FILE:  DJD

Cf:  BBBE, EDBB

 

EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT

 

 

The Bossier Parish School Board shall reimburse employees and School Board members for expenses incurred while on official School Board business, within budgetary limitations.  Travel reimbursements to Bossier Parish School Board (BPSB) employees and board members shall be limited to those expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of a public purpose authorized by law to be performed by the School Board and must be within the limitations prescribed herein.  Reimbursement of expenses shall be based on submission of a properly completed and approved voucher and such supporting receipts as required and in accordance with approved procedures and reimbursement rates.  Such expenses may be approved and incurred in line with budgetary allocations for the specific type of expense and approved procedures and rates.

 

GENERAL PROCEDURES

 

  1. All employees who use their private vehicles for official School Board business shall be required to carry liability insurance in an amount set by the School Board to be eligible for reimbursement.  When a private vehicle is used for official School Board duties, mileage shall be reimbursed based on the rate approved by the School Board.  In no case shall an employee be allowed mileage or transportation reimbursement when the employee has been gratuitously transported by another person.

  2. Claims for reimbursement of out of parish/out of state travel expense shall be submitted for payment within a week following the travel for which expenses were incurred.  Claims for reimbursement of in-parish travel should be submitted monthly.  Failure to submit the necessary paperwork and/or documentation in a timely manner may result in non-payment of expenses for that month.  In the event any employee is unable to report his/her travel before the end of the reporting period, the Superintendent and/or his/her designee shall approve any extension of the reporting date on a monthly basis.

  3. Any employee or School Board member who submits a false or fraudulent travel claim shall be subject to disciplinary action and the School Board shall be entitled to restitution in full compliance with statutory provisions.

  4. All trips by BPSB employees outside of Bossier Parish must be approved in advance by a department Director and the Finance Department, using the Request for Travel form.  All out-of-state travel by School Board members must be approved by the School Board prior to travel.  Any out-of-district travel within the state by School Board members must be approved in advance by the School Board president.

  5. All requests for mileage reimbursement for employee travel not involving any other travel expenses (e.g. conference registration, hotel, meals, parking) must be claimed on the monthly mileage form.  The monthly mileage form shall be signed by the person requesting reimbursement, that person’s immediate supervisor and the Director of that person’s department.

  6. All requests for travel reimbursement that includes expenses in addition to mileage (e.g. conference registration, hotel, meals, parking) must be claimed on the travel reimbursement request form and can only be made upon returning from the trip The travel reimbursement request form shall be completed in its entirety and signed by the employee requesting reimbursement, that employee’s immediate supervisor and the Director of that employee’s department.

  7. The travel reimbursement form must include the date and time of departure and return.

  8. All expenses incurred and directly related to approved travel shall be identified on the form.  Original receipts for each item claimed on the travel reimbursement request form must be attached except as follows:

 

    1. No receipt is necessary for taxicab or local public transportation expenses totaling less than $10.

    2. No receipt is necessary for tips for baggage handling at both the hotel and the airport.  Only $1 per bag is permitted in and out of the hotel and airport.

    3. No receipt is necessary for valet parking tips.  Only $2 per pickup or drop off is permitted for valet parking tips.

    4. No receipt is required for self-service parking less than $5 per day.

    5. Meals, unless otherwise provided, are reimbursable on a per diem basis.  Therefore, receipts are not required for meals unless otherwise provided herein.

 

  1. An agenda of the conference/event/meeting shall be attached to all travel reimbursement forms.  The agenda shall specify the date, time and location of the conference/event/meeting.  If the agenda does not specify the date and/or location of the conference/event/meeting, other documentation such as the registration form or a confirmation of the registration shall be attached.  A copy of the name tag provided for the conference/event shall be attached to the travel reimbursement form as well.

  2. Expenses of side trips, sightseeing trips, optional tours, etc., not required by or related to the conference/work/meeting are not reimbursable.  Such expenses include, but are not limited to taxi fares, admission costs and refreshments.

  3. Expenses pre-paid by the traveler will be reimbursed upon return from the trip unless prior reimbursement is authorized herein.

  4. The traveler is expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business.

  5. Anyone who received reimbursement by means of a false claim shall be subject to immediate disciplinary action, as well as being criminally and civilly liable within the provisions of the law.

