Student Information for WINTER 2022 – IMPORTANT UPDATES

Travel Expense

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Category:
Operations
Audience:
All University Personnel including Elders and Board of Governors
Issued:
November 7, 2021
Last Revised:
October 1, 2021
Owner:
V.P. Finance & Administration
Approved By:
Board of Governors
Contact:
Director, Finance (306) 790-5950

Introduction

This policy will cover the reimbursement to employees including the Board of Governors and Elders for allowable travel expenses incurred in the performance of their authorized duties. This policy, including regulations and rates, applies to all employees of the University whether employed as permanent, casual, sessional, contract or term employees hired for a specific project or program.

Purpose

The purpose of the Travel Expense Policy is to provide clear policies and procedures that are compliant with internal regulations, promote safe travel, and allow for reasonable and manageable travel expenses while maintaining the necessary controls and accountability.

Scope

This policy applies to all University personnel including Elders and the Board of Governors.

Policy Statements

The Policy states the following:

Definitions

“Allowable Travel” – any travel authorized by an employee’s direct supervisor necessary to complete a duty or task assigned in the performance of that employee’s duties and not included or reimbursed by another organization.

“Rates and Per Diems” – established reimbursement amounts approved by the University and adjusted from time to time that stipulate the allowable claim to be made for mileage, meals and accommodation incurred in the performance of the authorized activity.

“Expense Claim Form” – a prescribed document to be used by a person claiming travel cost reimbursement to be completed by the employee, approved by the immediate supervisor and submitted to Finance for processing.

“Executive Team Member” – comprised of the President, Vice President’s, Associate Dean’s and the Director, Finance.

Policy

Roles and Responsibilities

  • It is the responsibility of the Academic Departmental Associate Dean and Administrative Directors on claims to a maximum of $500 to approve travel for their staff with direct reference to their department budgets. Claims that exceed $500 need to be approved by an Executive Team member.
  • Associate Dean’s shall normally have their travel claims approved by the Vice President – Academic and the Program Coordinators shall normally have their travel claims approved by the Associate Dean. In the absence of a Vice Presidents, the approval of either the President or the Director, Finance is acceptable.
  • Travel claims made by the Director; Finance shall be approved by the V.P. Finance & Administration although the approval of any other Executive Team member would be acceptable in his / her absence.
  • Travel claims made by either Vice President’s shall be approved by the President.
  • Travel claims made by the President shall be approved by the Chair of the Board of Governors.
  • Travel claims made by any Board Member or Board Elder shall be approved by the Chair of the Board of Governors.
  • Travel claims made by the Chair of the Board of Governors shall be approved by the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee Chair.

International Travel

The President shall pre-approve any staff travel outside the country with reference to appropriate budget dollars being available to cover the related expenditures.

Rates and Per Diems

In Province

  1. Daily meal costs will be reimbursed without receipts based on the following:
    • Breakfast $10
    • Lunch $18
    • Dinner $23

Meal costs will be reimbursed based on actual receipts if they are over the amounts stipulated above and are within reason.

2. Claims for alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed under any circumstances.

3. To qualify for meal reimbursement, the employee must leave home before:

  • 7:00 a.m to qualify for breakfast
  • 12:00 p.m. to qualify for lunch: and
  • 6:00 p.m. to qualify for dinner.

4. Employees returning home after 6 p.m. having been out of town all day will qualify for all three meal allowances.

5. Taxi or other transportation costs including parking will be reimbursed based on actual receipts.

6. Incidental costs of $17 per day will be allowed without receipt and will require an overnight stay to claim and are not claimable on the day of return.

7. All lodging in hotels and motels must be claimed with actual receipts.

8. Private lodging can be claimed at $50 per night without receipts.

Out of Province Including International

  1. Daily meal costs will be reimbursed without receipts based on the following:
    1. Breakfast $13
    1. Lunch $20
    1. Dinner $28

Meal costs will be reimbursed based on actual receipts if they are over the amounts stipulated above and are within reason.

