Travel Policy

The travel policy per the Craighead County Employment/Personnel Policy Handbook is follows:

16. TRAVEL POLICY (see page 22 of the handbook)

The County shall reimburse reasonable travel expense based upon the following guidelines provided that prior approval is secured from the authorizing official of the department: Mileage is paid for use of a private vehicle when traveling for official business using the current state mileage rate (the maximum mileage rate allowed is based upon the shortest major highway route) from regular place of work to the destination. Please note that travel reimbursement is NOT a per diem and is to be claimed for actual expenses for meals and lodging not to exceed the maximum allowable rates per meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner as listed in the Federal Travel Directory plus applicable sales taxes for overnight stays. Meals are only reimbursed if overnight travel is required. The first and last day of travel is limited to 75% of the maximum allowable rates per meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner per GSA guidelines. If your trip includes meals that are already paid for (such as through a registration fee for a conference), you will need to deduct those daily meal allowances from your claim. Refer to Section 301-11.18 of the Federal Travel Regulation for specific guidance on deducting these amounts from your per diem reimbursement claims. The Federal Travel Directory is found on the Governmental Services Administration (GSA) website. The maximum allowance for meals INCLUDES taxes and up to 15% tip reimbursement. Lodging rates per the Federal Travel Directory EXCLUDE room tax and should be exceeded only by the room tax amount unless special authorization is given in writing by the authorizing official of the department justifying the need to exceed the standard reimbursement rate. All travel expenses are paid based upon signed (by one individual incurring charges) and fully documented receipts, and invoices as to who, what, when, where, and why, are turned into Accounts Payable. To determine whether each person stayed below the maximum allowable rates for meals, if a receipt contains meals for more than one person, each item should be clearly marked according to who ordered each item. Non-county employees traveling on official business for the County are bound by the guidelines listed in this section. The County shall not reimburse the cost of alcoholic beverages. When using airplane travel, allowable travel expenses are limited to travel to and from airport on travel days, and/ or hotel to and from conference location.

In an attempt to provide more clarity on what is acceptable or not acceptable for reimbursement, the following guidance is provided:

LODGING: Employees should ensure they know the maximum allowable reimbursable rate from the GSA website (see link below) for the location visited unless justification is provided prior to booking the lodging.

FOOD: Reimbursement for food expenses occurs only when overnight travel is involved. Food expenses for travel to a one day conference generally are not reimbursable. Detailed/itemized receipts are needed for submission with any food reimbursements. Employees should ensure they are aware of the maximum allowable reimbursable rate from the GSA website (see link below) for the location visited. Employees should not expect reimbursement for meals provided as a part of the conference/training activity.

MILEAGE: Per the above policy, mileage is paid anytime your private vehicle is used to travel for official business. Mileage is generally paid from your assigned work location (not your home) to the city/location of the activity/meeting. Be sure you detail the address of your stop when claiming reimbursement for local travel. Employees should provide as much detail as possible on claims for local travel.

Below you will find attached a mileage chart that provides standard mileage to various locations used by employees. The mileage chart is considered the maximum allowable mileage for the location listed. Employees who utilize this chart for mileage are exempt from the printing of maps to substantiate mileage. Employees should continue to substantiate mileage for locations NOT included on the chart or when consideration is being requested to pay mileage above what is listed on the chart.

Reimbursement TR-1: This is the standard form that should be submitted to Accounts Payable for reimbursement of travel expenses. Please complete the form as thoroughly as possible. Employees are highly encouraged to utilize the Excel Version for the accuracy of calculations.

Things to remember when completing the TR-1:

  • Be sure your license plate number for the personal vehicle used is included on the form (if mileage is claimed).
  • Mileage reimbursement rate is set at $.42 cents pursuant to the rates set by the Chief Financial Officer of the State.
  • Be sure your supervisor signs off on the form.
  • Be sure you the business purpose or reason for the travel being claimed.
  • Be certain all necessary documentation to support the charges on the travel claim are submitted.
  • Be sure you are requesting reimbursement for tips at the rate allowable by county policy for food reimbursements. Tips above the allowable rate or the responsibility of the employee.
  • When available, be sure to include a copy of the meeting agenda/schedule with your reimbursement request.

Please contact County Judge Marvin Day at (870) 933-4500 if you have any questions concerning this guidance. I would rather you ask prior to making an assumption about something that is not clear or not addressed. Updates will be provided as necessary to provide assist in the effective administration of the policy.