iDigBio Travel Policy

Tue, 2014-09-16 13:31 -- djennings

Overview

iDigBio seeks to provide participant support or travel support to eligible invitees to our events, which include workshops, symposia, conferences, and training programs. All provided participant or travel support must comply with the National Science Foundation’s Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms (http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/co-op_conditions.jsp?org=NSF) and the University of Florida’s Travel Policy (http://www.fa.ufl.edu/directives-and-procedures/travel/). If you have any questions, please contact us at info@idigbio.org or 352-273-3698.

Eligibility

University of Florida (UF) Employees

All University of Florida (UF) faculty, students, and staff are NOT eligible for participant support regardless of whether or not you are employed by iDigBio. However, travel reimbursement can be coordinated through iDigBio or your local department. All UF travelers are expected to comply with UF’s Travel Directives and Procedures (http://www.fa.ufl.edu/directives-and-procedures/travel/).

Florida State University (FSU) Employees

Florida State University (FSU) faculty, students, and staff employed by iDigBio are NOT eligible for participant support. However, travel reimbursement can be coordinated through iDigBio or your local department. All other FSU faculty, students, and staff are eligible for participant support.

Government Employees

All federal and state agency employees should check with their legal counsel to determine if they are eligible to participate in iDigBio programs and/or to receive travel reimbursement funds. In general, iDigBio can provide participant support to federal/state employees when they present at or facilitate an iDigBio event.

Local Participants

If a participant’s headquarters or residence is within 50 miles of the iDigBio event location, then the participant is “local” and may not claim per diem or reimbursement for lodging.

Travel Authorization

Following receipt of an invitation to participate in an iDigBio event, iDigBio will contact you to collect your personal travel details, which are required for us to process the necessary university Travel Authorization. Participant or travel support is provided for the duration of the iDigBio event, including one travel day before and one travel day after the iDigBio event. We request that all travel, whether or not arranged and/or purchased by iDigBio, be coordinated through iDigBio so we can ensure our project’s compliance with NSF and UF travel policies and guidelines.

Expense Reimbursement

Upon completion of your trip, you must submit a request for reimbursement. Travel is reimbursed on the basis of reasonable expenses incurred, subject to the limitations set forth in this policy. Original receipts (no photocopies or scans) showing the details of the purchases are required for all expenses other than per diem meals. Once we receive your request, we will complete a University travel expense report, which will be sent to you to approve, sign, and return to us for final processing. All reimbursements will be made by check in U.S. dollars, except international visitors may request a wire transfer.

Travel and Transportation

Travelers are to choose the most practical and economical mode of transportation, and are generally to travel the most direct route. Consideration should be given to the total cost to iDigBio, considering time of the traveler, impact on the productivity of the traveler, cost of transportation, and per diem or subsistence required.

Commercial Transportation

iDigBio arranges and/or reimburses commercial airfares for economy/coach accommodations based on the most economical commercial direct airfare available; first class transportation is not allowed; upgrades are not allowed. Airline baggage fees are reimbursable. Once you agree with the proposed itinerary, a ticket will be purchased by iDigBio. Once purchased, iDigBio cannot reimburse fees associated with ticket changes. Air travel from an airport that is not the closest to your home requires documentation showing it is the most practical and economical route.

International Travel

The Fly America Act (41 CFR 301-10.131 thru 301-10.143) requires that all federally funded travel be on a US flag carrier or US flag carrier service provided under a code-share agreement, except under specific situations. Exceptions must be documented prior to travel and pre-approved by the UF Travel Office. iDigBio does not reimburse any costs or fees associated with obtaining passports and/or visas.

Cost Comparison

The maximum reimbursable amount is the lesser of the actual ticket purchased or the cost of the most economical economy/coach commercial direct airfare. If another institution is reimbursing part of your ticket, you cannot request more than the balance. If you plan to combine your trip to the iDigBio event with travel to another destination, you must contact us so we can generate the appropriate cost comparison and determine the amount reimbursable by iDigBio.

Private Automobile

The cost of driving a private automobile will be reimbursed at UF’s standard mileage rate. If you choose to drive to an iDigBio event, the amount reimbursed will be the lesser of the mileage at UF’s standard rate or the cost of the most economical economy/coach commercial direct airfare. Please contact us if you are planning to drive from a distance greater than 200 miles from the event location.

Automobile Rental

Rental cars are not reimbursable unless you receive written authorization from iDigBio prior to travel. A car is not needed for local transportation in Gainesville, as the hotel is a short walk from our meeting space. If approved, travel to the event location by rental car is reimbursable up to lesser of the State contract rate for rental vehicles in effect at the time of the travel or the most economical economy/coach commercial direct airfare. The state contract requires the rental of a compact (Class B) or less. Insurance and/or gasoline purchased from the rental car agency are not allowed.

Tolls

Necessary, reasonable tolls are reimbursable.

Parking

Necessary charges for parking will be reimbursed, including airport parking fees. The actual amount paid for mandatory valet parking and for valet tips that do not exceed $1 per occasion and which were incurred in the performance of public business will be reimbursed.

Ground Transportation

The cost of shuttle service to and from airports and railroad stations, plus reasonable tips (15%), is reimbursable. Taxi fares are reimbursed when public transportation or shuttle service is not practical. Actual tips paid to taxi drivers which shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the fare will be reimbursed.

Lodging, Meals, and Related Expenses

Lodging

iDigBio will arrange for accommodations in a nearby hotel for the duration of the iDigBio event, and the cost of the room will be billed directly to iDigBio. You will be responsible for any incidentals that are not allowed under UF’s travel policy. If you arrive earlier or stay later than the iDigBio event, you will be responsible for all lodging, meals, and related expenses for your extra days. iDigBio cannot guarantee the group rate for extra days beyond the dates of the iDigBio event.

Meals

Meals that are not provided as part of your iDigBio event will be reimbursed according to UF’s state agency rate. Reimbursement for travel meals is determined based upon the actual length and time of your travel. Alcohol is never a covered expense. International travelers may prefer to be reimbursed on a receipt basis for tax purposes; if this is your preference, please obtain detailed receipts that do not include alcohol and submit with your reimbursement claim.

Internet

iDigBio attempts to provide free Internet access both at your hotel and at the iDigBio event location. If free Internet is not available, iDigBio will reimburse charges for internet services.

Registration Fees

You will be notified by iDigBio if registration fees are required and/or will be reimbursed as part of your iDigBio event. If this is the case, you must submit a copy of your registration form and/or conference brochure stating: the amount of the registration, what is included in the registration fee (meals, lodging, etc.), and the method of payment used to pay the registration fee. In addition, you must submit a copy of the agenda for the conference, convention, workshop, seminar or meeting that you attended.

Cancellations

All visitors must immediately notify iDigBio if travel must be cancelled. Non-refundable airfare and accommodations purchased by iDigBio, less any fee penalties, may be used by the visitor at a later date for approved iDigBio business. Other expenses incurred by visitors who cancel their travel are not eligible for reimbursement under state and federal guidelines.

Expenditures by Physically Handicapped Travelers

When a physically handicapped traveler incurs travel expenses in excess of those ordinarily authorized, the excess travel expenses will be reimbursed to the extent that the expenses were reasonable and necessary to ensure the safe travel of the individual. All such claims must be submitted with sufficient documentation. A physically handicapped person needing special travel considerations must submit a request for such special needs to iDigBio prior to travel.

Standards Documentation: