Travel and Reimbursements
Oregon Tech Travel
It is Oregon Tech policy to reimburse employees for expenses incurred while traveling on official Oregon Tech business. Such reimbursement is subject to all applicable statutes, regulations, bargaining agreements, contracts, policies, procedures, and budget availability.
Oregon Tech business travel requires considerable planning to ensure the best experience during the trip and after when reconciling expenses. Be sure to check with your department to determine the requirements necessary to initiate your travel arrangements (e.g. specific approval requirements, procurement options, etc.).
Please review the Travel Policy and any needed forms located on this page.
For additional questions regarding travel policies, reimbursements, or travel vendor invoices:
Receipts & Reimbursements
While traveling, receipts must be retained for submittal with the reimbursement request. Receipts should be for the actual expense incurred and should clearly indicate that the receipt is from a commercial establishment, what was paid for including the name of the traveler if for lodging or air/train travel, how it was paid (if paid by a credit card it needs to have some identification as to the card charged-last four of the card number; if by check, a copy of the cancelled check needs to be attached), and the date the expense was incurred. Types of receipts that should be retained are:
- Parking, taxi, shuttle
- Baggage fees
- Fuel (if traveling with a rental vehicle)
- Registration fees (we prefer to pay registration fees as vendor direct or with a procurement card)
- Any other miscellaneous expense that will be reimbursed
Per Diems are paid to reimburse for meals and other incidental travel expenses. Per Diem rates vary depending on the travel destination (receipts for meals are not required as they are paid as a set Per Diem rate). All tips are expected to be paid from the Per Diem (not reimbursable separately).
Upon completion of travel, a Travel Reimbursement Request Form is filled out. This form can be found in this section below. Original receipts should be attached to the request for every expense for which reimbursement is requested (other than Meals & Incidentals Per Diems) (quotes, reservation confirmation or receipts showing only totals are not acceptable in place of a receipt). The submitted documentation should show the expense was actually incurred by and for the traveler, was paid by the traveler and was incurred on the dates traveled. The maximum amount reimbursed without a receipt but which is deemed reasonable by all approving parties including the Director of the BAO is $25.00. Because it is easy to forget or misplace information and receipts, the BAO prefers reimbursement requests be submitted as timely as possible. Budget Authorities also appreciate timeliness as it makes it easier for them to track budget status.
If the traveler hosts a meal while traveling, a separate Personal Reimbursement Request form for the hosting expenses will need to be submitted as the approval process for hosting expenses differs from that for travel expenses.
Please keep in mind that the purpose of the reimbursement process is to ensure that the amounts expended are for the benefit of Oregon Tech and are not double paid in error. No one in the BAO assumes that the traveler is trying to be paid for something that was not incurred. But it is not all that rare for an expense to be paid with an Oregon Tech procurement card or by a direct vendor pay invoice and then have the same expense submitted for reimbursement, because people forget. That is what the process is about, people forget, and we need to be able to provide documentation that a process is in place to prevent: 1) the payment of amounts not approved by responsible Oregon Tech Budget Authorities; and, 2) the double payment of expenses.
Once the reimbursement request is completed, it must be signed by:
- If the Budget Authority is also the claimant, then their supervisor must sign as Budget Authority
After the final signature, Travel Reimbursement Requests should be forwarded to the Accounts Payable department for processing.
Due to audit and policy guidelines, the Business Affairs Office (BAO) prefers to pay vendors direct whenever possible. Direct vendor pays avoid the extra work involved for everyone on campus in approving and documenting reimbursement requests.
Sometimes direct vendor pays are not practical. When amounts are paid by a staff member, either on behalf of Oregon Tech or for expenses incurred in connection with Oregon Tech business, an approved Reimbursement Request should be submitted to the BAO for payment. Some types of expenses, such as Travel and Hosting, must be approved prior to being incurred and require specific types of documentation (see Hosting Groups and Guests).
Reimbursements incurred in connection with student functions have slightly different requirements. If a student club advisor or someone who will be traveling with students on Oregon Tech sponsored programs have questions or need assistance with these types of reimbursements, please refer them to Cindy Childers, (before the event outing).
The Admin/Office Specialist of the department will fill out a Personal Reimbursement Request form and get all necessary signatures. For any personal reimbursements, other than hosting, 28994 (Reimbursement S&S-Employees) is the correct account code that should be used. If departments would like expenses to be classified by the specific items purchased, they need to do a Journal Voucher to move the expense to the appropriate account code.
Because of the additional time required across campus to process personal reimbursements as compared to other types of invoices, personal expense reimbursements should be kept to a minimum. The Admin/Office Specialists can provide help to faculty and other employees in procuring what is needed in an efficient manner both in terms of time and costs. On those rare occasions when expenses are incurred for the benefit of Oregon Tech by an employee, a Personal Reimbursement Request Form should be submitted with original documentation.
Vicinity Mileage Reimbursement
Vicinity Mileage reimbursements follow the same policies, procedures, and processes as normal travel reimbursements for the most part. One difference is that it is not required to do a travel authorization prior to travel for travel within the local vicinity. Vicinity mileage reimbursements should be turned in on a monthly basis (with one month's worth of mileage per form). The Vicinity Mileage Reimbursement Request Form can be found directly below.
Moving Expense Reimbursement
There are specific rates, policies, and tax classifications for moving expense reimbursements that vary from regular travel reimbursements. See moving expense summary table for information on what expenses are allowed to be reimbursed and for the tax impact. Also, see the full moving expense policy for more detailed information on moving expense reimbursements. To be reimbursed for moving expenses, the employee must submit their information to Cindy Childers. Only amounts determined at time of hire will be reimbursed for moving expenses-must be part of job offer.
Lodging & Meals
Direct Bill Hotels
If using University Place Hotel for Direct Bill, please complete the 3rd Party Billing Form and submit to Cindy Childers in the Business Affairs Office no later than 1 week before travel date.
1 Day Trips (No overnight stay)
Breakfast eligibility requires travel begins PRIOR to 7 am.
Lunch is not provided unless
- Traveling as a board member or as an unpaid advisory committee member.
- A meal at a convention, conference, or meeting is part of the agenda.
- Directed or required to attend mealtime business or public relation meetings.
- Student group and/or athletic team.
Dinner eligibility requires travel concludes AFTER 6 pm
Partial Meal Eligibility (With overnight stay)
On Day Trip Starts
- Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner eligibility requires trip start PRIOR to 7 am.
- Lunch/Dinner eligibility requires trip start PRIOR to 1 pm (after 7 am).
- Dinner eligibility requires trip start PRIOR to 7 pm (after 1 pm).
On Day Trip Ends
- Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner eligibility requires travel concludes AFTER 6 pm.
- Breakfast/Lunch eligibility requires travel concludes AFTER 12 pm (prior to 6 pm)
- Breakfast eligibility requires travel concludes BEFORE 12 pm.
Personal Vehicle Use
Mileage for personal use of auto is reimbursed at a rate of $0.54 per mile. See Oregon Tech's Travel Reimbursement Rates Sheet for all travel reimbursement rates.
Oregon Tech has two contracted vehicle rental car companies: Enterprise and Hertz. For both contracted companies, the rental is charged directly to Oregon Tech's credit card that is on file with them, and a copy of the final rental receipt MUST be attached to the Travel Reimbursement Request. If the traveler rents a vehicle through a company other than the University contracted options, costs will be reimbursed at the long trip personal vehicle use plus mileage rates or the short trip mileage only rates (whichever is applicable per Oregon Tech travel policy).
Access Oregon Tech's Enterprise Car Rental site through MyOIT. When returning the rental on the weekends (between 5:30 p.m. Friday & 7:30 a.m. Monday), please provide return time and date by:
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Leaving a voicemail at 541.850.9000; or
- Attaching a note to the keys when dropping them in the drop box.
Access Hertz Car Rental site through MyOIT or call 541.882.0220.
When to get a Comparison Airfare Quote
Airfare Quote Instructions
An airfare quote should be based on the least expensive and reasonable means of transportation available. The quote should be obtained the same day that travel is arranged and be from the same source which the ticket is being purchased. Quote must be attached to the travel reimbursement or the airfare authorization form. If more than one quote is obtained because the least expensive flight does not meet the business need, indicate which flight is to be used as the comparison cost and provide justification for not selecting the lowest fare.
If the combined business and personal itinerary includes personal days, the departure and return dates used for the quote should be based on business needs only.
- Use the Oregon Tech contract travel agencies, CTM.
- Use a travel website that provides airline comparisons such as Orbitz, Travelocity, or Expedia.
Print out one or two pages showing the comparison fares matrix. The matrix at the top of the results page displays multiple fare and airline options. Sample Matrix
When used on their own, printouts from a specific airlines's website are insufficient because they may not provide the least expensive and reasonable means of transportation available.
Combining Business and Personal Travel
Travelers sometimes combine business and personal travel. This is done in different ways, either by adding personal days at the business location or by traveling to other destinations.
When combining personal travel with Oregon Tech business travel, payment will be based on the least expensive and reasonable means of transportation to the business location. Meal and lodging per diem is limited to the business portion of the trip. Generally, the dates of the conference or meeting and one travel day before and after are allowable for reimbursement. Any additional days paid by Oregon Tech must be documented with a business purpose. Travel expenses cannot be paid for personal days.
Example: A traveler is attending a conference in Washington DC. Dates of the conference are Monday - Wednesday.
- Generally travel time would be limited to Sunday - Thursday.
- If the traveler left Klamath Falls on Saturday and is requesting reimbursement for Saturday - Thursday, there should be additional documentation describing the business purpose for leaving a day early.
- If the traveler left Klamath Falls on Saturday for personal reasons, the traveler should not be reimbursed for meal and lodging expenses on the personal day. In addition, a quote should be obtained to determine if there is an additional airfare cost due to including personal days.
When a flight itinerary is selected that includes personal travel, obtain a separate airfare quote for the business portion of the itinerary, at the time of booking. This comparison between the business only itinerary and the actual cost of the combined business and personal travel itinerary should be documented in writing and included with the travel reimbursement and/or the airfare purchase records.
If the cost of the combined business and personal itinerary exceeds the business only itinerary, the personal portion will have to be paid by the traveler at the time of ticket purchase. If the contract agency is willing to split the cost of the ticket, the agency may charge an additional service fee.
If the cost of the combined business and personal itinerary is the same or less than the business only itinerary, Oregon Tech may pay for the full cost of the airfare. The written documentation must be included with the travel reimbursement and/or the airfare purchase records.
Additional Day for Cost Savings Purposes
Reimbursement of meal and lodging expense for one or more additional days is allowable when the purpose of the additional days is to reduce overall travel costs. For example, if a conference starts on Monday there may be a cost savings for traveling on Saturday rather than Sunday. If the savings is greater than the additional meal and lodging expenses incurred, a traveler may choose to travel on Saturday and be reimbursed for the additional day of meal and lodging expense. The cost savings must be documented in writing by obtaining an airfare quote for the itinerary without the additional day and comparing it to the actual airfare selected plus any additional meal and lodging expenses.
Driving a Vehicle Out-of-State
When traveling out of state for Oregon Tech business and choosing to drive rather than fly, the cost of flying may be more economical than claiming mileage. A comparison airfare quote should be obtained per comparison airfare quote policy and printed at the time the travel is arranged and included with the travel reimbursement. The traveler can be reimbursed for either the cost of flying (Airfare in Lieu of Mileage) or mileage, whichever is less. When comparing prices, speculative expenses like airline baggage fees or airport shuttles cannot be included in the comparison quote or claimed for reimbursement.
When preparing the travel reimbursement, list Airfare in Lieu of Mileage in the Mileage section of the form with an explanation. An employee may be reimbursed for the following costs associated with air travel between his or her official station and destination:
- The cost of round-trip commercial airfare that would have been incurred or mileage, whichever is less. Airfare quote must be provided with the reimbursement.
- Private vehicle mileage to and from the air terminal that would normally be used for departure.
- Lodging and meal expenses that the employee would normally incur with air travel.
When claiming Airfare in Lieu of Miles, additional expenses associated with the private vehicle cannot be claimed, i.e. parking and tolls.
If you have a bona fide business purpose for driving a private vehicle out of state, document the reason with the travel reimbursement, e.g. transport a large amount of equipment or driving to remote or multiple locations.
