Any Board member or Staff member wishing to travel for the purpose of attendance at an educational seminar, meeting or conference must request that the proposed travel be included on a meeting agenda. Included in the member’s request must be a written statement of the purpose of the travel, and a description of the organization responsible for organizing said seminar, meeting or conference. The Board must, by majority vote, approve the proposed travel in advance, and said approval must be included in the meeting minutes. The Board will only approve the proposed travel if such travel is necessary to the proper administration of the System.
At the next meeting following the completion of any travel, but in no event later than thirty days following the date the travel was completed, the Board or Staff member must produce adequate documentation for all expenses incurred during the travel. The member must certify on a prescribed form under penalties of perjury that the expenses were incurred in the course of, and were necessary to, the preapproved travel. Adequate documentation shall be considered to be original itemized bills or receipts. The Board, upon receipt of documentation, will vote on the amount, if any, to be reimbursed. The Board may only reimburse for expenses for which documentation has been provided, and reimbursement may be made only to the person who paid for the expense. Reimbursement will be made within thirty days of submission of proper documentation of expenses. Requests for reimbursement which are not accompanied by proper documentation as defined above will be denied and written notice of the denial will be sent to the affected Board or Staff member within 30 days of the submission of the request.
Any travel by any means other than private motor vehicle will be arranged by the Board Administrator. Plane or train tickets shall be purchased in advance and government rates and discounts will be secured when available. Rental vehicles will be arranged by the Administrator when travel has been deemed by the Board in advance to necessitate the use of a rental vehicle. All rentals will be through a national agency, and will include the purchase of optional insurance. Any accidents involving a Board or Staff member’s use of a rental vehicle must be reported to the proper authorities and to the Board as soon as possible following the incident. All lodging will be arranged in advance by the Administrator and will be economy or business class accommodations. Costs for said accommodations will be reimbursed for the Board or Staff member. Any Board or Staff member traveling with a spouse, friend, or family member will be responsible for all costs attributable to that spouse, friend or family member. In addition, the costs of any length of stay of length greater than that of the scheduled meeting, conference or seminar, or any variation of the itinerary required for participation in said event will be the sole responsibility of the Board or Staff member.
The Board will reimburse its members and staff for up to sixty dollars per day for meals while attending approved conference, meetings and seminars. The Board will reimburse for gratuities in an amount not to exceed 20%. The Board will not approve meal expenses for any persons other than Board and Staff members. Mileage for use of a personal motor vehicle for pre-approved travel will be reimbursed at the IRS approved mileage rate for the year in which the travel actually occurred.
The Board will not reimburse for alcohol, tobacco, expenses incurred as the result of any traffic violations, entertainment, laundry, dry cleaning or other personal expenses. The Board will not reimburse for expenses attributable to anyone other than Board and Staff members, nor will it reimburse expenses in excess of the amounts stated above. The Board will not reimburse for any expenses for travel which were not approved in advance by majority vote of the Board. The Board will not advance cash in anticipation of travel expenses. No Board or Staff member will be issued a Board credit card. No reimbursement or payment will be made for airline or any other club memberships. Board and Staff members are prohibited from directly or indirectly providing to, or accepting from, any person or entity conducting business with or who may be seeking to conduct business with the Board, any item, gift or service of substantial value. Substantial value is defined as anything of more than fifty dollars in value. Neither the Board nor its Staff will accept payment or travel reimbursement from any third party for speaking engagements or participation in seminars, meetings or conferences.
B. VIOLATION OF TRAVEL REGULATIONS
Any person or entity found to be in violation of these travel regulations will be deemed to have violated the provisions of 840 CMR 17.00 and will be subject to sanctions imposed by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission, including those contained in 840 CMR17.04, 19.02, and 26.04, if applicable.