CWUR 3-50-200

CWUR 3-50-205 Travel Authorization

University employees, students, volunteers, and other authorized individuals traveling on official university business are eligible for travel expense reimbursement.  As provided in RCW 28B.10.029, institutions of higher education may use all appropriate means for making and paying for travel arrangements to support student, faculty, staff and other participants travel in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible. Methods used must be based on standard industry practices and be compliant with federal accountable plan requirements (SAAM 10.10.05).  CWU travel regulations are applicable to vendors under contracts unless there are specific contractual arrangements covering travel reimbursement.

(1) Travel is authorized as follows:

(A) All employees – (faculty, administrative exempt, civil service) travel is authorized by your direct supervisor.
(B) All non-employees – (students, interview candidates and other authorized travelers) travel is authorized by the sponsoring department head/chair.
(C) Travel outside the continental United States, except Alaska and British Columbia, requires additional authorization by the appropriate vice president or chief of staff.

(2) Travel expenses are approved by the funding department project manager(s) or grant manager(s).

(3) The CWU Travel Authorization is required prior to travel as follows (SAAM 10.10.50, SAAM 10.30.20/30):

(A) Approval for a maximum lodging exception
(B) Exception to the 50-mile lodging Rule
(C) All out-of-state travel
(D) All foreign travel
(E) All travel advance requests

(4) The CWU Travel Expense Voucher/Report is required as follows (SAAM 10.80.10):

(A) Document the authorization for travel within the state of Washington
(B) Document the approval of travel related expenses for all travel

(5) Traveler Responsibilities (SAAM 10.10.15, SAAM 10.80.20)

All travelers shall obtain approval before traveling on official CWU business. It is the travelers’ responsibility to be familiar with CWU travel guidelines and policies. The university will not reimburse unauthorized travel expenses. The traveler is expected to pay excess costs for personal preference, convenience, and unnecessary expenses while in travel status. It is the travelers’ responsibility to prepare and/or certify travel expenses being claimed are true and accurate. The traveler is responsible for providing detailed supporting documents for travel expenses to the person authorized to approve travel.

(6) Department Responsibilities
It is the departments’ responsibility to authorize all travel within their areas. Before placing an employee in travel status, a department is to determine for each occurrence whether it is more economical or advantageous to reimburse the employee for subsistence and/or lodging or require the employee to return to the official station or residence daily or on weekends.

Departments are encouraged to develop and implement alternatives to travel as well as less expensive means of travel. These methods may include, but are not limited to (SAAM 10.10.25):

• Teleconferencing, video conferencing
• Video recordings, published reports
• Car pooling and greater use of public transportation
• Reduced frequency of regularly scheduled out-of-town meetings
• Restrictions on the number of staff traveling to the same destination
• Coordinating between agencies for joint travel arrangements when more than one agency is involved


[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/ Effective Date: 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-210 Cash Advance

An advance for travel expenses is available to state employees traveling on official business. Cash advance requests must be at least $100 and must not exceed 30 days authorized per diem allowance. The online cash advance request must be submitted by the traveler when completing their online travel authorization at least five (5) working days prior to the departure date.

The traveler is responsible for refunding any unused cash advance at the cashier's office, Barge 105. All cash advance monies refunded to CWU must be deposited into Speedkey 2105600001 and account code 16902. According to the State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM) section 10.80.60.d, the completed travel expense report shall be submitted online on or before the tenth day of the following month in which the traveler’s official travel status ended.

Advances not settled within the allowable period are considered delinquent accounts. The full unpaid amount shall become immediately due and payable, with interest of 10% per annum from date of default until paid, and may result in the university withholding from the employee the amount of the delinquent cash advance plus interest (SAAM 10.80.60.e).

Reference the interest calculator on the CWU Travel website.

Employees may have only one cash advance outstanding at any given time and no advance shall be made to any employee with an outstanding or delinquent account.

The advance shall only be made to the individual employee to cover his/her own per diem allowance. Only when a faculty advisor is traveling with a group of students, for whom travel expenses are allowed, shall an advance be made to the faculty advisor on behalf of the group. The faculty advisor is accountable for such advance. Reference CWUR 3-50-260 Domestic Group Travel Procedures for more information.

IRS regulations require that failure on the part of a traveler receiving a cash advance to substantiate the travel expenses or to return the unspent portion of the cash advance within a reasonable time period will have the advance reported as income and the amount is subject to applicable payroll withholding tax.

In lieu of a cash advance, employees are encouraged to obtain and utilize a corporate travel charge card. These cards can be obtained by contacting traveldesk@cwu.edu for an application and regulations.

