Community College of Rhode Island

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Out-of-State Travel Policy

General Policy

Travel costs are defined by the state as the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence (meals), and related items incurred by regular Community College of RI employees, students, and other authorized third parties who are traveling on official College business. All travel costs must be properly authorized, approved, and documented before they can be reimbursed.

All travelers are expected to exercise prudent responsibility when committing state funds.  Travel on business should be conducted at minimum cost for achieving the success of the mission.  The traveler is expected to exercise the same care in incurring travel expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling at his/her own expense. 

All travelers are required to use the approved state travel agency, PanAm Inc. Travel Services, for air/rail/bus transportation and hotel arrangements. Exceptions must be approved by the Vice President of Business Affairs. PanAm Inc. Travel Services will send the traveler an itinerary.  It is important that the itinerary be checked carefully to ensure that the proper travel arrangements have been scheduled.

Procedure

PanAm Inc. Travel Services has been selected as the designated state travel agency to make travel arrangements for all state departments and agencies business related travel arrangements.  To facilitate the process a "ghost" card has been issued to PanAm Inc. Travel Services that will be used to pay for all travel fares and hotel accommodations related to CCRI business travel.

As it relates to the hotel charges the "ghost" credit card will only cover the cost of the accommodations plus related taxes for the number of nights that were originally booked.  The employee will have to pay for all ancillary costs or any costs associated with any changes that are made to the original arrangements, subject to later reimbursement.

 As in the past, you may not make any travel arrangements with the travel agency prior to receiving the CCRI Travel Approval Number (TAN) from the Controller's Office, 825-2150. 

Unauthorized travel will require the employee to absorb all related costs.

Prior to making any travel arrangements the travel request form must be approved by all appropriate supervisors and by the appropriate Vice President or designee.  The Controller's Office will contact the traveler when the request to travel has been approved and will provide a Travel Approval Number. The traveler will need the TAN in order to make the travel and lodging arrangements through PanAm Inc. Travel Services. Once travel arrangements have been made, changes should only be made in emergency situations.  The College is charged an significant additional fees, often $100.00 or more, for any changes that are made to existing travel arrangements.

Guidelines

A completed Request to Travel (TR-1 Form) should be sent to the Controller's Office, with appropriate approval signatures, as far in advance as possible.  They must arrive in the Controller's Office no later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date of travel.

Travelers will be expected to use personal funds to cover the cost of food and other "out of pocket" expenses, subject to later reimbursement.

Allowable Travel Expenses

Allowable transportation expenses will include coach fares, utilizing the most economical fares possible, and reimbursement for one piece of personal baggage.  Additional baggage fees for equipment or documentation required for the business trip are also reimbursable. Most economical fares consist of the travel agency utilizing ALL available travel discounts including Saturday night stay-over where beneficial to the state.  If the traveler utilizes the cost savings of a Saturday night stay-over, the traveler must submit written documentation as to the cost savings (i.e., the cost of a round trip ticket to destination without the Saturday night stay over, the cost of the hotel for an extra night and the cost of food for the extra day and the net savings to the state).

Bonus miles and/or other benefits accruing to a state traveler shall be the property of the State of Rhode Island.  These bonus credits are to be used only for state business, not personal use, and will be distributed by the State Travel Administrator.

Personally owned automobiles may be used for out-of-state travel when it is economical to the State.  Reimbursement will be made on the basis of miles traveled at the current mileage rate or the common carrier fare, whichever is lower.

When reimbursement for auto mileage is requested in lieu of common carrier fares, the travel request should contain documentation as to the lower cost. The cost of the lowest common carrier fare should be obtained from the designated state travel agent.

Meal Allowance

Meal reimbursement will be based on a flat rate. The rate is based on departure and arrival times.

If the traveler's scheduled departure time is before noon, he/she will receive $30.00 for the first day of travel. If the traveler's scheduled departure time is noon or after he/she will receive $15.00 for the first day of travel.  All other days of travel will be at the rate of $30.00, except the day of return. The day of return, if the traveler's arrival time is scheduled before noon, he/she will receive $15.00. If the traveler's arrival time is scheduled for noon or after, they will receive $30.00. No meal reimbursement is allowed unless the travel involves an overnight stay. Meal reimbursement is not affected by any meals provided by common carriers, seminars, etc.

Lodging

Lodging must be secured thoroughly thru the designated state travel agent, PanAm Inc. Travel Services. Overnight accommodations will NOT be allowed within a 55 mile radius of PROVIDENCE.  Distance from home cannot be used in calculating the 55 mile radius.

NOTE: The 55 mile limitations includes the City of Boston. While the state will not pay for overnight accommodations within the 55 mile radius, if the traveler chooses to stay overnight, they can be reimbursed for food, parking/tolls, and mileage or train fare.

Lodging will be provided on a single room basis, or the lowest rate available, if a single room is not available. Documentation must be included explaining why the single room rate was not charged.

In the case of a non-employee sharing a room, reimbursement will be at the rate of three quarters (3/4) the double occupancy room rate. If the rates are the same for a single or double occupancy, reimbursement will be in full. If the room is shared with a state employee attending the same conference, documentation must include the name of the state employee sharing the room.

Any exceptions to the lodging policy must be approved by the president or the vice president of Business Affairs.

Automobile Rental/Travel

Travelers will avail themselves of shuttle buses and all other means of public transportation to the extent practical.

The use of an automobile rental will be allowed when economically feasible and/or necessary to accomplish the travel mission.  Travelers must go through the designated travel agency for automobile rentals.

A memo from the traveler must be attached to the Request to Travel (TR-1 Form) addressing the following:

"The Community College of Rhode Island will save money by the rental of an automobile in lieu of public transportation, due to ...."; or "It is necessary to use a rental vehicle for the purpose of this trip due to ...."

NOTE: Should it be necessary to rent an automobile, the traveler is required to obtain the necessary insurance coverage so as to limit the College's liability. The College will not reimburse the traveler if the traveler chooses not to purchase car rental collision or personal injury insurance.

Travelers should fill the fuel tank of the rental car prior to returning to the leasing company.

Personally owned vehicles may be used for travel in place of common carrier when it is economical to the College. Example: When two (2) or more travelers are traveling to the same destination, or when common carrier service is not available. Reimbursement will be made on the basis of miles traveled at the current mileage rate, or the common carrier fare, whichever is lower.

NOTE: When a traveler uses his/her own vehicle for travel the State now requires the traveler to provide the expiration date of the automobile insurance policy.

Miscellaneous Expense

The following items will be reimbursable to the traveler when supported by actual receipts:

  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Airport shuttle service
  • Rental car gas refill
  • Parking expenses
  • Toll expenses
  • Necessary business telephone calls
  • Fax transmission
  • Internet Connection

An allowance of $5.00 (per diem on the form) per travel day will be provided to the traveler for gratuities, if requested.  If requested, please provide explanation on gratuities spending.

Conference and registration fees will be reimbursed when supported by proper documentation.

Reimbursement

A travel expense voucher (A-14A) must be completed as soon as the traveler returns, but no later than five (5) business days after returning.

NOTE: Noncompliance with the above may cause future travel approval to be jeopardized.

Upon returning, the traveler must file a travel expense voucher (Form A-14A) for reimbursement for the following expenses:

  • Conferences/registration fees, if payment was not made by the College.
  • Meal allowances.
  • Shuttle and/or cab fares.
  • Miscellaneous expenses.

Documentation (ORIGINAL RECEIPTS) that shall be attached is as follows:

  • Airline ticket
  • Hotel receipt*
  • Car rental form (if applicable)
  • Shuttle, cab fare, parking fees, toll charges
  • Itinerary from Travel Agent
  • Copy of Conference Agenda
  • Other supporting receipts

* NOTE: Any additional charges incurred by the traveler in excess of the room rate and applicable taxes SHALL BE PAID BY THE TRAVELER.

Upon review and verification of travel costs from the travel agency, the Controller's Office will process the payment to the employee.

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This page developed and maintained by The Controller's Office. Send comments and suggestions to sapicard@ccri.edu


Last Updated: 4/4/14