Use of a Non-direct Route
Travelers sometimes take non-direct routes because of personal reasons or to save money. Using the Medford airport rather than the Klamath Falls airport is considered a non-direct route.
If the non-direct route is selected for personal reasons, follow the instructions under Combining Business and Personal Travel.
If the non-direct route is selected for cost savings purposes, the cost savings must be documented in writing by obtaining an airfare quote for the direct route. All cost factors must be included in determining if there is an actual cost savings. For example if flights into Phoenix are higher than normal, a traveler might fly into Tucson and drive to Phoenix by rental car. The cost of the flight into Tucson plus the cost of the rental car and gasoline should be compared to the cost of flying directly into Phoenix. This comparison should be documented in writing and included with the travel reimbursement and/or the airfare purchase records.
Comparison Quotes After Travel
Your traveler has brought you paperwork for a reimbursement and their trip includes personal time or an indirect route. They did not get a comparison airfare quote for the business only dates at the time the ticket was purchased.
What should you do?
When obtaining comparison fares after travel has taken place, you need to get two quotes: a Business Only airfare and the airfare duplicating the route the traveler actually flew, including the personal travel. This will allow you to compare the two itineraries to calculate the allowable reimbursement.
You can use your favorite online air booking site like Orbitz or Travelocity, but make sure it shows a low to high pricing grid/matrix of all the airlines. Be sure to select the days of the week that travel took place, and use dates that are at least two or three weeks out to get the least expensive fares. Avoid holidays as these can skew rates and avoid airline specific sites as these do not necessarily show the best prices in that airfare market.
Print a page showing the pricing grid/matrix for both the business only dates and for the itinerary including the personal time. If the quote with the personal time is less expensive, include these with your reimbursements and you are finished.
If the business only quote is less, here is the formula to calculate the reimbursement:
Using the comparison quotes, divide the business only quote by your quote with personal time. This will give you a percentage.
Example: Business only price is $350. Price with personal time is $500.
$350 / $500 = .7 (percentage)
Take the travelers actual ticket price and multiple by the percentage you calculated above. This is the percentage of the ticket that can be reimbursed.
Example: Actual ticket price was $700. $700 x .7 (percentage) = $490 reimbursement allowed
Airfare Ticket Purchases
Oregon Tech currently has a contract with CTM Travel for airfare. When booking flights with CTM Travel, please continue to create encumbrances as normal.
Obtaining a quote from a travel agency prior to purchasing a flight elsewhere is no longer required. You may obtain and purchase flights with any travel site. CTM is the suggested vendor however when purchasing international flights, refundable flights, city pairs (see more info about city pair airfare below), or last minute flights.
City Pair Air Fares:
The State of Oregon's City-Pair agreements offer discounted, fully refundable, fully transferable fairs with no penalties or restrictions and last seat availability and significant savings over the same class ticket sold to the general public. City-Pair cost savings are greatest on purchases made 14 days or less before travel.
When purchasing flights through vendors other than CTM, traveler may purchase the flight and be reimbursed after travel concludes, or department procurement cards may be used (as long as flight is for business only travel). In the event that personal time will be taken during the trip, a quote for dates the traveler would have traveled without personal time is REQUIRED. The quote should be from the same vendor that is used to purchase the flight. It should be done at the same time the flight is purchased (same lead time) and should be to and from the same cities. If the quote for business only dates is less than the flight purchased that includes personal time, the traveler will be responsible for the difference (flight will only be reimbursed at rate quoted for business only travel). Department procurement cards MAY NOT be used to purchase airfare if the traveler is taking personal time while on trip (even if the flight purchased is equal to or less than the rate quote for business only travel dates). Quotes need to be attached to both Travel Reimbursement Request AND procurement card reconciliation packet (when airfare charged on procurement card).
To book airline tickets please contact a CTM representative at 1.877.564.1095 or by email at SOR@travelctm.com. You will need to let them know you are from Oregon Tech to get the contracted rates.
Accounts Payable Policies & Procedures Manual
With being a public institution, there is a requirement of much more extensive policies and procedures than generally required at private companies. View the full policy for institution related travel.