033 FW 15
Travel and Transportation Delegations

Supersedes 033 FW 15, FWM 283, 12/20/96

Date:  November 7, 2014

Series: Delegations

Part 033: General Administrative Redelegations

Originating Office: Division of Financial Management

 

 

PDF Version

 

15.1 What is the purpose of this policy? This policy provides U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) delegations of authority for travel and transportation expenses.

 

15.2 What is the Service’s policy on delegations of authority? The Director may delegate authority to Directorate members as described in 242 DM 2 and 205 DM 15 as they pertain to travel and transportation, except as indicated below.

 

A. We carry out these authorities in compliance with the Federal Travel Regulations in 41 CFR 301-304, and Part 265 (Travel), Part 266 (Permanent Change of Station), and Part 532 (International Meetings and Travel) of the Service Manual.

 

B. Directorate members may delegate their authority for approving temporary duty (TDY), permanent change of station (PCS), and temporary change of station (TCS) to their Deputy Directorate member. They may not delegate further than their Deputy unless it is specifically noted below.

 

15.3 What are the delegations for overall travel authorizations? Table 15-1 identifies Service delegations of authority for travel authorizations.

 

Table 15-1 Travel Authorization Delegations of Authority

Section

Travel Authorization Delegations

Lowest Level to Delegate

A

Approve trip-by-trip travel within the United States for employees, experts, consultants, interviewees, and people serving without compensation (e.g., members of advisory boards).

Immediate Supervisor

B

Approve assignments that are extended for more than 1 year. Because of the tax implications, the traveler’s office must notify the Regional Budget and Finance Office (BFO).

Supervising Directorate member

C

Approve trip-by-trip travel at Government expense to attend approved meetings and conferences. Approval levels for meetings and conferences, both internal and external, are covered in guidance that the Director’s office issues.

Immediate Supervisor if meeting or conference was approved by the Director’s office (i.e., Director, Deputy Director, or Associate Director).

D

Approve trip-by-trip travel for TDY at Government expense for immediate family member(s) when authorized by law, such as for awards ceremonies (see 224 FW 3) and funerals.

Supervising Directorate member

E

Approve trip-by-trip travel for TDY when funding is from a non-Federal source. Acceptance of these funds to attend a meeting or similar event also requires approval from the servicing Ethics Counselor (see 212 FW 3).

Immediate Supervisor with concurrence from Service’s Ethics office.

F

Approve limited open travel for employees who must perform frequent and repeated travel within a geographic area. Restrictions on issuing limited open travel authorizations are in 265 FW 4.

Immediate Supervisor unless Regional or Headquarters program policy is more restrictive.

G

Approve unlimited open travel authorizations (see 265 FW 4.4).

Director

 

15.4 What are the delegations for TDY expenses? Table 15-2 provides the delegations of authority for TDY expenses.

 

Table 15-2 TDY Transportation Expenses Delegations of Authority

Section

 TDY Transportation Expenses Delegations

Lowest Level to Delegate

A

Designate travel arrangers to electronically sign transportation requests and travel authorizations in lieu of travelers.

Immediate Supervisor

B

Approve the use of cash or non-Government charge cards to purchase passenger transportation services costing more than $100 for TDY (not including personal travel in conjunction with TDY travel).

Supervising Directorate member

C

Approve taxicab, subway, and bus fares for local travel at the TDY location and travel between residence and TDY office for the day of travel. 

Immediate Supervisor

D

Approve the rental of an automobile or special conveyance. The Government cannot pay for automobile insurance for TDY in the Continental United States (CONUS), but certain insurance may be reimbursable Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) (see 265 FW 5). Use of GPS units in rental cars must be justified and approved before the trip.

Immediate Supervisor

E

Approve use of privately owned conveyance when it is most advantageous to the Government as usually determined by a cost comparison.

Immediate Supervisor

F

Approve the use of a privately owned vehicle (POV) when a Government-owned/leased vehicle (GOV) is not available and there is a mission-related reason, such as the need to transport firearms or equipment that cannot be carried on a common carrier to a TDY site.

Immediate Supervisor

G

Approve use of first-class passenger transportation.

Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget (PMB)

H

Approve use of business class fare on a plane, train (except for Acela), or other mode of transportation using the criteria in 265 FW 5.

Supervising Directorate member

I

Approve use of business class fare on Amtrak’s Acela train. (Business class is the least expensive class of travel on an Acela train.)

Immediate Supervisor

J

Approve medical waivers relating to travel (e.g., approve waiver from flying for an employee with a late term pregnancy). The Assistant Secretary–PMB must approve all first-class travel, even for medical conditions.

Immediate Supervisor

K

Approve the hire of a conveyance (excludes POVs and GOVs) from another employee or member of the employee's family.

Deputy Assistant Secretary – PMB

L

Approve use of a coach class upgrade that is less than business class on a common carrier using the criteria in 265 FW 5. Proper justification is required.

Immediate Supervisor

 

15.5 What are the delegations for TDY per diem and miscellaneous expenses? Table 15-3 provides the delegations of authority for TDY lodging, subsistence, and miscellaneous expenses.

 

Table 15-3 TDY Per Diem and Miscellaneous Expenses Delegations of Authority

Section

 TDY Per Diem and Miscellaneous Expenses Delegations

Lowest Level to Delegate

A

Approve reduced maximum per diem rates when appropriate and justified by the traveler or requested by the Project Leader (e.g., camp rate for firefighters). The travel authorization must include the reduced per diem before the trip begins.

Immediate Supervisor

B

Approve additional per diem for travel by commercial vessel when the specified rate is insufficient and the additional cost is properly justified.

Immediate Supervisor

C

Approve per diem above the 55% rate for all types of extended assignments (30 days or more) when justified (see 265 FW 9). During an extended assignment, the employee is reimbursed for lodging and meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) at a reduced rate (up to 55% of the standard per diem rate).  

Supervising Directorate member

D

Approve hire of a room for a purpose other than lodging, such as a conference room at a hotel (see 205 DM 15.5F(14)). The Government purchase card is used to pay for conference rooms unless the expense threshold requires a contract.

Immediate Supervisor if  Director’s office has approved the conference or meeting

E

Approve reimbursement of miscellaneous expenses that are authorized in the Federal Travel Regulations, Section 301-12.1, such as internet use for official duties (see 205 DM 15.5F(6)).

Immediate Supervisor

F

Approve payment of lodging that is more than 100% of the standard rate up to 150%, where due to unusual circumstances, the maximum locality lodging plus rate is not enough to meet the traveler’s actual and necessary subsistence expenses and the criteria in 265 FW 6 are met.

Immediate Supervisor

G

Approve payment of lodging that is more than 150% of the standard General Services Administration (GSA) rate up to 300% if the criteria in 265 FW 6 are met.

Supervising Directorate member

H

Approve M&IE that is more than 100% of the standard GSA rate up to 300% if the criteria in 265 FW 6 are met.

Supervising Directorate member

I

Approve exceptions for TDY travel between 30 and 50 miles from either the traveler’s residence or permanent duty station if the criteria in 265 FW 6 are met.

 

Supervising Directorate member

J

Approve exceptions for TDY less than 30 miles from the traveler’s residence and duty station.

Assistant Secretary – PMB

K

Approve purchases of food in non-TDY situations where specifically authorized by law, such as for award ceremonies and training.

Division Chief or Project Leader

 

15.6 What are the delegations of authority related to international travel?

 

A. Travel Authorization. 

 

(1) The supervising Directorate member must approve hard copies of Form DI-1020, Travel Authorization, and DI-1175, Foreign Travel Certification, for international travel. They cannot delegate this lower than their Deputy Directorate member. 

 

(2) The Directorate member must get concurrence from the Assistant Director - International Affairs and the Assistant Secretary - Territorial and International Affairs for travel to foreign countries in accordance with Part 532 of the Service Manual.

 

(3) The supervising Directorate member must approve fees over $100, such as medical evacuation insurance, and TDY per diem above the standard rate for foreign travel. They cannot delegate this lower than their Deputy Directorate member.

 

B. Fly America Act.

 

(1) The Fly America Act generally restricts the foreign travel of Government employees to using U.S. carriers. Immediate supervisors may approve use of a foreign carrier if it is in compliance with the Fly America Act, which means there is an agreement between the United States and that carrier’s country of origin, and it is the most cost-effective (see the GSA Fly America Act Web site for more information). 

 

(2) The Deputy Assistant Secretary - PMB retains the authority to approve the use of a foreign flag air carrier when a waiver is not allowed in the Federal Travel Regulations (i.e., there’s no agreement between the United States and the carrier’s country of origin). The Deputy Assistant Secretary will only approve such a carrier if:

 

(a) A U.S. carrier will not accomplish the mission, or

 

(b) The foreign carrier is less expensive.

 

15.7 What are the delegations for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) allowances? Table 15-4 provides the delegations of authority for relocation allowances.

 

Table 15-4 Relocation Allowances Delegations of Authority

Section

 Relocation Allowances Delegations

Lowest Level to Delegate

A

Approve the payment or non-payment of PCS expenses in vacancy announcements. Remaining silent about PCS expense payment in the vacancy announcement assumes those expenses will be paid.

Immediate Supervisor

B

Approve the payment of travel and transportation allowances for new appointees, student trainees, and others travelling to their first duty station at the Government’s expense.

Immediate Supervisor

C

Approve the payment of travel, transportation, and other authorized relocation allowances incident to the transfer of a Government employee from one duty station to another for the benefit of the Government in compliance with 5 U.S.C. 5722-5729.

Immediate Supervisor

D

Approve the payment of travel, transportation, and other authorized relocation allowances incident to the transfer of a Government employee when the distance between old and new duty stations is less than 50 miles.

Director

E

Establish written policy as to whether a Regional or Headquarters (HQ) program pays relocation entitlements (i.e., househunting trip, relocation services contractor, etc.) as described in the Employees on the Move PCS handbook. Regions and programs have the option to adopt or not adopt these entitlements in their policy.

Supervising Directorate member

F

Establish written policy as to whether a Regional or HQ program will pay for special handling when a relocation service contractor is authorized.

Supervising Directorate member

G

Approve an employee’s written request for an extension of time, beyond the initial year authorized to complete the sale or purchase of a residence or terminate a lease. The extension must be justified for reasons beyond the employee’s control, and it may not exceed 1 year.

Supervising Directorate member

H

Approve the delay of the employee’s relocation service contract (if authorized) after the PCS travel authorization is signed (see 266 FW 1 and the Employees on the Move handbook).

Immediate Supervisor

I

Approve an extension allowing an employee to occupy temporary quarters beyond 60 days, when (1) the employee selected the actual expense method of reimbursement, and (2) the extension is necessary for reasons beyond the employee’s control as covered in the Employees on the Move handbook. Two 30-day extensions can be given for a total maximum of 120 days. Employees who selected the fixed or lump sum rate for temporary quarters cannot get an extension beyond the original 30 days, per Federal law.

Supervising Directorate member

J

Approve an extension of temporary storage of household goods beyond the initial period of 60 days (CONUS-to-CONUS relocation) or 90 days (OCONUS-to-CONUS or CONUS-to-OCONUS relocation). Because extensions can be given for up to an additional 90 days, 150 days is the maximum total for a CONUS relocation and 180 days is the maximum total for an OCONUS relocation.

 

Immediate Supervisor

K

Approve non-temporary (extended) storage of household goods. This is allowed for isolated duty stations in CONUS and, if it is cost-effective, at an OCONUS location.

