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Travel Services

223 Sherman Hall

Phone: (309) 298-1811
Fax: (309) 298-2811
Email: Travel-Services@wiu.edu

Travel Services is a part of the Accounts Payable Office and is responsible for the reimbursement or payment of travel expenditures. Several resources, including travel forms and instructions are available on this website.

It is the policy of the State to reimburse employees for reasonable authorized expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties. Reasonable expenses include travel by the most economical mode of transportation. For example, should an employee choose to drive a personal vehicle rather than fly, the employee will be required to provide documentation showing it was more economical to drive than to fly. In addition, the University has defined reasonable expenses to include one day travel prior to an out-of-state conference, meeting or other event whereby University business is conducted. Two days travel is allowed when traveling internationally.

The University is governed by the Higher Education Travel Control Board (HETCB) and ultimately by the Travel Regulations Council. All reimbursements to employees while in travel status are in accordance with Travel Regulation Council rules which can be found on the Illinois General Assembly website.

Travel related questions may be directed to Business Services at 309-298-1811 or via email at Travel-Services@wiu.edu.

Request for Travel

Request for Travel Form

This form is not required for reimbursement of travel expenses but can be used if the funds need to be encumbered for future trips. The form should be used for only one trip per traveler and needs to be received in the Travel Services office a minimum of seven days prior to the travel date. NOTE: Any Request for Travel outstanding 30 days beyond the concluding travel date will automatically be canceled.

Authorization to Charge

Departments wishing to have employee airfare paid directly by the University may do an Authorization to Charge with one of the Travel Agencies.

Contact a travel agency for an estimated cost of the ticket.
Prepare a DPA specifying the destination, estimated amount, travel agency, individual traveling, date of travel, and the purpose of travel.

Forward the DPA to the Travel Service Office in Sherman Hall 223. If the need is immediate, an Authorization to Charge Travel Tickets form will be processed while you wait. Otherwise, the form will be completed and returned by campus mail.

Once the Authorization to Charge Travel Tickets form is prepared by the Travel Services Office the traveler should present two copies to the travel agent.

When the travel is completed the traveler must attach the original passenger receipt and a copy of the Authorization to Charge form to the Travel Voucher. The amount of the tickets should not be included on the Travel Voucher for reimbursement. If the passengers receipt is not received within ten days after the date of travel, the department may be denied any future authorizations to charge.

P-Card

The P-Card can be used to pay for airfare, lodging, parking, shuttles, rental car, and other specified travel expenses.

P-cards may not be used for meals or to pre-pay lodging or shuttles.

The original receipts must be attached to the Travel Voucher and a copy of the receipts attached to the P-Card statement.

Please indicate in the Traveler’s Comment section of the Travel Voucher any expenses purchased with the P-Card

Reimbursement Policy

Prompt Submission of Employee Reimbursements Justification Form

IRS Publication 535 indicates that reimbursements to employees for deductible expenses incurred while performing services are not taxable if 1) paid or incurred while performing services as an employee, 2) adequately accounted for within a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time is defined as within 60 days after the expenses were paid or incurred.

If reimbursements are not submitted within the 60 calendar day time frames above, the reimbursement amount will be paid in full but will be submitted to the Payroll Office whereby it will be reported as additional income and payroll taxes will be withheld.

Instances where it is impossible to submit a reimbursement request within 60 calendar days will require a Prompt Submission of Employee Reimbursement Justification form for additional documentation stating the reason the reimbursement could not be requested in a timely manner.

Business Services determines whether or not to recommend an exception. If an exception is recommended, the Promt Submission of Employee Reimbursement Justification is forwarded to the area Vice President and the Vice President of Administrative Services for final signatures.

Transportation

All travel shall be by the most economical mode of transportation available.

Airfare

Airfare may be purchased by the P-Card, Authorization to Charge or reimbursed after the fact.

The passenger receipt or e-ticket must be attached to the travel voucher and noted in the comment section how it was paid for. The airfare receipt must show proof of payment.

Baggage fees are allowable. If requesting payment for more than one baggage fee an explanation is required.

Early check-in and seat assignment fees are not allowable expenses.

Amtrak

Western Illinois University employees are entitled to receive the Government/Illinois State rate ($22 each way) when traveling between Macomb and Chicago on University business.

The Government/Illinois State rate is available for travel Monday through Friday. State employees traveling on Saturday or Sunday will be subject to the available fare at that particular time.

This Government/State rate can be obtained from a travel agent or by contacting Amtrak directly.

To contact Amtrak directly, phone (1-800-USA-RAIL), speak to an agent, and obtain a reservation number. The reservation number along with your WIU ID and payment will need to be provided to the conductor prior to boarding the train.

NOTE: Credit cards are accepted by the conductor for amounts of $25 and over. Therefore, if purchasing a one way ticket directly from Amtrak, payment must be made in cash.

Please remember that the Government/Illinois State rate is to be used when traveling on University business only and is not to be used for personal travel.

Personal Auto
Employee's Certification - Privately Owned Vehicles

All travel shall be by the most direct route. Expenses due to deviations for convenience shall be borne by the employee.

An employee whose travel does include travel through headquarters shall be reimbursed for all mileage in excess of commuting mileage.

Reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle shall be on a mileage basis.

Reimbursement for the use of a personal automobile is 56 cents per mile effective 1/1/14.

Microsoft Streets & Trips is the program used for obtaining allowable mileage. (You may also contact Travel Services)

Travel must be by the most economical mode of transportation. For example, should an employee choose to drive a personal vehicle rather than fly, the employee will be required to provide documentation showing it was more economical to drive than to fly.

Rental Car

The rental of an automobile while on travel status is allowed, if circumstances require.

The business purpose of the rental car must be included in the comments section of the travel voucher.

The most economical vehicle available must be rented while traveling.

The collision damage waiver and personal accident insurance on rental vehicles are not reimbursable.

State Car

Transportation Services Web Page:   http://www.wiu.edu/transportation/index.php

Vehicle Rates (See the transportation website for current rates)

Lodging

$60 Downstate (general)
(To include area surrouding Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University)
$70 Downstate Illinois
(Champaign, Kankakee, LaSalle, McLean, Macon, Madison, Peoria, Rock Island, St. Clair, Sangamon, Tazewell and Winnebago Counties)
$80 Chicago Metro
(DuPage, Kane, Lake McHenry, Will Counties)
see below Chicago Metro Cook County
(to include the area surrounding Governor's State University, University of Illinois, Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University)
$110 Out-of-state
See below District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
Also includes the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax and the counties of Arlington, Loudoun, and Fairfax in Virginia and the counties of Montgomery and Prince Georges in Maryland.)
  Out-of-country
(See US Department of State Foreign Travel website)

 

Cook County
July 1, 2013 - Aug 31, 2013 $155.00
Sept 1, 2013 - Sept 30, 2013 $190.00
Oct 1, 2013 - Nov 30, 2013 $209.00
Dec 1, 2013 - Feb 28, 2014 $128.00
Mar 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014 $186.00
July 1, 2014 - Aug 31, 2014 $166.00
Sept 1, 2014 - Sept 30, 2014 $209.00

 

Washington, D.C.
July 1, 2013 - Aug 31, 2013 $169.00
Sept 1, 2013 - Sept 30, 2013 $226.00
Oct 1, 2013 - Oct 31, 2013 $219.00
Nov 1, 2013 - Feb 28, 2014 $184.00
March 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014 $224.00
July 1, 2014 - Aug 31, 2014 $167.00
Sept 1, 2014 - Sept 30, 2014 $219.00
Lodging Exception Form

A list of preferred hotels is available. (See the Preferred Hotel Listing). Many hotels in the Preferred Hotel Listing offer state rates based on room availability. Hotels are not obligated to always offer the state rate.

Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible. Always ask the hotel about its cancellation policy. In busier times, cancellation policies will sometimes require the traveler to cancel 72 hours in advance or be charged for the room. If you must cancel a reservation, do so before the deadline. If you make a reservation for several nights in succession ask the hotel about their early check-out policy. Some hotels charge an early check-out fee if a quest checks out prior to their scheduled departure date.

Confirm that the “state” rate will be received. This should be done when making the reservation, when checking-in and when checking-out. Make certain the “state” rate quoted is within the maximum allowable lodging rate for the area.

Carefully review the bill upon check-out to ensure that the room charge reflects the appropriate rate and that no unauthorized charges have been added. For example, some hotels will automatically add a security charge or phone usage charge to your bill. If these services are not used, the charges should be removed before checking-out.

If direct billing the University be sure all personal or incidental charges are paid when checking-out (i.e., movies, meals, personal calls , etc.)

If a traveler stays at a hotel where the hotel rate exceeds the allowable rate, a Lodging Exception form must be completed and approved by the appropriate vice president. The lodging exception amount is the difference between the room rate before taxes and the allowable rate for the area. Provided the respective vice president approves the exception, the traveler will be reimbursed for the full amount of the lodging. A copy of a brochure or a meeting registration form which indicates the hotel in which the meeting was held is acceptable documentation in place of a Lodging Exception form.

Lodging exceptions are compiled, presented, and approved quarterly by the Higher Education Travel Control Board. Should the Higher Education Travel Control Board choose to disallow lodging exceptions, the traveler will be responsible for reimbursing the University.

 

Per Diem/Meals

Per Diem

Per Diem Calculator

Travel period must be overnight or in excess of 18 hours to qualify for per diem.

In-state rate is $7.00 per quarter day and out-of-state rate is $8.00 per quarter day.

Quarter days are as follows:
  • 12:00 midnight - 6am
  • 6am to 12:00 noon
  • 12:00 noon to 6pm
  • 6pm to 12:00 midnight
Meal Allowance

Travel of 18 hours or less during the same calendar day or when a night's lodging is not required.

In-State Out-of-State
Breakfast - must leave before 6am $5.50 $6.50
Lunch no allowance no allowance
Dinner - must return at or after 7pm $17.00 $19.00
Deductions for Meals Provided

When the cost of meals is a part of a registration fee or part of airline or hotel arrangements and paid or reimbursed by Western, the traveler must deduct the following amounts from the per diem or per meal allowance:

In-State Out-of-State
Breakfast $5.50 $6.50
Lunch $5.50 $6.50
Dinner $17.00 $19.00

Foreign Travel

The U.S. Department of State foreign per diem rates established separate amounts for lodging and meals plus incidental travel expenses (M&IE). The maximum lodging amount is intended to substantially cover the cost of lodging at adequate, suitable and moderately priced facilities. When the traveler is claiming the U.S. Department of State foreign per diem rates the following incidental expenses are also included in the M&IE per diem rates:

  • Charges for meals
  • Personal use of room and bath during daytime.
  • Fees and tips to waiters, porters, baggage handlers, bellhops, hotel servants, dining room stewards, and similar employees.
  • Telegrams, telephone calls and internet services
  • Laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing of clothing.
  • Fans, air conditioning, heating, radio, or television in rooms.
  • Transportation between place of lodging or business and places off site to obtain meals when they are not obtainable within the immediate vicinity.

See the U.S. Department of State Foreign Per Diem Rates website for more information.

When the cost of meals is a part of a registration fee or part of airline or hotel arrangements and paid or reimbursed by Western, the traveler shall deduct the following amounts from the per diem or per meal allowance:

  Out of Country
Breakfast> 15% of M&IE Rate
Lunch 25% of M&IE Rate
Dinner 40% of M&IE Rate

Reimbursable and Non-reimbursable Expenses

The cost of business related special expenses, if reasonable, shall be reimbursable. Examples are:

  • Hire of room, exhibit space, set up and such for official business
  • Laundry and dry cleaning if on travel status for at least seven consecutive days
  • Storage and handling of baggage
  • Taxis including reasonable tips
  • Housekeeping gratuity
  • Telephone calls on official business including calls up to $10 to announce safe arrival or delay-change in plans
  • Telephone calls to secure lodging
  • Internet charges for business use

Examples of non-reimbursable expenses are:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coat check
  • Entertainment
  • Late check-out or early check-in room charges and room guarantee charges
  • Early check-in and seat assignment fees
  • Meals for other State employees
  • Parking tickets or other traffic tickets
  • Transportation to procure meals
  • Tips incurred beyond those specifically provided in this part

Travel Advances

Travel Advances Form

Group trips involving more than one student (i.e., athletics, livestock judging, study abroad, etc.) are eligible for a travel advance.

The advance must be payable to an employee that is in charge of the trip.

The advance form and a DPA payable to the employee in charge of the trip must be submitted to the Travel Services Office.

A form to aid in reconciliation will be included with the advance check. All Travel Advances issued must be reconciled within 7 days of return. No other travel advances will be issued until outstanding advances are cleared up.