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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:

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. 

Lodging and Meals

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

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:

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.

Becky Waters
Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations

Megan Crouse
Accounting Assistant