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-215 Travel Expense Report

(1) University employees, students, volunteers, and other authorized individuals traveling on official university business are eligible for travel expense reimbursement. As provided in RCW 28B.10.029, institutions of higher education may use all appropriate means for making and paying for travel arrangements to support student, faculty, staff and other participants travel in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible. Methods used must be based on standard industry practices and be compliant with federal accountable plan requirements (SAAM 10.10.05). CWU travel regulations are applicable to vendors under contracts unless there are specific contractual arrangements covering travel reimbursement.

(2) The CWU Travel Expense Voucher/Report is required as follows (SAAM 10.80.10):

(A)   Document the authorization for travel within the state of Washington
(B)   Document the approval of travel related expenses for all travel

(3) The travel expense report must be completed to reimburse travel expenses that are incurred by authorized travelers in travel status and may cover one or multiple trips that are clearly identified. The travel expense report should be completed within ten days from the conclusion of a trip. Travel expense reimbursement claims will not be accepted if submitted after six months subsequent to incurrence of travel expenses.

(4) The following required information must be on the travel expense report (SAAM 10.80):

(A)  Dates of travel
(B)  Official station and official residence
(C)  Time of departure and return
(D)  Purpose of trip
(E)  Speedkey
(F)  Miscellaneous travel expenses (SAAM 10.60)
(G)  Supporting documents attached to the online expense report
(H)  If travel expenses are being shared with other CWU travelers, indicate the name(s) of the other traveler(s) in the comments section

(5) When more than one department is funding a traveler’s expenses, including foundation, one travel expense report should be submitted for the entire trip.

(6) Travel expenses are approved by the funding department project manager(s) or grant manager(s).

(7) Traveler Responsibilities (SAAM 10.10.15, SAAM 10.80.20):

(A) All travelers shall obtain approval before traveling on official CWU business. It is the travelers’ responsibility to be familiar with CWU travel guidelines and policies. The university will not reimburse unauthorized travel expenses. The traveler is expected to pay excess costs for personal preference, convenience, and unnecessary expenses while in travel status. It is the travelers’ responsibility to prepare and/or certify travel expenses being claimed are true and accurate. The traveler is responsible for providing detailed supporting documents for travel expenses to the person authorized to approve travel.

(8) Department Responsibilities:

(A) It is the departments’ responsibility to authorize all travel within their areas.  Before placing an employee in travel status, a department is to determine for each occurrence whether it is more economical or advantageous to reimburse the employee for subsistence and/or lodging or require the employee to return to the official station or residence daily or on weekends.

(B) Original receipts will be maintained in the originating department. 

(9) Departments are encouraged to develop and implement alternatives to travel as well as less expensive means of travel. These methods may include, but are not limited to (SAAM 10.10.25):

(A) Teleconferencing, video conferencing
(B) Video recordings, published reports
(C) Car pooling and greater use of public transportation
(D) Reduced frequency of regularly scheduled out-of-town meetings
(E) Restrictions on the number of staff traveling to the same destination
(F) Coordinating between agencies for joint travel arrangements when more than one agency is involved

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-230 Hotel/Motel Reservations and Accommodations

The university’s travel rules, regulations, and procedures are based on state travel law, as provided in chapter 43.03 RCW. The statewide requirements covering the general administrative practices to be observed by state agencies are described in the state administrative and accounting manual, published by the state of Washington's office of financial management.

Travelers are encouraged to make their own arrangements, pay all travel costs, and then be reimbursed by the university. When making hotel reservations, an employee should always request the lowest available rate by requesting the state, government, or university rate. Prior to making a reservation, employees should review the list of allowable per diem rates for the destination city to be sure that the cost does not exceed these limitations. For further information regarding travel procedures, please see the travel website.

Faculty, Staff and Student Hotel Reservations (for less than 5 rooms per night)

It is the traveler’s responsibility to make the hotel reservations using the traveler's personal credit card or a university corporate travel card. When making hotel reservations, always request the lowest available rate by requesting the state, government or university rate.

Hotel lodging may no longer be reserved with the university purchasing card as many hotels are taking a "deposit" on the first night´s lodging, and it is difficult to have the charges reversed after reservations have been canceled.

Hotel Reservations (for large groups with 5 rooms or more per night)

A purchase order can be used to reserve and pay for lodging (room and tax only) when there is a large group traveling that consists of faculty, staff, and/or students (e.g., athletics, theatre arts, music). The department is responsible for locating and making reservations with the hotel that will accept direct billing via a purchase order. Please submit to the purchasing office a purchase requisition and attach a hotel/motel room reservation request form and complete an online travel authorization for each occupant staying at the hotel.

