Kent County, DE Policy Manual
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 6-1 Travel and meal reimbursement.

[Adopted 8-4-1998 (P-13C); amended 8-22-2006]
A. 
Authorization to travel (more than one day). Authority to incur costs in connection with travel while on official County business must be granted first by the department head or row officer followed with approval by the County Administrator. Authorization may only be granted when travel funds are in the department's approved budget.
(1) 
Authorized expenditures.
(a) 
Per-diem. Employees authorized to travel out of state for a full day (time period covering three meals) or more are eligible for per-diem equal to the amount established by the federal General Services Administration (GSA) for the applicable destination city to cover all meals and gratuities for each full day of the business-related trip. No receipts will be required for the per-diem amount, which would typically be paid to the employee in advance of departure. Any meal and gratuity expense exceeding the GSA figure shall be the responsibility of the traveling employee. Any meal included as part of the conference fee shall be deducted from the per-diem according to the value assigned by GSA for the included meal.
[Amended 11-24-2009 (P09-06)]
(b) 
Miscellaneous expenses (Minor Code 230). $10 per day maximum for each day of the trip; includes local travel expenses from the time of departure for destination until return, such as cab fares and tips, bus fares, parking meter fees and other authorized miscellaneous daily expenses. Receipts will be required to the extent possible for reimbursement. When receipts aren't available, an itemized list, to include the description of the miscellaneous expenses along with the amounts paid, must be submitted.
(c) 
Conference fees (Minor Code 200). In most cases these fees are to be paid in advance when registration is arranged. Otherwise, the conference fee will be reimbursed and a receipt will be required.
(d) 
Lodging (Minor Code 220). Inquiries regarding reservations should be made in advance and the single room rate, including taxes, determined. An advance in this amount times the exact number of days of the business trip will be made. The County will pay only the rate for a single room unless double occupancy is intended to accommodate two authorized County employees. Receipts will be required.
(e) 
Travel costs (Minor Code 230). A determination must be made of the costs for alternative travel modes from Dover to the destination and return. The County will only advance or pay the amount for the most feasible method of travel as determined by the Department Director and County Administrator or the Levy Court.
[1] 
Included in travel costs are:
[a] 
Mileage in connection with the conference or business trip, tolls, parking and auto storage fees (if an employee uses his or her personal vehicle). Mileage will be reimbursed at a rate to be determined by the Kent County Levy Court.
[b] 
Air, bus or train fare.
[c] 
Limousine service to and from the transportation terminal if cheaper than other methods.
[2] 
If any of these costs are not paid in advance, the estimated cost will be advanced or reimbursement will be made. Receipts will be required.
(f) 
Annual dinners. Annual dinner expenses for Kent County affiliated boards and commissions shall be as specified in the requesting department's annual budget submission. These expenses will be handled as follows:
[1] 
Annual dinner expenses invoiced to Kent County for Kent County affiliated boards and commissions are not to exceed $40 per eligible participant attending the meeting. Eligible participants are to include board/commission members, Levy Court Commissioners, the County Administrator, the supporting staff of the board/commission, and the board/commission appointed legal counsel.
[2] 
Annual dinner expenses not invoiced to Kent County for Kent County affiliated boards and commissions will be reimbursed to the eligible participants at the meal reimbursement maximum amounts as stated in this policy. (Refer to Subsection B, Meal/Mileage reimbursement for day trips.)
(2) 
Unauthorized expenditures. The County will not reimburse nor are County funds to be used for any of the following:
Lodging within the State of Delaware
Laundry service
Pay TV
Babysitting service
Traffic citations
Alcoholic beverages
Entertainment costs
Gratuities in excess of 20%
Toll phone calls unless otherwise unavoidable and only when related to County business
Spouse or guest expenses
Any non-County-related expenses
(3) 
Accountability for expenditures. Upon return, employees are required to complete a Travel Expense Report and/or Mileage Reimbursement Request form which documents the employee's trip expenditures. These reports should be submitted within five working days of the employee's return in accordance with the instructions on the forms.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Travel Expense Report and Mileage Reimbursement Request forms are on file in the County offices.
B. 
Meal/Mileage reimbursement for day trips. When on official County business, an employee shall be entitled to reimbursement for meal expenses in accordance with the following:
(1) 
The employee must be on authorized County business and away from his or her normal work routine and schedule during the following times:
Must Leave Prior To
Must Return After
Breakfast
7:00 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
Lunch
11:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
Dinner
5:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
(2) 
Meal reimbursement.
(a) 
The maximum amount that will be paid/reimbursed for individual meals (including gratuity) shall be equal to the amount established by the federal General Services Administration for the applicable destination city to cover such individual meal(s) and gratuity.
[Amended 11-24-2009 (P09-06)]
(b) 
Any individual meal(s) and gratuity expense exceeding the established GSA figure for the destination city shall be the responsibility of the employee.
[Amended 11-24-2009 (P09-06)]
(c) 
No reimbursement will be authorized for a meal if said meal is included as part of the fee for a conference, symposium, meeting, etc., or if a meal is provided during such meeting at no cost.
(d) 
This provision shall not apply to meals or special events hosted by the County for intergovernmental or public relations purposes. Such expenses will be paid from the community events line item (Minor Code 677).
(3) 
All requests for travel reimbursement must be made on a Travel Expense Report form and must be submitted within 15 working days after the expenditure occurs.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: The Travel Expense Report is on file in the County offices.
(4) 
All requests for mileage reimbursement must be made on a Daily Mileage Reimbursement Request form. Mileage reimbursements requests shall be submitted to Finance on a monthly basis. The requests should be submitted to Finance no later than 15 working days following the end of the month in which the expenses were incurred. Mileage will be paid at a rate to be determined by the Kent County Levy Court.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: The Daily Mileage Reimbursement Request form is on file in the County offices.
C. 
General.
(1) 
Employees are encouraged to use County funds to prepay conference and travel costs when possible.
(2) 
Some hotels require an advance before confirming room reservations.
(3) 
Whenever possible, employees should plan trips far enough in advance to take advantage of any discounts for early registration and to allow sufficient time to process advances.
(4) 
Employees should remember that while traveling on County business the employee represents Kent County government. Therefore, employees should conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner that reflects well on the County.
(5) 
Employees should also remember that the taxpayer funds employee trips. Employees, therefore, have the obligation to spend County funds in the most cost-effective way and only for authorized expenses.