Originator: Chief Operating Officer
Subject: Policy on University Travel
The purpose of this policy is to provide parameters for travel arrangements when UMGC faculty and staff travel on official UMGC business and reimbursement of the related expenses. This Policy incorporates the University System of Maryland (USM) Travel Policy VIII-11.00 and includes a link to Policy Attachment 11.10, Schedule of Reimbursement Rates.
UMGC will only pay for and reimburse Travelers (as defined below) for travel on UMGC matters ("UMGC Travel") when the procedures outlined below are followed. In order to comply with IRS Publication 463, reimbursement for travel expenses must be submitted within 60 days after the expense was paid or incurred. The President, or his/her designee, can elect to make exceptions to the policies outlined on an as-needed basis.
- Traveler is defined as a UMGC faculty or staff member who is traveling on official UMGC business. The President, or his/her designee, have the authority to designate non-UMGC faculty and staff as a Traveler within the meaning of this Policy.
- Day Travel is defined as travel not requiring an overnight stay.
- Overnight Travel is defined as travel that requires an overnight stay.
- UMGC Stateside: International Travel is defined as travel outside of the United States.
- UMGC Overseas Divisions: International Travel is defined as travel to a location outside the geographical areas applicable to the Division.
Obtaining Approval for Travel: A Spend Authorization in Workday is to be utilized to obtain the required pre-approval that includes the purpose of the travel and estimated cost. Non-UMGC employees must complete the Travel Authorization Request form available on the Engage Travel page.
- Day Travel: Travelers do not need to obtain formal pre-approval, but they should ensure that their direct supervisor knows of the planned travel.
- Travelers must obtain pre-approval from their supervisor, cost center manager and appropriate Cabinet member prior to initiating Overnight Travel arrangements. Travelers who fail to obtain prior authorization may be liable for the expenses incurred. Overnight Travel by the President is approved by the Chief of Staff.
- Travelers must provide the business justification for any lodging reservations needed for travel within their home state (including Washington, D.C. metropolitan area).
- Travelers who choose to utilize personal leave in conjunction with authorized business travel dates are responsible for any cost related to the extended stay. Any personal leave must be taken immediately prior to or after the business segment of the trip. Clear documentation estimating the cost difference of adding personal leave time must be attached to the spend authorization. Managers are responsible for verifying correct charges to UMGC when the trip is expensed.
- In addition to the Overnight Travel approvals, travelers must obtain approval from the Chief Operating Officer for all international travel requests.
- UMGC Overseas Travelers must contact the Overseas Logistics Office for travel arrangements and logistics coordination. Some countries and military bases require extensive paperwork and approvals 6-8 weeks prior to the intended guest arrival. Exceptions must be approved by the Chief Operating Officer prior to the travel.
Reservations and Ticketing
General Information: Travelers and travel arrangers should ensure that all arrangements are reasonable and appropriate and be alert to possibilities to obtain air, hotel and rental car services at the discount rates available to the University System of Maryland or institution. All Travelers are expected to make advance bookings, using the least expensive logical fare via the most direct route (or other reasonable routing that results in a lower fare). Often, air travel is less expensive than traveling by car. All air and rail tickets must be purchased through the contract travel service vendors identified by UMGC. UMGC funds may only be utilized for airline or train travel via coach fare. Travelers who choose to travel in a class that is more expensive than coach will be responsible for the any portion of the fare that exceeds the cost of the coach ticket. Airline class may be upgraded from coach to economy plus for travel flight legs that are more than six hours in duration.
- If travel plans change, UMGC will pay the change or cancellation fees ONLY when the change was made for the convenience of UMGC or necessitated by emergency circumstances. If travel plans change for the Traveler's benefit, the Traveler bears the costs associated with the cancellation. The Traveler (or unit) shall contact the applicable travel agency/coordinator/Logistics Office to pursue possibility of refunds resulting from an emergency situation.
- If an emergency situation arises such as weather delays or other delays due to airline situations during regular business hours, the Traveler shall contact the Travel Office or Logistics Office to coordinate flight changes and/or extend the hotel stay.
- UMGC funds may not be used for the purchase of flight insurance.
- All employee reimbursement requests must be submitted on an Expense Report through Workday and approved by their manager and cost center manager.
- All reimbursements must be documented with itemized receipts unless noted otherwise.
- Non-employee reimbursements may be submitted through the Expense Report form on Engage and approved by the cost center manager.
- The cost of hotel accommodations will be reimbursed on the basis of receipts at the single room rate unless the room is shared by two (2) UMGC employees for whom the double occupancy rate would apply. Travelers are required to stay at a reasonably priced hotel.
- Any overage above the single room rate, which is a result of non-official travelers utilizing the accommodations, will be the personal financial responsibility of the Traveler.
