Fish and Wildlife Service logo

265 FW 1
Temporary Duty Travel – Definitions and Responsibilities

Supersedes 265 FW 1, 12/10/2009

Date: November 15, 2021

Series: Finance

Part 265: Travel

Originating Office: Branch of Financial Policy and Analytics

PDF Version

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topics

Sections

OVERVIEW

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

1.2 What is the scope of Part 265 in the Service Manual?

1.3 What are the authorities for the chapters in Part 265?

1.4 What is the overall Service policy on Temporary Duty Travel (TDY)?

1.5 What is the difference between TDY, local, Permanent Change of Station (PCS), and Temporary Change of Station (TCS) travel?

1.6 How is Part 265 of the Service Manual organized?

1.7 What terms do you need to know to understand this and the other chapters in Part 265?

RESPONSIBILITIES

1.8 What are the overall responsibilities related to Part 265 of the Service Manual?

 

OVERVIEW

 

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter provides an overview of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requirements and responsibilities governing Temporary Duty Travel (TDY) and introduces the policies in Part 265, Travel, of the Service Manual.

 

1.2 What is the scope of Part 265 in the Service Manual?

 

A. Part 265 provides policy and procedures for Service employees and non-employees (called “travelers” throughout this chapter) conducting TDY travel on behalf of the Service, as well as other travel-related responsibilities.

 

B. Part 265 does not cover:

 

(1) Permanent Change of Station (PCS) travel (see 266 FW 1), and

 

(2) Temporary Change of Station (TCS) travel (see Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), Part 302, Subpart E).

 

1.3 What are the authorities for the chapters in Part 265?

 

A. Department of the Interior (Department) Integrated Charge Card Program Policy.

 

B. Departmental Temporary Duty Travel Policy.

 

C. Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) (41 CFR 301-304).

 

D. Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. 40118).

 

E. General, temporary, and charter air transportation certificates of air carriers (49 U.S.C. 41102).

 

F. Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 (5 U.S.C. 3371-3376).

 

G. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-123, Management's Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control, Appendix A, Management of Reporting and Data Integrity Risk.

 

H. Per diem, travel, and transportation expenses; experts and consultants; individuals serving without pay (5 U.S.C. 5703).

 

I. Training (5 CFR 410).

 

J. 347 Department Manual (DM) 1, Travel Policy Issuance System.

 

K. 347 DM, Departmental FTR Implementing Instructions.

 

1.4 What is the overall Service policy on TDY travel? We authorize official TDY travel as a program and mission enabler. Travelers should read the chapters in Part 265 and consider the following principles when planning, performing, or approving official travel:

 

A. The traveler must:

 

(1) Conduct official travel in the most cost-effective and efficient manner necessary to accomplish Government business.

 

(2) Exercise the same care when incurring expenses on official travel that a prudent person would exercise if traveling at personal expense.

 

(3) Use the Government-issued travel charge card (i.e., travel card) to incur travel-related expenses when issued a card (see 265 FW 3 and 265 FW 7).

 

(4) Document all travel arrangements, travel authorizations, and travel vouchers in our electronic travel system (i.e., ConcurGov).

 

B. Travelers must always obtain authorization from their approving official in the electronic travel system prior to performing TDY travel (see 265 FW 4). The only exceptions to this requirement are bona fide emergency situations (see 265 FW 10) when a travel authorization cannot be reasonably obtained in advance.

 

1.5 What is the difference between TDY, local, PCS, and TCS travel? See Table 1-1.

 

Table 1-1: Types of Official Travel

Travel type

Definition

Guidance

TDY Travel

Travel that is performed for official purposes and is over 50 miles from the traveler’s permanent duty station and commuting residence.

Part 265

Local Travel

Travel that does not meet the distance requirement for TDY travel. It includes Government and commercial flights to locations fewer than and including 50 miles from the traveler’s permanent duty station and commuting residence.

Traveler’s performing local travel:

·        Must use the Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business form (OF-1164) to claim reimbursement for transportation costs, and

·        Are not entitled to per diem reimbursement.

265 FW 12, 261 FW 4

PCS Travel

Travel required as part of an employee's permanent relocation from one official duty station to another.

Part 266 of the Service Manual,

Employees on the Move Handbook

TCS Travel

Relocation to a new official station for a temporary period while performing a long-term assignment and subsequent return to the previous official station after completing that assignment. We use TCS as an alternative to remaining in travel status for an extended period.

347 DM, Departmental FTR Implementing Instructions;

Employees on the Move Handbook

 

1.6 How is Part 265 of the Service Manual organized? See Table 1-2.

                       

Table 1-2: Summary of Part 265, Travel

Chapter title

Topics

265 FW 1: Definitions and Responsibilities

·        Types of official travel,

·        Authorities for Part 265,

·        Responsibilities during the travel process, and

·        Resources for more information.

265 FW 2: Electronic Travel System

·        Basics and activating accounts, and

·        Using the electronic travel system.

265 FW 3: Travel Payment Methods

·        Government-issued travel charge card,

·        Travel advances, and

·        Other payment methods.

265 FW 4: Travel Authorizations

·        Different types of travel authorizations (e.g., limited open travel authorization, trip-by-trip authorization) and how to obtain approval to travel.

265 FW 5: Transportation

·        Commercial air;

·        Train, bus, or ship;

·        Rental cars, taxis, etc.;

·        Privately Owned Vehicle (POV);

·        Cost comparisons;

·        Combining official and personal travel; and

·        Official deviations.

265 FW 6: Lodging, Meals, and Incidental Expenses

·        Per diem,

·        Lodging,

·        Meals and incidental expenses, and

·        Reimbursements.

265 FW 7: Employee Reimbursement

·        Expenses,

·        Travel vouchers, and

·        Supporting documentation.

265 FW 8: Non-Employee Travel and Travel Arranger Responsibilities

·        Invitational travelers,

·        Other non-Service employee travelers, and

·        Travel arrangers.

265 FW 9: Extended Assignments

·        Travel expenses,

·        Travel interruptions,

·        Leave, and

·        Tax implications.

265 FW 10: Emergency, Illness, Injury, or Death

·        Emergencies,

·        Illness or injury, and

·        Death.

265 FW 11: Conference Attendance

·        Travel requirements related to conference attendance.

265 FW 12: Local Travel

·        Local travel,

·        Multiple residences and duty stations,

·        Travel charge card,

·        Rental cars,

·        Volunteers, and

·        Firefighters.

 

1.7 What terms do you need to know to understand this and the other chapters in Part 265? 

 

A. Approving officials are supervisors, Directorate members (i.e., Regional Directors; Assistant Directors; Director, National Conservation Training Center (NCTC); Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS)), and other officials who approve travel-related transactions (e.g., authorizations and vouchers).

 

B. Common carrier refers to transportation by aircraft, train, bus, ship, or local transit system.

 

C. Commuting residence is the location where a traveler commutes to and from work the majority of the time. It is not always the location listed on the traveler’s personnel forms.

 

D. CONUS is the acronym for the 48 contiguous states in the United States (i.e., all the states except Alaska and Hawaii).

 

E. Electronic travel system (i.e., ConcurGov) is an automated, web-based process that Service employees and approving officials use to plan, document, manage, and monitor TDY travel (see 265 FW 2). ConcurGov is the Service’s current electronic travel system.

 

F. Immediate family are members of an employee’s household, including spouse, domestic partner, children of the employee or the employee’s spouse/domestic partner, dependent parents, and dependent siblings. Approving officials may expand this definition when authorizing emergency travel on a case-by-case basis.

 

G. Local travel is travel that does not meet the distance requirement for TDY travel. It includes Government and commercial flights to locations fewer than and including 50 miles from the traveler’s permanent duty station and commuting residence.

 

H. OCONUS is the acronym for outside the contiguous United States.

 

I. Per diem is the sum of the daily allowable costs associated with lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.

 

J. Permanent duty station, for the purposes of travel, means the street address to which the employee most commonly reports (i.e., the majority of the time). There are permanent duty stations that cover a large contiguous area of more than 50 miles, and that Service employees must regularly maintain or patrol. For such duty stations, traveling from one area to another, regardless of distance, is part of the employee’s regular duty and does not qualify as TDY travel.

 

K. Prudent person rule states that travelers must exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business.

 

L. TDY travel is travel that is performed for official purposes and is over 50 miles from the traveler’s permanent duty station and commuting residence.

 

M. Travelers are employees and non-employees who are authorized to conduct TDY travel on behalf of the Service.

 

N. Travel arranger is a staff member who books, documents, and adjusts travel reservations on behalf of others, including invitational travelers. The staff member could be a Service employee or a contractor.

 

O. Travel authorization is the form the Service uses to approve official TDY travel and travel-related expenses. These forms are created and approved in the electronic travel system. All travelers must receive authorization from their approving official before traveling, except in bona fide emergencies (see 265 FW 10 for more information).

 

P. Travel Management Center (TMC) (i.e., Duluth Travel Incorporated or El Sol Travel, Inc.) is responsible for assisting travelers with booking and adjusting travel itineraries. The TMC charges higher fees to assist with booking travel and adjusting reservations than those associated with self-service booking through ConcurGov.

 

Q. Travel voucher is the form we use to approve travelers for reimbursement of travel-related expenses. These forms are created and approved in the electronic travel system.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

1.8 What are the overall responsibilities related to Part 265 of the Service Manual? See Table 1-3. Individual Service Manual chapters, such as 265 FW 5 on transportation, have additional, specific responsibilities.

 

Table 1-3: Overall Responsibilities Related to Part 265

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management, and Budget (PMB)

Approving the use of first class transportation accommodations (see 265 FW 5).

B. Director, Office of Financial Management (PFM) in the Department

Concurring with the use of first class transportation accommodations before the request is given to the Assistant Secretary – PMB.

C. The Service Director

(1) Approving or declining to approve Servicewide policy; and

 

(2) Concurring with the use of first class transportation accommodations before the request is given to the Director, PFM, in the Department.

D. Directorate members

(1) Approving extended exceptions to the 50-mile requirements (but not below 30 miles) due to travel challenges associated with weather, terrain, or required mode of transportation (see 265 FW 6);

 

(2) Approving per diem within 30-50 miles of the traveler’s permanent duty station and commuting residence on a case-by-case basis;

 

(3) Approving actual subsistence reimbursement of 151% to 300% of the standard per diem rate; and

 

(4) Approving rates for extended TDY assignments that are more than 55% of the standard per diem rate:

 

(a) For rates that are 56% to 100% over, they may delegate the approval authority to their Deputy Assistant Director or a Deputy Regional Director, but no lower, and

 

(b) For rates that are 101% to 300% over, they may not delegate the authority.

E. Assistant Director – Management and Administration (i.e., AD-MA or Associate Chief Financial Officer)

(1) Concurring with the use of first class transportation accommodations before the request is given to the Director, and

 

(2) Approving the use of business class transportation accommodations.

F. Joint Administrative Operations (JAO), Administrative Operations Center (AOC), Financial Operations Division Chief

(1) Providing guidance on TDY travel-related issues as necessary,

 

(2) Implementing policy for travel, and

 

(3) Communicating organizational changes to the Service’s Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) Bureau Lead so that they do not negatively affect the review and approval of travel expenses.

G. JAO AOC, Safety Operations Division Chief

Concurring with the use of first class or business class transportation accommodations before the request is given to the AD-MA.

H. JAO AOC Travel and Charge Card Operations Branch Chief

Providing guidance on TDY travel-related issues as necessary.

I. JAO AOC Travel Team (i.e., Federal Agency Travel Administrators (FATA), Audit team, Help Desk team)

(1) Providing travelers with guidance on the FTR and on Departmental and Service TDY travel policies;

 

(2) Assisting travelers and travel arrangers with technical issues associated with the electronic travel system;

 

(3) Performing a Fly America Act compliance review on travel authorizations to foreign destinations;

 

(4) Performing prepayment audits on selected TDY travel vouchers in the electronic travel system;

 

(5) Creating and maintaining traveler profiles in the electronic travel system;

 

(6) Monitoring open travel vouchers in the electronic travel system that have been signed by the employee but are unapproved, and notifying the approving official at days 20 and 27 that action is required; and

 

(7) In the unlikely event of an incapacitating illness, injury, or death of a traveler, completing any remaining administrative travel requirements (see 265 FW 10).

