Part 5 - Management Services
Chapter 8 - Travel
Manual Exhibit 5-8-A,
Acronyms Used in This Chapter
Manual Exhibit 5-8-B,
Tax Exemption for Lodging Costs
Manual Exhibit 5-8-C,
Memorandum for Tribal Leaders
Manual Exhibit 5-8-D,
Annual Report of Premium Class Travel
Manual Exhibit 5-8-E,
Mileage Rates and Exceptions
Manual Exhibit 5-8-F,
Rules Governing Per Diem
Manual Exhibit 5-8-G,
Reductions to M&IE Allowances (Lodging Plus)
Manual Exhibit 5-8-H,
Calculations for Actual Subsistence Per Diem Allowances
Manual Exhibit 5-8-I,
Examples of Items for Which the Travel Card May/May Not be Used
Manual Exhibit 5-8-J,
Responsibilities for Use of Government Travel Card
Manual Exhibit 5-8-K,
Authorized Telephone Calls
Manual Exhibit 5-8-L,
Foreign Travel Requirements
Manual Exhibit 5-8-M,
Notification of Foreign Travel
Manual Exhibit 5-8-N,
En Route Travel Allowances
Manual Exhibit 5-8-O,
Manual Exhibit 5-8-P,
Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense Allowances
Manual Exhibit 5-8-Q,
Miscellaneous Expense Allowance
- Purpose. This chapter establishes Indian Health Service (IHS) policy, responsibilities, authority, and procedures for civilian and commissioned corps employees who authorize, approve, conduct, and prepare paperwork for official Government travel. This chapter defines travel policies and guidelines that are unique to the mission of IHS travelers and strengthens management controls that place certain limitations of benefits on IHS travelers within delegated authority.
- Policy. It is the policy of the IHS that all official travel funded and sponsored by the IHS must be essential to carry out the mission of the IHS and serve the best interests of the IHS, the Government, and the public.
- Applicability. This policy is applicable to all IHS civil service employees and commissioned corps personnel, with the exception of Section 5-8.13, regarding relocations, which does not apply to the commissioned corps. The Comptroller General (CG) has ruled that even though travelers are not travel specialists, they are responsible for possessing a constructive knowledge of the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) and applicable entitlements.
- Authority. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has legislative authority to conduct official travel as well as the authority to reimburse applicable entitlements contained in the FTR for civil service employees and the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) for commissioned corps personnel. The Secretary, HHS, has further delegated the authority to approve such travel to Agency Heads and their designees.
Indian Health Service managers who have delegated authority to authorize and approve official travel must exercise fiscal responsibility when authorizing and approving official travel expenditures and ensure that official travel is conducted in a manner that will result in the greatest advantage to the Government.
- Background. This chapter contains IHS travel policy and procedures that conform to the objectives of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP). The objective is to eliminate unnecessary paperwork, automate travel processes, and contain costs. The IHS has a responsibility to ensure that funds expended for official travel conform to Federal travel guidelines, from which the policies contained herein are derived. Employees who travel on official business are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise when traveling on personal business.
- Local Travel. Travel within the limits of the traveler's official duty station (ODS). The IHS has defined local travel as travel within a 75-mile radius of the employee's residence or office, whichever is closer.
- Domestic Travel. Travel within the Continental United States (CONUS), i.e., travel within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.
- Outside of the Continental United States Travel. Travel outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS), yet within Hawaii, Alaska, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and other possessions of the United States.
- Foreign Travel. Travel outside the CONUS and OCONUS.
- Permanent Change of Station. A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) occurs when employees are transferred from one ODS to another.
- Task Order. An order that specifies the services required and the negotiated terms under which they will be provided, subject to the terms of the master contract. It is similar to the Memorandum of Understanding that supplemented the previous General Services Administration (GSA) Travel Management Center's (TMC) contracts except it is a contractually binding document.
- Acronym. A shortened form of a phrase used in lieu of the entire phrase. All acronyms used in this chapter may be found in Manual Exhibit 5-8-A.
- Director, Indian Health Service. The Director, IHS, has the delegated authority to authorize all types of travel, regardless of destination or method of reimbursement, for IHS employees and other individuals traveling on behalf of the IHS. This includes foreign as well as domestic travel.
- Director, Office of Management Support. The Director, Office of Management Support (OMS), has full responsibility for the IHS travel policy as contained in this chapter.
- Director, Division of Financial Management. The Director, Division of Financial Management (DFM), coordinates and oversees the IHS Travel program.
- Travel Management Specialist. The Travel Management Specialist (TMS) manages the IHS Travel program, provides training, interprets travel regulations, conducts reviews of the Travel program, updates, and revises Part 5, Chapter 8, "Travel," Indian Health Manual (IHM), every 2 years, and advises management on travel management trends.
- Area Director. The Area Director authorizes official travel and maintains full responsibility for Area Office employees and the official travel of invitational travelers.
- Travelers. Employees who travel on official business are responsible for conducting official travel in a prudent manner that will result in the greatest advantage to the Government. Travelers are responsible for possessing a constructive knowledge of travel regulations and applicable entitlements.
- According to the CG Decision B-249930.2, the CG has ruled that even though a traveler is not a travel specialist, he or she is responsible for a constructive knowledge of the FTR.
- According to Title 41,Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 301- 10.122, Government policy requires that employees who perform official business travel, both domestic and international, must use coach-class accommodations.
- Premium-class air accommodations, i.e., business, first-class, or equivalent accommodations, may be used under limited exceptions. (See 5-8.3L. REF: 41 CFR 301-10.123 to 301-10.124.)
- The traveler is required to pay any excess costs including but not limited to:
- indirect travel routes or en-route delays,
- luxury accommodations, and
- extraordinary services not previously approved in the Travel Authorization (TA).
- Instances of travel fraud, theft, waste, and abuse are to be reported to the Office of the Inspector General.
5-8.3 TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
- Travel Management Centers. Travel Management Centers are regional travel agencies contracted by the GSA to provide travel services to Federal travelers on Government business. The TMC provides customized travel agency services to meet IHS' unique requirements. The TMC shifts the administrative burden of arranging travel services from Federal agency in-house staff to contracted commercial travel agents. The TMC provides travelers with one-stop shopping for discount airline, bus, rail, hotel, and car-rental services that result in significant savings.
- Contracts. The HHS enters into nationwide contracts with GSA and a contracted TMC(s). When an award of new master contracts for travel management services is accomplished, the IHS has the flexibility to determine travel requirements, select a contractor, and award a task order for the services required to meet IHS travel needs.
- Task Order. A Federal agency must have a task order in place to receive travel management services under the new contracts.
- Required Use. All IHS offices are required to use the TMC under contract to GSA.
- Areas. Areas will be advised of the nationwide contracts and may choose to participate in these contracts or continue to use other GSA-contracted TMCs. However, there are no exceptions to the requirement to use a TMC that is under contract with GSA.
- Responsibility to TMC. Unless specifically authorized in the FTR/JFTR, no other travel agencies may be used to purchase travel services for official Government travel. Additionally, the FTR/JFTR requires that all official travel reservations be made through a contracted TMC.
- Travel Management Center Responsibilities. The TMC provides a comprehensive range of travel services, including reservations and ticketing for travel via common carriers (air, rail, bus, steamship), reservations for rental cars, hotel/motel reservations, arrangements for conference facilities, delivery/pick-up points for common carrier tickets, periodic management reports on travel activity, and point-of-contact for IHS officials when problems arise. Additionally, the TMC satisfies the statutory requirement for a Travel Management System that ensures compliance with the FTR/JFTR regarding appropriate city-pair fare usage, "Fly America Act" compliance, and the requirements of the "Hotel Motel Fire Safety Act," as well as other statutory requirements.
- Electronic Ticket. An electronic ticket does not preclude the requirement to submit a receipt for a common carrier ticket. This receipt must indicate the ticket cost and the transaction fee, and be legible and acceptable to the paying office. The receipt may be an e-mail or faxed itinerary. Additionally, travelers are required to submit a receipt from the carrier with travel vouchers.
- Payment Methods. Unless specifically authorized by OMS, all offices are required to use a Centrally Billed Account (CBA) for the purchase of commercial carrier tickets from the TMC.
- Payment Methods for Patient Travel. Offices should make every attempt to use the CBA for patient travel. However, if the only method of payment accepted is the Government Travel Request (GTR), then this method is acceptable.
- Choosing Mode of Transportation. Government employees are required by law to use the most expeditious and cost-efficient means of transportation when conducting official travel. Usually this will be a common carrier. Other means of transportation, such as the use of a Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) and the payment of mileage, may be authorized if it is considered advantageous to the IHS, and the total cost is less than what would be incurred through the use of a common carrier.
- Lodging Tax Exemption Certificates. Several locations have granted tax exemptions for travelers on official Government business. Government-issued or reproduced generic tax exemption forms are not legal and must not be used. Any time a lodging facility requires an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the exemption is not considered within the regulatory requirements of taxing authorities. The EIN is used by agencies to obtain tax exemption for purchases that are made directly by the IHS. Additional information regarding tax exemptions is found in Manual Exhibit 5-8-B.
- Hotel/Motel Fire Safety Act. The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990, Public Law (P.L.) 101-391, mandates that Federal employees on official travel stay in public accommodations that adhere to life-safety requirements. Additionally, Federally sponsored or funded conferences must not be held in hotels and motels that do not meet the law's fire protection provisions. In order to be in compliance with the Act, lodging accommodations must meet the following standards: There must be hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors in each hotel or motel guest room in accordance with the "National Fire Protection Associates Standard 74," and automatic sprinkler systems installed in each hotel and motel, except in those three stories or lower in height.
- Approved Accommodations. As of March 31, 1997, P.L. 104-201, 110 Stat. 2739, repealed the "approved accommodations" data-collection and reporting requirement of the Government as well as the requirement for CG audits of IHS compliance. However, employees are still encouraged to lodge in "approved accommodations". There continues to be a requirement that agencies use "approved accommodations" for conferences. Agencies may not sponsor or fund, in whole or in part, a conference at a place of public accommodation that is not an "approved accommodation" unless a waiver is granted.
- City-Pair/Contract Fares. The Federal Government maintains contracts with common carriers for special Government travel fares between certain cities. The special fares are considered "city-pair" fares. Failure to use city-pair fares when available is a violation of the applicable Federal contracts with the airlines and may leave the Government liable for damages for breach of contract. Any traveler who procures a commercial fare ticket when a city-pair fare is available will not be reimbursed for the costs in excess of the city-pair fare: There is no exception to this policy. Additionally, when more than one carrier serves an area (e.g., Rockville is served by three airports: Ronald Reagan National Airport [DCA], Washington Dulles International [IAD], and Baltimore Washington International [BWI]), travelers must compare the costs for all airports. When more than $100 difference each way exists between the lowest-cost carrier and the next higher-cost carrier, including all associated costs (i.e., cost of taxi to/from the terminal), the traveler is required to use the lowest-cost carrier. Example: City-pair air fare between BWI and Nashville is $198 round trip, and the taxi fare is $50 each way between BWI and the traveler's residence/office; the city-pair air fare between DCA and Nashville is $522 round trip, and the taxi fare is $40 each way; the city-pair airfare between IAD and Nashville is $308 round trip, and the taxi fare is $50 each way. Consequently, the total cost for traveling round trip to Nashville from:
- BWI is $298
- DCA is $602
- IaD is $408
With this example, the traveler may use either BWI or IAD airports for travel to/from Nashville. It is important to note that when multiple terminals serve an area and no contracts exist at one or more of the locations but do exist at others, the traveler is required to use the terminal that has a city-pair fare. Carriers will also offer "Govement fares" for official travel. The Government fare is the same price as a city-pair fare and serves the same airports; however, the Government fare is not to be confused with a city-pair fare and may not be used instead of a city-pair fare. Travelers are responsible for ensuring the appropriate fare is used (city-pair, Government, commercial, penalty, etc.).
- Exception Codes. Employees may be authorized to travel on a non-contract carrier only under the exceptions listed below. The mere convenience or preference of the traveler is not a consideration under the regulations. The non-use code 01, 02, 03, 04, or 05 must be noted on the TA and the travel claim forms as follows:
- Non-Use Code 01. Space or scheduled flights are not available in time to accomplish the purpose of travel, or the use of contract service would require the traveler to incur unnecessary overnight lodging costs that would increase the total cost of the trip.
- Non-Use Code 02. A non-contract carrier offers a lower fare available to the general public, the use of which will result in a lower total trip cost, including the combined costs of transportation, lodging, meals, and related expenses. Area Offices may require approval of all non-contract fares prior to the issuance of tickets
- Non-Use Code 03. The contractor's flight schedule is inconsistent with explicit policies of individual Federal departments and agencies, where applicable, to schedule travel during normal working hours. This exception does not apply if the contract carrier(s) offers a comparable fare and has seats available at that fare, or if the lower fare offered by a non-contract carrier is restricted to Government and military travelers on official business and may only be purchased with a Government-issued credit card or transportation request. Indian Health Service policy on the use of this exception is dependent on whether or not to reasonably require individual employees to travel during non-duty hours in specific circumstances.
- Non-Use Code 04. Rail service is available, and such service is cost-effective and consistent with mission requirements.
- Non-Use Code 05. Smoking is permitted on the contract flight and the nonsmoking section of the aircraft of the contract flight is not acceptable to the traveler.
- Use by Tribal Organizations. Public Law 93-638 permits the use of contract fares by Tribal organizations when conducting travel in carrying out a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with the IHS. To use these contract fares, organizations must meet the criteria and complete the paperwork provided in the "Memorandum for Tribal Leaders" from the GSA, signed by Janice Sandwen, Director, Transportation Management Division, on December 19, 1995. (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-C.)
- Prepaid Tickets. Additional costs for prepaid tickets will be borne by the traveler unless circumstances warrant such charges and prior approval has been obtained. At the time of this writing, the cost of a prepaid ticket is $75.
- Paperless Tickets. Issuance and use of paperless tickets to travelers on official Government business is available from most carriers and must be used by IHS employees to the fullest extent possible. Travel via small commuter airlines and foreign travel may require travelers to obtain a paper ticket.
- Use of Super Saver or Other Special Fares. The IHS traditionally has not used the penalty fares, i.e., Super Saver or other special, restricted, or limited fares. If the use of a non-contract fare/carrier is authorized for one of the reasons listed in section 5-8.3G, Super Saver or other special, restricted, or limited fares will be used only when it is certain the trip will not be changed. Presently, the minimal cost for changes to tickets of this nature is $75; however, management may elect to use the fare due to a significant cost savings. Use of a restricted fare must be specifically authorized on the TA. The TA must include a statement to the effect that the employee is liable for any penalties incurred if the restricted fare is not used, unless non-use is caused by IHS-directed changes in travel plans. The traveler would be liable for any penalties resulting from personally caused non-use such as the illness of the traveler or family member, and/or personal emergencies.
- Premium Class Travel. Employees are not permitted to travel via premium class accommodations (first class, business class, or the equivalent) unless the accommodations upgrade is specifically authorized by the Director, IHS. A traveler may use first-class accommodations as specifically authorized under paragraphs (1) through (4) of this section (REF: 41 CFR 301-10.123):
- No other coach-class or premium-class other than first-class accommodation is reasonably available. "Reasonably available" means available on an airline that is scheduled to leave within 24 hours of the traveler's proposed departure time, or scheduled to arrive within 24 hours of the proposed arrival time.
- When use of first-class is necessary to accommodate a disability or other special need. A disability must be substantiated in writing by a competent medical authority. A special need must be substantiated in writing according to the Agency's procedures. If the traveler is authorized under 41 CFR 301-13.3(a) to have an attendant, the IHS also may authorize the attendant to use first-class accommodations if you require the attendant's services en route.
- When exceptional security circumstances require first-class travel. Exceptional security circumstances are determined by the IHS and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Use of other than first-class accommodations would endanger the traveler's life or Government property;
- The traveler is an agent on protective detail accompanying an individual authorized to use first-class accommodations; or
- The traveler is a courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages.
- When required because of the IHS mission.
- Overbooking/Overselling of Reservations. Airlines regularly overbook/oversell reservations. A traveler who arrives late may find his/her reserved seat has been reassigned.
- To ensure a reserved seat on the plane, travelers are required to arrive at the airport at least 1hour prior to departure for domestic flights and 2 hours before departure for foreign flights.
- Some airports require passengers to arrive at the airport sooner than 1 or 2 hours because of security screening. Travelers are advised to check with airport security the day before departure regarding the estimated time needed at the departure airport.
- Voluntary Vacating. A traveler may be asked to voluntarily give up a reserved seat for certain remuneration or be denied boarding. Whether the traveler may retain the remuneration from a carrier depends on how he/she has obtained the remuneration. Retention of future discounts/future tickets, etc., shall be determined by ascertaining which of the following two categories fits the traveler's situation:
- Voluntary Vacates. Any traveler who voluntarily vacates a seat on a commercial carrier may retain any remuneration provided by the carrier; however, excess travel time will be charged to annual leave. Travelers are to be reminded that they may not voluntarily vacate a seat if it will result in the interference of official duties (e.g., missing meetings).
- Denied Boarding. Any traveler who is denied boarding on a commercial carrier may not retain any remuneration from the carrier. However, unlike the traveler who voluntarily vacates a seat, the traveler who is denied boarding remains in travel status until arrival at the authorized point.
- Delayed Arrivals. Travelers who sustain delays due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g., inclement weather, equipment malfunction) remain in travel status until they arrive at the authorized point.
- Annual Report of Premium Class Travel Report Date. An "Annual Report of Premium Class Travel" must be completed each year. Area Offices should provide this report to the IHS TMS no later than December 31 of each year for the previous fiscal year. (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-D.)
- Rental Vehicles. A traveler may be authorized to rent a vehicle only if the rental is authorized on the travel voucher (TV) and is advantageous to the Government.
- Personal convenience of the employee alone is not adequate justification for the rental of a vehicle. The TA must indicate a rental car is authorized. The travel voucher auditor will review rental car agreements for information regarding mileage driven, use of the vehicle for transporting additional travelers, etc. If it appears that a rental was for personal convenience and should not have been authorized, the rental costs may be suspended and a decision by the GSA Board of Contract Appeals (the Board) sought. In an October 1997 case, the Board ruled that a traveler was not entitled to reimbursement for rental car costs even though the rental had been authorized. The Board determined there was no justification for the rental car, and therefore, no payment was due. Note: The use of such justification statements as "Lack of Ground Transportation" or "Ground Transportation Not Readily Available" are not adequate when taxicabs or shuttles are available.
- Size of Rental. Travelers will be required to rent the appropriate-sized vehicle in accordance with the mission of the travel. Travelers will be held to the following size limitations:
- Midsize. When a traveler is traveling alone or two travelers are traveling together.
- Full-Size. Three travelers.
