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state seal 10.50
Travel Arrangements and Reimbursement

10.50.10

May 1, 1999

What types of transportation costs are reimbursable?

Reimbursable transportation expenses include the costs of all necessary official state business travel on railroads, airlines, ships, buses, private motor vehicles, and other usual means of conveyance.

10.50.20

October 1, 2002

Reimbursement for privately-owned motor vehicle use
10.50.20.a

Reimbursement for the use of a privately owned motor vehicle on official state business is to be at the private vehicle mileage reimbursement rate specified in Subsection 10.90.20 (PDF file) unless the agency chooses a lesser rate.

10.50.20.b

Point-to-point mileage in the state is to be determined on the basis of the distances shown on the latest Department of Transportation Official State Highway Map or other standard highway mileage guide. Out-of-state mileage is to be determined on the basis of standard highway mileage guides.

"Vicinity" or local miles, as determined by odometer readings, may be shown on the Travel Expense Voucher (form A20-A or form A20-2A) as a separate figure.

Agencies may elect to reimburse either in-state or out-of-state mileage, or both, on actual odometer readings. Agencies choosing to use actual odometer readings as the mileage reimbursement basis are not required to distinguish vicinity miles from point-to-point mileage.

10.50.25

October 1, 2007

Restrictions on reimbursement for privately-owned motor vehicle use
10.50.25.a

Daily commute transportation expenses between the travelerís official residence and official station (or agency approved teleworking site) is a personal obligation of the traveler and is not reimbursable by the state. All other miles driven on official state business are reimbursable.

The following diagram depicts reimbursable and non-reimbursable privately owned vehicle (POV) mileage.

Following are general guidelines and examples of POV mileage reimbursement:

  • Travelers may be reimbursed for miles driven between their official station or official residence and a temporary duty station. When traveling directly from the official residence to the temporary duty station, reimbursement may be authorized even if the traveler passes the official station on the way to and from the temporary duty station.
  • Working during hours or days that the employee is not normally scheduled to work does not entitle the employee to reimbursement for transportation mileage expenses incurred between their official residence and their official station.

    Example: An employee works 10 hour days Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off. The employee is required to come into the office on Friday to take care of an emergency. The employee leaves from home and travels to the office to take care of the emergency and returns home. The employee is not entitled to mileage reimbursement, since the trip is considered the employee's normal commute.

  • When an employee is assigned to work at more than one location (building) within their official station, they may be reimbursed only for the miles driven between the work locations. The mileage from home to the additional work/training location is not reimbursable if it is in the same city as the official station.

    Example: An employee's official residence is in Lakewood and official station is in Olympia. The employee travels from home directly to training in Tumwater. After training the employee goes by the office in Olympia to do some work before returning home. The miles driven between Lakewood and Tumwater are considered the normal commute, and therefore not eligible for reimbursement. However, the miles driven between the work/training locations (from Tumwater to Olympia) are reimbursable.

10.50.25.b

Because of the potential of misuse in this area, agencies are cautioned to strictly adhere to Section 10.10, Travel Management Requirements and Restrictions. Agency written internal policies and procedures are to be established to ensure all claims for personal vehicle mileage are for travel that is both critical and necessary for state business.

10.50.25.c

Reimbursement for the use of a privately owned motor vehicle is payable to only one traveler when two or more travelers are traveling in the same motor vehicle on the same trip.

10.50.35

January 1, 2012

Restrictions and requirements on rental motor vehicle use
10.50.35.a

Rent motor vehicles from rental firms approved by the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) using the state charge card system.

The state charge system or the traveler's personal financial resources may be used to obtain the rental motor vehicle. For contract reporting purposes, management should notify DES with the details when personal resources are used.

10.50.35.b

When the traveler is billed individually and seeks reimbursement for purchase of rental car services, the traveler should attach the original receipt for the costs to the Travel Expense Voucher (form A20-A, or form A20-2A if applicable) or reference the file location. Record the date and purpose of the trip on the Travel Expense Voucher. For contract reporting purposes, management should notify DES with the details when personal resources are used.

10.50.35.c

Transporting of passengers must follow the requirements for authorized passengers as described in Subsection 12.20.05 for rental vehicles. The state of Washington will not provide excess liability protection to any unauthorized passengers in the event of an accident.

10.50.35.d

The state contract for rental of motor vehicles does not authorize vehicles to be used for other than official state business. Therefore, when a traveler couples a personal vacation with official state business, the traveler is expected to execute a personal contract to rent a motor vehicle for the vacation portion of the trip.

10.50.35.e

Since the use of rental motor vehicles makes it difficult to segregate charges between official use and occasional incidental personal use, the agency head or authorized designee is to establish written internal policies in accordance with Subsection 10.10.10 to guard against abuse and require the traveler to pay for all personal miles driven.

10.50.35.f

The state contract for rental of motor vehicles usually includes full insurance coverage. The state will not reimburse travelers for the cost of additional insurance coverage purchased on state contract vehicle rentals. Refer to Section 12.40 for additional information on insurance coverage.

