IFAS Internal Management Memoranda

UF/IFAS; Travel Policy and Procedures



SUBJECT: UF/IFAS; Travel Policy and Procedures

  1. Travel is a trip, tour, or journey away from your regular place of business (duty station). In the course of business in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), faculty and staff may engage in travel to carry out the performance of their duties and responsibilities. When requesting authorization to travel, a Travel Authorization Request (TAR) should be completed in a timely manner. A TAR represents authorization for absence from the traveler's official headquarters and is required for liability purposes and funding authorization. Source of funds should be identified, the various procedures followed for approval, and information included such as itineraries, justifications, and supporting documentation that shows a definite benefit to the State of Florida. This is designated as official travel.

    1. Local Travel -- Official business conducted within the vicinity of official headquarters, but not to be conducted at official headquarters, generally conducted within thirty minutes or less of travel time, and does not involve expenses. (Blanket TAR may be used)

    2. Class C Travel -- Official business involving travel for short or day trips where the traveler is not away from his/her official headquarters overnight.

    3. In-State Travel -- Official business usually involving overnight stay and/or more than 24 hours away from official headquarters.

    4. Out-of-State Travel -- Official business involving travel outside the State of Florida but within the United States.

    5. International Travel -- Travel conducted outside the United States. (See IMM 6C1-6.70-1).

  2. Who can travel? Faculty and staff who, in carrying out the performance of their duties and responsibilities, may request and be granted approval for travel. The travel must benefit the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the University of Florida, and the State of Florida. Other non-IFAS personnel when conducting official business in support of the IFAS mission and when properly approved in advance. Graduate students may be reimbursed for travel when the travel relates to their duties as employees and is not solely related to their dissertation.

  3. Source of Funds. Most travel will be paid from established accounts containing either state general revenue funds, incidental or federal trust funds, or contracts and grants funds. However, some travel may be reimbursed from SHARE funds (IMM 6C1-6.60-4) and in special cases from personal funds.

    1. State/Grant Accounts -- Faculty and/or staff may utilize funds in established accounts from various fund sources to pay travel expenses. The unit administrator, traveler's supervisor, and when necessary, the appropriate dean, must approve the travel in advance. There are certain restrictions on the use of Federal Extension Funds; thus, all out-of-state or foreign travel by county faculty using these funds must be approved by the appropriate District Director. A letter of justification, approved by the Vice President, when utilizing state funds for foreign travel must be attached to the TAR.

    2. SHARE Accounts -- Please see IMM 6C1-6.60-4 for details of SHARE travel support.

    3. Personal Funds -- Occasionally a faculty and/or staff member may elect to travel on official business when state funds or SHARE funds are not available. At the faculty or staff member's option only, personal funds may be used for official business travel for professional improvement activities. The procedure is the same as requesting state funded travel.

    4. Complimentary (COMP) Travel -- Occasionally funds for travel come from outside the University system and establishing a grant or SHARE account to handle these funds is either impractical or impossible. Thus, faculty may receive airline tickets (or other transportation reimbursement), per diem, lodging, registration, and in some cases, honoraria from sources outside the University for official travel. This practice poses unique problems for both the traveler and UF/IFAS.

      1. For Out-of-State Travel and International Travel, Complimentary (COMP) Travel may be requested and approved when the travel is for official business and benefits the State of Florida. If no honoraria or compensation above and beyond actual expenses are involved, a short explanation of the purpose/benefit to the State of Florida, source of funds, and a statement that the reimbursement is for actual expenses only, is all that's required on the Travel Authorization Request (TAR).

      2. When the traveler receives compensation other than actual expense reimbursement, the Travel Authorization Request (TAR) for Complimentary Travel should include a copy of an approved Outside Activities Report (Form OAA-GA-L-267 Rev. 5/94). (Please see IMM 6C1-6.30-1-12). In filling out University of Florida Form OAA-GA-L-267 (Rev 5/94) along with Supplemental Form 2627 (Rev. 5/93) the compensated activity box should be checked and the benefit to UF/IFAS and the State of Florida should be justified as well as justifying use of official time for this activity. If this justification cannot be made, annual leave should be requested. The faculty member, unit leader, and appropriate dean should perceive that there is no conflict of interest. It is to the faculty member's benefit to insure they are not in conflict of any interests.

    5. Non-Official Time (annual leave and/or weekends) -- Travel performed when consulting, as an outside employment, does not require a Travel Authorization Request (TAR) since it is not official travel. However, the request for Outside Activities Report Form OAA-GA-L-267 should have been approved prior to the activity.

    6. A Traveler should use the most economical and most efficient mode of transportation. Reimbursement for first class airfare from state and SHARE funds is not allowed. However, a traveler may use personal funds to purchase an upgrade. When a traveler is reimbursed for such a purchase, coach/economy fare will be refunded to the traveler, not first class. The traveler will be responsible for the difference in fares. Advanced purchase non-refundable airline tickets are generally more cost effective. Often a Saturday stay over (when appropriate) may result in cost savings in the airline ticket over the additional costs of meals and lodging. If appropriate, these techniques should be used to keep costs to a minimum.

    7. Timeliness -- Travel should be requested at least 30 days before the trip is scheduled to occur. In the event travel is not requested in a timely fashion, it may not be approved. No Transportation Request (TR) or One Trip Travel Voucher (OTTV) is to be issued prior to the establishment of a Travel Authorization Request (TAR). Travel Reimbursement Vouchers should be submitted within 30 days of the conclusion of the trip. However, if it is a Settlement Voucher for a travel advance, it must be submitted within three working days of the conclusion of the trip if the traveler owes the State a refund, or within 15 calendar days if the traveler is due additional reimbursement over and above the travel advance.

    8. The request and approval process is diagrammed on Flowchart A for in-state, out-of-state, and complimentary travel and on Flowchart B for foreign travel.

    9. Detailed procedures implementing these policies can be found in the UF/IFAS Travel Handbook. Travelers should familiarize themselves with the rules prior to any travel relating to official business.