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Layton City Policy

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3212 - Travel Expenses

      Purpose:  To establish rules and guidelines for City officials and employees who are authorized to travel for City business, training, conferences or conventions.

      Policy:  The City shall pay for certain expenses incurred by officials and employees related to travel for City related purposes.  Expenditures shall be the most cost effective and reasonable considering all aspects of the activity and benefit to the City.  All expenditures shall comply with the rules and guidelines contained herein or within other policies.  Expenses incurred that do not comply with the rules and guidelines will be the responsibility of the official or employee.


      “ATC” – means Air Travel Coordinator, the person in the Finance Department assigned to coordinate with departments and purchase all airline tickets.

      “In-town” – means travel to a destination that is less than 100 miles (one way) from Layton City.

      “Out-of-town” – means travel to a destination that is 100 miles or more (one way) from Layton City.

      “Per diem” – means a daily allotment to pay for meals and other incidentals, including gratuities, tips, etc.

      Rules and Guidelines:

      I.  Out-of-town Travel:

      1.      Per Diem – $40 (in-state) or $50 (out-of-state) for each day of travel.  Wendover, Nevada shall be considered an in-state destination for this policy.  The day of departure and day of return will be paid at 75% of the daily rate to satisfy IRS per diem rules.  Receipts are not required for per diem expenses other than the normal proof that the official or employee was out-of-town traveling on City related business.  The proof is normally from the conference documentation, airline ticket and/or hotel receipt.

      When conferences or training end by 1:00 p.m., travelers will be expected to return that afternoon or evening.  Per diem will not be paid for an additional day.  This provision also applies to lodging, transportation and any other travel costs.

      2.      Lodging – Actual reasonable costs for a single occupancy room rate approved by the Department Director prior to travel.  Consideration may be given to the hotel/motel location and availability to public transportation and/or walking distance to conference center, training site or other meeting location.  Conferences generally pre-arrange and reserve a block of hotel rooms.  The hotel with the lowest cost, when all aspects have been considered should be chosen.  When training sites are prearranged and one hotel is used for lodging and training classes, the City will allow the single occupancy room rate of that training hotel or equivalent.

      Saturday stays are encouraged, but not required, if the savings in airfare are greater than the additional costs for hotel, per diem, etc.

      An official or employee who chooses to stay with friend or relatives during out-of-town travel will be paid $15 per day for days that would have required a hotel.

      3.      Transportation -

      a.      Travel to or from an out-of-state destination shall be by air with exceptions as noted herein or with approval of the City Manager.  Travel to or from an in-state destination shall be by vehicle unless travel by air is less expensive. Wendover, Nevada shall be considered an in-state destination for this policy.

      b.      Local transportation is transportation at the destination and shall be by public transportation system, i.e. bus, train, shuttle, cab, etc.  Rental car expenses will not be allowed unless it is documented to be less expensive or is specifically approved in advance and in writing by the City Manager.  If an employee chooses to rent a car personally, the City will pay a share of the rental car cost based upon documented costs the employee would have paid for public transportation.

      c.      Parking fees for long term airport parking only and rental car parking in pre-approved cases are eligible travel expenses.

      d.      Air transportation will be arranged for all departments by the ATC.  The ATC will coordinate with the departments to make reservations and order all tickets.  Departments will notify the ATC about airline travel well in advance of the travel date.  Departments will provide the ATC with traveler names, destinations, dates, time of departure and return, etc.  The ATC will monitor State contract air fare rates, internet fares and other fare advisories to obtain the lowest cost possible considering the lead time and fare volatility.

      1.  Some airlines charge additional fees for one (1) or more checked bags.  The City will pay for this first checked bag if it is included in the price of the ticket or if there is an additional fee.  No fees for additional baggage will be paid by the City unless pre-approved, in writing, by the Department Director.

      e.      Travel by private vehicle (optional).  An employee may, when approved by the Department Director, travel by private vehicle to a destination outside of Utah rather than fly.  The City will pay the employee the lesser of the mileage rate or the airfare as determined by the ATC and Finance Director.  If travel by private vehicle takes longer than to travel by air, additional expenses for lodging, meals, etc. shall be considered personal expenses of the employee.  Additional time to drive versus fly shall be taken as annual or unpaid leave.

