2 Travel General Policies Requirements of the Travel Regulations Act govern UTHSC-H to conserve funds. "A state agency shall minimize the amount of travel expenses paid or reimbursed by the agency. The agency shall ensure that each travel arrangement is the most cost-effective considering all relevant circumstances." The agency shall use teleconferencing and telecommunications technologies to the maximum extent possible to reduce the agency’s travel expenditures.Travel arrangements should be made in advance in order to utilize all available resources such as state contracted vendors for airfare and hotel stay. Airfare and registration should be paid in advance to avoid employee incurring any out of pocket expenses.Travel requests must be processed well in advance of proposed travel dates. You should be aware of how your department handles the internal approval process for authorizing travel. Once you have been assured of your department’s management support of travel, you can begin the travel authorization process. A department may develop supplemental guidelines to meet internal needs. Your departmental administrator should approve any exceptions to travel policies such as lodging that is over the allowable rates or airfare purchased from an outside source. Any questions regarding travel exceptions should be directed to the Expense Reimbursement Team to address any non-compliance issues.UTHSC-H’s travel guide is based on information obtained fromUTHSC-H HOOP Policy 13State of Texas Travel Allowance Guide issued by State Comptroller’s officeTexas State Travel Directory issued by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission (TBPC).The University will reimburse expenditures based on the federal GSA rates but not over lodging maximum allowance of $350 for lodging when using unrestricted funds. Partial reimbursements of meals are paid based on the time of departure or arrival. When travel does not require an overnight stay, meals are not paid or reimbursed unless it’s an official function/entertainment expense.UTHSC-H is required to participate in the Travel Management Program of the State of Texas by using contract vendors for travel services awarded by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission (TBPC). Please refer to website for a list of contract hotels, airfare suppliers and rental car agencies at: In some instances contract rates are higher than what is allowed for the funds being used; particularly hotels. You must verify what is allowed prior to making travel arrangements.In accordance with the State Purchasing and General Services Act (SPGSA), the comptroller audits reimbursement vouchers for compliance with the TBPC rules that govern TBPC/s central travel office.
3 Exceptions for the Use of Contract Vendors TBPC’s travel services must be used unless one of the following exceptions exists:Reservations can be secured through a different source that results in a lower overall cost to the state. All applicable costs must be considered when justifying cost savings. Refer to the Cost Justification Worksheet in determining the lowest cost.Contract vendor is sold out, is not able to provide services at the time or location necessary to accomplish the purpose of the trip, has a real or anticipated labor disruption, or is providing negotiated rates for group travel.
4 Employee Responsibilities Employees must insure that travel expenses incurred are reasonable, valid and necessary to carry out the purpose of the trip.Employees must request reimbursement for travel expenses within 60 days of returning from the trip.Employees must submit complete and original receipts and GSA for reimbursement. Must insure that establishment can provide itemized receipts before committing.Employee must cancel any travel reservations to avoid cancellation charges. UTHSC-H is not liable to reimburse employee for cancellation charges if the traveler should have, but failed to cancel a travel reservation or plan in time to avoid a charge.Employees shall immediately reimburse the University for any over-payments and expenses paid by sponsor. Employee may not accept a reimbursement or advance for a travel expense from another source for the same trip. Employees who anticipates receiving or actually receives a travel expense reimbursement from another source or sponsor may only receive reimbursement for the expenses incurred less the reimbursement from the other source.Domestic and foreign travel in excess of 30 days must be approved by the President of UTHSC-H.Please follow voucher sequence order.VOUCHER SEQUENCE (PRINT ALL PAGES LANDSCAPE)Invoice information page (please click on view all to show all lines and print)Summary pageExpense worksheet (this sheet needs to be signed by the traveler) if there is a Budgeted Max Allowance please show in the space provided.All supporting documents: hotel bill, car rental, taxi, registration form, airline itinerary, traveling to Washington DC please include the OSFR form etc:Any meeting documentation that shows the date and where the meeting is locatedOn foreign travel please copy all conversion sheetsCopy of the GSACost travel pagesPlease only one copy of the voucher When submitting a voucher for registration we need only two copies of the registration form only.Please make sure that on the expense worksheet you fill in the date and time of arrival and departure, also fill in the TDES and the TPUR.
