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Travel Policy

    Title:

    Travel Policy

    Publication date:

    11/15/2013

    Effective date:

    11/16/2012

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    This policy defines the requirements for individuals who travel on behalf of Berkeley Lab, regardless of the funding source. Additional requirements may be provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) program office, or a non-DOE organization funding the trip. Each traveler must adhere to this policy as well as any additional requirements as stated above.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    All individuals involved with travel on behalf of the Laboratory

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    Business Services Manager, OCFO

    Title:

    Travel Policy

    Publication date:

    11/15/2013

    Effective date:

    11/16/2012

    D. Policy Statement
    D.1 Overview
    D.2 Transportation Expenses

    D.3 Lodging and Meals & Incidental Expenses (M&IE)
    D.4 Miscellaneous Business Expenses

    D.5 Special Requirements for Non-employees

    D.6 Travel Expense Report Settlement

    D.7 Records Retention

    D.8 Tax Considerations

    D.9 Travel Insurance and Accident Reporting

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    This policy provides requirements for official travel by employees and non-employees of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), regardless of the funding source. It applies to all types of official Laboratory travel, i.e., domestic, foreign, or local. It complies with applicable guidelines and regulations of the Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Acquisition Regulation, University of California (UC), Federal Travel Regulation, and Contract 31. For traveling to a conference, see the Laboratory's Events, Planning and Financial policy.

    Additional requirements may be provided by the DOE program office, or a non-DOE organization funding the trip. Each traveler must adhere to this policy as well as any additional requirements as stated above.

    B. Persons Affected

    All individuals involved with travel on behalf of the Laboratory

    C. Exceptions

    None

    D. Policy Statement

    D.1 Overview

    1. General
      1. Employees should support cost-effective measures by evaluating the need to travel and the potential of using less-expensive travel alternatives such as e-mail, audio- and/or net (Web) conferencing, and videoconferencing.
      2. Travel while conducting official Laboratory business must be conducted in a manner that meets business needs and minimizes costs. The traveler must report travel expenses in a responsible and ethical manner. All official Laboratory travel must be properly authorized, conducted, reported, and reimbursed in accordance with this policy.
      3. An official Laboratory business trip begins when the traveler leaves his or her residence or primary work location, whichever occurs last, and ends when the traveler returns to his or her residence or primary work location, whichever occurs first.
      4. Only travel expenses that are ordinary and necessary to accomplish the official business purpose of the trip are eligible for reimbursement. Any increase in expenses for personal reasons are the responsibility of the traveler. Personal travel is not to be charged to or temporarily funded by the Laboratory.
      5. Travelers will not be reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of others. Lodging expenses may be reimbursed for Laboratory travelers who share a room with another Laboratory employee.
    2. Authorization to Travel
      1. A Travel Authorization must be completed in the Laboratory's TRavel and EXpense (TREX) Reimbursement System for a travel advance or prepayment.
        1. Domestic Travel. The division funding the trip determines the authorization process.
        2. Foreign Travel. Prior to travel, a Travel Authorization must be completed and approved, regardless of funding source, in TREX. The director (or designee) of the division funding the trip must then approve the trip, followed by approval by the Travel Office, DOE, and the U.S Department of State. (The Travel Office submits the request to DOE and the Department of State.) The Travel Office must receive the division-approved Travel Authorization in accordance with the Travel Authorization Advance Notice requirements on the Travel Office Web site.
        3. Local Travel. The division funding the trip determines authorization requirements. The Laboratory's TREX system does not accept Travel Authorizations for local travel.
    3. Reservations and Service Providers
      1. Reservations for official Laboratory travel for employees and affiliates should be made through the Laboratory's designated travel agency or online booking tool. Travelers should use the current contracts with selected air carriers, hotels, and rental-car agencies whenever possible (see Travel Services Web site).
      2. Travel Packages. Because commercially offered travel "packages" typically do not itemize expenses, no business-related travel should be booked through such vendors unless the traveler has confirmed that each aspect of the package will be separately itemized (e.g., itemized hotel charges and airfare) to assure appropriate documentation for reimbursement.
      3. Canceling Reservations. Travelers unable to honor a reservation will be responsible for canceling the reservation in compliance with the terms of the hotel, airline, car-rental agency, or conference/seminar vendor, etc. Charges or lost refunds resulting from failure to cancel a reservation will not be reimbursed unless the traveler can show that the failure was the result of circumstances beyond the traveler's control. For additional information regarding cancellation of airline tickets, see Tickets Purchased through the Laboratory's Designated Travel Agency.
    4. Combining Personal/Vacation Days with Business Travel
      1. When combining personal/vacation days with business travel, reimbursement is limited to expenses for business travel only. When personal/vacation days are taken during official travel status, the number of days must be specified on the Travel Expense Report.
      2. For personal/vacation days while on foreign travel, DOE programs may have different practices or limits on the number of days allowed. Contact the Travel Office for guidance prior to submitting a foreign Travel Authorization in the TREX system.
    5. Corporate Travel Cards
      1. Corporate travel cards are issued to employees who travel at least once per year (see Travel Services Web site). The corporate travel card is to be used solely for Laboratory business expenses associated with official travel such as hotels, car rentals, meals, miscellaneous expenses, and registration fees, as allowed by Contract 31 and Laboratory policy. Personal charges, unrelated to Laboratory business purposes, are not to be charged to the corporate card. Any non-business-related charges incurred by the traveler are not reimbursable.
      2. Corporate travel cards are issued directly to the cardholder and not the Laboratory. Corporate travel card payments are the responsibility of the employee. Delinquencies and/or misuse may result in the cancellation of the travel card and/or other corrective action, up to and including termination. Any interest and/or late fees incurred for delinquent payments are the responsibility of the employee and, therefore, nonreimbursable.
      3. Travelers issued a corporate travel card are expected to use the card for cash advances. The corporate travel card may be cancelled at the discretion of the Laboratory or the issuing bank, and must be relinquished upon termination of employment.
    6. Advances
      1. Travelers are expected to use their corporate travel card to obtain cash advances for expenses incurred in connection with official Laboratory business travel. Laboratory checks for travelers without a corporate travel card are available on an exception basis. Contact your division business manager for more specific details.
      2. Advances are issued only under special circumstances and are limited to the following restrictions:
        1. May not exceed the estimated out-of-pocket expenses for the trip
        2. Will not be made more than one week prior to the travel date
        3. Require written justification
        4. Will not be issued to persons who have been issued a corporate travel card
        5. Are not authorized for any person who is 30 days delinquent in submitting a Travel Expense Report for a prior trip
        6. Will not be made for local travel
      3. An advance must immediately be returned to the Travel Office if an authorized trip is canceled or indefinitely postponed. Under certain conditions, travel advances may be considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (see Tax Considerations).
    7. Prepaid Expenses
      1. Airline Tickets. Airline tickets purchased through the Laboratory's designated travel agency are directly billed to the Laboratory. When a traveler purchases a ticket outside of the agency, reimbursement will not be made until after the trip has occurred (see Air Travel).
      2. Hotel and Event Registration Fees
        1. Travelers are expected to pay the vendor directly and request reimbursement through the expense report process. Reimbursement may be obtained in advance on a pre-payment expense report; or, reimbursement can be requested at the conclusion of the trip when other travel related costs are submitted.
        2. Laboratory checks to vendors, via the Request for Issuance of Check (RFIC) process, are available on an exception basis.
        3. Note: Conference registration fee reimbursement may only be requested if the conference has been approved by DOE.