- Full-Size or Van. Four or more travelers.
- Justification for Larger Size Rental. A full-size vehicle may be rented if:
- a medical certificate substantiates its use. Travelers claiming a disability must have the disability substantiated in writing by a competent medical authority every 6 months;
- the height of the traveler requires a full-size instead of a midsize vehicle;
- transportation of equipment/supplies necessitates its use; or
- hazardous driving conditions warrant a larger vehicle or special vehicle equipment (i.e., four-wheel drive, etc.) is unavailable on a smaller, appropriately sized vehicle.
- Sources for Rentals. Travelers must contact their TMC for all rental car reservations.
- Employee Responsibilities. Employees who rent vehicles while on official travel must:
- provide proof of official travel;
- act prudently when selecting the size of the vehicle and when operating the vehicle;
- possess a valid driver's license; and
- return the car to the rental car company with the previously agreed upon amount of gas in the vehicle (either empty or full) so as not to incur a "fuel fee."
- Insurance. The rental agreement includes "Collision Damage Waiver Insurance." Employees may not be reimbursed for the cost of any insurance for official travel conducted within the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories or commonwealths.
- Government Furnished Vehicle. Government Furnished Vehicles (GFV) are vehicles owned by the HHS, IHS, GSA, or other Federal executive agencies; vehicles leased commercially through agreements with car-leasing agencies; and commercially rented vehicles in IHS's possession obtained through rental agreements.
- Authorized Traveler. Employees who are 18 years old or older may use GFVs.
- Authorized Use. Vehicles are to be used for authorized and official business only.
- Accidents. If involved in an accident using a GFV, the employee:
- shall not make admissions of guilt at the scene of an accident;
- may be held responsible, if a vehicle is damaged because of abuse, negligence, misuse, or while driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics;
- must immediately report the accident to his/her immediate supervisor;
- must complete and sign any applicable accident form; and
- must have witnesses, if any, complete and sign witness statement forms.
- Privately Owned Vehicles. The use of a Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) may be authorized when such travel is deemed advantageous to the Government or is a personal preference of the employee, provided that reimbursement for expenses and adjustments to annual leave are made to cover additional costs incurred by the Government because of excess travel time, if any.
- Mileage Rates. Mileage rates for automobiles, motorcycles, and private airplanes may change annually. (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-E for the current rates.)
- Mileage Rate Exceptions. When travelers elect to use a POV when a GFV is available or required, there is an exception to the mileage rates. The current mileage rate exceptions are provided in Manual Exhibit 5-8-E .
- Additional Expenses. An employee using a POV may be reimbursed for expenses other than the mileage, e.g., parking, ferry, bridge, road, and tunnel fees; and airplane parking, landing, and tie-down fees.
5-8.4 PREPARATION OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION
- Administrative Resources Management System. With limited exceptions (see below), all travel documents must be prepared on the automated Administrative Resources Management System (ARMS).
- Travel Authorization. The TA is the official authorization to perform official Government travel and must be prepared for all travel assignments (except local travel). The TA specifies the entitlements as well as the responsibilities of the traveler. The TA should reflect only official travel dates and locations. Travelers should indicate early departures/returns and alternate personal leave points in the "Comments" section of the TA.
- Travel Authorization HHS-1 Form. Foreign Travel and Permanent Change of Station Travel must be authorized on the HHS-1 Form.
- Forms. The IHS uses two types of TA forms: the "HHS Travel Authorization" ARMS form (IHS-530) and the "HHS Travel Authorization" form (HHS-1) HHS-1. If this link does not take you directly to the HHS-1 form, please open your internet browser and:
- type in the address bar: http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8203&channelPage=%2Fep%2Fchannel%2FgsaOverview.jsp&channelId=-16881;
- scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "FORMS." http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8203&channelPage=%2Fep%2Fchannel%2FgsaOverview.jsp&channelId=-16881;
- click on “Health and Human Services.” http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8203&channelPage=%2Fep%2Fchannel%2FgsaOverview.jsp&channelId=-16881, and
- click on: “Adobe PDF forms.” http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8203&channelPage=%2Fep%2Fchannel%2FgsaOverview.jsp&channelId=-16881. After you enter the “PSC FORMS DOWNLOAD” site, scroll down the chart, and click on the HHS-1 icon.
- Service Units. Service units without access to the ARMS System will use the HHS-1 Form for all applicable travel. (See 5-8.4D(1-4).)
- Travel Plan. Area Directors must submit a travel plan to the Director of Field Operations before a TA will be approved. The travel plan may be submitted by e-mail. It is then forwarded to the TMS for processing.
- Area Director(s) Travel. An ARMS TA should be completed by Area Office staff and approved by the IHS TMS or his/her alternate. Approval levels for the Area Director’s TA may not be changed, nor may they be redelegated to another level:
- Recommending Approval: Area Executive Officer or his/her alternate.
- Travel Authorization Auditor: Designated by the Area Office.
- Authorizing Travel: IHS TMS or his/her alternate.
- The Headquarters (HQ) ARMS Manager will inform Area Offices of the HQ individuals who should be added/deleted from the approval process.
- Preparation Site. Travel Authorizations/vouchers will be prepared at the employee’s Official Duty Station (ODS) and paid by the servicing finance office. Offices to be reimbursed for the travel of individuals from other IHS locations will inform the servicing finance offices of the following:
- Estimated Cost. The cost is to be rounded to the next $25 increment. This may be done prior to or after the completion of travel.
- Common Accounting Number. This is the Common Accounting Number to be credited.
- Traveler’s Name.
- Travel Authorization Number.
5-8.5 PER DIEM
- References. Detailed policies and procedures on per diem can be found in FTR Part 301-7.
- Rules Governing Per Diem. Familiarity with the terms outlined in Manual Exhibit 5-8-F is helpful in understanding the rules governing per diem.
- Payment Within Vicinity of the Official Duty Station. Per diem will not be authorized for travel when travel is conducted within a radius of 75 miles of either employee's ODS or home, whichever is closer. Certain areas in Alaska may be deemed exempt from this requirement when a cost comparison indicates that the costs to return to the ODS via charter aircraft and for lost time far outweighs the applicable per diem costs. This approval must be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Director, Alaska Area IHS.
- Reimbursement for Meals at the ODS. Meals at IHS-sponsored events are not reimbursable for employees whose ODS is the same as the meeting site. This rule is interpreted very strictly. Exceptions to this rule may be granted when the following criteria is met:
- If the meal is provided as part of an official training session, i.e., a formal meeting or conference that includes official Government functions where the meal is incidental to the meeting.
- The employee is not free to take the meal elsewhere without missing essential formal discussions, lectures, or speeches concerning the purpose of the meeting.
- Travel of Less than 12 Hours. Per diem shall not be authorized for travel of 12 hours or less that begins and ends within the same calendar day for either civil service or commissioned officers in accordance with FTR 301-7.5(b) and JFTR U4102 H.
- Occasional Meals Will Not Be Provided to Commissioned Officers for Travel of Less than 12 Hours ($6 Entitlement). The criteria for "Occasional Meals for Uniformed Employees" is outlined in JFTR U4102 F and JFTR U4102 G. Uniformed employees of the IHS will not be given this entitlement for the following reasons:
- The regulation was written to provide a monetary amount to offset costs that lower-ranked members would sustain when away from messing facilities during meal times.
- Lower-ranked soldiers are provided meals in a messing facility at no cost to them; however, higher-ranked soldiers (i.e., officers) are required to pay for meals in these facilities.
- Since IHS commissioned corps members are all officers, this entitlement does not meet the spirit nor the intent of the regulation for IHS commissioned corps members.
- Travelers on Compressed or Alternate Work Schedules. For employees on compressed or alternative work schedules, per diem shall not be authorized for 1-day travel equal to or less than their regular workday plus 4 hours. For example, an employee who conducts 1-day travel on a 9-hour workday must be in official travel status for more than 13 hours to be eligible for per diem.
- Computing Per Diem. Per diem rates are published in the FTR in Chapter 301, Part 7, Appendix A, as well as in the ARMS.
- Travelers receive three-quarters of a day’s “Meals and Incidental Expenses” (M&IE) rate on the first and last day of travel. There will be no calculation of quarters for all travelers on these two dates.
- Travelers who conduct 1-day travel and meet the mileage and time criteria for per diem entitlements receive three-quarters of the applicable M&IE rate.
- Two-hour Rule. Unless an employee is specifically directed to report to his/her ODS by his/her supervisor, travelers who depart/return from official business travel are not required to report to their ODS if travel:
- begins within 2 hours of the beginning of their tour of duty.
- ends within 2 hours of the end of their tour of duty. Travel ends after the collection of luggage at the common carrier terminal.
- ends within 2 hours of the end of their tour of duty when traveling by POV/GFV. Travel by POV/GFV ends upon arrival within city limits of ODs.
- Special Reporting Requirements. Employees should always check with the departing airport for any special reporting requirements before check-in.
- Reductions to Maximum Per Diem Rates.
- Meals & Incidental Expenses With No Lodging Costs. Employees who incur no lodging costs while in an official travel status may be reimbursed transportation expenses to and from a place of free lodging, not to exceed the minimum CONUS lodging maximum of $55 per lodging day.
- The Travel Order must have an explanation of why no lodging costs were sustained, e.g., "stayed with friends/relatives, no cost to Government."
- In cases where free lodging is obtained, the employee is authorized to receive an M&IE allowance applicable to the locality.
- Deductions. When lodging and meal costs are contracted for meetings via a Government purchase order, the contract may not exceed the stated per diem rates for the area.
