This travel policy supersedes all previous versions.
Click here to download a 2015 ITRC Travel Reimbursement Form.
ITRC provides travel cost reimbursement to state, public stakeholder, tribal stakeholder, and academic members of ITRC who are preapproved to attend ITRC events and other meetings on a meeting-by-meeting basis. Travel costs include but are not limited to airfare, meals, applicable registration fees, and lodging. Travel reimbursement is provided by ITRC according to federal guidelines, as well as ITRC’s Travel Policy. Reimbursement checks are typically mailed within 30-days of receipt of travel reimbursement forms by ITRC. It is the responsibility of ITRC leadership, including Team Leaders and Program Advisors, to make ITRC members seeking ITRC travel reimbursement aware of the ITRC Travel Policy prior to traveling to an event. Reimbursement may be refused if reimbursement requests are not in accordance with federal guidelines and the ITRC Travel Policy.
Project Related Travel Pre-approval Process
ITRC Project related travel reimbursement requires pre-approval by the ITRC Board of Advisors Team Leader Liaison (TLL). If the TLL is unavailable, the ITRC Director may process the pre-approval travel reimbursement request. ITRC Project related travel includes travel to ITRC meetings, ITRC Team meetings, and other events, as well as project implementation travel.
Team Leaders should submit a pre-approval request via email no later than three weeks prior to the travel departure date to the TLL. The pre-approval request should include the title of the event and the names and affiliations of those seeking ITRC travel reimbursement. The pre-approval request must include email confirmation that the public and tribal stakeholders listed in the request have been confirmed by the ITRC Board of Advisors Stakeholder Representative. If there is a registration fee for an event, the registration fee must be indicated as part of pre-approval request and approved by the TLL for the fee to be reimbursed by ITRC.
The TLL will approve or disapprove the travel request by email response to the Team Leader and Program Advisor. It is the responsibility of the Team Leader and the Program Advisor to forward the TLL email response to project travelers. Each approved traveler must include a copy of the TLL’s approval email with their travel reimbursement forms that are submitted to ITRC. Travel reimbursement may be delayed or denied if the TLL approval email is not included with the reimbursement request.
Major Meeting Process
Travel of ITRC Team Leaders to ITRC’s Kick Off Meeting will be reimbursed according to the ITRC Travel Policy, with pre-approval by the TLL. No substitutions may be made.
Each ITRC Team is allowed to have travel costs reimbursed by ITRC for travel of up to 10 Team Members to each of the two major ITRC meetings (Spring Meeting and Fall Meeting). The 10 travelers typically consist of one to two Team Leaders, five state Team Members, one public stakeholder Team Member, one tribal stakeholder Team Member, and one academic Team Member. If a Team has only one Team Leader, the Co-Leader travel spot may be used by another state, public stakeholder, tribal stakeholder, or academic Team Member.
All Teams are expected to fill and travel the full number of allocated travel slots to the two major ITRC meetings. If a team cannot fill all of the allocated travel slots, the TLL should be contacted. Substitutions to the allocated slots are not encouraged, but will be approved on a case-by-case basis. The Team Leader must receive written (email) approval from the TLL prior to any substitutions being made.
If due to illness, unforeseen scheduling conflicts, or emergency, the pre-approved travel spot cannot be used by who it was intended, the Team Leader may make a substitution (with a state, public stakeholder, tribal stakeholder, or academic Team Member) with pre-approval by the TLL or the ITRC Director if the TLL is not available, on a case-by-case basis. Substitutions within one week of the event will not be allowed.
All other ITRC Project related travel (e.g., conferences, events) is reimbursed according to the travel budget developed with Team Leaders at the start of the calendar year or as approved on a case-by-case basis, with pre-approval of the TLL. Please follow the pre-approval process under General Process.