    D.2 Transportation Expenses

    1. General
      1. Travelers should make every effort to obtain the most economical rates, use the most economical mode of transportation, and use the most usually traveled route consistent with the purpose of the trip.
      2. Procuring Tickets. Travelers should obtain transportation tickets from the Laboratory's designated travel agency to take advantage of special discounts and to have the tickets charged to the Laboratory's direct-billing account. Employees who purchase tickets from other sources at a higher cost will be reimbursed for the amount the ticket would have cost if purchased through the contract agency. For a complete list of eligible discounts available through the Laboratory's designated travel agency, see the Travel Services Web site.
      3. Employee-Purchased Tickets. The Laboratory's contracted agency offers special airfare discounts that cannot be obtained by outside sources. The state-of-California-negotiated Discount Airfare Program (YCal fares) is the Laboratory's allowable airfare ceiling (see State of California Discount Airfare Program). If tickets are purchased outside the Laboratory's contracted agency and any of the Laboratory discounts are not used, the traveler will be responsible for the difference in the cost of the airfare.
      4. Indirect Itineraries. Travelers are responsible for any additional expenses resulting from the use of an indirect route or stops along the way for personal reasons. Reimbursement is limited to the actual costs incurred or to the costs that would have been incurred using the normally traveled route, whichever is lower. Excess travel time will be charged to the appropriate type of leave.
      5. Vacation Interrupt. If a traveler is on vacation or has already purchased planned vacation travel tickets and is required to interrupt that vacation for business reasons, travel costs will be reimbursed from the vacation point to the official business point and back to the vacation point, plus any change or penalty fees that may apply.
      6. Use of Surface Transportation in Lieu of Air Travel. A traveler may choose to use surface transportation for personal reasons even if air travel is the appropriate mode of transportation. In that case, reimbursement may not exceed the airfare the Laboratory would have paid if air travel had been used, plus the normal cost of ground transportation to and from airports. The cost of meals, lodging, tolls, ferries, and parking while in transit via surface transportation may be reimbursed if the total amount reimbursed does not exceed the cost of airfare plus ground transportation.
    2. Air Travel
      1. Tickets Purchased through the Laboratory's Designated Travel Agency. Tickets purchased and billed through the Laboratory's designated travel agency are the property of the Laboratory. Cancellations must be reported directly to the travel agency prior to departure time. All tickets, including those that are unused (full or partial), must be reported on a Travel Expense Report.
      2. Airline Ticket Credits
        1. Airline ticket credits resulting from trip cancellations are stored in the Laboratory Travel Agency database for future use by the traveler. Ticket credits expire after a period of time, which varies by airline. The traveler is responsible for keeping track of all unused airline credits and using them prior to their expiration date.
        2. An unused airline ticket must be reported and submitted on the Travel Expense Report for which it was intended, even if the trip was cancelled. 