- When meals are provided at no cost by the Federal Government, (e.g., as part of a registration fee) deductions from the M&IE rate shall be made as outlined in Manual Exhibit 5-8-G.
- Meal values may not be deducted from a traveler’s M&IE rate because the meal is provided by a common carrier, nor may the value be deducted from a lodging facility that serves a “free continental breakfast,” etc.
- Interruptions of Per Diem Entitlement.
- Indirect Route or Interrupted Travel. An employee may not be paid extra per diem for extra travel time incurred for the convenience/preference of the employee due to a deviation from the most direct or usually traveled route. Per diem paid may not exceed that which would have been paid had the employee traveled by the most direct or usually traveled route.
- Non-Workday Return to the Official Duty Station. Employees are required to return to their ODS on their non-workdays when the cost of returning is outweighed by per diem cost savings or savings as measured by increased efficiency and productivity. When an employee voluntarily returns to the ODS for non-workdays, he/she may be reimbursed for round-trip transportation and en route per diem, not to exceed the cost that would have been incurred had the employee remained at the temporary duty station. This travel must be completed outside regular duty hours. If travel costs exceed per diem, the traveler is required to remain at the Temporary Duty (TDY) site.
- Annual Leave Taken by Commissioned Corps. Commissioned corps employees who take annual leave while in a TDY status may not be paid per diem entitlements while on leave.
- Long-term TDY Stations. A long term TDY is for a minimum of 5 weeks. Any traveler who is in a travel status of at least 3 weeks may return to his/her ODS at IHS expense provided the TDY assignment continues for an additional 2 weeks. The only exception to this requirement will be for travelers who must return for personal emergencies or to conduct official duty at the ODs.
- Travelers may conduct travel during duty hours when travel to the ODS is directed.
- Travelers who are in a continuous travel status of less than 5 weeks will be required to comply with the requirements in 5-8.2F.
- Additionally, travelers are expected to seek long-term housing arrangements.
- Per Diem Entitlement While Away From TDY Station on Non-Workdays and Workdays.
- Leave of Less Than One-half of Duty Hours. Taking annual leave or compensatory time for one-half or less of a workday has no effect on per diem entitlement.
- Leave of More Than One-half of Duty Hours. When annual leave or compensatory time is taken for more than one-half of a workday, the employee is not entitled to per diem for that workday.
- No Per Diem. Per diem may not be paid for a non-workday(s) when the employee is:
- in leave status both at the end of the workday prior to the non-workday(s) and at the beginning of the workday following the non-workday(s); or
- on leave on either the workday before or after the non-workday and for more than one-half of the employee's regularly prescribed working hours for that day.
- Long-term Housing Vouchers. Computation of long term housing vouchers:
- Extended Stays (Commissioned Corps). While there is no provision in the JFTR for a reduction in per diem entitlements, commissioned corps members are required and expected to act prudently. Procurement of long-term lodging is expected when available and appropriate.
- Extended Stays (Civil Service Employees). Authorizing officials must use realistic rates for employees who are on extended-stay TDY travel. If the intent is to return to the ODS or perform TDY at an alternate location for more than 30 consecutive days per month, reductions to per diem entitlements must be made as indicated in the following table:
PRESCRIBED MAXIMUM SUBSISTENCE RATES
Routine Assignments and TDY Travel of not more than 30 calendar days
Maximum Prescribed Per Diem Rate
From 12:01 a.m. on the 31st calendar day through the 90th calendar day
An amount equal to 65% of the lodging rate for the locality (rounded to the next whole dollar) plus an allowance for M&IE of 75% of the prescribed M&IE allowance.
From 12:01 a.m. on the 91st calendar day through 12:00 midnight prior to day of departure from the long-term duty station.
An amount equal to 30% of the lodging rate for the locality (rounded to the next whole dollar) plus an allowance for M&IE of 50% of the prescribed M&IE allowance.
5-8.6 REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES
- General Information. Detailed policy and procedures on reimbursements of actual subsistence expenses can be found in the FTR, 41 CFR Part 301-8, "Reimbursement of Higher Actual Subsistence Expenses in Special or Unusual Circumstances," which allows an agency to authorize or approve travel up to 300 percent of the prescribed maximum per diem rate on an actual subsistence expense basis under certain special or unusual circumstances.
- Actual Subsistence. Actual subsistence reimbursement may be authorized only on a very limited basis. Departmental policy requires that actual subsistence be granted for employees who expect expenses to exceed the prescribed lodging allowance by $5 per day. If actual subsistence authorization is required solely because of excess lodging costs, only the lodging allowance will be increased to the amount needed to cover lodging costs, including tax. The M&IE allowance shall not be increased.
- Authorizing of Actual Subsistence Expense Reimbursement. Reimbursement of actual subsistence expenses must be authorized by the Director, OMS, for all IHS employees. The approval document from the Director, OMS, must be attached to the TA. All requests for actual subsistence must have the concurrence of the Area Office Director before they will be processed.
- Travel Authorization Requirements. Reimbursement of actual subsistence expenses should be authorized on the TA before travel begins. Post approval of actual subsistence expenses may be authorized under limited circumstances. Actual subsistence will never be granted when it is for the personal convenience of the traveler (a preference of hotels/prefers to stay at meeting site) or due to poor planning (failure to verify the costs of the lodging inclusive of all taxes, etc.).
- Authorized Actual Subsistence. Situations that may warrant authorization of actual subsistence expenses:
- Prearranged Accommodations. Attendance at a meeting, conference, or training session away from the ODS where accommodations are prearranged, and lodging and meals must be taken at the prearranged site.
- Escalated Subsistence Costs. Travel to an area where the applicable maximum per diem allowance is generally adequate, but subsistence costs have escalated for short periods of time during special functions or events such as major sporting events, the World's Fair, a space launch, major convention, etc.
- Travel to Natural Disaster Sites. Affordable lodging is not available or cannot be obtained within a reasonable commuting distance of the TDY station and transportation costs to commute from a less expensive lodging facility will consume most or all of the savings achieved from occupying the less expensive lodging.
- Actual Subsistence Not Authorized. Situations that do not warrant actual subsistence include, but are not limited to:
- a preference of hotels (e.g., where meeting is being held,
- failure to try to find lodging within the stated rate, or
- lack of planning (e.g., not meeting deadlines for reservations for meetings.)
- Receipt Requirements. Under actual subsistence expense reimbursement, receipts are required for the following items:
- Any expense that exceeds $75.
- Common carrier receipt.
- Documentation of M&IE Expenses Under Actual Subsistence. If actual subsistence is authorized for both lodging and M&IE, all meals and incidental expenses must be itemized on the employee's TV.
- Documentation of M&IE Expenses Under Actual Subsistence Only for Lodging. If actual subsistence is authorized only for lodging, and the M&IE rate is limited to the locality's prescribed M&IE rate, M&IE is claimed according to the rules governing per diem. (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-F.)
- Calculating Actual Subsistence. Use the steps outlined in Manual Exhibit 5-8-H to calculate actual subsistence per diem allowances.
- Conference Per Diem Allowances. In accordance with the FTR and JFTR, travelers who attend a conference may be authorized a conference lodging allowance up to a 25 percent increase (rounded to the next highest dollar), if necessary. This rate is applied to conferences, retreats, seminars, symposiums, or events that involve multiple attendee travel. The term also applies to training activities that are considered to be a conference under 5 CFR 410 and 404. There is no requirement that the travel be coded with the Object Class Code 21.51.
The M&IE portion of the per diem does not increase. Additionally, the lodging allowance applies to meetings held at any location either CONUS, OCONUS, or foreign. If a meeting is planned by a Government organization and the sponsoring organization determines the appropriate conference per diem lodging rate, all Federal travelers who attend are authorized that rate. Travelers who attend meetings sponsored by non-Government organizations are approved for the conference per diem rate on a case-by-case basis.
5-8.7 SOURCES OF FUNDS
- Paying for Travel Expenses.
- Commercial Transportation. The FTR requires that any commercial carrier ticket in excess of $100 must be paid via the Government-issued travel card, or the Government Centrally Billed Account (CBA) System. Other forms of payment require that the expense be suspended by the paying offices.
- Reimbursement. The Director, OMS, is the approving official for travel reimbursement. Travelers must request reimbursement through the Area Office to the Director, OMS. The authority to approve may not be redelegated.
- Other Expenses. All IHS civilian and uniformed travelers are required to use the Government contractor-issued travel card for all official travel expenses, including cash advances through an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), unless they have an exemption. The only local travel expense that may be charged to the Government travel card is for car rentals.
- Exempt Individuals. The following individuals are exempt from mandatory use of the travel card:
- Employees with an application pending for the Government travel card (either new or replacement cards)
- Individuals traveling on invitational travel orders.
- Employees who do not meet the “frequent traveler’’ requirement (travel at least five times per year).
- New appointees.
- Members of National Advisory Councils and Advisory Committees.
- Temporary employees whose term of appointment is less than 120 days.
- Intermittent and temporary consultants and experts who are paid on a daily when-actually-employed basis and are serving less than 1 year.
- Special Government employees (scientists and researchers from private industry and academia) who serve as second-level review officials of grant applications.
- Exempt Expenses. The following expenses are exempt from mandatory use of the card:
- Expenses incurred at a vendor that does not accept the travel card.
- Laundry/dry cleaning.
- Local transportation system (buses, subways, etc.).
- Meals (when the use of the travel card is impractical, i.e., group meals or the Government contractor-issued travel cards is not accepted).
