The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) recently announced several policy changes including key changes described below. These changes, which will go into effect on October 15, 2017, align with recommendations in the State audit of the Office of the President that was issued in April. Additionally, the reduction in meal limit and lodging caps align with California State University system.
As you plan travel beyond October 15, please keep these new limits in mind.
Meals and Incidental Expenses – reduced limit to $62
- Daily meal and incidental (M&IE) limits will be reduced from $74 to $62 for travel assignments of less than 30 days within the Continental United States
- NO exceptions for costs exceeding the $62 limit can be approved or paid
- Reminder – daily meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) shall be based on the actual amounts incurred. The M&IE limit of $62 per day shall not be treated as a per diem, and expenses should be limited to actual reasonable costs. Travelers should be required to submit meal receipts if it appears that they are treating the cap as a per diem by routinely claiming the full M&IE amount.
Lodging Expenses – new cap of $275 nightly room rate
- New cap of $275 nightly room rate excluding taxes for travel assignments of less than 30 days within the Continental United States
- Unless there are documented extenuating circumstances, the traveler will be reimbursed for actual costs up to the $275 policy limit
- Process for costs exceeding the $275 nightly cap
- Traveler must provide written justification along with additional documentation such as price comparisons within the proximity of the meeting location that supports the higher lodging rate. The price comparison should be performed at the time of booking. It is recommended that travelers use the address of their event or conference and search for hotels within 2-5 mile radius.
- Unless there is acceptable written justification along with supporting documentation, the traveler will be reimbursed up to the $275 policy limit
- Travelers attending a conference where the prearranged conference lodging rate exceeds the $275 per night cap
- The traveler may stay at the conference hotel
- The traveler or delegate should add a comment to the expense report explaining the conference was held at the hotel and recommended by the conference. In addition, the traveler or delegate shall provide a screenshot or other documentation showing the recommended conference hotels.
- Lodging booked prior to October 15, 2017 where the lodging stay takes place after October 15, 2017
- The traveler or delegate should add a detailed comment to the expense report explaining why the $275 limit is being exceeded and why they are unable to book at another hotel which does not exceed the cap, along with any supporting documentation justifying the spend over this cap.
Highlights of other key travel policy changes effective October 15:
|Policy Subject||Current Policy Requirement(s)||New Policy Change(s) and Addition(s)||Exceptions and Other Notes|
|Reimbursement Standards - Expenses paid by a third party||Prohibits charging of travel related expenses to the University when such expenses are to be reimbursed by a third party||New policy allows for temporary University funding of travel expenses that will be paid by a third party||
• Traveler to return any third party reimbursement to the University
• Reimbursement should not be submitted for expenses already paid to the traveler by the third party
|Connexxus Travel Portal - Automatic enrollment of travel insurance||Implies business traveler is automatically enrolled in UC Travel Insurance if booking travel arrangements through Connexxus.||Added language: "Booking travel through Connexxus' preferred travel agencies and supported online booking tools, with the exception of SWABIZ (Southwest) automatically enrolls the traveler in the insurance program for travel outside of California, …"
• Automatic enrollment in UC Travel Insurance if business travel arrangements are made through Connexxus preferred travel agencies, EXCEPT for Southwest Airlines
• Trip insurance and trip registration are not automatic if travel reservations are made by an agency outside the Connexxus Travel program or using Southwest Air for Connexxus.
• Trip registration is required for University related travel out-of-state and to foreign countries.
|Other Ancillary Charges||Requires exceptional approval for ancillary charges||Exceptional approval no longer needed for reimbursement of extra airline charges such as carry-on baggage fees, early check-in or priority boarding, higher cost Economy Plus or Extra Comfort, etc.||
Allowable reimbursement by Authorized Approver.
|Rental Car Direct Bill||not available||• Allows for direct bill of Connexxus rental car charges for business expenses||
• UCSF issues payment directly to rental car agency - no out-of-pocket expenses by traveler
• We will announce details and instructions on direct bill of rental cars as soon as this new feature is available
|Official Vehicles - State of California pool cars||University employees traveling on business are authorized to use State pool cars.||Policy language removed.||
University employees can no longer use State pool cars.
|Other Forms of Transportation - Motorcycles||Motorcycles, except those used by the University police department, are not allowed||Revised language to allow use of motorcycles in foreign locations when automobile transportation is not an available option.||Motorcycle use only allowed and reimbursable by the University police department and in foreign locations (where cars are not available).|
|Certification of travel expense||n/a||Added language stating the University is not being charged for any expenses already reimbursed by a third party directly to the traveler and any expenses being charged to the University that are reimbursed by a third party entity will be returned to the University by the traveler.||Employees or guests should not receive reimbursement from both the University and a third party nor should charges be made to the University and employee or guest seeking reimbursement from the University.|
The revised G-28 policy will be linked to the Controller's Office website as soon as it is available.
Contact the Controller's Office Solution Center if you have any questions.