5 Overnight Travel Within the State of Texas For travel within the state, please use the GSA when using State funds ( ), Service Department funds ( ), and Federal funds ( ) sources. The institutional daily maximum reimbursement for lodging is $ when utilizing designated, auxiliary and certain other restricted funds subject to specific restrictions. Employees are exempt from paying state hotel occupancy tax for lodging. It is the responsibility of the employee to present to the hotel at the time of registration a completed hotel tax exemption form. Other non-exempt taxes such as county or local taxes will be reimbursed as incidental expenses.
6 Travel Out-of-StateThe University uses daily rates for reimbursement of lodging expenses. The institutional daily maximum reimbursement for lodging is $ when utilizing designated, auxiliary and certain other restricted funds subject to specific restrictions. The traveler will need to refer to the Federal Out-of-State Meal and Lodging Rate Table. The federal rates for overnight travel can be found at For destinations not listed, the standard CONUS rates given, applies. These rates also include seasonal rates applicable to certain cities. The FMS UT-Travel Destination Table (TDES) is used for mileage calculation and city codes only.
7 Foreign TravelForeign travel must be approved by the Dean of the school, or in the case of General Administration, the Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration for all trips taken up to twenty-nine (29) days. Travel in excess of 30 days must be approved by the president of UTHSC-H. (see RTA). State appropriated funds cannot be used for foreign travel.All reimbursements for foreign travel with foreign receipts and/or proof of payments must be converted to US dollars to receive correct reimbursement. Conversion rates should be based on the day payment is made. In the case of lodging reimbursement, use the day of check-out. Copy of conversion rates must accompany travel reimbursement package. is commonly used to convert foreign currency.The State Comptroller considers the District of Columbia, Hawaii and Alaska as conterminous of the United States and would refer to the Federal Out-of-State Meal and Lodging Rate Table for lodging and meal reimbursement rates. If traveling to a foreign country go toHere’s the info with the link:Requirements for Travel to Restricted Countries. Effective April 22, 2010, The University of Texas System announced a suspension of programs and travel to restricted countries. When planning international travel, each traveler must consult the U.S. Department of State's list of travel warnings to see if warnings apply to the travel destination. If the country is currently under a Travel Warning, and the traveler still wishes to proceed, the traveler must apply for exemption from restrictions, register for International SOS, and complete a travel waiver. For comprehensive information on UTHealth international travel procedures, including required application form, please see the International Travel Procedures website.
8 LodgingOvernight stays are reimbursable when business destinations are located outside of the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan area. Use to make this determination.The Texas Building and Procurement Commission contracts with various hotels for discounted rates for state employees travel while conducting business for the State of Texas. A list of these hotels is available through the TBPC website at: In cases where the rates are higher than the allowable rates for funds being used, you must compare these rates with the state rates (https://fmx.cpa.state.tx.us/fm/travel/travelrates.php) to be in compliance. A personal credit card is generally required to guarantee a hotel reservation. UTHSC-H cannot make direct payments to hotels/lodging and or direct payments for reservation deposit; however an employee may obtain a travel advance five days prior trip departure for lodging and meals.Original receipts are required for lodging reimbursement. Lodging receipt must be issued from a commercial lodging establishment and must be original and complete. A receipt that has been altered other than by the entity issuing the receipt is unacceptable. The receipt must contain:The name and address of the establishmentThe name of the employeeThe single room rateA daily itemization of the lodging chargesThe dates of stay must align with travel dates of the tripStatement must indicate proof of payment in full to receive reimbursement.When using on-line booking for travel be certain the company will be able to provide you with an itemized list of charges as well as proof of payment. Vacation packages may be more economical, however most cannot provide an itemized list of charges. To be in compliance with state and federal guidelines hotel, airfare and car rental receipts must be legitimate itemized documents.If a traveler elects to share a room, the quote for a single and double occupancy room must be documented and submitted with your reimbursement materials. Only the single room rate can be reimbursed. If the room is shared between UT employees, the cost of the room must be split among the employees regardless of who paid for the room.Hotel Taxes in the State of TexasEmployees will not be reimbursed for state hotel occupancy tax charged by a commercial lodging establishment. The employee must present a completed hotel exemption certificate to the establishment at the time of registration. Employees are not exempt from paying county, city, or local taxes. These taxes will be reimbursed as a miscellaneous expense. Taxes should not be included in the total lodging amount when determining allowance.
9 Meal-BreakdownAn employee may be reimbursed for meal expenses incurred when the business travel clearly includes an overnight stay away from the employee’s designated headquarters. The time of departure and arrival determines which meals will be reimbursed. Generally, the flight itinerary confirms the departure and arrival times and is required as documentation for meal allowance. Reimbursement for meal expense while on official travel business is reimbursed at the following percentages. ie.. For a total meal allowance of $50.00/day the breakdown would be as follows:Breakfast=$ % Lunch= % Dinner= %To receive Breakfast reimbursement you must leave for your destination prior to 7:00amTo receive Lunch reimbursement you must leave prior to 12:00pmTo receive Dinner reimbursement you must return to your city of origin after 7:00 pmPlease see ER Tips & Updates for further food breakdown per diems.Meals that are included with the registration fee are not reimbursable but will be allocated in the meal allowance for that particular meal.Meals are not to exceed the federal GSA rates, regardless of fund source. There is no longer an institutional maximum for meals. Receipts are required for meal reimbursements in excess of $50/day. One method of reimbursement is allowed per business trip (submission of receipts for the entire trip or per diem capped at $50/day). Partial day meal reimbursements are based on federal GSA suggestions of breakfast-20%; lunch-32%; and dinner-48%. Additional meal breakdown can be found using the ER Tips and Updates section of the ERT website
10 AirfareUTHSC-H will only reimburse or pay for the lowest (refundable or non-refundable) coach airfare from designated headquarters to destination. First class and business class airfares are not reimbursable unless they are the only flights available. A statement provided by the travel agency that coach fare was not available must be submitted with the request for reimbursement. When traveling on official business, you are required to use Corporate Travel Planners, Inc.The University offers the use of the use of the Business Travel Account (BTA) for airfare purchase. The BTA allows the traveler the ability to charge the airfare directly to a university account therefore the traveler incurs no out of pocket expenses for airfare. Since the BTA is for business travel only, no air travel which includes personal non business days can be charged to it unless the cost is equal to or less than the round trip cost of the trip for the business days only. This cost should be documented and pre-approved through Corporate Travel. Travel segments including destinations other than the business destination (or the most direct route) CANNOT be charged to the BTA. A traveler who deviates from the normal travel route between designated headquarters and their destination for personal reasons must use their personal credit card and will not be reimbursed for that portion of the trip. See examples below: Examples:Acceptable to invoice to BTA Round trip to Orlando Bus dates 10/27-10/29 airfare = $ Round trip to Orlando Bus dates plus personal 10/27-10/30 airfare = $ or lessNot Acceptable to invoice to BTA Round trip to Orlando Bus dates 10/27-10/29 airfare = $ Round trip to Orlando Bus dates plus personal 10/27-10/30 airfare > $ Round trip to Orlando Bus dates 10/27-10/29 airfare = $ Round trip to Orlando via Miami Bus dates 10/27-10/29 airfare = $276.45When a traveler is requesting reimbursement for airfare purchased, the amount of the reimbursement may not exceed the cost of the lowest available airfare between the employee’s designated headquarters and the employee’s duty point.The air travel original receipt must show the following information:The name of the airlineThe name of the travelerThe class of transportationThe beginning and ending travel datesThe origin and destination of each flightThe amount of airfareThe method of payment
11 Airfare Cont’dCorporate Travel Planners (CTP) is the official travel agency for UTHSC-H business travel. It is required that all UTHSC-H employees and students use CTP in order to be reimbursed for their travel expenditures. In order to achieve cost savings for consultant travel, it is advised that CTP is used. However, regardless of where the rate comes from it is required that CTP be given the opportunity to match or better the quote in order to be considered for reimbursement. Corporate Travel Planners, Inc. has access to most internet fares and should be able to obtain these fares as well. You must notify University Travel, ext 8405 for prior approval to be considered for an exception to policy and to receive reimbursement. Written quotes from CTP must be obtained prior to utilizing other sources. A 14-day advance purchase will assist in getting you the best rates.When making airfare arrangements with CTP you must request to make a reservation in order to secure the airfare rate until you enter a Purchase Order (PO) in FMS. Once you get the PO number, it is your responsibility to call CTP and inform them of the PO#. They will not automatically ticket or hold the reservation if you do not call with a PO#. The PO must have a Valid and Dispatched status.CTP can be reached from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at There is an additional fee for after hours and weekend service.Federal Travel-Fly AmericaEmployees traveling on Federal grant funds must comply with the requirement that U.S. Flagship carriers be used to maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the meals of travel between the U.S. and a foreign country, or between foreign countries. This requirement shall not be influenced by factors of cost, convenience, or personal travel preferences. For purpose of the use of United States flab carriers, "Unites States" means the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories and possessions of the United States. Refer to for additional information on this topic.
