Purpose:

This policy applies to any employee, student, or other non-UA individual who incurs travel, entertainment, and/or business expenses on behalf of the University of Alabama and seeks reimbursement from the University. The University will reimburse for travel, entertainment, and business expenses as defined in this policy to ensure compliance with Federal and state laws as well as University policies and procedures.

Policy Statement:

This policy applies to all person’s traveling on University business. Travelers should plan their travel in the manner that will be most economical to the University. This includes utilizing the most economical route and mode of transportation available and working to obtain the lowest possible rates or fares. This policy has been developed to ensure that individuals traveling for the University do not incur inappropriate or excessive expenses on behalf of the University and also do not inappropriately gain from the University. Exceptions to normal policies may be authorized at the discretion of the Director of Procurement Services and/or the Associate Vice President of Finance.

This policy is not intended to cover every possible situation. Special travel requirements or items of an unusual nature that are not covered in this policy should be discussed with Accounts Payable. University departments, schools, or other funding sources can establish more stringent requirements than this policy.

Policy:

2.1 Roles and Responsibilities

2.1.1 Traveler

The traveler requesting reimbursement or payment bears the responsibility to:

  • Obtain and submit appropriate documentation of travel costs.
  • Verify all expenses being reimbursed or paid by the University are valid and conform to this policy. While the traveler may delegate responsibility for completing Expense Reports, the traveler retains accountability for ensuring submitted expenses are in accordance with this policy.
  • Verify flight and hotel arrangements and ensure the schedule and booking are correct. Charges associated with scheduling errors are not allowable. While the traveler may delegate responsibility to a travel arranger to book travel, travelers are responsible for any scheduling errors made by a travel arranger.

By submitting an expense for reimbursement, the traveler is acknowledging acceptance of the terms and conditions of the reimbursement. The traveler is also attesting that the expenses for reimbursement have not been previously paid through a prior submitted Expense Report, cash advance, University Purchasing Card (P-Card) or by an outside agency or other third party.

Individuals enter travel status when they leave their base. Base is defined as the employee’s primary residence or work location, whichever is closest to the travel destination. Work location is defined as the institution or office location to which an employee is assigned.

2.1.2 Approver

The approver is the individual authorized to approve the expenditures of others. The approver is responsible for:

  • Reviewing Expense Reports and associated documentation to verify that all expenses are allowable and adequately substantiated. While an approver may delegate the responsibility of approving Expense Reports, the approver retains accountability for ensuring all approved expenses are in accordance with this policy.
  • Reviewing and approving Expense Reports in a timely manner.
  • Approving Expense Reports and attesting to the appropriateness of the expenditures.

2.1.3 Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable is responsible for reviewing Expense Reports prior to processing reimbursement to verify that expenses are reasonable and supported by appropriate documentation and meet the criteria established within this policy.

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2.2 Concur

Concur is the University’s online booking and expense reporting system for all employees and travelers.

  • Requesting Travel Approval
    Concur Request should be used to obtain approval for international travel from designated University personnel. Concur will also be used to notify other appropriate University parties of international travel.  For more information regarding International Travel Requests, please see the UA Concur website.
  • Booking Travel
    Airfare, rental cars, and hotels should be booked using the Concur Booking Tool or through the University’s travel management company (TMC). For more information, please see the UA Concur website.It is preferred that UA employees utilize the Concur Booking Tool to book airline tickets, hotels, and car rentals for official University travel. Travelers with international or complex itineraries are encouraged to contact the TMC for assistance. While the Concur Booking Tool is preferred, the University will reimburse travelers for self-booked travel through other means.
  • Requesting Reimbursement and Reconciling P-Card Charges
    Concur Expense must be used by UA employees to request reimbursement for allowable travel expenses and to reconcile any travel related P-Card transactions. Travel for UA guests or students paid for by a UA P-Card should be reconciled in Concur Expense. These should be submitted in Concur Expense using the Travel, Entertainment, and Reimbursements Policy Reports, hereafter referred to as Expense Reports. For more information, please see the UA Concur website.
  • Requesting Payment to Non-UA Employees
    Concur Invoice must be used to submit a Payment Request to reimburse non-UA individuals who travelled and incurred expenses on behalf of the University. For the purpose of this policy, Payment Requests to reimburse non-UA individuals for travel related expenses are equivalent to Expense Reports. For more information, please see the UA Concur website.

