Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Travel Tips from Human Resources

NEW  7-1-11 Update: 

 Mileage reimbursement increases to $.555 per mile but only if Administration approves an employee to take a private vehicle.  Don't forget to enter each trip online with Agile Fleet system.  Call 327-8646 for instructions.

Important Reminder:

Any time you are asked to travel for the University, be sure to submit a Travel Request form to Administration for approval.  This form is automatically produced by our new software, the Agile Fleet System.  No one can receive a reimbursement unless they have been pre-approved by Agile Fleet, their budget administrator, and NW Administration. 

If you plan to travel in the same vehicle with another NW employee, and you will not be asking for a trip reimbursement, your name can simply be listed in the Comments Section of the other employee's Agile Fleet-produced travel request.  But, for insurance protection, you should also sign that person's travel request.  This verifies that you have a valid U.S. driver's license and carry personal auto liability coverage in case an accident occurs, and you are found to be outside the scope of official duties during the business trip for Northwestern. 

 The first time you plan to travel, make sure you are properly registered in Agile Fleet access by calling Shannon Morris in Maintenance.  Phone:  580-327-8646. 

 If she is out, speak with Marietta Washington.  Phone 580-327-8647.  Because accidents happen on highways every day, please study NWOSU travel procedures and take your responsibilities seriously.

 TRAVEL TOOLS . . .

                                                Mileage Calculator

Newest Travel Tool:  Taxi Fare Estimator

Driving Directions

Weather Forecasts

Foreign Money Converter

 

Required Procedure for Checking Out and Returning School Vehicles (effective Jan-08)

Alva campus employees should find their designated car parked in a matching numbered slot in the Maintenance Shed, along the east side.  Please remember to park the car in the proper slot when returning it to the shed.  Allow yourself some extra time in case there are other vehicles blocking your vehicle. 

 

The university vehicle must now be requested online through the Agile Fleet Commander system.  Once the Maintenance Office has assigned a vehicle number, they will send a pending confirmation to the employee’s e-mail account.  This pending confirmation must be printed and submitted to the appropriate dean or supervisor for approval.  He or she will determine the necessity of the trip, and assign a budget for you to follow. 

 

As soon as the trip is fully approved by university administrators, Maintenance staff will finalize the vehicle assignment.  When picking up the university vehicle, you must now go to the Maintenance Office to be dispatched.  You will be given car keys, a clipboard with car keys, and a dispatch form to be filled out when you return to Alva.  Remember to check out a Maintenance Shed key from the Business Office, on the first floor of Herod Hall, if you plan to leave before/after hours, on weekends, or on holidays. 

 

Each school vehicle must be returned with a full gas tank.  Just don’t forget to use the official fuel supplier for the university.  

 

All vans, including mini-vans, are now at the new Fleet Building located at the Ranger Stadium parking lot.  You must check out a Fleet Building key from the Business Office in Herod Hall every time you drive a van, since the Fleet Building is always locked

 

Each van’s garage door opener will open the appropriate door for you to use when returning the van.  Before leaving, take keys out of the ignition and place on the van’s driver’s seat.  Check to make sure all van doors are shut.  We have problems with vans sometimes not starting and this will help. 

Always remember to return the building key to the Business Office promptly so someone else can check it out.

Twelve Rules of Travel

 

Have you been asked to travel for the University?  You will want to carefully follow procedures and plan ahead if you are eligible for expense reimbursement. 

 

Northwestern abides by IRS rules for an “accountable plan.” 

 

If you follow the rules, keep a detailed log of each trip, and present proper receipts to the travel clerk upon your return, your reimbursement should never be considered taxable income by the IRS or Oklahoma Tax Commission.

 

NWOSU’s Maintenance Office has established procedures employees must follow when traveling for the school.  The Motor Pool procedures and rules are listed on their website, http://www.nwosu.edu/phyplant/motorpool.htm

 

RULE #1:  Travel expenses and reimbursements can only be incurred or reimbursed for official business, which has been approved in advance by NWOSU Administration.

 

RULE #2:  Traveling requires paperwork.  First, fill out an online (electronic) Travel Request (http://nwosu.agilefleet.com/login), print out the “pending confirmation” e-mail you receive from Maintenance and submit it to your dean or supervisor as soon as possible, to start the signature approval process.  List dates and times of travel, purpose for the trip, and items requested for reimbursement.  Meals are not reimbursed unless the trip requires you to be in travel status overnight.  Overnight stays are only approved when absolutely necessary. 