12 Airfare Cont’dJust a reminder of the Cost Travel Information page which allows business travel destinations to be entered more consistently with the Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) itinerary. Correct Travel DatesThe FMS system will allow data entry of the same calendar date twice on two different travel destination lines. This will more accurately reflect when a traveler is going from one business travel destination to another within the same day. See example below.
13 Airfare Cont’d Travel Purpose Code A travel purpose code entitled "FLIGHT" documents a stop-over city or indicates the closest airport city when the destination is different than the final business destination. An example would be if a traveler must fly into Baltimore but the business destination is in Washington, D.C. See example below.In addition to documenting the cost travel segments more consistently, these assist in the reconciliation and payment for the Business Travel Card (BTA). Expediting the BTA payments process will also facilitate the liquidation of travel encumbrances.Please contact the ERT staff at (713) with any questions.
14 Registration FeesPayment for registration, tuition or course fees required to attend a seminar/conference in most cases are due well in advance of the actual travel dates. UTHSC-H can prepay these fees on behalf of its employees. Documentation must contain the name of individual attending, dates of the event, and cost of the event and remittance address for mailing the registration. For payment of registration in a foreign currency, please contact ERT for bank draft instructions.When reimbursing for registration paid by traveler additional documentation showing proof of payment must be submitted with the reimbursement packet. Proof of payment may include statement from the provider which states the fees have been paid, a copy of the check paid to the provider, a credit card receipt, or if no other documentation is available, a copy of a credit card statement which has been redacted for the payees' account number.Dues cannot be paid with a registration fee and must be submitted on a Non-PO voucher.When a trip is cancelled; it is the responsibility of the traveler to request a refund from the organization sponsoring the event. Once the refund is received, the check should be forwarded to the Bursar’s office for deposit to the account from which payment was made.
15 Taxi/Limousine/Mass Transit Receipts are not required for travel by taxi, and mass transit; however, an itemized list of each claim showing beginning point, destination and costs is required on the Travel Expense Worksheet (TE). Reimbursement will be based on standard taxi service to and from the airport within the area. Maximum reimbursement from headquarters to Hobby $45; to IAH $65.Maximum reimbursement for domestic travel (with or without receipts) is $65. No gratuity.Maximum reimbursement for foreign travel (without receipts) is $65. No gratuity.Maximum reimbursement for foreign travel (with receipts) is actual cost. No gratuity. The University may not reimburse a state employee for the costs of transportation by a person that is not a commercial transportation company. UTHSC-H cannot make direct payments to commercial transportation providers for employee travel.If a taxi is shared by two or more state employees, then the employee who paid for the taxi may be reimbursed for that expense. Transportation to and from hotel for meals are not reimbursable.
16 ParkingTravelers may be reimbursed for the cost of parking their personal vehicles at the airport or equivalent transportation terminal while on travel status for official business. Original receipts are required for reimbursement. If personal travel is combined with business travel, UTHSC-H will reimburse for parking only on those business related days.