J. Approving officials

(1) Familiarizing themselves with TDY travel policy;

 

(2) Complying with the FTR and Departmental and Service policies;

 

(3) Reviewing and approving TDY travel authorizations and vouchers;

 

(4) Ensuring expenses are authorized and allowable and the associated amounts are accurate;

 

(5) Ensuring required documentation (i.e., justifications) and receipts are uploaded to the electronic travel system;

 

(6) Recognizing that electronic signatures processed through the electronic travel system are legally binding;

 

(7) Determining if travel is necessary to achieve the official purpose of the proposed trip (i.e., asking “Are there effective and less expensive alternatives to travel?”);

 

(8) Ensuring that travelers follow the prudent person rule and use the most direct route and mode of transportation (see 265 FW 5);

 

(9) Supporting the Department’s effort to reduce our carbon footprint by focusing on minimizing greenhouse gas emissions whenever possible and advantageous to the Government (e.g., using public transit instead of a rental car);

 

(10) Determining and authorizing the most advantageous mode of transportation;

 

(11) Concurring with the use of first class or business class transportation accommodations before the request is given to the Safety Operations Division Chief;

 

(12) Approving the use of economy plus transportation accommodations;

 

(13) Approving actual subsistence reimbursement of 101% to 150% of the standard per diem rate;

 

(14) Returning travel vouchers that they think are improper within 7 business days in the electronic travel system;

 

(15) Determining whether a long-term assignment is treated as a TCS or an extended TDY assignment;

 

(16) Ensuring that any further reduction in per diem is on the traveler’s travel authorization in the electronic travel system before the start of the extended TDY assignment; and

 

(17) Notifying the next of kin or legal representative of an employee’s death (see 054 FW 1, the Line of Duty Death Response Handbook, 240 FW 7, and 265 FW 10) and coordinating payment of allowable expenses.

K. Employee travelers

(1) Familiarizing themselves with TDY travel policy;

 

(2) Ensuring their profiles in the electronic travel system are up-to-date with the current Government-issued travel charge card numbers and expiration dates;

 

(3) Using the electronic travel system in adherence with the FTR;

 

(4) Documenting all expenses, uploading receipts, and creating travel authorizations and vouchers in the electronic travel system;

 

(5) Requesting approval(s) to travel prior to leaving for trips;

 

(6) Recognizing that electronic signatures processed through the electronic travel system are legally binding;

 

(7) Complying with the FTR and Departmental and Service policies;

 

(8) Complying with the Department’s Travel Charge Card Program Policy;

 

(9) Supporting the Department’s effort to reduce our carbon footprint by focusing on minimizing greenhouse gas emissions whenever possible and advantageous to the Government (e.g., using public transit instead of a rental car);

 

(10) Selecting the most advantageous mode of transportation;

 

(11) Traveling by the most direct, commonly traveled route unless pre-approval is obtained for a deviation;

 

(12) Completing a proper travel voucher in the electronic travel system within 5 business days after completion of travel;

 

(13) Notifying their approving official as soon as possible of the need to interrupt or discontinue TDY travel because of an emergency; and

 

(14) Deducting normal commuting costs from local travel reimbursement.

L. Non-employee travelers

(1) Familiarizing themselves with TDY travel policy and the relevant responsibilities from section 1.8K above;

 

(2) Providing the travel arranger with the information required to complete the ConcurGov Profile Maintenance and Automated Clearing House (ACH) Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment form(s);

 

(3) Providing the travel arranger with the details of the trip (e.g., purpose, required arrival date, required departure date);

 

(4) Notifying the travel arranger immediately if travel plans change or travel-related issues arise during a trip;

 

(5) Providing the travel arranger with required receipts and supporting documentation after a trip;

 

(6) Signing and returning the copy of the travel voucher that the travel arranger provides within 5 business days of receipt; and

 

(7) Notifying the travel arranger if they have not received reimbursement from the Service within 30 calendar days of signing the travel voucher.

M. Travel arrangers

(1) Familiarizing themselves with TDY travel policy;

 

(2) Using the electronic travel system in adherence with the FTR;

 

(3) Acting on behalf of non-employees conducting TDY travel for the Service by completing required actions in the electronic travel system (e.g., arranging transportation, creating travel vouchers, etc.) (see 265 FW 8);

 

(4) Documenting all expenses, uploading receipts, and creating TDY travel authorizations and vouchers in the electronic travel system;

 

(5) Assisting travelers with navigational issues associated with the electronic travel system; and

 

(6) Assisting family members or medical attendants with travel arrangements.

N. Travel reviewers

Accessing the electronic travel system to review TDY travel vouchers for accuracy and compliance.

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Financial Policy and Analytics Branch. For more information about this website, contact Krista Bibb in the Policy and Regulations Branch (PRB), Division of Policy, Economics, Risk Management, and Analytics.

 

Directives Home

PRB website: Centralized Library of Servicewide Policies

Privacy, Disclaimer and Copyright Information | Information Quality Act

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  | USA.gov  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA