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CWUR 3-50-235 Lodging Reimbursement

The maximum allowance for lodging in high cost locations varies from area to area.  Please see the following links for a listing of high cost locations and rates:

Disbursement for prepayment or deposit for lodging accommodations is not allowed for individual travel.  The traveler will be reimbursed for the allowed lodging expenses through the submission of a completed travel expense report.  For questions concerning deposits for group travel please contact the travel desk or the accounts payable supervisor.

A government rate (which is lower than the commercial rate) is offered by most lodging facilities.  Employees must ask for the government rate when making reservations or requesting lodging accommodations.

An exception may be allowed when the lodging amounts are insufficient for a particular travel assignment.  To qualify for the exception the traveler:

  • Must obtain advance approval through a completed travel authorization
  • Must provide an explanation as to why an exception is necessary and should be provided
  • Must select the most economical room available under the circumstances, and one of the approved exceptions below must apply:

A. When an employee is assigned to accompany an elected official, a foreign dignitary, or others as authorized by law, and is required to stay in the same lodging facility.

B. When costs in the area have escalated for a brief period of time either during special events or disasters.

C. When lodging accommodations in the area of the temporary duty station are not available at or below the maximum lodging amount, and the savings achieved from occupying less expensive lodging at a more distant site are consumed by an increase in transportation and other costs.

D. The employee attends a meeting, conference, convention, or training session where the employee is expected to have business interaction with other participants in addition to scheduled events, and maximum benefit will be achieved by authorizing the employee to stay at the lodging facility where the meeting, conference, convention, or training session is held.

E. To comply with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act or when the health and safety of the traveler is at risk.

F. When meeting room facilities are necessary and it is more economical for the employee to acquire special lodging accommodations such as a suite rather than to acquire a meeting room and a room for lodging.

If qualified for the maximum lodging exception, lodging expenses may be reimbursed up to 150% of the applicable per diem for the traveled destination.  The maximum daily lodging rate for non-high cost locations in the continental USA is $83.  If you qualify for an exception, the maximum allowable is $193.50 {(83+46) x 150%}.

Reimbursement for lodging from a commercial facility will not be allowed without a complete and itemized receipt.    When sharing a room with another CWU employee, each employee must pay for his/her own share of the room costs and submit separate receipts.

50 Mile Rule

Claims for reimbursement of lodging expenses when the lodging facility is within 50 miles (most direct route) of the closer of either the employee’s official residence or official duty station will be denied except under one of the following three conditions:

  1. an overnight stay in commercial lodging is necessary to avoid having the employee drive back and forth for back to back late night/early morning meetings,
  2. where the health and safety of the traveler is of concern,
  3. where the department can demonstrate with calculations on the travel expense report that staying overnight is more economical to the state.

 

Except for #2 above, prior authorization is necessary for reimbursement.  An employee affected by #2 is to provide a written statement fully explaining the situation and the statement is to be attached to the employee’s travel expense report.

 

[08/04/2010; Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 04/17/2013; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

CWUR Procedures Manual – Part 3
Business and Financial Affairs