NCPG TRAVEL POLICY. I. Objective.

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1 NCPG TRAVEL POLICY I. Objective. As a charitable organization dedicated to advancing the common good by leading, strengthening and mobilizing the community on problem gambling issues, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has a responsibility to be an effective steward of charitable assets. The objective of this Travel Policy is to further NCPG s mission by ensuring that those who travel on behalf of NCPG act responsibly in incurring expenses and that NCPG complies with all applicable laws and regulations governing travel expenses. Pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code (the Code ), travel expenses are not treated as income to the traveler only if the expenses are ordinary (common and accepted in your field of business), necessary (helpful and appropriate to your business) and not lavish or extravagant (reasonable under the circumstances). Consistent with the requirements under the Code, NCPG will reimburse only those travel expenses incurred for an approved business purpose that are ordinary, necessary, reasonable and within annual budget authority. The safety of individuals traveling on behalf of NCPG is of paramount importance. In the event of an emergency or in other situations where safety is a concern, higher travel costs may be justified. The requested travel expenses must be for business related purposes, including (but not limited to) travel to state, regional or national conferences, speaking engagements, NCPG Board meetings, or professional development events. The travel must be for the purpose of activities or training that will further the goals of NCPG. II. Persons Covered. This policy covers any individual who travels on behalf of NCPG, regardless of whether the person is a Board of Directors member, officer, employee, volunteer, consultant, independent contractor or other party. Board of Directors members are reimbursed for travel expenses only for events and items specified and pre-approved by the Board President or his or her designee, and only when their Page 1 of 1

2 personal and professional resources would otherwise not allow the Board member to attend the specified event. In keeping with the Board s fiduciary responsibility, NCPG travel funds may not be used or requested by Board members in order to replace funds from another personal or professional resource that would otherwise have been used. III. Process. A. Prior Approval. All travel must be approved in advance by the appropriate Reviewing Party, unless advance approval is impractical under the circumstances. For purposes of this Travel Policy, the Reviewing Party shall mean, unless otherwise indicated, the following: For all NCPG employees, the Executive Director or his or her designee; For NCPG Board Members, the President of the Board; For consultants, volunteers, independent contractors or speakers at NCPG events or any other traveler, the staff member overseeing the work, in consultation with the Executive Director. It is the responsibility of the individual planning to travel and seeking reimbursement to obtain any necessary approval prior to travel. Travel approval may be granted by the Reviewing Party only within the annual budget authority of NCPG; therefore the Reviewing Party must check with the Director of Administration to determine the amount available for any proposed travel in the travel budget for the year before approving any travel expense. B. Documentation. Expenses will not be reimbursed unless the individual requesting reimbursement submits a written expense report in the form prescribed by NCPG. The expense report must be submitted to NCPG within thirty days after completing a business trip. Each traveler is responsible for preparing and submitting his or her own expense report, which must include sufficient detail to identify the purpose of the expense and the services provided. An itemized original receipt must be submitted for each expense. If an original receipt is not available, the traveler may submit alternative written proof of the expense, such as a bill, canceled check or, if nothing else is reasonably available, a written statement detailing the expense and the reason no receipt is available. C. Expense Report Approval. NCPG will reimburse travel expenses only if a traveler s expense report is approved by the Reviewing Party. The Reviewing Party is responsible for reviewing the expense report to ensure that only ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses are reimbursed. It is the traveler s responsibility to submit the approved expense report to the Reviewing Party with a copy to the Director of Administration. Page 2 of 2

3 D. Use of Travel Agency. All business-related travel and lodging for NCPG staff must be booked by NCPG s Administrative Assistant or through NCPG s travel agent, unless it is impractical or not cost effective to do so and an alternative method of booking travel is approved in advance by the Reviewing Party. E. Use of Corporate Credit Card. NCPG provides a limited number of individuals with a corporate credit card to facilitate necessary purchases. The corporate credit card may be used as detailed in the corporate cardholder agreement for approved business travel expenses, not for personal expenses or cash withdrawals. However, in a business travel-related emergency, the corporate credit card may be used to withdraw cash for use in handling the emergency. The traveler must document expenses paid for using the corporate credit card in the same manner as any other expense, including submitting a receipt for each purchase. F. Travel Advances. When it is not reasonably practical to use the corporate credit card, NCPG will advance a traveler the reasonably anticipated amount of travel expenses, provided that the traveler submits an advance request approved by the Reviewing Party at least fourteen days prior to travel. In addition, the traveler must submit an expense report for advanced travel expenses in the same manner as for expenses for which reimbursement is requested. If the amount of a travel advance exceeds the amount of expenses approved for reimbursement, the traveler must reimburse NCPG in an amount equal to such excess at the time the expense report is submitted. IV. Types of Expenses. A. Air and Train Travel. In general, NCPG will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of coach travel only, not for premium or first-class travel. For an overnight international flight, an individual may upgrade to business class if it enables the individual to sleep during the flight and thereby save the time and cost of an overnight stay and the upgrade is approved in advance by the Reviewing Party. Travelers are required to select the lowest reasonable air or train fare available for a reasonably convenient, comfortable and safe itinerary. Whenever possible, air travel reservations should be booked round-trip and as far in advance as possible to maximize savings. B. Hotel. NCPG will reimburse at the single room rate for the actual, reasonable cost of hotel accommodations of standard convenience, comfort and safety, not deluxe or luxury hotel accommodations. Travelers are required to select the lowest reasonable rate for standard lodging. The federal (GSA) per diem rate authorized for lodging at that location should be used as a benchmark for what constitutes reasonable costs. 1 Page 3 of 3

