Project Participants Travel
This document establishes policy and procedures for recording and processing travel advances and settlements of all project participants travel in their country of residence and abroad
For the purpose of this policy a country of residence means the country where the project participants resides.
PROCEDURES AND POLICIES:
Authority to Approve Travel:
- Project Managers are responsible for approving submissions of requests for authorization of travel.
- Senior Specialists are responsible for ensuring requested travel is appropriate and authorized in project agreements. Senior Specialists are responsible for approving all project requested travel.
- Deviations from this policy document require the advance written approval of the Executive Director.
Allowable Travel Costs:
- Airline Tickets. Reimbursement is limited to the cost of coach or economy class airfare by the most direct, cost-effective routing
- Train Tickets. Reimbursement for first class rail fare is authorized
- Within Country of Residence, reimbursement is limited to the lower of the actual cost or $120.00 (taxes not included) per day.
- Outside Country of Residence, reimbursement is limited to the lower of the actual cost or the maximum amount allowed in the U.S. Joint Travel Regulations (taxes not included). If lodging is pre-arranged for the traveler because of conference participation funded by the STCU, then the maximum amount allowed in the U.S. Joint Travel Regulations may be exceeded by up to 25% (taxes not included). In those exceptional cases where there are no accommodations available within the maximum amount allowed or accommodations are unacceptable, then the most cost-effective accommodation is authorized with prior approval of the responsible Deputy Executive Director. Maximum lodging rates outside of a country of residence may be obtained from the STCU treasurer or at http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp
- Lodging without receipt is not compensated.
- Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)
- Within Country of Residence, the M&IE is $35.00 per day.
- Outside Country of Residence, the M&IE is $50.00 per day.
- Other Costs. Actual cost of passports, visa, or conference registration is authorized with receipt.
- Use of Privately Owned Vehicle. Reimbursement for the use of a privately owned vehicle to perform travel is authorized at the rate of $.15 per kilometer. Records must be kept for this activity, including destination and kilometers traveled, and odometer readings. Documents must be signed and approved by project manager.
- Local Travel. Reimbursement for the actual cost of local travel (taxi, bus, etc.) is authorized. Receipts must be obtained.
- Actual amount of the bank withdrawal fee is authorised. If it is more than 1% than that supporting documents are required.
- Actual amount of currency exchange expenses is authorized provided the currency has been exchanged at more favourable rates and must be confirmed by the receipt.
- In case the receipt is lost the STCU will use the NBU F/X Rate in effect on the day when travel advance was paid. In case when the exchange was made outside of Ukraine and the receipt (exchange rate confirmation) is not available for presenting to the STCU it is required to use the www.oanda.com rates.
- Reasonable costs associated with telephone services and internet connection fees while on official travel; If phone cards are used and itemized receipt is not available, reimbursement is limited to 20 USD per trip. If personal mobile phones are used, reimbursement for official calls will be done based upon submission of an itemized carrier issued bill.
Travel advances may be provided for the estimated cost of transportation, lodging, M&IE, and other costs.
Extensions of Travel for Personal Reasons.
Travelers may extend their travel for personal reasons; however, the STCU will not pay for any cost associated with such extensions.
- Obtaining Travel Approval for Travelers.
- Travelers should complete STCU Form 11 (Request and Authorization for Travel and Advance Pay – Project Travel) and submit it to his Project Manager. The Project Manager will grant approval for the travel by signing this form.
- The Project Manager will forward the form to the Senior Specialist who will review it and indicate approval by signing this form.
- The responsible Senior Specialist will, if the travel is approved, sign the form and forward it to the Administrative Department for preparation of supporting and procurement documents. Afterwards, the Treasurer/Project Accountant will prepare an advance bank instruction.
- The traveler or the project manager on behalf of the traveler is authorized to pay by debit card for hotel reservations, conference fee payments and other items which are clearly identified on the STCU authorized travel registration form. Such payments must be confirmed by receipts (i.e. bank statement).
- Settlement of Travel
- Travelers shall submit completed STCU Form 11 (Travel Settlement Voucher) to the Project Accountant not later than 7 working days after return.
Receipts are required to support all expenses except for M&IE.
The traveler must submit to the Project Accountant originals of the supporting documents.
- The amount due to the traveler will be paid to his personal bank account. The Project Accountant may authorize the additional settlement payment of up to $50.00 for both local travel and outside travel. Higher amounts require the approval of the Senior Specialist.
- The amount due from the traveler will be deducted from his next grant payment.
- Obtaining Passports, Visas, Airline/Rail Tickets and Hotel Reservations.
Travelers are responsible for all travel arrangements (passports, visas, registrations, etc.). The STCU Travel Agent may provide assistance by issuing a form letter indicating that the travel is an official STCU travel. Travelers must abide by the rules and regulations of each individual embassy or consulate related to obtaining a visa. Often the rules and regulations for obtaining a visa differ widely between embassies and consulates. Thus, the STCU advises that all travelers work closely with the consular section of the embassy or consulate of the destination country to ensure satisfaction of all visa requirements.
The request for travel advance should be submitted to the Senior Specialist at the latest four weeks prior the travel.
The Senior Specialist within two days should authorize the travel request, or if there are reasons not to do so, contact the Project Manager.
The Travel Agent within two days should process the travel request, or if there are reasons not to do so, contact the Project Manager, Project Administrator or Senior Specialist.
The Treasurer/Project Accountant within five days should prepare the bank instruction.
The traveler within 7 working days after return should submit the Travel Settlement report to the Treasurer or Senior Specialist if the settlement requires additional approval.
This procedure is effective June 1, 2012.
M. Michael Einik
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