NEEDHAM RETIREMENT BOARD'S SUPPLEMENTAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS
It is the policy of the Board that attendance at and participation in educational conferences and seminars which address issues related to the Board's fiduciary duty and administrative responsibility for the management of the retirement system are an integral part of being a Board member and employee. The Board encourages its members and staff to attend educational conferences and seminars to better serve the members of the retirement system.
Authorization for Travel and Travel Related Expenses
Any Board member or staff person who wishes to attend an educational conference or seminar must have the approval of the Retirement Board. Upon receiving any travel request, the Board shall place said request on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled Board meeting to be discussed by all Board members in open session. Any travel related request must be approved by a majority of the Board members present at said meeting and shall be reflected m the minutes of the meeting at which the travel request is approved. The Chairperson shall have the authority to approve in-state travel to educational conferences or seminars for board members and/or staff persons.
Documentation for Reimbursement
Board members and staff persons shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred which are incidental and necessary to approved travel, provided that for any expense in excess of $10.00, any request for reimbursement must be accompanied by an original receipt. For expenses less than $10.00, the Board member and staff person shall be reimbursed upon submitting a form as prescribed by the board as to the reason for incurring said expenses, and certifying that said expenses were necessary and incidental to the approved travel. Reimbursement shall be made only to the person who actually made payment for the expense, and any request for reimbursement shall be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.
The Retirement Boards shall require that request for reimbursement be submitted within a reasonable time after the expenses are incurred, but in no event longer than 60 days after the expenses were incurred.
Any travel related expenditures which have not been properly documented or approved must be rejected or adjusted.
Each board member and/or staff person shall be responsible for making his/her own travel arrangements, provided that said travel has been approved by the Board consistent with these regulations. When making travel arrangements, business or government rates, where available, should be secured. In the event that a Board member or staff person wishes to extend his/her stay beyond that which is authorized by the Board, any additional expenses incurred as a result of the extended stay shall be the responsibility of the Board member or staff person.
The Board recognizes that various modes of transportation may be utilized dependent upon the destination and the travel habits of the Board members and staff persons. Board members and staff persons shall be reimbursed for the cost of transportation as noted herein. Board members may travel to educational conferences and/or seminars via airline, train, bus, or personal automobile. When traveling by airline, the Board member or staff person must book the lowest fare available, which shall have reasonable departure and arrival times. When traveling by personal automobile, the Board member or staff person shall be reimbursed for mileage consistent with the approved rate as set by the Board; provided, however, that if the cost for airline transportation and/or rental car, where appropriate, is less than the cost of the reimbursement for mileage, the Board member's or staff person’s reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of airline transportation and/or rental car. Payment of airline club memberships by the Board is strictly prohibited.
The Board shall determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a rental car is necessary and incidental to any particular Board-related travel. Any rental cars utilized must be from a national rental agency. The Board shall reimburse the Board member and/or staff person at the so-called "mid-size" vehicle rate, although the Board member and/or staff person may upgrade the vehicle at his/her own expense. The Board member and/or staff person shall accept the optional assurance coverage for any rental vehicle, and he/she shall be reimbursed for said expense. Any motor vehicle accidents which occur while using a rental car on Board-approved travel must be reported as soon as practicable and in writing to the proper authorities. Copies of any reports and/or documents filed in relation to said motor vehicle accident must also be filed with the Board. The Board member and/or staff person is personally responsible for any fines or other expenses related to traffic violations associated with Board travel. All reasonable parking fees and tolls associated with Board-related travel shall be reimbursed.
All reservations for hotel accommodations should be made in advance, utilizing the single person, standard room rate. If the Board member or staff person is traveling with another person, any increase in cost for accommodations associated with the additional person shall not be borne by the Board. The cost for any extended stay beyond that which is authorized shall not be reimbursed by the Board. In a situation in which the cost for lodging is part of the registration fee for a conference or educational seminar, then the Board will not reimburse a Board member or staff person for lodging. If the cost of lodging is separate and distinct from the registration fee for the conference or seminar, the Board shall reimburse the Board member and/or staff person for the cost of said lodging at the standard room rate. If the Board member and/or staff person elects alternative lodging at a site not designated by the conference or seminar, the Board shall reimburse the Board member and/or staff person in an amount not to exceed the daily standard rate as incorporated in the registration fee.
Board members and staff persons who attend educational seminars and/or conferences shall be reimbursed for the cost of meals. The Needham Retirement Board's meal allowance reimbursement will parallel the rates approved by the Town of Needham Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy. The maximum daily reimbursable amount for meals as of 7/11/08 shall not exceed $36.00, as follows:
If Board-related travel to a high-cost location, the Board may review, on a case-by-case basis, any request for reimbursement beyond the $36.00 limit, and may reimburse Board members and staff persons, at its sole discretion, for daily meal expenditures up to a limit of $50.00, as follows:
In no event shall any Board member or staff person be reimbursed for the cost of alcoholic beverages. Reimbursement for meal expenses for a third party or parties related to a business meeting is prohibited.
In a situation in which the cost of meals are included as part of the registration fee for a conference or seminar, a Board member or staff person shall not be reimbursed for meals which are part of said package. The Board recognizes that certain educational conferences and/or seminars include the cost of some, but not all, meals. In this situation, a Board member or staff person shall be reimbursed or be eligible for a per diem as identified in the preceding paragraph for meals not included in the registration fee.
A Board member or staff person may seek reimbursement for miscellaneous expenses included but not limited to gratuities paid in accordance with local custom, telephone expenses limited to Board or business related calls, one personal telephone call per day, internet connect, charges for faxing and costs associated with the reproduction of documents with respect to the one personal call per day per limit, a Board member or staff person who needs to utilize the telephone for an emergency related to an immediate family member may be reimbursed, at the Board's sole discretion, for additional calls. A Board member or staff person shall not be reimbursed for personal expenses associated with travel, such as in-room movies, mini-bar charges, gym fees, entertainment or recreational expenses, laundry and drying (sic) cleaning or any payments for personal services except in such circumstances as the Board deems appropriate and necessary.
Board members and/or staff persons shall not receive any cash advances associated with anticipated travel-related expenses.
Board Credit Card
It is the policy of the Needham Contributory Retirement Board that Board credit cards will not be authorized.
Personal Travel Combined with Board Related Travel
Any personal travel by a Board member or staff person which is combined with Board-related travel must be clearly identified and paid for by the Board member or staff person who undertakes said travel. Travel expenses incurred by any individual, other than an approved Board member or staff person, who accompanies the Board member or staff person shall be considered personal travel and in no event shall be reimbursed by the Board. As previously noted in these regulations, if the combination of personal travel and Board-related travel result in a net savings to the Board, due to a cost reduction in either transportation or lodging, then the costs of transportation and/or lodging associated with said personal travel shall be reimbursed by the Board.
Payments or Reimbursements for Expenses by Third Parties
Consistent With Chapter 740 of the Mass General Laws, a Board member or staff person is strictly prohibited from accepting or receiving directly or indirectly 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 the 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.
Acceptance of payment for reimbursement for necessary travel related costs for speaking engagements or honorarium or any other form of compensation for speaking at an educational conference or seminar is prohibited.
Violation of Travel Regulations
Any person or entity that has Violated the Board's Supplemental Travel Regulations shall not be granted an exemption by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission pursuant to 840 CMR 19.02 or a qualification pursuant to 840 CMR 26.04.