|Policy Number||Policy Owner|
|c. 2006||1.1||Minor Revisions|
Statement of Policy
Authorized Travel and Funding
Approval for official college travel is obtained by completing an Authorization to Travel form. (Forms available from Office Supplies.) Authorizations to travel must be completed by travelers, approved by department official, and be on file in the travel office (Accounts Payable, Kehoe 0705) prior to travel. Requests for travel funds should be made through your department chairperson/immediate supervisor. Since travel funds are limited, it is necessary that the following priorities be established for the use of these funds.
- Travel directly related to planning, negotiating, implementing and monitoring academic programs (e.g., off-campus supervision, field trips, recruitment travel).
- Travel to attend meetings/conferences directly related to work assignment held by or with State officials.
- Travel to associations, conferences, conventions, and organizations by those serving as officers, chairpersons of discussion committees, presenters, and symposium discussants.
- Work related travel to enhance professional expertise, to share professional expertise, or for other work related purposes. Out-of-State requires approval of Dean, Vice President or the President of the College. Travel to Burlington, Vermont or Montreal, PQ airports do not require the President's approval.
Travel Reimbursement Procedures
The Travel Manual and guidelines can be found at the web site http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies (click on travel information). Travel reimbursement rates can be found at https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates These sites should be referred to for specific information relating to per diem rates, mileage rates, conference and seminar procedures, required receipts and for completion of all required travel forms and documents. Monthly updates are issued as required. If you do not have Internet access, you can request the rates from the Accounting Office by calling #3604. A few reminders when preparing travel vouchers:
- On line #8 of the travel voucher, enter times as well as dates and circle the am or pm.
- Staple receipts to a full size sheet of paper; do not use tape or paper clips.
- Travel advances are only available to travelers who do not have a Corporate American Express with the college.
- Travel advance requests should be in the Accounting Office at least two weeks prior to the departure date.
- The Accounting Office requires the original passenger coupon for airfare. This includes non employees as well as employees and regardless of whether the airfare will be paid on a Purchase Order or a Traveler Voucher.
- When paying non employees, please be sure the Payee Certification area is complete and accurate. Non employees are mailed their reimbursement checks directly to their homes.
Travel Expenses for Persons Receiving Honoraria Payments
Employees of another SUNY campus who are to be paid an honorarium for a lecture or other professional activity at Plattsburgh may receive reimbursement for travel expenses, subject to the maximum per diem rates, by processing a Travel Voucher through the Accounting Department in the same manner as a regular SUNY Plattsburgh employee.
If travel expenses are to be paid by the other campus staff member, the honorarium limits ($40/day, if no overnight absence is required, and $100/day if overnight absence is required) may not be exceeded. It is, therefore, usually preferable to process a Travel Voucher for expense reimbursement and reducing the honorarium amount accordingly.
All individuals must be involved in official State business. Individuals in official travel status are permitted to use the most efficient and cost effective mode of transportation to eating places and to other places for reasonable necessities and amenities. Personal use of College designated transportation, for any reason, is prohibited. College designated vehicles will be used for official college travel, and each trip must be approved by the department chairperson and appropriate dean. Official travel is defined as follows:
- Off-campus supervision
- Extension course trips
- Class field trips
- Meetings and conferences held by or with State officials
- Varsity athletic trips
- Official college representatives at professional conferences
- Attendance at professional meetings
- Other special trips approved in writing by College President
Offering rides to hitchhikers is prohibited. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or having an open container of alcohol is prohibited. Vehicles should not be driven in excess of the legal speed limit at any time. The wearing of seat belts is a law in the State of New York. In case of an accident, contact the University Police Department regarding accident responsibilities and procedures. Traveler must have valid New York State driver's license and will be responsible for adhering to all motor vehicle laws and regulations.
College designated vehicles must be driven only by college employees who hold a valid New York State driver's license. Students are not allowed to drive State vehicles unless they are on temporary service payroll. Those not on a State payroll may drive State vehicles if they are part of a caravan (two cars, one of which is driven by a faculty member, the other may be driven by a student) on a Physical Education or field trip sponsored by the department. All such requests must be approved by the Vice Presidents of Student Affairs or his/her designee. There are no restrictions on CAS vehicles with the exception that the driver must have a valid driver’s license and not using a state account. College designated vehicles assigned to the campus are to be used for official business purposes only.
Travel on official State business should be by the method of transportation which is the most efficient and cost effective available. Travel should be by the most direct route possible, taking into consideration both actual distance and the time to travel such distance. Any person traveling by an indirect route must assume any additional expenses incurred. Employees should schedule all travel assignments in an efficient and effective manner to minimize travel expenses to the extent possible.
Only actual transportation costs incurred are reimbursed. If any employee receives a direct cash rebate from the transportation provider, only the net actual cost may be claimed for reimbursement.
Modes of Transportation
Since travel by common carrier generally results in the least costly and most expeditious means of transportation, this method should be used unless the circumstances involved make travel by other means preferred; for reasons of cost, efficiency, or work requirements. The advantages which may result from common carrier transportation should be fully considered by an agency before it is determined that some other method of transportation should be used.
State vehicles are no longer available, effective 9/1/97
A determination that the use of a personal vehicle would be advantageous to the State must be preceded by determinations that both common carrier and rental car transportation are not feasible, in the circumstances, or that transportation by those means would be more costly to the State. This determination should be based on both the direct transportation costs and the economies which results from the more expeditious and effective performance of State business through the use of another method of transportation. Other factors to be considered are the total distance of travel, the number of points visited, and the number of travelers.
In a cost saving measure to reduce personal car mileage and with the complete elimination of vehicles in the college fleet, except for the cars permanently assigned to student teacher supervisors. Plattsburgh State has approved an agreement with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The car rental charge varies with vehicle size plus gas costs with unlimited mileage in New York and bordering states. It has become the college's position that using a rental car is more feasible than paying personal car mileage or using fleet vehicles.
Air Travel Common Carrier
If transportation is to be common carrier, the completed Authorization to Travel form must be sent to the Purchasing Department, which will, in turn, make available to the traveler a Transportation Request which will allow traveler to secure tickets at the carrier's or travel agency office. This service will save the traveler from buying tickets with personal funds and being reimbursed. An Expense Voucher must be submitted within ten (10) days after completion of the trip, together with the required receipts to substantiate the mode of travel. Authorized air travel must be Tourist Class. First class will be approved only when Tourist Class in not available.