It is the department´s responsibility to confirm the reservation and to verify that the hotel has received the purchase order number. The department must also verify the accuracy of the invoice. When the invoice is received upon check out, it should be reviewed to make sure that only room and tax are being charged and that the correct rate has been used. Then sign and date the original invoice and send it to accounts payable for payment. Be sure to reference the purchase order number on the invoice.

Interview Candidates

In accord with chapter 43.03 RCW and chapter 70.20 of the state administrative and accounting manual, the university may reimburse a prospective employee necessary travel expense.  Candidates entitled to travel expense reimbursements are limited to applicants considered for academic positions above the rank of instructor and professional or administrative employees in supervisory positions. Travelers meeting these requirements  must follow the university travel policy if expenses are to be reimbursed by CWU. Travel expenses for interview candidates should be paid by the individual and a travel expense report with original receipts attached should be submitted to the accounts payable/travel department. The department for which the candidate interviews should complete the travel expense report and, when applicable, complete an online travel authorization while at the university’s campus.

Vendors under Contract

The preferred method of negotiating with a contractor for travel expenses is to have the expenses included within the total fees the university will pay such that the contractor is responsible for making all travel arrangements and  paying all travel expenses from the agreed fee amount.

If negotiations to include the travel expenses in the contractor’s fees are unsuccessful, the vendor’s contract can include travel expenses as a separate line item on the contract; however, these expenses must be specifically itemized. Examples are "round-trip airfare from Las Vegas to Yakima," "one night’s room and tax for lodging," etc. In addition, the contract must specify whether the contractor will pay for the expenses personally and be reimbursed, or whether the university will be direct billed for these travel expenses.

If the university agrees to pay for the contractor’s travel expenses directly, a purchase order can be used to reserve and pay for lodging (room and tax only). The department is responsible for locating and making reservations with the hotel that will accept direct billing via a purchase order. Please submit a purchase requisition to the purchasing office and attach a completed hotel/motel room reservation request form for each occupant/contractor staying at the hotel.

Reservations Made in the Ellensburg Area Only

The processes described above are the preferred methods for making hotel/motel reservations in the Ellensburg area. However, the university has established another option. The department hosting the traveler can make hotel/motel reservations for travelers staying in Ellensburg and can arrange to pay the vendor directly by submitting a hotel/motel reservation request form to the travel desk at MS 7470.

Faculty, Staff and Student Hotel Reservations - The department is responsible for submitting to the travel desk at MS7470 a hotel/motel room reservation request form and, when applicable, a travel authorization for each occupant staying at the hotel. 

Interview Candidates - Interview candidate hotel/motel reservations are limited to only those positions above the rank of instructor, and professional or administrative employees in supervisory positions.

The hosting department will make a reservation only for the interview candidate. If the interview candidate wants to include with the interview trip a personal stay or accommodations for additional occupants, the interview candidate shall make his/her own reservation and will be reimbursed on a travel expense report.

The department is responsible for submitting to the travel desk at MS7470 a hotel/motel room reservation request form, and when applicable reference the  travel authorization for the interview candidate staying at the hotel. A confirming e-mail will be sent to the department upon completion of the reservation.

All Other Vendors - The department is responsible for submitting to the travel desk at MS7470 a hotel/motel room reservation request form that references the contract number if vendor is under contract, and when applicable a travel authorization. A confirming e-mail will be sent to the department upon completion of the reservation.

Ellensburg Hotels/Motels under Contract

The university has established relationships with several hotels in Ellensburg. These rates are listed under Ellensburg hotel/motel rates found under the travel information section on the travel webpage.

[10/08/2012;11/30/2006;Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: BFC; Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date:04/17/2013; reviewed 03/08/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

CWUR Procedures Manual – Part 3
Business and Financial Affairs

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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 $89. If you qualify for an exception, the maximum allowable is $210 {(89+51) 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; reviewed 03/08/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-240 Meal Reimbursement

The following two criteria must be met to receive meal allowance reimbursement:

Eleven Hour Rule - A traveler may be reimbursed for non-overnight (same day) meal expenses when the traveler has been in travel status for at least eleven hours. 

In travel status during the entire meal period – Travelers must be in travel status during the entire university determined meal period(s), as defined below, in order to qualify to collect meal payments for meals.

The normal work hours for CWU employees is considered to be 8 AM to 5 PM. The employee's designated work hours should be noted on the travel expense report if other than the normal work hours.  The three-hour rule still applies and meals will be reimbursed only when an employee is in travel status during the entire meal period.

The university designated meal periods are as follows:
Breakfast (7 to 8am)
Lunch (12 to 1pm)
Dinner (6 to 7pm)

Meal allowance breakdown can be found the following link: CWU meal per diems (in Meals and Lodging While Traveling accordion)

High cost locations for lodging allowance do not necessarily follow entitlement of high cost areas meal allowance. Reference the Washington State and Continental US Meal Per Diem Rates on the CWU Travel Website.

