Authorization for Travel and Travel Related Expenditures
The Hingham Retirement Board shall pay for or make reimbursement to Board Members and Board staff members for all travel and lodging expenses except as specifically authorized in these guidelines for expenses related to legitimate speaking engagements.
1. Travel and related expenses are to be approved by the Board in advance of the travel.
2. Requests for travel by Board Members and Board staff members are to be placed on the Board meeting agenda, discussed in open session and approved by a majority vote of the Members of the Board present and voting. The meeting minutes shall reflect the Board’s action and the extent of the authorization.
3. The nature of the travel, its purpose and estimated cost shall be outlined on a Travel Authorization Form. This form will include a statement by the traveler(s), certifying that the expenses were incidental to the approved travel. Brochures for seminars or other presentations should accompany the request for travel if available.
4. A statement describing the presentation, conference or seminar should be entered into the minutes of the meeting following the travel.
Required Documentation for Reimbursement
The Board will develop a form to be used in connection with any requests for reimbursement, requiring that the traveler(s) certify that the expenses were incurred and were necessary and incidental to the approved travel. Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within a reasonable time after the expenses are incurred, but no later than within 30 days.
1. Any requests for reimbursement should be completed and properly approved after incurring any travel, transportation or meal or other travel-related expenses and before reimbursement takes place.
2. Original itemized receipts must be submitted for expenses related to transportation, landing, and other expense incidental to travel.
3. Receipts are required for individual expenses over $10. Travel-related expenses that are under $10 (such as gratuities) should be fully described and reimbursed based on the traveler(s) certification that the expenses were necessary and incidental to the approved travel.
4. Any travel-related expenditures that are not properly documented or approved or are not in conformity with the Board’s regulations must be immediately rejected or adjusted.
5. Reimbursement will be made only to the person(s) who actually made payment for the expense.
6. The reimbursement request form must be signed by the person(s) seeking reimbursement and signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.
The Board staff member is responsible for making all travel arrangements and for assisting Board Members in completing authorization and reimbursement forms. When making travel arrangements, government rates or business rates will be secured.
An extended stay may be authorized if the net cost to the Board will be lower. For example, if airline fare is lowered by staying an extra day and the cost of accommodations and meals for that extra day results in a net savings to the Board, an extended stay can be authorized.
Board regulations allow for airline, train, bus, automobile rental, taxi, or other form of public conveyance (as cost effective) to be utilized. The use of employee’s vehicle for company business is authorized when it is cost-effective.
1. All travel should be the lowest fare available, generally economy/coach fare. The Board may also determine certain routing criteria to be implemented, for example, requiring no more than one interim stop each way; not requiring more than one scheduled airplane transfer each way; and allowing for reasonable departure and arrival times.
2. Board regulations prohibit payment for airline club memberships.
3. The Board requires that the source of rental cars be a national rental agency. The Board staff member will negotiate the rental rate. The regulations should identify the class of motor vehicle that will be authorized for rental. It is the traveler(s) responsibility to verify that the rate charged is the rate negotiated.
4. The Board require acceptance of optional insurance coverage for rental cars.
5. The Board requires that any motor vehicle accidents that occur while using a rental car while on Board-approved travel, be reported as soon as practicable, in writing to the appropriate authorities, with copies of all such reports provided to the Board.
6. The Board prohibits reimbursement for fines or other expenses incurred because of traffic violations while on Board-approved travel. The traveler(s) is personally responsible for such expenses.
7. The Board specifies the per-mile expense rate allowed, which shall not exceed the amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
8. All parking fees and toll charges will be reimbursed while on Board-approved travel. Itemized receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.
The Board requires that the Board staff member be responsible for making travel arrangements should make all reservations for accommodations in advance. It is the traveler(s) responsibility to verify that the rate charged is the rate negotiated by the Board staff member.