17 Incidental ExpensesIncidental expenses related to business travel are reimbursable. The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and an applicable tax, except a tax based on the cost of a meal. The term does not include a meal, lodging, or transportation expense; a personal expense that an individual would incur regardless of whether the individual were traveling on official state business; a tip or gratuity. Refer to lists below for further clarification.Reimbursable Expense: (Expense account code 67115)Hotel occupancy or similar taxes (excluding state tax when an exemption certificate is presented.)Telephone calls (business related)Service fees charged for issuance of money ordersGasoline charges for rental carsToll chargesCopying chargesForeign travel: passport or visa charges, airport boarding passes, departure taxes and inoculations.PostageNotary feesCharges to exchange US currency for foreign currency and vice versaMandatory charges by a commercial lodging establishment other than the room rate and additional person’s charges.Books or documents purchased for and while attending a seminar or conference.Facsimile charges.Sales and use taxes if either the applicable law does not provide an exemption from those taxes or the procedure for claiming a legally availableexemption is not honored by the person collecting the taxes. (Sales and use taxes assessed on meals are not incidental expenses.)ParkingMedical evacuation insurance when traveling in a country whose medical facilities make the insurance reasonably necessary.Service charges validly imposed by travel agency.Mandatory service charges paid or imposed in connection with a mealNon-reimbursable Expense:Any expense that does not relate to official state business.Any expenses with the exception of parking and toll expenses that relates to the operation of a personally owned or leased vehicle.Tips or gratuitiesExcess baggage charges for personal belongings.Personal expenses, such as the rental or purchase of a video tape for personal entertainment, an alcoholic beverage, dry cleaning or laundry.Sales and use taxes if applicable law provides an exemption from those taxes and the state employee fails to claim the exemption or does not follow the required procedures for claiming it.
18 Baggage FeesCharges for Carry-on Baggage: Some air carriers have begun charging business travelers for checked baggage. These costs currently range from $15-30 each flight, for the first bag checked, depending upon the air carrier.The State Comptroller has agreed that if an airline has a mandatory first bag fee for checked luggage, the expense is considered reimbursable as long as the bag meets airline weight requirements. These fees will be charged to your personal credit card and should be submitted with the receipt as incidental expenses on the reimbursement request.Fees related to second bags are reimbursable only if the state agency/UT institution department verifies that the second bag is needed for business purposes and the bag meets weight requirements. If a second bag is needed for business purposes, an approved justification memo should be submitted with the reimbursement request.
19 Travel AdvancesRequests for Travel Advances are limited to those employees that do not qualify for the corporate UT-Travel card. Employees who do not travel frequently and may travel 1-2 times per year also qualify for a travel advance. Advances are issued only when the travel requires an overnight stay outside the employee’s designated headquarters. Advances cannot be given to students or prospective employees. All requests will be limited to estimated food and lodging amount only. There is a minimum of $ limit on all Travel Advances. Advances are issued five days prior to departure and must have a valid purchase order issued to the traveler entered into FMS. The travel advance form must be filled out and signed by the traveler. Submission of the final travel reimbursement must be forwarded to the ERT team not more than thirty (30) days after completion of the trip for which the travel advance was issued.
20 MileageEmployees are entitled to be reimbursed for mileage occurred during the employee’s use of a personally owned or leased vehicle when conducting UT business. Mileage is not reimbursable for a rented vehicle. These rates are subject to change from time to time..56 cents per mile (effective Jan 1, 2014) .565 cents per mile (effective January 1, 2013)Documentation for blanket travel miles must include daily mileage log including purpose of trip, miles driven and destination. Traveler may file reimbursement for ongoing travel on a monthly or semi-monthly basis.The number of reimbursable miles traveled by an employee may not exceed the number of miles of the most cost-effective route between the origin of the employee’s travel and the employee’s final destination. When coach airfare is the most cost-effective means of travel the employee will be paid the lesser of the two after obtaining a written quote from CTP for the airfare. Airfare quotes must be obtained prior to making the decision to drive. Yahoo driving maps MUST be used to compute the mileage from origin to destination.When more than one UT employee are traveling together in one personally owned or leased vehicle only one of the employees may be reimbursed for the mileage or gasoline. Toll charges are reimbursable.Mileage that involves a one day trip for business destinations within the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan area may be reimbursed through petty cash if the total reimbursement is under twenty-five dollars.
