Essex Westford Educational Community Unified Union School District
Employee Travel Expense/Reimbursement
File Code: F1-P1
OBJECTIVE: This procedure is intended to:
- Provide a clear and consistent understanding of the District travel expense reimbursement policy;
- Ensure compliance with applicable federal regulations and district terms;
- Explain requirements that promote the reasonableness of costs incurred by the District for travel expense.
AUTHORITY: The supervisor has the authority to approve all travel of district personnel outside of the district and the reimbursement of expenses associated with such travel. The supervisor will approve the mode of travel. Proper receipts and documentation must accompany reimbursement requests. Reimbursements are subject to restrictions established by the superintendent and Finance Department.
- All requests for travel shall be submitted using a properly completed purchase order at least two weeks prior to the intended travel or conference date.
- Employees may request a travel advance for expenses such as airfare, hotel and meals. Such a request must be made on the Travel Advance Form.
- All employees must return itemized receipts for all district-paid lodging, transportation, including receipts for reimbursement within two weeks of their return from travel. Receipts for reimbursement submitted more than two weeks after the date of return may be denied.
- All requests for reimbursements must be submitted on the Travel Reimbursement Request form accompanied by the purchase order. The form must be filled out in its entirety and must be approved by the employee’s supervisor.
- The district will advance or reimburse the actual cost of all previously approved airfare incurred in the course of district business.
- Employees will be reimbursed at a mileage rate based on the current federal mileage reimbursement rate (listed on the Travel Reimbursement Request form) for all miles traveled outside the district on district business and approved vicinity travel.
- Incidental expenses incurred for such items such as taxi fare, reasonable parking, tolls, etc. must be accompanied by a receipt. In the event a receipt is not available, the expenses will not be reimbursed.
- All lodging, i.e., hotel, motel, or other overnight accommodations, will be advanced or reimbursed at the single occupancy rate plus tax, unless prior approval has been granted by the supervisor and Director of Finance and Accounting.
- Meals incurred during travel will be reimbursed at the rates for either In-State Conference/Meeting or Out-of-State Regional/National Conference. These rates are available on the travel reimbursement form. [Note: All expenses for Federal or State Grant funded travel expenses must be accompanied by an itemized receipt and will be reimbursed on an actual cost and not by the standard rates.]
- Expenses for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and entertainment incurred as part of a meal or other event will not be reimbursed.
- At many sponsored functions, meals such as breakfast, luncheons, and dinners are included in the cost of the paid registration fee. Employees should take advantage of those prepaid services. If prepaid services are available, the meal allowance will not be reimbursed.
- The district will not reimburse expenses for spouses, guests, or family members. If an employee decides to bring a spouse, guest, or family member on a district trip, the employee is responsible for all costs and arrangements attributable to those persons. In the event a spouse, guest(s), or family member(s) accompanies the employee, and should travel extend beyond the conference or workshop dates, personal expenses incurred during the extended time will not be reimbursed by the district.
- On occasion it may be permissible for employees to purchase food for a meeting or in a social context. As a general rule, the expense should be approved in advance by the supervisor and must be supported by a receipt, a written record of the district business that was conducted, and a list of the persons that participated in the event.
- Fees incurred for registration at conferences or workshops will be reimbursed only if prior approval was received to attend the conference or workshop. Employees must complete all required request forms prior to attending a conference or workshop.
- Telephone, fax, internet and related fees will be reimbursed to the employee provided they are incurred during the course of official school business. Receipts must be submitted in order to receive this reimbursement.
- When tipping, please keep within a reasonable amount, 15%-20%, but no more.