        3. When the airline credit is subsequently used on another trip and if the subsequent trip has a project ID other than the one used for the original expense report, the traveler should consult with the Resource Analyst or Business Manager to facilitate the appropriate resource adjustment. (Note: A resource adjustment will be made by the division to credit the original project ID and debit the project ID receiving the airline credit.)
      3. Tickets Purchased outside the Laboratory's Designated Travel Agency. Tickets purchased outside the Laboratory's designated travel agency (i.e., employee-purchased tickets) will not be reimbursed by the Laboratory until after the trip has occurred. If the ticket is cancelled for any reason, the ticket remains the property of the traveler. Travelers will be reimbursed according to allowable guidelines.
      4. Use of U.S. Carriers. All commercial air travel between the United States and a foreign country and between foreign countries must be made via a U.S. flag carrier or U.S. code share as required by Public Law D93-629, Fly America Act. This applies to the following:
        1. Travel reimbursed from any funding source (DOE or non-DOE)
        2. International charter flights
        3. Travel to/from Canada or Mexico
        4. Flights to/from personal destinations in conjunction with official travel
      5. Use of Foreign Carriers. In accordance with the Fly America Act, foreign carriers can be used only under the following circumstances:
        1. If a U.S. flag air carrier offers nonstop or direct service, i.e., no aircraft change, from the traveler's origin to destination, the traveler must use the U.S. flag air carrier service unless such use extends travel time, including delay at origin, by 24 hours or more.
        2. If a U.S. flag air carrier does not offer nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) between the traveler's origin and destination, the traveler must use a U.S. flag air carrier on every portion of the route where service is provided unless (when compared with using a foreign air carrier) such use would apply to one or more of the following:
          1. It would increase the number of aircraft changes the traveler must make outside of the United States by two or more.
          2. It would extend the travel time by six hours or more.
          3. It would require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
      6. Obtaining Lowest Available Airfare (Coach Class)
        1. Reimbursement is limited to the actual expense for business travel only. Any airfare for personal deviations will not be reimbursed unless the cost is less than the lowest available coach fare for the business travel. Travelers are expected to travel by the most efficient and economical modes of transportation possible within mission requirements, on the most direct route consistent with the business purpose of the trip (i.e., utilize negotiated or discounted airfares; request departure and arrival within a two-hour window; or consider alternate airports).
        2. Travelers should book airline reservations from the Laboratory's designated travel agency (or online booking tool) to obtain the lowest allowable coach airfare and ensure full compliance with policy, as well as reimbursement. Reservations should be made as early as possible to take advantage of the lowest coach fare available.
        3. Coach class, or any discounted class, must be used in the interest of economy on all domestic or foreign flights. Except in extenuating circumstances, written authorization for reimbursement of airfare for business-class or first-class service must be obtained in advance.
        4. The following table reflects the conditions required for the use of a one-class upgrade for airline accommodations.
      7. Rest Stop/Official Stopover
        1. A rest stop at either an intermediate point or the destination is allowed when all following conditions apply:
          1. The class of service used for air travel is less than business or first class.
          2. The origin or destination is outside the continental United States.
          3. The scheduled flight time (including stopovers) exceeds 14 hours.
          4. Air travel is consistent with the Fly America Act.
          5. Travel is taken by a direct or usually traveled route.
        2. Reimbursement is based on the per diem rate for the rest-stop location. A maximum of three days are reimbursable before the date of actual official business (one day en route, the arrival day, and one rest stop within a 24-hour period).
      8. Involuntary Denied Boarding Compensation. Compensation made to travelers by airlines for involuntary denied boarding is the property of the Laboratory and must be returned with the Travel Expense Report to be credited to the cost of the trip.
      9. Voluntary Denied Boarding Compensation. Travelers may voluntarily vacate reserved airline seats and retain the payment received from the airline under the following conditions:
        1. Any resulting additional expenses are borne by the traveler.
        2. Relinquishing a reserved seat does not diminish performance of official duties.
        3. Vacation is charged to the extent that travel is delayed during normal work hours.
      10. Reticketing/Schedule Changes. Charges for reticketing, schedule changes, etc., may be reimbursed for a valid business reason. The reason for the charge must be reflected on the Travel Expense Report.
      11. Travel Membership Clubs. The Laboratory does not reimburse for airline membership clubs.
      12. Chartered/Private Aircraft. Use of chartered and/or private aircraft will not be authorized for official Laboratory business, nor will any reimbursement be made for such use.
    3. Vehicles
      1. For information on vehicle insurance and accident reporting, see Travel Insurance and Accident Reporting.
      2. Private Automobile
        1. When a private automobile is used, reimbursement will be made based on actual mileage, parking, ferries, and tolls (see Travel Reimbursement Expense Guidelines). Gasoline, routine repairs, tires, or other vehicle expense items will not be reimbursed. When two or more persons share a privately owned vehicle, only the driver may claim reimbursement.
        2. If a private vehicle is to be used instead of air travel for personal convenience, reimbursement of transportation costs, including the cost of meals, lodging, tolls, ferries, and parking while in transit, shall not exceed sum of the total allowable airfare (if air travel had been used), and the normal cost of ground transportation to and from common carrier terminals. Travelers are advised to contact the Travel Office prior to traveling to determine the allowable airfare and reimbursable limits (see Rental Vehicles).
        3. Mileage will be reimbursed from the time the traveler leaves his or her residence or primary work location, whichever occurs last, to when the traveler returns to his or her residence or primary work location, whichever occurs first.
        4. When a traveler drives to or from a common carrier terminal, mileage and parking for one round trip for the duration of the trip is reimbursable. When the traveler is driven to a common carrier destination, mileage, short-term parking, and tolls for two round trips are reimbursable.
      3. Rental Vehicles
        1. A rental vehicle should be used when more economical than the use of taxis or other means of transportation. It may be used for local travel only when no other means is available. Travelers are expected to use the Laboratory's preferred rental car vendors and charge the rental to their corporate travel card or personal credit card.
        2. Gasoline for rental vehicles is reimbursable. The traveler should refuel the rental vehicle prior to returning it to the rental agency, thus avoiding excess gasoline charges.
        3. If a rental vehicle is used instead of air travel, reimbursement of transportation costs, including the cost of meals, lodging, tolls, ferries, and parking while in transit, shall not exceed the sum of the total allowable airfare (if air travel had been used), and the normal cost of ground transportation to and from common carrier terminals. Travelers should contact the Travel Office prior to traveling to determine the allowable airfare and reimbursement limits.
        4. Reimbursement for a rental vehicle cannot exceed intermediate-size sedans. For information on rental-vehicle insurance, see Rental Vehicle Insurance.
        5. The following table reflects exceptions and additional requirements for vehicle rentals. All require the use of the Laboratory's preferred vendors.

          Class of Vehicle

          Reimbursable

          Requirements

          Justification Required

          Four-wheel drive

          Yes

          Business necessity or weather conditions

          Yes

          Minivan

          Yes

          For transportation of  Laboratory passengers and Laboratory equipment

          Yes

          Truck or van

          Yes

          To transport equipment or materials

          Yes

        6. Reimbursement for a GPS (Global Positioning System) is only for those travelers who are traveling in an unfamiliar area. It is expected that travelers who are familiar with their travel location will decline the GPS option when making their reservation or upon checkout.
        7. Nonstandard options are not reimbursable.
        8. For information on vehicle insurance and accident reporting, see Travel Insurance and Accident Reporting.
    4. Train (Rail) or Bus
      1. Reimbursement for rail transportation is limited to the lowest first-class rate. Transportation by bus is not limited to any specific class of service.
      2. When rail or bus transportation is used instead of available air travel due to business necessity, actual expenses including the cost of meals and lodging will be reimbursed. Reimbursement for the cost of a sleeping car (Pullman) accommodation is allowed in lieu of lodging expense for each night that these accommodations are used.
      3. If a rail or bus is to be used instead of air travel for personal convenience, reimbursement of actual expenses including the fare, cost of meals, lodging, tolls, ferries, and parking shall not exceed sum of the total allowable airfare (if air travel had been used), and the normal cost of ground transportation to and from common carrier terminals. Travelers should contact the Travel Office prior to traveling to determine the allowable airfare and reimbursable limits.
    5. Ship. When traveling by passenger ship, transportation at the lowest first-class rate is reimbursable. Meals are reimbursable (up to the established meals and incidental expenses [M&IE] rates) only if not included in the fare.
    6. Motorcycle. Motorcycles (or motor-driven cycles) are not allowed for use on official Laboratory business, nor will any reimbursement be made for the use of such vehicles.
    7. Airport Transportation. Employees should choose cost-effective measures and use the most economical mode of transportation to/from home and the airport. The cost of shuttles, taxis, and airport car limousine services are reimbursable.
    8. Local Public Transportation. Local public transportation fares (e.g., taxi, bus, subway, or streetcar) are reimbursable.
    9. Other Types of Transportation. Charges for the use of other types of transportation (e.g., helicopter, boat) are allowed when their use is beneficial to the Laboratory. A justification for their use must be included with the Travel Expense Report.
    10. Parking. Reasonable parking charges for official, rental, and personal vehicles, when used for official Laboratory business, are reimbursable. Travelers should use long-term or off-airport facilities when parking at common carrier terminals. Charges associated with valet parking are not reimbursable.

    D.3 Lodging and Meals & Incidental Expenses (M&IE)

    1. General
      1. Lodging and M&IE, referred to as a per diem allowance, will be reimbursed based on the type of travel and business point in accordance with the per diem rates established by the following federal agencies:

        Type of Travel

        Agency Establishing Per Diem Rates

        Within Continental U.S. (CONUS)

        General Services Administration (GSA)

        Outside Continental U.S. (OCONUS);
        i.e., Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. possessions

        Department of Defense (DOD)

