Training

Generally, SEE enrollees are considered to be fully trained and experienced when enrolled, and little or no training should be needed. However, technological change, new equipment, new or revised program requirements, etc., may require enrollees to receive further training, if an enrollee needs training that incurs costs, the Monitor should submit a memorandum requesting training to the SEE Program Director. (Training that does not incur cost can be arranged locally.) The memorandum must include: 

  • Name, position title, and location of enrollee;

  • Description, length, cost, and justification for the training; and any other special circumstances that would help the NCBA Program Director understand the basis for the request. (Normally, training courses range from a few days to one week. Courses that last more than a week must be fully documented.)

The Program Director will inform the Monitor of the approval/disapproval of the training request. All training costs, charged to the grant line item, pertains to enrollee cost. All training, to include enrollees attending national conferences, must be approved 15 working days in advance by the EPA Monitor and the NCBA Program Director. A record of this training will be maintained by the NCBA/SEE office.

 LOCAL TRAVEL

 The following rules apply when a private vehicle is in use: 

  • Home to office/lab - Not reimbursed.

  • Proof of liability insurance coverage required by state law, name of insurer, coverage limits and the date of expiration of coverage. 

  • Odometer readings are to be logged in from the point of departure to the point of arrival as well as the return trip. 

  • Reimbursement for travel will be paid at the current federal GSA mileage rate for personal automobile usage as stated in cooperative agreement.

  • Request for travel must be submitted in a timely manner. 

Taxi, Bus, etc. 

In order to be reimbursed for travel using a taxi, bus, or any form of public transportation you are required to submit receipts if greater than $2.50; you are required to state why you traveled from point A to point B.

  TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

NCBA/SEE enrollees are required to have both their Monitor's and the NCBA/SEE Program Director's approval before travel activities are incurred.

  All out-of-town travel arrangements for SEE related travels will be handled by the SEE enrollees which included:

  • Ordering of tickets (airline, train, bus – Economy Class Only)

  • Car rental (if necessary) – Compact Car.

  • Hotel arrangements (Approval is required if rate is more than conus)

 

Effective January 1, 1991, the federal travel regulations (after which NCBA patterns its policies) reflect changes which, among other things, implement a new lodging - plus per diem system under which reimbursements for subsistence expenses are computed for each travel day based on the amount the traveler pays for lodging plus a fixed allowance for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE), the total not to exceed a maximum daily rate set by locality. 

Highlights of the regulations follow:

 What is covered by per diem? 

All charges including taxes and service charges for: 

  • Lodging (except with friends or relatives). 

  • Meals and incidentals - this includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (alcoholic beverages and entertainment expenses are specifically excluded). 

  • Incidental expenses related to subsistence- this includes fees and tips, laundry, transportation to meals, and telephone calls necessary to reserve lodging.

How much is per diem?

 All CONUS (Contiguous United States) locations and corresponding per diem rates may be found at the GSA website https://www.gsa.gov/perdlem. 

When is per diem not allowed? 

When the period of travel is 10 hours or less during the same calendar day, except when travel exceeds 6 hours and either begins before 6 a.m. or ends after 8 p.m. 

When does per diem start and stop? 

When the traveler leaves home or office and returns to home or office. Exact times are to be included on Expense Reports. 

Are receipts required? 

Receipts are always required for lodging, taxi, gas, etc. However, meal expense (M&IE) rate (or fraction thereof) is payable without receipts. 

How Is per diem calculated? 

The Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) rates are notated on the GSA per diem site and are to be used for business related travel purposes. (75% of the appropriate M&IE rate is applicable for the first and last day of travel. Other travel days are as quoted.) 

Will enrollees ever be personally responsible for travel costs?

 Yes, enrollees must personally pay for excess costs and any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience. Excess costs, circuitous routes, delays, or luxury accommodations and services are solely the responsibility of the employee. 

What constitutes reasonable expenses? 

Enrollees travelling for NCBA are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business and spending personal funds.

What is the mileage reimbursement rate? 

The current mileage reimbursement rate may be found at the GSA website https://www.gsa.gov/perdiem.  

NOTE:       SEE Enrollees who travel are sent appropriate travel regulations and forms under separate cover.



Non-Travel Expenses



Expendable Items; 

The purchase of expendable supplies can be authorized by an EPA Monitor or NCBA/SEE Program Director. Expendable supplies are such items as postage, office supplies (e.g. paper, folders, etc.). These types of Items are reimbursed only if approved and proper receipts are submitted.

 TELEPHONE CALLS

 Telephone calls will be reimbursed with compliment of the following rules:

  • All calls must be listed on NCBA/SEE telephone log. 

  • Business calls directly related to the conduct of EPA business. 

  • All calls must be accompanied by a copy of the telephone bill. 

  • NO PERSONAL CALLS will be reimbursed.



Travel Guidelines

 

Policy Statement

 It is NCBA's policy to reimburse authorized enrollees who travel using the Federal Travel regulations and 0MB Circular 122 as a for determining lodging, per diem, and mileage reimbursement. Travel policies will be administered uniformly and consistently for all NCBA/SEE enrollees. Authorized enrollees who are not eligible to obtain hotel reservations at government rates are allowed to exceed those rates with prior approval from the NCBA/SEE Program Director and the EPA Monitor. However, all enrollees must make every effort to obtain the most reasonable hotel rates for travel services.

  Travel Authorization and Advances

 NCBNSEE enrollees who travel, either locally or out-of-town, as a part of their assignment must submit a Travel Request Form to the NCBA/SEE Program office.

 All enrollees requiring travel advances must submit a travel request, approved by the monitor, to the NCBA/SEE Program office at least seven (7) working days prior to travel and at that time travel advances will be prepared. Only 85% of the total Per Diem and ground transportation is advanced. The 16% balance is given when your Travel Expense Report is submitted and processed by the National Office. Travel advances will be made available at least 48 hours before departure.

 Enrollees who are required to perform local travel, using a privately-owned vehicle or rental car, must submit a Travel Request Form, approved by the monitor, to the NCBA/SEE Program office prior to the scheduled travel.

 General Travel Policy

 All enrollees who travel on behalf of their EPA/SEE assignments and who frequently drive privately-owned vehicles or rental cars in performing their assignments are required to complete a physical examination as specified by NCBA.    NCBA' physical examination form must be completed and returned to the NCBA/SEE Program office prior to attempting any travel.

 NCBA will underwrite the cost of a physical examination not to exceed $75.00. If you have reviewed the physical examination form with your doctor and he concludes that the cost will be more than $75.00, you should immediately contact the NCBA/SEE Program office for further instructions. 

Out-of-town travel arrangements, which include airline tickets and car rental reservations, can only be made by the NCBA/SEE Program staff. The lowest airfare will be selected when reservations are made. Connecting, rather than non-stop, flights will be used if these result in substantial savings on airfare. It is the responsibility of the enrollee to notify the NCBA/SEE Program office of any special condition(s) or circumstance(s) relating to any trip {i.e. disabilities, inability to fly, etc.)

 If the monitor approves, an enrollee may request to stay over a Saturday night if the stay-over would result in substantial savings on airfare.

 Per IRS rules, advances outstanding for more than 90 days become taxable income.

Use of Privately-Owned Vehicle (POV)

 All enrollees using a privately-owned vehicle (POV) for travel are limited to 200 miles round-trip. If the planned authorized trip will exceed 200 miles round-trip. A rental car must be requested through the NCBA/SEE Program office.

 When using POVs, enrollees must submit proof of liability insurance coverage required by state law, name of insurer, coverage limits, and the date of expiration coverage to NCBA.

Privately-owned vehicles, when utilized, are at the risk of the owner. Enrollees using their privately- owned vehicles for their personal conveniences in the conduct of official business shall be entitled to the mileage rate allowed by NCBA Travel Policy. The mileage rate is in lieu of any and all operating expenses. Gas, oil, repairs, etc., are all included in the mileage rate. Enrollees must support mileage claims with odometer readings. Enrollees shall be responsible for maintaining their privately-owned vehicles in good operating condition at all times and will be responsible for providing insurance.

  Rental Cars/Other Ground Transportation

 Free hotel pickup and delivery service should be utilized at every opportunity; however, airport buses, taxicabs, or limousine services normally used for travel to and from the airport can also be considered.

 All rental car reservations must be made through the NCBA/SEE Program office. A full-size automobile will be rented unless prior approval has been given for the use of a mini-van. Luxury cars are not allowed. The gas tank should be filled before returning the rental car as most rental agencies charge an excessive amount for refueling. Enrollees must obtain receipts for all gas purchased which must be attached to the Travel Expense Report. ONLY THE AUTHORIZED ENROLLEE SHOULD DRIVE THE RENTAL CAR. No other drivers are covered under NCBA's Hire/Lease Car Liability Insurance coverage. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ARE NOT COVERED UNDER NCBA1 S HIRE/LEASE CAR LIABILITY INSURANCE.

Travel Accident Insurance

 NCBA/SEE Program enrollees who use rental cars for authorized travel as part of their SEE Program assignment are advised to decline collision insurance coverage (Loss Damage Waiver -LDW) offered by the car rental company. Insurance for collision is covered under NCBA's Master Insurance policy. No reimbursement will be made for any other insurance taken in conjunction with the rental of a car on official business. NCBA will not be responsible for any damages or expenses incurred relating to personal business.

 In addition, no other person(s) or party(ies) other than authorized NCBA/SEE enrollees is/are covered under the NCBA Master Insurance policy.

 Accident Reporting

 If an enrollee is involved in an accident, the enrollee must notify the NCBA/SEE Program office within 24 hours of the accident so that appropriate information regarding insurance coverage can be submitted to the rental car company.

 Travel Time/Lodging

  • Official travel begins at the time the enrollee leaves home, office, or other point of departure and ends when the enrollee returns home, office, or other point of official return at the conclusion of the trip. Departure and arrival times must be noted on the Travel Expense Report as a basis for per diem calculations.

  •  Mileage reimbursement shall be allowed for one way trip of a privately-owned automobile used by an enrollee from his home or place of business to a terminal, or from a terminal to either the enrollee's home or place of business.

  •  Enrollees are allowed to make their own hotel arrangements. If lodging is obtained with friends or family members, the enrollee will only be allowed the government Meals and Incidental Expenses (M & IE) applicable to the area.

  •  If an enrollee's trip is interrupted for personal reasons, e.g. to take annual leave, any additional expenses will be incurred by the enrollee. Cars rented through NCBA may not be used during periods of personal travel.

Travel Allowances

 Per diem allowances shall not be approved for travel of 10 hours or less. In the event a SEE enrollee is away from official business for more than 1O hours, but no lodging is required, one quarter of the per diem allowance applicable to the location of the temporary duty station will be allowed for each 6-hour period or portion thereof, commencing with the time the SEE enrollee leaves home or the office and enters into travel status.

 A per diem allowance will not be allowed within the limits of the official duty station or within a 3O-mile radius around the official duty station for travel within one calendar day or less.

 When the time of departure from home, office, or other authorized point at the beginning of the trip or the time of return at the end of the trip involves only a 30-minute fraction of a quarter day, no per diem will be allowed unless a statement explaining the necessity is attached to the Travel Expense Report. The statement must also be approved by the NCBA/SEE Program office.

Expense Reimbursements

 Within five (5) days of completion of official travel, the enrollee must file an expense report. Reimbursements for enrollees, subject to Federal Travel Regulations, will be based upon location of site visited. Instructions for claiming reimbursement for expenses follow.

 Guidelines For Claiming Reimbursable Expenses

  • Expense reports must be completed in ink or by typewriter and signed by the enrollee incurring the expense. Authorized approval by the monitor must be provided.

  • Amounts must be commensurate with the nature of the business assignment, and must be in compliance with Federal Travel Regulations.

  •  Original receipts must be attached to the expense report for transportation, car rental, tolls, parking, hotel lodging expenses, and business-related supplies. They must show the date, amount involved, and nature of the expenditure.  When using a taxi, bus, or other public transportation you are required to submit receipts if the cost is greater than $2.50. You must state why you traveled from point A  to point a.

  • Enrollees travelling overnight on official business may request reimbursement for up to two personal calls per trip to advise family of safe arrival and confirmation of return travel arrangements.

  • Maximum reimbursement is $5.00 per call. All telephone calls must be listed on the NCBA/ telephone log and accompanied by a copy of the telephone bill.

 Reimbursement for mileage, using a privately-owned vehicle, will be paid at the current federal GSA mileage rate for personal automobile usage. This mileage should be recorded on the enrollees timesheet if no other expenses were incurred. The odometer readings are to be logged in from the point of departure to the point of arrival as well as for the return trip. If the enrollee has receipts for parking, registration fees, etc., or requires reimbursement for per diem, then he/she should follow the procedures for completing Travel Expense Reports.

 

Expense Reports submitted which do not adhere to the established guidelines will be returned to the enrollee and may result in the delay of reimbursement.

  • Travel Expense Report

Travel Expense Report - pdf file