This is a TEST. Image should match group

This is a TEST. Image should match group

Travel Policy 5-7 and related Travel Procedures

September 2012

Travel Policy


UCAR's policy is to ensure that travel funded by UCAR is essential to its mission, that persons traveling on UCAR business are properly insured, that the travel cost is reasonable, and that the costs of travel are accounted for properly. It is UCAR's policy to require that all UCAR-supported travel comply with conditions specified in cooperative agreement(s) and all applicable Federal regulations. When traveling on U.S. Government funds compliance with the Fly America Act is mandatory. UCAR reimburses (on a no-loss, no-gain basis) employees and other persons traveling on UCAR official business for eligible costs incurred during properly authorized and documented travel.

See related Travel procedures.  

The Director of Budget and Finance is responsible for interpreting UCAR's travel policy.


July 2013

Travel Procedures

(related to Policy 5-7)


1 Domestic Travel

Travel within the 50 states and its possessions. Must be compliant with Fly America Act when using U.S. Government Funds.
2 U.S. Possessions
American Samoa, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.
3 International Travel

Travel originating in the United States or its possessions to a location other than the U.S. and its possessions, and all travel originating in a location outside the U.S. and its possessions. (Mexico and Canada are considered international travel destinations. See Definition 1, above.) Must be compliant with Fly America Act when using U.S. Government Funds unless Open Skies Agreements apply.
4 Fly America Act

The U.S. act requiring that UCAR/NCAR international travel paid for with U.S. Government funds be on a U.S.-flag carrier. For details about the Fly America Act, including information about allowable exceptions to this regulation, including Open Skies Agreements, see Fly America Waiver Checklist.
5 U.S. -Flag Carrier

Commercial air carrier licensed in the United States. See list of current U.S. Flag Carriers and Open Skies Agreements.
6 Travel Authority

Power granted to an employee to authorize travel for UCAR business by employees and visitors.
7 Listed Country

A foreign nation or state that could expose UCAR staff and/or property to unusually hazardous situations or conditions, as determined by the Director of Facilities, Safety & Sustainability (FMS&S) and so listed on the FMS&S Web site.

8 Cash Advance (Travel Advance)

Funds provided to UCAR travelers through an automated teller machine (ATM) or an Approved Travel Authorization two weeks prior to or during business travel for the purpose of paying incidental travel expenses. (A cash advance is often called a travel advance.)
9 Hertz Applicant Program

Program established through agreement between Hertz and UCAR by which UCAR travelers who do not have a Hertz charge card can charge their rental car costs directly to UCAR. These services can be obtained through the UCAR Contracted Travel Agency, Cain Travel.
10 Per Diem

Daily allowance provided to UCAR business travelers to pay for food and incidental expenses for domestic travel and for food, incidental, and laundry expenses for international travel. Domestic rates for continental U.S. are set by the General Services Administration. Rates for noncontiguous domestic locations are set by the US Department of Defense. International rates are set by the U.S. Department of State. All rates may be obtained from the UCAR Travel Office Web Site.
11 Standard Per Diem & In Transit Per Diem

The standard per diem rate established by the U.S. Department of State for all domestic cities for which specific rates are not determined. This rate can be found noted at the top of the web page for all states when checking domestic per diem. This is the same standard per diem used in UCAR as ‘in transit' per diem when traveling internationally.
12 Receivable

Funds owed to UCAR.
13 UCAR Travel U.S. Bank VISA Card

U.S. Bank charge card issued to UCAR business travelers for the payment of travel expenses in order to reduce the necessity for UCAR to issue cash advances and for the traveler to carry cash or traveler's checks. To request a card, click here.
14 Field-Assignment Pay

Supplemental funds paid through payroll and designed to assist with miscellaneous additional expenses while staff are engaged in extended field operations. (See UCAR Time Reporting/Payroll Policy 5-4 for more information.) Employees are eligible for Field-Assignment Pay only after spending a minimum of 14 consecutive days in the field.
15 Shipboard-Assignment Pay

Supplemental funds paid through payroll to staff required to stay aboard ship during field operations. (See UCAR Time Reporting/Payroll Policy 5-4 for more information.)
16 Local Travel

Travel within 100 miles of the traveler's primary work location and does not require an overnight stay.

