(A) This rule addresses ODJFS-specific travel reimbursement, disbursement processing and payment card policy and is written in compliance with rule 126-1-02 of the Administrative Code. ODJFS policy and procedures in this rule apply to ODJFS employees exempt from the collective bargaining law and employees who are members of a collective bargaining unit when the issue is not addressed in their contract. It is the ODJFS policy not to pay for"no-shows." Therefore, employees or cardholders who are requesting or paying for a training, seminar, or conference are required to receive written verification of the vendor's policy on cancellation prior to registration. In the event that an employee is unable to attend, he/she shall notify his/her supervisor as far in advance as possible so that an alternate person can attend. If the employee fails to attend, no alternate is found, and absent satisfactory mitigating circumstances, he/she is responsible for reimbursing ODJFS in full for the fee not refunded by the sponsoring organization
(B) For the purposes of paragraph (C) of this rule, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Headquarters" is defined as the primary location where the employee assigned to the position receives direction, performs the substantial duties of his/her position or where the employee's work flow is centered;
(2) "Destination" is defined as the place the employee is going to work; and
(3) "Report-in location" is defined as the facility to which an employee is assigned, other than the employee's headquarters. For employees who work from home, there may be some employees within the agency who have their homes designated as their report-in locations to work.
(C) When traveling, an employee may claim mileage from headquarters to destination or from home to destination, whichever is less. There is no mileage reimbursement for commuting from home to headquarters or from headquarters to home. An employee who travels to a different report-in location, may claim mileage from home to report-in location less the mileage normally driven from home to headquarters. If an employee travels less distance to the report-in location than the distance normally traveled to his/her headquarters, there is no reimbursement.
(D) All car rentals must be recommended and have the advance written approval of the deputy director or designee on the JFS 02740 "Rental Car Travel Request" (rev. 5/2006). When an employee is claiming reimbursement for a car rental, the approved JFS 02740 must be submitted with the travel expense form. The employee must purchase the additional full insurance rider offered by the rental car agency. A quote for total expenses must be attached to the JFS 02740. A car rental may only be authorized and reimbursed if:
(1) A car rental is more economical than any other mode of transportation; or
(2) The employee's destination is not easily accessible by any other available mode of transportation.
(E) An overnight stay by an employee is required for meal reimbursement while on in-state travel. An overnight stay is not required for meal reimbursement while on out-of-state travel. Meals are reimbursed for in-state and out-of-state travel per the applicable meal reimbursement rate as established by the Ohio office of budget and management (OBM) and posted on its website at www.obm.ohio.gov. Receipts provided to claim a higher reimbursement rate must be itemized receipts.
(F) For lodging reimbursement, both the business destination and the lodging must be outside the employee's report-in location and more than forty-five miles from both the report-in location and employee's residence. The maximum in-state reimbursement for commercial lodging and noncommercial lodging is established by OBM. A receipt is required for reimbursement of the lodging expenses. Reimbursement for the expense of staying overnight in a noncommercial, private dwelling plus the mileage expense between worksite and private dwelling cannot exceed the amount documented in OBM posted guidelines. Out-of-state lodging may be reimbursed at actual cost when such cost is determined reasonable by the deputy director or designee. When a state employee shares a room with another state employee, the daily cost of the expense is divided by two and each traveler may claim one-half of the daily lodging expenses not to exceed the maximum allowable for each person. In this instance, a photocopy of the receipt is acceptable, but it must indicate the room expenses were shared with another employee and indicate that employee's name.
(G) The following criteria must be met for an employee to claim reimbursement for conference expenses:
(1) The conference registration fees require receipts and may be reimbursed only if the employee is authorized in advance to attend the conference by the appropriate supervisor;
(2) Lodging requires a receipt and may be reimbursed only if the conference site is more than thirty miles from the employee's headquarters and residence;
(3) Meals, other than those provided as part of the conference, may be reimbursed, only if the conference site is more than thirty miles from the employee's headquarters and residence and overnight lodging is necessitated;
(4) When prepayment is required, registration fees, conference meals and lodging expenses may be paid in advance by ODJFS;
(5) If the conference registration fee is paid at the conference, a copy of the conference registration form, a legitimate receipt of payment and an agenda must be obtained and submitted with the travel expense form; and
(6) If an event sponsor accepts a purchase order for payment by invoice, direct billing may be used. This process eliminates payment by the agency employee and the need for the employee to request reimbursement.
