To provide a standard policy for employees,
elected and appointed officials traveling on city business.
RESPONSIBLE DEPARTMENT: Direction of the City Manager’s Office
The following rules are applicable to all
City Employee(s), Elected Officials and Appointed Officials (hereafter referred
to as City employees) traveling on approved City business:
of this Travel Policy and Procedures is to establish uniform regulations
governing expenses incurred by employees who travel out of the area on necessary
City of Show Low business. These policies shall apply to all City employees
when traveling away from their normal designated place of employment.
Exceptions to these policies may only be granted by formal written approval of
the City Manager, or his/her designee.
Requests for reimbursement of travel expenses will not be paid for travel
expenses that have not previously been authorized. Employees should consult the
Travel Policy and Procedures prior to undertaking any travel. All Travel
Requisitions must be submitted to the Finance Department for review prior to
travel in accordance with instructions provided.
also City policy that employee requests for the reimbursement of necessary
expenses incurred while traveling on authorized City business be processed in an
accurate, efficient, and timely manner.
When personal travel is co-mingled with City
business travel, the benchmark to be used in these situations is business is
business and personal is personal. Employees are required to separate business
expenses from personal expenses when submitting their Travel Requisition expense
form, and when making payment with a City credit card. Only allowable expenses
should be made on City credit cards. Travel requirements for the City supersede
all personal travel requirements.
Please remember that employee travel is
always subject to public disclosure and therefore additional accounting and
scrutiny is required by the employee and the City to separate City business
travel from any personal travel. The City is a public entity; therefore, it is
the responsibility of the employee to maintain correct and proper records to
report only authorized City business related expenses when filing Travel
1. All travel shall be authorized and approved as
appropriate by the applicable department director, City Manager, the Finance
Department on a City of Show Low Travel Authorization & Expense form (attached
as Exhibit 1, and is accessible in PDF fillable format on the City’s web-site).
2. Travel Authorization & Expense forms must be submitted
to the applicable department director a minimum of one week prior to travel if a
per diem travel advance is requested. Requests submitted less than one week
prior to travel may result in out-of-pocket expenses to the employee,
reimbursable after travel occurs only upon submittal of a completed Travel
Authorization & Expense form to the applicable department director, documenting
all expenses together with original receipts. Approved claims will then be
forwarded to the Finance Department for processing.
3. A copy of the conference/seminar brochure that the
employee is attending must be attached to the original request for Travel
Authorization and Expense Form.
4. Final approval for reimbursement and payment of travel
expenses must be submitted with detailed receipts and original approved Travel
Authorization and Expense Form that had previously been signed and approved by
the applicable department head, within five (5) working days of the employees
return from travel.
All modes of transportation shall be in the
best interest of the City of Show Low and approved at the discretion of the
applicable department director. Employees choosing modes of travel, which are
not in the City’s best interest, as determined by the applicable department
director, shall be responsible for the difference in expense over the suggested
Airfare costs should be paid by City credit
card whenever possible.
Air coach transportation will be considered
standard for out-of-state travel. Round trip tickets shall be purchased and
receipts for such travel must be submitted even if payment is made directly by
the City. Reimbursement will be for the exact amount of airfare only. Whenever
possible the employee shall make reservations far enough in advance to receive
the discounted fare. When the employee makes personal stops en-route to a
business destination point, the employee will only be reimbursed for the
discounted round-trip coach fare directly to the business destination point.
Any frequent flier miles earned accrue to the
individual making the flight and not to the City. However, criteria for flight
selection must always be based on the lowest-priced airfare rather than the
opportunity for personal benefit of the traveling employee.
Use of other modes of transportation (bus,
rail, city vehicle, personal vehicle, etc.) may be approved by the department
head based on circumstances of travel that render air transportation
uneconomical or impractical.
When air, bus, or rail transportation is
used, expenses for local transportation, such as taxicab and bus fare, will be
allowed whenever such transportation is necessary in the conduct of City
business. Employees should check ahead to see if a shuttle service is available
for airport pick-up to conference or seminar locations. It is the employee’s
responsibility to use the most economical means available for transportation and
parking in order to maintain control over their departmental travel budget.
3.4.2 City Vehicle
Employees traveling on approved City business
are encouraged to utilize a City of Show Low fleet vehicle. Use of personal
vehicles is allowed only with the prior approval of the applicable department
director and in accordance with the following “Personal Vehicle” section of
these policies and procedures.
3.4.3 Personal Vehicle
If a City car is not available and/or prior
approval has been obtained from the applicable department director, the City
will reimburse the use of the employee’s personal vehicle at the rate of $.485
per mile. This rate is linked to the mileage reimbursement equal to that
allowable under the Internal Revenue Service regulations and may vary from year
to year (contact the Finance Department for current year rates). If a City car
is available and the employee makes the personal choice to use his/her personal
vehicle, the mileage rate of $.200 per mile will apply. The total reimbursable
cost for transportation shall not exceed the cost of a round trip discounted
airfare. When a personal vehicle is used for out-of-state travel in lieu of
traveling by air, (personal trips are not mileage reimbursable), the most direct
route from Show Low will be used for car mileage. Consult the following mileage
table for standard distance to frequently traveled cities. Note: All employees
are required to carry proper levels of insurance to be authorized to drive a
privately owned vehicle on City business.