17 Government Official Travel

The definition of a Government Official is as follows:

(1)   Holds an elective public office in the executive or legislative branch of the Government of the United States,

(2)   Is appointed by the President to an office in the executive or judicial branch of the Government of the United States,

(3)   Holds a position in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the U.S. Government which is listed in schedule C of rule VI of the Civil Service Rules or the compensation for which is equal to or greater than the lowest rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 of title 5, United States Code, i.e., a GS–16,

(4)   Holds a position under the House of Representatives or Senate of the United States receiving gross annual compensation at a rate of $15,000 or more,

(5)   Holds an elective or appointive public office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of a State, possession of the United States, any political subdivision of such State or possession or the District of Columbia and with gross annual compensation at a rate of $20,000 or more, 

(6)    Holds a position as personal or executive assistant or secretary to any of the above described government officials, or

(7) Is a member of the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.

Review and Approval Process

1 Travel Authorization Form

A Travel Authorization form is submitted through the automated Travel Web Application to document management approval of business travel and estimated travel costs. This form must be completed prior to beginning all trips other than those for which the only reimbursement requested is for mileage in a private auto. The form must include the appropriate approval as outlined below. The Travel Authorization form should be submitted through the automated Travel Web Application at least 14 calendar days prior to the commencement of travel. If a trip is planned less than 14 days prior to departure, the Travel Authorization form must be submitted as soon as possible before travel begins.

2 Authorization of Travel

All business travel by UCAR employees, regardless of who is paying for the trip, must be authorized by a staff member in the employee's management chain who has travel authority for the account key, except as noted below. UCAR personnel traveling on behalf of another organization where the entire costs are being borne by the other organization and no expenses will be posted to UCAR, need a No Cost Travel Authorization only.

No employee may authorize his or her own domestic travel except for members of the President's Council, Vice President, NCAR Associate Directors, and UCAR/UCP Program Directors.

International travel must also be authorized by a member of the President's Council or an NCAR Associate Director. Only the President may authorize his or her own international travel. Authorization includes ensuring that the area to be visited meets the safety criteria described in UCAR Hazardous Travel Risk Assessment Policy.

International travelers are encouraged to review Guidelines for International Travel with Electronic Devices and Data. International travel may require prior approval by the sponsor of a given cooperative agreement, contract, or grant. In such cases, sponsor approval is sought by the UCAR Contracts and Sponsored Agreements office, in collaboration with the UCAR division or program.

Travel must be authorized before the trip begins. If travel begins before it is authorized, the appropriate member of the President’s Council must ratify the trip.

Travel authority is limited to specified staff for select account keys. Persons who are not UCAR employees may not be granted travel authority.

Signature Authority Administrators will review travel authority when an employee changes positions or is reclassified. When an employee with travel authority terminates employment, the travel authority is automatically rescinded.

Domestic travel authority may be delegated on an acting basis when an incumbent with travel authority is on travel or leave status. When a person with domestic travel authority designates another person to act in his or her stead, the acting staff member retains the same travel authority as the person for whom he or she is acting, with the exception of assuming authority for his or her own travel.

3 Travel Authority Lists

Employees who have been delegated travel authority are maintained in the Signature Authority database.

4 Travel Paid by UCAR and Billed to Other Organizations

Travel to be billed directly to an outside agency or other organization must be authorized as outlined above. Such travel requires submission of a Travel Authorization form, a Travel Voucher form and an Invoice Request form.

5 Field-Project Travel

All UCAR-supported participants in a field project receive the same per diem rate per location and air tickets in the same fare class. Decisions about fare class and per diem rate are made jointly by the NCAR Associate Director or UCAR/UCP Program Director who have staff participating in the field project. These decisions must be made prior to authorization of travel, and all field projects must be registered. Established per diems for field projects, if not the normal locale per diem, must be communicated to the travel office through

Field- or shipboard-assignment pay is authorized by the approval of the authorization, the registration of the project and the payroll policy.

Laboratory and Program Directors or their Administrators register projects by sending e-mail to the Travel Office or by using the Advance Notice of Field Project form on the Travel Office Web page.

6 Non-UCAR Employees International Travel

All U.S. Government funded international travel by non-UCAR Employees (visitors, meeting/workshop participants, invited speakers, special guests, etc.) must be booked through UCAR's contracted travel agency, Cain Travel, to ensure compliance with Fly America Act or applicable Open Skies Agreements, and must be authorized and approved as outlined in this policy.