(H) Approval by an employee's immediate supervisor, section chief, bureau chief and deputy director is required for state employees to travel out of state in paid status. The OBM 4501 "Out of State Travel Request" (rev. 09/2005) must be submitted to the deputy director four to six weeks in advance of the travel date to allow processing time and to take advantage of airline super-saver fares. All travel requests must be approved before travel occurs if expenses are to be reimbursed. If personal or non-business travel arrangements are made in conjunction with authorized out-of-state travel, those arrangements must be made and purchased or billed separately and are the responsibility of the traveler. For travel to attend a state-sanctioned conference, a copy of the program or agenda letter must be attached to the OBM 4501 showing details concerning registration fees, lodging, meals and transportation. All projected expenditures must be included and reasonable. For employees who travel out of state routinely, supervisors may request blanket approval by completing an OBM 4501 for blanket out-of-state travel prior to the beginning of each calendar year (CY) quarter.
(I) The office of fiscal services (OFS) provides the name and telephone number of the travel agency currently providing agency travel services. The traveler is responsible for making preliminary travel arrangements with the travel agent to obtain a quote for the ticket price and flight schedule at the lowest available rate. The following two methods may be used for purchasing commercial transportation:
(1) An employee's deputy director's office may have a designated payment cardholder with a card issued exclusively for the purchase of airline tickets. In this case, the payment cardholder shall provide delivery instructions to the traveler and the OBM 4501 shall include a contact name, telephone number and fax number for this contact. A one thousand dollar single purchase transaction limit applies to all payment cards.
(2) The OFS may complete the approval process with the travel agency for the purchase of airline, bus or train ticket and provide instructions to the traveler. Each original OBM 4501 must be submitted to the OFS and include a contact name, telephone number and fax number for this contact. A traveler who changes or cancels commercial transportation arrangements is responsible for contacting the travel agency and either the OFS or the deputy director's office designated payment cardholder and the ticket must be returned to the area that purchased the ticket along with a signed letter of explanation of itinerary changes or cancellation.
(J) Reimbursement for authorized in-state and out-of-state travel expenses is claimed by completing and signing the OBM 7148 "Travel Expense Report," which certifies that the expenses identified in the report are limited to those actually incurred on state business in accordance with rule 126-1-02 of the Administrative Code or in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining contract as follows:
(1) The completed OBM 7148 must be approved by the appropriate section chief, bureau chief, office director, district director, field office manager, or deputy director and the original OBM 7148 plus one copy of OBM 7148, receipts and supporting documentation must be submitted to OFS (verification of an expense may be requested to certify the propriety of reimbursement if receipts are not available or in addition to required receipts).
(2) The completed OBM 7148 must be submitted no later than the end of the following pay period or, if submitted late, a letter of explanation from the traveler, approved by the supervisor, is required.
(3) Travel expenses amounting to less than two dollars in a two-week pay period should not be submitted until expenses accumulate to a higher amount. Travel expenses amounting to less than fifty dollars in a two-week pay period may be held and submitted until cumulative expenses amount to more than fifty dollars. However, if cumulative expenses still amount to less than fifty dollars at the end of the sixth consecutive pay period, the OBM 7148 must be submitted at that time. When the fiscal year (FY) ends in the middle of a pay period, two OBM 7148 forms must be submitted separating costs according to FY.
(4) The OFS processes properly completed OBM 7148 forms within thirty days of submission.
(5) Reimbursement ends with the date of the warrant or electronic fund transfer (EFT). Travel reimbursement warrants will not be distributed upon request. All payments for travel reimbursement are either mailed or issued via EFT to the payee's account.
(K) Persons who are not state employees but who serve in uncompensated capacities as board or commission members or volunteers may be reimbursed for travel expenses to the extent permitted by Ohio law and this rule if the expenses are paid in whole from state funds. Alternatively, to the extent permitted by federal regulations, Ohio law, or language creating the board or commission allowing reimbursement of travel expenses, such travel expenses may be paid from another source of funds or from a combination of state funds and another source of funds. Reimbursement may be at state rates and is subject to state travel policy. Travel expenses authorized for reimbursement above state rates is reported as taxable income. Persons working under a personal service contract may be reimbursed for travel expenses at state rates if reimbursement is covered in the contract.
(L) The state of Ohio makes a bank travel card available at no cost to approved state employee frequent travelers, which allows state travel charges to be separated from personal charges. The individual cardholder enters into a contract with the designated bank and is responsible for total payment of all charges on a monthly basis. The travel card is not for personal use and is limited to reimbursable travel expenses, which includes a fifty dollar monthly limit in retail charges for the purchase of personal items that are needed by an employee who is in travel status. The bank may cancel the card of any card member at any time. Travel cards must be returned to the OFS upon separation from ODJFS.
