Subject: Travel, Expense and Travel Card Procedures
Note: UMS = University of Maine System
The University pays for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by University employees and qualified individuals (job applicants, student recruits and students, as well as guest speakers in certain circumstances). All travel and expense transactions, including any reimbursement to the traveler, must be processed through the University’s travel and expense management system software package known as “Concur”. Reimbursement for approved travel will be based on actual expenses, as authorized.
Travelers are expected to minimize travel related expenses by making selections that result in the least expense to the University, providing this does not result in ineffective use of the individual’s time or excessive inconvenience. By minimizing travel costs for the University, travelers can help to ensure that University funds are used effectively. The University has retained a designated Travel Management Company (hereinafter referred to as “TMC”) and requires arranging air travel through this mechanism. The University also encourages faculty and staff to take advantage of other University arranged travel discounts whenever possible.
It is the traveler’s responsibility to document expenditures in accordance with the procedures outlined in this Administrative Practice Letter (hereinafter referred to as “APL”). These procedures apply to employees and qualified individuals when they incur travel-related expenses while conducting authorized University business. Travelers should take advantage of any significant savings opportunities that may not be explicitly spelled out by these procedures.
If federal funds are used for travel and federal requirements are more restrictive than the University’s, the federal requirements will control. Travelers should consult Procurement Services staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions regarding the University’s procedures or requirements.
II. Approval of Travel
All out-of-state (and international) travel requires prior approval. Prior approval is secured in the form of a Travel Request in the Concur system that has been submitted and fully approved before travel begins. A Travel Request accomplishes three important objectives; 1) Documents approval to travel from the traveler’s supervisor, 2) Allows the appropriate budget approval authority to ensure that adequate funds exist for the travel, and 3) Provides visibility into the trip to ensure the traveler is adequately insured AND to allow the University to render assistance, as appropriate, to the traveler while traveling. For travel fully funded by an entity outside of the University (e.g., a University employee serves as an officer of a professional association and related expenses are fully covered by the association), Travel Requests are still required.
Quarterly reports will be provided to supervisors listing trips with no prior approval, but for which prior approval was required, for follow up supervisory action.
A. Travel Booking Services
Travelers are required to use Concur and the TMC for booking all air travel. Travelers are also encouraged to use Concur and the designated TMC to book lodging, rental car, and rail services.
Booking travel through Concur and the TMC provides the University with the information necessary to meet its duty-of-care obligations (i.e., to render assistance, as appropriate, to the traveler while traveling). In addition, use of such programs ensures that the traveler receives appropriate service levels and negotiated rates, while providing management information to ensure contract performance of vendors.
The Concur booking tool should not be used to book personal travel. The designated TMC may be used to book personal travel as long as they are informed and a personal credit card is provided for that personal travel.
B. Use of Travel Cards
The Travel Card is the preferred method of payment for travel expenses. University employee travelers may be issued a Travel Card subject to the approval of the Chief Business Officer (CBO) and/or the CBO’s designee at each University. The Travel Card is to be used for business purposes only. Charges to Travel Cards are a corporate liability whereby statements for the Travel Cards come to the University and are paid by the University.
The Travel Card provides auto rental insurance for damage to a rental car (note that this only covers less than 8 passenger vehicles) due to collision or other-than-collision (e.g., theft, vandalism, etc.). There is no added cost for this coverage.
These procedures shall be administered and enforced uniformly for all travelers. Each level of approving authority/employee’s supervisor is responsible for making the policy readily available to subordinates and monitoring compliance when authorizing Travel Requests or approving Expense Reports. Travelers and supervisors should exercise sound business judgment in implementing these procedures and in responding to conditions that warrant exceptions. Exceptions will be monitored and inappropriate claims will not be reimbursed. In addition, the University could impose disciplinary action on individuals who fail to follow these procedures.
IV. Specific Procedures
A. Travel Reimbursement
Individuals who travel on behalf of the University shall be reimbursed for such travel based on the actual expenses incurred. Such actual expenses shall include, but not be limited to, meals, lodging, air travel, and ground transportation.
1. Meal Reimbursement
Meal expenses should be reasonable. The University provides for individual meals at actual cost, up to the allowable amount; for overnight travel the standard allowance for domestic travel is $50 per day, with an option to select the higher UMS Federal Rate Meals allowance for out-of-state travel (see IV.B.2). For single extended days (no overnight stay), the maximum limit is $20 per day, per person. Departments may limit meal expenses by allowing a lower daily maximum limit, provided that limit is applied to both unrestricted funds and restricted funds. It is the responsibility of the departmental expense approver to monitor compliance with the reduced allowance. Receipts are not required for individual meal expenditures, however in rare cases departmental approvers can require receipts at their discretion, but must communicate that requirement to the traveler at the time of trip authorization and note that requirement in the Concur system. Itemized receipts are required for catering and group meals, as well as a list of attendees. The Group Meal expense type in Concur should be used when, and only when, the meal includes non-University attendees, athletic team meals, or student group travel. Group Meals must be in compliance with APL IV-I, Use of University Funds. When there is more than one University employee attending a meal, each should submit their own expense.
a. Travelers are encouraged to utilize a University issued Travel Card for meal expenses; however, the traveler must reimburse the University for meal expenses that exceed the lower of the Department or University per day maximum (see IV.B.1).
b. Tips are reimbursable up to 20% of the cost of a meal and do not alter the daily meal limit. There are two exceptions to this requirement:
i. Travelers may round tips up to the next dollar, and
ii. In the rare instance where a restaurant requires a tip greater than 20%, the traveler will be reimbursed for the required amount. Restaurants typically only require a certain percentage for a tip when a group is served.
c. The University, as a rule, does not reimburse travelers for alcohol. Any exceptions must be approved by the applicable University’s CBO or designee, and must be funded appropriately from non E&G (educational and general) sources. See APL IV-I, Use of University Funds.
2.UMS Federal Rate Meals
The University permits travelers to elect a higher daily allowance for overnight out-of-state travel. These rates are based on the travel destination and can be determined using the meal portion of the meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates found on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) website (External Site).
a. When electing to use Federal Rate Meals, the travel and the meal rate must be approved via a Travel Request prior to booking travel. The Travel Request may not be denied based solely on the meal rate selected. Travelers may elect either Federal Rate Meals or standard Travel Meals ($50) for an entire trip, rates cannot be combined.
b. The Federal Rate Meals allowance provides for a prorated amount (75%) on the first and last days of travel. It also includes per-meal reductions when meals are provided to the traveler (e.g. meals provided at a conference, or otherwise paid for by another party).
3. Meals Outside Continental United States
a. For travel outside of the continental United States, the University will reimburse travelers for actual meal expenses up to the maximum Federal Rate allowed for that location. Reimbursement for meals outside the Continental United States varies depending on the locality of travel:
i. Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) – is to be used for non-foreign localities outside of the continental United States. These areas include Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and possessions of the United States.
ii. Foreign OCONUS – is to be used for foreign travel.
b. As rates change, travelers should complete their Expense Reports in a timely manner to ensure that the applied rate is appropriate to the actual dates of travel. The Concur system automatically calculates the foreign travel meal allowance by location. For reference, these rates may be obtained by adding the Local Meals and Local Incidental amounts at the United States Government’s Rates of Per Diem website (External Site).
4. Criteria for Allowable Meals
Allowable, non-taxable meals:
Meal expenditures are allowable when they are ordinary and necessary for carrying out the mission of the University. The guidelines in this section of the APL govern whether these expenditures are allowed. Meals provided to UMS employee travelers, that meet one of the following criteria, are allowable and non-taxable to employees:
a. Overnight travel status: Meals are allowable when travelers are on business and away from home overnight.
b. Entertainment: Meals are allowable when employees are entertaining bona fide business associates provided the expenses are reasonable, properly substantiated and are directly-related or associated with the active conduct of University business. Such expenses will be reimbursed at actual. Proper substantiation includes documentation of the amount, the date, place, business purpose, listing of attendees, and itemized receipt. See APL Section IV-I, Use of University Funds. See: APL Section IV-I, Use of University Funds.
i. Meal expenses are considered to be directly-related when:
- The entertainment takes place in a clear business setting, or
- The main purpose of the entertainment is the active conduct of business, and business does occur during the entertainment, and there is more than a general expectation of getting income or some other specific business benefit.
ii. Meal expenses are considered to be associated if:
- Such entertainment is typically associated with University business, and
- The entertainment directly precedes or follows a substantial business discussion.
Examples of entertainment meals that are allowable include meals incurred when a search committee member(s) hosts a candidate for a position, and meals incurred when hosting a visiting lecturer, potential donor or other official guest of the University.
c. Other: Meals are allowable when they are:
i. Directly related to bona fide business meetings of University employees, Board members, or agents.
ii. Directly related and necessary to attendance at business meetings or conventions of certain exempt organizations such as business leagues, trade associations, and professional associations.
iii. Furnished at a University location on behalf of the University for the convenience of the University. Examples include providing meals to food service employees or to an employee to ensure the employee is available for emergencies. In the latter case, to be exempt, the department must be able to show a history of emergencies in the employee’s position as well as demonstrate that providing meals to the employee promotes readiness in dealing with emergencies. The individual authorizing the meals for an employee is responsible for ensuring the justification is documented and communicated to the travel office.
Allowable, taxable meals:
Meal expenditures for single extended days are allowable and taxable (will be reported on the employee’s annual IRS W-2) under the following circumstances:
a. The employee’s required travel extends their work day by more than four (4) hours beyond their regular work day. Regular work day defined as the normal time at work plus normal commute time.
b. The Single Extended Day Travel Meal allowance is not intended to replace the employee’s regular mid-shift meal.
c. The travel day cannot be otherwise extended in order to meet the 4-hour minimum.
d. The Single Extended Day Travel Meal allowance may not exceed $20 and is reimbursable at actual cost, no receipt required, and paid with a University Travel Card whenever possible.
1. Lowest Cost
University travelers are expected to use the lowest cost lodging appropriate to their travel. University travelers should stay in a standard room only. Suites and other upgraded rooms are not allowable expenses. If there is a valid business need for a non-standard room, the business purpose must be documented and approval must be granted in advance by the department chair or CBO. Travelers may accept complimentary upgrades. Incidentals such as in-room movies, housekeeping gratuities and laundry services are not reimbursable.
2. Lodging at Actual
The University reimburses lodging at actual cost. The University requires the itemized lodging receipt to support actual expenses. Such receipts typically show the name and location of the lodging, the dates, and separate amounts for other charges such as meals and telephone calls.
3. Multiple Occupancy
a. When paying for and requesting reimbursement for other University travelers’ lodging costs, travelers must list those names on the Expense Report with the total amount paid.
b. Travelers should request and receive reimbursement equal to the single room rate when staying in a room costing more than the single room rate and the other person(s) in the room is not on official University business.
D. Air Travel
1. Use University Designated Travel Management Company
Travelers are required to make all air travel arrangements for individuals through Concur or the TMC, or for group travel, with the designated TMC. Payment for such air travel should be made with a Travel Card. The UMS Travel Administrator, as appropriate, may in other cases authorize the travel agency to bill air travel directly to the University. Rare exceptions for compelling business reasons will be addressed in consultation with the appropriate University CBO.
2. Air Travel
Regularly scheduled airlines should be selected as carriers whenever possible unless approved in advance in writing, by the applicable University CBO AND University Risk Manager, private non-commercial and/or charter services are not allowed.
3. Use Economy Coach Fares
University travelers are expected to use the lowest cost airfare appropriate to their travel, which is generally regular economy coach fares, excluding restricted basic economy and light fares (as these classes of fares are highly restrictive and often incur additional fees and charges, e.g., charges for seat assignments, charges for carry on baggage, etc).