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2.3 Using the University Purchasing Card

The University Purchasing Card (P-Card) is the preferred method of payment for conference registration fees, airfare, allowable ground transportation, parking fees, and lodging.

The P-Card cannot be used for personal meals while in travel status, cash, or personal expenses nor can the P-Card be used to pay for any expenses covered by in-state per diem (lodging, meals, and gratuities). As in-state per diem does not apply to UA students and guests, lodging, meals, and gratuities for these travelers may be charged to the P-Card.

Please see the Purchasing Card Services website for further guidance on using the P-Card.

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2.4 Expense Reports and Required Documentation

Expense Reports must be submitted after completion of the trip but within 60 days of travel. Expense Reports submitted subsequent to 60 days after the completion date of the trip will be treated as income subject to withholding according to federal tax regulations (26 CFR 1.62-2). Tax withholding will be deducted from a subsequent salary check.

In order for a travel expense to be approved and processed, the expense must be properly substantiated. Itemized receipts for all expenses greater than or equal to $75 are required, unless otherwise noted in this policy.

When receipts are unavailable, the University may consider accepting the following documentation of incurred expenses:

  • Canceled check or imaged check copy from bank or online banking system
  • Copy of bank statement plus carbon of check from checkbook
  • Customer copy credit card slip
  • Credit card statement reflecting travel charges
  • Bank statement which lists payee and amount

When the receipt for an expense greater than or equal to $75 is lost or otherwise unavailable, and all measures to obtain a copy have been exhausted, the employee will be required to submit a missing receipt affidavit with the Expense Report.
The UA employee submitting the Expense Report should maintain copies of all required documentation until payment is made in case questions arise.

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2.5 Approvals

The University requires that all Expense Reports be approved by the supervisor of the employee who is submitting the Expense Report. Additionally, Expense Reports will be routed to the appropriate budgetary approver(s) based on the FOAPAL information included in the report. Expense Reports will be routed to the appropriate Foundation approver(s) and/or Contract and Grant approver(s) where applicable.

In order to be reimbursed from Contract and Grant funds, the Expense Report must include an attached signed statement from the principal investigator or project director officially responsible for the contract or grant account; this person may not delegate this responsibility.

Expense Reports submitted by the University Vice Presidents for Community Affairs and Financial Affairs must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost. Expense Reports submitted by the University Vice Presidents for Strategic Communications, Research & Economic Development, Student Affairs, and University Advancement, and the Executive Vice President and Provost must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Financial Affairs. Expense Reports submitted by the President must be reviewed and approved by the Chancellor.

At any point in the approval process, an approver may forward the Expense Report for additional approvals. Once the additional approval has been provided, the Expense Report will resume routing through the workflow.

By approving the Expense Report, the supervisor is certifying the submitted expenses are in accordance with this policy. An approver may delegate the responsibility of approving Expense Reports.

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2.6 Contract and Grant Travel

If a UA employee’s travel is funded by a contract or grant, that employee should obtain guidance from the University’s Contract and Grant Accounting office. Payment will be subject to the University’s travel policies.

The University’s federal contract and grant funds may not, by federal law, be used to fund business entertainment expenses incurred during official travel.

Travel may be charged to a grant or contract at the lower of the amount allowed by the University or the amount allowed by the funding agency. The employee’s department may agree to be charged for the difference if the amount allowed by the funding agency is lower.

International Travel on Contract or Grant Funds
Before using federal contract or grant funds to travel internationally, employees must review the terms and conditions of the grant to verify the sponsor’s requirements in regard to prior approval requirements associated with international travel. Federally sponsored travel outside of the continental U.S. may require the use of a U.S. carrier. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs for additional information regarding the application of the below requirements.

