Research Administration Office

University of California

Memo Operating Guidance

No. 91-10

July 15, 1991

Subject: Changes to Travel Reimbursement Guidelines

A revised Business and Finance Bulletin G-28, "Policy and Regulations Governing Travel," was issued June 14, 1991, by the Office of the President. The revised Bulletin applies to all official University travel, including travel by The Regents and travel for the three major Department of Energy Laboratories. (The previous version did not apply to the Laboratories, which had their own separate travel policies.)

A number of changes have been made in this Bulletin, particularly the elimination of per diem rates for domestic travel, that will make it harder for Contract and Grant Offices to review line items for travel in proposal budgets. Unfortunately these changes were necessary, under new IRS regulations, if the University wished to avoid the possibility of imposing increased tax liability and record-keeping requirements on its employees.

The changes that will be of interest to Contract and Grant Officers include the following:

--The standard automobile mileage reimbursement rate is 24 per mile--see Appendix A of G-2S, which is enclosed with this C& G Memo as Enclosure 1.

--Reimbursement of subsistence expense (i.e. lodging, meals, and incidentals) is based on the traveler's actual costs as supported by receipts. A daily reimbursement ceiling has been established for reimbursement of expenses for meals and incidentals (M& IE)--see Appendix B of G-28, which is enclosed with this C& G Memo as Enclosure 2. Each lodging expense must be supported by a receipt; each meal and incidental expense of $25 or more must be supported by a receipt.

--Reimbursement of subsistence expense for foreign travel (i.e. outside the U.S. and its territories and possessions) is based on the Federal per diem rates published by the U.S. Department of State in its Standardized Regulations, Section 925 (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas). The campus or Laboratory travel desk should have information on the rates for particular areas; if not, please contact Quintin Doroquez in the University Controller's Office at 415-987-0908 (area code 510 after September 2, 1991).

--A new Appendix F has been added to provide a method for determining the reimbursement of foreign travel expenses when a trip is reimbursable under more than one per diem rate.

It is important to note that the M& IE ceiling of $37 per day shown in Appendix B is not a per diem amount and may not be averaged over the length of the trip. Travelers may be reimbursed up to $37 for each full day of travel for M& IE, provided that individual expenditures of $25 or more are supported by receipts, and in principle only actual expenses are to be reimbursed. Thus for budgeting purposes, actual expenses for domestic travel should be estimated on a daily basis; where any given day's M& IE expenses are estimated to be more than $37, only $37 should be budgeted. [For exception procedures, see Section II.D. of G-28.]

It should also be noted that the $37 ceiling may be divided into ceilings for breakfast ($5.50), lunch ($9.50), dinner ($17.00), and incidentals ($5.00) in the event any of these items are to be furnished gratis, or the travel is for less than a whole day, in which cases the appropriate amounts should not be included in the estimated daily expense.

Most of the changes contained in the revised G-28 were effective July 1, 1990. The rule changing subsistence expense reimbursements from per diem to actual for non-foreign travel outside the continental U.S. became effective September 1, 1990.

Refer: William Sellers (415) 987-9847

[Area Code 510 after 9/2/91]

Subject Index: 07

Organization Index: U-115

Cancel: No. 89-9

David F. Mears


Research Administration Office


cc: Don Alter

Campus and Laboratory Accounting Officers