 

Supervising Directorate member

L

Approve the shipment of professional books, papers, and equipment as an administrative expense outside the 18,000 pound limit (see 266 FW 1 and the Employees on the Move handbook, Chapter 5.3).

Immediate Supervisor

M

Approve the transportation and storage of a POV if needed to expedite the employee’s arrival at a new duty station in accordance with the Employees on the Move handbook.

Immediate Supervisor

N

Approve “last move home” relocation allowances for

eligible Senior Executive Service (SES) employees.

Assistant Secretary – PMB

O

Approve use of property management services in a temporary change of station or a PCS.

 

Assistant Secretary – PMB

 

 

15.8 What are the delegations related to approving travel and transportation under special circumstances?

 

A. Employees with Disabilities. Immediate supervisors may approve additional travel expenses incurred by an employee with a disability if the expense is authorized in the Federal Travel Regulations (see 41 CFR Part 301-13).

 

B. Personal Emergencies.

 

(1) The supervising Directorate member approves travel to return to the official station from a TDY or to an alternate TDY location because of a personal emergency or an illness of an immediate family member.  

(2) Directorate members may delegate this authority to the immediate supervisor level. 

 

(3) If an emergency happens during personal (non-TDY) travel, the employee may not use Service funds to pay for the travel.

 

C. Evacuation of Family Dependents.

 

(1) In the absence of an Order or Directive from the President, the Service Director, or other high authority, supervising Directorate members may designate the zones from which the immediate families of civilian employees should be evacuated (and for which the Government may pay) during military, natural, or man-made disasters that create an imminent danger to life or property, or adverse living conditions seriously affecting the health, safety, or accommodation of those families.  

 

(2) The supervising Directorate member may not delegate the authority to pay per diem of evacuated employees and dependents.

 

D. Deceased Employees.

 

(1) Transportation:

 

(a) The supervising Directorate member approves preparation and transportation of the remains of a deceased employee, and the transportation of the immediate family and household goods of a deceased employee, when the Federal Travel Regulations allow it.  

 

(b) Directorate members may delegate this authority to the Project Leader or Division Chief level.

 

(2) Death Gratuity Benefit:

 

(a) The supervising Directorate member approves payment of the death gratuity benefit to the employee’s beneficiary if the employee died in the line of duty as covered in 5 U.S.C. Section 8102a. Line of duty includes TDY, TCS, and PCS travel.  See the Line of Duty Death (LODD): Response Handbook.

 

(b) The Directorate member may not delegate this authority to a lower level. 

 

(3) The Employee’s Immediate Family Members in OCONUS Status:

 

(a) The supervising Directorate member approves preparation and transportation of the remains of a deceased employee’s immediate family member if the immediate family member dies while the employee is stationed OCONUS (see the Federal Travel Regulations at 41 CFR Section 303-70, Subpart D).

 

(b) The Directorate member may not delegate this authority to a lower level.

 

15.9 Who can authorize contractor-provided services for travel? Offices may not contract separately for certain travel services without approval from the Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations. 

 

A. Travel Management Center (TMC). GSA and the Department contract with the eTravel system and TMC vendors. 

 

(1) Offices must use the contracted vendors for the eTravel system and TMC reservation services for all official Government travel.  

 

(2) Offices may not separately contract third party travel agent vendors to assist in booking travel that bypasses the eTravel system and TMC vendors.

 

(3) Offices may use contract employees to book travel reservations with the TMC vendors and process vouchers in the eTravel system tool without getting approval from the Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations.

 

B. Other Contractor Travel Services. The Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations must approve the following contractor-provided services for travel:

 

(1) Travel helpdesk services,

 

(2) Travel voucher audit services,

 

(3) Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) to a particular relocation services vendor or vendors, and

 

(4) BPAs to a particular household goods move management vendor or vendors.

 

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Division of Financial Management. For more information about this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.

 

 

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