Fly America Act
The Fly America Act (FAA) requires the use of a U.S. air carrier for federally funded foreign travel. In some instances, a non-U.S. air carrier may be used if it meets one or more of the exception criteria listed in the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) guidelines section 301-10.135-138.

Open Skies Agreement
The Open Skies Agreement provides that qualifying travelers, whose travel is supported by federal funds, may travel on airlines headquartered outside of the United States in countries where bilateral/multilateral agreements exist. For a listing of Open Skies Partners, visit the U.S. Department of State website. For the Open Skies Agreement exception to be allowed and selected in the Fly America Waiver Checklist, two criteria must be met:

1. Travel is not being reimbursed by the Department of State or the Department of Defense; and

2. The traveler ensures the air courier is Open Skies Compliant. More information about the agreement is available at the U.S. General Services Administration website.

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2.7 Other Travel Considerations

2.7.1 Travel during Sabbatical Leave

With prior approval from the Provost, travel expenses incurred during a sabbatical leave period may be paid if for official travel in the performance of University duties.

2.7.2 Travel Advances

The University of Alabama does not advance funds for employee travel expenses.

2.7.3 Trip Modification and Cancellation Fees

If conflicting University business or a compelling personal reason (illness, death in the family) requires cancellation of an official trip, credits and refunds should be applied back to the P-Card. Reimbursement may be requested for non-refundable out-of-pocket travel expenses incurred before the cancellation.

2.7.4 Combined Personal and Business Travel

If personal travel is combined with business travel, only the business portion of the trip is allowable. When an expenses is a combined business and personal expense, the P-Card should not be used. The individual should pay for the total expense out-of-pocket and submit the business portion of the expense for reimbursement.

In cases where official travel is interrupted or deviates from the most direct travel routes for personal reasons, the University will not be responsible for any costs associated with the deviation.

2.7.5 Rewards/Frequent Flyer Programs

The University will not reimburse travelers for travel expenses paid for with rental car rewards, hotel points, frequent flyer miles, or other rewards programs. Travelers may retain accumulated rewards program benefits; however, if the traveler books a more expensive travel arrangement solely based on a rewards program, the cost differential is unallowable. Rewards program benefits should not influence travel selections.

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2.8 Air Travel

2.8.1 Fares, Upgrades, Fees

When traveling by commercial airline on official University business, travelers should plan well in advance in order to obtain the most economical fare available. Only coach/economy fares are allowable. Any upgrades, early boarding fees, seat selection fees, ticket life insurance, and ticket cancellation insurance are not allowable. Baggage fees that are reasonable and appropriate for the purpose and length of the trip are allowable.

2.8.2 Changes, Cancellations, and Unused Airline Tickets

It is the traveler’s responsibility to verify flight arrangements and ensure all bookings are correct. Charges associated with scheduling errors are not allowable. Travelers are responsible for any scheduling errors made by a travel arranger.

When travel plans change for any reason, the traveler should notify the University’s travel agency to apply the unused ticket to any upcoming business trips.

If the traveler chooses to change an air reservation for personal reasons, the flight change fee is not allowable.

2.8.3 Early Arrival/Late Departure Fees

If a traveler chooses to extend a portion of a trip to take advantage of reduced airfare, the traveler must reconcile the standard economy airfare with the reduced airfare, the additional hotel and meal expenses, and any other expenses that were incurred due to the change in either the arrival or departure time. This reconciliation should be submitted with the Expense Report.

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2.9 Ground Transportation

2.9.1 Taxis, Shuttles, Ride Sharing Services

Taxis, shuttles, and ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft are allowable if use of the service is the most economical mode of transportation or when safety issues justify the use.

2.9.2 Rental Car

Rental cars are allowable when the use of the rental vehicle is the most economical mode of transportation (e.g., taxi, Uber, rail) or when safety issues justify the use. The University does not accept transportation for sight-seeing as justification for renting a vehicle.

Car Class and Features
Rental of up to an intermediate size vehicle is allowable. Larger vehicles may be allowable if there are three or more individuals traveling together, if the traveler is transporting a large amount of equipment, or if another valid business need exists.

Fuel for Rented Automobiles
Travelers should decline the pre-paid fuel option and refuel the rental car prior to returning to the rental agency. The cost of business-related fuel for rental cars is allowable.

Documentation
The receipt and rental agreement, regardless of amount, must be attached to the Expense Report. Receipts for refueling the rental car should be submitted if in excess of $75. If a vehicle is being used for both personal and University travel, note the proportion of personal use on the voucher. Only the portion related to official University business will be allowable.

Insurance
When renting a vehicle, The University of Alabama should appear somewhere on the rental agreement, so both the driver and the vehicle are covered by the University’s self-insurance program and excess liability insurance. If the rental agent cannot or is unwilling to add The University of Alabama on the rental agreement, as requested by the University’s insurer, please write ―Rented on behalf of The University of Alabama for Reimbursable Business Travel and ask the rental agent to initial the agreement. The University’s liability insurance program is self-insured and the Alabama Department of Public Safety has issued a self-insurance certificate as authorization to serve as a substitute of traditional liability insurance. The University does purchase comprehensive and collision insurance for damage to vehicles rented at destination only. Consequently, the traveler should NOT purchase insurance from rental car agencies. The University’s coverage has a deductible of $1,000 on collision. Should the rental car agency request insurance verification, please provide a copy of our Self–Insurance Authorization Certificate.

The purchase of insurance is allowed when an automobile is rented outside of the United States. The purchase of insurance is also allowed in situations where non-employees are acting as volunteers or contracted parties are providing a service to the University, and the rental car expense is reimbursed by the University.

Prior to leaving the rental car location, the vehicle must be inspected and any damage is to be noted on the rental agreement and acknowledged in writing by a representative of the rental car company. When returning the vehicle, the vehicle should be inspected and if any damage was sustained while in the possession of the renter, an accident report should be filed with the rental car company and a copy provided to Risk Management.

2.9.3 Private Vehicle

Use of personal automobiles for business travel is reimbursable when it is the most economical mode of transportation or when safety issues justify the additional cost.

Mileage Reimbursement
The traveler will be reimbursed up the current IRS authorized mileage rate for miles incurred. Current IRS mileage rates are maintained on the Accounts Payable website.

The University will reimburse the round-trip mileage between the traveler’s base and destination or for the actual miles traveled from origin to destination and back, whichever is less. Mileage related to a commute from the traveler’s home to his or her primary work location is not allowable.

Airfare-In-Lieu of Mileage
Reimbursement for round trip mileage cannot exceed the cost of a round-trip flight. Reimbursement will be made at the current mileage rate or the lowest discounted airfare whichever is lower. This is called airfare-in-lieu of mileage.

Travel within Tuscaloosa
Frequent local travel within Tuscaloosa city limits should be maintained on a mileage log and submitted at appropriate intervals via an Expense Report to claim reimbursement. Travel to and from a work location may not be reimbursed. The mileage log must include the date, destination, and reason for the trip, along with the recorded mileage and must be attached the Expense Report as documentation.

Under normal circumstances, intra-campus travel will not be reimbursed. However, if extenuating circumstances exist, documentation of these circumstances must be submitted with the Expense Report.

2.9.4 Bus or Rail

Travel by bus or rail is allowable when it is less expensive than alternative transportation. Rail fare that exceeds the cost of the 14-day coach/economy airfare will only be allowed up to the airfare amount. Receipts, including method of payment, must be submitted with the Expense Report.

2.9.5 University Fleet Vehicle

The University maintains a fleet of sedans and vans that employees and students may use for official University travel. University-owned vehicles are available on a first- come, first-serve basis to properly licensed adults who are employed by or enrolled in the University. A valid driver’s license and current Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) are required.

Vehicle reservation forms are available on the Fleet Services website. Vehicles can be also reserved by contacting Fleet Services at 348-4800 or email fleet@bama.ua.edu. Authorized travelers may use a University gasoline credit card to buy fuel for University vehicles only when on official business.

2.9.6 Tolls and Parking Charges

When private vehicles or rental cars are used for official travel, any parking and/or toll charges incurred are allowable. Valet parking is only allowed when no other option is available or when safety concerns justify the use. An explanation for valet parking will be required with the Expense Report.

