265 FW 8
Non-Employee Travel and Travel Arranger Responsibilities

Supersedes 265 FW 8, FWM 334, 11/03/98

Date: December 10, 2009

Series: Finance

Part 265: Travel

Originating Office: Division of Financial Management

 

 

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8.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter provides policy and guidance for non-employees traveling on behalf of the Service and the Service employees who arrange their travel.

 

8.2 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter covers transportation costs; lodging, meals, and incidental expense allowances; and other expenses that non-employees may incur when traveling on behalf of the Service. Information on local travel for non-employees is in the memorandum that the Assistant Director - Business Management and Operations issued on 02/23/2009.

 

8.3 Who is a non-employee? Non-employees include, but are not limited to:

 

A. Invitational travelers (e.g., speakers for a conference) (sections 8.7 and 8.8),

 

B. Interviewees (section 8.9),

 

C. Employees of other Government agencies (section 8.10),

 

D. Volunteers (section 8.11),

 

E. Participants in the Student Temporary Employment Program (section 8.12),

 

F. People on Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments (section 8.13), and

 

G. Contractors (section 8.14).

 

8.4 What is the policy?

 

A. We reimburse non-employees for traveling on behalf of the Service. We generally cover the cost associated with transportation and lodging costs, up to a maximum allowable rate, and provide a daily meal and incidental expense (M&IE) allowance.

 

B. Non-employees are bound by the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), Department of the Interior policy, and Service policy when traveling on behalf of the Service. This chapter is intended to supplement, rather than substitute for, the other TDY travel policies in Part 265.

 

C. Non-employees may not access the electronic travel system. Instead, we assign a Travel Arranger to each non-employee who travels on our behalf. The Travel Arranger completes all required actions in the electronic travel system on behalf of the traveler. The focus of this chapter is on non-employees; Chapter 8 in the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process has more information on a Travel Arranger's responsibilities.

 

8.5 What does the Travel Arranger have to do for a non-employee traveling on behalf of the Service?

 

A. The first time that a non-employee must travel on our behalf, the Travel Arranger must:

 

(1) Notify the Administrative Officer of the need to create a vendor profile for the non-employee in the Federal Financial System (FFS),

 

(2) Complete a User Access Form to notify the Regional Travel Coordinator of the need for a profile for the traveler in the electronic travel system. We use the User Access Form to set up the traveler in the electronic travel system even though, as a non-employee, the traveler will not access the system directly. The Travel Arranger must not include a charge card number on the User Access Form. The profile will be set up initially without a charge card number. The Travel Arranger must notify the Regional Federal Agency Travel Administrator (FATA) of the need to add the appropriate charge card number and expiration date to the profile. The Travel Arranger may make note of the last four digits of the credit card number or the name of the corporate account (e.g., Budget and Finance account) that should be included in the traveler's account if this information is available at the time he/she submits the form. The Travel Arranger must also submit the ACH Form (Standard Form 3881) to the National Business Center at this time.

 

B. The Travel Arranger completes all of the travel-related activities listed below for each TDY trip that the non-employee conducts on behalf of the Service. The Travel Arranger is responsible for complying with the FTR and Departmental and Service policy when completing these tasks:

 

(1) Creating a travel authorization in the electronic travel system;

 

(2) Reserving the transportation for the trip;

 

(3) Obtaining approval on the travel authorization;

 

(4) Helping the traveler with any updates to the travel itinerary;

 

(5) Requesting receipts and supporting documentation from the traveler and creating the receipt packet;

 

(6) Creating a travel voucher in the electronic travel system;

 

(7) Printing a copy of the travel voucher, obtaining the traveler's signature on the voucher, and putting a copy of the signed voucher in the receipt packet; and

 

(8) Signing the travel voucher using the T-entered stamp and submitting it for reimbursement.

 

8.6 What responsibilities does the non-employee have when traveling on behalf of the Service?

 

A. The first time that non-employees plan to travel on our behalf, they must provide the Travel Arranger with the information required to complete the User Access Form and the ACH Form.

 

B. Non-employees complete all of the travel-related activities below each time they travel on our behalf. Non-employees are responsible for complying with the FTR and Departmental and Service policy when completing these tasks:

 

(1) Providing the Travel Arranger with the details of the trip (e.g., purpose, required arrival date, required departure date);

 

(2) Reserving and paying for the lodging required for the trip using a personal credit card or other personal form of payment;

 

(3) Notifying the Travel Arranger immediately if travel plans change or travel-related issues arise during the trip;

 

(4) Providing the Travel Arranger with required receipts and supporting documentation after the trip;

 

(5) Signing and returning the copy of the travel voucher provided by the Travel Arranger within 5 business days of receipt; and

 

(6) Notifying the Travel Arranger if the Service does not reimburse him or her within 30 calendar days of signing the travel voucher.

 

8.7 What is an invitational traveler, and when do they qualify for travel reimbursement?

 

A. An invitational traveler is an individual who is not a Government contractor, and who meets any of the following criteria:

 

(1) A non-employee who an Approving Official authorizes to complete any of the following activities on behalf of the Service:

 

(a) Participate in a Service meeting or conference;

 

(b) Provide training to Service employees on other than a contracted basis;

 

(c) Fulfill a one-time official commitment to the Service;

 

(d) Attend an awards ceremony to receive recognition for contributions to the Service; or

 

(e) Travel as an attendant to a Service employee with special needs.

 

(2) A non-employee who a Regional Director, Assistant Director, Deputy Assistant Director, Division Chief, or Office Chief authorizes to travel to an interview for employment with the Service (see 225 FW 9).

 

(3) A spouse or family member of an employee who the employee's Regional Director or Assistant Director authorizes to attend a Presidential or Departmental award ceremony honoring the employee.

 

B. For us to reimburse invitational travelers, they must be in travel status for longer than 12 hours and travel at least 50 miles from their permanent duty station (if applicable) and permanent residence to fulfill an official commitment to the Service. The permanent duty station is the location of the individual's Service work assignment.

 

8.8 How does the Service reimburse invitational travelers for travel-related expenses? We:

 

A. Cover the cost of transportation while the traveler is in TDY status. Transportation that the Travel Arranger books in the electronic travel system is charged to the Service corporate card included in the invitational traveler's profile. The Travel Arranger must book transportation in accordance with 265 FW 5.

 

B. Reimburse the traveler for the actual cost of lodging, up to the maximum lodging rate established by the General Services Administration (GSA) for the TDY location. The invitational traveler should reserve and pay for lodging and any other travel-related expenses, except airfare, using a personal credit card or other personal form of payment. In some Regions, we may use a purchase order to pay for invitational travelers' lodging. The Travel Arranger must list the expense as "Reimbursable" on the travel voucher. The Travel Arranger may not reserve or pay for lodging for an invitational traveler using a Service corporate card.

 

C. Provide invitational travelers with a daily allowance for meals and incidental expenses using the Lodgings-Plus method of reimbursement (see 265 FW 6).

 

D. Reimburse invitational travelers for other travel-related expenses required to complete the mission of the trip (see 265 FW 7).

 

8.9 What restrictions apply to interviewees' travel? We must not give an interviewee:

 

A. A travel advance, or

 

B. Reimbursement for phone calls or other communication expenses, except communication expenses for calling the Travel Arranger or booking travel-related accommodations.

 

8.10 What process applies when an employee of another Government agency conducts official travel on behalf of the Service? When an employee of another Government agency conducts official travel on our behalf, the Service official authorizing the travel must complete an Inter/Intra-Agency Travel Agreement (Form 3-2368). This agreement explains how we will reimburse the traveler's home agency for the travel costs.

 

A. Travelers must arrange travel, incur costs, and claim reimbursement under the policies of their home agency, while complying with the requirements of the Department and the Service. If the policies conflict, Departmental and Service policies will generally prevail (e.g., first class airfare is prohibited, even if allowable under the home agency's policies).

 

B. The Service will reimburse the home agency through the Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection process.

 

8.11 What process applies to volunteers? The way we reimburse volunteers for travel-related expenses depends on whether the volunteers are working from their volunteer duty station or traveling to an alternate location.

 

A. Local Travel Expenses and Taxable Subsistence Payments:

 

(1) We may reimburse volunteers for local travel costs for the duration of their assignment by using the Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business form (SF-1164). Regions may also provide volunteers with taxable subsistence payments.

 

(2) These allowances are not TDY travel reimbursement, and we may not process them through the electronic travel system. See Part 150 of the Service Manual for more information on the volunteer program, eligibility for local travel expense reimbursement, and taxable subsistence payments.

 

B. TDY Travel to an Alternate Site:

 

(1) If a volunteer must travel to an alternate site that is at least 50 miles from their volunteer duty station and permanent residence, we may reimburse the volunteer for the transportation cost.

 

(2) We may also provide reimbursement, at the discretion of the volunteer's Service supervisor, for the actual cost of lodging and an allowance for meals and incidental expenses up to 100% of the GSA per diem rate for the TDY location (Lodgings-Plus method).

 

(a) The volunteer may only claim one type of per diem per day. If receiving volunteer subsistence, the volunteer must suspend it for the duration of the TDY trip to claim Lodgings-Plus reimbursement.

 

(b) We use the volunteer's travel status and location at 12:00 AM (Midnight) to determine the appropriate method of reimbursement for that day. Information on claiming per diem reimbursement under the Lodgings-Plus method is in 265 FW 6.

 

8.12 What process applies to participants in the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)? If we do not pay the STEP participant a salary, he or she is a volunteer, and should receive reimbursement in accordance with section 8.11. If we do pay the STEP participant a salary, he or she is a Service employee and must adhere to the same process as Service employees (265 FW 4 - 7).

 

8.13 What process applies to individuals on Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments?

 

A. Types of IPA Reimbursement: There are two ways that we may reimburse people on IPA assignments at a location more than 50 miles from their permanent duty station and residenceóStandard IPA Reimbursements or Limited Relocation IPA Reimbursements. The official authorizing the IPA assignment must select the appropriate method of reimbursement, depending on which option costs the Government less and which is more appropriate for the duration of the assignment. The authorizing official should discuss the cost of Limited Relocation IPA Reimbursement with the Regional Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Coordinator before authorizing this method of reimbursement. The IPA service agreement must specify the method of reimbursement.

 

(1) Standard IPA Reimbursement:

 

(a) We generally reimburse an individual on IPA assignment transportation costs and per diem. Under the Standard IPA Reimbursement method, we reimburse the individual the full allowable amount for transportation and per diem expenses when the individual begins the assignment (i.e., while traveling to the IPA assignment) and when the individual ends the IPA assignment (i.e., while traveling home). While on assignment, we reimburse the individual using a reduced per diem allowance: 55% of the GSA maximum rate.

 

(b) We may reimburse individuals on IPA assignment for per diem at less than 55% of the GSA maximum per diem rate if the Service official authorizing the assignment provides a written justification and the individual agrees to the reduction in writing before beginning the assignment.

 

(c) The individual may not receive per diem reimbursement for longer than 1 year unless we extend the IPA assignment. If an individual is on IPA assignment for 1 year or longer, we must report the per diem reimbursement to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as taxable income.

 

(d) If we are partially reimbursing the individual under a cost-sharing arrangement with another Departmental bureau, the official authorizing the IPA assignment must complete an Inter/Intra-Agency Travel Agreement (Form 3-2368) to document the arrangement.

 

(2) Limited Relocation IPA Reimbursement:

 

(a) We may reimburse an individual on IPA assignment for the following relocation costs:

 

(i) Travel and transportation expenses to and from the assignment location (see FTR 302-2);

 

(ii) Travel and transportation expenses incurred by the individual's immediate family while traveling to and from the assignment location (see FTR 302-2);

 

(iii) Transportation and temporary storage expenses of the individual's household goods and personal effects (see FTR 302-8);

 

(iv) Temporary quarters subsistence expenses for the period immediately preceding the assignment and the period immediately following the assignment (see FTR 302-6);

 

(v) A miscellaneous expense allowance (see FTR 302-3); and

 

(vi) When the assignment is in an isolated location, the expense of storage of the individual's household goods and personal effects (see FTR 302-9).

 

(b) We may not cover the cost of selling or buying a residence or the cost associated with property management services during the assignment.

 

(c) Individuals on IPA assignment are responsible for repaying any relocation reimbursement if they fail to complete the service agreement, unless the reasons for failing to complete the agreement are beyond their control or the Service waives the requirement.

 

B. TDY Travel while on IPA assignment:

 

(1) We may reimburse an individual on IPA assignment who must travel at least 50 miles from their IPA duty station, permanent duty station, and permanent residence for transportation and per diem costs associated with the trip. The Service may reimburse these costs regardless of whether the individual receives Standard IPA Reimbursement or Limited Relocation IPA Reimbursement.

 

(2) Individuals may only claim per diem reimbursement under one method per day. Travelers who receive Standard IPA Reimbursement must suspend the IPA per diem allowance for the duration of the TDY trip.

 

(3) We use the employee's travel status and TDY location at 12:00 AM (Midnight) to determine the appropriate method of per diem reimbursement for that day.

 

8.14 How does contractor travel differ from that of other non-employees? We must not issue travel authorizations to contractors or allow contractors to use the electronic travel system to arrange travel.

 

A. Contractors must arrange their own travel and cover all costs associated with travel. We may reimburse contractors for travel-related costs if the contract authorizes it. The contractual agreement governs travel reimbursement between the Service and the contractor, rather than Part 265 of the Service Manual.

 

B. Vendors do not have to make Government fares or rates available to our contractors, but they may choose to do so. We may give a contractor a Letter of Identification to help him or her get Government fares and rates. You can find a sample Letter of Identification in the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process or on the Departmentís Web site.

 

8.15 Where can travelers and Approving Officials find additional information about non-employee travel and Travel Arranger responsibilities? Chapter 8 of the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process has more information about non-employee travel and Travel Arranger responsibilities, including examples and screenshots from the electronic travel system.

 

8.16 Who should travelers, Travel Arrangers, and Approving Officials contact with questions about non-employee travel? Non-employee travelers (except contractors) should contact their Travel Arranger with questions about travel. Travel Arrangers and Approving Officials should contact their Regional Travel Coordinator with questions about non-employee travel. There is a list of the Regional Travel Coordinators in the Temporary Duty Handbook: A Guide to the TDY Process.

 


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