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Resources and Reports

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.


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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