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EIU Department of Purchasing

Travel / General Policies & Guidelines

Prior to Travel

Complete a Travel Application.

Reimbursable Expenses

Only expenses relative to the transaction of official University business will be reimbursed, subject to applicable statutes, regulations, availability of funds, reasonableness and prudence. The cost of reasonable business-related special expenses are reimbursable. Examples:

  1. Room rental, exhibit space, set up, and such for official business;
  2. Laundry and dry cleaning if on travel status for seven (7) consecutive days;
  3. Storage and handling of baggage;
  4. Parking fees and tolls;
  5. Taxis, including reasonable tips (receipt required if in excess of $10);
  6. Telephone calls on official business, including a call of three (3) minutes or less to announce safe arrival or delay/change in plans;
  7. Telephone calls to secure lodging.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

Examples of non-reimbursable expenses are:

  1. Alcoholic beverages;
  2. Coat check;
  3. Entertainment;
  4. Late check-out and room guarantee charges;
  6. Parking fines or other traffic violations;
  7. Tips incurred beyond those specifically provided in the Reimbursable Expenses.
  8. Collision damage waiver and personal accident insurance on rented vehicle.
  9. Expenses associated with commuting between an employee's residence and headquarters';
  10. Meals, lodging and per diem are not reimbursable at headquarters or at residence. Mileage expenses, parking fees, etc. associated with State business which are in excess of commuting expenses are reimbursable at headquarters.
  11. Transportation to procure meals except when the nature and location of work at a temporary duty station are such that suitable meals cannot be procured at that location.

Travel Route Expense

All travel shall be by the most direct route. Expenses due to deviations for convenience shall be borne by the employee. Distances between destination shall be as shown on the Highway Map. Where no mileage is available, odometer readings shall be used. Mileage in and around a city of destination may be claimed as such.

Non-Required Travel

When travel is not required as a condition of employment but is a benefit to both the University and the employee, the Financial Manager, or designee may provide partial reimbursement. The reimbursement may not in any case exceed the rates otherwise authorized.

Registration Fees

Shall be paid with P-card or can be paid by individual. Request for Payment should be used to reimburse individuals if approved.

Per Diem

  1. The per diem allowances specified in the Reimbursement Schedule are the maximums allowed.
  2. Per diem shall be paid for travel which involves overnight lodging or is eighteen (18) or more continuous hours. Per diem is given in lieu of the meal allowance and is to cover the cost of meals and meal tips. Receipts need not be submitted to support this allowance.
  3. Per diem shall be based on the quarter system for computing the allowance for days or fractions thereof. Each quarter shall be six (6) hours, commencing at midnight, 6:00 am, noon and 6:00 pm. The traveler shall be allowed one-fourth of the daily allowance for each period of six (6) hours or fractions thereof.
  4. Meal allowance and per diem may not be mixed on the same trip or day. For example; If the traveler left at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and returned at 5 p.m. on Thursday for in-state travel, the traveler would get $21.00 for Tuesday, $28.00 for Wednesday (providing no meals were supplied) and then $21.00 on Thursday.

Meal Allowance

  1. The meal allowances specified in the Reimbursement Schedule are the maximums allowed.
  2. The meal allowances apply when the traveler is not eligible to receive per diem. Receipts are not necessary.
  3. Breakfast is reimbursable when an employee is on travel status and leaves at or before 6 a.m.
  4. Lunch is not reimbursable.
  5. Dinner is reimbursable when an employee is on travel status and returns at or after 7:00 pm. Employees starting travel after 4:30 pm but before 6:30 p.m. are allowed reimbursement for dinner if the traveler would not be eligible for per diem.

Purchase of Meals for Non-State Employees

Meals purchased for guests of the University (non-state employees), while the traveler is on travel status, are reimbursable in "reasonable amounts". (University IGP 113) The traveler must include a statement on the Travel Voucher specifying why, for whom, and certifying that the claim does not include alcoholic beverages.

Lodging Allowances

  1. The lodging allowances specified in the Reimbursement Schedule are the maximum rates allowed.
  2. It is the responsibility of each employee to request the lowest, logical available lodging rate. Employees should be prepared to provide identification and proof of State employment to obtain State lodging rates. If you are unsuccessful in obtaining rates under the allowable rate, you will need to complete a Travel Exception Approval Form and attach that to the Travel Voucher.
  3. Conference lodging or lodging at official meeting hotels when in excess of the maximum allowed in the Reimbursement Schedule are to be pre-approved by the Financial Manager or designee. PLEASE click the Conf. Hotel box on the web Travel Voucher or note on the paper Travel Voucher in the Comments Section that the hotel was a conference hotel.

Conference Lodging

Any employee attending a conference or seminar in the course of state business may stay in the lowest priced room available at or near the hotel or motel in which the conference or seminar is located or in accommodations arranged by conference/seminar organizations, and shall be reimbursed for actual lodging expenses in excess of those allowed by the reimbursement rates above. The traveler must check the box on the travel voucher if conference lodging was used. If conference lodging was NOT used, and the amount is over the allowed amount, the traveler must fill out a Travel Exception Form and attach to the voucher.

A copy of the the official conference brochure, registration form, or other documentation of the conference, detailing information regarding designated conference hotels, and meals MUST be attached to the travel voucher. Vouchers without this attached, will be returned.

Modes of Transportation

  1. All travel shall be by the most economical mode of transportation available considering travel time, costs and work requirements. Modes of transportation authorized for official travel include automobiles, railroads, airlines, buses, taxicabs, and other usual means of conveyance.
  2. Fleet vehicles may be used when most economical and feasible.
  3. Arrangements on airplanes, trains, or boats shall be the least (reasonable) cost available alternative.
  4. Chartered aircraft, boats, trains, buses or other such conveyance, shall be used only as a last resort or if proven to be most economical for the circumstances. A full explanation for the use of such transportation must accompany the voucher.
  5. The rental of any automobile while on travel status is allowed, if circumstances require. The most economical vehicle available that is suitable for the University's business shall be obtained. The collision damage waiver and personal accident insurance on rented vehicles are not reimbursable.
  6. Privately owned vehicles may be used when authorized. A) Employees using private vehicles on University business must have insurance coverage in an amount not less than that required by state statutes. Minimum liability insurance coverage required is: 1. $20,000 for injury or killing one person 2. $40,000 for injuring or killing more than one person 3. $15,000 for damages caused to the property of others. B) Reimbursement for use of a private vehicle shall be on mileage basis and shall be in accordance with the rate as shown in the Reimbursement Schedule.

After Travel

A Travel Voucher is required for all employees who have been on travel status regardless of reimbursement. The original  voucher must be signed by the traveler and forwarded to the Department of Procurement, Disbursements and Contract Services. Expenses are to be shown in detail and shall be itemized by day and by type of expenses with original receipts attached. Exception: Meals do not require receipts.

If the amount of the Travel Voucher does not exceed the amount approved on the Travel Application, the Travel Voucher may be submitted without further approvals.

Review and Correction of Travel Voucher

Travel Vouchers with regular Travel Application attached are to be submitted to the Department of Procurement, Disbursements and Contract Services to be reviewed and processed. Any Travel Voucher not in compliance with the Travel Policy may be corrected by the Department of Procurement, Disbursements and Contract Services staff or returned to the Financial Manager requesting additional explanation or supporting documentation.

According to regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service, all claims for the reimbursement of travel expenses must be submitted promptly after the approved travel is completed. If the travel reimbursement form is not submitted within 60 days of the completion of travel, the reimbursement must be considered taxable income to the traveler according to the IRS. Effective July 1, 2008 travel expense reimbursement requests that are submitted more than 60 days after travel has been completed will be included in the employee's payroll and the appropriate amount of tax will be withheld from the employee's wages.These amounts will be included on the employee's Form W-2. This regulation does not change what travel expenses can be reimbursed, it just requires the request for reimbursement to be submitted on a timely basis or the reimbursement is subject to tax. Please help us avoid including travel reimbursements in your taxable wages by submitting reimbursement requests in a timely manner.

Receiving Reimbursement Check

The traveler's reimbursement check will be mailed to his/her campus address unless otherwise indicated. Please contact Linda Coffey if you would like reimbursement to be direct deposit.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Procurement, Disbursements & Contract Services

1135 Old Main
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Hours: M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm
Fax: 217-581-6015

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