7 Travel Vouchers 

Documentation for reimbursement of a business travel expense is reported on a Travel Voucher form, which should be submitted within two weeks of the completion of the trip.

Receipts submitted in a foreign currency are to be converted to the USD equivalency of the date expenses were incurred. Travel reimbursements are processed in USD, if reimbursement is being made in a foreign currency, conversion rates apply of the date the voucher reimbursement is made.

The voucher must list all expenses (those charged directly to UCAR, those to be reimbursed to the traveler, and those to be billed to another organization) and must include any necessary certification of the use of non-U.S.-flag carriers if travel is federally funded, receipts (original if possible) for airfare, lodging, automobile rental, and other miscellaneous expenditures. Daily itineraries of meetings and appointments, if available, should be included.

A request to Invoice form must accompany all vouchers for trips with expenses being reimbursed to the traveler, that are completely or partially billable to another organization, will not be reimbursed until the invoice request form is received. The Travel Voucher must be signed and certified as correct by the traveler and approved by an individual with appropriate travel authority.

8 Cash Advances (AKA Travel Advances)

Cash advances to cover miscellaneous reimbursable expenses incurred during employee travel on UCAR business may be obtained by using the UCAR U.S. Bank VISA Travel card at an automated teller machine (ATM) or banking institution which displays the VISA logo, or from the Budget and Finance office prior to departure. Maximum cash advance is $1,200 per month. VISA charges a transaction fee for each ATM withdrawal, and these fees are a reimbursable cost of travel. Most UCAR business travel expenses are chargeable on the UCAR U.S. Bank VISA Travel card, with only miscellaneous charges requiring cash.

A  A travel advance should be requested through the automated Travel Web Application Form.  Cash advances issued through the UCAR Travel Office may only be issued a maximum of two weeks prior to the trip's start date.

B   Cash advances received from the Travel Office are subtracted from the traveler's total reimbursable expenses at the time the Travel Voucher is processed. A cash advance from the Travel Office must be cleared within two weeks of completion of travel, or a payroll deduction may be imposed. Additional cash advances from the Travel Office may not be issued until the prior advance is cleared. (Exceptions are made under special circumstances, e.g., for back-to-back travel.)

C  Visitors to UCAR may be issued cash advances for authorized travel by the Travel Office when requested through the automated Travel Web Application.

9 Travel Accounts Receivable

When a traveler requests a travel advance, it is classified as a receivable. When travel is being billed to another organization, the travel advance, as well as, other costs, are treated as ‘billable travel' which is a receivable.

Vouchers with expenses, or costs to be reimbursed to travelers which are to be billed to another organization must be accompanied by an Invoice Request form prior to voucher processing.

If, after 90 days the receivable has not been cleared, Accounts Receivable administrator may solicit collection assistance from the traveler or the costs may be charged to the travel program indicated on the Travel Authorization temporarily until the voucher has been completed and processed. Travel advances are considered Accounts Receivable due back from the traveler and should be cleared within 2 weeks of trip completion.

10 Federal Employee Travel

In general, UCAR funds may not be used to reimburse, or pay in-kind, travel by Federal government employees. Each Federal agency, however, has different guidelines for the reimbursement of Federal employee travel. Contact the Travel Office for specific rules for each agency.

11 Transportation Expenses

A     Modes of Travel

Loss of time resulting from the choice of a slower means of transportation, such as car or train, when faster commercial air transportation is available, should be minimized. If a slower means of transportation is chosen for the personal convenience of the traveler, an equivalent airfare quote from a third party such as a travel agent must be obtained prior to the trip taking place. Reimbursement is made on the basis of either applicable mileage plus the per diem allowance and lodging, or the airfare plus applicable per diem allowance, whichever is less, as documented by the traveler. Costs incurred above this limit are borne by the traveler. If a slower means of transportation is selected for the personal convenience of the traveler, the excess time, beyond that which would be incurred using air travel is charged as Paid Time Off or leave without pay. If a slower means of transportation is selected for the medical necessity of the traveler, all reasonable costs are reimbursed once an exception to the policy has been approved by the appropriate President's Council member.

B    Air Travel

1 Travel Agencies

UCAR has contracted with Cain Travel Group, Inc. to provide travel agency services. The services of any travel agency may be used; however, employees are urged to use Cain Travel to achieve the best value and ensure Fly America Act compliance. Employees utilizing any Open Skies Agreements for determining allowable air carriers MUST book that travel through Cain Travel. Cain Travel Agency is  authorized to direct bill UCAR for booking travel arrangements.

All Non-UCAR employees must book all international travel through the UCAR contracted agency, Cain Travel. In the event a visitor inadvertently books their own international travel, an exception to the policy must be granted by the Vice-President of Finance and Administration or airfare will not be reimbursed.

UCAR employees may book their own U.S. Government funded international travel through any means when utilizing only US Flag carriers or US Flag Code Share flights. If not booking through UCAR's contracted agency, Cain Travel, any travel requiring a Fly America Act waiver (when use of a foreign carrier is necessary) must be arranged through a Professional Travel Agency willing to issue a signed UCAR Fly America Act Waiver. Issuance of said waiver guarantees Fly America Act compliance for audit compliance with the Federal Government. Employees utilizing any Open Skies Agreements for determining allowable air carriers MUST book that travel through Cain Travel. Employees booking their own international travel or requesting reimbursement without a signed waiver, when a foreign carrier is utilized, will not be reimbursed for the non-US Flag Carrier portion of the airfare.

2 Fares

Coach class(s) or lower fares are to be used for domestic air travel on UCAR business. Requests for the use of greater-than-coach fares must be documented in writing and authorized in advance as an exception to policy by the appropriate member of the President's Council. The approved documentation must be submitted with the Travel Authorization or the Travel Voucher form, as appropriate.

Greater-than-coach fares are allowable only when coach fares are not reasonably available to meet necessary requirements, such as where coach accommodations would

a.   require circuitous routing;
b.   require travel during unreasonable hours;
c.   greatly increase the duration of the flight;
d.   result in additional cost which would offset transportation savings; or
e.   offer accommodations that are not reasonably adequate for the medical needs of the traveler.

Business-class fares are allowable for international travel when the trip has a one-way in-flight segment of 10 hours or more, or where the total elapsed one-way in-flight time is 15 hours or more without overnight stopovers.

Non-refundable air tickets may be purchased, however, it is important that the traveler exercise caution if there is a possibility that the trip might be canceled. If the ticket cannot be used within the reissue period, the ticket cost is allowable to program funds. Fees for changing the ticket and fare differences are also allowable to be charged to program funds.
3 Selection of Air Carrier

UCAR-supported travelers are prohibited from acting as pilot, passenger, or crew on a privately owned, leased, or chartered aircraft for travel on UCAR business. No exceptions will be granted.

Effective October 1, 2008:

A U.S. Government funded travel

Commercial air carriers for all UCAR U.S. Government Funded business travel must be selected in accordance with the Fly America Act. (See UCAR's Travel Procedure, Fly America Waiver Checklist which includes Open Skies Agreements). If a traveler selects a non-U.S.-flag carrier, he or she must submit a signed UCAR Fly America Waiver from a Professional Travel Agent or no reimbursement will be made for any non-US Flag Carrier portion of the airfare. If Open Skies Agreements are utilized the travel must be booked through Cain Travel, UCAR's contracted agency, or no reimbursement for airfare will be made.

B Non- U.S. Government funded travel

Purchasing airfare after October 1, 2008 utilizing non-U.S. Government fund sources must adhere to the following.

  1. The entire trip is non-U.S. Government funded (no joint funded trips).
  2. Airfare must be booked after October 1, 2008.
  3. Any costs of the trip may never be transferred to U.S. Government funds.
  4. Salary charges for the traveler must follow the fund source of the trip.
  5. Airfare may be booked through any means.

C Private Automobile

Travelers who use a private automobile on official business are reimbursed for mileage at the Internal Revenue Service allowable mileage rate and for parking and tolls. If an automobile is required on a routine basis, a request should be made for the use of a GSA vehicle.

When using a personal vehicle on UCAR business, the traveler's personal auto insurance is the primary coverage for third-party liability claims. UCAR's insurance is in excess of that coverage and covers both the traveler and UCAR. If an accident occurs while the personal vehicle is being used for business travel, the traveler must submit a claim to his or her own auto insurance carrier and to the UCAR Insurance Office. Any deductible on the traveler's comprehensive and collision coverage is the traveler's responsibility and will not be reimbursed by UCAR. UCAR is not responsible for comprehensive or collision damage to the traveler's personal vehicle. The mileage rate for reimbursement assumes the traveler provides his or her own automobile insurance coverage.

