency response;

iii. Athletic Travel; or

iv. Student travel not funded by the University in accordance with the Student Travel Policy for University Organized or Sponsored Events and the Student Travel Policy for Registered Student Organizations.

6.4.8.3 The reimbursement for commercial air transportation may not exceed the cost of the lowest available airfare.  Proof of lowest available airfare may be supported by listing the city pair rate or by noting in the electronic reimbursement voucher.  First class airfare may be reimbursed if it was the only available airfare.  Business class airfare may be reimbursed only if a lower airfare was not available. If reimbursement is for first class or business class airfare when another fare was available, the supporting documentation must justify that the first class or business class airfare was an approved accommodation for the employee in accordance with section 6.2.5 above.  

6.4.8.4 The University may not reimburse an employee for the cost of air transportation by a person that is not a Commercial Transportation Company.

6.4.8.5 When an employee combines business and personal air travel, his or her reimbursement may not exceed the amount airfare would have been had he or she not included personal travel. So long as that limit is not exceeded, he or she may be reimbursed for  the full cost of airfare. Federal taxes on airfare are reimbursable.

6.4.8.6 Discounted and Contracted Airfares. UT System discounted airfares and state contracted rates are available to employees for business-related travel where travel is being paid by the University. They are not to be used for leisure, personal or non-state business travel.  UT System discounted airfares are available to prospective employees or to independent contractors/consultants engaged by the University. 

6.4.8.7 Internet Airfare. Airfare purchases made from internet travel sites (Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, etc.) will not be reimbursed.

6.4.8.8 Constructive Airfare. The University’s standardized mode of transportation is commercial air travel. Constructive Airfare is the cost comparison between commercial air travel expenses and the selected mode of transportation expense.  If the traveler chooses a mode other than commercial air travel then they would need to provide an airfare quote along with a quote of the mode of transportation chosen, the reimbursement for the traveler will be the lesser of airfare cost or the mode of transportation chosen by the traveler. It must be documented that constructive airfare is being used, and a quote from the UT System contracted travel agencies showing the cost of commercial air travel must be provided prior to the travel.

6.4.8.9.Expenses Incurred While Qualifying For Discount Airfare (Free or Discounted Travel). When an employee stays extra days at a Duty Point to qualify for a discount airfare, he or she may be reimbursed for the travel expenses incurred if the additional expenses plus the discount airfare are less than or equal to the average coach airfare.  It must be in the best interest of the University to allow the employee to be absent for the extra days.  The extra days may occur before or after the official University business.

6.4.8.10 Charging Air Travel - Corporate Card Central Billing Account (CBA). The Central Billing Account (CBA) is an account designed for the charging of business airfare on a corporate credit card supplied by a contracted banking institution. Use of the CBA eliminates the need to use a traveler's personal credit card or a travel advance to pay for airfare.  The following procedure must be followed every time the CBA is used:

i. The department will contact the designated agencies to make airline reservations for the approved travel, advising the travel agency that a CBA will be used. The agency will accept reservations and provide pricing, but cannot issue the ticket until they receive departmental authorization and an authorization number (Travel Authorization number).

ii. When completing the Travel Reimbursement form, the cost of the airline ticket should not be included for reimbursement to the traveler. Any questions regarding the use of the CBA are to be addressed to the Accounts Payable Office.  

6.4.8.11 Additional Air Travel Insurance. Reservations made through the UT System contracted travel agency include automatic flight insurance for the traveler at no additional cost to the University or individual.  When an employee’s airline ticket is charged to a CBA, through the UT System contracted travel agency on the corporate card, the employee is provided with additional travel insurance, in addition to the insurance provided by the UT System contracted travel agency.

6.5. Corporate Cards 

6.5.1 Corporate Individual Billing Account (IBA) charge cards are available employees who travel on official University business. The card application is available through the University Accounts Payable Office with no annual fee and is to be used for official University business only.

6.5.2 When obtaining a charge card, the employee accepts the responsibility for paying all charges in a timely manner and agrees that the charge card is intended for University business use only.

6.5.3 An IBA travel charge card issued to an employee of the University by the State of Texas remains the property of the State of Texas and should be used only for official University business travel charges.  Use of the corporate travel charge card by an employee for personal business is considered a violation of and University regulations and will be subject to disciplinary action.

6.5.4 The card is issued in the employee's name and the employee is the sole guarantor of payment. The University is not liable for payment of any charges on these cards.  The University may receive monthly reports of charges made on all charge cards and the status of payments. Charges and payments are reviewed for compliance with guidelines stipulated on the Card Use Agreement signed by the employee at the time of application.  Delinquent accounts may be assessed delinquent fees and the accounts may be closed.

6.6. Cancellation or Change Charges

The University will allow a cancellation charge, related to a travel expense, if the charge is incurred:

i. For a reason related to state business;

ii. For a reason related to state business that could not be conducted because of a natural disaster; or

iii. If an employee was unable to use transportation that was paid in advance to obtain a cost savings because that employee was ill or had a personal emergency.

6.7. Lost or Stolen Tickets

An employee may be reimbursed for a lost or stolen ticket if he or she exercised reasonable care to safeguard the ticket.  The supporting documentation must include a statement that the employee exercised reasonable care to safeguard the ticket or item.  This statement must be signed by someone in the employee's direct reporting line.

6.8 Death of an Employee

If a University employee dies while conducting state business at a Duty Point outside his or her Designated Headquarters, the University may pay the expense of preparing and transporting the employee’s remains and personal property to the employee’s designated headquarters or another location designated by the executor or administrator of the employee’s estate. If transport is to a location other than the designated headquarters, then the amount of the agency’s payment may not exceed the amount that would have been paid for transport to the headquarters.

The agency may reimburse the employee’s estate for appropriate lodging and transportation expenses incurred by the employee at the Duty Point. The state will pay for return of the remains and any costs involved in the unused ticket.

6.9 Washington D.C. Travel

6.9.1 Texas law requires state funded travelers to submit travel information to the Office of State and Federal Relations (OSFR) when travelling to engage in activities related to obtaining or spending federal funds, or to impact federal policies.

6.9.2 ONLY STATE-FUNDED TRAVELERS WHO WILL BE ENGAGING IN ACTIVITIES TO OBTAIN OR SPEND FEDERAL FUNDS OR TO IMPACT FEDERAL POLICIES SHOULD SUBMIT TRAVEL INFORMATION TO OSFR.

6.9.3 For purposes of this section, Washington, D.C. includes Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Airport.

6.10 Travel Fund Advances

6.10.1 The University may advance travel funds to its employees for projected travel expenses only when the expenses are incurred during travel for University purpose or benefit that requires an overnight stay outside of their Designated Headquarters, and if one or more of the following conditions are met:

i. The destination of the travel is to an isolated region with limited access to suppliers or services that accept credit cards;

ii. Travel is for more than 3 consecutive days;

iii. Traveler does not hold an IBA Card;

iv. A faculty member is taking a group of students in accordance with the Student Travel Policy for University Organized or Sponsored Events.

6.10.2 Travel fund advance requests must be submitted via email to travel@utep.edu and include the following information:

i. Name of Traveler;

ii. Employee ID;

iii. Dates of Travel;

iv. Destination;

v. Amount;

vi. Per diem rates from GSA of the destination;

vii. Approved Travel Authorization; and 

viii. Signed Authorization to Deduct Outstanding Travel Advance from Payroll.

6.10.3 Requests for travel fund advances must be submitted at least ten (10) days prior to the anticipated trip.  The amount of travel funds requested cannot exceed ninety (90%) percent of the estimated costs of the meals and lodging (per diem). 

6.10.4 A new travel fund advance will not be issued if an employee has an outstanding travel fund advance for more than thirty (30) days. 

6.10.5 Travel fund advance recipients will be allowed forty-five (45) days from completion of travel, to redeposit travel advance funds to the Student Business Services Office.  Should this grace period be exceeded, a payroll deduction will automatically occur on the next available payroll. 


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