General Orders 200-17 Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Procedures Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in General Orders 200-17 Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Procedures Deck (27):
1

What is the Policy for General Order 200-17 Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Procedures ?



The City of Houston and the Houston Police
Department have well-defined travel, payment,
and reimbursement policies and procedures that provide administrative and financial controls.

This provides complete and timely payments, reimbursements, and advances for travel and travel-related expenses.


All travel- and training-related appendices referenced in this General Order may be accessed via the department's Intranet Portal under the Training forms section.

2

CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL

The following criteria shall be used for approval
or disapproval of travel and training
requests:

A. Requests should be related to the employee's
job responsibilities. Upon approval, the requesting employee shall be carried on City Business.

The department shall pay all eligible expenses.
If the funding is not available, the employee
shall be extended the option of attending
the training on City Business; however, the employee shall be responsible for a portion or all of the expenses.

B. Attendance at most training seminars
should be limited to one employee.
Exceptions may be granted on a case-by case
basis.

C. Before approval of a request, the employee's
division shall ensure similar training is not currently being offered through the department's Training Division or the City of Houston Human Resources
Department.

The division also shall explore the feasibility, benefit, and cost effectiveness of the requested training being hosted by the Training Division.

D. Command Staff members shall determine, based on budget allocation, the number of attendees to major conferences or conventions such as those of
IACP, NOBLE, and HAPCOA.
Each command shall be assigned a set number
of allowed attendees.
Attendance shall be based on staffing levels and the
function of each command.
Requests over the budget allocation shall be authorized
if division staffing levels permit and the employee pays expenses.

E. Employees volunteering to attend training seminars or conferences shall not receive overtime pay unless the Chief of Police gives prior approval.
Travel and training overtime requests shall be for
compensatory time only.

F. Requests for travel or training on City
holidays shall be discouraged because of additional expenses.
Whenever possible, the travel or training shall be
scheduled for another time.
The employee's division may make an exception if it is determined the benefit is greater than the extra expense.

3

Requests that do not relate to the employee's
current job responsibilities, but do promote overall professional development, may be permitted in accordance with the following provisions:

1. The employee may be carried on City Business if staffing levels permit the employee's absence.

2. Expenses shall be the responsibility of the requesting employee.

4

APPROVAL OF NONEMERGENCY TRAVEL

A Travel Authorization to Conduct City Business form (Appendix B) shall be prepared and printed on

A Travel Authorization to Conduct City
Business form (Appendix B) shall be prepared
and printed on blue paper for all travel or training requests.

5

APPROVAL OF NONEMERGENCY TRAVEL

All lines through line 7 must be completed on

All lines through line 7 must be completed on Appendix B.

6

APPROVAL OF NONEMERGENCY TRAVEL

The requesting employee must sign and date
the form, indicating they have read and understand
the

The requesting employee must sign and date
the form, indicating they have read and understand
the most current version of City of Houston Administrative Procedure 2-5 Revised (A.P. 2-5).

7

All travel or training requests require approval
through the chain of command through the

All travel or training requests require approval
through the chain of command through the level of assistant chief or equivalent.

8

Travel or training requests for Command Staff members require approval from

Travel or training requests for Command
Staff members require approval from the Chief of Police or designee.

Approval shall indicate funds are available and estimates are reasonable.
Certification that funds are available in the travel or training accounts and that the correct account
codes are being assigned should be verified at the command level.

9

No funding shall be reimbursed or advanced
without the signatures

No funding shall be reimbursed or advanced
without the signatures of the concerned Division Commander and assistant Chief, and the Director of the HPD Office of Budget and Finance on the blue original
Appendix B.

10

If the purchase of airfare is reduced by staying
overnight on a Saturday, a cost justification worksheet must be attached

If the purchase of airfare is reduced by staying
overnight on a Saturday, a cost justification worksheet must be attached showing that the overall cost to the City shall be less with the extended stay than without it.

Travel or training requests not requiring advances,
prepayment of fees, and airline travel should be approved prior to departure
should be approved prior to departure.

Travel or training requests requiring advance payment of registration fees or tuition must be submitted with the original, completed registration form and the approved, blue original Appendix B at least
twenty business days prior to the required
date.

11

Travel or training requests requiring
advance payment of registration fees or tuition
must be submitted with the original, completed registration form and the approved,

Blue original Appendix B at least twenty business days prior to the required date.

12

APPROVAL OF EMERGENCY TRAVEL

Travel on an emergency basis should be limited to criminal investigations, prisoner transfers, or providing testimony or evidence in a case when time is critical


13

Only the assistant chief of the requesting employee

Only the Assistant chief of the requesting employee
may authorize emergency travel.

14

Only the Chief of Police or designee may approve emergency travel

Only the Chief of Police or designee may approve emergency travel requests from Command Staff members.

This shall be on a case-by-case basis. Expenses shall be reimbursed in accordance with the applicable
sections of this General Order.


15

Petty cash advances for emergency travel may be provided when the travel relates to:

A. Retrieval of a suspect or obtaining evidence
critical to an investigation.

B. Providing testimony or evidence in a
case when time is critical.

Upon receipt of the signed and approved blue, original Appendix B, the Office of Budget and Finance shall advance the funds for the emergency travel from the Petty Cash Fund.

16

REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL ADVANCES

Travel requests requiring cash advances must be submitted to the Office of Budget and Finance with the approved, blue original Appendix B
and Request for Travel Advance (Appendix C) at least fifteen business days in advance of the date of
departure.

Employees not meeting this time requirement may not receive their advance prior to departure.