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2.10 In-State Travel for UA Employees

When a University employee travels within the state of Alabama on official University business, the employee is reimbursed on a per diem basis for expenses other than transportation in accordance with the per diem regulations in the Code of Alabama 1975, 36-7-20 through 36-7-23, as amended. Current per diem rates are maintained on the Accounts Payable website.

In-State travel expenses covered by per diem, such as lodging, meals, and gratuities, cannot be charged to the P-Card.

2.10.1 Overnight Stay Required

When an employee’s official travel requires an overnight stay, the per diem reimbursement for each day or portion of a day will be at the current per diem rate.

Employees within reasonable travel distance from their base are expected to return to base. Individual circumstance will determine what is reasonable, but generally a trip of 100 miles or less one-way may not require an overnight stay. If an overnight stay is necessary for travel less than 100 miles, a business purpose statement is required on the Expense Report detailing why the overnight stay was necessary.

2.10.2 No Overnight Stay Required

When an employee’s official travel does not require an overnight stay, the University will reimburse that employee for meals depending upon the length of the employee’s travel as established by Code of Alabama 1975, 36-7-20.

No travel allowance shall be paid for a trip of less than six hours duration. For travel of more than six hours which does not include an overnight stay, the University will reimburse that employee for a meal allowance according to the current per diem rates.

Meal allowances for travel not requiring an overnight stay will be treated as taxable income per IRS rulings (Revenue Rulings 75-170 and 75-432). Tax withholding will be deducted from a subsequent salary check.

2.10.3 Waiving Per Diem

Only an employee can decide to waive per diem. A University department cannot force an employee to waive per diem. An employee can choose to waive all or part of his or her per diem. When an employee’s travel expenses are less than the per diem allowance, the employee may choose to be reimbursed for the actual cost of travel.

An employee who chooses to waive all or part of his or her per diem should indicate this in the Expense Report by selecting the Waive Per Diem check box and entering the desired amount between $0.00 and the allowable per diem.

2.10.4 Restrictions

Under no circumstances will an employee be paid an overnight travel allowance at the official station, base or primary residence. No meal allowance will be paid if the traveler remains in the city where his/her home or base is located.

2.10.5 Exceptions

As established in the Code of Alabama 1975, 36-7-21, employees traveling within the state of Alabama to attend a convention, conference, seminar or other meeting of a state or national organization of which the state or individual is a dues-paying member may be reimbursed for their actual expenses for meals and lodging in addition to the actual expenses for transportation. In-state travel authorized under this section is subject to the same requirements as non-in-state travel for UA employees.

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2.11 Lodging

Accommodations should be prudently planned in order to serve the best interests of the University at the most reasonable cost. For all employee travel outside of the state of Alabama and all non-employee travel regardless of destination, UA will reimburse actual costs of lodging up to $250 per night before taxes. Conference rates in excess of $250 per night are allowable. Any lodging rate $250 per night before tax requires additional explanation from the traveler as to why the lodging rate was necessary.

An itemized folio is required to substantiate all lodging expenses, even if under the $75 receipt threshold. Credit card authorization slips are unacceptable. The dates of occupancy, the number of nights, and the total amount charged for lodging must be indicated on the folio. The folio should also indicate if the rate was a conference rate. If not, other supporting documentation for the conference rate should be provided.

The P-Card is the preferred payment method for lodging expenses. If using a personal credit card as method of payment, supporting documentation is required to verify a personal card was used and not the P-Card.

Home-Sharing/Rental Services
Home-sharing services such as AirBnB and VRBO must be reviewed prior to booking to ensure the safety of all UA travelers. Contract Management must review any contracts or agreements containing terms and/or conditions for the home-sharing/rental. If related to UA student travel, the property must also be reviewed and approved by Risk Management. After all approvals are obtained, the traveler may reserve the property. The above stated nightly limits apply to lodging reserved through a home-sharing or rental service.

