265 FW 4
Supersedes 265 FW 2, FWM 334, 11/03/98
Date: December 10, 2009
Part 265: Travel
Originating Office: Division of Financial Management
4.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter provides guidance for employees creating, approving, and updating travel authorizations for official travel.
4.2 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter covers travel authorizations for employees conducting temporary duty (TDY) travel. The policy for permanent change of station (PCS) authorizations is in memorandum that the Assistant Director - Business Management and Operations issued on 02/23/2009.. Information on local travel is in the
4.3 What is the policy? We create authorizations that support effective and cost-efficient travel. All travelers must get written authorization from their supervisors before traveling, except in emergencies (see section 4.9 for emergency situations).
4.4 What are the types of travel authorizations? We authorize travel under Limited Open Travel Authorizations, Unlimited Open Travel Authorizations, and Trip-by-Trip Authorizations. Table 4-1 provides information about these authorizations.
4.5 What is the process for creating a Trip-by-Trip Authorization in the electronic travel system?
A. The traveler must use the electronic travel system to create a travel authorization documenting each of the following items:
(1) Trip purpose;
(2) Trip type;
(3) Trip duration;
(4) Starting location;
(5) All expected TDY locations associated with the trip;
(6) Expected costs associated with transportation, lodging, per diem, and other allowable expenses;
(7) Requested discretionary entitlements, including excess baggage, use of a rental car, or excess per diem; and
(8) Any personal travel the traveler plans in conjunction with official travel.
B. After a traveler completes a travel authorization, he or she must sign it using an electronic signature. Affixing an electronic signature to a document is as legally binding as a written signature. Travelers must ensure they provide accurate and complete information.
4.6 What is the process for approving a travel authorization?
A. A supervisor at least one level above the traveler approves the travel authorization created in the electronic travel system.
B. The supervisor must review the travel authorization within 3 business days of receiving it. If the supervisor is out of the office, a designated alternate Approving Official may approve travel authorizations. Supervisors review travel authorizations to verify that the estimated costs are reasonable and appropriate, and that none of the requested entitlements require a higher level of approval (see section 4.6D).
C. The supervisor must document approval in one of the following three ways, depending on whether or not the traveler uses autobook. Autobook is a functionality in the electronic travel system that bypasses supervisor approval on travel authorizations and sends the itinerary directly to the travel management center for booking.
(1) If the trip is authorized under a Limited or Unlimited Open Travel Authorization and autobook is enabled, the traveler must:
(a) Include a copy of the approved DI-1020 as part of the receipt packet,
(b) Complete the Discretionary and Trip-by-Trip Entitlements Form (FWS Form 3-2388) to address any entitlements or expenses that the Limited or Unlimited Open Travel Authorization does not cover, and
(c) Obtain the required signatures on the FWS Form 3-2388 and include a copy of the signed form in the receipt packet.
(2) If the trip is authorized under a Trip-by-Trip Authorization and autobook is enabled, the traveler must print a copy of the travel authorization, obtain his or her supervisor's signature, and include a copy of the signed authorization as part of the receipt packet.
(3) If autobook is not enabled, the electronic travel system routes the travel authorization to the traveler's supervisor for approval. The electronic travel system creates an official record of approval when the supervisor logs into the system and approves the travel authorization.
D. The traveler must get a higher level of approval on the discretionary entitlements in Table 4-2 and include the signed FWS Form 3-2388 or other supplemental approval (e.g., email) in the receipt packet.
4.7 How does a traveler amend a travel authorization? The process for amending a travel authorization depends on the status of the authorization in the electronic travel system and the type of change required. Travelers who need to amend a travel authorization should see Chapter 4 of the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process for guidance on how to amend travel authorizations at different points in the TDY travel process.
4.8 What must a traveler do to travel on behalf of another Government agency or if the Service accepts payment of travel expenses from a non-Federal source? The traveler must obtain pre-authorization to conduct TDY travel in these circumstances. See Chapter 4 of the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process for guidance on these types of travel. Also see 212 FW 3 for information about accepting payment from a non-Federal source (donated travel).
A. In an emergency, employees may travel without prior supervisory approval. They then seek approval after the fact. Emergency travel may include any of the following situations:
(1) The employee must deal with an official situation in person so quickly that he or she cannot get supervisory approval, and the issue is so critical that the employee cannot postpone the trip.
(2) The Regional Director or Assistant Director designates an employee's permanent duty station or TDY location as a zone that employees must evacuate for a military cause, another cause that creates an imminent danger to life or property (e.g., flood, hurricane), or adverse living conditions seriously affecting their health or safety.
(3) The employee experiences an incapacitating illness or injury while in TDY status.
(4) The employee experiences a personal emergency while in TDY status, including:
(a) The death, serious illness, or injury of a member of the employee's immediate family; or
(b) A catastrophic occurrence or impending disaster that directly affects the employee's home.
B. The employee must seek retroactive approval from the official who could have authorized the travel in advance.
C. The employee must capture the expenses that require post-travel approval in some written form (e.g., sending an email to an Approving Official listing the expenses and requesting approval) or complete FWS Form 3-2388 and obtain approval on the form. The employee includes a copy of the written approval or signed FWS Form 3-2388 with the receipt packet.
D. Approving Officials consider requests for post-travel approval on a case-by-case basis. Employees must not assume that the trip will be approved.
E. Regional policy dictates whether the Service will cover the cost of dependents' emergency travel. Employees should contact their Regional Travel Coordinator with questions about Regional policy on dependents' emergency travel.
4.10 Where can employees find additional information about travel authorizations? Chapter 4 of the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process has more information about travel authorizations, including examples and screenshots from the electronic travel system.
4.11 Who should employees contact with questions about travel authorizations? Contact your Regional Travel Coordinator with questions about travel authorizations. There is a list of the Regional Travel Coordinators in the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process.
For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Financial Management. For more information about this Website, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.