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Employee Travel: Effective January 1, 2015 - Present

Travel

View Official Policy: Employee Travel Effective January 1 2015 Present Policy


COVID-19 Pandemic Notice:
As noted on the UGA Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information and Resources webpage.

All non-essential business travel is suspended in order to comply with the Governor’s directive. Managers have the authority to rescind prior travel approval. Required in-person meetings should be transitioned to an electronic format or rescheduled. USG official travel to a CDC Level 3 or higher country is not authorized and will not be reimbursed.

Starting June 15, 2020, UGA will until further notice, require a TA to facilitate electronic approval for all essential business travel and to support contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic timeframe, UGA faculty and staff are limited to essential business travel only; this will require the completion of a TA as pre-approval for all essential travel regardless of cost, level of reimbursement, or funding source.

 Please note:  An in-state travel authority is not required if the traveler moves within the same county as their work home base or within a county which borders the county of their home work base.  For example, if an employee based on the Athens or Tifton campus drives to a non-UGA location in the same or bordering county as the campus for a business purpose, a TA is not required. 


In accordance with the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 50-5B-5, the state accounting officer in cooperation with the Office of Planning and Budget is authorized to and shall adopt rules and regulations governing in-state and out-of-state travel and travel reimbursement. These policies should promote economy and efficiency in state government and treat employees fairly and equitably. Under the direction of the State Accounting Office and the Office of Planning and Budget, the University of Georgia has adopted these travel regulations effective January 1, 2015.

Each employee required to travel in the performance of official duties shall have prior authorization from his/her supervisor or delegated approver and by the financial spend approver for the funding source. Out-of-state travel by a dean or director requires the prior approval of the appropriate vice president. A vice president's out-of-state travel should have prior approval by the Senior Vice President or the President's Office, whichever is applicable for the individual. Travel outside of the continental limits of the United States must be approved first by the appropriate vice president, then by the Office of Global Engagement. No out-of-state travel is to take place, and no claim for reimbursement will be processed without proper authorization as outlined above.

Travel authorizations cannot be created after travel has occurred. The University of Georgia does not provide travel advances. Employees traveling on University business should pay for their expenses and then seek reimbursement. Special arrangements may be made through the Bursar’s office to facilitate Studies Away Programs and group travel in some circumstances.

Travel Authorizations for employee travel should be submitted in the Financial Management System. For more information and relevant links concerning Travel at UGA, please see the Accounts Payable Travel Website.

Reason for policy

The purpose of this policy is to document that the University will follow the travel rules of the State Accounting Office and comply with all Internal Revenue Service regulations. The University maintains an accountable plan for travel reimbursement. In compliance with the IRS rules for an accountable plan, travel reimbursements are not taxable income.

Procedures

Prior to traveling on an out-of-state trip, the traveler, or traveler’s delegate, should initiate a travel authority within the PeopleSoft Expenses module. Funding will not be encumbered for the trip. If airfare is being directly billed to UGA, the travel agency will be allowed to bill only after the travel authorization has been approved by all approvers.

Non-employees having airfare direct billed to UGA should work with the business office of the University unit they have business with.  That unit will need to secure an invoice from one of UGA’s authorized travel agencies and submit it for payment via a payment request in the PeopleSoft Accounts Payable module.

Travelers are expected to exercise good stewardship of funds when traveling on official business. Any expenditure disallowed by UGA is the responsibility of the employee. Travelers must always obtain receipts except when meal per diem travel allowances are claimed. Not all receipts must be submitted with an expense report but may later be requested for verification or audit. Expense reports may be selected for audit at any time, and all required receipts must be retained by the traveler for three years after the travel date if not attached to the travel expense report.

Travelers should complete an expense report at the conclusion of travel. The expense report and applicable receipts should be submitted within the PeopleSoft Expenses module. By approving the expense report, the approver is attesting that he/she has thoroughly reviewed each transaction and the supporting documentation and has verified that all transactions are allowable expenses. The approver is the “check” in the expense reporting process to identify potential or actual errors in expense reporting and is equally accountable for all expenditures. The approver role should be assigned to an individual who can judge the business appropriateness of each expenditure. The approver must verify that the correct funding sources are charged, in keeping with proper fiscal stewardship. Under no circumstances should an individual approve his/her own expense submission.

Responsibilities

Responsible University Senior Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Administration

Responsible University Administrator: Associate Vice President

Policy Owner: Accounts Payable

Policy Contact: Jennifer Dunlap

Phone Number: 706-542-2786

Responsibilities of the Traveler: Travelers are required to submit travel authorizations prior to traveling.  Travelers are expected to exercise good stewardship of funds when traveling on official business. Any expenditure disallowed by UGA is the responsibility of the employee. Travelers must always obtain receipts except when meal per diem travel allowances are claimed. Not all receipts must be submitted with an expense report but may later be requested for verification or audit. Expense reports may be selected for audit at any time, and all required receipts must be retained by the traveler for three years after the travel date if not attached to the travel expense report.

Responsibilities of the Supervisor/Approver: By approving the expense report, the approver is attesting that he/she has thoroughly reviewed each transaction and the supporting documentation and has verified that all transactions are allowable expenses. The approver is the “check” in the expense reporting process to identify potential or actual errors in expense reporting and is equally accountable for all expenditures. The approver role should be assigned to an individual who can judge the business appropriateness of each expenditure. The approver must verify that the correct funding sources are charged, in keeping with proper fiscal stewardship. Under no circumstances should an individual approve his/her own expense submission.

Date Issued:

Last Reviewed/Updated: