The Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School Contributory Retirement System shall pay for or make reimbursement to Board Members and the staff of the Retirement Board for all travel and lodging expenses except as specifically authorized in PERAC #15/2002 - “Guidelines for Retirement Board Travel Supplementary Regulations” for expenses related to legitimate speaking engagements.
All travel-related expenses shall be related to the purpose of the authorized travel and shall be cost-effective. In order to assure that the Board is meeting its fiduciary and ethical responsibilities, the following regulations must be adhered to.
Authorization for Travel and Travel-Related Expenses
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 (Addendum A). The form must include a statement by the traveler, certifying that the expenses were incidental to the approved travel. Brochures for seminars or other presentations should accompany the request for travel where available. The travel authorization form shall be signed by those Members of the Board who were present and voting.
4. A brief review of the presentation, conference, or seminar shall be made by the traveler to the Board at the meeting following the travel. This review may be made verbally if the traveler is present at the meeting, or be submitted in writing to the Board. A statement describing the presentation, conference, or seminar shall be entered into the minutes.
5. The Chairman of the Board is authorized to approve travel for members of the Board’s staff.
6. Board Staff shall follow the guidelines contained herein as they are stated for Board Members.
Required Documentation for Reimbursement
1. Requests for reimbursement must be submitted to the Board on a Travel Reimbursement Form (Addendum B) no later than 30 days after the expenses are incurred.
2. The form must be completed in its entirety by the traveler and must be approved at a Board meeting before reimbursement will be made.
3. Original itemized receipts must be submitted for all expenses including transportation, lodging, and other expenses incidental to travel.
4. 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.
5. Any travel-related expenditure which has not been properly documented or approved or is not in conformity with the Board’s regulations will be rejected or adjusted.
6. Reimbursement will be made only to the person who actually made payment for the expense.
7. The Travel Reimbursement Form must be signed by the person seeking reimbursement under the pains and penalties of perjury.
1. The Board will designate a Board staff member to be responsible for making all travel arrangements and assisting Board Members in completing all the forms required in this document when such Board staff shall exist.
2. In the meantime, Board Members will make their own travel arrangements and complete their own forms as required under these regulations.
3. Government rates or business rates must be used for all travel when such are available.
4. The Board may authorize an extended stay if the net cost to the Board will be lower than a more timely return.
1. The forms of conveyance to be used in the course of a trip is at the choice of the traveler, however the choice should be the most cost-effective option(s) available and must generally be approved in advance on the Authorization-Form.
2. The Board recognizes that specific details regarding locally available transportation (such as public transportation versus taxi) may not be known in advance and, therefore, advanced approval may not be possible. Reimbursement for these expenses, if correctly documented, will be made if the Board considers them to be necessary and incidental to the approved travel.
3. Travel must be at the lowest fare available, generally economy/coach fare. The Board will not require unreasonable hours of travel, however, in order to obtain the lowest fares.
4. The Board will not pay for, nor reimburse Board Members or Board staff for airline club memberships.
5. Rental cars must be obtained from national rental agencies only. This includes, but is not limited to, Alamo, Avis, Hertz, National, Enterprise, and Dollar Rent a Car.
6. If a rental car is used in the course of the approved travel, the traveler must accept optional insurance coverage.
7. If a motor vehicle accident should occur while using a rental car while on Board-approved travel, the traveler must report the accident in writing to the appropriate authorities as soon as practicable. Copies of all such reports must be provided to the Board.
8. The Board will not reimburse the traveler for fines or other traffic violation-related expenses incurred while on Board-approved travel. The traveler shall be personally responsible for any such expenses.
9. The Board will reimburse the traveler for toll charges and parking fees incurred in the course of the approved travel. Original receipts must be submitted for charges/fees in excess of $10.
10. Personal motor vehicles may be used for all approved local travel and may be used for longer trips should it be the most cost-effective transportation option.
11. The Board will reimburse the traveler at the ‘per mile’ rate currently allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
1. Reservations for accommodations shall be made in advance by the Board staff member responsible for making travel arrangements, if such Board staff exists.
2. In the meantime, Board Members will make their own reservations for accommodations.
3. In the case of conferences, lodging may be sought in facilities hosting or recommended by the organization sponsoring the conference.
4. If accommodations in recommended facilities are not available, the traveler must seek lodging in an appropriate (i.e. safe, clean, reasonable distance from the conference site, etc.) facility offering accommodations at a reasonable rate.
