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Purchasing, Receiving and Travel 

Travel Policy 

 

General Travel Policy

 

Local Travel
  Definition
  Meals
  Mileage Reimbursement
  Phone Expense
  Registration
  Summary

 

Non-Local or Overnight Travel

  Definition
  Combination Business/Pleasure Trips
  Advances
  Air Travel
  Frequent Flyer Mileage Benefits
  Mileage Expense
  Registration
  Automobile Rental
  Incidental Expenses
  Meals
  Hotel Accommodations
  Phone Expense
  Travel Insurance
  Submission Requirements
  Supporting Documentation
  Summary

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GENERAL TRAVEL POLICY

It is Central Ohio Technical College's policy to support travel expenses incurred on behalf of the college. Employees are expected to use prudent judgment when incurring these expenses.

Travel for attendance at local seminars, to meetings, recruiting sites etc. does not require formal pre-authorization. However, each departmental unit may have specific policies authorizing off-campus work time and as such employees should discuss this with their direct supervisor.  Expenses related to local mileage or attendance at local seminars should be reported on a Local Expense Reimbursement Request Form. See Local travel Policy for further information.

Overnight or non-local travel expenditures require employees to provide an estimate and obtain appropriate approval prior to incurring any liability for the campus related to overnight travel. The campus will also assist employees in prepaying or provide a travel credit card when requested. These expenditures are reported on a Travel Authorization/Reimbursement Request Form. See Non-Local or Overnight Travel Policy for further information.

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LOCAL TRAVEL

Definition
Local travel is defined as travel which occurs inside the city limits of Newark up to within a 45 mile radius of the campus. Local travel does not qualify for reimbursement for overnight or meal expenses. Occasionally exceptions may be made under this policy for special circumstance as determined by the appropriate Senior Administrator. Examples include events requiring evening or early morning activities.

 

Meals
Generally, meals are not reimbursable when incurred in connection with travel within 45 miles of the campus. However, when travel is in conjunction with a business meeting which includes a meal, this is considered an allowable expense. Documentation should be included with the reimbursement form. Documentation includes business purpose, names of attendees and itemized receipt. It is the college's policy not to reimburse employees for alcohol consumption. In addition to this an effort should be made by the employee to keep meal expenses at a reasonable level.

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Mileage Reimbursement
When multiple individuals are traveling to a common destination, an effort should be made to carpool.  Mileage reimbursement should only be requested for the additional miles above and beyond your normal commute.

The use of personal automobiles on college business will be reimbursed at the Internal Revenue Service approved rate per mile, plus tolls and parking. Employees are required to have appropriate public liability and property damage coverage for their automobiles before it is used on college business.  

Part-Time (PT) Faculty Mileage Reimbursement Policy Guidelines:

PT Faculty who travel to only one campus in any given quarter--regardless of the number of courses that they are teaching that quarter (or the gap in class times if they are teaching more than one course on the same day)--are NOT eligible for mileage reimbursement.

PT Faculty teaching at multiple campus locations or multiple clinical sites in a normal quarter setting might be eligible for mileage reimbursement.  Eligibility exists for those PT Faculty traveling to more than one location on a given day.  Exceptions to these guidelines will require the prior approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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Registration
Registration is often prepaid for local travel using the Campus credit card or may be done as a reimbursement after attendance.

 

Summary
The college acknowledges that every travel expense cannot be defined and quantified, therefore the college relies on the professional judgment of the employee. Employees who substantially deviate from the policy should be prepared to provide a reasonable explanation to the appropriate Senior Administrator.

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NON-LOCAL OR OVERNIGHT TRAVEL

Definition
Non-local or overnight travel is defined as travel that occurs outside of a 45-mile radius of campus. Pre-approval is only required for overnight travel.

 

Combination Business/Pleasure Trips
Only business related expenses will be reimbursed with appropriate documentation. 

 

Advances
Advances are available for employees in the form of a travel credit card for up to 100% of the total cost of the trip with an approved appropriate pre-travel estimate.  It is the responsibility of the traveler to track all expenses and obtain itemized receipts for all transactions.  All payments to vendor/supplier are the responsibility of the traveler with the issued card.

In general, advances for an additional trip will not be made until settlement of a previous trip occurs.

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Air Travel
Employees may make their own reservations using their assigned travel credit card or using personal funds and request reimbursement when the trip is complete provided the appropriate pre-approval was obtained. Assistance may be requested with these and other options with the travel coordinator in the Purchasing Department.

There are substantial discounts for 14, 21, and 30 day advance purchase of airfare. Therefore employees are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Reservations should be made utilizing the lowest possible airfare, corporate discounts and any special rates available.

Upon return, an original receipt or ticket with the total price listed is required for the reconciliation process.

 

Frequent Flyer Mileage Benefits
College travelers may accrue frequent flyer miles for College-related travel. In accordance with the State of Ohio Ethics Commission rulings, these accrued miles must be used for College-related business travel. If a traveler chooses to use frequent flyer miles in connection with College business, it is their responsibility to keep track of the accrual/usage for auditing purposes. Frequent flyer miles cannot be used to upgrade tickets.  Accrual of hotel points, rental car company enticements and other inducements in connection with College related travel is prohibited.

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Mileage Expense
The use of personal automobiles when used on college business will be reimbursed at the Internal Revenue Service approved rate per mile, plus tolls and parking. Employees are required to have appropriate public liability and property damage coverage for their automobiles before it is used on college business.

If a personal automobile is used in lieu of less expensive transportation, only the cost of the less expensive transportation is reimbursable. An example of this would be a choice to drive to a conference when a less expensive airfare is available.

If a Campus travel pcard is being used for trip expenses, mileage will be on a reimbursement basis unless the traveler chooses to do actual gas expenses in which itemized receipts must be obtain.  Traveler may not choose both options within one trip. 

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Registration
Registration may be prepaid provided the appropriate pre-approval was obtained. Traveler may prepay using the Campus credit card, assigned travel credit card or may be done as a reimbursement after attendance. Additional payment options may be obtained with the assistance of the travel coordinator in the Purchasing Department.  Receipt of payment must be obtained regardless of payment selection.

 

Automobile Rental
Automobile rental expense should be incurred only when suitable public transportation is not available. Direct billing of rental charges to the campus is not permissible.   Most car rental companies require the individual renting the automobile to have a credit card in their name. With this in mind, travelers may request a travel credit card with pre-approval or use his/her own credit card and request reimbursement once the trip is complete.

Employees are encouraged to utilize rental agencies under contracted rates which includes insurance coverage. If utilizing the contracted agencies is not possible, DW/CDW/LDW insurance should be purchased from the rental agency.

You may contact the travel coordinator in the Purchasing Department for automobile rental contract information.  

 

Incidental Expenses
Incidental expenses incurred in connection with travel expenses such as cab fares, telephone calls, laundry and dry cleaning are reimbursable expenses. Original receipts for items over $50.00 are required for reimbursement. An effort should be made to keep incidental expenses at a reasonable level.

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Meals
Reasonable meal expenses up to the allowable per diem rate when incurred in connection with overnight travel are reimbursable as business expense. It is the college's policy not to reimburse employees for alcohol consumption.  

Employees may use either the standard per diem meal rate or submit itemized receipts but not both within one trip. Handwritten restaurant check stubs and non-itemized credit card receipts are not acceptable unless approved by the Accounting Department. If standard per diem reimbursement is the option chosen, the Federal listing for meal costs in various cities should be used. You may obtain this information from the Federal per diem web site. [top]

 In general, the Per Diem allowance for the first and last days of travel is up to 75% of the full Per Diem rate. Based on specific travel needs, the Per Diem allowance for the first and last days of travel can be adjusted using the applicable meal percentage (25% - breakfast; 25% - lunch; 50% - dinner) at the college / vice presidential area’s discretion.

  • If a meal is served on the plane, included in a conference registration fee, built into the standard, single hotel room rate or replaced by a legitimate business meal, the Per Diem allowance for that meal may not be claimed. The maximum allowable deduction for these meals is based on the percentage of Per Diem: (25% - breakfast; 25% - lunch and 50% - dinner) for the applicable city location.

  • Receipts are not required for Per Diem allowances. Per Diem allowances are reimbursed after the trip is completed.

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Hotel Accommodations
Hotel/motel accommodations are made by the traveler.   Traveler may choose to obtain a travel credit card with pre-approval or use a personal credit card to guarantee the reservation.

Hotel accommodation expenses are allowable at the conference rate or the state agency pricing rate for a single person. An itemized receipt from the hotel is required for reconciliation.

 

Phone Expense
Central Ohio Technical College has available an 800 phone number (800-9 NEWARK).  When traveling out of state, the college has available a long distance phone card which can be obtained through the ITS Department. This card will provide access to the college's phone system at a substantially discounted long distance rate.

Employees should avoid using the hotel's phone system, as the cost is usually very expensive. If a personal phone card is used when traveling, it may delay reimbursement and reconciliation until a personal receipt is obtained and submitted for payment. Therefore, employees are encouraged to make use of the campus's phone card when traveling.

In general, the college will reimburse for one phone call home for each night of travel. Employees should use sound judgment determining the length of the call each day.

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Travel Insurance
The cost of personal travel insurance is not a reimbursable expense.

 

Submission Requirements
The Travel Authorization/Reimbursement Request Form must be submitted to the employee's supervisor for review and approval prior to travel and again after returning from the trip within no more than five business days . Total expenditures should be entered on the Travel Authorization/Reimbursement Request Form on the appropriate lines of Section B, Actual Travel Expenses.  Any amount due the traveler will be reimbursed within 5 to 7 working days from receipt of the completed form in the Accounting Department. Expenditures for the travel will then be charged to the appropriate department expense account.

 

Supporting Documentation
All receipts, as outlined on the Travel Authorization/Reimbursement Request Form in section B Actual Travel Expenses, are to be attached to the approved form when submitted for reimbursement. Documentary evidence in the form of an original receipt or a paid bill is required for expenses such as lodging, air transportation, car rental, etc. In addition, a receipt is required for postage and miscellaneous office supplies or service expenditures in excess of $5.00.

 

Summary
The college acknowledges that every travel expense cannot be defined and quantified, therefore the college relies on the professional judgment of the employee. Employees who substantially deviate from the policy should be prepared to provide a reasonable explanation to the appropriate Senior Administrator.

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