 

MILEAGE AND RELATED EXPENSES

 

  1. The mileage reimbursement rate is $.53 per mile.

  2. All out-of-parish mileage shall be supported by a Google maps directions listing showing the most direct possible route to the destination.

  3. For out-of-parish travel that begins or ends during the employee’s normal workday, mileage will begin or end as the case may be at the employee’s work home base.

  4. For out-of-parish travel that begins or ends outside of the employee’s normal work hours, mileage shall begin or end as the case may be at the employee’s residence.

  5. Mileage incurred includes all necessary mileage while at an out-of-parish destination (e.g. travel from the hotel to the conference location).

  6. Mileage incurred includes mileage to and from the airport.

  7. When two or more people travel in the same vehicle, only the owner of the vehicle may request mileage.  The employee requesting the mileage must list all passengers on the travel reimbursement form.  The passenger shall name the owner of the vehicle in which the passenger rode.

  8. Parking fees, tolls, ferry fares, etc. incurred while on official BPSB business are reimbursable.  If a single fee exceeds $5, an original receipt must be attached to the travel reimbursement form.

  9. Employees will not be reimbursed for mileage commuting to and from home.

  10. For all in-parish travel, an employee will not be reimbursed for mileage from home to the first business stop of the day and will not be reimbursed for mileage from the last business stop of the day to home.  Employees will be reimbursed for in-parish mileage between business stops during the day.  For example, if an employee leaves home and travels to a school, then to another school, then to the Evaluation Center and then back home, the employee will be reimbursed for mileage from the first school to the second school and from the second school to the Evaluation Center.

  11. Mileage for travel that exceeds 400 miles one way must be approved in advance by a Director and the Finance Department.

 

MEALS

 

  1. Reimbursement for meals will be made on a per diem basis, unless otherwise provided, as follows:

 

    1. In State (except New Orleans) - $6 for breakfast, $8 for lunch and $11 for dinner.

    2. All other travel – per meal amount as provided by the United States General Services Administration on the date of travel.

 

  1. The number of meals to be claimed will determined by the following schedule:

 

    1. Breakfast:  When travel begins before 6:00 a.m. on the first day of travel, or extends beyond 9:00 a.m. on the last day of travel, and for any intervening days.

    2. Lunch:  When travel begins at or before 10:00 a.m. on the first day of travel, or extends beyond 2:00 p.m. on the last day of travel, and for any intervening days.

    3. Dinner:  When travel begins at or before 4:00 p.m. on the first day of travel, or extends beyond 6:00 p.m. on the last day of travel and for any intervening day. 

 

  1. If a meal is included as part of the registration fee of an event, that meal cannot be reimbursed.  If the hotel at which the employee stays includes a meal as part of its nightly rate, that meal cannot be reimbursed.

  2. Meals will not be reimbursed to employees, unless the employee was required to stay away from home overnight, based on the lodging policy listed below.

  3. Business meals will be reimbursed at actual costs.  Original receipts for business meals must be submitted with the travel reimbursement form.  Business meals are those meals taken with consultants, advisors or associates for a business purpose.  Meals such as casual lunch discussions, retirement parties or other such activities are not considered business meals.  To substantiate the business meal expense, the name of the attendees and the organization with which the attendees are associated must be listed as well as the specific business topic discussed.  A 15% tip is allowed for a business meal.

 

LODGING

 

  1. Lodging the night before a conference/meeting/event will be reimbursed if the conference/meeting/event begins at such time that, considering normal travel time, the employee would be required to depart before 6:00 a.m.

  2. Lodging on the last day of a conference will be reimbursed if the conference ends at such time that, considering normal travel time, the employee would return later than 9:00 p.m.

  3. Hotel charges will be reimbursed at the actual rate incurred.

  4. No reimbursement shall be made for Louisiana state taxes.  The employee is responsible for presenting a tax-exempt form at the time of hotel check in.