From time to time, UMGC Stateside or Overseas staff and faculty may have extended assignments at a UMGC Overseas location. The University may lease a house or apartment at an overseas location for use of the UMGC faculty or staff assigned to that location. Depending on the length of the assignment and other circumstances, the faculty and/or staff member may be responsible for the payment of rent and other related expenses.
- For Stateside Travel, the per diem rates may be found on the UMGC Engage Travel Web site.
- A partial day's travel is eligible for the appropriate meal per diem when travel time encompasses a period of one hour before and one hour after the meal time, as defined on the UMGC Engage Travel Web site.
- Travelers cannot claim the per diem reimbursement for meals that are included under other arrangements during travel such as meals in flight, meals included in the conference registration fee, meals purchased for the Traveler by others, etc. An exception may be made if the employee is unable to consume the furnished meal(s) because of medical requirements or religious beliefs; or the employee was unable to take part in a furnished meal due to the conduct of official business. Additional documentation may be required if a meal exception is being requested.
- Travelers will be reimbursed only at the per diem rates; receipts are not required. Meal reimbursement will not be reimbursed at an amount greater than the per diem, per meal amount unless the traveler is conducting necessary UMGC business with non-UMGC employees while on travel. The traveler must submit an itemized receipt, a list of guests and their affiliations, and the business purpose of the meeting for reimbursement of business meals while on travel. Refer to Official Meal Expense Policy 390.20 for official business meals related to work meetings or functions while not on travel.
- International travel for Stateside Travelers is reimbursed at the Overseas Military Base Rate when staying at a military base, or at the rate established by the Department of Defense when staying off-base.
- UMGC funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
UMGC Overseas Divisions
- Travelers will be reimbursed at the per diem rates established by the overseas divisions.
- Pre-approval by the President, or his/her designee, is required for the purchase of alcoholic beverages for a special, designated event.
- Use of State-Owned Vehicles
- State-owned vehicles may be driven only by University authorized personnel when on approved travel.
- Any person driving a state-owned vehicle must have a valid driver's license, comply with all traffic laws and obtain approval as required by this Policy.
- Personal Vehicles: Properly insured personal vehicles may be used for travel on UMGC business. The use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed for business mileage at the rate established in the USM Policy that is available on the USM Web site when travel is in compliance with this UMGC Policy.
- Business mileage is the travel incurred beyond normal commute mileage, from home to primary worksite and home again, on a normal workday. Refer to UMGC Engage Travel Page for more information.
- No mileage will be reimbursed for travel between locations in the College Park and Largo vicinities such as UMGC facilities located in Largo, Adelphi, USM and/or UMD-College Park.
- Any actual mileage to/from your office will not be reimbursable, even if it is outside of normal business hours. For example, an employee working in the office on a Saturday to complete a task or coming to the University for an evening event would not be reimbursed for mileage.
Car rentals: Where a car rental is deemed necessary, an approval by a member of the Executive Committee is required. The Traveler is expected to lease the least expensive car which will accommodate the trip's requirements. Travelers should take advantage of University System, Federal and State Government, and institution vendor discount rates which are available.
- A Traveler shall not obtain Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) car rental insurance coverage for travel within the United States. UMGC Overseas Travelers who rent a car outside the United States are to check with the Overseas Logistics Office regarding car insurance.
- The Traveler will be reimbursed for gas purchased at a gas station with receipts. If feasible, the Traveler should fill the gasoline tank at a gas station prior to returning the car to the rental agency.
- Train/Subway/Light Rail/Bus: When a Traveler is traveling via these methods, the Traveler is to provide actual receipts in order to be reimbursed.
- Multiple travelers to one destination should carpool when feasible.
- In the event of an accident while on University business, the Traveler must notify his/her supervisor and the Travel Coordinator or Logistics Office as soon as is feasible.
- Use of State-Owned Vehicles
Miscellaneous Travel Expenses
Reimbursement of miscellaneous expenses will be made based upon actual cost with receipt for reasonable and necessary items as noted below:
- Reasonable expenses for ground transportation to and from airports, railroad stations, hotels and meeting places. Ground transportation for per diem meals will not be reimbursed.
- Parking fees: Travelers to airports should take advantage of long-term parking lots, whenever available, rather than the more costly daily garages.
- Bridge, highway or related tolls
- Laundry service is permissible when the travel is in excess of 5 working days
- Internet connection, fax service or other office services/supplies if needed to conduct UMGC business
- Airline baggage charges
- Gratuities: Baggage handling gratuity of $1.00 per bag and housekeeping gratuities of $1.00 per day will be reimbursed per trip without receipt.
Travel with Non-University Employees
When non-University employees (such as spouses, children, etc.) travel with UMGC Travelers but are not serving as agents of the institution, Travelers should be careful to maintain a record of individual expenses. Likewise, airfare or any other travel expense that is directly billed to the institution should not include expenses for non-University employees.
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