D Local Travel

When private autos are used for business trips to destinations less than 100 miles from the traveler's regular work location and no overnight stay is required, mileage is reimbursed but no per diem is paid. Travel during normal working hours between UCAR sites where shuttle service is available is generally not reimbursable.

Claims for mileage reimbursement for local travel are made by itemizing details on the Local Travel Summary form. This should be attached to a Request for Check form and forwarded to the Travel Office. See Review and Approval Process 13B for a description of per diem eligibility when an overnight stay is required.

E Rental Cars

1 Eligible Expenses

Normally, the actual cost of up to a full-size rental car is a reimbursable expense. However, the cost of a larger vehicle is reimbursable when necessary in order to transport equipment or to accommodate groups. Additional costs for satellite radio, GPS mechanisms, insurance costs (unless  international) are Non-Allowable and must be paid by the traveler.

When determining whether to rent a car or use alternate ground transportation (e.g., taxis, subway), employees should assess the alternative costs and use their best judgment, taking into consideration the length of their stay, the geographic area, and their true transportation needs.

2 Use of Rental Cars

UCAR has preferred rate agreements with Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and National for rental cars. UCAR recommends that employees, visitors, and other authorized travelers use one of these five choices for rental cars under these preferred arrangements, where available, providing that cars will not be used off the road, on unpaved roads, or on roads that are not regularly maintained.

If travelers elect to compare the costs of using other rental car agencies, they should be aware that these preferred agreements with Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and National  include primary loss-damage and liability insurance, negotiated discounts on rates, tax free status for UCAR, online reservations, coordination with Boulder Travel, centralized electronic billing, and unlimited mileage.

The Hertz Applicant Program is available to UCAR visitors and staff who do not have a Hertz credit card because they travel infrequently or are under the age of 25. The Hertz Applicant Program services are arranged through Cain Travel, Inc. and billed directly to UCAR.

In order to ensure that cars are rented through UCAR’s preferred contracts, travelers must use specific identifying authorization codes for their rentals through each rental agency. All such rentals are centrally billed to UCAR. If another UCAR or personal credit card is used for reservations or payment, it negates the advantages of the preferred contract for insurance coverage, rates, and other negotiated benefits. In order to secure the preferred rate, travelers may also be asked to show a government identification card and/or a copy of their Travel Authorization form at the time of rental. Government identification cards are available from the Human Resources Department.

3 Insurance Coverage

UCAR’s business automobile liability insurance provides secondary coverage for bodily injury or property damage to others and includes: any auto, hired and /or non-owned automobiles (rental, leased, GSA, NSF, UCAR-owned). This coverage is provided for UCAR employees and its other authorized drivers while driving on UCAR business. In UCAR’s business insurance, deductibles may apply and are payable by the program. Injury to an employee involved in an automobile accident while driving on UCAR business is covered through UCAR’s Workers' Compensation program.

When driving a personal vehicle on UCAR business, the traveler's personal automobile insurance provides primary coverage. UCAR will not pay or reimburse for costs associated with personal insurance deductibles or claims.

When driving a US Government owned vehicle, liability insurance is provided by UCAR's insurance carrier, however, no vehicle physical damage coverage is provided. If GSA bills UCAR for any auto physical damage, the division or program to which the vehicle is assigned will be charged for the repairs.

When UCAR supported travelers are driving domestic Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, or National rental vehicles, primary insurance coverage is provided through the rental contract and included in the rental cost. When not using one of these five contracted car rental agencies, the supported traveler’s personal insurance is primary and UCAR's Business Auto policy and Commercial General Liability provides secondary coverage. No additional insurance will be reimbursed to the traveler. If additional coverage is purchased by the travelers it is a personal expense.  For international rentals, additional coverage should be accepted related to protection of the vehicle and occupants, and is reimbursable. Personal effects coverage is not reimbursable. Using UCAR's US Bank VISA Travel Card for payment provides limited primary damage coverage. Depending on the rental location, State law may require the rental agency to provide primary minimal liability coverage. When not using any of the five preferred car rental agencies a renter's personal insurance will be considered primary. Secondary coverage only applies after primary insurance is exhausted. In order for UCAR's insurance coverage to be in effect UCAR employees and non-employees on official UCAR business must rent or lease in UCAR's name, not that of an individual.