5. A Board Member of Board staff member will be reimbursed only for the cost of a single room unless two or more Board or staff members share accommodations.
6. Reimbursable hotel expenses are limited to no earlier than the night before the day on which the conference (or pre-conference) sessions begin and no later than the evening of the day on which the last conference (or post-conference) session is attended. If it is more cost-effective to do so,
or no reasonable return on public carriers is available, the Board will authorize one additional night’s hotel expense.
7. Reimbursement for lodging shall be made only if the cost of the lodging is not included in a conference or seminar registration fee.
1. The Board will authorize for meals according to the following limits:
1) Breakfast $8.00 or less
2) Lunch $10.00 or less
3) Dinner $17.00 or less
4) Special meals as specified on conference brochures or tickets
1) The above limits or
2) A $35.00 per Diem maximum (on days when three meals must
2. Reimbursement for three meals may not be requested on days when a meal(s) is provided as part of the conference or as part of the airline service.
3. Reimbursements may be authorized for amounts in excess of the above limits if travel destination is a high-cost location or if, for safety and/or distance reasons, the traveler opts to eat at the hotel or convenient local restaurant.
4. Reimbursements may be authorized for other individuals only if the expenses occur in the context of hosting a meeting for Board purposes. The request for reimbursement must include a list of the individuals attending the meeting, their affiliation, and a description of the purpose of the meeting.
5. Reimbursement for meals shall be made only if the cost of the meals is not included as part of a conference or seminar fee.
Other Reimbursable and Non-Reimbursable Expenses
1. The Board will authorize reimbursement for other business-related expenses during the course of an approved trip including gratuities paid in accordance with local custom, telephone expenses related to Board business, and costs of faxing and/or copying related to Board business. Itemized receipts must be provided.
2. The Board will not authorize reimbursement for personal expenses including telephone calls, in-room movies or other entertainment or recreational expenses, laundry, and dry cleaning.
3. The Board will not authorize reimbursement for any alcoholic beverages.
1. The Board will not authorize cash advances for anticipated expenses.
2. This prohibition does not extend to reimbursement for airline tickets, conference or seminar registrations, or required room deposits paid in advance of the travel.
Personal Travel Combined with Board Related Travel
1. Personal travel may be combined with board-related travel, however the Board will pay for only that portion of the travel that is directly related to Board business.
2. Personal portions of a trip must be clearly identified and must be paid for by the traveler.
3. Travel or other expenses incurred by any individual accompanying a Board Member or Board staff member are considered to be personal travel.
4. If an individual does accompany a Board Member or Board staff member on a trip, a double room hotel expense will be reimbursed up to the cost of a single room.
Payments or Reimbursements for Expenses by Third Parties
1. A Board Member or Board staff member is prohibited from accepting anything of substantial value (defined by Massachusetts Law as $50) 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 is currently doing business with a Retirement Board
2. The Board prohibits the providing to or receipt by a Board Member or Board staff member of anything of substantial value ($50) from:
a. 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 is currently doing business with a Retirement Board or
b. 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 or
c.Any such person, firm, partnership, or other entity indirectly through any person, firm, association, organization, or other entity.
3. The Board shall pay all costs and expenses related to legitimate speaking engagements of Board Members or Board staff members provided that the Board Member or Board staff member complies with all Board travel regulations.
4. The Board may accept reimbursement for travel expenses related to legitimate speaking engagements from the third party under the following circumstances:
a. The Board Member or Board staff member has participated in a legitimate speaking engagement in connection with their position on the Retirement Board or as a member of the Board staff.
b. The acceptance of an honorarium or other form of compensation is strictly prohibited.
c. The presentation must be formally scheduled on the agenda of a conference or convention to be considered a legitimate speaking engagement.
d. The speaking engagement must be scheduled in advance of the Board Member’s or staff member’s arrival at the conference or convention.
e. The presentation must be before an organization that would normally have outside speakers address them at such an event.
f. The presentation must significantly contribute to the event, taking into account factors such as length of the speech or presentation, size of the audience, and the extent to which the speaker is providing substantive or unique information or viewpoints.
g. The Retirement Board can be reimbursed by a third party for expenses only to the extent necessary for making the speech or presentation.
h. Board Members and Board staff member are strictly prohibited from receiving reimbursement and/or any other payment or compensation from a third party.