To establish the policies and procedures for approving School District travel, for the payment of travel per diem, and for the reimbursement of authorized travel expenses, consistent with budgeted allocations.
Travel and Approval Policy
All Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (“District”) employees and officials, including elected and appointed members of boards and committees, must have pre-approved administrative authorization for travel. Travel by School Board members shall be approved by the Board President. The Superintendent shall approve Travel Reimbursement request forms. Expenses incurred for District travel not in compliance with this policy will not be paid or reimbursed.
It is the policy of the District that travel for official business be in the most direct and economical way to accomplish the business. Any expenses resulting from travel by an indirect route or less efficient mode for the traveler’s convenience will be borne by the traveler. Any additional time away from work resulting from such indirect travel shall be charged to employee leave.
Travel shall only be approved for travel that is necessary and prudent and when one or more of the following criteria are met:
- The travel is required to achieve operational, legislative, career development, or service objectives of the District.
- The travel is required to support state or federal efforts, which are beneficial to the District.
- The travel is mandated by the state or federal government.
- The travel is for specific training, which is required for employees to perform District functions, such as training on technological advances or for required certifications.
- The travel is for specific training that will result in a significant cost savings or cost avoidance to the District. Such cost savings or avoidance shall be demonstrated prior to administrator approval of travel.
- The travel is required to attend a national or state board, committee meeting or conference as a District representative, and the exchange of information or participation will result in a benefit to the District.
Employee/Board travel under the following conditions shall not normally be approved when costs are at District expense. When approved, written justification shall have been prepared by the traveler, approved in advance and submitted with the Travel Reimbursement form.
- Travel by first class or business class air accommodations.
- Travel by other than the most economical and/or direct route.
- Rental car class above economy rate.
Use of rental vehicles
The District is self-insured; therefore, if use of a rental vehicle is approved, vehicle insurance is not required. However, District self-insurance is not applicable for any period that the vehicle may be used for personal reasons. Insurance coverage during such periods is the responsibility of the traveler.
If a car is rented during travel and an accident occurs, the traveler shall advise the investigating officers that the District is self-insured and immediately contact Risk Management at (907) 714-2351.
Travel during normal work day
Time spent traveling during normal work hours is considered compensable work time.
Travel and Per Diem Policy
It is the policy of the District to reimburse employees for the following actual and necessary expenses incurred while on official District business, provided the travel was properly authorized and approved in advance.
Air Travel Costs. The District will pay for all costs of air transportation that are directly related to travel on official business. The most economical and direct route possible is the responsibility of the employee.
Travel by privately owned aircraft is not authorized by the District.
Private Vehicle Costs. The District will reimburse travelers for use of their privately owned vehicle at the federally approved mileage rate, not to exceed the cost of coach class airfare. If vehicle travel is used instead of airfare for the employee’s convenience, extra travel time must be charged to employee leave. If two or more employees travel in the same vehicle, the reimbursement will not exceed the cost that would have been incurred had they all traveled by air. Only the driver of the vehicle may claim reimbursement for mileage. Mileage reimbursement rates are set at the federally recognized cost of operating the vehicle. In addition to gas, oil, and wear and tear, this reimbursement rate includes the portion of the cost of insurance for when the vehicle is driven on District business.
District Vehicle and/or Rental Vehicle. The District will reimburse the cost of fuel and other vehicle operating costs actually incurred by the employee. No reimbursement for mileage will be allowed.
Lodging Costs. The District will pay lodging costs (room and applicable tax) only at an economy and single occupancy rate, unless two District employees share a double room and then a double occupancy rate will be paid. Government or other discounted rates shall be requested and used whenever possible. Room tax will not be reimbursed if eligible for exemption.
Per Diem. Rates within the state of Alaska will be reimbursed at the State of Alaska per diem rates for short term travel, and can be found at http://doa.alaska.gov/dof/travel/resource/rates.pdf.
Rates outside the state of Alaska will be based upon the Federal per diem rates, found at www.gsa.gov.
