University Travel

FAQ's of University Travel UPDATED!!

Travel Training Guide NEW!!

Travel Authority Checklist NEW!!

Authority to Travel Air Travel
American Express University Travel Card Cash Advances
Car Cost Comparison Expense Reports & Reimbursement
Hotel/Lodging Rental Cars

Mileage

Candidates Travel Policy and Procedures

 

Important Links

Authority to Travel on University Business

The Travel Authority form must be completed prior to any travel related to Official University Business.  This form should be filled out completely, listing all anticipated expenses related to the travel.  All form fields should be completly filled out regardless  of how the actual expense will be handled (whether the hotel/motel prepaid via check requisition, and/or their rental vehicle reserved through E-Procurement).  The Authority to Travel form is what authorizes the employee to travel for University Business and authorizes the anctipated expenditures.  For example, a traveler would include the estimated cost of airfare on their authority to travel form, even though their airfare will be handled via University Purchasing card, or a traveler would include the estimated cost of a rental car as the mode of travel on the authority to travel form, even though their rental vehicle requests will be reserved through an e-Procurement requisition. The Authority to Travel form is required to authorize travel even when no expense ($0) will be incurred.

International travel must be approved by the President's Office (additionally if traveler is a member of the faculty, the VP for Academic Affairs must approver international travel as well).  Also, US travel to offshore locations (i.e. Hawaii) should also be approved by the President's Office.

Mileage Rates

2013 MILEAGE RATE INCREASE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1ST, 2013: The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 50-19-7 requires the State of Georgia
to follow the General Services Administration (GSA) rates for mileage when State employees are reimbursed for use of privately owned vehicle on official travel.


The GSA recently announced revised rates for the calendar year 2013. The following rates are applicable to travel that occurs on or after January 1, 2013:


Tier 1 Rates: Automobile $ 0.565 per mile
Motorcycle $ 0.535 per mile
Aircraft $ 1.33 per mile
Tier 2 Rate: $0.24 per mile

2014 MILEAGE RATE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1ST, 2014:  The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 50-19-7 requires use of the United States General Services Administration (GSA) rates for mileage when State employees are reimbursed for use of a privately owned vehicle on official travel.

The GSA recently announced revised rates for calendar year 2014. The following rates are applicable to travel that occurs on or after January 1, 2014:
Tier 1 Rates:
• Automobile $ 0.56 per mile
• Motorcycle $ 0.53 per mile
• Airplane $ 1.31 per mile

Tier 2 Rate: $0.235 per mile

The travel expense form and mileage reimbursement rate policy have been updated on SAO’s website to reflect the 2014 rates.

Any reimbursement of mileage claims paid to an employee in excess of rates published in the mileage reimbursement policy must be refunded to the state or characterized as taxable compensation to the employee.

 

Determining Business Miles Traveled

Employees using their personal vehicle for business use (outside of the normal commute to and from work) are eligible for mileage reimbursement ONLY when it has been approved in advance by Supervisor, Department Chair, and Unit Vice President, and is the most cost effective option (all of which must be attached and approved along with travel authorization).  (Note:  Mileage reimbursement does not apply to employees under a signed contract that requires the use of one's personal vehichle as an condition of employment).  Reimbursement for mileage is for any and all business use miles off-site. 

If an employee departs from his/her residence on official university business, mileage is calculated from the residence to the destination point, with a reduction of normal one-way commuting miles. For the return trip, if the employee returns to his/her residence, mileage is calculated based on the distance to the residence, with a reduction of normal one-way commuting miles.

On days that are not normal work days, all business miles are reimburseable when an employees personal vehicle is utilized.  Mileage reimbursement has no time stipulations, only date stipulations (business day versus weekend/holiday).  For example:

  • John is attending a training on Wednesday at the Savannah Convention Center
  • John's normal commute to work is 5 miles
  • John is leaving directly from his home to go to the Savannah Convention Center.
  • From John's home to the Savannah Convention Center is 10 miles.
  • The calculation will be as follows:
    • 10 miles (distance for John to travel from his home to the Convention Center for the training)
    • - 5 miles (normal commute for John on a normal business day)
    • = 5 miles -- eligible for reimbursement
  • In short, for normal business days:
    • Traveled Distance - Normal Commute = Miles Eligible for Reimbursement
  • For weekends & holidays:
    • Traveled Distance = Miles Eligible for Reimbursement

Employees using a rental vehicle or university owned vehicle are not eligible for mileage reimbursement.

