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Research Foundation for SUNY Travel. Learning Objectives. To provide a general overview of the Research Foundation for SUNY’s travel policies View recent updates Explore key topics within the travel policy. RF Travel Overview.

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learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • To provide a general overview of the Research Foundation for SUNY’s travel policies
  • View recent updates
  • Explore key topics within the travel policy
rf travel overview
RF Travel Overview
  • RF Travel Policy is designed to provide guidance for those traveling on RF business
  • Ensure compliance with federal regulations and sponsored agreements
  • Applicable to RF employees, SUNY employees, contractors, and/or anyone else conducting business using RF funds
travel basic requirements
Travel - Basic Requirements

Travel reimbursement must include:

  • A business purpose for the trip
  • Expenses must be itemized and accounted
  • Required documentation - travel payment request form, agenda, receipts, etc.
tax exempt status
Tax Exempt Status
  • Research Foundation for SUNY is a non-profit corporation
    • As a not-for-profit institution, the Research Foundation is entitled to claim exemption for most types of sales tax
    • It is important to supply the RF tax exempt form
  • States the RF is exempt from tax:
    • New York
    • Florida
    • New Jersey
    • Tennessee
  • .
  • Traveler must be in official travel status

“when an employee, SUNY employee, or contractor is traveling for official RF business at a distance greater than 35 miles from both his or her designated official station and place of residence.”

meal eligibility
Meal Eligibility

*Lunch is not reimbursable*

expenses and rates
Expenses and Rates
  • Method 1 – a per diem allowance
    • Reimburses lodging, meals, and incidental expenses
    • Without use of receipts
  • Method 2 – a modified per diem allowance
    • Requires receipts for lodging
    • Receipts are not required for meals and incidentals (M & IE)
method 1 unreceipted lodging
Method 1 (Unreceipted Lodging)
  • Traveler must be eligible for both a breakfast and a dinner
  • Traveler must be in overnight status
method 2 receipted lodging
Method 2 (Receipted Lodging)
  • Traveler must be in overnight status
  • Traveler must save and submit valid receipts for lodging expenses
  • Lodging will be reimbursed at the actual cost, up to the maximum federal allowance
  • Meal receipts are not required
  • All meals associated with overnight travel will be reimbursed at the federal per diem rate of the specified area (GSA)
question 1
Question 1

A PI traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the ALA (American Library Association) conference held at the Holiday Inn for two nights. He received an itemized receipt from the hotel.

  • What method of reimbursement should be used?
  • Method 1
  • Method 2

B. Method 2

question 2
Question 2
  • A project director traveled to Boston for an NIH conference for a total of 4 nights. He has receipted lodging and therefore is requesting Method 2. The individual is requesting meals for his entire stay.

What documentation should be included with the reimbursement request?

A. Lodging receipt, meal receipts and agenda

B. Lodging receipt only

C. Lodging receipt not required

D. Lodging receipt and agenda


D. Lodging receipt and agenda

question 3
Question 3
  • A PI goes to a conference in Atlanta, GA. The conference is being at the hotel in which the traveler stays. The hotel rate is $145 a night. The maximum lodging per diem for Atlanta is $133.

Should the RF reimburse at the hotel rate of $145?

A. Yes

B. No


A. Yes

non overnight travel
Non-Overnight Travel
  • Employees - payments for non-overnight meal expenses must be included in the employee’s paycheck – W-2
    • Taxable Meal Payment Request form to be used
  • Independent Contractors – payments must be made through Accts Payable module
  • SUNY employees – payments to be reimbursed through SUNY payroll or receive RF reimbursement by submitting an invoice to the RF
  • Travelers are expected to travel by the method most conducive to achieving the objectives of the trip while balancing cost, time and safety
  • IRS requires receipts to document any transportation expenditure over $75
rental vehicles
Rental Vehicles
  • RF piggy-backs off of NYS contract with Enterprise
    • Contract is good for 5 years
    • Insurance is included with Enterprise contract
    • For insurance questions, claims, etc., please contact Judy Burns in the Central Office
personal automobile mileage
Personal Automobile Mileage
  • May be used for conducting RF business
  • Reimbursable at the current mileage rate established by the IRS
  • Includes travel from the traveler’s residence or official work station to local transportation terminals or local business sites (seminars/meetings) provided that the mileage is above and beyond mileage from the traveler’s home to their official work station
  • Covers gas, oil, depreciation, insurance and repairs
commercial air
Commercial Air
  • Fly America Act – Federal government requires that US flag air carriers be used even if:
    • Comparable or a different kind of service can be provided at less cost
    • Foreign-flag air carrier service is preferred/convenient
    • Service by a foreign-flag carrier can be paid for in excess of foreign currency

When is a foreign-flag carrier acceptable?

