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Travel Office

Travel is an important aspect to the advancement and growth of the institution's faculty, staff, and students.

The SUNY Oswego Travel Office processes travel payments consistent with policies, procedures and guidelines established by SUNY Oswego, the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, SUNY System and the NYS Office of General Services. Various options are available for the traveler including reimbursement and travel cards for expenses incurred when the employee is in travel status. All expenses incurred must be in the best interest of the institution and the most economical option available. We recognize the complexity of travel policies, procedures and guidelines and strive to make travel experiences as positive as possible for members of our campus community.

Travel ManualExpenditure Reimbursement Guidelines

Forms and Necessary Approval

Approval of documentation is required at different levels and stages depending on the type of travel and needs of the traveler:

1. Before Travel Takes Place: The Travel Request (T-1)

Travel Request (T-1)

An employee must complete a Travel Request (T-1)  for every trip whether they are in overnight status, or simply taking a day trip. Travel Requests identify:

  • who is traveling
  • where they are going 
  • what they are doing
  • when they leave and return
  • what expenses they expect to incur
  • the funding account and a complete list of all parties traveling

The traveler's supervisor, Director, Dean, Vice President, Provost or President should approve an employee's travel plan and funding source before travel takes place. It is important that all employees plan their travel, submit a completed and approved Travel Request to their Department's Office at least TWO WEEKS in advance of the date of departure. The dollar limit is the maximum amount that will be reimbursed to the traveler. Failure to submit a Travel Order may delay a traveler's request for reimbursement.

Please note: All out of state travel requires approval from a Dean or a Vice President. Professional development funding requires additional approval from the department chair of Professional Development.

2. After Travel Takes Place: The Travel Voucher

Travel Reimbursement Voucher (AC132) StaTEMENT OF automobile (AC160-s) 

After travel takes place and if the traveler is due reimbursement, the traveler must:

The Employee ID number is required on the AC-132 form in order to process. This number can be found on the employees paystub or on their Time & Attendance, and begins with the letter N.

If a fleet vehicle is not available, and a personal vehicle is used during a trip, personal mileage will be reimbursed. The traveler must complete and attach a Statement of Automobile Travel Form to their Travel Voucher. If travel per day is over 80 miles with a personal vehicle the mileage-rental calculator spreadsheet will need to be provided.

When using the mileage-rental calculator spreadsheet, please be sure to change the gas price in accordance with US Retail Gas Prices.

 

Please note: the traveler is responsible for knowing and complying with all travel guidelines; travel reimbursement will be directly deposited into the travelers account at their financial institution. 

Travel Status

An employee is considered to be in travel status and eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses (including lodging, meals, transportation, and miscellaneous travel expenses) when an employee is assigned at a work location more than 35 miles from both his/her official work station AND his/her home. Traveling from SUNY Oswego to home or vice versa is considered commuting and is not reimbursable. The assignments must meet a necessary business purpose as directed and approved by appropriate personnel. The official work station for the majority of our employees is:

SUNY Oswego
7060 State Route 104
Oswego NY 13126

Transportation

Travelers should use the most efficient and cost effective method of transportation available. Oftentimes this means using a common carrier such as a train, bus, taxicab or airplane. When choosing a method of transportation several factors should be considered like; the distance traveled, the travel time, number of travelers, number of locations to be visited, and type of transportation available. 

When a common carrier is available but a more expensive method is chosen without sufficient justification, reimbursement may be limited to the common carrier rate. Attach all original receipts to the expense report to show means of transportation and amount paid. 

If a trip is canceled at the direction of the agency, the traveler will not be responsible for any costs incurred. If canceled for the traveler’s convenience, he/she may be responsible for any costs. 

1. Vehicle Rental Procedures

Renting a vehicle is preferred (over using your personal vehicle) when the trip is of sufficient length and duration, and the most economical means of transportation. Use the trip calculator to determine the most economical means of transportation, rental car or personal car. 

The OGS rental contract provides us with discounted rates and unlimited mileage. 

  • Vehicle categories: compact, standard, and full-size sedans, passenger vans, and SUV’s provide justification is larger than standard size is rented 
  • Smoking is not allowed in any vehicle or a charge back for cleaning could be applied 
  • Driver shall be responsible for all fines, penalties and court costs for parking, traffic, toll and other violations 

The damage waiver protection (CDW) and liability insurance are included in the rental fee under OGS contract. Any additional insurance purchased will not be reimbursed. 

At time of rental pick-up:

  • Inspect the vehicle for exterior and interior damage and make note of it on the form. In addition, notify the agency of damage, and sign/initial rental agreement as requested. 
  • Note the amount of gas at the time of pickup so you can refill it with the same amount of gas prior to your returning the car. Get a receipt and submit on your travel expense report to be reimbursed. If the gas is not replaced to an equal amount the rental company will charge us  back at a much higher rate per gallon. 
  • Don't choose the fuel service option unless the price per gallon is lower than the pump price. This option allows you to pre-pay for gas and return the vehicle without a full tank. Ask for the price per gallon and compare the cost effectiveness of this service.
2. Personal Vehicle Use Procedures
  •  
  • A personal vehicle may be used when a rental or common carrier is not available, is cost effective, or is otherwise appropriate for a justifiable reason. If a fleet vehicle is not available, and a personal vehicle is used during a trip, personal mileage will be reimbursed. The traveler must complete and attach a Statement of Automobile Travel Form to their Travel Voucher. If travel per day is over 80 miles with a personal vehicle the mileage-rental calculator form will need to be provided.
  • When you extend your trip for personal reasons there cannot be any additional cost to the state for a personal convenience. 
  • The starting point of your trip should be from SUNY Oswego or your home, whichever is closer to your destination.
  • Mileage reimbursement rates are determined by the IRS and change frequently.  Review mileage rates before traveling. 
  • The mileage allowance covers charges for gasoline, repairs, insurance and towing.
  • When submitting reimbursement for official travel by privately owned vehicle, list the starting and ending points (including complete addresses) of the trip(s) being claimed on the Statement of Automobile Travel Form.
  • Mileage claimed should closely conform to the most efficient time or distance route as calculated by MapQuest.
  • Only official travel for business purposes should be claimed on the travel expense report, not side trips such as shopping, entertainment, or personal activities.
  • All reasonable and necessary parking and toll charges will be reimbursed as an incidental expense, however, valet services are not reimbursable. Receipts must be provided.
  • Review cost comparison between personal car and rental car with the trip calculator.
  • When an employee uses a personal car on State business and is involved in an accident, the employee’s insurance provides the primary source of coverage.  State involvement is subject to specific requirements detailed in Section 17 of the New York State Public Officers Law.
  • Knowingly misrepresenting the facts concerning travel for official business or signing travel forms which contain deliberate false statements is a violation of the NY Penal law and will be subject to administrative and/or disciplinary action.

 

3. Airfare
  • Airfare should be the lowest cost accommodations available. Flight insurance, preferred seats, and early boarding are not covered expenses by NYS.
  • The passenger’s portion of the airline ticket or an e-ticket must be submitted with the travel expense report. A paid airline receipt, showing method of payment and flight details must be submitted.
4. Train
  • Train transportation, depending on the destination required, is an economical way to travel.  To check rates or times:  OGS Amtrak Or Metro North.
5. Buses
  • Buses should be used when convenient, cost effective, and time efficient. An original paid receipt and ticket stub is required for reimbursement. 

Lodging and Meals

Employees may choose one of two methods for reimbursement for overnight travel. Breakfast and dinner are reimbursable meals, lunch is not.

The Unreceipted Method (Method 1)

Please note: this method is only when employee stays with family/friends.

