[Moderate revision–posted 1/6/23 (replaces 2/17/22 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 79.01: Travel Authority and Definitions for Texas Tech University and TTU Employees
DATE: January 6, 2023
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to set forth legislative travel regulations from the General Appropriations Acts of the Texas Legislature and the policies of Texas Tech University.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in November of odd-numbered years by the Section Manager of Travel Services with substantive revisions forwarded through the Chief Procurement Officer to the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
The following rules were developed under the authority of the General Appropriations Act Article IX, Part 5; Texas Government Code, Chapter 660; and Texas Administrative Code, Title 34, Part 1, Chapter 5, Subchapter C, Section 5.22.
2. Responsibility of Agency and Employee
a. Agency Responsibility
All travel must be for the benefit of the institution. It is the policy of TTU to follow travel requirements as outlined in:
The requirements outlined in this policy apply to all official travel, regardless of funding source.
A travel expense may be reimbursed only if the purpose of the travel clearly involves official state business and is consistent with the university's legal authority.
A state employee who receives free transportation or lodging in exchange for points or other non-monetary credits or rewards has not incurred an expense for reimbursement purposes.
The university shall minimize the number of travel expenses reimbursed by ensuring that each travel arrangement is the most cost-effective considering all relevant circumstances.
b. Employee Responsibility
A state employee shall ensure that their travel complies with applicable state laws, Textravel (https://fmx.cpa.state.tx.us/fmx/travel/textravel/index.php), and any policies adopted by TTU. Failure to comply will result in delayed payment or reimbursement or rejection of the employee's travel voucher.
A state employee may not seek reimbursement of a travel expense that the employee knows or reasonably should know is not reimbursable or payable. A state employee shall immediately reimburse the state (through TTU) for any overpayment.
3. General Provisions
a. Employee Travel
Employees shall make off-campus trips only after obtaining appropriate approval by designated administrative officials, in accordance with established procedures, and when the trip contributes to the university's mission.
Employee travel may not interfere with the primary academic or administrative responsibilities of the traveler.
Employees may claim reimbursement for travel expenses through TTU's online travel system: https://www.fiscal.ttuhsc.edu/travel2/. Instructions are available at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/procurement/resources/training-and-work-aids/.
b. Travel Expenses Paid from Grant Funds
Employees traveling on official business may be reimbursed for travel expenses paid from grant funds but are expected to comply with provisions of the grant, university policy, and any state and/or federal regulations.
c. Authority to Approve Travel
The traveler's supervisor will approve the travel expenses; however, the following officers and administrators have the authority to authorize and approve all employee travel within their area, except foreign travel. Foreign travel, including Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. territories, must be approved by the Office of International Affairs, as noted in OP 79.05, International Travel, provided that such travel contributes to the university's mission and follows current travel regulations. These officers and administrators may further delegate their authority.
(3) Provost and Senior Vice President
(4) Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer
(5) Vice Presidents/Vice Chancellors
(7) Director of Athletics
(8) Office of International Affairs for all foreign travel, including Canada and Mexico
a. Cancellation Charge – A fee, charge, or payment that a travel services provider assesses or retains because of the cancellation or change of a travel reservation or other travel plan.
b. Commercial Lodging Establishment – A motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house, or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay.
c. Commercial Transportation Company – A company or individual that transports people or goods at a cost.
d. Contiguous United States – The District of Columbia and all states of the United States except Alaska and Hawaii.
e. Designated Headquarters – The area within the boundaries of the incorporated municipality in which a state employee's place of employment is located.
f. Duty Point – The destination, other than the place of employment, to which a state employee travels to conduct official state business.
g. Gratuity/Tip – Something given to a service provider voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually in response to or in anticipation of a service.
h. Incidental Expense – An expense incurred while traveling on official state business. The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and any applicable tax, except a tax based on the cost of a meal. The term does not include a meal, lodging, or transportation expense; a personal expense that an individual would incur regardless of whether the individual was traveling on official state business; or a tip or gratuity.
i. Lease – A contract with a term of at least one month that gives the lessee possession and use of property or equipment while the lessor retains ownership of it.
j. Lodging Expense – A charge imposed by a commercial lodging establishment as consideration for providing lodging. The term does not include money paid as a donation, gratuity, or tip to the establishment.
k. Meal Expense – The cost of a meal plus any tax based on the meal's cost. The term does not include a tip, a gratuity, or a mandatory service charge paid or imposed in conjunction with a meal.
l. Non-working Hours – All hours in a calendar day except working hours.
m. Official Mileage – The mileage on official travel, including mileage to and from out-of-town destinations, as well as point-to-point mileage within cities visited. All official mileage is based on the shortest routes possible, which should include farm-to-market roads. The Official State Mileage Guide shall determine mileage reimbursement rates.
n. Official Travel – Travel approved by the university.
o. Official Travel Status – The time between leaving designated headquarters for official travel and returning to designated headquarters from official travel.
p. Per Diem Allowance – The actual cost of meals and lodgings, not to exceed the daily maximum allowed by the State of Texas for in-state or out-of-state travel.
q. Prospective State Employee – An individual that a state agency considers for employment with the agency.
r. Rented or Public Conveyance – A motor vehicle, train, aircraft, boat, or bicycle that a state employee rents or pays a fare to use for a period of less than one month.
s. State Agency – A unit of state government that uses appropriated funds to pay or reimburse a travel expense of a state employee.
t. State Employee – An individual employed by a state agency, including a key official, unless the travel allowance guide specifically provides otherwise. The term also includes a prospective state employee.
u. Transportation Expense – A charge related to the cost of transportation, e.g., private auto, commercial airline, taxi, etc.
v. Travel Expense – A meal, lodging, transportation, or incidental expense.
w. Travel Voucher – The accounting document used to reimburse a state employee for travel expenses incurred during the discharge of official state business.
x. Workday – A day on which a particular state employee is regularly required to conduct official state business.
y. Working Hours – The hours during which a state employee is regularly scheduled to conduct official state business.
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