      f.        Travel by City or private vehicle (required).  When travel by vehicle is required to accomplish City business, the employee will be reimbursed actual cost for any out-of-pocket expenses when using City vehicles.  They will be paid the mileage rate for using private vehicles.  The regular rules apply to per diem, lodging, etc. when vehicle travel is the required mode.

      g.      Frequent flyer miles – The employee will be allowed to keep and use any frequent flyer miles that they may receive as a result of air travel on City business.  However, employees shall not request to fly on a particular airline.  The ATC will make reservations based upon cost and schedule without regard to frequent flyer choices.

      h.      Rewards for oversold flights – Any rewards for being “bumped” from a flight, voluntarily or involuntarily, shall be the property of the City.  The employee shall return all free tickets or other tangible benefits to the ATC to be used for City purposes.

      II.   In-town Travel:

      1.      Per Diem – No per diem will be paid for in-town travel, except when an overnight stay is required. 

      2.      Lodging – Generally, lodging will not be paid for by the City for travel considered “In-town”.  However, when situations require the need for the official or employee to stay overnight, the Department Director may authorize lodging for the in-town travel and may approve a per diem under the same per diem rules as for in-state travel.

      3.      Transportation shall be by City vehicle, where possible, or private vehicle.  Air travel may be used if it is less costly than driving.  Actual expenses incurred will be paid if a City vehicle is used.  Payment at the mileage rate established by the IRS will be paid when a private vehicle is used.  Changes to the IRS rate will be effective July 1st for the City.

      4.      Employees driving a private vehicle on City business shall maintain the minimum vehicle liability insurance on the vehicle as required by Utah law. 

      Mileage must be tracked and employees shall only request reimbursement for miles directly related to City business.  Personal miles while at a training or conference are not reimbursable.

      III.  Other:

      Exceptions: Exceptions to the rules and guidelines herein must be approved in writing by the City Manager and shall be obtained in advance by the Department Director.

      Documentation: All traveling officials and employees shall complete a Layton City Seminar/Conference/Training Travel Form.  It shall set forth in detail all travel expenses, both estimated for approval purposes and actual incurred for settlement purposes.  For approval purposes, course, conference and other training information shall be attached along with lodging locations, rates, dates, registration fees, etc.  Following the travel, the travel form with detailed receipts and other documentation shall be submitted to the Finance Department for audit review, settlement reimbursements and filing.  The completed travel form shall be sent to the Finance Department within 20 days following the last day of travel.  If a receipt was not available, the official or employee shall submit a signed statement describing the expense and listing the amount.

      Credit Cards: Department Directors will request issuance of credit cards for employees who will be traveling for the City.  The Administration Department will oversee the issuance of all credit cards and coordinate with the bank.  The Department Director will keep the cards and only issue them to the employee during the travel period.  The credit card is the preferred method of payment for hotels/motels.

      Advances: Cash advances may be requested and authorized by the Department Director.  Generally, advances will be for per diem, mileage, airport parking and other out-of-pocket expenses.  Advances for other expenses may be made when the situation warrants.

      Personal Expenses: Except as noted herein, personal expenses shall not be charged on the City credit card or other City accounts.  When charges for City and personal items are combined on the same billing, personal and City expenses may be paid with the City credit card.  Personal expenses will be reimbursed to the City with the travel settlement.  Example – hotel room expenses when a spouse travels with the employee and double occupancy is more than the single occupancy rate.  Or when room service and personal phone calls are listed on the same hotel bill.  City credit cards and accounts shall not be used to pay for any separate personal expenses.

      Mileage for Department Directors: Directors who are paid a monthly vehicle allowance shall not be reimbursed for any travel to in-town destinations.  Reimbursement for mileage to out-of-town destinations will be made at the IRS established rate for all miles including those within the 100-mile in-town radius.

      Rental Car Insurance: The City’s liability insurance company provides all the needed coverage for rental cars used for City travel.  Do not purchase the additional coverage offered by the rental company.

      Enacted, 7/22/1993
      Amended, 4/5/1995
      Amended, 1/1/1996
      Amended, 12/9/1993, Previous Policy,
      Amended, 2/12/1996, Previous Policy,
      Amended, 3/28/2001, Previous Policy,
      Amended, 2Minor Edit, 1/2/2004
      Amended, 2/20/2007, Previous Policy 3212
      Amended, 6/16/2008, Previous Policy 3212
      Amended, 12/1/2010, Previous Policy 3212
      Amended, 4/3/2012, Previous Policy 3212