        Foreign

        U.S. Department of State

      2. Lodging taxes are not included in the above per diem rates but are reimbursed as a separate expense.
    2. Lodging
      1. Employees should obtain government (or the most economical) room rates where available.
      2. Actual lodging expenses may exceed the applicable federal rate to a maximum of 300%, per the Federal Travel Regulation, if any of the special or unusual circumstances listed below apply. No additional approval other than the individual approving the Travel Expense Report is required (see Travel Expense Report Settlement).
        1. If it becomes necessary to exceed the maximum lodging rate on a repetitive or continuing basis for a single business location, the Laboratory must obtain advance approval from the DOE Contracting Officer.
        2. Special or Unusual Circumstances
          1. Lodging at a hotel where a conference, meeting, or training session is held
          2. Lodging costs temporarily escalate due to events (e.g., sporting events, conventions, or natural disasters)
          3. Mission requirement: Traveler is required to do business in a certain location on certain days and no lodging is available at the government rate
          4. Other unplanned circumstances encountered by travelers such as:
            1. Government rate booked but not available upon arrival at hotel
            2. Flight cancelled; traveler required to spend night in airport hotel and not compensated by airline
      3. Direct-bill hotels are set up by individual divisions for local-area lodging. Direct billing for lodging can be reimbursed through a Request for Issuance of Check (RFIC) form for lodging and lodging taxes only. All other expenses including incidentals are the responsibility of the traveler. All expenses other than lodging taxes are to be settled with the hotel by the traveler.
      4. Any increase in lodging expense due to an accompanying non-employee is the responsibility of the traveler.
      5. Travelers lodging in noncommercial facilities such as house trailers or field camping are reimbursed actual expenses up to the maximum applicable lodging rate.
      6. Travelers will not be reimbursed lodging costs for stays at a facility either owned or leased by the traveler.
      7. Lodging with friends or relatives is nonreimbursable.
    3. Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)
      1. To minimize costs, travelers are highly encouraged to request reimbursement for the actual cost of meals and incidental expenses up to the applicable federal M&IE rate (see Lodging and Meals & Incidental Expenses [M&IE]). The following table reflects M&IE allowance guidelines.
      2. Meal expenses include the cost of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and related tips and taxes. Specifically excluded are alcoholic beverages and entertainment expenses and any expenses incurred for other persons.
      3. When a meal is furnished at a nominal or no cost, or is included in a registration fee, the amount claimed for meals and incidental expenses must be adjusted per the table on the Travel Services Web site. This does not apply to meals provided by common carriers or complimentary meals provided by hotels/ motels.
      4. Incidental expenses include fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses, and others on ships. On foreign travel, laundry and dry cleaning are also considered incidental expenses (see Traveler Directly Reimbursed by a Third Party).
    4. Long-Term Travel (Domestic or Foreign)
      1. The traveler is on long-term travel if assigned to one location away from his or her primary work location for 30 days or more. Travelers on long-term travel should use establishments catering to the long-term visitor (e.g., weekly or monthly rentals).
      2. Travel over 30 Days. Reimbursement for travel longer than 30 days and up to six months is limited to a daily amount of up to 55% of the applicable federal per diem rates once the long-term stay location has been occupied (see Travel Reimbursement Expense Guidelines).
        1. The maximum reimbursement amount is 55%. Divisions can set a lower reimbursement amount, at their discretion.
        2. Travelers have 30 days to identify and occupy the long-term stay location.
        3. Trip must be identified as "Long-Term Travel" in the "Trip Description and Business Benefit" section of the expense report. Required information in the "Trip Description and Business Benefit" section includes:
          1. Identification of the trip as "Long-Term Travel"
          2. Expected duration of the long-term stay, and the start and end dates Business purpose
      3. Travel That Exceeds Six Months. For travel assignments that exceed six months, refer to the Laboratory's Relocation or Change-of-Station policy. Employees on such assignments will not be reimbursed any costs associated with per diem (except for en-route travel) unless the employee maintains a residence at the permanent duty station in compliance with DOE policy.

    D.4 Miscellaneous Business Expenses

    1. Miscellaneous business expenses are reimbursable (see Travel Reimbursement Expense Guidelines). The following are examples of reimbursable business expenses.
      1. Business office expenses for the use of computers, printers, fax equipment, Internet, scanners, copy services, and postal service
      2. Baggage charges for business travel: one bag for domestic and two bags for foreign
      3. Purchase of materials and supplies when normal procurement procedures are not practical; use a Request for Issuance of Check (RFIC) form
      4. Registration fees for attendance at conferences, conventions, or meetings of professional societies. Any part of such fees covering entertainment is not allowed. However, if a non-governmental organization sponsors a conference and a single, mandatory, nonseparable registration fee is charged for both attendance and meals or an evening social event, the Laboratory will reimburse the traveler's full registration fee.
      5. Fees for use of automated teller machines, traveler's checks, money orders, certified checks, visas, photographs, and inoculations when not obtained through Laboratory facilities
      6. Expenses for laundry and dry-cleaning services for domestic travel if travel lasts more than four nights. For foreign and OCONUS, separate claims for laundry and dry-cleaning expenses are not allowed. They are included as part of the incidental expense allowance, which represents 20% of the applicable foreign M&IE rate.
      7. One reasonable personal telephone call home per day
    2. Entertainment and alcohol expenses are not reimbursable.

    D.5 Special Requirements for Non-employees

    1. Non-employees traveling at the Laboratory's request may be reimbursed for their travel expenses. In addition to complying with this Travel Policy, the following special guidelines apply:
      1. Foreign Visitors. Payments to foreign visitors, including advances and reimbursements, may be restricted by the visitor's visa status or other requirements established by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Additional documentation must be provided by the visitor for reimbursement. See Non-Employee Travel: Guests for documentation information.
      2. Interviewees. Travel expenses associated with interviewing prospective employees are reimbursable. Reimbursement is made for actual transportation, lodging, and M&IE. At the discretion of the Laboratory Director (or designee), actual travel expenses may be reimbursed for spouses/domestic partners who accompany candidates for senior-level positions on final interviews.
      3. Reimbursement Requirements. See the following table for non-employee travel reimbursement requirements.

    D.6 Travel Expense Report Settlement

    1. Reimbursement – General
      1. Reimbursement claims for travel expenses should be submitted via a Travel Expense Report within 30 days after completion of the trip using the Laboratory's travel expense (TREX) reimbursement system. For local travel, multiple claims for reimbursement may be submitted on one Travel Expense Report.
      2. The traveler must certify the expenses, which are then approved by an authorized signer in the Laboratory's Signature Authorization System (SAS). If the traveler is a Laboratory employee, the certification must be made in the Laboratory's TREX system. Certification for affiliates will be made in the system by the division travel arranger, on behalf of the traveler.
      3. The Travel Office may exercise the option to partially pay (short pay) a Travel Expense Report when an unallowable expense has been included.
      4. The Laboratory requires travelers to submit all receipts electronically via the TREX system (scanned and attached to the Expense Report as a PDF file). All receipts are to be attached by the traveler or travel arranger.
      5. All Travel Expense Reports should be submitted and processed for payment by the close of the fiscal year to adhere to best practices and ensure all expenses are properly posted.
      6. If Laboratory travel is to be paid by another host organization, and the travel cost is charged to the Laboratory in the interim, the traveler must ensure payment is received from the host organization. Include full supporting documentation from the host organization (i.e., invitation letter, invoice, and a copy of the reimbursement check from the host to the traveler or Laboratory), along with a personal check made payable to UC Regents. Acceptable receipts include the following:

        Receipt Requirements

        Vendor Name

        Event Name

        Traveler Name

        Transaction Date

        Flight/Rail Itinerary

        Proof of Payment

        Ticket Number

        Itemized Daily Costs

        Total Cost

        Airline Tickets

        Any $ Amount

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        Yes

        Yes

        Yes

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        Hotel/Lodging

        Any $ Amount

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        Yes

        Event Registrations

        Any $ Amount

        No

        Yes

        Yes

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        No

        When applicable

        Yes

        Commercial  Car Rentals

        Any $ Amount

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        No

        Yes

        Yes

        Expenses $75 and over (EXCLUDING MEALS)

        Yes

        No

        No

        Yes

        No

        When applicable

        No

        Yes

        Yes

      7. Lost/Missing Receipts (receipts not available). When circumstances beyond the traveler’s control prohibit submission of required receipts, a Lost/Missing Receipt Waiver form will need to be completed and submitted to the Travel Office. In the absence of a satisfactory justification, the amount involved will not be reimbursed.
    2. Trip Reports for Foreign Travel
      1. A DOE Foreign Trip Report is not required for travel fully funded by the Office of Science or a non-DOE funded project. Foreign Trip Reports are required for travel sponsored by the following DOE Program Offices:
        1. Environmental Management (EM)
        2. Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)
        3. Fossil Energy (FE)
        4. National Nuclear Security Administration/NNSA (NA)
        5. Nuclear Energy (NE)
        6. Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability (OE)
        7. Radioactive Waste Management (RW)
      2. See the Travel Services Web site for more information on how to create a Foreign Trip Report and where to submit it once completed.
      3. Important: When preparing a Travel Expense Report in TREX, an abstract of major highlights, benefits, and results will be required for all trips regardless of the funding source.
      4. Foreign Currency
        1. Expense reports must be submitted in U.S. dollars.
        2. Expenses paid by credit card are reimbursed at the rate used by the credit-card company.
        3. Expenses paid in foreign currency are reimbursed using the exchange rate at the time of conversion. Therefore, currency exchange receipts should be saved, used for converting foreign currencies back to U.S. dollars, and submitted electronically with the Travel Expense Report. Fees charged for conversion are reimbursable.
        4. In the absence of a receipt showing the rate of conversion, the official bank rate of exchange will be based on the first day of official business travel using the currency converter provided by OANDA.
    3. Expense Report Certification. Before submitting a Travel Expense Report for approval, the traveler must certify the expenses claimed. If a Laboratory employee, the traveler must record the certification in TREX. Certification for affiliates will be recorded in the system by the division travel arranger, on behalf of the traveler.
    4. Expense Report Approval
      1. Travel Expense Reports must be approved by an authorized signer in the Laboratory's Signature Authorization System (SAS).
      2. A Travel Expense Report cannot be approved by anyone who has a direct or indirect reporting relationship with the traveler. Individuals delegated authority to approve travel cannot approve their own travel. In addition, travelers may not approve the travel of a near relative, e.g., spouse or equivalent, child, parent, etc.
      3. Travel expenses for associate Laboratory directors (ALDs), division directors, Deputy Director, and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be approved by the Chief of Staff. Travel expenses for the Laboratory Director will be approved by the Controller.
    5. Traveler Directly Reimbursed by a Third Party. When a third party reimburses a traveler for travel expenses, or if the traveler owes money to the Laboratory (e.g., advance exceeds reimbursable expenses), the traveler will remit reimbursement, payable to the UC Regents.
    6. Supplemental Expense Reports. If the traveler did not claim all allowable expenses on their original Expense Report, a Supplemental Expense Report for additional expenses will be accepted only with itemized receipts submitted electronically.

    D.7 Records Retention

    The Travel Office has institutional responsibility for retention of completed Travel Expense Reports and required receipts. These travel documents are maintained for seven years.