This method provides a flat rate allowance for meals, lodging and incidental expenses regardless of where lodging is obtained, including lodging with relatives or friends. Rates are established based on the city or county where lodging is obtained or the location to which the employee is traveling (whichever is less), and such location must be indicated on the Travel Order. No receipts are required when using this method. Current rates are as follows:

LocationPer Diem
New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties$50
Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and their respective surrounding metropolitan Areas$40
All other locations in New York State$35
Out of State (this includes any out of state tax)$50
 

Travelers using this method may also be eligible for an additional $5.00 for breakfast on the day of departure, if they leave at least one hour before their normal work start time. They may also be eligible for an additional $12.00 for dinner on the day of return if they return at least two hours later than their normal working time.

Per Diem Master Rate Sheet

The Receipted Method (Method 2)

This method provides reimbursement of actual lodging costs and an allowance for meals based on federal reimbursement rates for the county of lodging. Since rates are based on location of lodging, the city and state must be indicated on the Travel Order. Itemized receipts are required for lodging, but not for meals. 

For each day the traveler is in overnight status, the traveler is eligible for reimbursement for lodging up to a maximum lodging per diem and a per diem allowance for meals. The meal per diem is for dinner the first night and breakfast the following day.

Travelers using this method are also eligible for an additional per diem breakfast if they have to leave at least one hour before their normal work start time the first day, and/or dinner if they return at least two hours later than their normal work ending time on the last day of travel. In these cases, breakfast and/or dinner will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the meal per diem allowance specified for the particular area of lodging.

Please note: the Travel Office  cannot reimburse for per diem meals if a hotel receipt is not provided.

For travel within New York State, travelers must provide a New York State Tax Exemption Certificate (ST-129) to the hotel.

Day Trip Reimbursements

Travelers may be reimbursed for breakfast and/or dinner for day trips based on departure and return times. Travelers are entitled to reimbursement for breakfast if they have to leave at least one hour before their normal work start time, and/or dinner if they return at least two hours later than their normal work ending time.

  • Travelers without meal receipts are reimbursed $5.00 for breakfast and/or $12.00 for dinner. 
  • Travelers with meal receipts are reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the meal per diem allowance.
  • Day trip meal reimbursements are reportable as income to the IRS.

Conferences

On occasion, travelers must attend conferences sponsored by other organizations at facilities which exceed the maximum lodging rate. Travelers must provide justification for exceeding the rate. Social activities such as sightseeing and golf outings are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed.

When meals and/or lodging are provided as a part of a conference or event, additional reimbursement is not permitted.       

Registration fees may be required for attendance at business events. The payment of registration fees has changed significantly as a result of the mandatory implementation of the Statewide Financial System (SFS). SUNY Oswego offers three options for registration fee payment:

Option 1, Procurement Card (P-Card)

Registration costs should be discussed, and planned with a supervisor before a purchase is made. Amounts should be listed on the Travel Request (T-1). All P-Card policies and procedures must be followed.

Option 2, Travel Card (Employees) / NET Card (Non-Employees)

Registration costs should be discussed, and planned with a supervisor before a purchase is made. Amounts should be listed on the Travel Request (T-1). All Travel/NET Card policies and procedures must be followed.

Option 3, Reimbursement

When you pay a registration fee directly, obtain a receipt of payment and also keep a copy of the completed registration application form. To request reimbursement of the registration fee following the event, submit the completed Travel Reimbursement Voucher along with the original receipt and a copy of the completed registration application, including information about what expenses were covered by the fee.

Misc Expenses

Travelers frequently incur miscellaneous expenses during their travel. In all cases, in order to be considered reimbursable, these expenses must be reasonable, actual, and necessary. To be reimbursed, original documented proof of payment of the miscellaneous expenses must accompany the travel voucher.