Meals included in the registration fees paid by the university are to be deducted from the allowance claimed for reimbursement. Continental breakfast and meals provided by airlines are not to be deducted and full reimbursement is allowed.

Foreign Travel

Foreign meal per diems do not always fall within the meal rates listed above.  When it becomes necessary to determine the amount to reimburse for individual meals, use the following calculations rounded to the nearest dollar.

1. The breakfast portion is 25% of the set daily meals entitlement.
2. The lunch portion is 30% of the set daily meals entitlement.
3. The dinner portion is 45% of the set daily meals entitlement.

Foreign per diems rates can be found at on the CWU travel website.

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: VP BFA; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/ Effective Date: 02/01/2017; 03/08/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-245 Mileage Reimbursement

(1) Reimbursement for mileage on the use of privately owned vehicles on official university business will be the lesser of either the state or motor pool rate (reference mileage calculator on the CWU travel website):

(2) The state mileage rate, based on the lesser of mileage traveled between:
(A) official station to destination, or
(B) official residence to destination

(3) Review the current CWU Facilities Management Motor Pool website for current rates (note there are no free miles).  The motor pool rate is used regardless of the type of vehicle that would have been requested from motor pool.

(4) Highway mileage between two points and vicinity mileage must be separately identified. Vicinity mileage (incurred when an individual travels within a city or local area for work) will be approved for its reasonableness while conducting official university business. Reimbursement for transporting a traveler to an airport will be limited to the mileage of a single round trip to the airport. Reimbursement of mileage for two round trips will be authorized where it is more economical instead of incurring long term parking fees. Each trip is considered completed upon return to official station or official residence.

(5) Employees attending the same conference, meeting or workshop are encouraged to coordinate their trips so they travel together.  Mileage reimbursement may be denied for the use of a private vehicle if another private vehicle or motor pool car was available to accommodate the individual for the same trip.

(6) Whenever two or more employees are traveling in one car on official business, mileage will be paid to only one of the employees on the same trip and in the same car.  Operators and passengers of vehicles are limited to university employees and students while conducting official university business and operators must possess a valid driver's license.

(7) Following are the exceptions where the traveler will receive mileage reimbursement at the state mileage rate:

(A) The traveler's official station (not residence) is not Ellensburg.
(B) The traveler is flying to his/her destination and the car will be left at the airport for a period of time that makes it economical to the state for the employee to use his/her own vehicle.
(C) A motor pool vehicle is not available.

(8) CWU approved travelers are encouraged to use a shuttle service when traveling to and from SeaTac International.

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC, OFM (1/1/2011); Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-250 Mileage Log

Monthly Mileage Log Procedures for Assigned Vehicles

CWU departments that operate an assigned vehicle leased from the motor pool shall maintain a record of daily usage of the vehicle. Employees authorized to operate university vehicles shall complete, on a daily basis, a monthly mileage log form. The monthly mileage log form is available on line through the accounting office website. At the end of each month, the responsible principal budget administrator, supervisor, or department head will review the travel log and provide signature approval of the vehicle’s usage. The appropriate principal budget administrator, supervisor, or department head shall review the form to ensure that the vehicle was used strictly for official university business.

Once the form is completed, reviewed, and signed, departments should maintain the original copy of the monthly mileage log form and send a copy to motor pool by the tenth day of the following month. The department and motor pool will retain the completed monthly mileage log forms for three years, and will make them available for audit and review purposes.

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-255 Motor Pool

The traveler must submit the Facilities Management motor pool online request form to reserve a car.  If a car is not available, motor pool will notify the requestor to this effect, thus allowing the traveler to be reimbursed at the current state rate.  The motor pool request form can be printed and signed by the Facilities Management front desk and then must be attached to the travel expense report when claiming for mileage reimbursement.

Purchases of gasoline while using a motor pool vehicle should be made using the CWU credit card. A CWU credit card can be checked out at the motor pool office. If the credit card is not available or unacceptable, reimbursement should be requested on a travel expense report.  Additional procedures require that the gas receipt be attached to the report.  The travel desk will verify with motor pool that the reimbursement is valid. .

Additional information on reserving a vehicle, and vehicle rates may be obtained from the motor pool office located in the Jongeward Plant Operations building.

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC, OFM; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 02/01/2017; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-260 Domestic Group Travel

Group travel refers to a group of students or non-employees traveling as a unit to the same destination on official CWU business.  An example of a group is an athletic team, theatre arts performance group, or class field trip.  The term group travel does not refer to a situation (such as a conference) when multiple employees are traveling to the same destination and each traveler is required to fill out a separate travel authorization and travel expense report.

The group will have a group leader who shall be a permanent, non-student university employee.  The group leader will coordinate travel arrangements including the preparation of the travel authorization.  The travel authorization shall specify the group leader’s name and the name of each traveler.  The department(s) funding the trip may submit one travel authorization when multiple employees accompany the group of students or non-employees and all expenses are paid by and reimbursed to the group leader.

A cash advance is authorized to the group leader on behalf of the group.  The group leader obtains and accounts for the cash advance.  Cash advances for groups are still required to be reconciled per CWU regulations.  A late fee may be assessed on delinquent advances. More information on cash advances can be found in CWUR 3-50-210 Cash Advance.

Reimbursement for meals and lodging is not to exceed the per diem rates specified for state authorized travelers.  However, the three-hour rule does not apply to groups on same-day travel.

Meals

If students as a group are provided meals, the total costs of meals (including tax and gratuity) when combined with other meals for that day, shall not exceed the total daily meal per diem rate.  The group leader shall pay for the meal and obtain an official receipt which provides detail including tax or gratuity.  The receipt will support the expense on the travel expense report.  The group leader and any other employee accompanying the group shall receive the daily meal rate rather than the per meal allowance.

If students are provided meals as a non-unit, a group travel roster shall be completed.  A travel roster will include the name of each traveler, amount disbursed to each traveler, and the traveler’s signature indicating that the traveler received said dollar amount. In lieu of having each traveler sign the roster, two CWU staff members (e.g. sports team coach and captain) may sign on behalf of all the travelers indicating each traveler received said dollar amount. The travel roster shall be attached to the travel expense report.

Lodging

Detailed lodging receipts are required for reimbursement.  The group leader shall obtain a detailed lodging receipt at the time of payment that shows the room costs and taxes and shall submit it with the travel expense report.

[08/04/2010; Responsibility: BFA; Authority: VP BFA; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 04/17/2013; Reviewed 03/07/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

CWUR Procedures Manual – Part 3
Business and Financial Affairs

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CWUR 3-50-270 Travel Payment by Non-University Source

In conformance with the state of Washington SAAM Manual Section 10.20.60, travel-related expenses may be paid by a non-university source for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with a speech, conference, presentation, appearance, or trade mission that the employee has been authorized to attend in an official capacity on behalf of Central Washington University (CWU) or for job-related activities such as committee meetings where the position on the committee was secured based on the individual's employment with the university.

Reasonable expenses are limited to travel, lodging, and subsistence expenses incurred the day before and through the day after the event. Payment includes expenses paid by check or similar instruments. Payments can be paid directly to the vendor/in-kind (i.e. airline or hotel), to CWU, or to the traveler in accordance to the entities’ travel policies. If the entity does not have established travel policies, CWU policies are to be used.

Definitions

In-kind assistance - goods, services, or other benefits such as airline tickets or prepayment of lodgings provided directly to the traveler from a non-university source for travel, subsistence, and related expenses in lieu of funds paid.

Non-university source - a person or organization other than CWU which includes any individual, private or commercial entity, non-profit organization or association, foreign, state, or local government.

Payment - funds paid by a non-university source for travel, subsistence, and related expenses by check or similar instruments.

General Guidelines

If the non-university source is providing full assistance, then CWU may accept, on behalf of its employees, or the traveler may be reimbursed directly for travel accommodations and/or lodging and meals the value of which exceeds the normal governmental lodging and per diem allowances supported by receipts. If no receipts have been submitted to support the actual cost of meals, the traveler may be reimbursed up to the allowable per diem rates.

Accommodations or other benefits furnished must be comparable in value to that offered to, or purchased by, other similarly-situated individuals attending the same meeting or similar function. Although such expenses may be allowed, the traveler should be aware that accepting payment from a non-university source for travel may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. When an employee is assigned to participate as a speaker or panel participant, or otherwise to present information on behalf of the university at a conference or other event, acceptance of an offer of free attendance at the event on the day of the presentation is permissible when provided by the sponsor of the event. The employee's participation in the event is considered as a customary and necessary part of his/her performance of the assignment and does not involve a gift to the employee or the university.

When there is a determination that an employee’s attendance is in the interest of the university because it will further university programs and operations, an employee may accept an unsolicited gift of free attendance at all (or appropriate parts of) widely-attended gatherings of mutual interest.

When a civic, charitable, governmental, or community organization hosts a national conference, an event may be sponsored by a contractor, vendor, or other entity. Such events may be attended provided that the sponsored event is included as part of the official conference program and all conference attendees has an equal opportunity to attend the event.

Methods of Payment

Payment methods will likely be dictated by the non-university entity, consistent with its policies. If possible, direct payment should be made to the travel merchant/provider (e.g. hotel, airline) by the non-university source for the travel expenses of the CWU employee/traveler.

If direct payment is not possible - options for reimbursing travel expenses are as follows:

  1. Payment to the traveler/employee - As is often common in non-university source travel situations, the travel may be reimbursed directly by the non-university source. The reimbursement policies, including applicable per diem rates, of the outside entity will determine the level of reimbursement (see additional information below).
  2. Payment to CWU - Payment from the non-university source may be payable to CWU, provided an agreement for reimbursement has been arranged prior to the travel expenses being incurred. The department must maintain an expense record for reimbursement and invoice the non-university source. If the traveler paid the expenses either with personal funds or by charging his/her CWU travel charge card and is waiting for reimbursement, payment should not be delayed, if possible. If travelers place their expenses on their individual travel charge cards and payments are not received within 60 days, their cards could be closed for non-payment and late fees added. Once an account is closed by CWU´s charge card company, the company will not normally reinstate the account and will not waive late fees.

NOTE: Advance reimbursement to the traveler will be at the discretion of the department as there is potential for a cost impact to the department if CWU reimburses the traveler and the non-university source does not remit payment.  It is important to discuss payment plans with the traveler in advance as to protect both the department from paying expenses that were not agreed upon prior to the trip, and to protect the traveler. Where departments are reimbursing travelers in advance of the reimbursement from the non-university organization, the traveler should follow standard prior approval requirements. The department may reimburse the traveler on a travel expense report using a budget that will be reimbursed once the payment is received from the non-university source. Amounts that exceed per diem must be placed on a discretionary budget and supported by a receipt. The expenditures must not be charged to a grant or contract; federal regulations prohibit temporary use of these funds. Once the non-university entity has reimbursed the department for the related travel expenses, the check should be deposited using the reverse expenditure process. A traveler may not receive and keep payments from both CWU and a non-university source for the same travel expenses.

Reimbursement Limits

For travel supported by a non-university source, travelers are not to be reimbursed more than the actual expenses of travel (supported by receipts) except for meals which can be reimbursed based on university per diem or by the per diem rates of the non-university source in accordance with its policy. If payment is made to the university by the non-university source and the reimbursement exceeds travel expenses, the department should deposit the overpayment into the original supporting budget as a reverse expenditure or should return the funds to the non-university source. 

[08/04/2010; Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 04/17/2013; Reviewed 03/07/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

CWUR Procedures Manual – Part 3
Business and Financial Affairs

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CWUR 3-50-290 Other Travel Expenses

(A) Registration fees should be charged on a pro-card. If charged on a pro-card, a receipt of the registration fee shall be attached to the pro-card statement as documentation. Travel authorizations are required as supporting documentation for all registration fee payments for conferences and seminars.

If the conference does not accept registration fee payment by credit card, registration fees may be paid in advance by submitting a purchase requisition to the purchasing office. A purchase order will be issued payable to the conference.

If the registration fee is paid for with the traveler´s personal funds, the registration fee will be reimbursed via the travel expense report supported by a receipt or a copy of the bank cancelled check. The registration form will not substitute for a receipt on the travel expense voucher. Meals paid for by a registration may not be claimed on the travel expense voucher. The traveler must attach a copy of the agenda or detailed registration form that provides a breakdown of meals, if any, that were included in the registration fee and provided at the conference.

(B) Vehicle rental reservations should be made through http://www.enterprise.com using the state contract (link to CWUR 3-50-225, Vehicle Rentals) or one of the state authorized travel agencies. Payment is the traveler´s responsibility and will be reimbursed on a travel expense voucher. If the Enterprise Company is available in a location and is not utilized, reimbursement will not exceed the rental cost if Enterprise had been used.

(C) Interview candidates entitled to travel expense reimbursements are limited to applicants considered for academic positions above the rank of instructor and professional or administrative employees in supervisory positions. Such travelers must follow the university travel policy if expenses are paid by CWU. Expenses for interview candidates may be submitted on a travel expense report. Airline tickets for interview candidates should be purchased via a department of enterprise services (DES)-qualified travel agency and car rentals should be arranged through Enterprise. The interview candidate should submit all receipts and documentation to the sponsoring department in order to receive reimbursement.
CWU employees seeking reimbursement for meals they paid for the interview candidate with personal funds (i.e. dinner) may be submitted for reimbursement by entering an online NTR (non-travel reimbursement) travel expense report and attaching your receipt(s). Reference CWUP 2-40-200 Use of State Funds for Light Refreshments and Meals for more information.

(D) Personal telephone calls are not considered essential to the transaction of official state business and are therefore not reimbursable. However, reasonable charges for brief, personal telephone calls to the home of the employee are allowable when there is a change in travel plans. Reimbursement will be provided for internet access fees while the employee is on official travel status.

(E) Checked baggage fees are reimbursable on the travel expense report for up to the first two bags on domestic flights and up to the first three bags and seat assignment fees if applicable on international flights. The traveler is responsible for overweight charges. This does not apply to group travel where large equipment and supplies are required for the group.

[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 08/07/2013; 03/08/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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CWUR 3-50-295 Corporate Travel Charge Card

(1) Overview - The corporate travel charge card program is intended to provide faculty and staff with a convenient means for charging business travel expenses and reduce the university's costs of administering travel. It provides expenditure data for volume purchasing by the state, improved budget oversight by managers, reduces travel advances and otherwise improves cash flow and is critical to efficient travel management.

(2) Requirements - There are two types of corporate travel charge cards:.

(A)Department travel cards are issued to departments or programs where the volume of travel and number of travelers make it more efficient to consolidate expenses. Issuance of department travel cards will be approved on a case by case basis by the Director of Contracts & Procurement or Travel Card Program Administrator. Department travel cards are university liability cards. The university pays the financial institution directly.

(B) Individual travel cards are issued to individual employees to pay for official university travel expenses only. University employees on active payroll status who intend to travel on university business at least one time per year are eligible to apply for an individual corporate travel charge card. Applying for and using individual corporate travel card is not required.  Individual Travel cards are employee liability cards.  The employee is responsible for obtaining travel reimbursement and remitting payment to the financial institution as detailed in the individual travel card agreement.

(3) Use of corporate travel charge cards for department or individual use

(A) Individual corporate travel charge cards may be used for:

1. University business-related travel expenses such as lodging, meals (except alcohol), registration, car rental, ground transportation and parking.
2. University business-related expenses, e.g., photocopying, faxing, etc., while the cardholder is in travel status.
3. University business meals or employee recruitment meals in accordance university policy CWUP 2-40-200, Use of state funds for entertainment, public relations, university promotion or recruitment.
4. University business-related airfare.

5. Other miscellaneous individual travel expenses when pre-approved by the program administrator. 

(B) Department corporate travel charge cards may be used for university business-related:

1. Airfare for groups, interview candidates, group international flights and student travel.
2. Lodging for groups, interview candidates and student travel.
3. Transportation including rental car, shuttle and bus service for groups.
4. Registrations for groups.
4. Other miscellaneous group travel expenses when pre-approved by the program administrator.

(C) Corporate travel charge cards may not be used for:

1. Cash access
2. Personal charges. Placing personal or inappropriate charges on the card is a violation of the corporate travel card policy and the State of Washington Ethics in Public Service laws. See CWUP 2-10-135 and RCW 42.52. Such actions may result in the travel card account being closed and/or disciplinary action up to and including dismissal being taken against the cardholder.

Employees who have had a corporate travel card cancelled for misuse may not be eligible to receive travel advance payments for future university travel-related expenses.

(4) Requesting a card – Departments, programs, or individuals may request a department corporate travel card from the Travel Specialist at x1986 or  traveldesk@cwu.edu. Applications must be approved by the principal budget administrator. If the issuing financial institution approves the application, the financial institution sends a travel card for the applicant to the program administrator who will be responsible for notifying the applicant when the card arrives.

(5) Credit Limit
(A) Individual corporate travel Charge Cards - The issuing financial institution assigns each cardholder a credit limit/line on his or her card. The credit line varies based on an individual's credit assessment.
(B) Department corporate travel charge cards – program administrator sets the credit limit based on the departments need and risk assessment.

(6) Responsibilities

(A) Program administrator:

The Travel Specialist is the corporate travel card program administrator. The program administrator is responsible for:

1. Coordinating the corporate travel card program.
2. Processing applications.
3. Providing information and training to employees upon request.
4. Monitoring cardholders' charges and payment status.
5, Canceling the individual's account upon separation.

NOTE: The university reviews accounts on a quarterly basis and takes appropriate action if university and state policies are not followed.


(B) The traveler/cardholder is responsible for:

1. Completing the corporate travel card application accurately.
2. Ensuring that charges on the card comply with university and state policies.
3. Submitting completed and accurate travel expense vouchers in accordance with CWUR 3-50-215.
4. Paying the individual corporate travel card statement balance in full by the due date indicated on the statement or, in the case of department cards for providing appropriate documentation so that the central payment may be processed.
5. Securing and protecting the card. NOTE: Only the person named on the card is entitled to use the card and that person is liable for the charges on the card.
6. Immediately notifying the issuing financial institution of any lost, stolen, or damaged card; suspected fraud; disputed transactions; and address change; telephone the number on the back of the card.
7. Returning the card to the department or the program administrator immediately upon request or upon termination of employment.