21 Car RentalThe University is required to utilize contract vendors for car rentals. The rental car contract vendors are Avis and Enterprise.The original itemized receipt must accompany all claims for reimbursement. The name of the individual requesting reimbursement must appear on the receipt. Rental car agreement cannot be in the name of anyone but the traveler seeking reimbursement. The days of the rental period must fall within the time period specified on the Cost Travel page of the travel.When determining if a rental car is necessary, all costs must be considered when justifying the most cost effective means of transportation. Cost justification must include gasoline, parking and tolls. When staying at the host hotel (conference or meeting site) a rental car may not be necessary. Cost justification is required when rental car reimbursement is requested when staying at the host hotel.When the traveler combines personal travel with official business, the cost of the rental car must be prorated on a daily basis. Reimbursement cannot be reimbursed if the rental was obtained only because the employee combined business with personal travel.Liability insurance supplement, personal accident insurance, safe trip insurance and personal effects coverage are not reimbursable when using vendors other than the state contracted vendors. These costs are included with the contracted vendors for car rental.
22 Travel by Disabled Persons Disabled persons may be reimbursed for attendant care and other necessary expenses incurred when they travel inside or outside their designated headquarters. First class airfare for the disabled and their attendant may be reimbursed as long as the airfare is medically necessary. A statement signed by the employee’s physician must accompany the reimbursement packet.
23 Combining Personal Travel with State Business When an employee conducts official state business at one or more duty points outside the employee’s designated headquarters and personal business at one or more locations not in any of those duty points the employee will be reimbursed for the business portion of the trip only. The use of the BTA cannot be used solely for personal/vacation travel. The BTA can be used for personal/vacation days when the vacation days are in the same city as the business. The employee must obtain written quotes from CTP including the vacation days and one without the vacation days. The employee will be reimbursed the lesser of the two.UTHSC-H reimbursement of the employee’s travel expenses may not exceed the sum of:The cost of transporting the employee from headquarters to duty point for the business portion of the trip. Employee must get a written quote from CTP when securing airfare from other sources. Employee will be reimbursed for the lesser of the fare excluding the personal travel or including the personal travel.What the employee would have used had the employee not conducted personal business during the trip.Vacation packages are not encouraged because most cannot provide itemized nor separate charges. Airfare, taxes, lodging and meals must be itemized to be in compliance with state audit requirements.Lodging expenses are reimbursed up the maximum amount allowed for a single occupancy room rate. The traveler is responsible for obtaining receipts from the lodging establishment that identifies the room rate was for a single rate even though the receipt reflects more than one person stayed in the room."Generally, a state employee who uses a rented motor vehicle for both personal business and official state business may be reimbursed only for the portion of the rental charges that are attributed to official state business. A state employee may not be reimbursed for the rental of a motor vehicle if the rental was necessary only because the employee combined personal business with state business."
24 Travel Discounts and Free Travel A state employee may obtain discounts or opportunities for frequent flyer discounts. A state employee may not be reimbursed for the value or cost of a discount coupon or other discount on a travel expense if the employee did not pay money to directly obtain the discount.A state employee must pay money directly to obtain a discount for consideration of the reimbursement. Therefore, if an employee received a discount as a benefit of making unrelated or business purposes with a provider of the discount, then the discount is provided free to the employee and does not warrant a reimbursement.
25 Washington D.C. TravelTravelers who intend to confer on Legislative or Appropriations issues with U.S. Congress/The Federal Government, staff or officials should submit travel information to the Texas Office of State and Federal Relations (OSFR) prior to taking the trip. Please refer to the University Travel website for required form and detailed information regarding DC travel.
26 No Cost TravelIn certain instances employees are invited to travel to destinations for business purposes at no cost to the institution or traveler. In these instances the use of the No Cost travel process is required for liability purposes to document the trip. The department must follow their own departmental policies for the travel. In addition, the trip may be entered in FMS UT No Cost Travel to record the travel.
27 Canceling TravelIt is the employee’s responsibility to notify the proper individuals when canceling their travel in order to receive credit for airfare, hotel/car reservations, etc. Airfare that is booked with the UT travel card is charged and due at the time the reservation is confirmed with a Purchase Order number. The airfare must be paid and will be credited to the proper account once the travel agency is notified and the bank issues the credit. Any other travel arrangements must be canceled by the traveler or designated person. The institution is not liable for any expenses assessed because "an individual should have, but failed to, cancel travel reservation or plan in time to avoid the charge." It is important that the traveler informs the administrative staff of any change or cancellations to the travel.
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