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Section 9: Travel

Travel Authorization (TA)

Effective Date:

05/01/2014

Approved By:

Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs

Last Revised On:

08/01/2018

For Assistance Contact:

Disbursements & Travel Services
Assistant Vice President, Financial Affairs and Controller

PURPOSE/SCOPE

To provide guidance for completing and processing a Travel Authorization. This guideline applies to employees and students who are traveling for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

AUTHORITY

  • University of Texas (UT) System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations Rule 20801 requires institutions to issue regulations covering authorization for travel.
  • UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) 9.46 - Travel Policy

UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES

Table of Contents

A. Overview

The Travel Authorization (TA) is used to authorize travel for UTSA employees and students. Non-employees who are traveling on UTSA business are not required to complete a TA, but must have a written agreement (such as a contract) indicating that UTSA will reimburse or pay the non-employee's travel expenses.

The TA must be completed and approved for travel authorization regardless of whether UTSA pays for any portion of the travel expenses (see Financial Management Operational Guideline (FMOG) - Travel Reimbursement).

Effective September 1, 2017, all new employees who will travel for any reason using UTSA funds must take the Online Travel Authorization Workflow (PS 0307) and Online Expense Report Workflow (PS 0308) training courses before travelling. These courses are intended to support the traveler to help ensure that travel and reimbursement guidelines are understood and used corrctly.

B. Completing the TA

For employees (including student employees), the TA is completed in the UTShare/PeopleSoft Travel and Expense module (for non-employee students see PS0309 – Travel Advance Process). The TA must be final approved before the first day of travel; otherwise the travel is considered unauthorized and treated as an exception requiring Vice President approval. The following information is needed to complete the TA:
  • Traveler's name and Employee ID number
  • Dates of travel
  • Destination
  • Purpose and benefit of trip to UTSA
  • Disposition of duties while traveling
  • All estimated travel expenses, regardless of the method of payment. If adequate expense amounts are not included in the TA, additional approvals will be required in the Expense Report process. The following expenses should be included as applicable.
    • Registration
      • Procards can not be used to pay registration expenses. Registration can be charged to a Central Liability Individually Billed Account (CLIBA) or Travel Advance Card (TAC)
    • Airfare (see FMOG - Travel Reimbursement Section H.5.a for restrictions regarding upgraded fare class)
    • Lodging
    • Meals
    • Car rental
    • Incidentals -- luggage fees, taxis, etc.
  • The SpeedChart (Cost Center or Project) to be charged (see FMOG - Chart of Accounts).
  • For travel funded by state or federal funds, lodging rates that exceed the General Services Administration (GSA) rate must be indicated as such, and must be specifically approved before travel begins. In the TA comments section, note that the daily hotel cost exceeds the GSA rate and why that is acceptable (e.g. use of a conference hotel). For more information on state and federal funds see FMOG - Chart of Accounts.
  • For detailed instructions complete online training course Travel Authorization Workflow (PS 307).
  • Travel paid by third party (no cost to UTSA)
    • Travel Authorization is required
    • Encumbrance must be for $1.00

C. Processing the TA

The TA authorization process routes electronically in UTShare/PeopleSoft and requires the following approvals, with email notifications at each point:
  • Traveler’s supervisor
  • Budgetary Approval (Cost Center Approver and/or Principal Investigator)
  • Other Approvals (Grants Project Manager, Research Service Center, Capital Projects Program Manager, etc. as applicable)

NOTE: International travel must be approved by the International Oversight Committee, if applicable.

D. International Travel

Travelers are automatically registered into International SOS when airfare is purchased thru the contracted travel agencies: Corporate Travel Planners or Anthony Travel for domestic and international travel.

International SOS is a comprehensive, 24/7 medical and security assistance provider. Services are available at no cost to individuals on official university business and at a discount for traveling companions and employees traveling abroad for leisure. The benefits include:
  • Pre-departure Preparation: By logging onto the International SOS website (www.internationalsos.com) with the UT Member ID: 11BSGC000037, you can sign up for health and security email alerts and review valuable, comprehensive, and timely country-specific information.
  • While Abroad: International SOS will help you locate a qualified health care provider, replace a prescription, or simply answer a general medical or security concern.
  • In an Emergency: International SOS can assist with getting you immediate care, whether it requires evacuating you to a center of medical excellence or closely monitoring your condition with local doctors. If you are abroad and in need of immediate assistance, contact International SOS 24/7 at 1-215-942-8059 (UT-dedicated line).

To print an Internatioal SOS card, log onto the International SOS website (www.internationalsos.com) with UT Member ID: 11BSGC000037. This card contains UT's membership number and phone numbers to International SOS alarm centers around the world.

E. Washington DC Travel Considerations

UTSA is a Texas state agency. If Washington DC travel includes activities that involve obtaining or spending federal funds or that impact federal policy, then the traveler is required to inform the Office of State-Federal Relations (OSFR). The notification must include information about the timing and purpose of the trip and provide OSFR with a contact name for any additional required information.

F. Corrections, Unauthorized Travel, and Disencumbrances

The creator cannot make changes to a TA after it has been approved. If an approved TA needs to be changed or canceled, use the Travel Authorization Form (TAF), in the following circumstances and attach to the Expense Report when settling travel.

  • Travel authorization was not final approved in UTShare/PeopleSoft before the first day of travel
    • Monitoring of non-compliant travel is performed by Disbursements and Travel Services (DTS) and reported to management
  • Change in travel dates of  seven or more days
  • Significant change to destination/location
  • Add a missing expense item or change an amount in order for TA to include enough authorized expense to cover the anticipated expenses in the Expense Report

If the creator would like to disencumber a portion of the TA, due to items already paid through the CLIBA card, the TA number should be referenced on the CLIBA card payment.  DTS will monitor the CLIBA card payments for items that should be disencumbered and will also include a comment on the TA showing the original approved expense amount.

DEFINITIONS

Term Description
SpeedChart A previously established combination of chartfield values. When the SpeedChart is used for travel expense coding, that combination of values will be automatically populated in UTShare/PeopleSoft when the transaction processes.

REFERENCES/LINKS

RELATED FORMS/WORKSHEETS

  1. Student Travel Authorization Form
  2. Travel Authorization Form (TAF)

REVISION HISTORY

Date Description
08/01/18 Updated for new international travel requirements and considerations for traveling to Washington DC
08/16/17 Updated for new travel training and requirements
11/16/16 Updated section B.
11/01/16 Updated for workflow.
05/01/14

Created FMOG to transition DEFINE information for transition to PeopleSoft.

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