    D.8 Tax Considerations

    Under IRS regulations, travel advances not substantiated or returned "within a reasonable period of time" are considered to be of personal economic benefit to the traveler and reportable to taxing authorities. For tax purposes, 120 days is considered "within a reasonable period of time." If an employee does not substantiate expenses and return unused advances within this 120-day period, the Laboratory is obligated under IRS regulations to consider the advances as additional income and to withhold appropriate income and employment taxes. No refund of these taxes may be made, even if the amounts are returned or substantiated after the 120-day period

    D.9 Travel Insurance and Accident Reporting

    1. Insurance
      1. The University of California (UC) maintains a business travel insurance policy for employees, students, and any person traveling on behalf of the Laboratory. Coverage can also be provided for a spouse/domestic partner and dependent(s) while traveling with them (see UC Business Travel Accident Insurance). The policy provides worldwide coverage, 24 hours a day, for a wide variety of accidents and incidents while away from the primary work location at no cost to the traveler for accidental death or dismemberment. The policy also provides travel assistance services (e.g., security extraction, emergency medical evacuation).
      2. The traveler must register at http://www.uctravel.org/for each foreign and domestic trip outside of his or her home state to ensure coverage. Coverage is automatic for business travel within the state and registration is not required for those trips.
      3. Rental Vehicle Insurance
        1. Travelers should use rental agencies with which the Laboratory or UC has system-wide contracts that include insurance coverage. Charges for optional insurance, including collision damage waiver (CDW) and loss damage waiver (LDW) on rental cars in the continental United States, are not allowable and will not be reimbursed. The cost for full collision coverage for rental cars used in Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. possessions, and foreign countries is allowable.
        2. If the traveler is unable to use a UC Rental Car Agreement, the corporate travel card should be used. In general, CDW coverage is provided through the corporate travel card for vehicles rented anywhere in the world (see Corporate Travel Charge Cards).
      4. Private Vehicle Insurance
        1. Travel by private vehicle to the official business destination requires verification of insurance. The minimum prescribed liability insurance coverage is:
          1. $50,000 for personal injury or death of one person
          2. $100,000 for injury to, or death of, two or more persons in one accident
          3. $50,000 for property damage
        2. Employees who use a privately owned vehicle for Laboratory business must provide, upon request, satisfactory evidence of insurance coverage.
        3. When an employee uses a private vehicle for Laboratory business, the employee's own personal vehicle policy is the primary insurance coverage for damage to the employee's private vehicle, damage to a third-party vehicle, and injury to a third party. For damage to the employee's private vehicle, the Laboratory may authorize up to $500 in reimbursement to cover the insurance deductible. If the employee is injured in an accident, the UC workers' compensation program covers injuries in the course and scope of employment.
    2. Accident Reporting While on Travel
      1. For all vehicle accidents, notify the local police authority and complete the forms required by the insurance or rental-car company. Furnish copies of all reports to the Laboratory Counsel Office.
      2. Accidents involving personal injury must also be reported to Laboratory Health Services as soon as possible following the occurrence.
    3. Injury or Illness While on Travel
      1. Illness or injury requiring hospitalization while on official travel status must be reported promptly to Health Services. In addition, all Laboratory employees are provided with workers' compensation coverage for work-related injury or illness that occurs during a Laboratory-approved and -funded business trip.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Managers, supervisors, and employees have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy.

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    Abstract

    A summary statement provided in the TREX Travel Expense Report that reflects (1) major highlights, (2) benefits, and (3) results of the trip. Each of the three attributes should be included in the abstract statement.

    Affiliates

    Non-Laboratory employees engaged in on-site Laboratory activities. Affiliates are subject to training in safety and other subjects. They are also issued a Berkeley Lab identification badge. Affiliates may receive system accounts, research access to facilities, and a per diem allowance for housing and living expenses.
    Examples: Facility users, scientific collaborators, students

    American Flag Carrier

    See U.S. Flag Carrier.

    Approval

    The process of granting permission. This is required prior to the purchase of a travel ticket.

    Authorization

    To formally or officially grant permission. This is required prior to the purchase of any foreign travel ticket.

    Business Class

    A premium class of accommodation offered by the airlines that is higher than coach and lower than first class, in both cost and amenities

    Certify

    To confirm formally that expenses claimed were incurred on official business on the dates shown and that the expenses identified are in compliance with the Laboratory Travel Policy

    Coach Class

    The basic class of accommodations offered to travelers regardless of fare paid

    Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

    Covers damage to or loss of a rental car

    Common Carrier

    An organization that transports people or goods from one place to another for a fee

    Continental United States (CONUS)

    The territory of the United States that is within North America between Canada and Mexico, and the adjacent territorial waters

    Direct or Indirect Report

    The organizational relationship between an employee and a supervisor or manager. A direct report is immediately accountable to one director, supervisor, or manager, as defined in the Laboratory's Human Resources Information System (HRIS). An indirect report is one or more organizational levels below the direct report.

    Domestic Travel

    Travel within United States and its possessions, or travel from a foreign country to the United States

    Employee

    An individual who receives a paycheck from the Laboratory

    Excess Baggage

    Baggage in excess of the carrier's size and weight limit

    First Class

    Generally, the highest class of accommodation offered by the airlines in terms of both cost and amenities and termed "first-class" by the airlines and any reservation system

    Fly America Act

    Public law (commonly referred to as the Fly America Act) that, in general, requires that foreign air travel funded with federal dollars be done on U.S. flag air carriers

    Foreign Travel

    Travel from the United States to a foreign country (including Canada and Mexico) and return, or travel between foreign countries

    General Services Administration (GSA)

    An independent agency of the U.S. government established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies

    Incidental Expenses

    Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses, and others on ships. On foreign travel, laundry and dry cleaning are also considered incidental expenses.

