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Travel Policy
Scope
This travel policy shall be for employees and elected officials who travel on City business for distances of 50 miles or more from Saint Paul. The City Mileage Policy shall be used for distances of less than 50 miles from Saint Paul.

Authorization

All City employees must obtain written approval from their Department Director prior to travel.

Prior to approval, the Department Director is responsible to be sure the proposed travel has been authorized in the council approved budget.


Exceptions
Any exceptions to this travel policy must be explained and approved or denied by the Director of the department / office through which the employee travels. The Department Director is responsible for approved exceptions.

Travel Time

Department Directors will be responsible for determining the number of days allowed for travel.

If a reduced airfare requires an employee to spend an additional non-work day in the destination city, and if the reduced airfare totals more than the Runzheimer per diem, then the employee will be reimbursed for the extra day's lodging and meals expense.

Any excess travel time falling within the normally scheduled work week will be at the employee's own expense.


Travel Advances

Travel advances are available for approved employee travel.

The travel advance must be approved by the Department/Office Director. The amount will be determined by referring to the Runzheimer Meal-Lodging Cost Index. Amounts prepaid by the City are excluded from the amount of travel advance.

Advances are issued within ten working days prior to travel. Any prior advances must be reconciled before an additional advance is approved. The Office of Financial Services Accounting Section is authorized to deduct the amount advanced by a pay adjustment on the employee's payroll check if a completed travel expense record is not submitted within 15 days of return from a trip.


Credit Card
Employees are eligible to be issued an individual credit card by American Express. These cards are for individual employees, with the employee liable for all charges on the card. This card may be used by the employee for hotel guarantees or in lieu of a cash advance.

Transportation
Transportation expenses incurred for travel by any means will be reimbursed according to the method of travel to the amount reimbursable for travel by air.
  • By Air - Travel by air will be reimbursed for the lowest cost air fare available for one person traveling from the boarding port to the port of destination and return. The department authorizing travel by air must pay the cost of cancellation of non-refundable ticketing, lost tickets or reissue / change of ticket.
  • Your Own Vehicle - Travel by your personal vehicle will be reimbursed for mileage as taken from an official highway map at the same cents per mile as is stated in the current City Mileage Plan, which amount covers all expenses traveling to and from the destination. If more than one employee rides in the vehicle, only the owner of the vehicle will be reimbursed for vehicle travel. The employee will be responsible for all fines and damage or liability due to an accident.
  • City-Owned Vehicle - Travel by City-owned vehicle will be reimbursed for operating costs of the vehicle (receipts required) to and from the destination.
  • By Bus or Train - Travel by commercial bus or train will be reimbursed for bus or train fare to and from the destination.
  • Taxi - Taxi fare will be reimbursed for transportation between the employee's home and the airport (or vice versa), and from the destination airport to the place of lodging or to the meeting site (or vice versa). Limousine service should be used if it is reasonably available. The public purpose for any other taxi fares must be explained. Receipts are required for fares in excess of $15.
  • Automobile Rental - No reimbursement will be made for expenses of automobile rental unless there is prior approval by the Department Director. The employee will be responsible for all fines, damage or liability due to an accident.

Parking
Parking expense incurred at the final destination place of lodging is reimbursable when traveling by automobile. Airport parking expense can be reimbursed to the amount of taxi fare from employee's home to airport, whichever is less.

Lodging

Lodging expense will be reimbursed for either the actual amount paid, or for the average single (one person) room rate as shown in the Runzheimer Meal-Lodging Cost Index for the City stayed in plus 10%, whichever is less. A two-person room rate will be reduced to a single person room rate if one of the persons staying in the room is a non-city employee.

If an employee is attending a conference, reimbursement will be made for the single (one person) room rate, at the conference facility. A conference facility is either directly at the site of the conference or listed in the brochure as a conference hotel.

Lodging expense incurred en route to a final destination will not be reimbursed. Any exceptions are to be approved by the Department Director.


Meals

Reimbursement for meals will be made for either the actual amount paid or the average daily cost as shown in the Runzheimer Meal-Lodging Cost Index for the particular City, whichever is less. Meal expense is pro-rated for part days. Tips and sales tax are included in the meal price of the Runzheimer Meal-Lodging Cost Index. Receipts are not required as long as total per day is lower than Runzheimer Meal-Lodging Cost Index and no single meal is greater than $25.

Meal expenses incurred en route to a destination will not be reimbursed.


Miscellaneous
  • Tips will be reimbursed for baggage handling and miscellaneous tipping. Meal tips are included in the meal price allowed.
  • Registration and supplies (i.e., for conferences) will be reimbursed, if necessary to the trip; however, the employee must provide receipts for such expenditures, if separate from conference fees.
  • Fees for Travelers checks are reimbursable.
  • Telephone calls of a business nature will be reimbursed when identified on the expense record.
  • Telephone calls of a personal nature will be reimbursed up to a maximum of one three-minute call per three days, at the department and office director's discretion.
  • Reimbursement will be made for laundry expenses if the employee is on a trip of more than four days.
  • No reimbursement will be made for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  • Expenditures for items not listed in the Travel Policy are not reimbursable.
  • Reimbursement for toll fees will be made when traveling by your personal vehicle.

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