2. Claims for alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed under any circumstances.

3. All lodging in motels and hotels must be claimed with actual receipts.

4. Private lodging can be claimed at $50 per night without receipts.

5. Taxi or other transportation costs including parking will be reimbursed based on actual receipts.

6. Incidental costs of $17 per day will be allowed without receipt and will require an overnight stay to claim and are not claimable on the day of return.

Vehicle Travel

  1. General – The University will reimburse authorized mileage driven based on Schedule A at a rate of $.485 per km if below the 54th Parallel ($0.51 per km if above the 54th parallel) This allowance will cover all associated vehicle costs including but not limited to gasoline, oil, insurance, maintenance and repair. No additional claim for any of these costs will be accepted or reimbursed.
  2. Out of Province – When a staff member, Elder or Board Member chooses to travel by car to an out-of-province destination that is also accessible by air, the lesser of mileage driven at $.485 per km or equivalent airfare will be paid. Equivalent airfare will be determined as the cost of having booked an economy flight a minimum of two weeks in advance.
  3. Rented Vehicles – Employees are encouraged to minimize travel costs whenever possible. Depending on destination and length of stay, either a rental car or the use of a personal vehicle could be the most economical way to travel. For example, a same day return trip to Saskatoon would cost the University $250.26 if a personal vehicle is used (516 km @ $0.42) or under $125 if an economy size rental car is used ($75 plus gas), whereas for a full week return trip to Saskatoon, the rental car would likely be more expensive. Employees who must travel as a condition of their job and do not want the wear and tear on their personal vehicle or who feel that the mileage rate is insufficient should rent a vehicle. The University DOES NOT carry liability coverage therefore employees are advised to secure insurance coverage from the car rental company at the time of renting. Vehicles are to be rented in the name of the employee and not the University.

Claiming Expenses

Expenditures must be charged to the University’s fiscal year to which they pertain. The University’s fiscal year end is March 31. All claims for reimbursement of expenditures incurred up to March 31 must be submitted to the Finance Department by April 21. There is no obligation for the University to reimburse claims received after this date.

Processes

  1. Claim Reimbursement – All authorized travel expenditures or per diems are to be recorded on an Expense Claim Form, executed by the employee, authorized by the immediate supervisor, and forwarded to the Department of Finance for processing. Travel claims where air travel was involved must have the flight itinerary and boarding pass attached to verify that the trip was completed.
  2. Requesting a Cash Advance -Travel advances may be available only in unusual circumstances to an employee who is travelling on University business who does not usually travel on behalf of the University. Every effort will be made to eliminate the need for cash advances even in unusual circumstances by booking as many travel expenses as possible to a Corporate Credit Card held by the appropriate member of the Executive Team.
  3. Inconvenience Stipend on Sessional Travel – When vehicle travel is required by a sessional instructor in the delivery of a class or program at a location outside of the campus city coordinating the course offering, then the University will pay a one-time inconvenience stipend per semester when the courses are at the same location, calculated at $340 for travel within 150 kilometers of the coordinating city or $515 for travel beyond 150 kilometers of the coordinating city. The amount will be paid at the end of the semester and will be paid in addition to the regular mileage allowance of $.485 per km allowed for University approved travel.
  4. Air Travel – All air travel arrangements require a Purchase Order prior to booking. All personnel including employees, Elders and Board Members are expected to reduce air travel costs by booking in advance whenever possible and must travel in the most efficient and economical manner possible.
  5. Miscellaneous Expenses – Business meals may only be expensed by an Executive Team member. A list of the people in attendance along with a brief description of the purpose of the meal must be provided with the expense claim. Claims for alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed under any circumstances.
  6. Establishment of Rates & Per Diems – Annually in March to be effective April 1st, the University will review the per diem and mileage rates for the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina as well as those established by other western Canadian universities. The University will normally adopt the rates endorsed by the University of Regina and the Province of Saskatchewan or clearly document the reasons for any difference approved.

Consequences for Noncompliance

Travel claims related to unauthorized travel or travel claimed in excess of policy guidelines will be rejected by the Director, Finance and returned to the employee involved without payment. The employee’s supervisor will also be informed. Significant breeches of this policy could result in discipline, up to and including dismissal.

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