To insure that Board Members or staff who attend and participate in outside educational conferences, meetings and/or seminars that are relevant to their positions with the Retirement Board do so in compliance with Mass General Laws Chapter 7, Section 50 and Chapter 32, Section 21 (4) & Chapter 268A.
Authorization for Travel & Travel Related Expenditures
1. The Clinton Retirement Board (CRB) shall pay for all travel and lodging expenses or make reimbursement to Members and staff for attendance and participation in outside conferences, meeting and seminars where the CRB had approved such travel and attendance in advance of the event.
2. All requests for travel by CRB Members or staff shall be placed on an agenda of a CRB meeting prior to the requested travel, be discussed in open session and approved by a majority vote of the Members present and voting at that specific meeting. The meeting minutes shall reflect the Board’s action and the extent of the travel and/or lodging authorization.
3. A travel authorization form shall be completed by the Board Member(s) and/or staff which documents the expenses incurred, along with certifying that the expenses were incident to the pre-approved travel. Brochures which outline the seminars or other presentations should be attached to the travel authorization form when such brochures or other outlines are available.
4. A statement describing the presentation, conference or seminar should be read and entered into the minutes of the next CRB meeting following any such travel.
5. The Board authorizes the Manager/Board Administrator to approve travel for other members of the Board’s staff.
Required Documentation for Reimbursement
1. Any request(s) for reimbursement of expenses incurred for travel, meal or other travel-related expenses shall be filed in a timely manner following the travel and no later than 30 days following the travel.
2. Original itemized receipts must be submitted for all expenses including lodging, transportation and any other expenses incidental to the travel.
3. Receipts shall be required for all individual expenses exceeding $10.00 and any travel-related expenses that are incurred under $10.00 (such as gratuities) should be fully described on the travel authorization form certifying that the expense was incidental to the approved travel and where there was no receipt presented.
4. Any travel-related expenditures which are not properly documented or approved by the CRB before travel may be adjusted or rejected in its’ entirety.
5. Reimbursement shall only be made to the person who actually made payment for the expense incurred.
6. The travel authorization/reimbursement form shall be signed by the person seeking such reimbursement and such signature made under the pains and penalties of perjury.
The Board’s Administrator shall be responsible for assisting the Member(s) in travel arrangements and securing government or business rates if said rates are cheaper than those proposed by the traveling Board or staff member. The Administrator shall also assist the traveler with completing the travel authorization and reimbursement form along with processing for payment.
An extended stay by the traveler will only be authorized when it is proven that the total extended stay costs are lower than that which would be incurred during the normal travel and stay period. (Airline fares can be significantly lower when staying an extra day)
All air travel shall be the lowest fare available as in economy/coach fares. Traveling by train, bus, taxi or through automobile rental shall also be authorized if such fares or rates are cost effective and approved by the CRB prior to the intended travel.
The CRB will not pay for any travel or airline club memberships for the Board or staff.
Automobile rentals shall be limited to national rental agencies such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and National and the traveler shall be responsible for securing the lowest rate available for an automobile of mid-size class or lower. Optional car insurance must be obtained by the traveler in order to protect the traveler and CRB.
In the event that a traveler is involved in a motor vehicle accident while using an auto rental car, the traveler is required to file the necessary reports with the appropriate authorities, with copies of all such reports being made available to the CRB.
The CRB will not be responsible for paying any traffic related fines or violations that may be incurred while on Board-approved travel, as the traveler is personally responsible for any such expenses.
The CRB shall be responsible for reimbursement of legitimate expenses incurred while using a personal motor vehicle in traveling to an approved event, along with incidental parking charges and/or tolls. Mileage shall be paid at the rate of $.32 per mile or in any amount that may be approved by the Selectman of the Town of Clinton.
All reservations for overnight lodging accommodations must be made in advance by the Administrator and/or the approved traveler, and the rate negotiated to insure the lowest rate is received for the standard non-luxury class accommodation. Where the traveler is shutout from a host hotel accommodation, he or she shall make accommodations in another hotel where the rate does not exceed that of the oversold host hotel.
The CRB will reimburse the approved traveler up to a maximum of $45 per day for the costs of meals unless the travel is at a known high-cost location, and a higher amount is requested and approved beforehand.
Reimbursement for meals for other persons not affiliated with the CRB will only be approved upon certifying that the meal was for business-related purposes and incidental to the travel, along with describing the diner(s) and the purpose on the travel form.
Conferences, meetings and/or seminars that have meals included in the cost of registration will preclude the traveler from being reimbursed for meals outside the conference site.
Other Reimbursable and Non-Reimbursable Expenses
The CRB will reimburse other legitimate expenses incurred for services such as: business-related telephone calls, faxing, Internet connection services, as well as the placement of one personal telephone per day of travel.
The CRB will not reimburse the traveler for expenses such as mini-bar charges, in-room movies, gym or recreation fees, laundry or dry-cleaning charges, and other expenses deemed to be of personal use to the traveler.
The CRB will not reimburse the traveler for the procurement of or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The CRB does not authorize cash advances of any kind in anticipation of expenses to be incurred by the traveler.
The CRB does not own a credit card in its name nor does it authorize its Members or staff to procure a credit card in the name of the CRB.
Personal Travel Combined with Board-Related Travel
If personal travel is combined with board-related travel, the personal portion of the trip must be clearly identified and paid for personally by the traveler. Travel expenses or any other expenses incurred by a spouse, relative, friend or other individual accompanying a Board or staff member will be considered personal, and in no event will the CRB authorize reimbursement of said personal expenses.
Payments or Reimbursements for Expenses by Third Parties
The CRB strictly prohibits the providing to or receipt by a Board Member or 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 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 CRB further prohibits the providing to and/or 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 entities.
If a CRB Member or staff member participates in a legitimate speaking engagement, the CRB shall pay all costs and expenses associated with such speaking engagement, provided, that Board or staff member complies with all of the Board’s travel regulations.
The CRB may accept reimbursement for such travel-related expenses of a Board or staff member from a third party, but only under the following circumstances:
The legitimate speaking engagement is in connection with their position on the Board or staff of the CRB then the Board may accept reimbursements from the third party necessary to cover the travel-related expenses of the speaking engagement.
Acceptance of an honorarium or any other form of compensation is strictly prohibited to be accepted by the Board or staff member as well as the CRB itself.
In order to be considered a legitimate speaking engagement, the presentation must be formally scheduled on the agenda or program of a convention, conference, seminar, and scheduled in advance of the Board or staff member’s arrival at the event.
The presentation must be before an organization or association that normally has outside speakers address their audiences.
The presentation cannot be perfunctory and should contribute significantly to the event which is the focus of the conference, seminar, etc.
The CRB can only be reimbursed by the third party for expenses only to the extent necessary for the person making the speech or presentation.
Under no circumstances can a Board or staff member receive reimbursement or any other form of payment from a third party.
Violations of These Guidelines or Clinton Retirement Board Travel Regulations
The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) will review all travel-related circumstances in accordance with these guidelines and regulations.
Any person or entity that violates these guidelines or regulations adopted pursuant to these guidelines and approved by PERAC 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, PERAC 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 regulations adopted pursuant to these guidelines is the subject of the filing pursuant to those provisions.