No advances shall be distributed after departure.


17

Advances shall be made only for

Advances shall be made only for meal, hotel,
and ground transportation expenses.

18

All Travel Expenses Summary Report & Log
forms (Appendix D) must be completed and
submitted through the chain of command
(assistant chief level) to the Office of Budget
and Finance within

within ten business days following the conclusion of the travel, or employees shall be subject to having the
advanced funds deducted from their paycheck.

19

A travel cash advance may be denied if an
employee:

A. Requests the advance less than fifteen business days before the advance is needed.

B. Has not submitted an Appendix D form
for previously completed travel.

C. Has not reimbursed the City for a travel advance that exceeded the actual cost of previously completed travel.

D. Requests less than $100 for the travel
advance.

E. Consistently submits an Appendix 0 form late (more than ten business days after travel is completed).


20

TRAVEL EXPENSES SUMMARY AND
REIMBURSEMENTS

Within ten business days following the conclusion
of all travel approved to utilize City funds (excluding time listed as City Business), the concerned employee shall complete all required Appendix D forms and submit them through the chain of command (Assistant Chief level) to the Office of Budget
and Finance.


21

The employee shall list on Appendix D all expenditures for the travel including reimbursable expenditures and
prepaid expenditures as well as any travel advances.


n

Any Purchasing Card (P-Card) expenditures shall be itemized on the Detail of Expenses form in Appendix D.

All original receipts (except as noted later in this section)
must be securely attached or enclosed in an envelope.

The division's and command's approval shall be indicated on the appropriate line on Appendix D and the forms forwarded to the Office of Budget and
Finance for verification and processing.


22

To expedite reimbursements, care should be exercised to ensure that figures entered on an Appendix D have been:

Added accurately and receipts match the amounts
shown on the report.
Variances should be explained or reimbursements may be delayed.

23

Reimbursable Expenses

Reimbursable travel expenses shall be listed on an Appendix D.
Reimbursable travel expenses include all of the following:

A. Meals. For out-of-town travel, the City of Houston establishes an employee meal per diem amount that includes taxes and gratuities and excludes alcoholic
beverages.
The meal per diem reimbursement rate is set by A.P. 2··5, but may be modified by the director of the
City of Houston Administration and Regulatory Affairs (ARA) Department.

The reimbursement rate is determined by location.
A Tier 1 reimbursement rate is established for specifically named metropolitan areas.
A slightly less Tier 2 reimbursement rate is established for all other locations inside the 48 contiguous
United States.
The approving authority shall prorate the meal per diem amounts for the day of departure and the day of
return according to A.P. 2-5

Receipts are not submitted for the meal
per diem.
However, if meals are charged on a P-Card, original receipts shall be submitted with Appendix D.


B. Mileage. Reimbursement for private vehicle use shall be made at the approved City rate with an approved mileage log. Mileage cost should not exceed the cost of a fourteen-day advance purchase round-trip coach airfare unless it is necessary to travel by vehicle because of the need to carry equipment and supplies.


C. Tips. Tips for taxi cab drivers, baggage handlers, doormen, etc. are reimbursable expenses.
They must be reasonable amounts and documented by an attached log. (Tips to hotel/motel custodial personnel
are not reimbursable expenses.)


D. Taxi and limousine expenses.
These expenses shall only be reimbursed if documented by a log listing dates, origination and destination points, and cost per trip.
(Trips in excess of twenty dollars must have a receipt.)


E. All items listed under the below subsection,
"Required Original Receipts."


24

Required Original Receipts

Reimbursable travel expenses that require
employees to obtain and submit original receipts with an Appendix D include the following:


A. Registration fees.
Original receipts are
required if the employee paid the registration
fees.

B. Air travel.
Tickets (coach section flight coupon) purchased by the employee shall not be reimbursed until after travel has been completed.
The employee shall include the cancelled ticket stub
(e.g., passenger receipt or boarding pass).
For ticketless travel, an equivalent, approved document must be submitted with Appendix D.

C. Gasoline.
Employees shall include gasoline
receipts when a City or rental vehicle
is used.

D. Car rental.
The cost must be less than use of a taxi or other ground transportation and the request should be made on the original Appendix B form
No luxury or recreational type vehicles shall be
leased unless justification is provided and approved in advance by the Assistant Chief of the requesting employee.

E. Parking.
A receipt or, if a parking receipt is not available (i.e., unattended parking lots), a log identifying the name
and location of the parking lot and the telephone number of the parking lot company (if available) must be submitted with the expense report to receive
reimbursement for parking.
When parking at a parking meter, the employee
must log the time, general location, and amount paid to the meter.


F. Lodging.
Itemized, lodging receipts must specifically indicate the single rate is being charged.
Credit card charge receipts are not acceptable.



G. Purchasing Card expenditures.
P-Card purchases require original receipts.

H. Telephone calls and other business
communication.
Expenses for telephone, overnight mail, Internet usage,
and fax for City business are reimbursable, but must be listed on the Appendix D and must be supported by an itemized bill or receipt.


25

USE OF CORRECT ACCOUNT CODES

Travel and training expenses shall be charged to the correct travel or training account.

Transfers from within the command or division accounts shall be required if funds in the division account are not available at the time of the request.

26

LEOSE FUNDS

Questions regarding the use of Law Enforcement
Officer Standards and Education (LEOSE) funds for travel or training may be directed to either the Office of Budget and Finance or the chair of the HPD committee
on LEOSE Funds.


27

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Questions regarding travel outside the United
States may be directed to the Office of
Budget and Finance.
Such travel may require additional approval.