Travel In-State, Out-of-District, Out-of-State
Pursuant to ARS §15-1406B, a community college district may establish procedures and amounts for travel for a district purpose by a board member, member-elect, officer or employee. Such procedures and amounts may authorize reimbursement for lodging, subsistence, and travel expenses. The statewide travel policy as issued by the Arizona Department of Administration, is adopted by the college Governing Board as the principal authority for travel by board members, members-elect, officers and employees. In addition, the college travel regulation has been designed to qualify as an accountable plan under regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- Approved Travel Status
- For a College/District traveler to be in approved travel status, the person must be conducting official College/District business with authorization as stated in section 1.15.3 Approval Authority.
- If expenses are to be incurred and/or paid, a travel authorization document must be completed and approved prior to travel. A conference brochure (or equivalent detailed document) should accompany conference-related travel requests. When travel expenses are not incurred or are paid for by another agency or individual, colleges may still require that a travel authorization document be completed. For in-county travel required for routine District business purposes, a travel authorization document is not required.
Any event, including meetings, classes, educational workshops, etc., where the traveler is acting in an authorized/approved capacity for college.
- Conference Designated Lodging
The hotel where the conference is being held or the hotel(s) specified in the conference brochure (or equivalent detailed documents). (See 1.15.6 Lodging for additional information.)
- Governing Authority
The individual or individuals authorized to approve travel. (See 1.15.3 Approval Authority)
- Ground Transportation
Tolls, taxi, shuttle bus, limousine, subway, light rail, streetcar, trains, etc., use to and from airports, hotels, conference sites, train stations, or bus terminals as needed in order to conduct business is classified as ground transportation.
- Incidental Expenses
Expenses including, but not limited to, gratuities, laundry, baggage handling tips, and other tips. Incidental expenses are covered by per diem and are not eligible for separate reimbursement.
- In-County Trips
Travel within Navajo County and between college locations on official business.
- In-State Travel
Travel on official business outside Navajo County but within the state of Arizona.
- Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)
The cost to supplement sustenance as well as any incidental expenses while in approved travel status.
- Official Function
An activity or item that:
- Does not appear to be, without explanation, an ordinary and necessary function of college as a public educational institution; and
- Provides a tangible benefit and links directly to college's educational mission; and
- Is reasonable and commensurate in value to the tangible benefit that college will receive.
- Out-of-State Travel
Travel outside of Arizona, but still within the parameters of the United States, including U.S. possessions or territories.
- Per Diem Rate
The daily amount (or partial day, if applicable, see 1.15.6) used to reimburse meals and incidental expenses as established by the state of Arizona. Note: the amount allowed for meals is not intended to cover the entire cost of a meal taken while in travel status. The amount is calculated to compensate the traveler for the estimated difference between the cost of a meal taken on the road and cost of a meal prepared at home.
Every District Governing Board member who is in approved travel status.
- Valid Receipt
Any proof of payment from an authoritative source (including scanned or Online receipts) that includes sufficient detail to identify the services and/or items purchased. For airfare, car rentals, hotels, and registration fees, the receipt should be in the traveler's name. Exceptions, such as for expenses shared by two or more board members, may be approved by the Business Office.
1.15.3 Approval Authority
All travel for DGB members exceeding $500 must be approved by the DGB prior to travel. Travel for less than $500 shall be approved by the college president or his/her designee. All procurement practices must be followed, and an approved travel authorization document (approved by the Business Office) made out to the traveler must be completed prior to the travel. No District obligation exists to reimburse for travel costs unless traveler is in an approved travel status prior to trip departure.
Funding Sources with Restrictive Guidelines: For travel situations that have more restrictive standards, such as external grants, professional growth, etc., the provisions of the more restrictive funding source shall be followed.
Official Functions: Expenses incurred by a traveler for activities or events must be an official function.
Most Direct Route. Reimbursement is limited to expense of travel by the most direct and usually-traveled route, by the most economical means of transport. When determining the most economical means, both cost and traveler's time must be considered. That portion of travel that is by indirect route, which is not in the best interest of the College/District, or is for personal business, will not be reimbursed.
Submitting Travel Claim. Travel reimbursement requests must be submitted to the Business Office within 30 calendar days after the end of each calendar month or by June 30th of the current fiscal year, whichever comes first. If a trip concludes during the last half of June, special efforts must be taken to submit reimbursement requests by June 30th of the fiscal year for which the travel occurred. All reimbursement requests made after this time-frame require approval by the College President or designee and from the funding entity if professional development funds are used.
Cost Overruns. Because estimates are used to develop trip budgets, traveler's will be allowed a 10% tolerance level for over expenditures. No further approval by the governing authority is required. When the total expense of the trip exceeds 110% of the estimated total cost, reimbursement of the additional expense will be at the discretion of the governing authority that approved the travel authorization document.
Funding Sources with Restrictive Guidelines. For travel situations that have more restrictive standards, such as external grants, professional growth, etc. the provisions of the more restrictive funding source shall be followed.
Mileage. Mileage reimbursement requests must be submitted to the Business Office within 30 calendar days after the end of each calendar month or by June 30th of the current fiscal year, whichever comes first.
In-County Travel. A travel authorization document is not required for in-county conferences when the only costs being incurred are registration and/or mileage as long as a purchase order requisition or credit card expense is in place for the registration fees, whether paid directly or as a reimbursement to the board member. Meals and incidental expenses are not reimbursed for local travel.
Allowable expenses are for airfare, personally owned vehicle mileage, bridge and road tolls, necessary taxi, shuttle, light-rail, subway, train/railroad, bus, ferry or streetcar fares, vehicle rental, and necessary parking fees.
Reimbursement will be made only for the method of transportation that is in the best interest of the College/District considering the travel expense as well as the traveler's time. When more than one traveler uses the same privately owned vehicle, only one claim for mileage reimbursement will be allowed and other travelers should be identified. Reimbursement rates are set by the Arizona Department of Administration and are incorporated by reference.
Rented Motor Vehicles
- Rented vehicles may be authorized when more economical means of travel are not available. Use of rented automobiles shall be limited to instances where it is to the advantage of the College/District and not for the personal convenience of the traveler. The governing authority is responsible for determining the type of vehicle rented as well as whether or not the advantages of using a rented vehicle outweigh the costs of other modes of transportation. Reimbursement of motor vehicle rentals must be substantiated by a valid receipt.
- Travelers using rented vehicles will not be allowed to claim mileage. Reasonable gasoline purchases will be reimbursable if receipts are provided.
- Airfare may be purchased via a purchase order with an approved travel agency, with a valid procurement card, or as a reimbursement after travel has taken place. Caution: to reduce the liability to the traveler, every effort should be made to use a credit card or purchase order to an approved travel agency. Reimbursement for commercial airfare may exceed the lowest fare only if seats are unavailable at the lowest fare and travel is imperative. In all cases, the decision to pay a higher fare must take into consideration the best interest of the College/District. Receipts are required for baggage fees. Reimbursements are limited to one bag except for reasonable allowances.
- Flight insurance purchased by the traveler is not reimbursable.
- If trip is canceled, every effort must be made to recover the credit. The following situations describe the factors to consider when reimbursing for cancellations:
- When the cancellation of the trip was within the traveler's control and:
- No credit is issued – the traveler must reimburse the District/College for the cost of the ticket.
- A credit is issued – the credit must be used for college business travel or the traveler must reimburse the District/College.
- When the cancellation of the trip was outside of the traveler's control and:
- No credit is issued – the District/College will cover the cost of the ticket.
- A credit is issued – the credit must be used for college business travel or the traveler can "buy" the credit from the District/College for personal use. If the credit can't be used, the District will absorb the cost of the ticket.
- When the cancellation of the trip was within the traveler's control and:
- Change fees
The purpose of the change fee must be clearly documented in order to be reimbursed.
- Change fees can be reimbursed if the change was due to a circumstance or event outside the control of the traveler.
- Change fees will be reimbursed if the change enabled the traveler to decrease the cost of the trip by returning earlier than originally planned.
Railroads and Buses
Railroad or bus travel may be used when convenient or economical and if excessive travel time and additional expenses do not result.
- Tolls, taxi, parking, shuttle, limousine, light-rail, subway, train, streetcar and non-airport parking are classified as ground transportation and can be claimed without receipts up to $25.00 per expense claim form. The most economical means of transportation shall be used in traveling to and from airports, train stations or bus terminals. Ground transportation for personal activities, such as sightseeing or travel to restaurants, is not reimbursable.
- Receipts required. Claims exceeding $25.00 require receipts for all amounts claimed. The purpose for the ground transportation claimed must be identified. In the event that receipts are not available (i.e., subways, buses, light rail), the traveler may submit a ground transportation log in lieu of receipts.
- When traveling to and from airports, train stations or bus terminals, the most economical and reasonable means of transportation shall be used. To determine the most economical means of ground transportation, all factors such as car rental costs, parking, taxi fares, and/or available shuttle or limousine services must be considered. When departing Arizona, storage or parking for personally-owned vehicles at airports, train stations or bus terminals is allowed at economy lot rates. If a traveler is dropped off at the airport, no parking is reimbursable. When the traveler is picked up at the airport, up to one hour of parking may be reimbursed. Tips for transportation and baggage handling, as well as storage charges are to be paid from the traveler's M&IE allowance.
1.15.6 Lodging, Meals, and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)
Lodging, meals, and incidental expenses shall be reimbursed according to Procedure 2370.
1.15.7 Miscellaneous Travel Issues
Consultants. Travel for individuals not specifically covered by this Administrative Regulation, including consultants and other non-employees, should be included in the negotiated contracted for services.
Out-of-State Use of Equipment. Any out-of-state use of College/District-owned equipment, including vehicles, must be specifically approved by the governing authority (as defined in 1.15.3).
Non-Reimbursable/Non-Allowable Expenses. The following expenses are NOT reimbursable under any circumstances:
- Airline or social club membership dues
- Babysitting or childcare costs
- Personal car repairs/routine maintenance or locksmith charges
- Clothing, luggage, briefcases
- Credit card delinquency fees/finance charges/annual fees
- Expenses for travel companions/family
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Frequent flier miles
- Preferred seating
- Priority check in
- Fast pass for TSA
- Health club facilities, saunas, massages
- Helicopter services for airport transfers
- Kennel fees and pet care for pets while on travel status
- Loss/theft of cash
- Loss/theft of personal property (lost baggage, etc.)
- Magazines, books, newspapers, or movies
- Optional travel or baggage insurance
- Parking or traffic fines
- Personal accident or property insurance
- Personal entertainment/grooming/gifts/souvenirs
- Personal sightseeing/tourist activities
Other. Any travel issues that are not specifically addressed within this regulation require review by the Chief Business Officer or the appropriate designee.