How do we travel - who pays - etc.

Travel for official state business may be paid for by the University - providing the travel is approved and that funding is identified before you travel to pay for it.  If someone other than the University is paying for travel, and it is for official business you may still want to file a travel requisition (see below)

Before you travel you need to complete a travel requisition form.  This form fills in the details of how you are traveling, who is paying, and when the travel will take place.  The link above is to an Excel spreadsheet version of the form.  This form needs to be filled in and approved BEFORE you travel, so plan ahead.  In addition, if you are traveling by car, State law requires that you use a state, motor-pool vehicle if one is available.  If you choose to use your own car regardless, the state will repay at a reduced mileage rate ($.1794 per mile versus $.375 per mile).  In order to qualify for the higher mileage rate you MUST request a vehicle from physical plant (email to Marianne Hamilton will work.)  If a vehicle is available, she will reserve one for you.  If one is not available, she will respond to that affect.  SAVE THAT EMAIL - print a copy and attach it to the travel requisition.  When you complete the travel claim form, you must also attach a copy of that email.  The email must be to you personally (campus policy) to qualify for the higher mileage rate.  Mileage to various Montana cities is available here.  Complete information and official travel policies are available at the Business Office Travel Website.  In particular pay attention to the hotel reimbursement rates (be sure to ask for the State rate when getting a room reservation), and meal rates, which are listed at that site.

While on business related travel, be sure to get and save receipts for everything you expect to be reimbursed for.  You can be reimbursed for a number of travel expenses if they are necessary for the trip.  You need to document valid expenses over $25, but it's a good idea to document every expense.  Note that if meals are provided as part of a conference or meeting, you will not be paid the per diem rate for those meals.  For example the coffee and selection of fat pills provided at the Board of Regents meetings is classified as breakfast and even if you have a real breakfast, it's on  your dime.

When returning from travel, as soon as possible but within thirty days (I think), you need to fill out a travel claim form (Sandi has put two excel forms together for us - one for the lower mileage rate and one for the higher mileage rate).  The travel claim is for an entire month, so if you make numerous trips, you might want to wait until the end of the travel period.  Make and keep copies of everything, and submit the claim form and all receipts, and the 'availability of State car' email.  At some point you will be reimburses - actually they do pretty well at turning stuff around.

If someone else is paying the bill (other than the State of Montana) you should still fill out a Travel Requisition form, with a cost of 0.  This provides documentation in the event something happens that might require that you use Workmen's compensation, etc.

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