(C) The principal budget administrator is responsible for:

1. Approving the corporate travel individual card application.
2. Encouraging employee awareness of the travel card program.
3. Reviewing, approving, and submitting completed travel expense vouchers in accordance with CWUR 3-50-215.
4. Assisting the program administrator to ensure compliance with corporate travel card policies.
5. Responsible for notifying human resources of any cardholder compliance issues.
6. Responsible for coordinating all disciplinary action taken against cardholder with human resources.

(7) Payments - The department card program administrator is responsible for paying all charges on department travel cards. The individual cardholder is personally responsible for paying all charges on the individual travel cards. The account is not a revolving credit account. Partial monthly payments are not permitted. If payment is not received by the due date, the issuing financial institution automatically generates a reminder letter which is sent to the cardholder and the program administrator is notified.

(8) Disputed Transactions - Cardholders are to try to resolve disputed transactions with the merchant first. Issuer regulations require that the cardholder notify the issuing financial institution in accordance with the terms listed on the issuer’s cardholder agreement.

(9) Delinquency and Collection Actions - In those rare cases when an employee does not fulfill their responsibilities as outlined in section 3-50-295, the issuing financial institution and the program administrator will take the following actions:

(A) Issuing Financial Institution - The collection process begins when the account is 30 days past the due date noted on the statement. The issuing financial institution sends a reminder letter to all cardholders whose accounts have a balance due. If full payment has not been received by the next statement close date (i.e., the first business day of the next month), the issuing financial institution sends the statement out with another reminder printed on the statement itself. At this time, the issuing financial institution will contact the cardholder and the program administrator by telephone.

1. At 60 days past due, the issuing financial institution will suspend the account from accepting new charges.
2. Between 90 and 120 days past due, the issuing financial institution will close the account permanently. Once an account has been closed, it may not be reinstated.
3. The issuing financial institution will send a demand letter to the cardholder requesting payment in full within 30 days.
4. Over 120 days past due, the issuing financial institution will refer seriously delinquent accounts to collection agencies for further collections, which may include credit bureau reporting.
5. At 210 days past due, the account is considered “charged off” and the issuing financial institution will deduct the amount from the university’s rebate which will be recovered from the cardholder in accordance with applicable payroll rules and in consultation with human resources.

(B) Program Administrator - The program administrator’s involvement in the collection proceedings continues throughout the process unless or until the cardholder has made arrangements that are satisfactory to the issuing financial institution.

1. At 30 days past due, the program administrator sends an e-mail to the cardholder regarding the past due balance with a copy to the cardholder’s principal budget authority.
2. At 60 days past due, the program administrator sends a memorandum to the cardholder with a copy to the cardholder’s principal budget authority and the vice president of business and financial affairs.
If the account is 210 days past due and the amount due is deducted from the university’s rebate, the program administrator will initiate paperwork necessary for the university to recover the amount from the employee in accordance with applicable payroll rules and in consultation with human resources.

(10) Card/Account Termination - Because corporate travel cards are issued for university business travel expenses, the university may cancel the card account for misuse and/or payment delinquency. The university maintains a zero tolerance policy for any personal usage of corporate travel charge cards.

(A) The following conditions will result in card/account cancellation:

1. Cardholder is no longer on the university payroll (e.g. resignation, leave of absence without pay, emeritus faculty, or other non-salaried appointment status).
2. History of delinquent payment.
3. History of dishonored checks and/or reversal of electronic payments.
4. Use for personal expenses.
5. Purchase of unauthorized expenses.
6. At request of cardholder.
7. 12 months with no account activity.
8. 12 months without account activation.

(B) If the department obtains the card, the department either returns the card to the program administrator or cuts the card in half.  If the department destroys the card, the department is to route an explanatory memorandum or e-mail to the program administrator.

(C) If an individual's card is cancelled by the university or the issuing financial institution for misuse or delinquency, the department may arrange his or her business airfare charges through an approved travel agency. The traveler must pay for other travel expenses personally. The traveler claims reimbursable expenses on a travel expense voucher when travel has been completed.

(11) Monitoring - The program administrator randomly monitors charges and payments for policy compliance. Internal and external auditors conduct audits will occur periodically. Failure to comply with policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

(12) Public Records - In accordance with the Public Disclosure Laws all expenses charged to corporate travel cards are a matter of public record.


[Responsibility: BFA; Authority: VP BFA; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/ Effective Date: 10/21/2016; reviewed 03/08/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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