Examples of reimbursable items

  1. Business-related telephone calls
  2. Internet connection fees (justification required)
  3. Baggage transfer and storage (justification required)
  4. Parking (Please check in advance to see if parking charges would exceed taxi or shuttle charges.)
  5. Taxi or shuttle charges

Examples of non-reimbursable items

  1. Parking tickets
  2. Laundry service
  3. Valet service
  4. Seat upgrades
  5. New York State taxes
  6. Personal charges
  7. Fees associated with flight or train changes for personal reasons
  8. Personal travel VISAs and passports

Foreign Travel

Occasionally, employees may have to travel outside of the continental United States for the benefit of the university. When seeking reimbursement, Travelers must:

  1. Seek reimbursement based on the maximum per diem allowance established by the U.S. Department of State, www.gsa.gov. The foreign per diem rates are published monthly. Expenses must be converted to American currency based upon the exchange rate in effect during the period of travel.
  2. Breakdown meal per diems, if needed (20 percent of total meal per diem for breakfast and 80 percent total per diem for dinner).

Travel Credit Card

New York State authorizes the issuance of Visa Travel Cards, and Non-Employee Travel (NET) Cards to certain employees for the specific purpose of paying travel related expenses. These credit cards are separate from state procurement cards. Employees who anticipate traveling in overnight status once a year may wish to request a Travel Card. If an employee chooses not to request a Travel Card, they will be required to pay all of their expenses out of pocket and seek reimbursement when they return from their trip.

A traveler must complete a Travel Request (T-1) prior to placing any charges on the credit cards. All travel receipts, including meals, must be turned into the Finance Office as soon as the traveler receives their monthly travel statement from the CitiBank website. All credit card receipts must show an itemized detail of all charges. A credit card slip showing only the amount of the charge authorization is not sufficient. All expenses charged will be charged to the account listed on the corresponding travel order.

The Business Office has issued list of allowable Travel Credit Card expenses, and Non-allowable Credit Card expenses. All travelers will receive a copy of this document when they sign for and pick up their cards. If travelers lose this document, they may view it on the Forms link.

Travel Card Instructions (docx)Travel Card Application (docx)

NET Credit Card

New York State authorizes the issuance of Visa Non-Employee Travel (NET) Cards to certain employees for the specific purpose of paying travel related expenses for non-employees. These credit cards are separate from state procurement cards. 

All travel receipts, including meals, must be turned into the Finance Office as soon as the cardholder receives their monthly travel statement from the CitiBank website. All credit card receipts must show an itemized detail of all charges. A credit card slip showing only the amount of the charge authorization is not sufficient. All expenses charged will be charged to the account listed on the corresponding travel order.

The Business Office has issued a list of allowable NET Credit Card expenses and Non-allowable Credit Card expenses. All travelers will receive a copy of this document when they sign for and pick up their cards. If travelers lose this document, they may view it on the Forms link. 

NET Card Instructions (docx)NET Card Application (docx)

Non-Employee Travel

In certain circumstances, SUNY Oswego may reimburse travel costs incurred by non-employees traveling on college related business. In most cases, non-employees may be reimbursed up to the rates that are available to employees.

Travel reimbursements to non-employees of SUNY are processed through the same Travel Reimbursement Voucher as an employee. The payee or department should complete the voucher to specify the exact purpose for the payment, as well as dates of the activity.

The payee's signature must be entered in the "Traveler's Certification" block on the voucher. Travel expenses for lodging and meals for non-employees must be via Method 2 guidelines which require receipts for lodging (not for meals). All original receipts should be included with the Voucher and forwarded for appropriate approval signatures and then processing by the Accounts Payable Office.

Types of non-employee travel include travel for interviews, travel by students, and travel by vendors including lecturers, and evaluators.

Non-Essential Travel restrictions

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Orders 155 and 156 banning all non-essential travel to Mississippi. This travel ban applies to all travel funded by the University, State or the Research Foundation.

Travel through an airport located in Mississippi to a final destination outside of Mississippi is allowed as long as there is no overnight layover in Mississippi. Travelers should avoid making airline connections through Mississippi whenever possible and cost effective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below please find a link to the most commonly asked questions about Traveling with New York State and SUNY Oswego.

Please Click Here for Travel FAQs

Christy Loreman
Accounts Payable Manager
(315) 312-2223

Gina Stoutenger
Accounts Payable Assistant
(315) 312-3636