Texas Tech University

 

[Major revision–posted 1/24/14 (replaces 9/21/05 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 79.02: Texas State Travel Management Program

DATE: January 24, 2014

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to provide information to employees regarding vendors contracted by the State of Texas to provide travel services, as negotiated by the Comptroller of Public Accounts Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS). This OP will also outline procedures relating to compliance with the travel program regulations.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in November of odd-numbered years by the Manager of Travel Services with substantive revisions forwarded through the Managing Director of Procurement Services to the Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

POLICY/PROCEDURE

1.  General

The State Travel Management Program (STMP) has negotiated travel contracts for airline fares and hotels. When on official travel, Texas Tech University employees must use the contracted rates when reimbursement will be requested for expenses from state appropriated funds.

Details of the contracted agencies and applicable rates may be found at
http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/.

Any travel service obtained at a price lower than the contracted rate may be used. Tech employees should use these contracted services when reimbursement will be requested from institutional funds.

For rental cars, a contract has been established with UT Alliance, which provides a greater cost savings than the STMP contract and must be used for all vehicle rentals. Contract information is available at https://www.fiscal.ttuhsc.edu/Travel2/ under "Help >> Links."

The STMP also has contracted for the services of a state travel agency, and the use of these services is optional for the university. At this time, the university has chosen not to exercise this option.

2.  Exceptions

The contracted services should be used as required unless one of the following conditions exists:

a.    Travel is part of a group program or conference for which reservations must be made through a specified source to obtain a specified rate or service.

b.    A contract travel vendor cannot provide services in the time required to accomplish the purpose of the travel.

c.    A contract hotel is not available in a location that will reasonably allow the traveler's business requirements to be fulfilled.

d.    A contract hotel, airline, or rental car company cannot provide the required services because it is sold out or it does not offer services in the city being visited.

e.    Alternative rental car or hotel arrangements can be made at a lower total cost than the contract hotels or rental car companies. Note: For rental cars, the total costs should include the base rate, loss/damage waiver or liability insurance protection, mileage charge, taxes, and surcharges. For hotels, the cost of the guest room, less taxes, shall be used to compare total costs.

f.    A contract airline offers a fare lower than the contract fare.

g.    A non-contract airline offers a lower published fare to the general public. However, identical airfares offered to state travelers only are not included as part of this exception.

h.    Travel is undertaken by persons with disabilities, other persons in the custody of the state, or in a medical emergency.

i.    Use of contract travel vendors may present a security or safety risk to the traveler.

Even though a traveler is not required to use the contracted rental car companies for travel paid from non-appropriated funds, the amount of reimbursement (including the loss/damage waiver protection) will be limited to the contracted rates unless a valid exception is claimed. (Documentation may be required to verify the exception.)

3.  State Contracted Credit Card System

The STMP has contracted with a credit card company to provide charge cards for official travel use. The procedure outlining the use of the state travel card may be found in OP 79.03, Use of the State Travel Card.

4.  Compliance Policy

a.    It is the responsibility of the traveler's supervisor to review the employee's travel arrangements and travel vouchers to ensure that any travel reimbursed from appropriated funds meets the requirements of the contracted travel services and these services are used for official travel. If these services were not used, the traveler must claim an exception along with the travel voucher. Exception forms are available at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/procurement/forms/documents/travel/procurement-travel-exemption-form.pdf.

b.    Travel Services will check travel vouchers for compliance with the requirements of the State Travel Management Program and/or university operating policies/procedures. Travel vouchers that are not in compliance with these provisions may be delayed or rejected.

5.  Problems with Contracted Vendors

Travel Services should be notified as soon as possible if problems arise with any of the contracted vendors.

 

Operating Policies & Procedures