    Involuntary Denied Boarding

    An airline term for a situation in which a passenger is not allowed to board an aircraft due to overbooking, weight restriction, etc.

    Itemized Receipt

    Detail of specific expenses charged to the traveler, e.g., a lodging receipt reflecting the room rate, taxes, telephone charges, etc.

    Local Travel

    Travel within a distance of 150 miles (one way) from the traveler's primary work location or residence that will be completed within one calendar day without lodging

    Lodging

    Expenses for overnight sleeping facilities. Does not include accommodations on airplanes, trains, buses, or ships, which are included in the cost of transportation.

    M&IE

    Meals and incidental expenses

    Meals

    Expenses for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and related tips and taxes. Specifically excluded are alcoholic beverages and entertainment expenses and any expenses incurred for other persons.

    Non-Employee

    An individual who is not a Laboratory employee (i.e., does not receive a paycheck from the Laboratory). Includes, but not limited to, interviewees, affiliates, consultants, and subcontractors.

    Non-Foreign Overseas

    Business points in Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. possessions

    OCONUS

    Travel outside the continental United States (i.e., Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. possessions)

    Official Laboratory Travel

    Travel necessary to accomplish official business on behalf of the Laboratory. Official travel is properly authorized, processed, conducted, reported, and reimbursed in accordance with this policy.

    Per Diem

    Combined daily expenses for lodging and meals & incidental expenses (M&IE). Per diem within the continental United States (CONUS) is set by the General Services Administration (GSA). Per diem within Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. possessions (i.e., nonforeign overseas) is set by the Department of Defense. Per diem within foreign countries is set by the U.S. Department of State.

    Primary Work Location

    The place where the major portion of the traveler's work time is spent, or the place to which the traveler returns during working hours upon completion of special assignments

    Regular Use of Private Vehicle

    More than four trips per calendar month totaling at least 300 miles

    Travel Authorization

    A form in the Laboratory's travel expense (TREX) reimbursement system that reflects information about a planned trip

    Travel Expense Report

    The form used to process requests for reimbursement to the traveler for any amounts due, which is accessed through the Laboratory's TREX system

    Travel Expenses

    Expenses that are ordinary and necessary to accomplish the official business purpose of a trip

    Travel Status

    The period during which a traveler is traveling on official business

    Travel Voucher

    See Travel Expense Report

    Traveler

    An employee or affiliate who is authorized to travel on official Laboratory business and travels on behalf of and at the expense of the Laboratory

    TRavel and EXpense Reimbursement System (TREX))

    The Laboratory's travel expense reimbursement system

    Unofficial Travel

    Travel undertaken by an individual without official, fiscal, or other obligations on the part of the Laboratory, i.e., personal travel

    U.S. (American) Flag Carrier

    An air carrier that holds a certificate under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 authorizing operations between the United States and/or its territories, and one or more foreign countries. Each U.S. airline has a two-letter alpha code designating it as a U.S. Flag air carrier (e.g., UA for United Airlines).

    U. S. Code Share

    An arrangement where an airline is jointly marketed as a flight for one or more other airlines. The term "code" refers to the identifier used in a flight schedule, generally the two-character airline designator code and flight number. One airline places its code on the flights of another in order to coordinate services, advertise, and sell the other airline's services as its own. Most major airlines have code-sharing partnerships with other airlines and code sharing is a key feature of major airline alliances. A code-share flight uses the same two-letter carrier code during all legs of the trip.

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    None

    H. Implementing Documents

    I. Contact Information

    Business Services Manager, OCFO

    J. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) affected

    Change Type

    1/2/2012

    1

    M. Mock

    Rewrite for the wiki

    All

    Minor

    7/2/2012

    2

    M. Mock

    Minor editorial change

    D.3.4 Long-Term Travel (Domestic or Foreign)

    Minor

    11/16/2012

    2.1

    M. Mock

    Compliance with DOE Acquisition Letter AL2013-01, Contractor Domestic Extended Personnel Assignments – long-term domestic travel guidance

    D.3.4 Long-Term Travel (Domestic or Foreign) and D.7 Prepaid Expenses

    Minor

    12/20/2012

    2.2

    V. Oberholser

    Allows for GPS only if traveling in an unfamiliar area. Otherwise it is not reimbursable.

    D.2.3.c Rental Vehicles, Sections vi and vii

    Minor

    1/15/20132.3S. FrainierMinor addition to Airline Ticket CreditsD.2.2.b Airline Ticket CreditsMinor
    11/15/20132.4V. OberholserUpdate to require electronic submission of receipts in TREX system. Reformat of reimbursement chart.D.6.1 Reimbursement - GeneralMinor

    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Travel Policy

    Document number

    11.06.001.000

    Revision number

    2.4

    Publication date:

    11/15/2013

    Effective date:

    11/16/2012

    Next review date:

    11/1/2014

    Policy Area:

    Travel

    RPM Section (home)

    Financial Management

    RPM Section (cross-reference)

    Section 11.08

    Functional Division

    OCFO

    Prior reference information (optional)

    RPM Section 11.08

    Source Requirements Documents

    Other Driving Requirements

    Implementing Documents

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