- Government-provided phone calls.
- Purchases costing less than $10.
- Government Transportation Requests. If a TMC or charter carrier will not issue tickets for Government travel, a U.S. Government Travel Request (TR), Standard Form (SF)-1169, may be used for the following types of travel:
- Official charter and contract service obtained from common carriers.
- Patient travel via commercial/charter carrier.
- Emergency travel of Alaska Area staff when use of a Government Travel Account is impractical.
- Reporting Lost or Stolen TR. When a TR is lost, stolen, voided, or destroyed, the traveler or accountable employee must notify the issuing office immediately. If the lost/stolen TR indicates the carrier service desired, notify the named carrier immediately.
- Storage of TR. The Federal Property Regulations require that the TR be kept in a locked, secure area at all times.
- Centrally Billed Accounts. All offices must participate in the CBA system, administered by the GSA. Benefits to using the CBA system include the following:
- Provides life insurance and lost baggage insurance for the traveler.
- Reduces the traveler’s debt to the Government-issued travel card vendor.
- Reduces H S payment delinquencies.
- Provides centralized billing of commercial carrier tickets.
- Provides additional rebates to the IHS.
- Provides management reports for tracking travel expenses.
- Government-issued Travel Card. The GSA awards contracts to vendors to provide travel cards to Government employees for official travel expenses. The use of the Government-issued travel card is mandatory for all employees who travel at least five times per year, unless an exemption has been granted. (See 5-8.7A(4).) To obtain a Government-issued travel card, employees must complete an application form. By signing the application form, the employee acknowledges that improper use of the travel card could result in disciplinary action.
- Traveler Responsibilities. The Government-issued travel card may be used only for official travel expenses. Refer to Manual Exhibit 5-8-I regarding the types of travel expenses that may and may not be permitted. The most common travel expenses for which the travel card may be used include:
- Car rentals.
- Charges incurred in connection with obtaining authorized travelers advances from an ATM.
- Incidental expenses related to official travel.
- Transferability of Use. The Government-issued travel card may only be used by the employee to whom it is issued.
- Employee Liability. The employee is liable for all charges made to the Government-issued travel card account and is obligated to pay charges made on the travel card in accordance with the cardholder agreement. Employees are responsible for notifying the vendor promptly if the card is lost or stolen. Full payment of the balance on the account is due to the vendor within 25 days of the billing date on the statement. Payment is due whether or not the employee has received reimbursement from the Government for the expenses incurred. Employees are responsible for submitting properly filed vouchers within 5 working days of the end of their travel.
- Abuse and Misuse of the Government-issued Travel Card. Use of the Government-issued travel card for purposes other than those associated with official travel and/or failure to pay the just and due amounts owed are examples of misuse and/or abuse of the card.
- Travel Advances. Travel advances are generally limited to those expenses that are considered “out of pocket” and cannot be charged. Examples include public transportation systems, tips, or meals (when use of the card is impractical).
- Request for Travel Advance.
- Frequent Travelers. Frequent travelers, which are those who will travel at least five times per year, must obtain all travel advances via an ATM. The amount of the advance will be determined by the traveler’s Area Office when using the Government-issued travel card ATM feature. Appropriate service charges incurred when using the ATM are reimbursable to the traveler. Additionally, any fee assessed by the banking facility as a surcharge is reimbursable as an “other” expense.
- Infrequent Travelers. Infrequent travelers must request a travel advance on SF-1038, “Advance of Funds Application and Account.” Infrequent travelers and those who do not meet the criteria for issuance of a Government-issued travel card are generally allowed an advance of up to 80 percent of their anticipated expenses.
- Hardship. Infrequent travelers who meet the criteria for “hardship” may be authorized an advance of up to 100 percent of the anticipated costs via the SF-1038 if circumstances permit and a smaller advance would cause a significant hardship on the traveler. Requests for more than an 80 percent advance must include a statement explaining the hardship.
- Suspended/Canceled/Revoked Cards. Travelers who have their travel card suspended, canceled, or revoked due to delinquency of payments, misuse, or abuse shall not be authorized a travel advance through the SF-1038 for a period of 1year from the date the travel card is paid in full. Prior to an advance being given to such employee, the traveler must request reinstatement of the travel card by the vendor. After the 1-year period, Area discretion will be used for approval of advances. Employees who have had their travel cards canceled or revoked and must continue to travel must apply for a waiver as outlined in Chapter 1-20 of the HHS Travel Manual. The Director of Headquarters Operations approves waivers for Headquarters travelers, and the Director of Field Operations approves waivers for all other employees.
- Use of ATM. The travel card ATM feature may be restricted for certain employees when it is determined that such use is unnecessary or the feature has been abused. Travelers who will not have access to the ATM feature on their cards are those who travel no more than 5 times per year, those who do not conduct multiweek travel, and those for whom the feature is determined to be unnecessary. The ATM feature will be canceled if an employee misuses the ATM feature as acknowledged in the “IHS Responsibilities for Use of the Government Travel Card,” Manual Exhibit 5-8-J.
- Abuse/Misuse Findings. Cardholders who use the card for personal use or fail to make timely payments to the Government-issued travel card company are considered abusing/misusing the card. The agreement between the IHS employee and the GSA contractor is in effect as soon as an application for the card has been signed by the employee and the employee accepts the card. Employees acknowledge their understanding of the agreement by signing the form (see Manual Exhibit 5-8-J) accompanying the application submitted to the local Government Travel Card Program Coordinator. Although there may be extenuating circumstances surrounding the misuse of the Government travel card, the premise is that all employees enrolled in the Government Travel Card Program are aware of the terms and conditions of its proper use.
- Division of Financial Management. The DFM administers the IHS employee travel program, including oversight of the IHS Government Travel Card Program.
- Travel Management Specialist. The TMS serves as the IHS Contract Travel Credit Card Coordinator. The Coordinator provides information concerning card enrollment processes, appropriate use of the travel card, billing and payment processes, and/or timely reimbursement of vouchered travel expense that may not be answered by local travel card Program Coordinators.
- Travel Card Program Coordinator Responsibilities. The designated Travel Card Program Coordinator:
- Recommends cancellation or suspension of a Government travel card when there is evidence of misuse or abuse.
- Advises the GSA contractor when the IHS revokes an employee’s enrollment in the Government Travel Card Program.
- Advises managers of Government-issued travel card misuse. The information to be provided to managers includes the following:
- The names of any employees suspected of abuse or misuse of the Government travel card.
- Copies of the section of the travel management reports that indicate charges were not incurred in the conduct of official Government business, e.g., charges made on dates not coinciding with official travel or for non-allowable expenses.
- Payment of Travel Expenses by Outside Sources. The authorizing official recommending the travel must determine whether or not the non-Federal source is using Federal grant or contract funds to defray the cost of the travel. Employees should consult the HHS Travel Manual, “Cash-In-Kind,” Chapter 1-70, for guidance on this issue. The HHS Travel Manual requires that departmental components not accept payments from non-Federal sources if the reimbursement for travel expenses incurred is to be made from a Federal grant or contract (not confined to HHS).
5-8.8 CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT
- Preparing To File a Travel Voucher. All expenses must be documented on the TV.
- Receipt requirements. Receipts are required for the following expenses:
- Common carrier
- Telephone calls to a residence (except from a pay phone). (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-K.)
- Registration fee
- Any other expense in excess of $75
- Using the Correct Form. Claims for expenses incurred during non-local travel for uniformed and civilian employees must be made on the SF-1012 “Travel Voucher,” or the electronic form IHS-531 in ARMS.
- Preparing Travel Vouchers. The following information is required on the TV form:
- Dates and times o f all departures and arrivals.
- Chronological itemization of official expenses incurred.
- Date and time of leave in excess of 1/2 tour-of-duty hours. Leave must be indicated on the TV to identify it for audit certifying officials.
- False Claims. False claims will result in forfeiture of the claim. In addition, there are provisions under which severe criminal penalties may be imposed (18 U.S.C., Part 1, Chapter 15, Section 287 and 18 U.S.C., Part 1, Chapter 47, Section 1001).
- Supporting Documents. The TA and the applicable original receipts must be attached to the completed TV. Any receipts that are not required should not be attached to the official TV; they should be kept by the traveler.
- Traveler’s Certification. The traveler’s original signature (either electronic on ARMS or manual on the SF-1012 “Travel Voucher”/SF-1164 “Claim for Reimbursement For Expenditures on Official Business”) must be on the TV before it can be certified for payment. The traveler is required to sign his/her own TV; this requirement may be waived only if the traveler is deceased. The traveler is ultimately responsible for all information on the TV.
- Approving Officials. The TV must be approved in accordance with the Delegations of Authority as outlined in the Part 1, Chapter 5, “Delegations of Authority,” Indian Health Manual (IHM). As a reminder, no employee may authorize his/her own TA or may approve his/her own TV.
- Distribution of Travel Voucher. The official file copy of the TV, with appropriate receipts, will be maintained in the office of record in accordance with the IHS Records Disposition Schedule. However, for audit purposes, copies of the voucher and original receipts will be retained as follows:
- A file of all TVs originating from the Office of the Director, IHS, will be maintained in the Office of the Director.
- A file of all TVs originating from the Office of the Director, OMS, will he maintained in the Office of the Director, OMS.
- A file of all TVs originating from the Office of the Director, Office of Public Health (OPH), will be maintained in the Office of the Director, OPH.
- A file of all TVs originating from an Area Office will be maintained in the Area Finance Office.
- A file of all TVs originating from a service unit will be maintained in the Service Unit Finance Office.
