Request for Authorization of Travel Expenses (TA)
Prior to any travel, a Travel Authorization needs to be files. After you discuss upcoming travel with Dr. Agarwal and receive his approval, send the following information to Brian Butler (bsbutler2@UALR.EDU), copying Dr. Agarwal.
- Your T-number
- Event name
- Conference Fee Amount (if applicable)
Brian will prepare a Travel Authorization for you to sign that will include any “estimated” expenses that will be incurred while traveling. Travel expense reimbursements will not be issued unless a TA is on file and reimbursements will not exceed the expenses included in the TA.
Daily Allowance for Destination
The TA will include the daily maximum for lodging and meals, which is based on location. Amounts may be found on the GSA Per Diem Rates website: https://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877
Travel reimbursement is not a per diem, and is to be claimed for actual expenses for meals and lodging up to the maximum daily allowance referred to in 1.1.2.
Meals: The maximum allowance for meals includes taxes and up to 15% tip reimbursement as provided by Arkansas law. Save your detailed receipts. If any of your receipts include shared bills, state what your share of the bill was. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.
The traveler is only eligible for up to 75% of the daily allowance for meals on the first and last day of travel. If travel covers a two day period, then meal reimbursement is up to 75% of the daily allowance for each day. For partial days, meals must be charged in proportion to the time in travel status.
Lodging: Lodging rates exclude room tax and should be exceeded only by the room tax amount unless special authorization is given in writing by the travel administrator justifying the need to exceed the standard reimbursement rate.
Note: The maximum reimbursement allowance for lodging may be exceeded only if the traveler provides justification in the special authorization section of the TA form and signed by the appropriate travel administrator. The reasons for exceeding the maximum lodging rate must be clearly stated in the special authorization section.
Travel may be achieved by plane, train, bus, taxi, private vehicle/aircraft, rented or state-owned automobile; whichever method serves the requirements of the state most economically and advantageously.
Reimbursement for out-of-state travel will be the lesser of coach class airfare or the established rate of private care mileage, based on map mileage (whether paper-based or electronic) when driven. Mileage is measured from the official station to the destination, or the distance from the residence to the destination, whichever is less. Allowable mileage is determined by consulting maps.randmcnally.com. Employees may also contact Accounts Payable (501.569.3318) to obtain the maximum map mileage.
Employees by commercial air shall utilize coach accommodations, except in those instances where first class accommodations would be more economical for the state. Instances where first class fare is utilized will require detailed justification and must be approved by the travel administrator. Commercial airline tickets should be purchased at least 14 days prior to travel, if possible. Airline tickets purchased with less than a 14-day advance shall be explained in writing to the department head or vice chancellor and approved by him or her in writing prior to purchase.
Changes to flight schedules that result in ticket change fees must be for a business reason and receive prior approval of the employee’s immediate supervisor. Unauthorized ticket change fees incurred for the convenience of the employee are the personal responsibility of the employee and will not be reimbursed.
The university will pay or reimburse the employee for checked baggage fees for the first bag only. Fees for additional bags and all other optional services (preferred seating, early bird check-in, extra baggage fees, etc.) must be paid by the employee and are not eligible for reimbursement.
The minimum miles traveled per day to be eligible to collect a night’s lodging is 400 miles. The requirement to travel a minimum of 400 miles daily has no effect on in-state travel nor does it affect travel outside the state where the destination is less than 400 miles from the employee’s official station. It addresses the period of time the employee spends en-route or in travel status reaching the destination.