Pre-approval Process for Non-Project ITRC Travel
State Engagement Travel to ITRC Meetings
Travel for ITRC designated state Points of Contact (POCs) to ITRC’s Spring and Fall Meetings will be reimbursed according to the ITRC Travel Policy. If a POC can justify benefit in extending their participation at an ITRC meeting beyond the POC portion of the meeting, then a request must be made to the ITRC Board of Advisors State Engagement Coordinator (SEC) and approval obtained prior to finalizing travel arrangements. If due to illness, unforeseen scheduling conflicts, or emergency the POC cannot travel, a substitution by another representative from the POC’s state agency may be made, with approval by the SEC. Substitutions within one week of the event will not be allowed. The SEC will provide ITRC with a list of POCs who traveled to each ITRC meeting after the meeting or upon request by ITRC.
ITRC Board of Advisors Travel to ITRC Meetings
Travel for state or public/tribal stakeholder members of the ITRC Board of Advisors to ITRC’s Spring, Fall, and annual Board Meetings will be reimbursed according to the ITRC Travel Policy. Travel of ITRC Board of Advisors Members to ITRC’s Kick-Off Meeting will be reimbursed only for the Co-Chairs and the Team Leader Liaison. Other ITRC Board of Advisors state or public/tribal stakeholder members may be invited by the Team Leader Liaison to travel to the Kick-Off Meeting and have the travel reimbursed, upon consultation with the ITRC Director.
Other Types of ITRC Travel
ITRC travel reimbursement for other types of travel will be provided with pre-approval by the ITRC Director. The ITRC Director’s pre-approval should be submitted with the travel reimbursement forms that are submitted to ITRC. Travel reimbursement may be delayed or denied if the ITRC Director’s approval email is not included with the reimbursement request.
Reimbursement Request Requirements
- Travelers are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business.
- The traveler must submit a properly completed ITRC Travel Reimbursement Form within 30 days of the end of travel.
- Event registration fees will be reimbursed only with pre-approval of the amount of the fee by the ITRC Board of Advisors Team Leader Liaison.
- ITRC budgets $1200 per traveler and every attempt must be made to not exceed this limit.
- Reimbursed travelers must make every attempt to obtain the lowest available airfare. When determining the lowest airfare, costs will be compared among all applicable airlines. Pre-approval from ITRC is required for any airfare above $900.00.
- Pre-approval from ITRC is required for car mileage claims totaling 600 miles or more roundtrip. A cost estimate must be submitted prior to pre-approval that shows a cost savings to ITRC of driving vs. flying. The cost estimate must include mileage costs and parking as well as airline quotes from various airlines and associated air travel costs.
- Pre-approval from ITRC is required for reimbursement of rental car charges. Pre-approval and reimbursement will only be provided in cases where the cost of taxis/shuttles would exceed the cost of a rental car or in other mitigating circumstances. A cost comparison must be submitted prior to pre-approval showing rental car charges (gas and parking, etc.) as compared to the cost of taxis/shuttles.
- Original receipts are required to be submitted for all expenses greater than $25.
- Hotel, meal, and incidental charges must be within the federal per diem rates. Federal per diem rates are an allowance (also referred to as subsistence allowance) for lodging (excluding taxes), meals, and related incidental expenses. The CONUS (defined as the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia) per diem rates are established annually by GSA (see link below) for travelers on official government business to use for their lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. Incidental charges are defined as (1) all tips; (2) laundry and/or clothing preparation; (3) telegrams, faxes, and telephone expenses to arrange for lodging; and (4) transportation to another site in lieu of partaking of a meal provided. Per diem can be claimed only if the traveler is out of town for more than 10 hours. Travelers are only eligible for 75 percent of the total M&IE rate for the location to which they are traveling on the first and last day of travel regardless of the time they depart or arrive home.
- Expenses for alcoholic beverages, entertainment, personal travel, family member travel, and travel for other persons not related to ITRC business purposes are not allowed.
- Reimbursement for unused hotel rooms: If a traveler makes hotel reservations for an ITRC function and does not attend, it is up to the individual to cancel reservations in accordance with the hotel’s policies. If a traveler is unable to do so due to a supervisor’s decision or personal emergency, the traveler may be reimbursed for one night’s hotel charges. If a traveler does not cancel the reservation for other reasons, he or she will not be reimbursed by ITRC.
For more information on per diem, computing M&IE amounts, and travel issues (and to see per diem and M&IE rates for a specific location), please see the GSA website.