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Travel Policy

Travel

View Official Policy: Travel Policy

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 October 1, 2006.

Each employee required to travel in the performance of official duties and entitled to authorize reimbursement for expenses incurred shall have prior authorization from his/her department head or other designated official for the purpose of his travel. For in-state travel each department is responsible for maintaining the approval record of employees authorized to travel. It is not necessary to prepare a travel authority request or obtain prior travel authority above the department level for in-state travel. Official travel to points outside the State, but within fifty miles of the state border, will be construed as in-state travel.

In the case of out-of-state travel, it is necessary to obtain prior approval from the traveler’s supervisor or delegate 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.  Justification will need to be provided with any reimbursement request detailing why the authorization was not submitted prior to travel occurring.  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 Abroad Programs and group travel in some circumstances.

Travel Authorizations should be submitted in the PeopleSoft Expenses module. A link to this system is provided under the Related Information section of this policy.

For more information and relevant links concerning Travel at UGA, please see the “Accounts Payable Travel Website” link found under Related Information.

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 for Finance Division

Policy Owner: Accounts Payable

Policy Contact: Jennifer Dunlap

Phone Number: 706-542-2786

Responsibilities of the Traveler: 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.

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