Travel

Round Rock ISD District Travel

The District has centralized travel arrangement services so as to relieve individual campus and department personnel from this arduous task. A District Travel Coordinator has been established within the Purchasing Office. The Travel Coordinator will assist District personnel in planning and making their travel arrangements.

The use of the designated Travel Coordinator is required for purchasing all air travel, cars rentals and hotel rooms. Failure to utilize the District’s Travel Coordinator may result in non-reimbursable expenses.

It is the policy of the District to reimburse employees for all necessary business travel expenses incurred while conducting District business. Expenses are to be within the established District guidelines and will be reimbursed with proper documentation.

This travel procedure applies to:

  1. All employee business travel
  2. District-paid extracurricular student competitions (BDST)
  3. Other District travel, except as exempted within the regulations.

Travel Coordinator

If you are planning to travel please review the guidelines in the tabs above. If you have any questions contact the Travel Coordinator:
Annette Landry|512-464-6958
travel@roundrockisd.org

Local Business Travel

  1. If the employee is traveling within a 50-mile radius, travel is considered as “local travel” and the traveler is not required to request travel services through the Travel Coordinator.
  2. A “Local Travel Expense Report” is to be used in lieu of a standard travel forms. Local travel reimbursement forms must be submitted to Accounts Payable within thirty (30) days of the trip for reimbursement. Requests received more than thirty (30) days after the travel dates may be denied.

Out of District/Out of State Travel

  1. An employee desiring to travel will first need to submit to the travel coordinator the Online Travel Request Form and the Travel Approval Form. It is recommended that the traveler submit both forms as soon as they know that they will be traveling.
  2. All Out-of-District travel must be approved in advance by the appropriate level(s) of management prior to any travel commitment or expenditure of funds. Out-of-State travel must be approved by the Superintendent or designee prior to the expenditure.
  3. No flight reservation(s) shall be made prior to the signed Travel Approval Form being received by the Travel Coordinator.
  4. Upon receipt of the signed Travel Approval Form the Travel Coordinator will book the travel arrangements. The District Travel Coordinator may make hotel arrangements prior to receiving the signed Travel Approval Form as hotel reservations can typically be cancelled up until the travel date without penalty. However, because the district only purchases non-refundable airline tickets, the signed Travel Approval form must be received by the Travel Coordinator before airfare can be purchased. For this reason, the Travel Approval form should be submitted as soon as early as possible in order so get the cheapest possible airfare.
  5. If the traveler incurs expenses during an approved trip, an Out of District Travel Reimbursement Form must be completed and submitted to the Accounts Payable department within 30 days from the return date in order to receive reimbursement. Original itemized receipts (meals, parking, gas, etc.) as well as the original copy of the signed Travel Approval Form must be included with the reimbursement claim for processing. Travelers may review the Out of District Travel guidelines for more information on reimbursable expenses.

Conference Related Travel

  1. If the employee is attending a conference which has reserved a block of rooms for its attendees, the employee may make his or her own reservations utilizing the information supplied by the conference after receiving approval, via email, from the Travel Coordinator. The traveler must include the reservation information, i.e. hotel name and confirmation number, on the Travel Request Information form when submitting it to the Travel Coordinator. The Travel Coordinator will use this information to send a Credit Card Authorization form to the hotel.
  2. If the conference has negotiated airfare rates, the employee should include the airfare rate and other pertinent information on the Online Travel Request Form.

Seminars and Courses

Fees for attendance at trade or professional seminars or courses are to be purchased through a district purchase order or P Card. Such expenses should not be included on an employee’s travel request.

Activity Funded Travel for Extracurricular Events

If a student(s) is attending an activity funded extracurricular event and there is a district sponsor (district employee) coordinating the trip, the employee must secure a Student Travel – Letter of Agency from each student/parent participating in the trip. This Letter of Agency authorizes the district employee and/or district Travel Coordinator to make travel arrangements or other commitments associated with the activity funded extracurricular event on behalf of the students/parents participating in the trip. Failure to secure this letter puts the employee at personal liability.

Travel Arrangements

  1. If the extracurricular event requires the use of a specific travel agent or has reserved a block of rooms for its attendees, the students, through their district sponsor, may make their own reservations utilizing the information supplied by the extracurricular event host.
  2. If the extracurricular event host does not require the use of a specific travel agent or has not reserved a block of rooms for its attendees, or if the extracurricular event is a “packaged” event (event, airfare, lodging, sightseeing, meals, etc.) requiring the assistance of a travel agent; the district sponsor should submit a trip request to the Travel Coordinator. The Travel Coordinator will then work with the district’s Travel Agent to develop a special package rate utilizing the requirements of the student organization.
  3. The district sponsor has received trip information from either a specific travel agent or the district Travel Coordinator, then the Travel Approval Form will need to be completed and submitted for approval.

