Employees must obtain advance approval from their supervisors for all travel by completing a travel order at least five days prior to travel date. When travel is to a work location more than 35 miles from both home and the employee’s official station (the College) the employee is considered to be in travel status and is eligible for reimbursement of travel related expenses such as meals and lodging. Travel out of state or in excess of 200 miles one way must be approved by the respective Vice President in addition to the department supervisor. All approved Travel Orders must be forwarded to the Office of Business Affairs.
A fleet vehicle must be used for all state related travel if one is available. Only SUNY Cobleskill employees over 18 who meet the License Event Notification Service (LENS) requirements are eligible to drive fleet vehicles. Fleet vehicle reservations can be made on Employee Sharepoint. Select the Vehicle Reservation tab and click on New Item.
Complete fleet vehicle information is available at here.
Allowable Travel Reimbursements
A signed Travel Voucher must be submitted to the Business Office within 30 days of completing travel. Conference agendas or itineraries must be attached. All travel related reimbursements will be charged to the account indicated on the signed Travel Order (submitted prior to travel) unless otherwise indicated by the budget holder.
- Mileage Reimbursement: Personal vehicle use is only allowed under certain circumstances and must be approved by the Facilities Management Office in advance. Only approved use of a personal vehicle is eligible for mileage reimbursement at the prevailing New York State mileage rate (.55 as of 7/1/11). Mileage must be documented on the Statement of Automobile Travel Form and will be based on the shortest direct route.
- Meals: Meal reimbursements can be claimed based on actual receipts (must turn in receipts) OR the per diem rate (without receipts). Per diem rates are assigned according to county. New York State uses the per diem rates that are established by the Federal Government and are available at www.gsa.gov. Only breakfast and dinner are eligible for reimbursement. Breakfast is allowed if departure time is before 7 a.m. Dinner is allowed if return time is after 7 p.m. If meals are included as part of a conference fee the meal allowance must be reduced accordingly on the travel voucher.
- Lodging: Lodging will be reimbursed up to the county per diem rate, however personal reimbursements for hotel charges are discouraged. It is preferred that hotel charges be paid directly with a campus issued state travel credit card. Many department budget holders have been issued travel cards and can make travel reservations for their department staff directly. The Business Office has a general campus travel card and should be contacted regarding hotel accommodations when a department is not in possession of their own travel card. Hotel charges that exceed the per diem rate must be reimbursed to the College unless an approved Request to Exceed Maximum Lodging Rates Form is provided.
- Gasoline: Gasoline is a reimbursable travel expense only when purchased for a rental vehicle. All state owned vehicles are assigned an ExxonMobil credit card which must be used for all out of area travel. Travelers using state vehicles are encouraged to visit the ExxonMobil station locator (www.exxonmobilstations.com) prior to travel. If an ExxonMobil is not accessible then a personal reimbursement for gasoline may be allowed. Campus gas pumps must be used for all local fill-ups.
- Un-receipted Expenses: Parking, taxifares and tolls may be reimbursed without receipts under certain circumstances. Please attach an Unavailable Documentation Form to the voucher and the Business Office will make this determination.
- New York State Sales Tax: The St-129 NYS Tax Exemption Certificate must be presented to the hotel at check in to avoid being charged sales tax. Sales tax paid on lodging costs in New York State are not reimbursable.
- Expenses incurred on behalf of any other individual.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Lodging expenses over the per diem rate -unless an approved Request to Exceed Maximum Lodging Rates is provided.
Travel Credit Cards
New York state authorizes the issuance of VISA travel credit cards to certain state employees for the specific purpose of paying travel related expenses. These credit cards are separate from state procurement cards. A travel order must be completed and the appropriate signatures must be obtained before any charges can be put on a SUNY Cobleskill travel credit card. All travel credit card receipts, including meals, must be turned into the Business Office as soon as possible. Travel credit card receipts must show an itemized detail of all purchases. A credit card slip showing only the amount of the charge authorization is not sufficient. All expenses will be charged to the account listed on the corresponding travel order.
The following is a link to a New York State Office of General Services Purchasing Memorandum that provides guidance to all state employees regarding the purchase of air travel services www.ogs.state.ny.us/purchase/spg/pdfdocs/CL744.pdf
Please contact the Business Office at 5637 with any additional questions.