Travel 

Travel Guidelines


Note: This pamphlet is designed to be a handy reference guide to assist the traveler.  It should not be viewed as a replacement to the Employee Policies and Procedures Manual, Section 13.0.

Duty Station

Employee's duty station is the office to which he/she is assigned.

Receipts

Receipts are required for:

  • Lodging
  • Business Telephone Calls
  • Registration Fees
  • Rental Cars
  • If over $10.00:
                    1. Taxi, 
                    2. Gasoline (Rental Car) 
                    3. Parking Fees 
                           a. Hotel 
                           b. Airport 
                    4. Tolls 
                    5. Other Fees

Tips

  • Meals - The actual amount of tips paid up to 15% of the daily actual or allowed meal amount, whichever is less, will be reimbursed.
  • Taxis/Shuttles - Tips shall not exceed 15% of the fee.
  • Baggage Handling - Tips should be limited to a reasonable amount ($1.00 per bag).

Travel Voucher

Submit one travel voucher each month by the first day of the month following the travel.  The travel request must:

  • Be written legibly in ink or typed,
  • Be signed by the employee,
  • Include account codes,
  • State purpose of travel for each destination point,
  • State each destination point,
  • Include the employee's supervisor's approval,
  • Include original and one copy of the travel request and supporting documents

Automobile Rental

Prior approval from the appropriate Superintendent Management Team member is required to rent an automobile.

Charges for rental cars shall be allowed only when there is a demonstrated cost savings over other modes of transportation, such as bus, subway, shuttles, taxis, etc.  Charges for rental cars strictly for the convenience of the employee will not be reimbursed.

In determining the most economical mode of travel, employees must consider all costs associated with the car rental:

  • Daily Rate,
  • Gasoline Cost,
  • Personal Vehicle Mileage to Accept and Return Rental Car,
  • Personal Car Parking Fees

If more economical than using his/her personal vehicle, taxis, shuttles, etc., the employee is authorized to rent a car from one of the DFA authorized car rental companies.

DFA authorized car rental companies with corporate ID are:

  • Budget ID #T243900 (out-of-state travel)
  • Enterprise ID #TL7970 ( in-state travel)

The corporate ID # must be used to obtain the Collision Damage Waiver/Loss Damage Waiver insurance offered under the state contract.  The price of the rental car includes:

  • Unlimited Mileage
  • Collision Insurance

The option to purchase insurance from Budget or Enterprise should be declined and will not be reimbursed.

Always fill the car with gas prior to return.  Otherwise, you will be charged up to $2.50 per gallon for a full tank of gas by the rental company.

In-State Travel

Prior approval required for in-state functions:

  • Meetings
  • Conventions
  • Associations

Meals

Receipts are not required for meals.  To be reimbursed for meals, an overnight stay (Hotel/Motel or Relative) is required.  If you depart from your duty station prior to 6:00 a.m., please state "Early Departure" to obtain breakfast amount.  If you arrive back at your duty station after 8:00 p.m., please state "Late Arrival" to obtain dinner amount.

Each employee must pay for his/her meal costs and then request reimbursement.

Meal costs within the area of the employee's duty station are not reimbursable.

Report actual amounts spent on each meal (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).  Please refer to the Federal Per Diem Register link below for travel reimbursement amounts.  If the in-state location you are looking for is not included on the Federal Per Diem Register, then the reimbursement amount is $31.00.

Federal Per Diem Register - (General Services Administration) - Continental United States only (CONUS) 
    1. Select the state to which you are traveling, then find the city/county or nearest location. 
    2. Note the amount shown under the Maximum Per Diem column at the right side of the table. 
    3. See conversion table below for maximum reimbursement by the State of Mississippi.

  • $0 - $99 = $31
  • $100 - $124 = $36
  • $125 and over = $41
In-State High Cost Areas

Certain areas of Mississippi have been designated as high cost areas in the state.  Please refer to the Federal Per Diem Register link above for locations.

Lodging

Each employee must pay for his/her lodging costs and request reimbursement.

Original receipts are required for each night's lodging.  The hotel/motel receipt must state the following information:

  • Name, address and telephone number of the hotel/motel,
  • A $0.00 balance due or be accompanied by a credit card receipt,
  • Single room rate plus applicable taxes

Lodging within the duty station city is not an authorized expense.

Mileage

Mileage is verified using map miles stated in The Official Highway Map of Mississippi.  Mileage claimed should be actual miles driven from the employee's official duty station and back.  Intermediate stops must be listed (Example: Jackson to Philadelphia to Meridian to Jackson).  If more than one location is visited in a city, list "Vicinity Travel" (Example: Jackson to Forest, Vicinity Travel, to Jackson).