4. Use U.S. Flag Carrier Service
Travelers must use U.S. flag air carrier service for all air travel funded by the U.S. Government, except as provided in the Fly America Act. Further details: https://www.gsa.gov/policy-regulations/policy/travel-management-policy/fly-america-act: United States Fly America Act (External Site).
5. Travel Insurance Not Reimbursable
The University will not reimburse travelers for the purchase of travel, life or accident insurance, except in unique circumstances (e.g., travel booking in anticipation of receiving a grant) with prior approval from the appropriate CBO or designee. In some instances, Travel Interruption Insurance may be allowed with prior approval of the University’s Risk Manager.
6. Wifi and Airport Lounge Expenses Not Reimbursable
The University will not reimburse travelers for the purchase of in-flight and/or airport WIFI, fee-based upgraded seat or boarding assignments, and airport lounge expenses.
E. Ground Transportation
a. APL Section II-B, Motor Vehicle Administration & Guidelines, should be reviewed prior to operating a vehicle for University business.
b. Travelers are liable for fines they incur when using rental, personal or University cars. Fines and citations become part of the driver’s record and are not the responsibility of the University. The University is, however, liable for any fines incurred related to University vehicles that are not inspected or registered.
c. Fees for bridges, ferries, parking, etc., incurred when conducting University business are reimbursable with a receipt. In the rare event that a receipt is not available, the traveler is certifying by selecting a Missing Receipt Affidavit within the Travel Expense Report that the expenses were incurred by the traveler for University business. Use of the Missing Receipt Affidavit should be minimal. Highway toll fees do not require a receipt.
2. Use of Taxi Services
If used, sharing of taxi services is encouraged when possible. Taxi charges when traveling on University business are reimbursable with a receipt and may include a tip of up to 20%. Ride Sharing services (e.g Uber and Lyft) are allowed as an alternative to taxi services and may include a tip of up to 20%.
3. Use of University Cars
a. Whenever possible or practical, University pool cars should be used when traveling on University business.
b. Liability insurance coverage is provided on all University owned and leased vehicles.
c. Each University has a designated Vehicle Administrator who should be consulted to determine specific vehicle use guidelines.
4. Car Rentals
a. Cars should be rented based upon a demonstrated need (i.e., no University pool car is available or appropriate, no public transportation is available, several locations will be visited).
b. Travelers should strive to get the lowest possible rates by using Concur, or through the University TMC. Travelers should select the most appropriate vehicle to meet their travel needs (generally compact to mid-sized) and higher cost vehicles such as convertibles or high performance vehicles are not allowed.
c. Travelers should refuel rental cars just prior to return to the vendor, whenever possible and practical, to avoid the large surcharge on fuel. The cost of refueling can be paid with the Travel Card and must be reported on the Travel Expense Report in Concur.
d. Physical Damage insurance coverage on the rental car should be obtained using the least expensive option. Physical Damage insurance coverage on the rental car is usually automatically provided when a Travel Card is used to pay for the car rental. When the Travel Card is in the name of the driving employee, and the rental is less than 14 consecutive days, the individual should decline additional coverage (e.g., CDW – collision damage waiver and LDW- loss damage waiver). This coverage is only available for vehicles with less than eight seats, including the driver seat. Additionally, high performance vehicles and antique vehicles are expressly excluded from coverage. International coverage is provided outside a group of specific countries that are excluded by the University’s Travel Card provider. For additional information, contact the Office of Risk Management.
In all other cases, losses to the rental car are the responsibility of the University department renting the car. If further coverage for the vehicle is required, the CDW or LDW should be purchased and funded by the University department renting the car. The CDW or LDW generally is a per day cost of approximately $10-$15.
In the event of a loss on a rental vehicle with coverage provided by the Travel Card, Risk Management is to be notified immediately regarding the accident. If notice is not immediate, the University department may be held completely responsible for the damage to the vehicle.
e. Liability insurance coverage is provided by the University for rental cars rented and used for University business. However, for international travel, liability insurance coverage should be purchased from the rental car agency for the country of travel at the minimum required limit for that country. Coverage provided by UMS insurance carriers is in excess of the required minimum for an automobile.
If required by the rental agency, proof of liability insurance can be provided through the UMS Risk Manager. Additional information is available on the University’s myCampus portal under Risk Management. The Risk Management administrative assistant can also consult on the best options for rental car insurance.
5. Other Modes of Transportation
a) Hotel courtesy cars and airport buses to central cities should be used, if they are available, and meet the traveler’s need.
b) University travelers are expected to use the lowest cost train fare appropriate to their travel, which generally is economy coach fare.
c) Sharing of transportation is encouraged when possible.
6. Use of Personal Car
When University cars are not available or practical for use, travelers may use their personal car.
a. Reimbursement of mileage shall be limited to:
i. the lesser of the actual distance traveled on official business, or
ii. the distance that the University vehicle would have traveled if used.
b. Personally owned vehicles used for University-related business should be properly registered and inspected and appropriate for the intended use, as determined by the driver of the car.
c. The University provides no physical damage insurance coverage and no liability insurance coverage for personal cars. If a traveler uses his/her personal car for University-related business, that person’s own insurance on the vehicle is responsible for any insurance claims, and the traveler is personally responsible for any deductibles. However, if an employee uses their car, and the liability insurance has been exhausted, then the University’s excess liability coverage will apply when the driver is an authorized University employee on University business at the time of the loss. The University will not reimburse a traveler or their insurance company for any deductible, liability claim, or damage to the vehicle.
7. Accident Reporting
a. Travelers involved in an accident while on University business, regardless of the vehicle being used, must report the accident to the applicable Vehicle Administrator (see APL II-B) as soon as possible, and in all cases, within 48 hours of the time of the accident. Under Maine law, all accidents involving personal injury or death to a person, or apparent property damage of $1,000 or more, must be reported to the police or sheriff’s office and within 48 hours on forms provided by local police, State police or the Secretary of State. For vehicles rented with the Travel Card, the UMS Procurement Card Administrator must be notified within 48 hours of the accident.
b. Each University owned or leased vehicle should contain within it an Accident Report form and an insurance card summarizing the University’s liability insurance.
F. Phone Use
University travelers are encouraged to use the lowest cost practical for making business related toll calls.
G. Travel Advances
All employee travelers should have a Travel Card for expenses incurred when traveling on University business. In the rare occurrence where a Travel Card is not available, employees may request a travel advance. Travel Card holders are not allowed travel advances without securing prior approval from the appropriate CBO or designee.
- Employees may request a travel advance using the Travel Request form within Concur.
- Employees are allowed travel advances of $500 maximum for any domestic trip and $1,000 forinternational trips. Exceptions must be specifically authorized by the appropriate CBO or designee.
- Only one cash advance is permitted per employee, per destination, and will be issued no sooner than 14 business days prior to the trip.
- At the completion of the trip, the traveler must incorporate the Travel Request, which includes the cash advance, on the Travel Expense Report.
- Any unspent cash advance funds must be returned to the appropriate University business office for their campus within 5 business days of returning from a trip. Checks should be made payable to the University. Travelers must obtain a receipt for the repayment and then attach an image of the receipt to the Travel Expense Report.
- No advances will be issued for expenses that are the responsibility of a third-party organization rather than the University.
H. Reporting Travel Expenses
To ensure trip integrity and enable the approving authority/employee’s supervisor to properly evaluate reasonableness, the traveler must detail all expenses of a trip on a Travel Expense Report in Concur, no matter the method of payment: Travel Card, cash advance, personal credit card or cash, etc. A Travel Expense Report needs to be submitted even if the traveler only incurred expenses directly paid by the Travel Card and no travel advance was issued.
The traveler is to complete and submit the Travel Expense Report within 5 business days upon returning from a trip if a travel cash advance was issued to the traveler. If there was no travel cash advance, a traveler is expected to submit an Expense Report within 30 days. So that accounting for expenses is not unreasonably burdensome, an exception to the 30-day requirement may be made when total expenses have not exceeded $125. (This exception does not apply at Fiscal Year End.) Such expenses should still, however, be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days. For external audit and account management purposes, travelers must make every effort to submit all expense reports during the fiscal year in which expenses are incurred.
Travelers must attach supporting receipts to a Travel Expense Report for all expenses other than travel meals, travel agency fees, and E-Z Pass or highway tolls. If receipts are not available, travelers must select a Missing Receipt Affidavit within the Travel Expense Report. Use of a Missing Receipt Affidavit should be minimal.
In rare cases, when travelers request reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of others, the travelers must list all names on the Travel Expense Report. Other information required for expenses incurred on behalf of non-employees must include affiliation, business purpose, etc.
5. Non-lodging expenses such as meals, parking, and local telephone calls charged on a lodging bill must be separately reported on the Travel Expense Report.
Those who travel internationally, use a personal form of payment, and submit receipts in a currency other than USD, must provide supporting documentation for exchange rate conversion with the Travel Expense Report. When the rate is unknown, the traveler should calculate the amount using the tables found at: http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic (External Site).
The traveler is responsible for ensuring that only appropriate business-related expenses, within the limits established by this APL, are submitted for reimbursement and that amounts are properly substantiated, including amount, date, and business purpose. The appropriate approving authorities are the primary control for determining the accuracy, adequacy of supporting documentation, and reasonableness of all expenditures approved for reimbursement.
The University reserves the option to deduct from the employee’s paycheck, any outstanding cash advanced when the employee has not submitted a travel expense report within 60 calendar days of the end of the trip.
All Travel Requests and Travel Expense Reports are subject to audit by internal and external auditors, and are subject to public inspection in accordance with the State of Maine freedom of access laws.
V. Travel Card
A Travel Card is a procurement tool used to facilitate travel-related purchases. It is the intent of this APL to define parameters for the use of Travel Cards while maintaining sufficient controls.
- The use of Travel Cards is subject to the requirements of all applicable APLs, in particular:
- APL Section II-B Motor Vehicle Administration and Guidelines
- APL Section VII-A.2 Purchasing Procedures
- APL Section VII-B Procurement Standards of Conduct
- APL Section VII-C Purchasing Cards
- APL Section VII-E Sales Tax
- APL Section VII-H Determining Employee vs Independent Contractor Status
- APL Section IV-B Travel and Expense Procedures
- APL Section IV-C Signature Authority
- APL Section IV-I Use of University Funds
- APL Section IV-H Moving Expenses
- Travel Cards may only be issued to active employees of the University and used only for University business. Students and student employees are not eligible for Travel Cards unless a special request is made and approval is granted by the CBO or the CBO’s designee at each University.
- Universities have flexibility in structuring the paperwork flows for the various departments that will use the Travel Card, provided that the duties of purchasing, approval, and reconciliation of expenses to the general ledger are properly segregated. Reconciliation of travel expenses on an individual’s Travel Card will be performed by completing a Travel Expense Report in Concur.
- The use of Travel Cards is subject to the requirements of all applicable APLs, in particular:
The following practices establish the minimum level of controls necessary for the proper use of Travel Cards.
- The CBO or the CBO’s designee at each University will have the ultimate responsibility for the use of Travel Cards at his/her University, including making decisions as to which persons will be provided with a Travel Card. The card is identified as a Travel Card and the University of Maine System’s name, as well as the cardholder’s legal name, will be embossed on the card. The cardholder is responsible for using the Travel Card in accordance with this APL, for safekeeping the card, and is accountable for all purchases made using the Travel Card.
- Persons assigned a card, and individuals who are authorized to approve transactions, must complete online training and pass an associated quiz, read the APL Section IV-B, and sign a Cardholder Agreement, which specifies that the cardholder will protect the card and adhere to all policies and procedures. A completed Travel Card Application must also be signed by the cardholder’s supervisor and/or the person responsible for the account chartfield combination as per the general ledger attribute values, and the University CBO or the CBO’s designee, before a card can be issued.
- Travel Card transactions are approved in Concur via an Expense Report. Each Expense Report requires approval by at least the cardholder’s supervisor and the Cost Object Approver for the assigned chartfields. Changes and updates regarding each cardholder’s supervisor should be directed to the UMS Travel Administrator by the cardholder or the cardholder’s department as soon as possible. The UMS Travel Administrator will ensure that the cardholder’s Travel Card file and documentation is changed appropriately and training is provided for the new supervisor, if necessary.
- Since procurement authority has been delegated to the cardholder from the CBO or the CBO’s designee at each University, it is expected that the cardholder will strive to obtain the best price. Travel Card decisions should always be made in the best interest of the University.
- All cardholders will be held personally responsible for using a Travel Card solely for allowable transactions for University business. The card must not be used for personal purposes, regardless of the intent to reimburse the University. Use of the card for personal purposes will result in the actions described below (see V.C.6). It is the cardholder’s responsibility to ensure that all personal travel expenses are separated from business expenses and paid by a means other than the Travel Card. See disallowed transactions below (V.C.7).
- The following transactions with a Travel Card are disallowed, unless approved by the University CBO or the CBO’s designee, prior to each purchase, and all transactions are also subject to the requirements of APL Section IV-I; Use of University Funds.
- Refunds/returns/exchanges for cash.
- Payment of State of Maine sales tax. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to advise vendors that the University of Maine System is exempt from State of Maine sales tax including, but not limited to, tax on meals and hotels. A copy of the State of Maine sales tax exemption certificate and form can be found in APL Section VII-E; Sales Tax.
- Split purchases (splitting a purchase into two smaller transactions to defeat the transaction dollar limit that was placed on the card).
- Paying for collision insurance on rental vehicles (primary insurance for collision and losses is provided by the Travel Card) except when the card does not cover the cost as identified by vehicle type. Information can be obtained from the Travel Card Provider, UMS Risk Management consultations and a review of APL Section II-B; Motor Vehicle Administration and Guidelines.
- Expenses that are the responsibility of a third-party organization rather than the University.
Other purchases as defined by University policy. The following actions are prohibited:
- Lending or sharing the Travel Card.
- Failure to obtain or retain required supporting documentation for Travel Card purchases.
- Using the card to acquire personal goods/services.
- Using the card to acquire goods/services the cardholder has not been authorized to purchase.
- Other actions as defined by University policy.
The following actions are required:
- Immediately reporting a stolen or lost card or card number to the Travel Card issuing card provider(bank), the cardholder’s supervisor, and the Procurement Cards Administrator.
- Travelers must immediately notify his/her supervisor, the Procurement Cards Administrator, and UMS Risk Management of any accidents involving rental cars for which a Travel Card was used to secure the rental.
In the event any of the disallowed transactions occur, the responsible cardholder’s supervisor, or the person who becomes aware of the transaction first, will report the incident to the UMS Travel Administrator. When deemed appropriate, the UMS Travel Administrator will notify the University CBO or the CBO’s designee. The CBO or CBO’s designee at each University and the Human Resources staff at each University will review the infraction and determine suitable action including (but not limited to) the following:
- Provide additional training on responsibilities.
- Immediate reimbursement to the University for the amount of the purchase.
- Suspension or cancellation of the card.
- Disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
- Criminal prosecution, if fraudulent activity has occurred.
- Any other recovery action deemed appropriate, as permitted by law. Note that any action taken will be subject to the same procedural standards that apply to any disciplinary action.
Prior to termination or retirement, employees must promptly notify the Procurement Cards Administrator so that the card can be cancelled, then surrender their University Travel Card to the Procurement Cards Administrator, or to their supervisor, who immediately destroys and disposes of the Travel Card. As a secondary control, the UMS Travel Administrator and the Procurement Cards Administrator shall obtain from the UMS Office of Human Resources a monthly list of employees who have left the University System to verify accounts have been closed.
