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Employee Travel

Approved by the Board of Trustees of Rockland Community College, State University of New York on January 16, 1997 superseding policy adopted on November 18, 1993

Employee Travel

General Guidelines

  1. Trips must have specific value to the program objectives of the particular department and result in overall benefit to the College.
  2. Training, career development, and professional enrichment especially for professional entry level personnel and middle management personnel should be made available to encourage professional development whenever economically feasible.
  3. When travel is approved, expenses are reimbursed in accordance with existing College reimbursement procedures.
  4. All airfare tickets and related expenses (auto) shall be purchased from the College's authorized travel agent.
  5. Where the equivalent information and education can be received, every effort is to be made to take advantage of nearby resources for conferences rather than attendance at more distant meeting places.
  6. Attendance at a conference by more than one individual from the same department should be requested on a single travel request form.
  7. Annual attendance at a conference sponsored by the same organization is to be based on the contents and quality of that particular conference rather than on established precedence of automatic attendance at the annual conference.
  8. A travel request for attendance at a conference with no expense to the College will be reviewed and processed using the same criteria as any other College travel.

 

Reimbursable Expenses

  1. Only the actual and necessary expenses essential to the ordinary comforts of a traveler in the performance of official duties will be reimbursed, except that an allowance is established for meals. A specific statement should be made as to the duty, or the business, for the performance of which the expenses were incurred. Travel shall be by the most direct route possible. Any person traveling by an indirect route shall assume any extra expense incurred thereby.
  2. Reimbursable items are: transportation, food, lodging, garage, parking bridge and road tolls, telephone and telegraph charges on College business, miscellaneous purchases of supplies and certain personal services (such as porter service). When using a personal vehicle that has been authorized, mileage will be paid at approved rates.
  3. Expenditures for laundry, valet service, theater tickets, entertainment, etc. are personal charges and will not be allowed. Personal telephone calls and telegrams are not allowed.
  4. The College will not provide cash advances for day-to-day expenses.

 

Transportation by Common Carrier While in Official Travel Status

  1. The fare for transportation on any trip shall not exceed the regular coach fare charged the general public. Advantage shall be taken of round trip or excursion fares whenever it is possible to obtain them.
  2. Porters and other miscellaneous gratuities will be allowed, in the maximum amount of one dollar per bag or occurrence.
  3. Taxicab Charges Necessary - Taxicab charges (including gratuities) will be allowed upon satisfactory explanation.

Actual taxi or common carrier fares, including tips, shall be allowed for transportation directly from residence of traveler to railroad, bus, or airport terminals at beginning of official travel status and for transportation directly from railroad, bus, or airport terminals to residence of traveler at conclusion of official travel status. The necessity for taxi charges for such travel shall be explained by traveler when submitting travel voucher.

 

Transportation by Personally Owned Vehicles

  1. The official use of personally owned vehicles must be authorized and shall be restricted to such cases where it is to the advantage of the College.
    Before any College employee may use a personally owned vehicle for official College business and be reimbursed for same, formal approval for the use of the personal vehicle must be made by the department head.
    Approval from Risk Management that the employee has met the license requirements, and has on file a current automobile liability insurance certificate showing coverage of $100,000/$300,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage. The document should indicate the effective dates of the policy.
    This insurance requirement must be met if an employee wishes to receive reimbursement for use of a personally owned vehicle. An employee's failure to meet these requirements will result in the claim for mileage being refused. An employee's failure to obtain the necessary insurance for a personally owned vehicle does not excuse the employee from reporting to duty when directed to do so by the department.
    If an employee uses a personal vehicle for travel on official College business less than five (5) separate trips a month (casual use), that employee must present a valid automobile liability insurance certificate to the office of Risk Management (coverage requirements in 1.a. above are waived).
  2. Parking Charges
    When an employee is in official travel status, necessary parking charges will be allowed. Parking meter charges will be allowed when rate and place insured are listed on claim. Receipts are required for day parking and overnight parking; such receipts shall indicate vehicle license number and be attached to the claim.
  3. Toll Charges
    If the duties of an employee are such that a savings can be effected by purchase of a permit for unlimited use of toll roads or a bridge, it is expected that such a permit will be purchased, and the employee will be reimbursed at the adjusted toll rate for each trip not to exceed the cost of such permit.

 

Meals and Lodgings

  1. Meal Rates Reimbursement for meals will be in accordance with rates established by the College.
  2. Time limits on meal allowances

    1. Meals will be allowed on day of departure, when leaving official station or place of residence if time of departure at the beginning of the trip occurs before the following hours:
      Breakfast..........7:00 a.m.
      Lunch...............11:00 a.m.
      Dinner...............6:00 p.m.
    2. Meals will be allowed when returning to official station or place of residence if the time of return at the conclusion of the trip occurs after the following hours:
      Breakfast..........8:00 a.m.
      Lunch................2:00 p.m.
      Dinner...............7:00 p.m.

     

  3. Meal reimbursement will not be allowed when attending a conference where meals are provided as part of the conference fee.
  4. Maximum Rate for Lodging
    When on official business, actual cost of lodging is not to exceed the lowest government or commercial rate. When staying in New York State, employee must submit to the motel or hotel a tax exemption certificate available from the Finance Department, so that the sales tax will not be charged. The Finance Department will not reimburse for New York State sales tax paid on lodging since the College is exempt.
    The lowest government or corporate rate for lodging must be requested at time of reservation.
    All claims for reimbursement for lodging shall be supported by receipted bills, specifying dates of occupancy and rate paid. When the room is occupied by more than one person, the single and double rate occupancy should be indicated.

 

Conventions - Conferences - Schools

Attendance at conventions, conferences, etc., requires prior written recommendation of the department head. Requests for approval should then be forwarded to the Budget Director for approval of funds. All actual and necessary expenses in connection with such attendance will be allowed; banquet meal charges will be allowed as per the printed charge for such a special meal.

 

Payments

  1. All requests for reimbursement of travel expenses must be submitted on the proper claim form as required by the Department of Finance.
  2. In presenting claims to the Department of Finance for reimbursement, receipts must be attached where applicable:

      Claims must indicate the time of departure and time of return to qualify for propriety of meal expenditures on leaving and returning from travel status.

      When personal credit cards are used, a copy of the invoices must be attached to the claim.

      All travel claims must be submitted for approval to the department head or other authorized person at the end of the trip. Travel claims must be forwarded to the Department of Finance for reimbursement within 60 days after completion of the trip under penalty of disallowance.

      Personnel are not authorized to approve their own claim for travel reimbursement.