4 Notwithstanding the above, if the choice of lodging is necessitated by the event attended (such as NCPG s National Conference), NCPG will pay for or reimburse the traveler for lodging in the event s host hotel at the previously arranged group rate. Travelers must meet the time deadline in making their lodging arrangements so as to be able to use the group rate. NCPG does not reimburse for incidental hotel expenses, including in-room movies, fitness room, pool, laundry (except on trips over seven days long) or personal phone calls (beyond one call home per day). Whenever possible, travelers should use a cell phone or calling card rather than the hotel billing for long-distance calls. NCPG will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of internet access in a traveler s hotel room or through the hotel s business center if such service is used for business purposes. The traveler must consider the available options and choose the lowest-cost method that will meet the need. For instance, if the need is to check once a day and that can be done at the hotel s business center for free, then the traveler would not be reimbursed for purchasing room Wi-Fi for the length of stay or for adding hot-spot service to their cell phone for the month. C. Meals. NCPG will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of meals at no higher than the federal (GSA) per diem rate 2 authorized for meals at that location, which should be used as a benchmark for what constitutes reasonable costs. The traveler must submit a receipt for any meal, including a reasonable tip, for which they wish reimbursement. Please note that NCPG does not reimburse for room-service meals except in extraordinary circumstances or as preapproved by the Reviewing Party. D. Local Ground Transportation. NCPG will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of local ground transportation. Travelers are required to use the most economical ground transportation appropriate under the circumstances and should use hotel courtesy cars or public transportation whenever it is safe, convenient and cost-effective. If hotel courtesy cars and public transportation are not safe, convenient or cost-effective, travelers may use shared ride services or taxis or, if less expensive than taxis, car services. For trips in which several travelers are attending the same event and live within a reasonable proximity to one another, or are at the destination airport or train station within an hour of one another, good faith efforts should be made to share local ground transportation services to and from the airport or train station. Car rentals are generally expensive and, therefore, should be used only as a last resort, taking into account the safety, convenience and cost-effectiveness of other methods of transportation. Size and type of rental cars should be appropriate to the number of people in the car and the road conditions on which it will be used. In addition to the cost of the car rental, NCPG will also reimburse the traveler for the actual, reasonable cost of fuel, tolls and parking. The traveler will make every effort to avoid paying the high cost of refueling by the rental Page 4 of 4

5 company (i.e. return the car with gas tank full, or according to applicable rules). The traveler must observe and obey local parking regulations and parking payment methods NCPG will not reimburse for parking violation tickets. E. Personal Automobile. NCPG will reimburse for use of a personal automobile for business travel (which does not include transportation to and from the office) at the mileage rate allowed by the United States Internal Revenue Service, (in December 2011 this is 51 cents per mile) plus the actual, reasonable cost of tolls and parking incurred in pursuit of business purposes. The traveler must observe and obey local parking regulations and parking payment methods NCPG will not reimburse for parking violation tickets. In the case of a traveler who uses his or her personal automobile to take a trip that would normally be made by air, the total reimbursement for use of a personal automobile will not exceed the cost of the lowest available round-trip coach airfare for a reasonably convenient, comfortable and safe itinerary. The traveler is responsible for researching this alternative before the trip and providing documentation of it with the expense report. F. Other Expenses. NCPG will reimburse for actual, reasonable incidental costs associated with business travel, including without limitation business phone calls, faxes, photocopies, computer supplies and tips. Tips, where customary and expected, should be between fifteen and twenty percent, except that porter tips, where necessary, customary and expected, should be at the average of what is reasonably expected. V. Non-Business Travel. A. Expenses of Traveling Companion. NCPG will not reimburse for expenses that are attributable to a traveler s spouse, partner, child or any other traveling companion, unless the companion is also conducting business on behalf of NCPG and the companion s travel is approved in advance by the Executive Director or the Executive Director s designee. Attending business events in the company of the traveler is not considered to be conducting business, even if an event invitation specifically includes spouses or partners. B. Personal Travel. Travelers may incorporate personal travel with business trips if the personal travel is approved in advance by the Reviewing Party, the travel is arranged at a time that is acceptable to NCPG and the business travel expenses are not greater as a result of combining the business trip with personal travel. The traveler is responsible for the additional cost of any personal travel. Page 5 of 5

6 VI. Third Party Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. If an employee participates in an outside event as part of his or her official duties, then the organizing party (or some other third party) must be requested to reimburse NCPG for related reasonable travel expenses and compensation from the organizing party for their time away from their normal duties, in the form of a speaker s honorarium or other consideration. Reimbursement must be requested, but is not required for travel. Travel approval may be granted by the Reviewing Party only within the annual budget authority of NCPG; therefore the Reviewing Party must check with the Director of Administration to determine the amount available for such a purpose, if any, in the travel budget for the year before approving any travel expense. VII. Questions and Resolutions. If the traveler s arrangements or documentation are in any way questionable, the Director of Administration, in consultation with the Reviewing Party, will make the final determination on whether a given expense may be reimbursed. This decision will be made within thirty days of the date that the travel expense report is submitted. VIII. Reimbursement process. Once a written expense report in the prescribed form has been submitted to NCPG, reimbursement for travel expenses will be made within thirty days of approval by the Reviewing Party. Reimbursement will be made by check and will be delivered in person to the traveler if possible at NCPG s office, and otherwise delivered by a traceable mail or delivery service. 1 Copies of the federal per diem lodging rates are available through the Director of Administration. 2 Copies of the federal per diem meal rates are available through the Director of Administration. Page 6 of 6

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