Beyond District Student Travel (BDST)

Beyond District Student Travel is travel related to extracurricular or athletic events beyond the “District” level of competition, such as Regional or State competitions. This type of travel is often paid for with funds other than Activity or Operations funds. To make travel arrangements for Beyond District Student Travel, please contact the budget office at 512-464-5000.

In order to be reimbursed for travel expenditures, the traveler must submit an Out-of-District Travel Reimbursement Claim Form to Accounts Payable within 30 days of the completion of their travel.

  1. Travelers must submit their Out-of-District Travel Reimbursement Claim Form within 30 days of completion of travel. Reimbursement requests made after 30 days of traveling may be denied.
  2. Along with the Out-of-District Travel Reimbursement Claim Form the traveler must submit the original copy of their Travel Approval Form as well as the original copies of their itemized receipts.
  3. When a group of employees are traveling together from one department/campus, the senior ranked employee present should be responsible for any business meal expenses.
  4. Hotel Incidentals (movies, room service, etc.) do not meet the IRS interpretation of travel expenditures and are not an allowable reimbursement claim.
  5. It will be the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that receipts are collected and retained for each and every request for travel reimbursement. All expenditures associated with the trip must be documented on the reimbursement request form. Any amounts advanced should be subtracted from the amount due.
  6. Individual versus Joint Expenses – the expense report is meant to accurately convey the expenses of individual employees and should not include the expenses of another employee who would otherwise include such expenses on his/her own expense report.
  7. The District recognizes that employees who travel to represent the District’s business interests sacrifice the comforts of home and some of their personal time. In return, the District makes efforts to provide comfortable and secure accommodation for lodging, meals, and travel for employees. However, these items are not intended to be perquisite and the District reserves the right to deny reimbursement for expenses that are considered lavish, extravagant or inappropriate.

Reimbursable Travel Expenses

Below are some examples of reimbursable travel expenses. Please keep in mind that the Travel Coordinator does not dictate what expenses will be reimbursed. Always consult with Accounts Payable and your department/campus budget manager regarding which expenses will be reimbursed.

Meals

  1. An overnight stay is required for meal reimbursement.
  2. The daily rate for meals is “not to exceed” $36 (including tax and tip). There is no proration among breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, this rate will be limited to $18 on the day of departure if leaving after 3:00 p.m. or on the date of return if arriving prior to 3:00 p.m.
  3. Reimbursement is based on actual costs of meals supported by original itemized receipts. Reimbursement will only be made with accompanying original receipts. A credit card slip is not considered an itemized receipt.
  4. District issued purchasing cards may be used for payment of meals while traveling.
  5. Tips and other gratuity may be reimbursed from operation funds only. Meal gratuity should not exceed 20 percent. Employees are expected to use discretion when tipping bellhops, parking attendants, housekeepers, deliveries etc.
  6. Alcoholic beverages are not an allowable expense.

Transportation

  1. Mileage – if the traveler is using his/her own vehicle the district will reimburse for mileage at a rate of $0.50 per mile. The traveler will need to print a map (Mapquest™, Google maps™) that show the number of miles traveled and submit it along with their Out-of-District Travel Reimbursement Claim Form. Use your campus/department as the starting point and the site of your event as the destination.
  2. Gas – if the traveler is renting a vehicle receipts for gasoline may be submitted for reimbursement.
  3. Parking Fees
  4. Airline Baggage Fees
  5. Shuttle or taxi fares

Ground Transportation

  1. The Travel Coordinator will recommend use of ground transportation (District-owned suburban/bus, shuttle service/taxi, charter bus or rental car) rather than air transportation where this mode is practical and cost effective.
  2. The use of a rental car must be justified as an economic requirement and not as a matter of personal convenience. Vehicles may be rented when:
    1. Public or private transportation is not an alternative.
    2. Travel is out of state, therefore District provided transportation can not be used.
    3. District provided transportation is not available.
    4. Lack of accommodation near a facility requires the use of an automobile.

Rental Vehicles

  1. The District has arrangements with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Vehicles will be rented from Enterprise whenever possible but in instances when Enterprise is not an option (no availability of vehicle, no Enterprise location at traveler’s destination, etc.) a different rental company may be used.
  2. As a general rule, an intermediate or smaller model will be rented whenever possible. When three or more are traveling together, a full size car is permissible.
  3. The District is insured for rental vehicles. Travelers are advised to refuse insurance coverage offered by car rental companies since such coverage would be duplication and a non-reimbursable expense.
  4. Expenses in the operation of rental cars that are reimbursable include: gasoline; oil, toll charges and reasonable parking charges.
  5. Expenses in the operation of rental cars that are NOT reimbursable include: refueling charges for not returning the rental car with a full tank of gas (unless sufficient reason for not refueling can be given), pre-paid fuel charges and parking or traffic tickets the employee gets while on company business.
  6. Rental cars are for business use only and should not be used for personal use. District insurance does not cover a rental car used by an employee for personal use. The employee will be responsible for any additional insurance coverage and/or any damage to the vehicle.

Personal Vehicle Use

Personal vehicles used for business use require a detailed log with date, mileage and business purpose of the trip. Currently the District reimburses the employee $0.50 per mile. This rate is subject to change. The District assumes no responsibility for personal autos used for company business. Personal vehicles should not be used for extended trips as the mileage charge and the time spent driving are not economical to the company.

Lodging

  1. All hotel reservations must be made through the Travel Coordinator. Travelers must utilize hotels with negotiated rates, unless lodging is in conjunction with a conference.
  2. At check-in, the employee should ask if there are any special rates in effect. Hotel rates can change dramatically overnight. It does not hurt to ask for the hotel’s best rate; in some cases they may be running a special or weekend rate that is better than the District rate.
  3. Standard room accommodation will be provided. Travelers will be asked to reimburse the District for any costs related to an upgrade in room accommodation.
  4. The District’s Travel Agent will consider the distance to the business destination, airport, restaurants, etc… in choosing a hotel site.
  5. The Travel Coordinator will guarantee hotel rooms on the District’s travel card. This means that the employee is responsible for notifying the hotel in the event of travel plan changes. Most hotels require cancellation notice by 4:00 p.m. on the day of scheduled arrival or earlier. The Travel Agent will indicate the specific hotel cancellation policy on your itinerary. An employee who has not notified the hotel of a cancellation may not expense the no-show charge for reimbursement.
  6. Tips and other gratuity may be reimbursed from operation funds only. Meal gratuity should not exceed 20 percent. Employees are expected to use discretion when tipping bellhops, parking attendants, housekeepers, deliveries etc.
Meals

All employees incurring expenses for business meals where business is discussed must record the attendees and their business relationship, in addition to the business purpose, subject discussed and benefit derived. This is an IRS requirement. Employees are expected to dine in quality, comfort, and convenience but to exercise discretion in respect to cost.

  1. An overnight stay is required for meal reimbursement.
  2. The daily rate for meals is “not to exceed” $36 (including tax and tip). There is no proration among breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, this rate will be limited to $18 on the day of departure if leaving after 3 p.m. or on the date of return if arriving prior to 3 p.m.
  3. Reimbursement is based on actual costs of meals supported by original itemized receipts. Reimbursement will only be made with accompanying original receipts. A credit card slip is not considered an itemized receipt.
  4. District issued purchasing cards may be used for payment of meals while traveling.
  5. Alcoholic beverages are not an allowable expense.
  6. Tips and other gratuity may be reimbursed from operation funds only. Meal gratuity should not exceed 20 percent. Employees are expected to use discretion when tipping bellhops, parking attendants, housekeepers, deliveries etc.

Policy References

A. Travel claims will be processed in accordance with Round Rock ISD policies and guidelines.

B. Policy Code Title: Subtitle

BBG (LEGAL) Board Members: Compensation and Expenses

BBG (LOCAL) Board Members: Compensation and Expenses

CNB (LOCAL) Transportation Management: District Vehicles

CH (LOCAL) Purchasing and Acquisition

DBD (LOCAL) Employment Requirements and Restrictions: Conflict Of Interest

DEC (LEGAL) Compensation and Benefits: Leaves and Absences

DEE (LOCAL) Compensation and Benefits: Expense Reimbursement

DEE (LEGAL) Compensation and Benefits: Expense Reimbursement

FMG (LOCAL) Student Activities: Travel

Travel Forms

  • Employee Travel Approval Form – Paper form that must be filled out for approval of all Out-of-District travel
  • Online Travel Request Form – Electronic form that provides the Travel Coordinator all of the details needed to make your travel arrangements.
  • Hotel Occupancy Tax Exempt Form – This form exempts travelers from paying Hotel Occupancy Tax when staying at hotels in the state of Texas. Travelers must still pay all other applicable taxes (sales tax, goods & services tax, city tax, resort fees, etc.). Present this form to the front desk upon check-in.
  • Local Travel Expense Report – use this form for travel within Travis and Williamson County.
  • Out of District Travel Reimbursement Form – Submit this form for reimbursement of travel expenses along with itemized receipts, mileage map, and the origianl copy of your Travel Approval Form within 30 days of returning from your trip.
  • Student Travel – Letter of Agency
  • Travel Checklist – Use this form to make sure you have taken all of the necessary steps before, during and after your trip.

Pre-Travel FAQs:

Q: I need to go on an overnight trip…what do I need to do?

A: The first step is to fill out and submit these two forms:

  1. Travel Approval Form – fill out and submit as early as possible, especially when flying as approval is needed before airfare can be purchased.
  2. Online Travel Request Form – provides Travel Coordinator all details necessary to make your travel arrangements.

Q: How far in advance should I submit my travel paperwork?

A: As soon as you are aware that you are going to be traveling. The earlier, the better.

Q: Do I have to wait to receive my signed approval form before I submit the Online Travel?

A: No, you should submit them simultaneously as soon as you are aware you will be traveling.

Q: Do I need to submit an Online Travel Request for a day trip?

A: No, day trips and local travel (within 50 miles of the district) do not require an Online Travel Request.

Q: What should I take with me when I travel?

A: Always take your Round Rock ISD Badge, ID, credit/debit card (for hotel incidentals), a copy of the Hotel Occupancy Tax Exempt Form, and all hotel, flight, and/or rental vehicle confirmations.

Q: Who pays for my hotel/flight/rental vehicle?

A: The district Travel Coordinator will pay for your hotel and/or flight using a district P-card. The charge will be allocated to the budget specified on your Online Travel Request. Rental vehicles through Enterprise will be billed to your campus/department.

Q: Where can I obtain my budget code?

A: Your campus bookkeeper, administrative associate, or department budget manager.

Q: Is there a limit on how much I can spend on my hotel room?

A: If your hotel is being paid for with grant funds then your hotel rate must be equal to or less than the government per diem rate. Otherwise, the person in charge of your budget should be consulted regarding how much you are allowed to spend. The Travel Coordinator does not dictate the amount you can spend on hotel or other travel arrangements.

Q: My booster club is paying for this trip. Do I still have to go through the Travel Coordinator?

A: If money flows through an activity account or any other district account then travel arrangements must be made through the Travel Coordinator. If the booster club is paying the hotel directly then arrangements can be made on your own.

Q: Can I make my own hotel reservation?

A: All hotel reservations are to be made by the district Travel Coordinator. However, if the Travel Coordinator is unavailable and you are facing a deadline/cut-off date, you may make your own reservation and use your personal credit card to hold the room provided you do the following

  1. Confirm that the hotel will not charge anything to your card and will accept the District’s P-card as third party payment. Some rates require a non-refundable deposit or require pre-payment in full and this will not allow the Travel Coordinator to use the District P-card for payment.
  2. Do not book through third-party websites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, etc. Booking through third-part websites often requires pre-payment and/or makes transferring the reservation to a the Travel Coordinator’s P-Card impossible or problematic.
  3. Inform the Travel Coordinator of your reservation and forward them your hotel confirmation as soon as possible.
  4. Submit the Travel Approval Form and Online Travel Request form.

Q: Can I purchase my own airline ticket?

A: No. All airfare must be purchased by the Travel Coordinator using the district P-card. There are no exceptions. Airline tickets can only be purchased once the Travel Coordinator has received your signed Travel Approval Form. You are welcome to find a flight that best suits your schedule, budget, etc. and provide the Travel Coordinator with the flight information so they can book your flight. Otherwise, the Travel Coordinator will use their best judgment and the information provided on you Online Travel Request to purchase your flight.

Q: What if I need to cancel or modify my travel plans?

A: Notify the Travel Coordinator immediately at travel@roundrockisd.org or 512-464-6952. If you need to change your plans and it is outside of normal office hours you may contact the hotel/airline/rental company yourself and make the necessary changes. If you do not notify the Travel Coordinator or alter your travel arrangements yourself, any charges incurred (hotel no-show charge, airline fees, etc.) will be the responsibility of the traveler.

Q: I am taking students on a trip and have a contract with a tour company. What do I need to do?

A: Fill out and attach a Contract Library Transmittal Form to the contract and forward it along with the signed Travel Approval Form to the Travel Coordinator. The contact will go through the Purchasing Department’s review and approval process. Once the contract has received final approval from the district’s Chief Financial Officer it will be sent back to the originator.

Q: How do I rent a charter bus?

