It is the policy of the Chicopee Contributory Retirement Board to reimburse Board Members or staff who have been authorized by the Retirement Board to travel on behalf of the Chicopee Contributory Retirement Board, for the reasonable expenses incurred during said travel.
All legitimate travel expenses shall be reimbursed in accordance with G.L. c. 7, s. 50 and G.L. c. 32, s. 21(4).
Authorization for Travel and Travel Related Expenditures
1. Travel and related expenses are to be approved by the Board in advance of the travel.
2. Requests for travel by Board Members shall be placed on a 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. The form must include a statement by the traveler, certifying that the expenses were incidental to the approved travel.
4. A statement describing the presentation, conference or seminar should be entered into the minutes of the meeting following the travel.
5. The Board will approve all travel for Board and staff under the guidelines.
Required Documentation for Reimbursement
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 all expenses including transportation, lodging, and other expenses incidental to travel.
3. Receipts should be 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 which have not been properly documented or approved or are not in conformity with the Board’s regulations must be rejected or adjusted.
5. Reimbursement shall only be made to the person who actually made payment for the expense.
6. The reimbursement request form must be signed by the person seeking reimbursement and signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.
The Board designated staff member is responsible for making all travel arrangements and assisting Board Members and Board staff 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.
The Board regulations shall allow for airline, train, bus, automobile rental, taxi, or other form of public conveyance (as cost effective) to be utilized.
All travel should be at the lowest fare available, generally economy/coach fare.
The Board regulations prohibit payment for airline club memberships.
The Board requires that the source of rental cars be a national rental agency. The staff member who is responsible for arranging the travel should negotiate the rental rate. The Board will allow for rental up to a mid-size vehicle. It is the traveler’s responsibility to verify that the rate charged is the rate negotiated.
The Board requires that any motor vehicle accidents, which 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.
Board regulations prohibit reimbursement for fines or other expenses incurred as a result of traffic violations while on Board-approved travel. The traveler is personally responsible for such expenses.
The Board will follow the current IRS Regulations for the per mile expense rate allowed. Parking fees and toll charges will be reimbursed with receipts submitted.
All reservations will be made in advance by the designated Board staff member. It is the traveler’s responsibility to verify that the rate charged is the rate negotiated by the staff member.
The following schedule sets forth the maximum allowable meal reimbursement:
Travel in State Travel out of State
Per Diem Rate Per Diem Rate
Not to exceed $40.00 Not to exceed $50.00
The Board may allow for reimbursement in excess of the allowable amount for travel to high-cost locations.
If reimbursement is sought for meal expenses for others, these 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.
The Board will approve registration fees for a conference or seminar which includes lodging and meals, but also leaves open the option to pay for the cost of the meals separately. The Board prohibits reimbursement for meals when meals are already included with a conference/seminar.
Other Reimbursable and Non-Reimbursable Expenses
The Board identifies reimbursable expenses as gratuities, telephone calls and faxes, providing the proper supporting receipts are submitted.
The following expenses are not reimbursable: in-room movies, mini-bar charges, gym fees, entertainment or recreation expenses, laundry and dry cleaning and any payments for personal services.
The Board prohibits reimbursement for alcoholic beverages.
The Board prohibits cash advances in connection with anticipated expenses.
Board Credit Cards
The Board prohibits personal use of credit cards, issued to the Board.
Regulations prohibit all personal use of credit cards issued to the Board. Credit card billings must have receipts for all expenses included in the statement. If receipts are not provided, the user will immediately reimburse the Board for these expenses.
The Board prohibits use of credit cards to purchase supplies or other items that the Board, the Board Members, or the Board’s staff use on a regular basis and which can be readily anticipated and purchased by way of a competitive process.
Personal Travel Combined with Board Related Travel
The Board provides that 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. 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 to be personal travel and will, in no event, be a proper expense of the Retirement Board.
Payments or Reimbursements for Expenses by Third Parties
The Board prohibits receipt by a Board Member or staff member, 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 or other entity that solicits or makes referrals or which may be reasonably expected to solicit or make referrals of any client on behalf of such a 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 member of the Board’s staff from the third party, only under the following limited circumstances:
A Board Member or a member of the staff 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 expenses, only to the extent necessary for making the speech or presentation costs for such engagements.
Acceptance of an honorarium or any other form of compensation is strictly prohibited.
To be considered a legitimate speaking engagement, the presentation must be formally scheduled on the agenda of a convention or conference.
The speaking engagement must be scheduled in advance of the Board Member’s or staff member’s arrival at the event.
The presentation must be before an organization that would normally have outside speakers address them at such an event.
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 of viewpoints.
The Retirement Board can be reimbursed by a third party for expenses only to the extent necessary for making the speech or presentation.
Under no circumstances can a Board Member or Board staff member receive reimbursement or any other payment or compensation from a third party.
Violation of These Guidelines or Board Travel Regulations
The Board will review all circumstances pertaining to travel in accordance with the provisions of these Guidelines.
Any person or entity that violates these Guidelines or Retirement Board regulations adopted pursuant to these Guidelines and approved by the Board 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 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.