A maximum single dollar transaction, and a maximum monthly spend credit limit, will be established for each card. The CBO or the CBO’s designee at each University has the responsibility for approving the amounts for each card. The CBO or the CBO’s designee at each University must approve, using an appropriate mechanism, any changes to the maximum transaction and spend limits, and the approved documentation must be retained on file. In the University CBO’s or the CBO’s designee’s absence, the following individuals, in the order presented, will be authorized to make changes and document cardholder limits; University President, the System Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration or designee, or the UMS Strategic Procurement Operations Director.
If a cardholder disputes a transaction, he/she must notify the vendor in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not successfully resolved, the cardholder must immediately notify the issuing card provider (bank) and the Procurement Cards Administrator so that a timely dispute resolution process can be initiated within the time limits outlined by the Bank. For example, charges may be disputed for:
- a difference in amount authorized and amount charged
- duplicate charges
- account not yet credited, but a vendor credit voucher was received
- failure to receive goods or services
- returned merchandise
- defective merchandise (not returned at vendor’s request)
- unrecognized charges
- unauthorized charges
- altered charges
Cardholders must promptly review their Travel Card transactions in Concur and apply the transactions to a Travel Expense Report within Concur in accordance with this APL. Cardholders who do not apply their transactions to a Travel Expense Report in a timely manner will be subject to suspension or cancellation of their card.
The documentation for every card transaction must include the following information. (If this information is not included in the merchant’s documentation, the cardholder needs to record it directly on the documentation):
- Vendor Identification (merchant name)
- Date purchase was made
- Description, quantity and total cost of EACH item purchased.
- If documentation has been lost, the cardholder must select a Missing Receipt Affidavit within the Travel Expense Report stating that the expense was incurred on behalf of the University for business-related purposes, including specific descriptions of the items purchased.
University CBO or CBO’s designees, in consultation with the Procurement Cards Administrator, should consider whether card spending limits remain appropriate and should assess whether cards with minimal use should be discontinued.
The UMS Travel Administrator will monitor the program to ensure compliance with this APL. In addition, the UMS Travel Administrator will follow up on all deficiencies. If deficiencies are not corrected, cardholders will be considered to have breached their signed Cardholder Agreement and their cards will be subject to suspension or cancellation. Appeals to the suspension or cancellation policy will be made to each University’s CBO or the CBO’s designee and the UMS Strategic Procurement Operations Director, or the System Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration or designee.
Vendors may offer rebates to those who use the Travel Card. All cash and credit rebates received for using the Travel Cards should be deposited to a University bank account and credited to the general ledger chart-field combination associated with the original purchase.
- This Administrative Practice Letter has been approved by the Treasurer of the University of Maine System.
Attachment I: University Travel Card Rental Vehicle Insurance Summary from the Travel Card provider As of October 2017
|Item||Description of Coverage|
|Period of Coverage||Rental periods that are 14 consecutive days or less.|
|Area of Coverage||All except Israel, Jamaica, or the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.|
|Vehicles Covered||Most passenger vehicles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles. Expensive, exotic, and antique automobiles, certain vans, vehicles that have an open cargo bed, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes, limousines, and recreational vehicles are excluded.|
|Coverage||Will cover damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value as it was originally manufactured.|
|Liability insurance||Liability coverage is not provided by Travel Card provider, but is provided by University (see Section IV.E.4.e).|
|Claims notification||Immediately following the loss, but in no event later than 45 days following the loss. (Losses reported more than 45 days from the date of the loss or for which a claim form has not been received within 90 days from the date of loss will not be covered.)|
|Claims Notification Address/Telephone Number||Call the Benefit Administrator at 1-800-VISA-911. Outside the US call collect 0-410-581-9994.|
|Coverage Activated||When a cardmember initiates and completes the entire rental transaction with the University Visa Travel Card and the cardmember declines the car rental CDW/LDW option.|
|Who is Covered||You are eligible only if your name is embossed on the University Visa Travel Card.|