4.75a Travel - Regulation

Document Type: Regulation Number: 4.75a
Effective: 05-01-06
Revised: 09-05-08, 01-22-10, 10-01-12, 02-03-20, 03-30-22
Legal References: 29 C.F.R. § 785.34, 29 C.F.R. § 785.35, 29 C.F.R. § 785.37, 29 C.F.R. § 785.38, 29 C.F.R. § 785.39, 29 C.F.R. § 785.40, 29 C.F.R. § 785.41, 2 C.F.R. § 200.474, I.C. § 49-117(16)

TRAVEL

I. INTRODUCTION

All employees who travel and incur business expenses on behalf of the City as a result of such travel, as well as those responsible for the approval of these expenses are expected to use prudence, discretion, good judgment and the application of these regulations to assist in maintaining control over travel expenses. Employees shall not gain a personal financial benefit for travel on behalf of the City unless otherwise permitted in this regulation. The absence of guidance covering particular situations does not relieve a supervisor or employee from the responsibility of exercising good judgement. For the purposes of this regulation, the term “travel” refers to a work-related trip, voyage, or journey that is outside of an employee’s regular/typical job duties. Transitioning between home and work is not considered travel for the purpose of this regulation.

This regulation applies citywide. Unless bargaining unit employees have special provisions that are specifically stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement or general order, this regulation shall be followed.

II. AUTHORIZATION

Travel authorization is required prior to commencement of travel and incurring expenses. Authorization requirements may vary depending on the person(s) traveling and the destination. For example:

A. Department Director and City Council travel requests shall be authorized and approved by the Mayor and City Council.
B. The Mayor and the Mayor’s office staff travel requests shall be authorized and approved by the City Council.
C. All other travel requests shall be authorized and approved by the employee’s Department Director or designee.

EXCEPTIONS: Travel outside the continental United States requires City Council approval before arrangements are made.

Travel authorization and approval required by the Mayor and City Council, as described in sections A and B above, shall follow the following steps:

A. Travel request are to be placed on the City Council agenda for a meeting preceding the travel event for review and approval, including the name and title of the person requesting travel, the estimated city funds required for travel, and month of travel.

a. For example: Rebecca Hupp, Airport Director, requests $2,207 for city related travel expenditures during February 2022.

B. After travel is completed, placement of the internal audit review on the City Council agenda for informational purposes only.
C. Internal audit reviews shall be provided to the Internal Audit Committee for review.
D. All travel authorization and expense forms shall be completed pursuant to the standard practice of the Department of Finance and Administration and this regulation.

If all, or any portion of, the travel will be paid for by third-party funds, the travel must be approved by Legal and Human Resources prior to arrangements being made. Approval may take up to five (5) business days. These travel requests are to be sent to BOCA@cityofboise.org for approval.

III. TRAVEL DESCRIPTIONS/REASONS

The level of detail set forth in the travel description and/or reason shall include as much information as practical. The description or reason should include, at a minimum, the name of the conference or description of the meeting, including the topic, and the business purpose for the travel.

If travel is due to a matter covered by a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, the description shall include the general topic of the business purpose for travel and a general reference to that agreement.

A. For example: “Attend meeting with business to discuss [economic development, sustainable environment, affordable housing, etc.] covered by a [confidentiality/non-disclosure] agreement.”

IV. MODE OF TRAVEL

Travelers should attempt to use the most cost-effective and efficient mode of travel after considering total time and convenience involved, as well as direct costs for airfare, mileage, taxi’s, rental cars, other fares, etc. Employees are permitted to accumulate mileage credits and other benefits from individual frequent traveler programs; however, travel providers and/or accommodations should not be selected based on membership or benefits in any program.

A. Airline

a. Non-refundable tickets should always be purchased, when available.
b. In accordance with the Fly America Act of 1974, US flag air carriers or shippers must be used when traveling or shipping items and the costs are charged to a federal grant or contract. Exceptions apply, including Open Skies, which allows for use of air carriers from countries who have transportation agreements with the US government – consult with the Office of Sponsored Projects for details.
c. Airfare obtained with frequent flyer miles or program equivalent, travel vouchers, credits, gift cards, and other non-monetary methods are not eligible for reimbursement.
d. The purchase of travel insurance shall be at the employee’s expense.