Destination Standard Mileage (one
It is a personal choice of the employee to
travel by vehicle in lieu of air travel and/or use of a City vehicle; therefore,
any travel problems created by this choice are the responsibility of the
employee. The City mileage reimbursement in this situation covers insurance
costs and if an accident does occur on City business in the employee’s personal
car, the employee’s insurance will be fully responsible.
3.4.4 Rental Car
If a rental car is necessary for City
business, the Travel Authorization form must include the reason the rental is
Information should be obtained about
available ground transportation and costs from the organization sponsoring the
conference (often conference materials will contain such information). Be sure
to inquire about all ground transportation and use the most economical in
figuring comparative costs, as reimbursement will be made accordingly. Costs
for shuttles or buses are often less than taxi services.
Reservations should be secured and rental
fees paid with a City credit card. If non-City employees are traveling in a
rental car, it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that adequate
insurance coverage exists for all passengers.
All quotes should be based on a two-door
compact/midsize vehicle and reflect total estimated costs (i.e. base 24-hour
rental, grace periods beyond the 24-hour period, hourly pro-rata cost, mileage
costs, any special or discount rates available).
Note: The City will NOT reimburse the
employee for insurance charges. The City of Show Low is self-insured for
vehicle property and liability costs. Therefore, the employee should refuse the
additional insurance coverage offered by the rental agency. If the employee is
involved in an accident while driving a rental car on City business, notify the
City of Show Low Risk Management office (928) 532-4027 as soon as possible so
the City can arrange to handle the claim with the rental car agency.
Additionally, it should be noted that most
rental car agencies will not accept a city credit card at the time of rental, as
the name on the credit card does not match the employee/drivers picture
identification and drivers license. Therefore, a personal credit card may be
required until final payment is made with the City credit card.
Lodging is permitted a minimum of 50 miles
distance from the City of Show Low, unless otherwise approved by the department
director, prior to travel.
Lodging expenses should be paid by a City of
Show Low credit card whenever possible. If paid by the employee with a personal
credit card or cash, these lodging expenses are reimbursable only when supported
with original detailed hotel receipts. A credit card charge slip is not an
acceptable receipt for purchasing documentation.
Lodging arrangements should be made at the
single room, moderate rate. Seminar, conference, or governmental discount rates
should be requested. Where the employee’s family has attended, any difference
between single and actual lodging rates should be noted and adjusted as a
non-allowable expense, and therefore not charged to a City credit card.
Expenses for personal or vacation time used before or after necessary City
business are also non-allowable expenses.
3.4.6 Other Non-Reimbursable Lodging Expenses
Other than local calls, no telephone calls
should be made on the hotel telephone. The City of Show Low will provide
prepaid calling cards for employee use while traveling. In addition to business
use, employees are permitted one ten (10) minute personal call per day on the
calling card. (Use of the hotel modem for fax machine or e-mail transmittals
for business purposes only is permitted, provided that the hotel receipt notes
these services as “business calls”).
Additional hotel services purchased for
personal comfort, convenience or entertainment (such as dry cleaning, video
rental, room service in excess of the per diem maximum) are not reimbursable.
Employees will be authorized a per diem
allowance of $42.00 per day for both in-state and out-of-state travel (unless
the per diem amount is larger in other states, in accordance with the GSA).
The daily per diem is intended to cover the costs of meals and all gratuities
given while traveling. (This includes, but is not limited to, lodging tips, cab
fare tips, shuttle fare tips, rental car tips, etc.)
The City of Show Low will provide a City
credit card or cash advance to cover the cost of meals with gratuity, laundry,
tips, and other incidental travel expenses. If a City credit card is used for
per diem expenses, receipts should not exceed the daily per diem rate.
Partial per diem rates shall be provided
based on the time of travel. The following are examples only and do not
regulate actual meal cost:
Breakfast $9.50 of the travel per diem allowance (must be on travel
status prior to 7:00 a.m.)
Lunch $11.00 of daily per diem allowance (must be on travel status
prior to 12:00 noon)
Dinner $21.50 of daily per diem allowance (must be on travel status
prior to 6:00 p.m.)
A per diem allowance will be given for
conference/seminars that do not include meals as a part of the registration
fee. If meals are included, per diem will be reduced accordingly for each meal
provided in accordance with the above chart. Subsistence expenses resulting
from travel to and from the conference or seminar will be included in the per
diem rate if the travel occurs within the applicable timelines.
Group functions with a consolidated overall
billing to the City are not eligible for a per diem allowance; rather,
participating employees traveling to a group function shall use a City credit
card for their actual additional costs.
3.5.1 Ineligible Charges
Personal charges shall not be made to a City
Alcoholic beverages shall not be charged to a
City credit card and are not allowable expenses for reimbursement – unless
necessary for economic and community development purposes (these alcohol charges
must be pre-approved by the City Manager).
Additionally, employees consuming alcoholic
beverages shall not operate a City vehicle.
If it can be demonstrated, prior to
departure, that the customary per diem allowance is insufficient for the travel
destination, or documented through detailed receipts upon return, additional
costs may be reimbursed at the discretion of the City Manager or a majority of
the City Council (as applicable). The General Services Administration (GSA)
Schedule of Per Diem Rates (may be obtained from the Human Resources Department)
should be used in determining appropriate adjusted per diem rates.