Travel Policy: Traveler and Approver Responsibilities

Introduction 

The Traveler and Approver Responsibilities Policy articulates the responsibilities for those who are subject to, and responsible for, travel on University business.

The purpose of the Travel Policies are to provide clear policies and procedures that are compliant with state and federal regulations, promote safe travel, and allow for reasonable and manageable travel expenses while maintaining the necessary controls and accountability.

This policy is organized as follows:

Additional Travel Policies for the various component s of travel can be found in the Related Policies section below.

Policy Statement 

The Traveler and Approver Responsibilities Policy articulates the responsibilities of those involved in travel, or the travel process, to ensure travel is appropriately documented, properly allocated and authorized, must be accommodated by the relevant operating budget or sponsored project funding, and within the guidelines of these polices.

Through this policy the University strives to promote safe and economical University travel while maintaining the necessary controls, accountability, compliance with applicable federal and state laws, and administrative efficiency. All University funds-including gifts, grants, and contracts, shall be used in a reasonable and prudent manner and only for activities related to Brown’s primary mission of education, research and public service. 

Additionally:

  • Departments may elect to impose stricter budgetary controls over travel expenditures than those required by this policy.
  • Travel charged to a sponsored project should follow the guidelines set forth by this policy unless the funding agency imposes greater restrictions.
  • Intentional disregard for the University's travel policy and procedures may be considered grounds for disciplinary action, and/or for prosecution in the case of fraudulent misrepresentation of travel expenses.
  • The authority for determining which travel expenditures are reimbursable under a particular grant or contract lies with the Office of Sponsored Projects.

Traveler Responsibilities

Travelers are expected to spend University travel funds prudently, collect proper receipts, and submit accurate and timely expense reports.  Traveler responsibilities include:

  • The traveler is responsible for providing an accurate, truthful, and sufficient documentation to support allowable expenses paid by the University.
  • Travel expenses must be reasonable and meet University policies and procedures. 
  • It is the responsibility of the individual being reimbursed to provide a clear and complete business purpose for all of the expenses submitted for reimbursement.
  • Travel charged to a sponsored project must follow the guidelines set forth by this policy unless the funding agency imposes greater restrictions.
  • The University reserves the right to impose more stringent requirements on individual travelers.
    • Departments may elect to impose stricter budgetary controls over travel expenditures than those required by this policy.
  • Intentional disregard for the University’s travel policy and procedures may be considered grounds for disciplinary action, and/or for prosecution in the case of fraudulent misrepresentation of travel expenses.

Approver Responsibilities

Approvers are responsible for ensuring compliance with both the Brown University Travel Policy and related government policies and regulations.  Responsibilities include:

  • Prudent use of University Funds regardless of the type of expenditure and source of funds.
    • Approvers are to ensure that expense reimbursement requests are timely and accurate.
  • Employee’s manager is to ensure the travel expenses are for University business purposes.
  • Cost Center Manager accountabilities include review of the expenses, ensuring that:
    • Required receipts are attached,
    • Expenses are in compliance with University policies
    • Documentation of Business Purpose sufficiently communicates the need for the expense.
    • Travel expenses are for University business purposes.
    • Grant Manager is to ensure that the expenses follow the University’s and the funder’s policies for allowable costs.
    • Controller’s Office ensures that the expense reimbursement report complies with University policies and IRS regulations, has a valid business purpose, and all business receipts and documentation are in order.
      • The Controller’s Office staff may request additional information or clarification of any expense item.
      • Senior Officers, members of the President’s Cabinet, are the only approvers for expenses that exceed policy guidelines and procedures.
Definitions 

Senior Officers Staff:  Members of the President’s Cabinet

Responsibilities 

Controller’s Office:  The Controller’s Office ensures compliance with federal and state statutes and process transactions.

Cost Center Managers:  Cost Center Managers ensure compliance with this and other relevant University Policies.  The Cost Center Manager approves air travel reimbursements.

Financial Coordinators:  Financial Coordinators compile relevant supporting documentation and initiates travel reimbursement transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is essential that a family member travels with me.  May I be reimbursed for the family member’s ticket?
The travel of an employee’s spouse, significant other, friend, or family member is not reimbursable without an explicit business purpose and advance approval, in writing, from a senior officer.

Policy Owner
Approved by 
Assistant Vice President and University Controller
Contact(s) 

Dorothy Vetere
Accounts Payable Specialist
Dorothy_Vetere@brown.edu
401-863-1777 

Raquel Almeida
Senior Accounts Payable Specialist
Raquel_Almeida@brown.edu
401-863-9442

 John Haden
Accounts Payable Manager
John_Haden@brown.edu
401-863-2401 

Doreen Burgers
Director of University Disbursements
Doreen_Burgers@brown.edu
401-863-7579 

Revision Date:  Thu, 2014-04-24 15:30