B. Vehicles

Travelers must obtain authorization for vehicle use prior to traveling. Non- city employees are not allowed to travel in City owned vehicles, unless the travel is city business related.

a. City-owned vehicles

i. The use of City owned vehicles should have a high priority over the use of private vehicles. The use of City owned vehicles are governed by the Vehicle Usage Regulation 4.80a.

b. Personal vehicles

i. Employees shall have current vehicle liability insurance in the amount required by Idaho Code § 49-117(16) and a valid driver’s license when using a private vehicle for City business. The employee’s insurance is considered by State statute to be primary before the City’s insurance. If an employee is involved in an accident and does not have a valid driver’s license and insurance the City will disclaim any liability and the employee will be personally liable.

ii. When for personal reasons a traveler elects to use his/her own transportation in lieu of public transportation or City vehicle, reimbursement will be limited to the lesser of:

1. The GSA allowable mileage reimbursement rate on the basis of the shortest direct route; or
2. The costs of the most economical and allowable public transportation

The following will apply to those employees that choose to use their personal vehicle:

i. Charges for repairs, tires, gasoline, or other operating expense will not be reimbursed.
ii. A City purchasing card (p-card) is not to be used for fuel or other operating expenses.
iii. Mileage starts and ends at the employees’ regular place of business.
iv. The travel coordinator will use information gathered to determine the appropriate reimbursement.


c. Rental Vehicles

i. Travelers that must rent a vehicle while on approved travel should use the rental car companies contracted with the City when available
ii. When a traveler uses a non-contracted rental car company and pays for a rental car for City business via a City p-card it is not necessary to purchase liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage However, employees renting trucks, pickups, full-size vans mounted on truck chassis, and paying via a City p-card, will be required to purchase liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. Employees must make a reasonable effort to secure the most economical rental vehicle that adequately fulfills the need of the business trip.
iii. If an employee rents and pays for an automobile with personal funds, they shall purchase liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage through the rental agency, unless the automobile rental amount is paid by means of a personal credit card that provides such rental car insurance coverage. In the event that the employee fails to buy insurance through the rental car company and is not insured through the credit card used to rent the vehicle, the employee may be personally responsible for damages and other liability incurred through rental and use of the automobile.
iv. Employees that use a City p-card for the payment of a rental car are allowed to use the p-card for fuel.

V. TRAVEL EXPENSES

A City p-card is the preferred method of payment for travel expenses. Employees are encouraged to use their City issued p-card while traveling to pay for authorized travel expenses as defined in this regulation. Appropriate use of a city p-card is governed by the Purchasing Card Uses and Parameters Regulation, B 8.02a. Cash advances will be provided via direct deposit in cases where employees choose not to use a p-card. Employees may also request reimbursement for allowable travel expenses that are actually incurred and paid for using personal funds.

A. Authorized travel expenses

a. One personal checked bag is a valid employee expense. Costs associated with overweight personal luggage is not expected to occur and is a personal expense.
b. Taxi, shuttle service or other transportation methods, including tips/gratuities, to transport an employee to or from an airport is a valid employee expense while traveling.
c. Lodging accommodations should be comfortable, not lavish, and should be a reasonable price, consistent with business requirements. Employees attending conferences may stay at the conference hotel even if it is not the most economical option available.

i. Lodging provided by relatives or other individuals without charge is not a reimbursable expense.

d. Bridge tolls, airport parking, hotel parking and like expenses, while on approved travel, is a valid employee expense.
e. Telephone calls pertaining to official City business will be paid. One call home will be paid per day.
f. Tips and gratuities related to taxi or airport shuttle services are valid employee expense.
g. The cost of insurance for rental vehicles, as defined within this regulation.

