B.2.3 Travel Approval and Reimbursement
Approved/revised: September 19, 2016
In support of NVIT’s mission, faculty, staff, administrators, elders, board members and, when appropriate, students or other persons are, at times, required to travel. This policy outlines the requirements for reimbursement of travel expenses, including the approval process, types of expenses reimbursable, requirement for documentation, and expectation that all travel will be conducted in a cost-effective manner.
The values and expectations outlined in the Employee Code of Conduct and Taxpayer Accountability Principles are foundational to the travel policy. In addition to efficient travel, employees should consider alternatives to travel wherever practical. Video conferencing, teleconferencing and other methods can be very effective tools and are to be used, where feasible, to reduce travel related cost and greenhouse gas emissions.
1. Confirm Approval.
All travel must be pre-approved by the department budget officer (refer to Request for Travel Preapproval form).
All travel outside of BC must be pre-approved by the President (refer to Request for Travel Preapproval form).
In exceptional circumstances, advances may be requested by the employee and approved by the appropriate Senior Manager (refer to Advance Request form). Travel advances will generally not be made more than ten (10) business days prior to travel. A subsequent travel advance will not normally be made if an advance remains outstanding.
If employment travel is altered to accommodate personal travel, pre-approval and agreement on appropriate cost allocation is required. The direct senior manager and the traveler will agree on a fair allocation of expenses for the travel, accommodation, food and other expenses in line with the amount which would have been charged had the interruption not occurred.
2. Retain receipts.
Original receipts (e.g. hotel bills, parking, airport improvement fees, etc.) are required to support a claim. Credit card vouchers for gasoline and meals must be accompanied by an itemized receipt. Travel agency invoices, cancelled cheques, credit card statements, “paid” notices, photocopies and carbon copies are not reimbursable. If a receipt is lost and a duplicate cannot be obtained, the traveler should submit a signed memorandum to the Director of Finance & Administration.
3. Complete the Travel Claim Form or Cheque Requisition within 30 days of travel completion, itemizing expenses and attaching original receipts.
The traveler is to complete the Travel Claim Form by providing a clear statement of the purpose of the travel, and an itemized list of all expenses relating to the trip in the appropriate areas of the form. Each expense is to be supported by an original, dated expense voucher or receipt.
By signing the expense claim form, the traveler is certifying that the information contained on the form is accurate to the best of his/her knowledge. The original signature of the claimant is required.
4. Submit with supervisor’s signature to Accounts Payable.
The traveler and the individual who approves payment are responsible for ensuring that claims for expenses are in accordance with these procedures and are for Institute purposes only.
Expenses will be reimbursed in Canadian funds. Reimbursement for expenses incurred in US funds will be converted to Canadian funds at the applicable rate for the period the expenses were incurred.
Booking of travel should be completed sufficiently in advance to minimize cost of travel. Individuals may be held responsible for travel expense incurred, but not utilized, due to decision of the traveler (i.e. cancelled booking).
The Provincial government rate is to be requested at the time of booking. Reimbursement will be limited to reasonable amounts to the circumstance, and normally will not exceed the standard single occupancy rate.
Employees may claim private accommodation without receipts (refer to Travel Claim form).
Air travel will normally be at the standard economy passenger rate. The direct senior manager may pre-approve upgrades for flights longer than eight hours.
Meals will be reimbursed at the standard per diem rates (refer to the Travel Claim form). Meals included in a convention or seminar fee, or otherwise provided, are not to be claimed. Alcoholic beverages are not to be claimed.
Where travel is for a partial day, only meals that are applicable to that portion of the day spent on travel status are claimed.
Where multiple parties are travelling to a common event, ride-sharing should be utilized to minimize cost and greenhouse gas emissions.
NVIT vehicles are available on a sign out basis for business use and should be utilized where possible to lessen travel expenses. Only NVIT employees with valid driver’s abstracts on file may drive the vehicles. Smoking and pets are not permitted in NVIT vehicles.
Employees using personal vehicles for travel will be reimbursed at the standard per kilometer rate (refer to the Travel Claim form). Maximum reimbursement may not exceed the cost of a standard economy air flight.
When a private automobile is used on approved Institute business, the owner is responsible to ensure adequate insurance coverage. I.C.B.C. regulations require that any vehicle driven in excess of 6 days per calendar month (a partial day is considered a day) for business purposes must have business coverage (Rate Class 007). Failure to have appropriate business insurance could invalidate the employee’s coverage for certain claims.
Rental will be approved when it is the most effective means of transportation. Reimbursement will be limited to amounts reasonable to the circumstance and normally will not exceed the rate for a standard compact vehicle. Insurance must be purchased at the time of rental and is reimbursable.
Reasonable expenditures for taxis and public transportation to and from airports, railway stations, appointments, hotel locations and meeting places, including reasonable gratuities, will be reimbursed with receipts. Toll charges do not require a receipt.