10.50.40

January 1, 2012

Agencies may purchase airline and other common carrier tickets in advance under certain conditions

When an agency determines it can save money by taking advantage of discounts offered by a common carrier for advance bookings and payments, it is authorized to pay for airline or other common carrier tickets prior to a scheduled trip if the following conditions are met:

  1. The ticket is purchased through the State Charge Card System administered by the Department of Enterprise Services (refer to Subsection 10.10.45); and
  2. The agency retains control of the ticket or E-Ticket authorization number(s). If unused at the end of the fiscal year, the ticket cost is to be recorded in the concluding fiscal year as an asset rather than an expenditure. Tickets or E-Ticket authorization numbers should be provided to travelers in a timely manner in advance of travel to avoid last minute problems.

10.50.45

January 1, 2012

How to make air travel arrangements

Absent agency specific purchasing requirements, state agencies must use a travel provider qualified through the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) when making air travel arrangements.

The only exceptions are for:

  • Conditions stated in DES contract documents. Agencies are to contact DES if they have questions regarding the exception conditions.
  • Emergency situations that have been approved by the agency designated travel coordinator.

For information on qualified travel providers, contact DES at (360) 902-7400.

10.50.50

October 1, 2013

Airline contracts and limitations on reimbursement

In accordance with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) negotiated contracts where a city pair contract exists, such as between Seattle, Washington and Missoula, Montana, reimbursement may be made up to the contract air fare amount. An agency may make reimbursement above the contract air fare only:

  • For allowable conditions as stated within the contract documents, AND
  • When the air carrier has sold all seats for the desired destination.

Except as noted below, reimbursement above the airfare contract is to be at the lowest applicable airfare not to exceed tourist class or its equivalent. This reimbursement limitation may be exceeded, if necessary, for the Health and Safety of the traveler (Subsection 10.10.35), and when disabled persons (and a personal care attendant, if necessary for the disabled person to travel) are required to travel.

For specific contract information, contact DES at (360) 902-7400.

Business class air common carrier accommodations may be approved when travel is direct between authorized origin and destination points, including connecting points, and either the origin or destination point is outside the continental United States, and the scheduled one-way flight time is in excess of 14 hours, provided all of the following conditions have been met:

  • The agency head or authorized designee approves the business class airline accommodations in advance, and
  • The traveler has exhausted all state business frequent flyer miles available for an upgrade.

10.50.55

May 1, 1999

Criteria and limitations for airport selection
10.50.55.a

Use the criteria for selecting travel alternatives stated in Subsection 10.10.20 for airport selection. In most cases, this means agencies must select the most economical alternative.

10.50.55.b

Use of the local airport is assumed to result in travel expenses that are most economical to the state. Travelers are expected to use their local airport when traveling by regularly scheduled air service on state business, unless an alternative meets one of the criteria and conditions noted in Subsection 10.10.20.

A "Local Airport" is the airport that offers regularly scheduled air service that is closest to the point from which travel begins. In most situations it would be the airport closest to the travelerís residence. For out-of-state destinations, the closest airport that provides direct out-of-state flights may be considered the local airport.

The traveler is to provide documentation to support a decision to use an airport other than the local airport.

If the traveler chooses another airport for reasons other than those specified in Subsection 10.10.20, the traveler must bear any costs in excess of the most economical costs.

10.50.65

October 1, 2013

Limitations on reimbursement for non-air common carrier costs

Normally, the maximum reimbursement for transportation expenses via non-air common carriers is the lowest applicable fare not to exceed the lowest class fare. This reimbursement limitation may be exceeded if necessary for the Health and Safety of the traveler (Subsection 10.10.35), and when disabled persons (and a personal care attendant, if necessary for the disabled person to travel) are required to travel. For specific contract information, contact the Department of Enterprise Services at (360) 902-7400.

Business class non-air common carrier travel may be approved by the agency head or designee when all the following conditions have been met:

  • The higher class fare is necessary for having business interaction or for conducting state business while in route to the destination; and
  • The higher class fare is less expensive than a coach class airfare or is the only mode of travel available to arrive at the destination.

This reimbursement limitation may be exceeded if necessary for the Health and Safety of the traveler (Subsection 10.10.35), and when disabled persons (and a personal care attendant, if necessary for the disabled person to travel) are required to travel.  For specific contract information, contact the Department of Enterprise Services at (360) 902-7400.

10.50.70

October 1, 2002

How changes in itinerary affect reimbursement

If there is an authorized change in a travelerís itinerary while on travel status to conduct official state business, the traveler, whenever possible, is to pay the added cost through a State Charge Card System. If a state charge card receipt is issued, the traveler is to attach the receipt for the added cost to the Travel Expense Voucher (form A20-A or A20-2A) or reference the agency file location.

If the traveler does not have access to a State Charge Card System, the traveler may pay for the added cost from personal financial resources.

In all cases where a traveler is billed individually and is seeking reimbursement for purchase of air carrier services, original receipts are to be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher (form A20-A or A20-2A) by the traveler or the agency file location referenced.

10.50.75

January 1, 2004

May the traveler purchase airfare from personal financial resources?

Except as provided in Subsection 10.50.70, a traveler may only use personal financial resources to purchase airfare in emergency situations when the State Charge Card System is not accessible. It will be up to the agencyís management to authorize reimbursement of charges made with personal financial resources.

When a traveler is billed individually and seeks reimbursement for purchase of airfare, the traveler must attach receipts to the Travel Expense Voucher (form A20-A or A20-2A) or reference the agency file location.

10.50.80

January 1, 2004

Refunds for unused transportation services

The agency should receive a refund for unused contract tickets purchased through a State Charge Card System.

The agency is to treat such refunds as recoveries of expenditures.


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