Rental cars should be visually inspected before rental, and any damage noted on the rental agreement.  Upon return the cars should be re-inspected so that UCAR can avoid being held responsible without just cause. In case of an accident while using a rental car on official UCAR business, travelers must immediately report the accident to the police, the rental car agency, their supervisor, UCAR’s Safety office, and UCAR’s Insurance Office. Copies of filed accident reports must be submitted to the UCAR Insurance Office. If the accident results in serious injury or death, the Insurance Manager and/or the Associate Vice-President for Business Services must be contacted immediately.

If travelers use rental cars for a combination of UCAR business and personal travel, they are responsible for having adequate insurance coverage for the period of their personal use (through personal insurance or through the rental agency). Travelers are reminded, however, that the cost of insurance for personal use of rental vehicles and for business use when traveling in the U.S. is not a reimbursable expense.

Please refer to UCAR's Vehicle Use Procedures and/or the Driving on UCAR Business and/or UCAR Travel Policy 5-7,  Review and Approval Process Section 11-E, 2 and 3, for additional information.


12 Subsistence ExpensesA Lodging

Domestic and international travelers are reimbursed for the actual reasonable costs of lodging. Single-room accommodations are appropriate and should be requested by employees when traveling on UCAR business. Travelers should seek government-discount or lower rates for lodging accommodations whenever such rates are available.

An accommodation allowance is allowed to travelers in lieu of the cost of commercial lodging when travelers stay with friends or when free lodging has been provided by someone other than family. See Procedure Appendix 5-7 for the amount of this allowance. When travelers are staying on board ship, UCAR pays shipboard lodging expenses.

B Meals and Incidentals (Per Diem)

Domestic and international travelers are reimbursed for meals and incidental expenses (such as tips) incurred during authorized business travel according to the following policy Review and Approval Processes. Reimbursement is based on per diem rates specified by the appropriate agency or on reasonable, actual costs. Individuals with appropriate travel authority may elect to provide per diem at a reduced rate in situations where meals are furnished by UCAR. Actual costs must be itemized with supporting receipts, original if possible, and may require justification. If reimbursement of actual costs exceeds 150% of the allowable per diem rate, the excess is taxed as income to the traveler. An employee may not claim both partial per diem and actual expenses during the same 24-hour period (midnight to midnight).

1 Domestic Travel
Reimbursement is available to travelers for all trips of 100 miles or more from the traveler’s regular work location.  When traveling less than 100 miles, only mileage will be reimbursed. (See 11.D Local Travel) Travel authorization is required for travel in excess of 100 miles or an overnight stay.

Travelers may be paid a per diem based on location of that night’s lodging, or they may be reimbursed for reasonable, actual costs. Three-quarters of the per diem specified for the location of that night’s lodging is paid for the day of departure. Three-quarters of the per diem specified for the location of the previous night’s lodging is paid for the day of return travel.  Laundry is not included in domestic per diem rates and, therefore, is reimbursable as a miscellaneous expense, but must be receipted, and trip must exceed 5 days. (See Review and Approval Process 13, below.) Consult the list of per diem rates and the Travel Office.

2 International Travel (all U.S. Government Funded International travel must comply with the Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreements)
Travelers may be paid a per diem based on the location of that night’s lodging, or they may be reimbursed for reasonable, actual costs. The per diem rate for international travel, which includes food, laundry, and incidentals, is the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) portion of the per diem rate established by the appropriate agency. Three-quarters of the Standard Per Diem, in transit per diem, rate is paid for the day of departure and the day of return travel at ¾ the rate. Since foreign per diem rates include laundry, laundry costs are not separately reimbursable as a miscellaneous expense. The current foreign per diem rates are available from this linkand from the Travel Office.

3 Shipboard

When travelers are staying on board ship, they are paid the per diem specified either for the port of departure or for the field project location if various ports of departure are used by participants for that project. The appropriate per diem rate is determined jointly by the participating NCAR Associate Director or UCAR/UCP Program Directors.

13 Miscellaneous Expenses

Miscellaneous expenses incurred as a result of travel are reimbursed when itemized on a Travel Voucher supported by receipts, original if possible; and approved. Tangible items purchased (e.g. books, maps, pen, paper, field project supplies or costs, etc), not Travel related, must be submitted with original receipts via check request.

The following miscellaneous expenses are reimbursable:

A Baggage Charges
Baggage charges for handling Business necessary items must be receipted only if in excess of $50.
B Telephone, and Facsimiles, and Internet Connectivity
Itemized telephone calls, facsimiles, and internet services required in connection with official business, including any necessary calls to family members because of changes in itinerary and, on overnight trips, and one "safe arrival" call. In addition, reasonable costs of one personal call per week are reimbursed. Air-to-ground calls are limited to urgent business calls only. A listing of telephone calls, each noted as business or personal, must be submitted with the Travel Voucher.
C Conference Fees
Meeting and conference fees where attendance has been authorized in advance.
D Laundry
Actual laundry and cleaning costs incurred while on domestic travel if the traveler is required to be away from home five consecutive days or more. (Laundry costs are included in the foreign M&IE per diem allowance and are not reimbursed separately.)
E Dependent Care
Actual daily receipted expenses (receipt to be signed and dated by caregiver, caregiver address and contact information must be included, and must include dates and times of care), not to exceed the allowable amount, for provision of essential care for dependent persons (using the same definition as for Family Sick Leave). See Procedure Appendix 5-7 for allowance amount. Such care is eligible when it is provided outside the employee's normal working hours, when the traveler is the regular caregiver, and when other family members are unavailable to provide such services while the employee is away from home on UCAR business.
F Taxi Fares, Tolls, Parking, and ATM and Traveler's Checks Fees
Reasonable taxi or other ground transportation charges, tolls, parking fees, and the cost of ATM usage and traveler's checks. Although receipts are not required for individual intangible miscellaneous expenses (e.g. parking, taxi, other ground transportation, tolls, travelers checks etc.), not exceeding $50, the Travel Office suggests they be submitted with the Travel Voucher when available.
G Parking tickets or other traffic fines are not reimbursable

14 Travel Accident Insurance

UCAR employees and others traveling under UCAR authorization are insured under UCAR's Travel Accident Insurance. Please refer to UCAR's Travel Accident Insurance page for additional information. Costs for individual travel insurance obtained by the traveler are not reimbursed.

15 Personal and Family Expenses

When business and personal travel are combined, any personal expenses incurred by a traveler and all expenses related to family members accompanying the travel are paid for directly by the employee. The traveler must note on the Travel Authorization form the dates of the personal versus business travel. The personal costs must be separated from the business costs and reimbursed to UCAR when the Travel Voucher is completed. Airfare for family members may not be billed to UCAR.

Costs are allocated between UCAR and the traveler for trips combining business and personal travel as follows:

A Airfare
Travelers are reimbursed for the airfare, (Fly America Act compliant airfare cost if the trip is U.S. Government funded,) which would be required if no personal travel were involved. If a business trip involves personal legs, an equivalent airfare quote from a third party such as a travel agent must be obtained prior to the trip taking place. Quote should be for what the ticket would have cost from point of origination to business destination and return. Airfare will be reimbursed for the amount to and from the business destination only.
B Lodging
The cost of lodging for nights not required as part of the official business trip and the incremental difference in cost between the single room rate and the rate paid for additional travelers are borne by the employee. Traveler must show accommodation validated cost(s) differences.
C Rental Car
The total cost of the car rental (including insurance costs for foreign rentals) is prorated in proportion to the number of days it is used for UCAR business versus the number of days used for personal travel, no exceptions based on rates.
D Per Diem
Per diem is allowable only for the portions of the trip that are necessary to carry out UCAR business.
E Other Miscellaneous Expenses
Parking and other miscellaneous expenses are allowable only for the portions of the trip that are necessary to carry out UCAR business.
16 Vacation Trips for Employees on Assignment Abroad
UCAR employees who, when hired, lived in the United States, and who complete an assignment of 24 months outside the United States, and who are expected to serve at least one additional year upon return to the foreign base, may be reimbursed for an annual vacation trip. The cost of round-trip air tickets for the employee and dependent family members may be reimbursed, according to Review and Approval Processes of this policy, for a vacation trip from the foreign base to the employee's permanent business location or to the employee's vacation destination, whichever is less.
17 Charge Cards

A single, multipurpose UCAR-sponsored VISA charge card is available to employee travelers for their use in paying business related travel expenses. The employee to whom the card is issued is responsible for payment of all charges incurred with the charge card monthly. Employees are reimbursed for business expenses upon submitting a completed and approved Travel Voucher form. UCAR-sponsored travel charge cards should be used only for business travel costs. Card holders should secure their cards to prevent misuse and theft. To apply for the UCAR sponsored Visa Travel Card, contact for an application.