B. Non-authorized travel expenses

a. Airline or other travel insurance coverage.
b. Tips and gratuities related to baggage handling or hotel services are not a reimbursable expense.
c. Personal services, such as hair stylist, nail technician, shoeshine or massage therapist.
d. Use of extra-cost hotel/motel services, such as pay-per-view television or movies, video games or similar items.
e. Additional charges for room upgrades, poolside rooms, or special floors.
f. Additional charges for rental car upgrades.
g. Traffic, seat belt, parking or other vehicle code/criminal fines incurred.
h. Laundry or dry-cleaning services, unless on extended travel as defined in this regulation.
i. Lodging costs that exceed the single rate for (1) person plus tax, unless the room was shared with a city employee or fellow conference/training attendee.

VI. MEALS WHILE TRAVELING

The City uses a per diem allowance for employees while on approved travel. The per diem allowance is intended to cover the cost of food, beverages, and related gratuities. The per diem allowance shall be based on the designated GSA rate at
the temporary work location, and on the final day of travel the allowance shall be the designated GSA rate for the location where the traveler last stayed the night prior to returning ro their official primary work location. For partial days away from home, the per diem allowance should be adjusted using the employee’s travel schedule and meal breakdown chart. At no time may the adjusted amount be more than the per diem allowance for the day. Meal tickets are an acceptable expense.

Continental breakfasts, snack, appetizers or light refreshments provided by a hotel or hosting organization free of charge will not be deducted from the employee’s per diem allowance. A continental breakfast is defined as a very light meal which typically consists of a selection of muffins, roll, bagels and other bread items, fruit, jam, and beverage items like coffee, tea or juices.

If a meal is provided or included in the registration or conference fee, no allowance will be given unless one of the following applies:

A. The employee is unable to consume the furnished meal(s) because of medical requirements or religious beliefs;
B. The employee was unable to take part in the furnished meal because official business was being conducted during the meal period.
C. The meal was outside the employee’s normally scheduled work day and overtime/compensatory time would be accrued and was not approved by the department (i.e. opening or closing conference receptions).

Meals for same day travel

In order for a meal to be reimbursed by the City, the travel must substantially extend the employee’s typical work day. When travel is more than 100 miles, one way, with no overnight stay required, the employee may either be reimbursed for allowable meals or choose to use their City p-card with their department director or designee’s prior authorization. Meals for same day travel may not exceed the eligible GSA per meal limits and are governed by the Business Meals Regulation 1.04c. Meals that are provided as part of a meeting, conference or conference event shall not be eligible for reimbursement.

VII. PERSONAL TRAVEL IN CONJUNCTION WITH BUSINESS TRAVEL

Employees may request to combine personal travel with business travel for their convenience beyond the approved travel dates. The City will only pay for the allowable travel expenses associated with the business portion of the travel. Only the actual City travel dates and times will be considered when calculating allowable travel expenses. Personal travel days must be clearly designated when submitting travel documentation.

In order to demonstrate that no additional expense was included for air fare and/or car rental for the personal portion of the trip, a cost comparison for transportation of the business travel versus the combined business/personal travel must be provided at the time of booking. If the extended trip results in a higher cost, the traveler must provide payment for the difference at the time of booking. If the traveler purchases an airline ticket or rental car with personal funds and fails to provide the cost comparison when requesting reimbursement, the City will reimburse 75% of the employees portion of the expense. The City will not pay for any personal expenses, nor will any personal expenses be reimbursed.

The City of Boise shall not reimburse or pay for the travel expenses of an employee’s spouse or guest.

VIII. EXTENDED BUSINESS TRAVEL

If an employee will be out of town for business related reasons for eight (8) consecutive weeks or more, the City will pay for one (1) roundtrip ticket home for the traveling employee. No meal allowance will be given while the employee is home on hiatus from the out of town business.

If an employee is on extended business travel, departments have the discretion to determine an appropriate amount for meals for the duration of the travel. When determining the amount, the type of lodging should be taken into consideration. The final amount may not exceed the eligible GSA per meal limits.