- Auditing of Travel Documents. Effective October 1, 1998, the IHS will begin statistical sampling of TVs via ARMS.
- Using the Travel Voucher Audit (TVA) function of ARMS, Area Offices and HQ will perform a 100 percent audit of all TVs for 30-day periods beginning October 1-31, 1998.
- The offices will request the original hard copy of selected vouchers and the original receipts for the vouchers chosen by the TVA. The requested records and supporting documents must be forwarded to the requesting office within 5 working days of the date of the request.
- The TVA function will decrease over time in accordance with the following schedule:
- January 1999 - - 50 percent audited
- February 1999 - - 50 percent audited
- March 1999 - - 33 percent audited
- Effective April 1999, the percentage of TVs audited will drop to 20 percent and remain at that level of audit.
- At any point during the TVA schedule, an office may determine that the percentage of audits should be increased if non-compliance with regulatory requirements are revealed.
- Overpayments to travelers revealed through the audit process will be billed to the traveler within 10 working days of discovery. Travelers must repay 100 percent of the debt within 30 calendar days of the billing date. Failure to repay within this time frame will result in a salary offset. Finance offices will deduct 15 percent of the employee’s net disposable income until all debts are paid. There is no exception to the 15 percent requirement. Each time a salary offset is put into effect, the traveler will be charged a $25 administrative charge by the Finance Office.
- Travel auditors will maintain records regarding the randomly audited TVs indicating any trends to be addressed by management.
- All vouchers will be statistically audited by IHS staff except vouchers prepared for the:
- Director, IHS.
- Director of Headquarters Operations.
- Director, OMS
- Director, OPH
- Area Directors
- Foreign travel.
- Local travel.
- Permanent change of station travel.
- Total reimbursement to the traveler of $ 1,500 or more
- Local Travel. Local travel is travel sustained within 75 miles of an employee's home or duty station, whichever is closer to the TDY point. No TA is required for local travel. As with travel involving per diem, travelers are expected to act prudently and use less costly or free services wherever they exist, e.g., free shuttle service in lieu of POV or taxicabs. Further, the only costs that may be claimed are those that are in excess of the employee’s normal commuting costs.
- Any TDY travel planned in excess of the 75-mile radius must have a TA. Previously the criteria was based on the defined area, e.g., counties/States or GSA-determined areas. This criteria is no longer in effect for the IHS. Due to programmatic requirements for travel, there will be limited exceptions to the requirement of TAs for travel outside of the 75-mile radius. An Area Office may request a waiver for similar situations through the Director, DFM. The following travel points do not require TAs even though the mileage may be in excess of the 75-mile radius requirement:
- Travel between any of the Albuquerque offices and Santa Fe.
- Situations in Alaska as outlined in 5-8.5B(2)
- Travelers who conduct official travel at their duty station file only the local TV, “Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business” (SF-I 164). Travelers may claim only the following expenditures:
- Transportation costs (e.g., mileage, taxi, bus, rail fees) in excess of normal commuting costs.
- Phone calls.
- Other miscellaneous expenses on the SF- 1164.
Note: Per diem may never be claimed on the SF-1164
- Payment for Travel. Payments for all travel will be made via Electronic Funds Transfer, in accordance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.
- Time Frames. In accordance with FTR 301-11.4(a), TVs must be filed within 5 working days after completion of travel or every 30 days for travelers who conduct continuous limited open travel. Additionally, FTR 301-52.17 requires that travel must be reimbursed within 30 calendar days after the end of each trip or travel period for which a valid voucher has been filed.
5-8.9 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES - TELEPHONE CALLS
- Authorized Telephone Calls. Reimbursement of telephone calls is limited to a daily amount. Manual Exhibit 5-8-K outlines the limitations. However, no personal calls will be permitted on the last day of travel unless changes in travel plans require a telephone call to the residence to apprise the household of such changes. Authorized telephone calls include:
- Calls made to conduct official IHS business.
- Emergency calls to notify the family or doctor of an on-the-job injury or illness.
- Calls on the last day of travel due to a change in travel schedule.
- Other personal calls to check on the family or residence, as shown in the table in Manual Exhibit 5-8-K.
- Federal Telecommunications System. The Federal Telecommunications System (FTS) intercity network or the FTS calling card should be used when possible. If FTS or FTS calling card is not available, a commercial telephone system such as a pay phone or hotel room phone, may be used.
- Claim for Reimbursement. When the use of the FTS or FTS calling card is impracticable, travelers may be reimbursed when using a commercial telephone system. Within the guidelines and limits established, a commercial telephone system may include the purchase of a “pre-paid” phone card. Reimbursement is claimed as follows:
- “Other expenses” on the TV (SF-1012/1164).
- Code “B” telephone expense on SF-1164. Note: The SF-1164 option is available only for Federal employees who travel less than five times a year and who are not able to claim reimbursement because telephone costs were not available when the voucher was filed.
- Documenting Telephone Calls. In accordance with the FTR, all claims for the cost of telephone calls shall include the date and cost of the call.
5-8.10 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES - BAGGAGE
- Definitions. The following terms and definitions are used in this section:
- Baggage. Baggage means Government property and personal property of the traveler necessary for official travel.
- Excess baggage. Excess baggage means baggage that is not carried free by the transportation company because of excessive weight, size, or number of pieces.
- Authorization for Excess Baggage. Excess baggage expenses must be authorized on the TA prior to travel.
- Payment/Documentation for Excess Baggage. Excess baggage costs of $15 or more should be paid via TR or the Government credit card. When the traveler must pay for the excess baggage, receipts are required to show the weight of the baggage, the points between which it was shipped, and the extra cost.
- Other Reimbursable Baggage Charges. Other baggage charges that are reimbursable include the following:
- Transfer of baggage.
- Storage of baggage when it is shown that the baggage was necessary solely because of official business.
- Checking and Handling of Baggage. Generally, tips for handling personal luggage are considered incidental expenses and are reimbursed as part of M&IE; however, commissioned officers may be reimbursed certain tips for handling of baggage. In accordance with U3610, tips for handling personal baggage at transportation terminals are reimbursable to uniformed personnel only. The number of pieces checked or handled should be shown on the claim. Reimbursement may not be authorized for tips or fees for handling at hotels, except to the extent that it can be shown on the claim that a separate charge or additional cost was incurred for handling the Government property.
- Claim for Lost or Damaged Baggage. When baggage is lost or damaged by the carrier during official Government travel, the traveler should file a claim according to the following steps:
- Step 1: File Claim With Carrier. If the claim exceeds the amount paid by the carrier, go to step 2.
- Step 2: File Claim With Vendor. If a Government-issued travel card was used, a claim can be filed with the vendor. The vendor carries additional baggage insurance at no extra cost. If the claim exceeds the amounts received in Steps 1 and 2, go to Step 3.
- Step 3: File Claim With Government. Contact DFM or your local administrative officer for proper forms and guidance.
5-8.11 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES - FOREIGN TRAVEL
- Trip Insurance. Trip insurance covers liability for property damage, personal injury, or death to third parties. The cost of trip insurance purchased by employees for the use of a GFV or POV during official business for specific or individual trips into a foreign country is reimbursable when it is required by a foreign statute or when necessary due to the legal procedures of a foreign country.
- Conversion of Currency. Commissions for conversion of currency in foreign countries are reimbursable.
- Check Cashing Costs. Charges for exchange fees are:
- Authorized for cashing U.S. Government checks issued for the reimbursement of expenses incurred for travel in foreign countries.
- Not authorized for cashing checks issued in payment of salary.
- Travel Document Costs. Fees for obtaining and/or preparing certain travel documents are reimbursable. This includes the following fees:
- Issuance of passports and visas.
- Photographs for passports and visas.
- Copies of birth, health, or identity certificates.
- Affidavits and charges for inoculations that cannot be obtained through a Federal dispensary.
- Other Miscellaneous Expenses. Other expenses are reimbursable provided authorization is included on the HHS-1 form. Receipts must be provided if the expenditure is in excess of $75. Examples of other expenses include:
- Stenographic or typing services.
- Rental of typewriter/personal computer in conjunction with the preparation of reports or correspondence that must be completed by the employee while on travel.
- Guides or interpreters.
- Drivers or packers.
- Meeting rooms.
- Money order fees.
- Telegrams, cablegrams, or radiograms.
- Gasoline for rental vehicles.
- Bank access charges for use of the Government-issued travel card.
5-8.12 FOREIGN TRAVEL
- Authorization To Conduct Foreign Travel. Foreign travel will be authorized only by the Director, IHS. All TAs and applicable documents must be received in the DFM at least 45 days prior to travel. Information that is incomplete or not received by DFM within the required time period will not be processed. The table found in Manual Exhibit 5-8-L lists the requirements for all foreign TA approvals.
- Requirements for Foreign Travel.
- The Office of International Affairs must be advised of the itinerary when any IHS employee is traveling to a foreign country. (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-M.)
- As soon as a trip is planned, travelers should consult their IHS health unit or service unit regarding any necessary immunizations.
- Travelers must determine if the trip to certain countries requires immunizations that need to be administered over a period of time.
- Travelers to foreign countries must:
- Obtain passports and/or visas.
- Meet all requirements for entry into the foreign country.
- Contact foreign consular officers for information regarding any additional requirements for entry into the foreign country.
- All HHS employees must cooperate with any directions given by U.S. representatives during their visit and consult with the American Embassy or Consulate if their itinerary changes after they have arrived in the country.
- Foreign Per Diem Rates.