  5. Original hotel receipts showing the detail of the charges must be submitted with the travel reimbursement form.

 

    1. The receipt must show a zero balance due.

    2. Credit card receipts showing only a total amount charged are not acceptable.

    3. Reservation confirmations are not acceptable as a receipt for a hotel stay.

    4. Confirmations of pre-payment must be accompanied by a hotel receipt as proof of stay in order to be reimbursed.

 

  1. At the discretion of a Director, hotel charges may be pre-paid by the BPSB.  Only the nightly room rate will be pre-paid by the BPSB.  No taxes, resort fees, parking fees, etc. will be pre-paid.  The employee will be responsible for any such fees and will submit, in accordance with this Policy, a request for reimbursement for such fees and charges.

 

AIR FARE

 

  1. All travel by air must be requested and approved in writing before tickets are purchased.

  2. Airfare will only be reimbursed up to the amount of the lowest, advance payment, non-refundable, coach rates.

  3. The original boarding pass must be submitted with the travel reimbursement form as proof of travel.

  4. Checked baggage fees are reimbursable up to two bags per passenger each way.  An original receipt must be attached.

  5. Overweight baggage fees, priority seating, priority boarding fees, travel insurance, seat selection fees, booking fees, and all such fees are not reimbursable.

  6. At the discretion of a Director, airfare may be pre-paid by the BPSB or reimbursed to the employee before the trip.  Only the airfare and applicable taxes and fees will be pre-paid/reimbursed prior to the trip by the BPSB.  No baggage fees will be pre-paid/reimbursed prior to the trip.  The employee will be responsible for any such fees and will submit, in accordance with this policy, a request for reimbursement for such fees and charges.

  7. If airfare is pre-paid by the BPSB or reimbursed to the employee before the trip, the employee must submit boarding passes as proof of taking the flight upon return from the trip.

  8. If airfare is reimbursed to the employee prior to the trip and the employee does not take the trip, the employee shall reimburse the BPSB for the airfare at the discretion of the Director who authorized the early reimbursement.

  9. Departing the day before a conference/meeting/event is permitted if the conference/meeting/event begins at such time that the employee would be required to depart before 6:00 a.m.

  10. Returning the day after the conference is permitted if the conference ends at such time that, considering normal travel time, the employee would return later than 9:00 p.m.

  11. All airfare and itineraries must be approved by a Director and the Finance Department prior to purchasing.

  12. An employee cannot arrange flights to extend the trip either before or after the conference for personal reasons without prior consent of his/her Director and the Finance Department.  A maximum airfare price to be reimbursed will be determined by the Director and the Finance Department prior to the booking of the airfare.

 

CAR RENTAL

 

  1. Car rental fees are only reimbursable for trips that involve air travel and are only allowable when other means of transportation are not available, are more costly are or impractical.  The use of a rental car must be justified as a business need and not as a matter of personal convenience.

  2. Expenses will be reimbursed at actual cost.

  3. Expenses will only be reimbursed for a compact car if there are less than three travelers.

  4. The original car rental contract and receipt must be submitted with the travel reimbursement form.

  5. Optional insurance when renting the vehicle is not reimbursable.  Travelers are covered by workers compensation insurance while on official BPSB business.

 

CONFERENCE/EVENT REGISTRATION

 

  1. To the extent possible, registrations for conferences, etc. will be pre-paid by the BPSB.

  2. Early registration is encouraged when it results in a reduced fee.

  3. If the employee pays for the registration, an original receipt must be attached to the travel reimbursement form.

  4. Regardless of whether the employee or the BPSB pays the registration, proof of attendance must be attached to the travel reimbursement form.  This includes a copy of the program/agenda showing the date, time and location as well as a copy of the name badge.

 

UNREIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

 

  1. Telephone calls

  2. Personal articles (e.g. toiletries, clothing)

  3. Shoe shines

  4. Traffic fines

  5. Hotel room movies

  6. Tips to maids

  7. Alcoholic beverages

  8. More than 3 meals per day

  9. Meals for trips that do not require an overnight stay

  10. Personal insurance charges on rental cars

  11. Meals when they are provided by the conference/meeting host/airline

  12. Family expenses

  13. Care of clothing

  14. Overweight luggage

 

Revised: August 6, 2020

 

 

Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:56, 32:861, 32:862, 32:863, 32:863.1, 32:900

Board minutes, 8-6-20

 

Bossier Parish School Board