The UCAR-sponsored VISA Travel card can also be used to obtain periodic UCAR business cash advances from ATM's or from any bank that displays the VISA logo. Staff on extended travel of 25 or more consecutive days may make arrangements through the Travel Office to have their UCAR-sponsored VISA Travel charge card accounts paid during their absence. Payments made on the employee's behalf are treated as an advance to the employee and must be cleared by a Travel Voucher within two weeks of the employee's return. Payment authorization forms are available from the Travel Office.

Hertz Rent-a-Car charge cards are also available to UCAR employees from the Travel Office for use in renting vehicles for business purposes. Contact the Travel Office ( for an application.

Calling cards are available from Telecommunicationsfor use while on travel and to help minimize long distance charges and surcharges.


1 The President is responsible for delegating travel authority in writing to members of the President's Council.
2 The appropriate member of the President's Council is responsible for approving travel begun without prior authorization.
3 Members of the President's Council and NCAR Associate Directors are responsible for authorizing international travel and for delegating travel authority for domestic travel in writing to appropriate staff. 
4 Members of the President's Council are responsible for granting exceptions to policy under appropriate circumstances. They are also responsible for approving, in advance of travel, any domestic fares that are greater-than-coach class. In extraordinary circumstances, exceptions to advance approval of greater-than-coach class fares may be ratified by the appropriate member of the President's Council prior to submittal of the Travel Voucher. The appropriate member of the President’s Council is also responsible for ratifying any travel that was undertaken prior to its authorization.
5 NCAR Associate Directors or UCAR/UCP Program Directors are responsible for registering field projects, for jointly determining the fare class and per diem rates for all participants in multi-division or multi-program field projects, and for informing the Travel Office. Lab/Div/Program Directors are responsible for ensuring their staff comply with all UCAR Travel Policies and Procedures.
6 Those employees who have been delegated authority to authorize travel are responsible for ensuring that their staffs are aware of and adhere to the UCAR Travel Policies and Procedures, the Fly America Act if travel is U.S. Government funded, and the requirements for certification and advance approval of travel, and that the travel is essential for the business of the corporation, division, or program. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employee travelers allocate their time accurately between regular work time and Paid Time Off or leave without pay when employees choose a slower means of travel for their personal convenience.
7 Employees are responsible for being aware of the requirements and limitations on travel undertaken or authorized by them, including compliance with the Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreements if travel is U.S. Government funded. They are further responsible for initiating Travel Authorization. Employees are responsible for being aware of the requirements and limitations on travel undertaken or authorized by them. They are also responsible for reporting all accidents occurring while using either their personal or rental vehicles on business travel to the UCAR Insurance Office. Employees must also report accidents resulting in serious injury or death to the UCAR Office of General Counsel and/or the Insurance Manager. They are further responsible for initiating Travel Authorization forms prior to commencing travel, for obtaining appropriate travel authorization for travel undertaken by them, and for submitting claims on a Travel Voucher form, which has been approved by an individual with appropriate travel authority, within two weeks after completion of their travel. They are also responsible for reporting all accidents that occur while using either their personal or rental vehicles on business travel to the UCAR Insurance Office. Employees must also report accidents resulting in serious injury or death to the UCAR Office of General Counsel and/or the Insurance Manager. Employees are responsible for ensuring that non-refundable tickets are tracked and used prior to their expiration. They are responsible for calculating the difference between air tickets and the alternative means of travel if a slower means of travel is selected for the personal convenience of the traveler and for providing the necessary third party documentation. Finally, employees are responsible for safeguarding UCAR-issued credit cards and their account numbers to prevent theft, abuse, and misuse, and for promptly reporting any identified misuse to the credit card company, to the Travel Office, and to the Contracts and Sponsored Agreements office.
8 The Travel Office is responsible for auditing each Travel Authorization for proper authorization, completeness, and conformity with policy prior to issuing a cash (travel) advance. The Travel Office is responsible for auditing and processing each Travel Voucher in an adequate and timely manner prior to paying a travel claim.
9 The UCAR Insurance Office is responsible for filing any appropriate claims with UCAR's insurance carrier for automobile accidents occurring while on business travel. (However, travelers are responsible for reporting accidents involving the use of their personal vehicles on business travel to their own insurance carriers.)

Last updated by kalipit on October 13, 2015 - 2:43pm.
For questions regarding the content of this page, please contact the content editor.