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2.12 Meals and Incidental Expenses

Meals and incidentals for partial day trips for UA employees with no overnight stay will be reimbursed depending upon the length of travel in the same method as In-state travel.  In-state partial day per diems will apply regardless of the travel destination.

Meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) will be reimbursed for UA employees for overnight travel outside of the state of Alabama using a per diem method of a flat sum to cover expenses for each travel day. This amount is a per diem and will be paid to the traveler based on the days of travel and the travel destination.

Meals and incidental expenses for non-UA employees regardless of travel destination will be reimbursed based on actual expenses including gratuities up to the established GSA rate for the Continental United States (CONUS).

Incidental expenses covered by the M&IE per diem include fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships.

  • The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) establishes per diem rates for destinations within the Continental United States (CONUS). GSA rates can be found on the GSA website at www.gsa.gov/perdiem. If the city or county of the travel destination is not listed, then the standard CONUS M&IE rate applies.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) establishes per diem rates for overseas non-foreign areas such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The DOD rates can be found on the DOD’s Per Diem, Travel, and Transportation Allowance website at www.defensetravel.dod.mil.
  • The U.S. State Department establishes per diem rates for the foreign overseas locations (for example, Canada, Aruba, Bahamas, Europe, etc.). The State Department rates can be found on State Department’s website at https://aoprals.state.gov by selecting the country of the travel destination and searching for the appropriate city or region of travel.

Note all per diem rates will be housed in Concur.

On the first and last travel day, travelers are only eligible for 75 percent of the total M&IE rate for the travel destination.

The GSA provides a breakout of each per diem rate into separate amounts for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and incidental expenses. If a traveler’s trip includes meals that are already paid for by the University or by a third party (such as through a registration fee for a conference), the traveler should use the GSA meal amounts to deduct those meals from the per diem.

Meals while in travel status are not allowable on the P-Card. Meals that are classified as business entertainment with a documented business purpose are allowed on the P-Card subject to the conditions regarding business entertainment included in the UA Spending Policy.

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2.13 International Travel

In accordance with Board Rule 413, prior approval must be obtained from the President or his designee for international travel.  To that end, the President has delegated this authority to the appropriate Vice Presidents.  The Vice Presidents’ may elect to further delegate this authority to the appropriate dean, director, or supervisor.

Travel is considered international when it occurs anywhere outside the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or Canada.

When submitting an expense incurred in a foreign currency in Concur, the traveler should include the city of purchase with the expense. By doing so, the traveler can submit the expense in the local currency, and Concur will translate the amount to U.S. dollars using the appropriate exchange rate.

P-Card transactions processed through another country will be subject to an international transaction fee imposed by the bank. No documentation will be required for these fees.

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2.14 Miscellaneous Travel Expenses

Conferences
To claim reimbursement for conference registration fees, the attendee should submit any available conference brochures or other literature documenting the expense. A receipt, including the dollar amount and proof of payment must be submitted with the Expense Report.

Telephone & Internet
Phone calls, internet access, and fax expenses that are reasonable and necessary for conducting business while traveling are allowable.

Gratuities
Gratuities are covered by both in-state per diems and GSA per diems. Any gratuities not covered by per diems and paid to food servers, taxi drivers, room cleaning staff, etc. deemed by administration to be reasonable and necessary are allowable. A gratuity of 20% is the generally accepted amount, but there may be cases in which 20% is exceeded. Gratuities exceeding 25% will require the next level of approval acknowledgement.

International Passports and Visas
Expenses related to visa and passports required for business travel are allowable. Passports are only allowable if the traveler does not currently have an issued passport and must obtain one for official University travel. Costs to renew currently issued passports are not allowable.

Laundry Expenses
Expenses related to laundry and/or dry cleaning charges that are reasonable and necessary will be allowable only when travel exceeds four or more consecutive nights and the charges were incurred while traveling.

2.15 Prohibited Travel Expenses

The following expenses are not allowable.