- Method of Calculation. Foreign per diem is calculated using the lodging-plus or actual subsistence methods, as applicable. (See Manual Exhibit 5-8-H.)
- Rates. The Department of State sets the applicable rates. These rates are changed frequently, i.e., monthly. Travelers should contact the DFM regarding the applicable per diem rates for particular foreign locations.
5-8.13 RELOCATIONS FOR CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES
- Eligible Persons. Persons eligible for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) allowances include Government employees and new appointees.
- Requirements for Entitlements. Eligible persons may be reimbursed for PCS expenses when they are transferred from one ODS to another when all of the following conditions apply:
- The transfer is in the best interests of the Federal Government,
- the transfer is not primarily for the convenience or benefit of the employee, and
- the new duty station is at least 50 miles distant from the old duty station.
- Short Distance Transfers. Short distance transfers are transfers of short distance (actual distances may vary) within the same metropolitan or general commuting area. The PCS benefits will be authorized only when the relocation is incident to a change of ODS and determined reasonable by approving officials after considering the distance and commuting time between the following:
- Old residence and old duty station.
- Old residence and new duty station.
- New residence and new duty station.
- Service Agreements. Prior to PCS allowances being authorized, an employee must sign a “Service Agreement,” Form HHS-355. The “Service Agreement” is a contractual agreement by the employee to remain in the Federal service for 1 year after the effective date of his/her transfer. Further, it requires the employee to repay all PCS expenses incurred by the IHS in the event the employee does not complete the agreed-upon year of Federal service. Exceptions to the terms of the “Service Agreement” are only granted by the Director, IHS. Exceptions to the terms of the “Service Agreement” may be granted if the terms are not completed due to circumstances beyond the control of the employee and the exception is acceptable to the IHS.
- Permanent Change of Station Entitlements and Benefits. Depending upon the type of appointment, entitlements benefits may vary. Current civil service employees may be authorized the following PCS allowances:
- Transportation expenses from the old residence to the new duty station (en route travel).
- Travel expenses to seek a new residence (house-hunting trip).
- Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses (TQSE).
- Miscellaneous expense allowance.
- Shipment and storage of household goods and personal effects.
- Real estate expenses.
- Participation in the Relocation Services Program (RSP).
- Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA).
- Eighty hours of administrative leave.
- Expenses for the shipment of a mobile home.
- Shipment of a vehicle.
- New Appointees. New appointees may be authorized the following PCS allowances:
- Transportation expenses for the appointee and family (including mileage expenses, if a POV is used).
- En route per diem for the appointee only.
- Shipment and storage of household goods.
- Shipment of a mobile home.
- Shipment of a vehicle.
- En Route Travel. Transportation expenses between the old residence and the new residence may be reimbursed for the employee and the employee's immediate family. The employee's immediate family is defined as the members of the employee's household at the time the employee reports to the new duty station. (This includes lawful spouse; dependent children [unmarried and under age 21]; grandchildren, minor wards, and other children under the legal guardianship of the employee; dependent parents of the employee or spouse [employee or spouse provides at least 51 percent of support]; and dependent brothers/sisters [unmarried and under age 21]. Note: Age limits do not apply if the applicable dependent is physically or mentally incapable of self-support.)
- Travelers must average at least 300 miles per day for each full day they are in en route travel in order to qualify for en route per diem.
- Per diem expenses will be paid in accordance with the tables found in Manual Exhibit 5-8-N.
- Use of More Than One POV. The use of more than one POV may be authorized only under one of the following circumstances:
- There are more members of the immediate family than reasonably can be transported with luggage in one vehicle.
- Special accommodations are required to transport a member of the immediate family because of age or physical condition.
- The employee must report to the new duty station before members of the immediate family, who must delay travel for acceptable reasons, such as completion of a school term, sale of property, shipment of household goods, unavailability of adequate housing at the new duty station, etc.
- A member of the immediate family performs unaccompanied travel between authorized points other than those for the employee's travel.
- Immediate family members must travel to the new official station in advance of the employee's reporting date for acceptable reasons, such as enrolling children in school at the beginning of the term.
- Shipment of Vehicles. Civil service employees may be authorized shipment of one vehicle when it is determined as advantageous to the IHS. If an employee is required to report to the new duty station and time frames preclude the driving of the vehicle to the new duty station, the employee would be authorized shipment of the vehicle. Under no circumstances would the IHS allow an employee to ship one vehicle and personally drive another. Further, travelers will not be entitled to rental car costs until the vehicle arrives at the new duty station, nor will the use of a GFV for commuting purposes be allowed. This provision is applicable only to civil service staff.
- House Hunting. House-hunting trips are not automatic entitlements; they may be authorized at the discretion of the approving official. Approving officials may authorize an actual-expense method or a fixed amount. The allowances are for the employee and spouse only. Separate trips may be authorized for the employee and spouse not to exceed the total cost (transportation, per diem, etc.) that would have been incurred had they traveled together. Travelers must meet the following criteria prior to the authorization of house-hunting trips:
- The map distance between the old and new duty stations must be at least 75 miles.
- Travel must be to seek a new residence.
- Travel is for one round trip for the employee and/or spouse.
- The employee is considered to be in administrative leave status. (Additional information regarding administrative leave is contained in Section 5-8.13X.)
- The time spent on house-hunting trips is limited to 10 consecutive calendar days.
- A service agreement must be signed prior to leaving on the house-hunting trip.
- The house-hunting trip must be completed before the employee reports to duty.
- Real Estate Expense Reimbursement. This entitlement is designed to reimburse a transferred employee for costs associated with the sale and/or purchase of a residence or the breaking of a lease incident to that transfer. Examples of expenses may be found in Manual Exhibit 5-8-0. Prior to March 22, 1997, there were dollar caps on real estate reimbursable amounts. As of March 22, 1997, the caps were removed; employees may be reimbursed for up to 10 percent of the value of a home sold and 5 percent of the value of a home purchased.
- Actual Expense Method. The expenses reflected in the table on the following page are permitted for an employee and/or employee's spouse on an authorized house-hunting trip:
||Unaccompanied Employee or Spouse
||Employee and Spouse Traveling Together
|Transportation between duty Stations and local transportation
|POV mileage at PCS mileage rate
||Standard CONUS rate
||Employee: Standard CONUS rate.
Spouse: 3/4 of standard CONUS rate.
Example: Employee and spouse on a 5-day house-hunting trip:
4 lodging nights at $55 per night
4 loging nights at $41.25 per night
3 full days M&IE at $30 per day
3 full days M&IE at $22.50
2 days at 3/4 M&IE (first and last day of travel) at $30 per day
2 days at 3/4 M&IE (first and lst day of travel) at $22.50 per day
Total = $621.24
- Required Receipts. Employees are required to submit receipts in accordance with 5-8.8A(1).
- Fixed Amount Reimbursement. Offices may elect to offer an employee a fixed-amount reimbursement instead of using the actual-expense method for house-hunting expenses. The authorizing official determines if the fixed amount option is appropriate. The determination is based on factors such as ease of administration, cost factors, and consideration for the employee. The fixed-amount reimbursement is in addition to actual transportation costs. The IHS must consider the time and cost of reviewing claims for validity and accuracy vs. the fixed-amount payment. The following table outlines the allowances for fixed-amount payments:
||Reimbursement is based on one of the following:
Employee and/or spouse's subsistence expenses.
Both the employee and spouse perform a house-hunting trip together or separately. A single amount is determined by multiplying the applicable locality rate by 6.25.
One performs the house-hunting trip. The amount is determined by multiplying the applicable locality rate by 5.
Example: The employee and spouse travel to an area with a per diem rate of $100 per day ($70 lodging/$30 M&IE). The calculation is as follows:
Employee and spouse - - $100 x 6.25 = $625 Total subsistence expenses
Either employee or spouse - - $100 x 5.00 = $500 Total subsistence expenses
There is no requirement for receipts for subsistence expenses under this method of reimbursement.
The cost factor for an employee and spouse on a 5-day house-hunting trip under the actual-expense method equals $621.24. This is almost the same as the fixed-amount method which equals $625. The approving authority must understand that the fixed-amount formula will not vary; it will not increase unless the standard CONUS rate increases. The actual-expense method may be more or less, depending on the number of days authorized. Employees may be authorized up to 10 consecutive days of house-hunting, which would increase the cost significantly.
- Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses. Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses (TQSE) is not an automatic entitlement; TQSE must be authorized for travelers by the authorizing official. The authorizing official may limit the time an employee is authorized TQSE to less than the maximum time permitted. Travelers may be authorized TQSE based on the actual expense method or a fixed amount. To be authorized TQSE, an employee must meet the following criteria:
- The distance between the old residence and the new duty station is at least 40 miles greater than the distance between the old residence and the old duty station.
- The TQSE is limited to an initial 60 days. An additional 60 days may be approved. Requests for additional time should be submitted with a justification to approving officials.
- The TQSE cannot be authorized for more than 120 days under any circumstances.
- The TQSE may only be interrupted for “official circumstances,” e.g., TDY, military leave.
- The TQSE must be itemized on the TV with receipts. If groceries are purchased instead of individual meals, and/or lodging is purchased by the week or month, the daily amount specified on the voucher shall be determined by prorating the bill(s) by the number of days for which the groceries and/or lodging were purchased. In no case may the total TQSE exceed the maximum amount authorized. The TQSE allowances table in Manual Exhibit 5-8-P outlines those items that are considered reimbursable and for which receipts are required.
