Kansas Department of Administration

3,817 Agency Travel Approval - Lodging Reimbursment Rates and Out-of-State Travel

Posted on October 21, 2021 at 12:49 PM by Kansas Department of Administration

POLICY MANUAL

Filing No.3,817
Revision date 07/01/2010

Date Issued:06/79

Revisions throughout


SUBJECT

Agency approval to exceed lodging reimbursement rates and out-of-state travel.

PURPOSE

This filing specifies approval requirements for (1) out-of-state travel and (2) lodging reimbursement of up to 50 percent above established standard rates or conference-related lodging at actual cost.

AUTHORITATIVE REFERENCES

K.S.A. 75-3207a                                       K.S.A. 75-3208                   K.A.R. 1-16-18

K.S.A. 75-3731                                         K.S.A. 75-3216

GENERAL INFORMATION

Lodging Reimbursement Rate Approval Requirements

K.S.A. 75-3207a requires the Secretary of Administration to establish subsistence reimbursement rates for both in-state and out-of-state travel. Employees who are subject to these reimbursement limitations may, with proper approval, be reimbursed for actual lodging expenses which exceed the established rate limitations by up to 50 percent. The approval requirements for receiving this higher reimbursement are as follows:

  1. A state officer or employee may exceed the daily lodging reimbursement limitation if written approval is obtained from the agency head or designee who is authorized to approve the travel under the provisions of K.S.A. 75-3208.
  2. No approval is required for an agency head or appointive members of a board, commission, or similar body that appoints an agency head unless the appointing authority requires approval by the appointing authority.

If an employee is required or authorized to attend a conference, the agency head or the agency head's designee may approve reimbursement or direct payment of actual lodging expenses. The reimbursement or direct payment of actual lodging expenses shall be effective for the approved conference and for official state business related to the conference and applicable only to the state employee attending the conference.

Out-of-State Travel Approval Requirements

K.S.A. 75-3208 specifies the approval requirements for employee travel beyond the borders of the state. The approval requirements are as follows:

  1. Judicial – Except as otherwise prescribed by a majority of the justices of the Supreme Court, the Judicial Administrator or designee may grant written approval for out-of-state travel by an officer or employee of the judicial branch.
  2. Legislative – Except as otherwise authorized or provided by statute, the Legislative Coordinating Council may grant approval for out-of-state travel by a legislator or an officer or employee of an agency in the legislative branch or a designee of the Legislative Coordinating Council may grant written approval for out-of-state travel by an officer or employee of a legislative branch agency,
  3. Executive – Except as otherwise prescribed by the officer, board or commission that appointed an agency head (chief administrative officer), the agency head or designee may grant written approval for out-of-state travel by an officer or employee of the executive branch agency.

Certain out-of-state travel does not require approval. Approval is not required for:

  1. An agency head or appointive members of a board, commission, or similar body that appoints an agency head unless the appointing authority requires approval by the appointing authority.
  2. Other agencies, departments, or individuals specifically exempted by law.
  3. Border City Travel (as specified in Policy Manual file 3,904)

Approval Method

K.S.A. 75-3731 requires the Office of the Chief Financial Officer to ensure that all obligations submitted for payment have been incurred in accordance with law. To determine whether higher-than-standard lodging reimbursement claims or out-of-state travel expense claims have been properly approved under the provisions of K.S.A. 75-3207a or 75-3208, the Officer of the Chief Financial Officer  must be informed of which agency designees are authorized to approve these items and the method used by each state agency to show that proper approval was granted for the travel.

An agency may choose one of three methods to show that higher lodging reimbursements or out-of-state travel was properly approved. These methods are as follows:

  1. Electronic Approval in SMART – The agency (except universities) utilizes the SMART travel module for approvals via the designated agency workflow. Universities can use some other equivalent method of approval. In addition, the agency can internally require one of the methods listed below. If one of the following methods is also used, then the approver in the SMART travel module must ensure the additional approval method is enforced.
  2. Letter from Agency – This method requires that a letter, signed by a person authorized to approve higher lodging reimbursement or out-of-state travel, be retained with the travel expense documentation. The letter should contain enough information to allow the SMART travel module approver to determine that the travel authorized and the travel undertaken are the same. Suggested information includes the traveler’s name, destination, purpose of travel, and dates of travel.
  3. Agency Travel Authorization Form – This method requires that a completed agency travel authorization form, signed by a person authorized to approve higher lodging reimbursement or out-of-state travel, be submitted with each expense report submitted for payment. The form must contain enough information to allow the SMART travel module approver to determine that the travel authorized and the travel undertaken are the same. Suggested information includes the traveler’s name, destination, purpose of travel and dates of travel.

Notification Requirements

Previously, the Office of Chief Financial Officer  developed form DA-26, Agency Travel Approval – Lodging Reimbursement Rates and Out-of-State Travel. The DA-26 will no longer be maintained by the Office. The agency travel module approver in SMART is responsible for ensuring that proper approvals have been obtained. An agency may use the DA-26 for internal use, but it should not be submitted to Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

CONTACT SOURCES

For information concerning approval requirements for out-of-state travel, please contact:

Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Audit Services Team

 

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