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Financial Affairs Policies
UMB POLICY ON TRAVEL
Applies to Staff, Faculty
To further define and support the University System of Maryland Travel Policy.
The University System of Maryland travel policies and procedures approved by the Board of Regents are intended to
- Facilitate travel arrangements
- Define responsibilities for travel authorization
- Provide guidance for the allowable expenditure of travel funds and supporting documentation
The following University of Maryland, Baltimore travel policies are intended for all accounts.
- Travel Approval
All travel must be documented, i.e. out-of-state travel request, expense statement and petty cash voucher. Pre- approval is required for all out-of-state and foreign travel by the submission of an out-of-state travel request. For purposes of clarity, University/System business conducted in the "Washington, D.C. - Metropolitan Area" (Reference: Travel Reimbursement Rates - Page 9) is classified as in-state travel.
- Reservation and Ticketing
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 or campus. 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) and are encouraged to purchase air and rail tickets and reserve in-trip services through the contracted travel agencies. Federal regulations require travel on US air carriers at coach rates (Reference: Principal Investigator's Handbook-Pages 1.2-5). Air and rail travel other than coach will be reimbursed only:
- When necessary because it is the only service offered between two points.
- When space is unavailable and reasonable efforts to obtain coach service have been made.
- When schedules, routing changes, or cancellation of service make such travel necessary.
- When such accommodations are necessary for approved medical reasons. In the absence of an explanatory statement, reimbursement will be reduced to the coach or standard fare for the service used.
If the traveler uses a travel agencies other than the University's contracted travel agencies, the traveler must pay and subsequently be reimbursed at the conclusion of the trip.
In the event of changed plans, cancellations and other penalties will be paid by the campus provided that the cancellation or change was made for the convenience of the campus or was necessitated by circumstances of an emergency nature affecting the traveler.
Many of you prefer to book airline tickets for University business travel yourselves over the Internet rather than utilizing one of the University's contract travel agencies. Our contract travel agencies give us the best pricing available to them, which typically is very competitive. At times, however, better pricing can be achieved over the Internet because of special "Internet only" fares that are not available to travel agents. Reputable Internet discount travel sites may also provide better pricing in some instances.
If you would like to purchase airline tickets directly, you may do so either by utilizing your University issued American Express card or a personal credit card. Because airline tickets are typically purchased well in advance of the travel date, Financial Services will reimburse employees at the time the tickets are purchased.
- Hotel, Meal, and Other Expense Reimbursement
The cost of hotel accommodations will be reimbursed on the basis of a single room rate. Any overage above the single room rate that is a result of non-official travelers using the accommodation will be the personal financial responsibility of the traveler. The campus practice is that we do not pre pay hotel bills.
For domestic travel, travelers are not required to provide individual meal receipts or to show a per meal breakdown for daily travel using the Standard rates. The Board of Regents will review the rates biennially (see Appendix A). Foreign travel meals are reimbursed at actual costs with receipts or at the applicable U.S. Department of State Meal and Incidental Rates (M&IE) without receipts. Contact the Financial Services - Travel Desk for current rates.
A partial day's travel is eligible for the appropriate meal(s) consumed. Guidelines for meal reimbursements are as follows:
- The cost of breakfast and/or dinner is reimbursable when an employee must leave home and/or return home, in travel status on official business, two hours before or after the normal work day. The two hours are in addition to the normal commuting time.
- The cost of lunch is reimbursable when an employee is in travel status for a normal day (or 8 hours).
- Use of Institution and Personal Vehicles and Car Rentals
State (i.e. institution or System-owned) vehicles may be driven only by University/System officers and authorized institution and System personnel and only when acting within the scope of their public duties. Any person driving a State owned vehicle must have a valid driver's license. Properly insured personal vehicles may be used for travel on institution business. The use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the rate established when travel is in compliance with institution procedures (which include normal costs of vehicle operation) (See Appendix B). Reimbursable mileage is calculated from the starting point of the trip or from the normal place of employment, whichever is less. The settlement of any fines or penalties imposed for traffic or other violations is the responsibility of the individual and cannot be claimed for reimbursement.
Where a car rental is deemed necessary, the University expects the rental of the least expensive car (compact) 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. The renter should not purchase Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). Vehicles rented to the State are covered for liability under the Maryland Tort Claims Act. As with all claims, the University will be responsible for the first $1,000.00 of damages. If damage occurs to a rental vehicle, the employee must report the incident to the Office of Environmental Health & Safety-Risk Management at 6-2331 or 6-7034. Information can also be obtained from the Environmental Health & Safety Web Page under Fleet Management.
- Employee Travel with Spouses
The institution will not reimburse any expenses incurred on behalf of the spouse, when spouses travel with institution employees but are not themselves serving as agents of the institution. Travelers should be careful to maintain a record of individual expenses.
- Interviewing and Recruitment
Travel expenses incurred with employment interviews and recruitment are reimbursable when authorized. Expenses of a spouse accompanying a prospective employee are also reimbursable, if authorized by the school or department.
- Travelers' Insurance
The State provides travel insurance to all active full- time employees of the State traveling by air on State business. State travel insurance does not cover train travel. When air and rail tickets are purchased through the University's contracted travel agencies and billed to the University, UMB travelers automatically receive travel and baggage insurance. Also, UMB's contracted travel agencies provides each University traveler at no additional cost automatic common carrier and flight insurance for each trip by air or rail. The beneficiary is to be the traveler's designee. The insurance covers all common carrier and airport transfers.
- Travel Advances
Travel advances are not provided.
- Travel advances
- Non-reimbursable expenses
- Alcoholic beverages
- Hostess gifts
- Lost or stolen tickets, cash or property
- Additional flight insurance premiums
- Costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations
- Expenses not directly related to, or necessary for, the purpose of University travel
Further information on travel procedures can be found at: http://www.fincsvc.umaryland.edu/travel