University of Baltimore Comptroller Office
The University of Baltimore procedures have been developed to help the traveler expedite the process of traveling while addressing the policy set out by the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents Policy and Procedure VIII - 11.00.
301.0 VIII-11.00 - POLICY ON UNIVERSITY SYSTEM TRAVEL
If any issues contained in this procedure seem unclear, please contact the Office of the Comptroller at extension 4734.
1. Travel Approval
All travel is to be documented. Pre-approval is required for out-of-state travel. Required approvals may vary according to the travel destination and sources of funds as determined by each institution. For purposes of clarity, University System business conducted in the "Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area"is classified as in-state travel.
2. Reservations and Ticketing
Travelers and travel arrangers should ensure that all arrangements are reasonable and appropriate and be alert to possibilities to obtain air, hotel and rental car services at the discount rates available to the University System or institution. Travelers are expected to make advance bookings, using the least expensive logical fare via the most direct route(or other reasonable routing that results in a lower fare) and are encouraged to purchase air and rail tickets and reserve in trip services through the contract travel service vendors identified by each institution. Travelers should consult institution procedures governing non-contract travel purchases in advance of committing personal funds to determine if they will be reimbursable.
In the event of changed plans, cancellation and other penalties will be paid by the institution provided that the cancellation or change was made for the convenience of the institution was necessitated by circumstances of an emergency nature affecting the traveler, in accordance with policies or procedures established by the institution.
3. Hotel, Meal, and Other Expense Reimbursement
The cost of hotel accommodations will be reimbursed on the basis of receipts. Any overage above the single room rate, which is a result of non-official travelers utilizing the accommodations, will be the personal financial responsibility of the traveler. Institutions are responsible for procedures to establish that the room rate reimbursed is appropriate.
For domestic travel, meal expenses will normally be reimbursed on per diem rates for Standard and High-cost areas as those rates are established in Attachment VIII-11.10 to this policy.The Chancellor will identify the locations designated as high cost and this information will be included in Attachment VIII-11.10 . Foreign travel is reimbursed at actual cost with receipts or at the applicable U.S. Department of State meal and incidental (M&IE) rate without receipts. The Board of Regents will review the rates biennially.
Travelers are not required to provide individual meal receipts or to show a per meal breakdown for daily travel using the Standard and High-cost rates for domestic travel or the U.S.Department of State M&IE rate. A partial day's travel is eligible for the appropriate meal(s) consumed when travel time encompasses a period of two hours before and two hours after that (those) meal(s). Institutions have the authority to determine which circumstances may warrant a higher level of reimbursement and the procedure for approval.Such transactions must be accompanied by receipts.
If a conference provides meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) you cannot seek reimbursement for meals.
If exceptional circumstances necessitate a high cost meal, reimbursement may be approved "up to actual reasonable cost with detailed receipt," pursuant to limits imposed by the unit, available funds and as determined by the approving authority.
Reimbursement of miscellaneous expenses such as telephone calls, laundry/valet, parking fees, and the like are reimbursable.Institution policies and procedures will define reimbursable miscellaneous expenses and specify receipt requirements.
Institution funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or additional flight insurance.
Institutions should encourage the use of their credit card programs for the payment of in-trip expenses such as hotels and car rentals.Institutions have the authority to determine if special circumstances may warrant the issuance of travel advances, if such funds are available.
4. Use of Institutional and Personal Vehicles
State (i.e. institution- and System-owned) vehicles may be driven only by University System officers and authorized institution and System personnel and only when acting within the scope of their public duties. Students for whom the State Treasurer has issued an insurance certificate are considered authorized personnel for this purpose. A volunteer may be considered authorized personnel only when he or she is engaged in providing a service to the institution, is not paid by the institution, and is providing the service as part of a formal volunteer program.
Any person driving a State-owned vehicle must have a valid driver's license, comply with all traffic laws, and obtain approval as required by University of Maryland System, or institution policies and procedures.
Properly insured personal vehicles may be used for travel on institution business.The use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the rate established in Attachment VIII-11.10 to this policy when travel is in compliance with institution procedures.
Where a car rental is deemed necessary, the institution expects the lease of the least expensive car which will accommodate the trip's requirements. Travelers should take advantage of University System, Federal and State Government, and institution vendor discount rates which are available.
Travelers should consult institution policies or procedures governing reimbursement of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) car rental insurance coverage.
5. Travel With Spouses
When spouses travel with institution employees but are not themselves serving as agents of the institution, travelers should be careful to maintain a record of individual expenses. The institution will not reimburse any expenses incurred on behalf of the spouse. Likewise, airfare or any other travel expense that is directly billed to the institution should not include expenses for the spouse.
6. Invitational, Extended Travel, and Other Special Circumstances
Institutions may establish appropriate criteria and authorization, and reimbursement procedures for invitational travel, extended field and research trips, sponsored travel, and authorized non-employee travel consistent with general University System and institution policies.
7. Hotel, Meal, Mileage Rate and Other Specific Reimbursement
The approved rates for hotels, meal expenses, mileage rate for the use of personal vehicles, the designation of high-cost locations for travel, and other rates will be specified in Attachment VIII-11.10 to this policy.The Chancellor will review the information in as a minimum during the first quarter of the fiscal year and provide the institutions with a current schedule of reimbursement rates Attachment VIII-11.10 to this policy. At the same time, a schedule of current rates with changes annotated will be provided to the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance of the Board of Regents for information.
8. Institution Authority and Responsibility
Each institution will publish clear and concise information on institution policy, requirements, and procedures consistent with the System-wide travel policy.Where there is cooperation between institutions in processing travel documents, consistent policies will be established. Each institution should identify a Travel Coordinator to work directly with travelers, the contract travel services, and other Travel Coordinators at other institutions to secure the best possible travel service across the University System. Routine procedures and posture toward the consideration of exceptions for special circumstances as outlined in this document are the responsibility of the institution.