(M) Direct billed costs associated with approved ODJFS events, including conferences, seminars, conventions, workshops, retreats and/or meetings, must be approved before the event occurs. Coordinators sponsoring an event may request direct billing for lodging, parking, meeting rooms, equipment, refreshments or meals that are an integral part of the event. Employees attending an event may request direct billing for lodging, parking and meals that are an integral part of the event. Costs cannot be direct billed if the vendor does not accept a purchase order for payment by invoice. Costs approved for direct billing may not be submitted for reimbursement on the OBM 7148. Requests for direct billing must be submitted to the OFS thirty days prior to the event. The following requirements must be met for prior approval for direct billing:
(1) The employee and/or event coordinator must verify the vendor or hotel accepts a purchase order for payment by invoice and when submitting an invoice for payment and vendors must complete the "Invoice Payment Checklist."
(2) The JFS 02742 "Direct Payments for Hosting Conferences/Banquets List of Attendees"
(rev. 5/2003) must be completed and approved by the appropriate agency supervisors.
(3) The requisition, including the federal tax identification number of the vendor must be completed and submitted to the appropriate bureau chief or deputy director for approval.
(4) The requisition and any necessary attachments must be submitted to OFS at least thirty days prior to the event. Requests for out-of-state events must include a signed and approved OBM 4501. After the direct-billed event has occurred, the OFS forwards the itemized invoice from the vendor to the appropriate deputy director for approval by authorized signature. If applicable, the approved invoice must be returned to the OFS with the following:
(a) A complete list of all employees who attended the event; and
(b) An agenda that includes:
(i) The name of the sponsoring organization;
(ii) Title of the conference;
(v) Times; and
(vi) Costs. If the bill or invoice for lodging includes the costs for a "no-show," a memo explaining the situation must be included.
(5) Employees requesting direct billing must:
(a) Make their own conference meeting arrangements;
(b) Verify the vendor accepts a purchase order for payment by invoice
(requests for direct-billed lodging must be for at least three nights for one person or three persons for one night);
(c) Obtain the vendor's federal tax identification number;
(d) Attend the direct-billed event (or find a replacement to attend); and/or
(e) Cancel according to the vendor's requirements if necessary.
(6) Event coordinators requesting direct billing must:
(a) Verify the vendor accepts a purchase order for payment by invoice;
(b) Secure authorization for food, meals, or refreshments when applicable; and
(c) Ensure the number of people/ participants represented in the request for direct billing is accurate.
(N) Agency employees may request advance payment of registration fees when prepayment is required through the workflow request to purchase (RTP) process or through the payment card as follows:
(1) Advance registration of fees through RTP:
(a) An employee must complete the JFS 02738 "Advance Registration Fee Request" (rev. 8/2006) and obtain the signature of the appropriate supervisor; and
(b) The approved JFS 02738 along with an approved OBM 4501 must be forwarded to OFS at least four weeks in advance of the event; or
(2) Advance registration of fees, not to exceed one thousand dollars per single registration, through payment cardholder as follows:
(a) Payment cardholders must confirm service vendors are on an approved list of vendors as provided by OBM;
(b) Supporting documentation for the advance payment must include:
(i) Course agenda;
(ii) Name of attendee; and
(iii) Conference dates;
(c) The payment cardholder will be responsible for obtaining proof of attendance in the form of an agency provided certificate validated by the vendor, a copy of the certificate provided by the vendor or some other valid proof of attendance, which shall be forwarded to OFS; and
(d) The state of Ohio payment card purchases will be paid upon notification by the payment cardholder of the receipt of goods or services. The notification is made by the payment cardholder posting to the automated payment card log.
(O) In addition to completing the OBM 7148, reimbursement for authorized state employee's in-state and out-of-state travel expense may be claimed by completing the workflow travel reimbursement voucher (TRV) and the ADM 3148 "Electronic Travel Expense Report." The TRV is an electronic document equivalent to the paper travel expense report.
(P) An employee may seek approval for travel or other expenses within a shorter time period than otherwise provided by this rule, or after the travel or other expenses have been incurred, but only if a written letter of explanation, approved by the employee's deputy director, is submitted with the reimbursement request.
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.02
Rule Amplifies: 126.31
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/79, 6/22/79, 11/11/79, 10/3/82, 3/21/83, 6/10/83, 6/17/83, 8/21/83, 9/24/83, 10/1/85, 3/6/86 (Emer), 6/1/86, 10/27/86, 12/15/86, 4/13/87, 10/20/90, 6/1/93, 11/20/93, 11/1/94, 4/10/95, 4/15/96, 6/1/96, 10/25/96, 2/19/97 (Emer), 3/1/97, 7/3/97, 12/1/97, 9/15/98