 

RULE #3:  Mileage is rarely paid to traveling employees.  When at all possible, a school vehicle will be scheduled in order to save money.  Mileage can only be paid to employees when authorized in advance by NWOSU Administration and Human Resources.  State of Oklahoma agencies (such as NWOSU) limit mileage according to the “No Government Vehicle Available” rate set by the U.S. government.  Be sure to list your private vehicle’s tag number on your Application for Reimbursement, per state of Oklahoma regulations.

 

RULE #4:  Never allow a non-NWOSU employee to drive the school car!  This is for liability reasons.  Also, drivers must have current valid U.S. drivers licenses.  Student employees must provide the NWOSU Travel Clerk in Human Resources (Room 102 of Herod Hall) with a photocopy of their driver’s license before they travel for the school. 

 

RULE #5:  Don’t forget to go to the Business Office (Herod Hall) and check out a key to the Maintenance garage/shed if you are scheduled to leave before or after normal working hours, or when offices are officially closed for holidays or weekends.  No University staff member is required or allowed to give you access to the shed/garage outside of regular scheduled working hours.  Also, the garage key must be returned to the Business Office the first working day after you return.

 

RULE #6:  Ask for, and keep, all receipts!  This is to protect you from owing unnecessary personal income taxes on reimbursements.  The travel claims clerk will need original receipts rather than copies.  (Keep copies of everything submitted to HR.)  A photocopy of front and back of checks used to pay for Registration will be required, to support an organization's written receipt.  If credit/debit card was used, remember to attach a photocopy of the card with your claim.  Black out all but last 4 digits of the card number.

 

RULE #7:  As soon as you return from a school trip, fill out an Application for Travel Reimbursement, attaching all original receipts and a photocopy of the conference or workshop agenda/flyer/brochure.  Present this paperwork to the Travel Clerk in Human Resources, Room 102, Herod Hall.  Keep photocopies of your application and all receipts in case you have a personal audit by the IRS.

 

RULE #8:  When you must fly, the Travel Clerk in Human Resources must make the flight arrangements for you in order to save money for the school.  If you locate information on flights, the Travel Clerk should still make the final arrangements—the least expensive ticket must be purchased.  The cost of the flight will be taken from the department limit set by your dean/supervisor. 

  NEW!    It is YOUR responsibility to notify the Travel Clerk by e-mail as soon as you have submitted a Travel Request that asks for travel by air.  List your preferences for time, date, departure city, with the understanding that state regulations may limit.  The Travel Clerk will watch for the approved Travel Request so arrangements can be made in a timely manner.

 

RULE #9:  Reimbursements are based on actual expenses incurred, and are subject to limitations listed in State of Oklahoma regulations and University travel policies.  It is inappropriate for an employee to claim expenses for personal services, such as hair cuts, shoe shines, etc.  Do not claim the cost of medications, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, personal clothing, souvenirs, entertainment, repairs to privately owned vehicles, or other similar purchases.

 

RULE #10:  Oklahoma law prohibits the use of state-owned vehicles for private purposes!  Unauthorized passengers must never be transported in state vehicles, nor in private vehicles used for state business (when claiming reimbursement for mileage).  Help us keep you from becoming personally liable in case of an accident! 

 

RULE #11:  While traveling in a school vehicle, and before returning it to the Maintenance Shed (cars) or Fleet Building (vans), remember to use official fuel suppliers to fill the gas tank.  You will find the current gas credit card attached to the key ring.  The gas tank must be full at the end of your trip for the next person using the vehicle.  Don’t forget to jot down the school vehicle’s tag number to write on your Application for Reimbursement.  The tag number must also be listed if you make business trips in a personal auto.  This will help the HR office expedite your claim.

 

RULE #12:  Prepare ahead of time!  First-time traveler?  Become familiar with our rules at http://www.nwosu.edu/phyplant/motorpool.htm.  If you are not sure what to do in case of accident or car trouble while traveling for Northwestern, call the maintenance secretary at 327-8646.

 

The Employee Handbook devotes Chapter 9 to Travel and is a handy reference guide. 

 

State of Oklahoma agencies (including Northwestern Oklahoma State University) abide by the federal government’s CONUS (Continental U.S.) AND OCONUS (Outside the Continental U.S.) meals and lodging maximums, which vary by city.  NWOSU employees are reimbursed the actual cost of meals and lodging, up to the maximums set by the United States government, within total amount approved from the appropriate section of the University budget.   New!...Federal Per Diem by Quarter Chart

 

New!!!!  Review the Travel Reimbursement Checklist before you travel, so your Application for Reimbursement can be expedited.  This is the same checklist the Human Resources Office will use when auditing your claim and authorizing the Office of State Finance to issue a reimbursement check to you for qualified expenses.

 

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”  (Earl Nightingale)

 

Updated 12-15-2011