Policies & Procedures Manual

Revised: 6/28/2019

Subject: General

Section: 4-1

Note: For purposes of the AALAS Policies & Procedures Manual (PPM), all portions considered “policy,” i.e., needing BOT approval for creation or revision, are indicated by bolded text. All portions considered “procedure,” i.e., not needing BOT approval, are indicated by un-bolded text.

K. The AALAS Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP). The TERP contains information and guidance with respect to allowable reimbursements for expenses incurred by Members, Officers and Trustees while traveling on official AALAS business. Travel expenses for official AALAS business may be reimbursable according to the following policies and procedures.

1. General.

a. Expenses not specifically addressed in the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP) or requests for exceptions must be approved by the Executive Director (ED) prior to booking the travel. Expense reimbursement requests without prior approval will be submitted to the Executive Committee (EC) for consideration.

b. To whatever extent is possible, Members, Officers and Trustees are encouraged to use travel expense reduction activities for the conduct of official AALAS business. These may include teleconferences (arranged by the Committee Chair or the AALAS office) and electronic mail.

c. Personal expenses are not reimbursable.

2. Guidelines. Within the designated budget:

a. Trustees, Officers, Committee Chairs, and other individuals traveling for official AALAS business shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred, including travel, hotel, meals, and AALAS business related incidental expenses.

b. Volunteer travel expenses to other authorized meetings for official Association business are also reimbursable as outlined in this Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP).

c. The current President shall be reimbursed for travel related expenses incurred while performing duties as President of the Association, except as noted in f. (below).

d. In accordance with the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP), annually up to $1,000 per Trustee may be reimbursable for expenses incurred to represent AALAS, as delineated in Section 4-9, for: 1) District Trustees to travel to Regional, District, and Branch AALAS functions within their District; 2) At-Large Trustees to travel to any Regional, District or Branch AALAS functions. Travel related to the District or At-Large Trustee’s home Branch is excluded from this reimbursement policy.

e. Officers and Trustees shall be reimbursed for travel expenses, as outlined in this Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP), for scheduled Board of Trustees (BOT) meetings, except as noted in f. below.

f. Officer, Trustee, and Alternate Trustee travel expenses to attend the National Meeting, including the National Meeting registration fee, are not reimbursable except as noted below in this Part f.

1) Officers, Trustees and other required parties (as determined by the President and Executive Director (ED), shall be reimbursed for additional travel related expenses personally incurred because of early arrival at the National Meeting for required attendance at the Executive Committee (EC) meeting and/or Board of Trustees (BOT) Annual Session. The reimbursement normally will be limited to hotel room and tax for one or two nights as required to attend these meetings, meals not hosted by AALAS for the Officers, Trustees and other required parties, parking at home airport or in the city of the meeting (not both) for one or two days depending on meetings attended, and tips. The ED may approve other expenses incurred as the result of exceptional circumstances. Travel costs such as airfare, mileage, or transportation cost. between home and airport or airport and hotel are not reimbursable unless the individual is not otherwise able to attend the Annual Meeting. Hotel expenses that extend beyond those directly related to attendance at these meetings are not reimbursable without prior approval of the ED.

2) For unusual "hardship" circumstances in which a District Trustee cannot fund expenses for the National Meeting, the Trustee should ask the represented District for financial support.

3) For unusual "hardship" circumstances in which an Officer or Trustee cannot fund expenses for the National Meeting, and the represented District is unable to provide financial support, the Officer or Trustee may contact the Executive Director (ED) in writing, who will poll the Executive Committee (EC) for a consensus on financial support.

g. Travel expenses for an Alternate Trustee are not reimbursable unless the Alternate Trustee is asked to attend a Board of Trustees (BOT) Session in the Trustee’s stead. In such instance, that Alternate Trustee’s travel expenses shall be reimbursable in accordance with the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP).

h. Executive Committee (EC) travel to Branch, District, Affiliate and Other Organization’s Meetings for official AALAS business.

1) National AALAS shall reimburse round-trip airfare or, if the meeting is within driving distance, reimburse auto mileage at the current IRS rate or rental car expenses, whichever is less within budget.

2) Branches shall pay all local expenses including:

a) Transportation to and from the airport.

b) Hotel and food.

c) Registration for the meeting (the requested attendee should contact the “responsible Person” listed on the request form to complete any necessary registration forms).

i. International Travel. All Officers or individuals designated by the President to represent AALAS at meetings outside North and Central America may purchase full economy fare with upgrade and refund capabilities and eligibility for frequent flyer up-gradable class tickets. For travel destinations of 4,000 or more miles, premium economy or similar class tickets (if available) or business class tickets may be approved by the Executive Committee (EC) within the international travel budget limitations. Reservations may be upgraded to a higher class at the expense of the traveler. For travel destinations of 4,000-8,000 miles, one day beyond the meeting days of expenses for hotel and food will be covered by AALAS. For those travel destinations of greater than 8,000 miles, two days beyond the meeting days of expenses for hotel and food will be covered by AALAS.

j. Speakers invited to participate in AALAS sponsored special conferences or meetings shall be provided complimentary conference or meeting registration and may request reimbursement for actual expenses incurred for travel to and from the conference or meeting including hotel, meals, and related incidental business expenses as outlined in the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy (TERP) and within the conference or meeting budget.

