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Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policies

What is approved for travel reimbursement?

All travel and training must be pre-approved by Department Director. Those seeking reimbursement for travel shall meet with the department’s financial manager to obtain the correct forms and to be made aware of what expenses are and are not reimbursable

  • Communicating with representatives of regional, state and national government on City adopted policy positions;
  • Attending educational seminars designed to improve official’s skill and information levels;
  • Participating in regional, state and national organizations whose activities affect the City’s interests

What is not approved for travel reimbursement?

  • The personal portion of any trip
  • Political fundraising or charitable contributions or events
  • Family expenses, including partner’s expenses when accompanying a city official on City related business, as well as children- or pet-related expenses
  • Entertainment expenses e.g. theater, movies (including in-room), sporting events, travel gym, other cultural events or personal reading material
  • Alcohol/personal bar expenses
  • Non-mileage personal automobile expenses, including repairs, traffic citations, insurance or gasoline
  • Personal losses incurred while on City business, such as clothing and personal effects.

When will lodging be reimbursed? When travel on official City business reasonably requires an overnight stay.

How much of expenses will be reimbursed while traveling? Employees shall be reimbursed for lodging, meal and incidental expenses per the General Services Administration Per Diem Rates. “Per diem” means the total daily allowance -excluding taxes- for lodging, meals and incidental expenses (such as parking). This should encompass all travel costs, and does not include costs such as the price for the conference or training. These daily rates vary by location.

All expenses seeking reimbursement require itemized receipts. All meals should have accompanying receipts, and if the receipt is for more than one individual or the purpose of the meal included more than one individual, the receipt should note all in attendance. A complete and accurate Expense Report (Finance form) along with all itemized receipts shall be submitted to Department within 30 days of an expense being incurred.

Link to Full Schedule of GSA Per Diem Rates by location – FY 2018

What if a receipt is lost? A memorandum to the Finance Director is required detailing:

A description of and the purpose of the expenditure(s), including the date. The memo should also include the anticipated amount of the expenditure(s) (for example, hotel rates, meal costs, and transportation expenses)

For more information on union-specific information about maximum reimbursements for travel and training costs see the Employee Agreements for each Bargaining group.

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