Employees will not be reimbursed for meals paid for separately by the District and meals paid for by others. This includes meals included in registration fees and business meals reimbursed to the traveler or reimbursed to another District traveler. Meals provided by airlines and continental breakfasts do not impact per diem entitlement. Attach a copy of the conference registration or other information documenting covered meals.
The Internal Revenue Service requires that per diem be pro-rated for partial days of travel, which will occur on departure or arrival from the District. The following is the departure and arrival pro-rating. This pro-rating is based on the Internal Revenue Service “consistent application and reasonable business practice” rule; the actual departure and arrival of the aircraft will be used to determine the times. If traveling by private vehicle, the times are based on the actual departure and arrival time from the point of origin.
Employees will be reimbursed for meals according to the time and amount schedules included on E 3360(a) Travel Reimbursement and E3360(b) Mileage Reimbursement.
Per Diem rate adjustments
- Out of state rates are adjusted as needed per www.gsa.gov.
- In state rates are adjusted pursuant to State of Alaska changes.
Per diem or reimbursement allowances may be paid for periods of interruption or extension of travel incurred for the benefit of the District. If travel is interrupted or extended for the personal convenience of the traveler, the per diem or reimbursement allowed shall be adjusted accordingly and may not exceed that which would have been incurred by uninterrupted travel. Charges applicable to the personal portion of travel costs should not be processed through the District’s accounting records.
Car Rental Costs. The District will reimburse economy car rental costs only if car rental is pre-approved by administration, and then only for the days/mileage necessary to conduct official business. In unusual circumstances, reimbursement for car rental without pre-authorization may be authorized by the approving authority if there is valid justification. Car rental expenses without pre-authorization may become the responsibility of the traveler.
Registration Fees. The District may make advance payment or reimbursement for education/training fees. Fees for entertainment, spouse activities, and similar expenses are the responsibility of the traveler and will not be paid by the District.
Other Expenses. The District will reimburse taxi, telephone calls, internet fees and other official expenses when employee provides receipts and when shown to be directly related to official business. Movie rentals, personal telephone calls, etc., will not be reimbursed.
Travel Advance. The District may make travel advance payments when requested, not to exceed the estimated amount of per diem. Payment requests should be submitted in sufficient time that payment can be made on the regularly scheduled accounts payable check run date prior to the traveler’s scheduled departure date. A Travel Reimbursement form must be completed for any adjustment to the amount paid upon the traveler’s return.
- The Superintendent shall approve all travel for all District employees, including committee members.
- The Board President or designee shall approve all travel for all Board members.
- Department heads and administrators shall:
The Chief Financial Officer shall:
- Ensure that District funds are spent in a prudent manner resulting in maximum benefit to the District.
- Ensure the travel requested is budgeted within the department/location budget.
- Ensure that reimbursement is received by the District when the employee reimbursement form indicates that reimbursement for all or part of the expenses is due from an outside agency.
- Ensure that travel has been approved prior to making any travel related payments, i.e., hotel deposits or registration fees.
- Review all travel reimbursement requests to ensure that travel payments and reimbursements are made in accordance with this policy/procedure.
- Require specific justification for actual expenses that deviate more than ten percent (10%) higher than authorized. Depending on the circumstances and amount of the deviation, the travel expense report may be forwarded to the Superintendent for review and approval.
- Incur only those expenses that are necessary and reasonable to accomplish the approved purpose of the trip.
- Maintain a travel log or other record of travel dates and expenses to sufficiently itemize and support business expenses, obtain original receipts needed for reimbursement of lodging, car rental, gasoline, and other expenses.
- Submit original itemized receipts that indicate purpose, date, and amount.
- Ensure all business expenses incurred and submitted for reimbursement are in compliance with this policy/procedure.
- Submit travel reimbursement request within 30 days after travel has been completed.
- Submit all Travel Reimbursement requests and Mileage Reimbursement requests on a monthly basis.