OTDA response - We reviewed the 2017 course information in HSLC and found that no courses ended after 4pm, and in many cases the trips were arranged so that the last day wrapped up with a half day of training that generally ended at 12pm. (see attached). We encourage the trainers to continue this practice to limit the need for late end of day/week travel. While TSD appreciates the point being made, all project trainers and trainees, and OTDA state staff, are held to this standard. If there is a special circumstance that arises from the scheduled training, please submit for prior approval and TSD will review the waiver request.
OTDA Response - An individual can drive their own vehicle, but the OGS guidelines only provide for reimbursement at the more economical cost of renting a compact vehicle. This is consistent with OGS practices for State staff. The calculator at the follow link can be used:
The calculator will determine the amount to be reimbursed, and travelers should adjust the mileage claimed on their expense report to be equivalent to the cost of a rental. When using a personal vehicle, travelers are reimbursed for the adjusted mileage rate only, and not for gas directly. If there are questions about use of the calculator, please speak to the contract manager.
OTDA Response - It is permissible for travelers to accept free upgrades when it does not result in an additional cost to the project. Travelers should be cognizant of the added fuel charges that may be incurred from accepting upgrades to SUVs and large vehicles when it is not necessary for transport purposes; as well as the added liability for traveling with a larger and more expensive vehicle
Any deviations from the guidelines must be clearly documented and if possible, approved in advance.
While the sponsor may not approve such an expense, you should always take what you deem to be the safest course of action. If you do decide that conditions warrant spending the night, your supervisor should be notified immediately and you should also document the situation to the best of your ability (i.e. save weather report, warnings, etc.). A detailed justification along with this documentation should be attached to your travel reimbursement request.
After a recent audit by OTDA of CDHS travel costs, we were notified by them that we were not following the correct travel regulations. Per RF policies, the sponsor's policies supercede RF policies, meaning that we must comply with the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) Travel Manual when traveling on any NYS funded awards.
The federal mileage rate is .545 per mile. Travelers are expected to use the least costly mode of transportation when traveling for business. Driving your personal car is usually more expensive then renting an economy vehicle and paying for the actual gas used.
OTDA Response - Picking up the rental car in advance of a trip can be considered acceptable if the contract will not be charged an additional day for the trip. Further, the advanced pickup should be limited to the day before, and does not allow for trainers to retain vehicles over the weekend between trips. Where possible, the vehicle should be picked up on the day of departure.
You may continue to use your credit cards to pay for travel but do review the OSC Travel Manual to make sure that you understand the allowable cost rules.
Yes. The sponsor will only pay for compact car rentals so all future rentals must be adjusted accordingly.
You might want to put a note with the date and time of the return with the keys when placing them in the drop box. Hopefully the agency will then correctly enter the information into their system. A follow-up call certainly couldn’t hurt.
The RF rule was 90-days and then the reimbursement became taxable (per IRS), but OSC only provides 30-days so we need to follow their rule. We will enforce the 30-day rule for all travel that occurs starting today (February 6th) and will request that past travel reimbursements be submitted as soon as possible.
If you do have receipts for past travel, please include them. We will only enforce this for future travel effective as of today (February 6th).
You must use the RF tax exempt form. We must follow the OSC travel guidelines/restrictions, but as you are not a state employee you must use the RF tax exempt form or the ST-119.1.
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