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Travel Authorization and Reimbursement

POLICY STATEMENT
In keeping with State Statute (Section 25-3-41) of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, Delta State University, as a State Institution, will make reimbursement to any officer or employee who is required to travel in the discharge of official duties to the extent of actual, ordinary and necessary costs incurred within those limitations imposed by state law, contractual agreements, or the administrative policies of the University.

DEFINITIONS
 
None
 
PROCEDURES and RESPONSIBILITIES
 
General
The “Travel Authorization Form” is used to authorize travel, to receive travel advances, to pre-pay conference registration, to receive and document authorization to charge to BTA account and to reimburse the traveler. The traveler should complete and submit the travel form to accounts payable within the first week after returning from the trip.
 
Travel Within and Outside the State
Prior approval of the department head or next higher administrator is required, using Delta State University’s “Travel Authorization Form”, when the circumstance of travel is for:
·        Attending in- or out-of-state conventions, associations, conferences, workshops, seminars and clinics.
·        Outside the State of Mississippi but within the United States for reasons other than those listed above.
·        A group organized for unitary purposes.
 
Special Notes: Travel to conventions or association meetings chargeable to grant programs must be correlated to the purpose of the project charged by a statement of justification on the Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Form.
 
Other types of in-state travel do not require prior approval.
 
Travel Outside the Continental Limits of the United States
Prior approval of the Department Head, Dean/Director, Vice President, President, and Board of Trustees, with written concurrence of the Governor and the Department of Finance and Administration is required; using “Request for Approval of International Travel and Reimbursement Form” when travel is outside the continental limits of the United States for University business purposes. Designated funds utilization requires a category description be provided for Board approval.

Section 25-3-41 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, states “No state or federal funds received from any source by any arm or agency of the state shall be expended in traveling outside the continental limits of the United States, until the governing body or head of the agency makes a finding and determination that the travel would be extremely beneficial to the state agency and obtains a written concurrence thereof by the Governor and the Department of Finance and Administration”.

Private funding of International Travel (i.e. funded by employee, Development Foundation, or other private funds not administered by DSU) does not require the estimate of expenses to be completed on a “Travel Authorization Form”). If private funds are utilized, an advance is not allowed.

All international travel must have the President’s original signature. Up to 90 days are required by the State of Mississippi for approval procedures after the President of the University approves the travel.

Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico are outside the continental limits of the United States; therefore, international travel authorization is required when traveling to these locations.

Traveling with Others
 
Staff and Students
DSU employees or students traveling with other DSU employees need individual travel authorizations.
 
For any type of student activity that is held off campus and involves travel, the person in charge of the student group (organization) shall be responsible for attaching to the travel authorization form an approved list of the names of persons participating in the travel.
 
Group of employees attending same conference
State travel regulations do not allow one state employee to claim expenses for another state employee.   A separate travel request should be completed for each employee attending the conference. A copy of the travel requests along with the conference registration form for each employee can be attached to one requisition for the registration fees to be paid by one university check.
 
Other Situations for Which an Additional Travel Authorization is Required
An additional “Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Form” must be filed if:
·        Dates of travel are separated by more than two (2) days.
·        Purpose of the trip changes from that which is stated on original authorization/reimbursement form.
 
Travel in University Vehicle
Employees who use university vehicles that are assigned to a department should adhere to all guidelines that are established by their department for use of the vehicles. Any vehicle used from the vehicle pool at the physical plant should refer to the policy on “Travel by University Pool Vehicle”.
 
Reimbursement Procedures
Employees who seek reimbursement for travel expenses should complete the travel authorization form and submit it to purchasing along with all appropriate signatures and documentation, i.e. hotel receipts, fuel receipts, baggage receipts, etc. Travel authorizations should be submitted within the first five days after the travel is complete. Approved travel reimbursement requests that reach Accounts Payable department by 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday or Thursday will normally be written the next day unless there is a problem.

RELATED DOCUMENTS
  • Section 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated
  • Travel Authorization Form
  • Policy on “Travel by University Pool Vehicle”
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