A: Through one of the approved Charter Bus Companies found on the district’s Active Contracts page.

Q: How do I rent a district-owned vehicle (like a Suburban)?

A: The traveler will need to contact the District’s Transportation Department at 512-464-2451 to make arrangements.

Q: What is a per diem?

A: Per diem is a daily allowance for expenses—a specific amount of money an organization gives an individual/employee per day to cover living expenses when traveling for work. Per diem amounts vary depending on what city your are traveling to and what time of year your travel occurs. In general, the District does not adhere to government per diem rates. However, when grant funds are used to pay for travel expenses the traveler must adhere to government per diem rates for hotel costs, which can be found here. The District does not follow the government per diem rates or rules for meal reimbursement. See “Post-Travel Questions” below for meal per diem rates and reimbursement information.

Post-Travel FAQs:

Q: How do I get reimbursed for meals, parking, mileage, and other travel expenses?

A: Submit an Out of District Travel Reimbursement Claim Form to Accounts Payable along with your itemized receipts and the original copy of your Travel Approval Form to Accounts Payable within 30 days or your return from your trip.

Q: How do I calculate/record mileage for reimbursement?

A: Use a website such as MapQuest or Google Maps to print out a map of your route that shows the number of miles traveled. Use your campus/department location as the starting point and the location of your event as the destination. The district reimburses 50¢ per mile.

Q: How much does the district reimburse for meals?

A: $36 per day. However, this rate will be limited to $18 on the day of departure if leaving after 3:00 pm or on the date of return if arriving prior to 3:00 pm. More information regarding meal reimbursement can be found here.

Q: Can I be reimbursed for tips?

A: Yes, the district will reimburse up to a maximum of 20% for gratuity, but the traveler is expected to use discretion when tipping.

Q: Where do I get my reimbursement check?

A: Accounts Payable will send your reimbursement check via inter-campus mail if you are on contract or mail it to your home address if you are not on contract (during summer).

Q: What do I do if I forget my Hotel Occupancy Tax Exempt form and I am not able to print it at the hotel?

A: Sometimes the hotel can provide a copy of the form. If not, contact the Travel Coordinator at 512-464-6967 and a copy of the form can be faxed to the hotel front desk.

Q: Where do I send my hotel receipt?

A: Please send your original hotel receipt via inter-campus mail to the District Travel Coordinator in the Purchasing Department.

Travel Flow Chart

Please use the Travel Flow Chart to help determine the necessary steps to follow while planning your trip

Please use the Travel Checklist to make sure you have taken all of the necessary step before, during and after your trip.

Non-Compliant Travel Violations

This program reviews and identifies District Travelers who violate District procedures found on the Round Rock ISD web site. Noncompliance by a traveler does not take into consideration a specific time frame and may involve multiple school calendar years.

Violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Traveler did not go through the District’s Travel Coordinator
  • Traveler used their own personal credit card or District issued procurement card
  • Failure to turn in traveling receipts
  • Any other occurrences in violation of District procedures
  • The following procedures apply to noncompliant travel events:

1.First violation: The Traveler and their supervisor will be issued a warning notification via email from the District’s Travel Coordinator. The appropriate campus/department administrative staff and Purchasing Manager will be copied on the notification. This communication will specifically outline the noncompliance and provide guidance on how to correct the situation.

2.Second violation: The Traveler and their supervisor will be issued a warning notification via email from the District’s Purchasing Manager. The appropriate campus/department administrative staff, Director of Purchasing and Executive Director of Business Services will be copied on the notification. This communication will specifically outline the noncompliance, provide guidance on how to correct the situation, and outline forthcoming actions should another violation of procedure occur. Communication with the noncompliant traveler and supervisor from the Director of Purchasing may be warranted based on level of severity.

3.Third violation: Upon investigation and determination that a traveler did not follow the District travel procedures for a third time, the Traveler may be suspended from traveling for up to 90 days. The Traveler and supervisor will be notified of this action via email. At the end of the suspension period, the Traveler will be reinstated and an email will be sent to the Traveler and supervisor stating that the traveler may have their travel privileges revoked if any more violations occur. If during the inactivation period, all noncompliance issues have not been resolved, the suspension of the traveler will continue until a resolution is reached.

4.Fourth violation: Upon investigation and determination that a traveler did not follow the District travel procedures for a fourth time, the Traveler will have travel privileges revoked. In addition, disciplinary action may be taken by the traveler’s supervisor, as appropriate.

In specific circumstances, District administrative officials may apply more or less stringent actions than those outlined above at any level of violation. Such actions will be applied on a case-by-case basis, as deemed necessary.