IX. DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

All expenses associated with the travel event shall be reconciled and submitted to the travel coordinator within 15 calendar days of the return. It is not allowable to combine travel reports for group travel or for multiple trips. Each traveler must submit their own travel expense report. A travel expense report is required for every trip and must include the business purpose, date and place of the trip.

A. Required itemized proof of purchase and documentation, if applicable, regardless of payment method:

a. Air/Rail receipt, including cost comparison if the employee had personal travel in conjunction with business travel
b. Baggage fees
c. Hotel receipt
d. Registration receipt
e. Agenda/itinerary
f. Car Rental receipt
g. Taxi/shuttle/toll
h. Parking fees (airport/hotel)
i. Any other authorized and/or eligible expense
Itemized proof of purchase must include the name of the vendor, location, date and dollar amount.

Repeated failure by an employee to submit required travel documentation within 15 calendar days will result in the suspension of the employees’ p-card.

If an employee chooses to use personal funds for travel in lieu of the City p-card or travel advance, itemized proof of purchase is required to be submitted for all eligible travel expenses, regardless of the dollar amount. Eligible expenses paid for with personal funds will not be reimbursed until after the travel has occurred and required documentation has been received and approved. Alcohol purchases will not be reimbursed. Reimbursement requests for travel related expenses submitted after 90 days may be taxable. Reimbursement requests for travel related expenses submitted after 120 days will be denied.

Employees will receive reimbursement, if applicable, for eligible travel related expenses via direct deposit at the conclusion of the travel event when all documentation has been submitted and approved within the allotted time frame.

A. Travel associated with Federal Grants
Travelers should refer to the current Federal requirements for required documentation and authorized travel expenses for travel to ensure such costs and/or charges are consistent with those allowed.

An item not specifically described or requests to exceed the established regulations as an allowable expense, but which are nevertheless necessary in the performance of official travel duties for the City, may be reimbursable upon submission of an itemized proof of purchase, a thorough explanation and approval by the employee’s Department Director or designee.

X. PAY FOR SAME DAY TRAVEL

In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when City of Boise employee is required to travel to and from another city in the same day, all travel time involved shall count as time worked.

A. If traveling by air, arrival time to the terminal will be paid based on the traveled airline’s recommendation for the departing airport and count as travel time
B. Meal periods shall not count as hours worked.
C. An employee that drives directly from their home to the departure point shall count only the time spent driving that is in excess of the normal home to work commute as hours worked.

XI. PAY WHILE TRAVELING OVERNIGHT

This section describes what is considered hours worked, in accordance with FLSA, related to employees traveling overnight. These provisions apply to both exempt and non-exempt employees.

A. Meal periods shall not count as hours worked.
B. An employee that drives directly from their home to the departure point, shall count only the time spent driving that is in excess of the normal home to work commute as time worked.
C. Travel, including time spent waiting at an airport terminal, that takes place within the employee’s regularly scheduled work hours, is treated as work hours, regardless of the day of the week.
a. For example, if an employee regularly works from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., only the time spent traveling during that time period is counted as hours worked. Time spent by the employee traveling before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. is not eligible for compensation.
D. If an employee is offered public transportation e.g. plane or bus, but requests permission to drive his/her vehicle instead, the City may count as hours worked either the time spent driving the vehicle or the eligible time they would have counted as hours worked if the employee had used the public transportation, whichever is less.
E. When an employee travels between time zones, the time zone associated with the point of departure shall be used to determine whether the travel falls within the employees regularly scheduled work hours.
F. Any work which an employee is required to perform while traveling, and is outside the employee’s regularly scheduled work hours, must be counted as hours worked.
G. Departments may not adjust an employee’s regular work schedule to include or exclude travel hours that would not otherwise be considered hours worked.

Compensatory time and overtime requirements resulting from travel time will be processed in accordance with applicable laws and City policies and regulations.

XII. TRAINING

Employees who travel, coordinate or approve travel for City business will be required to take and pass the travel course in iLearn every two years.

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