Cash Advances

Cash Advances are given for University Group/Team Travel and Foreign Travel where a purchasing card would not be practical or allowable, and for Employee authorized travel where a hardship is declared.  The Travel Cash Advance Request form should be fully completed and submitted to Business & Financial Affairs for processing.

All money not used must be returned to the Bursar's window and receipts must be reconciled and turned into Accounts Payable within three days of returning from travel or the next request, whichever is first. All expenses (all receipts - **excluding meal receipts), amount of cash advance, and amount returned to the University must be documented and submitted to Accounts Payable (please use the form issued when picking up the cash advance for this reconciliation). Only original receipts will be accepted.  The individual receiving the cash advance will be held responsible for the funds received.

A second cash advance to the same person will not be approved until all previous cash advances are settled in full with Accounts Payable (an exception may be made for Athletic events that are scheduled for the same week by the same team.)

Cash Advance funds should not be used for chartered busses, and Airline/Train tickets. In most cases, these can be paid by p-card or directly to the vendor.

For the full policy on cash advances click here.

**Meal receipts are ONLY required as documentation for a cash advance when the conference agenda/travel agenda indicates that meals have been provided.

Note: If the travel authorization is being submitted inside of 7-10 business days, a cash advance request cannot be guaranteed.

Air Travel

Savannah State University uses Summit Cruise & Travel as well as Four Seasons Travel to secure flights. If you would like the Procurement Office to purchase your flight, please call Maria at Summit Travel at 912-961-0979 or Becky or Margaret at Four Sasons at 912-598-8000 to get a price quote. Then prepare your Travel Authorization Form indicating the amount of the flight. It would be wise to add about $100 to the price quoted to allow for any price fluctuation that may occur during the process. Once you have received your approved travel authorization form back, call Summit Cruise & Travel or Four Seasons Travel to reserve your flight with the authorization number issued on your form. The travel agents will then call Pamela Fulwood, Sr. Procurement Specialist in the Procurement Office to verify and authorize the charge. Your ticket will be an electronic ticket. You can get the ticket confirmation number from the travel agent or go to www.checkmytrip.com to print your itinerary and your ticket if you chose. Your ticket can also be printed at the airport kiosks the day of your flight.

Hotel/Lodging

Student Lodging

Students and Employees are not to share rooms with each other.  Employee lodging is accounted for in a different manner than it is for students, as required by the Board of Regents.  Further, while student lodging can be handled through the Procurement Office, employee lodging cannot.  The Procurement Office can under no circumstance pay for employee lodging via a Purchase Order or P-Card.  An e-Procurement requisition should be completed for student lodging, with a list of students, dates of travel, hotel contact information, etc... provided in or attached to the e-Procurement requisition.

Employee Lodging

Employees may obtain a travel cash advance, submit a check requisition made payable to the hotel, and/or pay out of pocket to be reimbursed via an expense report to cover lodging expenses.  Employee lodging may not be processed through Procurement or placed on a P-Card.

Expense Reports

At the completion of any authorized University travel an expense report should be prepared when actual expenses were incurred, for which a cash advance was not received.  The Travel Expense Report Form should be filled out completely and submitted along with all receipts (excluding meal receipts), itineraries, and post-travel forms (Title III only).

Non-Employee Reimbursements (Per Diem)

The allowable per diem rate for non-employee travel is the same as the per diem rate for in-state travel for non-high cost areas regardless of location origin and/or destination. Thus, the per diem rate reimbursable for meals of non-employees is limited to $28 per day.  For more information, see our Travel Expense Reimbursement policy & procedure.

Important Links

Statewide Travel Regulations

(For more information visit the State Accounting Office Website)

Meal & Hotel Per Diem Rates For Out of State Travel - www.GSA.gov

Frequently Asked Questions

Business & Financial Affairs Forms

Business & Financial Affairs Business Processes & Manuals

Business & Financial Affairs Policies & Procedures

Need help determining the correct process to follow OR would you like to better understand how the process works, take a look at our NEW DECISION TREES!