- Actual Expense Method of Reimbursement. If this method of reimbursement is selected, it is calculated based on the Standard CONUS rate. The following table indicates the applicable dollar limitation per day:
Example: An employee with a spouse and two children, one 14-year-old and one 9-year-old.
| Employee or Unaccompanied Spouse
| Accompanying Spouse or Family Member Over 12
| Family Member Under 12
- Employee - - 30 X $85.00 = $2,550.00
- Spouse - - 30 X $63.75 = $1,912.50
- Fourteen year-old - - = 30 X $63.75 = $1,912.50
- Nine year-old - - 30 X $42.50 = $1,275.00
- Total Days 1-30 (add 1-4) = $7,650.00
- Total Claim = $7,650.00
- Fixed Amount Reimbursement. Offices may elect to offer an employee a fixed-amount reimbursement instead of the actual-expense method in 5-8.13P for TQSE. The authorizing official determines if the fixed amount is appropriate due to the ease of administration, cost factors, and consideration for the employee. The IHS official must consider the time and cost of reviewing claims for validity and accuracy versus a fixed-amount payment.
- The cost factors involved in an actual-expense reimbursement may escalate to 120 days, whereas the fixed-amount method is limited to 30 days. An employee may consider the fixed-amount payment less cumbersome. The following table illustrates the calculations for the fixed amount reimbursement:
Multiply the number of days TQSE is authorized by 3/4 the maximum per diem rate.
Multiply the number of days TQSE is authorized by 1/4 maximum per diem rate.
Example: An employee with a spouse and two children, one 14-year-old and one 9-year-old.
The employee is authorized 30 days of TQSE in an area with a per diem rate of $100 ($70 lodging/$30 M&IE). Calculation:
- Employee - -30 x (3/4 x $100) = $2,250
- Spouse - - 30 x (1/4 x $100) = $ 750
- Fourteen Year-Old - - 30 x (1/4 x $100) = $ 750
- Nine Year-Old - - 30 x (1/4 x $100) = $ 750
- Total Fixed Amount Reimbursement = $4,500
- Under the fixed mount method, no receipts are required and the employee would be paid a lump sum.
- The fixed amount method has one restriction: If the employee encounters difficulty in securing permanent quarters, any request for extensions and additional entitlements must be denied. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- Offer. The IHS may decide to offer both methods of TQSE entitlements to the employee. Employees may select the method they prefer; however, once a decision is made, it may not be changed.
- Miscellaneous Expense Allowance. Miscellaneous expense allowances are authorized to defray miscellaneous costs associated with discontinuing a residence at one location and establishing a residence at another location. Dollar limitations on miscellaneous expenses are as follows:
|Type of Documentation Required
||Employee: With Family
||Employee: Without Family
The lesser of $1000 or 2 weeks basic pay
The lesser of $500 or 2 weeks basic pay
Receipts and/or Other Documentation
Up to 2 weeks basic pay.
Up to 1 week basic pay.
Manual Exhibit 5-8-Q, “Miscellaneous Expense Allowance,” outlines examples of likely reimbursable and non-reimbursable items.
- Shipment and Storage of Household Goods and Personal Effects. The IHS will pay the costs of packing, shipping, unpacking, and/or storing an employee’s household goods and personal effects when the employee is transferred to a new ODS. Limitations on the shipment and storage of household goods are:
- Weight may not exceed 18,000 pounds. Note: If an automobile is authorized for shipment, it is not considered part of the 18,000 pounds.
- Authorized storage may not exceed an initial 90-day period. Note: An additional 90-day period may be authorized. Requests should be submitted through the Director, DFM. Under no circumstances may authorized storage of household goods exceed 180 days.
- Authorized Methods of Shipment of Household Goods. The IHS does not authorize the shipment of household goods based on a commuted rate. Rockville employees should contact the DFM for TAs; all other employees should contact the Area Office responsible for the issuance of TAs. The shipment of household goods is authorized:
- by Government Bill of Lading (GBL) with a Federally-contracted carrier; and
- based on the actual expense of the employee, not to exceed the cost of the GBL. Expenses must be itemized. Expenses incurred in paying family members to move the employee may not be allowed, unless the family member is a Federally-contracted carrier.
- Relocation Services Program. The RSP provides services to employees who elect to participate in it in lieu of reimbursement for the expenses of selling real estate. The IHS requires that all employees actively market their residence for a period of 6 months prior to enrollment. Travel authorizations must be amended to include participation in the RSP on form HHS-1 “Travel Order.” There is no cost to the employee for electing to participate in the RSP. There are a great many details involved in participation and in the conlpletion of an employee transfer. Relocating employees should work very closely with their travel contact for the RSP to ensure they understand these details and are able to take full advantage of available programs. Available services include:
- Guaranteed Home Sale Service. The Federal Government has contracted with a group of relocation service companies that will purchase the homes of relocating Federal employees. This service is not a guarantee of equity or of an offer equivalent to the employee’s estimate of the value of the home. The price offered is based on the present market value of the residence. The employee may accept or reject the offer.
- Home Marketing Assistance. Professionals in the real estate market will work with employees to maximize the market appeal of the residence to be sold.
- Residence Review. A review of the residence will be followed by suggestions to make the residence as attractive as possible to potential buyers.
- Home Finding Assistance. Participating employees will be provided detailed information on the area to which they are relocating and actual listings of homes for sale in that area. Specific information on neighborhoods, schools, public services, etc., is also usually available through the Federal contractor.
- Mortgage Finding Assistance. Based on information provided by the employee, the relocation services company will provide information on available mortgage and financing programs for the area to which an employee is relocating.
- Relocation Income Tax Allowance. The RITA is an allowance to reimburse transferred employees for the additional income taxes incurred as a result of the entitlement. The RITA covers moving expenses that are actually paid or incurred and that are not allowable as moving-expense deductions for tax purposes.
- Filing of the RITA Claims. The DFM will issue an annual notice to inform employees who received a withholding tax allowance of when to file a RITA claim.
- Estimating RITA Allowances for Travel Authorizations. Travel authorizations for relocation expenses should include an estimate for the RITA. The amount ultimately claimed will vary for each employee since the RITA is based on the tax rate/bracket and other taxable income of the employee. Use the following table to estimate RITA allowances for the TA:
Add estimated costs for all expenses except:
En Route travel mileage and hotels
First 30 days of storage of household goods
Relocation services company costs
Multiply results by .38888
- Administrative Leave. Already employed civil service employees will be authorized up to 80 hours of administrative leave, not including time spent in en route travel, to complete necessary transactions incident to their relocation. These 80 hours shall not be used by employees for purposes that are not associated with their PCS move. Administrative leave shall be granted on an “as needed” basis. Administrative leave shall be used for, but not limited to:
- Closing/opening bank accounts.
- Going to settlement at the old/new ODs
- Meeting with the moving company for an estimate of the vendor’s needs/times.
- Moving day(s), overseeing the movement of household goods.
- Vehicle, voters, dependent (school) registrations
- Temporary Change of Station. Effective March 22, 1997, the IHS may pay a limited amount of relocation allowance in connection with a Temporary Change of Station (TCS). These allowances may be authorized if a traveler is on TDY at a particular location for at least 6 but not more than 30 months. This allowance is intended to reduce expenditures for and increase the employee’s satisfaction with the long-term TDY travel assignment. Temporary assignments away from an ODs and one’s family can negatively affect an employee’s morale and job performance. Use of this allowance has the potential of eliminating this problem.
- Unlike the PCS allowances, there is no required minimum distance between the official station and temporary assignment location that must be met to qualify for a TCS.
- Employees are not required to sign a service agreement.
- This allowance is discretionary and may be authorized after consideration is given to cost, length of the temporary assignment, tax considerations, and employee concerns.
- There are tax ramifications for employees who perform a TDY travel assignment in excess of 1 year at a single location. Under the TCS, an offsetting RITA is allowed.
- Payment of Temporary Change of Station Entitlements.
- At the Beginning of the TCS:
- Agencies are required to pay the following allowances upon assignment: en route travel for the employee and immediate family, and the transportation and temporary storage of household goods, or the transportation of a mobile home.
- Agencies may pay allowances upon assignment for the shipment of a vehicle, a house-hunting trip, and TQSE.
- During and Upon Completion of the TCS Assignment:
- Agencies are required to pay the following allowances during and upon completion of assignment: non-temporary storage of household goods, RITA, property management services company, en route travel for employee and immediate family, transportation and temporary storage of household goods or transportation of a mobile home, and TQSE.
- The IHS may pay for the shipment of a vehicle during and upon completion of TCS.
- Employee Separation Prior to Completion of Assignment. If the employee separates from the IHS for reasons beyond his/her control and acceptable to the IHS, the IHS will pay the same relocation expenses it would have paid had the assignment been completed. If the reasons are not acceptable to the IHS, the employee will pay costs that do not exceed the reimbursement the employee would have been authorized had the assignment been conducted as TDY travel.
- Employee Separation at Completion of Assignment. If the employee separates from the IHS at the end of the assignment, the IHS will pay the same amount it would have paid had the employee returned to the ODS.
- Temporary Change of Station Location Becomes a Permanent Assignment. If the employee is permanently assigned to the TCS location, all payments under TCS will stop.
- Allowable Costs. The IHS may pay the following costs:
- Travel, including per diem, for one round trip between the previous ODS and the new duty station for the employee and family members.
- Relocation, residence transactions expenses, temporary quarters, transportation and/or storage of household goods not previously transported, and shipment of a POV.
5-8.14 MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS. Reference Part 5, Chapter 16, "Management Control Systems," IHM.
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