Mileage is authorized from the employee's residence and back when it is less than from the employee's official duty station.

Mileage for actual and necessary travel is reimbursed at a rate of 44.5 cents per mile on or after 1/6/2006 and 48.5 cents per mile from 9/1/05 through 1/5/2006.

Mileage to and from meals is not an authorized expense.  Mileage for being lost is not an authorized expense.

Prior approval from the appropriate Superintendent Management Team member is required for any and all out-of-state travel.  Complete an Out-of-State Travel Authorization to request the approval.

Out-Of-State Travel

Public Carrier

Any out-of-state travel arrangements requiring a public carrier (airline, train, bus, etc.) may be handled through Avanti Travel, Inc. including arrangements for lodging and rental cars.

Telephone numbers for Avanti during working hours are (601) 981-9111 or 1-800-748-8744.  For emergencies call 1-800-796-8744 access code W67N.

Registration

If feasible, a registration fee should be paid in advance.  The request to pay the registration fee should include the registration form which includes the amount (only the amount attributable to registration) and the dates and location of the meeting.  If the meeting is out-of-state, a copy of the travel authorization form must be attached to the request to pay.  Optional special event function fees for entertainment purposes will not be paid by the Department.

Meals

Employees will be reimbursed for the actual cost of meals not to exceed the DFA approved rate for the destination of travel.  The minimum daily rate for all areas except high cost areas is $30.00.

If the employee is required to attend a meal function for which a fee is charged that will cause the daily allowed meal rate to be exceeded, the cost of that meal will be reimbursed, but must be supported by a receipt.

High Cost Meal Areas

The daily allowance for a high cost area is from $35.00 to $40.00.  Please refer to the Federal Per Diem Register for rates.

Federal Per Diem Register - (General Services Administration) - Continental United States only (CONUS) 
    1. Select the state to which you are traveling, then find the city/county or nearest location. 
    2. Note the amount shown under the Maximum Per Diem column at the right side of the table. 
    3. See conversion table below for maximum reimbursement by the State of Mississippi.

  • $0 - $99 = $31
  • $100 - $124 = $36
  • $125 and over = $41
Lodging

Reservations for lodging must be made through the State Travel Agent when travel on a public carrier (airline, train, bus, etc.) is involved except when attending a conference.  An employee is allowed to make his/her own hotel arrangements if the employee is attending a conference where a block of rooms has been reserved.  The employee must provide the conference material related to the hotel/motel conference rate and inform the Office of Accounting that reservations were personally made when requesting reimbursement for the out-of-state travel expenses.

Airline Costs

Airline reservations must be made through Avanti.  Contract fares to contract destinations are only for official business travel and by officers and employees of the State.

Each airline ticket packet includes an airline itinerary which must be included with the employee's request for reimbursement.

Helpful Travel Hints

  • ALWAYS be sure to check fares with the contract travel agency.
  • ALWAYS ask for both the contract fare and lowest penalty fare.  NEVER ask for "state rate"; the travel agent thinks you are asking for the contract fare only.
  • ALWAYS compare Internet fares to lowest penalty fare quote received from contract travel agency.  In order to purchase Internet fare, it must be at least $25.00 cheaper than travel agency fare and you must have authorization from State Travel Office prior to purchasing.
  • ALWAYS be sure to:
    • "Screen print" Internet fare;
    • Document name of travel agency, agent and fare quoted; and
    •  Fax to State Travel Office (601/359-5137) for authorization to purchase before you buy via the Internet.  Fax will be returned         within one hour of receipt.  THE FAXED APPROVAL MUST BE ATTACHED TO ORIGINAL TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO PROCESS.
Waivers will be given to MDE Accounting Office by State Travel Office upon completion of travel.

Any bonus or promotional gratuity received as a result of official Department travel shall be used to offset or reduce the cost of subsequent official state travel.  Under no circumstances can the traveler keep a bonus or other promotional gratuity so earned for his/her own personal use.

Private Vehicle Travel

Use of employee's vehicle for out-of-state travel is permitted.  However, the total cost of flying must be compared to the total cost of driving.  The lesser of the two will be reimbursed to the employee.

Travel Reimbursement Request

These original documents must be attached to the travel voucher:

  • Out-of-State Travel Authorization,
  • Travel itinerary from Avanti,
  • Hotel receipt which shows single room rate,
  • Taxi, parking and other receipts,
  • Conference brochure that shows conference hotel rate, date and place of meeting
  • Faxed approval from State Travel Office if airline ticket purchased over the Internet

Office of Accounting     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-3525     Fax: (601) 359-2326
 

Copyright © 2012 Mississippi Department of Education – Agency Web DisclaimerNotice of Non-Discrimination