The Board will reimburse Board Members and Board staff members for the cost of meals while on business trips away from the office; the maximum reimbursable amount of such meals is the Federal M&IE Per Diem Rates in effect when the travel took place. Receipts are not required if using Federal M&IE Per Diem Rates. Receipts are required for meals in excess of the Federal M&IE Per Diem Rates
1. The Board requires that if reimbursement is sought for meal expenses for others, those individuals are to be identified along with their affiliation and a description of the purpose of the meeting. Reimbursement shall be made only for meetings that are for business purposes.
2. The Board prohibits reimbursement for lodging and meals included in the cost of registration fees for a conference or seminar that already include lodging and meals.
Other Reimbursable and Non-Reimbursable Expenses
The Board requires proper supporting receipts for other reimbursable expenses. These include gratuities paid in accordance with local custom, telephone expenses limited to Board or business-related calls and one personal call per day, Internet connection charges, costs for faxing, and cost for necessary copying.
The Board will not authorize reimbursement for certain personal expenses. These expenses include in-room movies, mini-bar charges, gym fees, entertainment or recreational expenses, laundry and dry-cleaning and any payments for personal services.
The Board prohibits reimbursement for alcoholic beverages.
The Hingham Retirement Board prohibits cash advances in connection with anticipated expenses.
Board Credit Cards
There are no Board credit cards.
Personal Travel Combined with Board-Related Travel
If personal travel is combined with Board-related travel, the personal portion of the trip will be clearly identified and paid for by the traveler(s). Travel expenses or any other expenses incurred by a spouse, relative, friend or other individual accompanying a Board Member or Board staff member will be considered personal travel and will, in no event, be a proper expense of the Retirement Board.
Payments or Reimbursements for Expenses by Third Parties
The Hingham Retirement Board prohibits the providing to or receipt by a Board Member or Board staff member of anything of substantial value from any person, firm, partnership or other entity which may be reasonably expected to seek to do business with or is seeking to do business with or presently is doing business with a Retirement Board or any person, firm, partnership or other entity. The Board prohibits the providing to and the receipt of anything of substantial value from such a person, firm, partnership or other entity indirectly through any person, firm, association, organization or other entity.
In instances where a Board Member or Board staff member participates in a legitimate speaking engagement, the Board shall pay all costs and expenses related to such speaking engagement, provided, that the Board Member or Board staff member complies with all of the Board’s travel regulations. The Board may accept reimbursement for such travel-related expenses of a Board Member or a Board staff member from a third party, only under the following limited circumstances:
1. A Board Member or a Board staff member may participate in legitimate speaking engagements in connection with their positions on the Retirement Board or as a member of the Board’s staff and the Board may accept reimbursements from third parties necessary to cover travel-related costs for such engagements.
2. Acceptance if an honorarium or any other form of compensation is strictly prohibited.
3. To be considered a legitimate speaking engagement, the presentation must be formally scheduled on the agenda of a convention or conference.
4. The speaking engagement must be scheduled in advance of the Board Members or Board staff member’s arrival at the event.
5. The presentation must be before an organization that would normally have outside speakers address them at such an event.
6. The presentation cannot be perfunctory, but should significantly contribute to the event, taking into account such factors as the length of the speech or presentation, the size of the audience, and the extent to which the speaker is providing substantive or unique information or viewpoints.
7. The Board can be reimbursed by a third party for expenses only to the extent necessary for making the speech or presentation.
8. Under no circumstances can a Board Member or Board staff member receive reimbursement or any other payment or compensation from a third party.
Violations of These Guidelines or Board Travel Regulations
Any person or entity that violates these Guidelines or Retirement Board regulations adopted pursuant to these Guidelines and approved by the Massachusetts Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of 840 CMR 17.00 and shall be subject to removal as a qualified investment manager or consultant pursuant to 840 CMR 17.04(10). In addition, the Massachusetts Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission shall not grant an exemption pursuant to 840 CMR 19.02 or a qualification pursuant to 840 CMR 26.04 if any person or entity that has violated these Guidelines or Retirement Board regulations adopted pursuant to these Guidelines is the subject of the filing pursuant to those provisions.