3. Requests for Reimbursement Procedures.

a. For each trip, a traveler must complete and submit an AALAS Expense Reimbursement Form, with required supporting documentation, within 30 days of returning from the trip.

b. Original receipts for commercial travel and hotel expenses must be attached to the AALAS Expense Reimbursement Form.

c. Itemized receipts for all allowable business expenses exceeding $15 (e.g. meals, miscellaneous expenses, See 9. below) must be attached to the AALAS Expense Reimbursement Form. The names of all persons included on meal checks must be recorded on the meal receipts.

d. The AALAS Expense Reimbursement Form must be completed in its entirety (including dates of travel, places visited, etc.) signed and dated by the traveler prior to submission.

4. Transportation.

a. Air- and rail-travel reimbursement shall be limited to actual scheduled, commercial transportation, plus transportation to and from terminals.

1) Travelers should purchase tickets as soon as practicable after notification of the meeting/event schedule. Tickets must be purchased more than 21 days prior to the meeting/event. Approval of the Executive Director (ED) is required in extenuating circumstances that prevent compliance with the 21-day minimum advanced purchase. Ticket receipts must be included with the AALAS Expense Reimbursement Form.

2) To maximize the AALAS travel budget, the most economical airfare or rail service is required. Staying over Saturday night is encouraged if the savings is greater than the cost of the lodging and per diem. Seat upgrades, first-class, preferential airlines, and direct flights, if other flights are available within a reasonable time frame and schedule that provide a significant cost savings, are not reimbursable.

3) If the traveler chooses to purchase tickets that exceed the criteria set forth above, AALAS will only reimburse the portion of the ticket costs that meet the criteria. Approval from the ED must be obtained prior to booking the travel.

b. Automobile -- Private Auto, Taxi, Limousine, and Rental Car.

1) Reimbursement for personal automobile or rental car expenses may not exceed the most economical air or rail ticket according to the criteria set forth above. The AALAS mileage reimbursement rate is equivalent to the current IRS allowable rate per mile.

2) Local Transportation. Most local travel requirements may be easily arranged by taxi or limousine, and many hotels may provide courtesy transportation (reasonable tips are reimbursable, see Miscellaneous below). The use of a rental vehicle is discouraged and must be approved by the ED prior to travel.

c. Baggage. If an airline charges a first bag fee for checked baggage, the expense is reimbursable provided the bag meets airline weight requirements. Fees for second bags are not reimbursable unless the extra bag is required for business or medical purposes. Prior approval from the Executive Director (ED) is required, along with documentation explaining why the additional baggage is necessary.

5. Accommodations.

a. Rooms at meeting sites are usually arranged by the AALAS National Office or the organizing Branch or District.

b. Rooms should be selected on the basis of locale, cost and quality. Room charges may be billed to AALAS or reimbursed. The traveler is responsible for paying the incidental charges. e.g., telephone, fax charges, internet, room service, etc.

c. When accommodations are not arranged by the National Office, every effort should be made to locate an appropriate environment at an affordable cost. Such accommodations shall require the prior approval of the Executive Director (ED).

6. Meals

a. Food expenses shall be reimbursable in accordance with the then current per diem established by the Federal Government (www.gsa.gov/perdiem).

b. Food expenses exceeding the federally established per diem are not reimbursable unless prior approval of the Executive Director (ED) has been granted.

c. Itemized receipts shall be required for food expenses in excess of $15 per meal. The names of all persons included on the check must be recorded on the check receipt.

d. Meals included in a conference or meeting registration or paid by others are not eligible for reimbursement. If a meal is provided by conference or meeting registration, but the traveler chooses to eat elsewhere, the added meal expense shall not be reimbursable.

7. Alcoholic Beverages.

a. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted during meetings in which AALAS business is officially conducted.

b. Alcoholic beverages may be reimbursed at moderate expense for social occasions, such as dinner or social hours.

8. Spouses/Guests. Spouses/guests may accompany an AALAS traveler on travel; however, any increased expenses are not reimbursable (e.g. double vs. single occupancy, meal costs,).

9. Miscellaneous.

a. Reimbursable miscellaneous expenses required for AALAS business travel include: gratuities, parking, postage, and meeting preparation/supplies (e.g., copying, typing,).

1) Receipts are required for expenses in excess of $15.

2) Gratuities should not exceed 20% of the meal.

3) Gratuities for baggage handling, portage, transportation drivers should be reasonable and customary (e.g. $1 per bag for baggage handlers, $1-$2 per trip for courtesy drivers). Exceptions must be justified on the AALAS Expense Reimbursement Form.

b. Reasonable telephone charges required for AALAS business travel shall be reimbursable.

c. Personal charges are not reimbursable, e.g. entertainment, valet, laundry, etc.

10. Insurance.

a. AALAS shall maintain travel insurance as specified by the Executive Director (ED).

b. AALAS shall maintain a hired physical damage policy for rental vehicle coverage, which provides coverage for physical damage per accident with specified deductibles on comprehensive and collision.

1) When it is determined that a rental vehicle is necessary to conduct AALAS business, both the individual's name and AALAS should both be listed on the rental agreement.

2) Use of a credit card that covers auto physical damage and loss of use at no extra charge is also encouraged.

3) The AALAS automobile insurance does not cover loss of use or replacement cost of a rental vehicle. If the renter’s credit card does not cover loss of use and replacement cost of the rental vehicle, the renter should purchase rental Loss Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver from the rental car company.