  • To/From US
    • Airport abroad is the traveler’s original or destination airport and the use of US-flag air carrier would extend time by 24 hours or more

Between Points outside US

  • Travel by a foreign-flag air carrier would eliminate two or more changes en route
  • Travel by a US-flag air carrier would extend time by at least 6 hours
  • Travel is not part of a trip to/from the US, and use of a US-flag air carrier would extend the time in travel by 6 hours
case study
Case Study

Fly America Act

travel helpful lists
Travel – Helpful Lists
  • Pre-Travel checklist
  • Post-Travel checklist
    • Not required; job aid
    • Benefits
      • Helps campuses identify key questions when processing travel requests
policy updates
Policy Updates
  • Travel policy will be combined into one comprehensive document
    • Table of Contents that includes:

Miscellaneous Expenses

Tax-Exempt Policy

Expenses and Rates

International Travel

revised travel document
Revised Travel Document

General Regulations and Provisions replaced with name – “Travel – Miscellaneous Expenses and Applicable Regulations Policy”

  • Combination of the “General…” and the Miscellaneous Expenses Policy
reimbursable expenses
Reimbursable Expenses
  • Internet usage fees
  • Baggage fees
  • Laundry/dry cleaning
  • GPS
non reimbursable expenses
Non-reimbursable Expenses
  • Airline club memberships
    • Exception – one-day membership – e.g. layover, stranded
    • Early bird check-in option
      • Common with Southwest
    • Upgrade seat charges
      • Exception – unless deemed necessary; requires proper documentation – e.g. medical condition
frequent flyer programs
Frequent Flyer Programs
  • Loyalty program – acceptable!
    • Travelers may retain rewards that accrue from business travel; can include FFP number in booking Southwest, Delta, American Airlines, etc.
    • However, reimbursement is not permissible for travel expenses paid with frequent flyer points
omb circular a 21
OMB Circular A-21
  • Added verbiage concerning Commercial Air

“Airfare costs in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent) are unallowable except when such accommodations would:”

      • Require indirect routing
      • Require travel during unreasonable hours; excessively prolong travel
      • Result in additional costs that would offset the transportation savings; or
      • Offer accommodations not reasonably adequate for the traveler’s medical needs
travel submission deadline
Travel submission deadline
  • Travel expenses must be submitted within a reasonable period of time, in accordance with the IRS.
    • IRS states that “a reasonable period of time depends on the facts and circumstances.”
    • Rules require that the incurrence of expenses is deemed “unsubstantiated,” taxable, and reportable to the employee on the W-2 and tax statement.
accompanying persons
Accompanying Persons

RF does not preclude family members

  • Non-reimbursable
  • Dependents/Spouses/Companions

Must have substantiated bona fide business purpose to benefit RF to be reimbursable

Approved by an OM or designee or Officer or designee; approved by the sponsor

personal travel combined with business travel
Personal Travel Combined with Business Travel

Personal travel is non-reimbursable; must be identified and deducted from reimbursement

  • Trip cancellation – must be reasonably cost-beneficial; cannot charge non-refundable airline tickets to sponsored award
  • Travel insurance – International travel is covered; see International Travel Assistance – Administrative Guide.

Original receipts no longer required, however, receipts are still required


Review of the travel policy that includes:

  • Documentation requirements
  • Applicable regulations
  • Exempt status
  • Expenses and rates
    • Lodging Method 1 and Method 2
  • Transportation (Rental car, personal car)
  • Commercial Airplane
  • Policy Updates
    • One travel document, reimbursable vs. non-reimbursable, frequent flyer programs, travel submission deadline, early bird check-in, accompanying persons, personal travel combined with business travel
  • Insurance
  • Receipts
topics to be covered
Topics to be Covered
  • RF Procurement Mission
  • Federal & State Procurement Regulations
    • OMB A-110 Solicitation Requirements
    • OMB A-21 Provisions
    • NYS Lobbying Law
  • Purchases that do not require bids
  • Bids & Proposal Requirements
  • Documenting the Vendor Selection Process
rf procurement mission
RF Procurement Mission
  • To promote open and free competition in procurement transactions to the maximum extent practical
  • To ensure that procurements are priced competitively and meet or exceed any technical, programmatic, and performance requirements
  • Designed to comply with OMB Circular A-110
  • Governs all procurement transactions made by all RF operating locations and the central office
federal procurement regulations
Federal Procurement Regulations
  • OMB Circular A-110 Requirements:
    • Prior to issuance of a PO or contracting with suppliers selected for purchases in excess of the small purchase threshold under 41 U.S.C. 403 (11) (currently $100,000) on a federal project, the RF must receive vendor certification that they are not debarred or suspended from participating in federal procurements.
a 110 solicitation requirements cont d
A-110 Solicitation Requirements cont’d
  • Recipients should avoid purchasing unnecessary items
  • Where appropriate, an analysis should be made of lease and purchase alternatives
  • Solicitations for goods and services should provide all of the following:
    • A clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the goods or services being procured.
    • Requirements which the bidder must fulfill and all other factors to evaluating the bids or proposals.
a 110 solicitation requirements
A-110 Solicitation Requirements
  • A description, whenever practical, of technical requirements in terms of functions to be performed or performance required.
  • The specific features of “brand name or equal” descriptions that bidders are required to meet when such items are included in the solicitation.
  • The acceptance, to the extent practical or economically feasible, of products and services dimensioned in the metric system of measurement.
  • Preference, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources and protect the environment and are energy efficient.
omb a 21 provisions
OMB A-21 Provisions
  • Charges should be allowable per section J of OMB A-21. Examples of unallowable include:

J1. Advertising and public relations costs

J3. Alcoholic beverages

J4. Alumni activities

J8. Commencement and convocation costs

J17. Entertainment costs

J28. Lobbying

nys executive order 127 lobbying law
NYS Executive Order 127 (Lobbying Law)
  • Restricts communications between a potential vendor or a person acting on behalf of the vendor, including its lobbyist, to communications with the officers and employees of the procuring agency designated to receive such communications.
  • Prohibits any communication which attempts to unduly influence the award, denial or amendment of a contract.
nys lobbying law cont d
NYS Lobbying Law cont’d
  • Applies to each contract in excess of $15,000
  • The agency must record all Contacts and must deny an award of contract to a vendor involved in a knowing and willful Contact.
  • While the NYS Procurement Lobbying Law does not apply to the RF since the RF is not a State Agency, the RF administers certain programs with the understanding that for procurements through the campus procurement office the campus adheres to the procurement policies of the State of New York.
"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.“ Yogi Berra
when bids proposals are not required
When Bids & Proposals are Not Required
  • Purchases made under NYS Contracts, Consortiums, or through campus central stores or service centers
  • Purchases up to $200k with certified small business or MWBE
  • Purchases that qualify as either Sole Source or Single Source procurements
single sole source procurements
Single & Sole Source Procurements
  • Sole Source Procurements – purchases that qualify because the product or service procured is unique to one source or the requirements for the product or service can only be met by one supplier or contractor.
single and sole source procurements
Single and Sole Source Procurements
  • Single Source Procurements – purchases where there are two or more potential vendors but it has been determined that it is in the best interest of the RF to procure from a particular vendor.
single and sole source procurements1
Single and Sole Source Procurements
  • Both Single and Sole Source Procurements require documentation of the solicitation elements that includes a clear and accurate description of the technical and programmatic requirements.
bids and proposal requirements
Bids and Proposal Requirements
  • Up to $50,000 - No requirement for solicitations of bids or proposals. When the same suppliers are used repeatedly for various procurements, pricing and quality of the goods and services should be reviewed periodically and the results maintained in a supplier procurement file.
  • Requires fair and/or reasonableness of price analysis
bid and proposal requirements cont d
Bid and Proposal Requirements cont’d
  • $50,000 - $100,000 - Solicitation of bids or proposals required, and procurement requires selection from a minimum of three (3) written or verbal quotes.
  • $100,000 and above - Solicitation of written bids or proposals required, and procurement requires selection from a minimum of three (3) written bids or proposals.
rf procurement case study 1
RF Procurement Case Study 1


Your campus business office has been flooded and you need to bring in an emergency response team at an estimated cost of $120,000 to respond and clean up the damage. What is necessary to comply with the RF procurement policy?

A. Single/Sole Source Justification

B. Minimum of 3 verbal bids

C. Minimum of 3 written bids or proposals

D. None of the above

rf procurement case study 1 cont d
RF Procurement Case Study 1 cont’d

The correct answer is “A” – Single/Sole Source Justification is required.

rf procurement case study 2
RF Procurement Case Study 2


A PI would like to purchase four electron microscopes for her lab from VWR off the NYS contract at a cost of $52,000. What is needed to comply with the RF procurement policy?

A. Single/Sole Source Justification

B. Minimum of 3 verbal bids or quotes

C. Reasonableness of price analysis

D. None of the above

rf procurement case study 21
RF Procurement Case Study 2

The correct answer is “D” – None of the above.

bids and proposals field in oracle
Bids and Proposals Field in Oracle
  • RF business system has an alert requiring the end user to select how the RF procurement requirements have been met:
documenting the vendor selection process
Documenting the Vendor Selection Process

The following should be retained in the procurement file to document vendor selection:

  • Names of vendors and bid amounts
documenting vendor selection process
Documenting Vendor Selection Process
  • Names of vendors and bid amount
  • Selection criteria used for choosing a vendor
  • If the vendor chosen was not the lowest bidder, then the explanation should include the specific reasons why that vendor was chosen.
  • If a sealed bid process is utilized, minutes should be documented of the meeting in which the bids are opened.
helpful links
Helpful Links

OMB A-21:

OMB A-110:

New York State Lobbying Law:

GSA website for per diems:

  • Megan Moran

Accounts Payable/Purchasing Supervisor

(518) 434-7136

  • Dave Martin

Campus Services Manager

(518) 434-7033