  • Purchases of alcoholic beverages.
  • Application fees related to trusted traveler programs such as TSA Pre-Check and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry Program.
  • Expenses related to personal travel.
  • Travel expenses incurred by spouses, companions, or other family members except as stated in Spouse/Family Travel section.
  • Medical expenses. However, if during official travel a traveler becomes incapacitated by an illness or injury covered by the University sick leave policy, the individual’s travel status may be continued.
  • Costs of safe charges, in-room movies, and recreational activities (even when such activities are part of a business meeting or conference) and excursions.
  • Charges of traffic or parking violations, or other expenses incurred such as lost keys or keys locked in vehicles.

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2.16 Non-UA Employee Travel

2.16.1 Professional Services/Independent Contractor

If a professional service agreement provides for a fee plus travel expenses, reimbursement is made according to the agreement signed by the parties but must be in accordance with this policy. Please see the Professional Services Policy on the Professional Services website for guidance in regards to Professional Services.

2.16.2 Volunteers

Individuals who perform services for the University of Alabama without receiving compensation for those services are considered volunteers. Volunteers are eligible for actual travel expense payments in accordance with this policy when they meet all of the following three conditions:

  1. The volunteer is traveling at the specific request of the University on official University business.
  2. The volunteer does not receive compensation from any source for performing this service for the University.
  3. The volunteer is not an employee of The University of Alabama or of any other state entity that would subject the volunteer to state per diem regulations

Reimbursement for Volunteer Travel
Requests for travel expense reimbursement for volunteers should be submitted to Accounts Payable via an Invoice Payment Request by the department for which the service was performed. The service performed by the volunteer should be described in detail and the volunteer’s eligibility for reimbursement established on the Invoice Payment Request. It should be clearly stated on the voucher that no fee for services is being paid.

An itemized record and all receipts for the actual transportation, lodging, meals, and miscellaneous expenses incurred by the volunteer should be submitted with the Invoice Payment Request.

2.16.3 Prospective Employees

It is the policy of the University to invite prospective faculty or staff to visit the campus. The prospective faculty or staff member may invite his/her spouse/companion to accompany him/her on the campus visit. Travel for prospective employees must adhere to the requirements in this policy.

2.16.4 Spouse/Companion Travel

As a general practice, travel expenses, including but not limited to transportation, lodging, meals, or registration fees, for spouses/companions are not allowable. However, in some cases approval may be granted to pay these expenses from a foundation account.

Per IRS regulations, the value of the travel provided for an employee’s spouse/companion is taxable income to the employee unless there is a valid business purpose for the spouse/companion travel. In order to document a business purpose, the following information must be submitted for payment of these expenses:

  • What business purpose did the spouse/companion serve? (Agenda of activities, functions attended, duties performed, etc.)
  • How did the University benefit by the spouse/companion’s presence on the trip?

If no business purpose is documented, tax withholding will be deducted from a subsequent salary check.

Stay with Family
The University does not reimburse for stays with family.

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2.17 Faculty and Staff Retreats

Departments planning retreats should contact Accounts Payable for detailed instructions regarding retreat planning and expenditure approval.

2.17.1 Agenda and Participant List

A retreat agenda, along with a list of all retreat participants and speakers/trainers, must be included with the Expense Report. This information serves as documentation of group expenditures.

2.17.2 Reimbursement for Retreats

Travel expenses, including the actual cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and miscellaneous expenses, incurred by employees while participating in a University of Alabama retreat are considered reimbursable employee travel expenses.

In-State Retreats
Travel expenses for in-state retreats will be reimbursed in the same manner as other in-state travel expenses if participants incur out-of-pocket expenses for food, lodging, and gratuities.

Reimbursement for lodging, meals, and other services will not be made to retreat participants when all expenses and gratuities are paid directly by the retreat organizer to the vendors furnishing the accommodations, meals, and services. In such cases, participants are not eligible for per diem reimbursement.

Out-of-State Retreats
Travel expenses for out-of-state retreats will be paid in the same manner as other travel expenses if participants incur out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-Travel Expenses
Non-travel expenses, such as class materials or conference room fees, are not subject to state per diem restrictions and are allowable.

Official Policy

The signed version of this policy is available in PDF format by clicking here.  Every effort has been made to keep this page in sync with the official policy. However, if any inconsistencies are located, the official policy will be followed.

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