Georgia Highlands College

PROCUREMENT MANUAL

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Purpose ……………………………………………………………………………. 2

 

Bid Requirements & Purchasing Limits …………………………………………..  2

 

Purchase Order ……………………………………………………………………. 3

Purchase Order Requisition Instructions…………………………………..  3

Forms………………………………………………………………………. 4

 

Purchasing Card …………………………………………………………………… 5

            Who Can Use a Purchasing Card ………………………………………...... 5

            What Can I Buy..…………………………………………………………... 5

            What Can’t I Buy….……………………………………………………….. 5

            Sales Tax …………………………………………………………………... 6

            Shipping …………………………………………………………………… 7

            Receipts ……………………………………………………………………. 7

            Returns …………………………………………………………………….. 7

            Disputing A Charge ……………………………………………………….. 8

            Billing Cycle ………………………………………………………………. 8

            Reconciliation ……………………………………………………………... 8

            Purchasing Card Help ……………………………………………………….9

            Cardholder Responsibilities ……………………………………………….. 9

            Paperwork & Forms……………………………………………………….   11

 

Travel ……………………………………………………………………………… 12

            Authorization for Travel …………………………………………………... 12

            Professional Travel ………………………………………………………...  13

            Intercampus Travel ………………………………………………………... 14

           

Reimbursement of Expenses ………………………………………………………  14

            Travel Expense Statement ………………………………………………… 14

            Intercampus Mileage Grid ………………………………………………… 15

            Registration ………………………………………………………………... 15

            Meals ………………………………………………………………………. 16

            Standard Meal Expense Grid .……………………………………………...16

            High-Cost Meal Expense Grid ……………………………………………..16

            Lodging …………………………………………………………………….17

 

Exceptions to Travel Regulations …………………………………………………. 17

 

Travel Forms ………………………………………………………………………. 17

 

Inventory ………………………………………………………………………….. 18

            Forms ……………………………………………………………………… 18

 

Budgeting …………………………………………………………………………..19

            Forms ……………………………………………………………………… 19                                                                                                                                           

PURPOSE

 

The purpose of this manual is to give clear guidelines and procedures to employees who purchase supplies and travel for Georgia Highlands College.  Approved purchasing methods include the use of the State of Georgia Purchasing Card; a Purchase Order issued by Georgia Highlands College procurement office; an approved Authority to Travel issued by the office of Finance and Administration.

When ordering supplies, equipment, or services, please check the following link for a State of Georgia contract before ordering to be sure that you are ordering supplies from an approved source. If the supply items are on the “Core Items List” attached to the contract, they must be ordered from the contracted vendor; no exceptions.  Georgia Highlands College may not pay for items on the core items list that are purchased from non-contracted vendors (this includes items bought with a Purchasing Card).  http://ssl.doas.state.ga.us/PRSapp/PR_StateWide_contract_menu.jsp

The State of Georgia has a number of contracts for a variety of items.  Each contract is followed by a core list of items.  If we order core list items from a non-contracted vendor, the college may be sanctioned by the auditors and the State of Georgia.  The Department of Administrative Services is currently working to implement more vendor contracts.  The goal of DOAS, as ordered by Governor Sonny Perdue, is to provide for better control of spending by agencies, colleges, and universities within the State of Georgia.  Please help us achieve that goal by not purchasing core list items from non-contract vendors.  

If you are not sure about where to purchase or how to read the contract, contact the Procurement Office for assistance. 

 

BID REQUIREMENTS & PURCHASING LIMITS

 

Bid requirements and purchasing limit guidelines as set forth by the State of Georgia are as follows:

·         Under $5,000              No Bidding Required

·         $5,000 - $9,999.99      6 Bids Required (3 from minority vendors)

·         $10,000 +                    Contact Procurement Office

 

Items not found on the Core Item List may be purchased from the vendor of choice.  The vendor selected may or may not be a contract vendor.  The purchasing limits listed above still apply.  It is recommended that purchasers compare the products and prices from at least three vendors to ensure that the best value at the lowest cost is attained.  When purchasing items that require a bid process, contact the Procurement Office for assistance.

   

PURCHASE ORDER

 

A Purchase Order is the preferred purchasing method for buying goods or services to be used by the College.  The Purchasing Requisition is the method by which you request that a Purchase Order be issued.  The Procurement Officer will generate a Purchase Order using the information on the requisition.  It is imperative that the requisition be filled out completely so that supplies, equipment and services can be delivered in a timely manner.  Unless you are using a Purchasing Card, you may not phone, fax, or request by any other means the delivery of items without a Purchase Order.  The Purchasing Requisition form can be found on the Z drive of your Georgia Highlands College computer.  The Purchase Requisition requires an original signature by the approving authority before a Purchase Order can be processed.  The approving authority would generally be the division head/account manager.  The division head/account manager may designate an alternate requisition approving authority.   This may be done by providing the Purchasing Office with a signed and dated approvalletter making that designation.  If the designating person is at the vice president’s level (including IT), no additional approval is required.  All other requests will require the approval of one level above the requesting level.  Please understand that the granting of an alternate approving person does not change the responsibility of the division head/account manager regarding budget management. 

 

PURCHASING AND RECEIVING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Complete each section of the purchase requisition form.
  2. Print the requisition form and have the approving authority sign in the box labeled APPROVED BY:
  3. Forward the requisition form with the original approving signature to the procurement office for processing.
  4. Upon verification of available funds, the procurement officer will process a purchase order per the information on the requisition form.
  5. The original purchase order will be forwarded to the selected vendor.
  6. A copy of the purchase order with original requisition and budget documentation will be forwarded to accounts payable.
  7. A copy of the purchase order and all supporting documentation will be returned to the ordering department as well as maintained in the procurement office.
  8. The receipt of the order or completion of services will be verified on the PO copy by the signature of the person requesting supplies or services.  The PO must be stamped RECEIVED with an original signature and date of receipt.
  9. The receiver should be forwarded to the Receiving Department located at Plant Operations.
  10. All invoices should be forwarded directly to Accounting Services.  The invoices will be paid once the receiver has been processed by the Receiving Department.

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING REQUISITION FORM

1.                            Department Name & Requisition Number – The department name is necessary for insuring the goods are delivered to the proper place.  The requisition number is a department generated number for control purposes.  This number usually begins with the department number followed by a sequential number that will help you track your orders.

2.                            Ordered By & Approved By – Items are often ordered by department personnel/faculty members and should be received by this person.  The approving person is the department head or the person with designated authority to sign purchase requisitions.

3.                            Email Address – This is contact information for questions and verification from the procurement officer.

4.                            Choose one of the Following – Let us know if you are drawing supplies from our Central Store or placing an order from an outside vendor.

5.                            Date Requested/Date Needed – Please put the date you are submitting the request and the date you need the items or service.

6.                            Vendor Information or Number – This may be the most important part of the form.  All vendors doing business with Georgia Highlands College are assigned a vendor number.  If you have previously used this vendor then a number has been assigned and can be located above the vendor name on all purchase orders.  Please use the vendor number if you know it.  If you do not know the vendor number, then we must have the name, address, tax ID number, and phone and fax numbers for the vendor in order to set them up for purchasing. The requisition will be returned if this information is not complete.

7.                            NIGP Code – National Institute of Government Purchasing Code is used to identify the type of item being purchased.  If you don not know this code, then leave it blank.  The purchasing department will fill in this blank.

8.                            Misc. Information – This field is for alternate account numbers or item numbers.  Use your own judgment.

9.                            Quantity – This field will multiply itself times the cost per unit and fill in the total cost field for you.  The form will generate the total cost for you (Quantity x Cost Per Unit).

10.                        Item Number & Description – Please give us the vendor’s item number and a good description of the item being purchased.

11.                        Cost Per Unit – The cost per one item.  If you are ordering 9 items (quantity 9) and the items are $5.00 each, the Cost Per Unit will be $5.00.  The Total Cost will be generated for you.

12.                        Total Cost – This field is protected and the total will be figured for you.

13.                        4 Questions – It is extremely important that you answer one of these 4 questions.  The purchasing department will not know what to do with the Purchase Order unless you tell them.  If you are asking us to pay an invoice, please be sure to include the invoice number in the description field.

14.                        Accounting Information – Please check your numbers carefully and fill out completely.  If you need to use alternate account numbers for different items on the requisition, the leave the Account field blank and insert the appropriate account number in the Misc. Information field on the same line as the item.

15.                        The last printed line on the form is for the Purchasing Department.  Once a Purchase Order is generated, this line will be filled in and returned to the department for verification purposes. 

 

The Word form or the Excel form may be used according to preference.  Additional line space is available for larger orders. Excel users should print one page only unless you are placing a large order.  Should you encounter any problems or have questions, please contact the purchasing office for assistance.      

 

FORMS

Purchase Requisition Form

Sales & Use Tax Certificate of Exemption

 

PURCHASING CARD

 

The Purchasing Card Program is a Statewide Contract Program administered by DOAS State Purchasing.  The Purchasing Card is a VISA card provided by Bank of America.

The Purchasing Card Program provides an optional purchasing method for buying goods to be used by the College. It is a fast and flexible purchasing tool which provides an extremely efficient and effective method of purchasing and paying for small dollar items.

The Purchasing Card Program does not alter State Purchasing rules and regulations nor does it diminish the need for control of expenditures and the need to remain within Departmental Budget.  The Purchasing Card works just like a personal credit card and will enable cardholders to purchase non-restricted commodities directly from suppliers. The Purchasing Card Program sharply reduces paperwork and processing time in the employee’s department as well as in Accounts Payable and Procurement. It provides cost savings through consolidating payment –– one payment to Bank of America versus multiple vendor payments.  The Purchasing Card is issued in the employee’s name with “Georgia Highlands College” on the card. Employees do not pay their own monthly statement. The program does not affect the employee’s personal credit rating in any way. The Purchasing Card Program carries corporate, not individual, liability.

The Purchasing Card Program is administered on campus through the Georgia Highlands College Procurement Department. Cheryl Baker, Secretary to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, is the Program Administrator.

 

WHO CAN USE A PURCHASING CARD?

• Must be a full-time employee of Georgia Highlands College

• Must have approval of Departmental Budget Director

• Must attend a Purchasing Card Training Class

• Must sign the Purchasing Card Agreement

 

WHAT CAN I BUY?

• Small dollar items

• Items authorized by budget manager

• Office supplies not stocked in Central Stores

• Maintenance and repair materials

• Books

• Subscriptions

• Registration fees for conferences, seminars, workshops

• Non-Inventory equipment up to $800.00 (This will allow the total transaction cost not exceed $1000 when shipping charges are added.)

• Rents other than Real Estate (Can not exceed 30 days)

• Statewide contract items

• Mandatory source items

 

WHAT CAN I NOT BUY?

• Items stocked in Central Stores

• Services provided in-house (Print shop, Bookstore)

• Statewide contract items from a non-mandatory vendor

• Mandatory source items from a non-contract vendor

• Motor vehicle fuel/oil

• Computer equipment or peripherals of any kind. (Must have prior approval and be reported to Information Technology for reporting purposes)

• Entertainment – alcoholic beverages or food (restaurant)

• Equipment valued over $800

• Equipment rental

• Travel – Any reimbursable travel expense (gasoline, airline tickets, rental cars, food, and hotel/motel charges) can not be charged on the Purchasing Card. The card can be used to reserve a hotel/motel room; however, it can not be used to pay for the room.

• Personal use items

• Copiers

• Firearms or explosives

• Flowers

• Gifts

• Performance fees

• Cash Advances

 

CAN I BUY ANYTHING FROM ANYBODY?

Mandatory Source Items are products that we are required to purchase from a specific vendor. If a product is available from a mandatory source, it must be purchased from them. (http://statepurchasing.doas.georgia.gov/00/article/0,2086,35226973_35319260_36785914,00.html

 Statewide Contract Items must be purchased from the vendor(s) stated on the contract. Note the quantities and conditions of contracts. (http://ssl.doas.state.ga.us/PRSapp/PR_StateWide_contract_list_alpha.jsp)  When in doubt, call Procurement Department at 6346.

 

DO WE PAY SALES TAX?

GeorgiaHighlands Collegeis tax exempt since we are a State Agency.  The Cardholder should make sure the vendor is aware of our tax exempt status. If you are charged sales tax in error, it is your responsibility to contact the vendor to have the charges removed from your bill. Tax exempt forms are available from Purchasing and Accounts Payable.  The form can be mailed, faxed or hand delivered to the vendor.

 

HOW CAN I USE THE PURCHASING CARD?

• Over the Counter/Point of Sale Purchases

• Telephone Orders

• Fax/mail Orders

• Web Purchases

 

When going to a store to purchase items, you must always have your Purchasing Card with you. At some stores you can check-out at the register without having to go to the service desk. It is your responsibility to make the vendor aware of our tax exempt status.

You must be sure to get a receipt for each purchase. Record purchase on your Purchasing Card Activity Log upon return to campus and store receipt in envelope.

 

To place a telephone order:

• Have your Purchasing Card ready before you place the call.

• Always ask for the education/government sales representative.

• Tell the vendor that we are tax exempt.

• Specify shipping address to vendor.

• Complete order with vendor and record all information on Purchasing Card Activity Log.

 

Mail/Fax Orders

When mailing or faxing an order, be sure to complete all information needed on the order form and keep a copy for your records. For subscriptions, this may be the only receipt that you have.  Double check the “Ship To” address. Some catalogs, re-order cards/forms already have an address on them.  Record the purchase on Purchasing Card Activity Log. Store a copy of order form in envelope.

 

Web Purchases

We advise you to use caution when purchasing over the web. Make sure the vendor is a bona fide supplier before you give your card number.

 

HOW DO I HAVE MY PURCHASES SHIPPED?

All purchases must be shipped to Georgia Highlands College, Central Receiving, 3175 Cedartown Hwy., Rome, GA 30161, to YOUR attention.  If your name or department name is not on the package, Receiving will not know who to deliver it to. Tell the vendor not to put the card number on the outside of the package or on the packing list. Items received in Central Receiving will be forwarded to you.

 

WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL OF MY RECEIPTS?

You must keep a receipt for every purchase made with the Purchasing Card. After you record the purchase on the Purchasing Card Activity Log, keep all order forms, receipts, packing lists, etc., in the envelope.

 

WHAT IF I NEED TO RETURN AN ITEM?

Should a problem arise with a purchased item, service, or charges, every attempt should be made to first resolve the issue directly with the supplier. Review of future statements is vital to ensure the account is properly credited for returns, credits and disputed charges. The returned, credited or disputed item should be noted on the Purchasing Card Activity Log.

  • Returns – If a cardholder needs to return an item to a supplier, contact the supplier and obtain instructions for return. Note that some suppliers may charge a restocking or handling fee for returns. All returns should be indicated on the Activity Log.
  • Credits – If the supplier accepts an item as a return, a credit for this item should appear on the following month’s statement. Never accept cash in lieu of credit to the card account. All credits should be indicated on the Activity Log.

 

HOW DO I DISPUTE A CHARGE?

Once a cardholder discovers an incorrect amount has been charged for goods or materials received, or a questionable purchase or transaction appears on a statement, the cardholder should immediately seek to resolve the problem with the vendor. If the dispute cannot be resolved directly with the vendor, the cardholder should call Bank of America customer service, 1-888-449-2273, for information on forwarding a Purchasing Card Dispute Form to the bank. Note the disputed item on the Activity Log.

NOTE: If the disputed charge involves sales tax charged erroneously by the vendor, the amount of the tax cannot be disputed through VISA charge back regulations. Cardholders should make every effort to obtain a credit from the vendor for the amount of the tax. If a credit is not obtained, the ordering department must pay the tax.  Keep in mind that a dispute could take up to 90 days before settlement is complete.

 

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I RECEIVE MY STATEMENT?

Each cardholder will receive a monthly statement from Bank of America of charges made on the Purchasing Card. The billing cycle ends on the 15th and statements are mailed to cardholders within 5 days after close of the billing cycle. Once you receive your statement, you must forward statement and supporting documentation to Accounting Services within 3 business days. The cardholder should:

1. Compare the statement with Purchasing Card Activity Log and the corresponding charge slips. If there is a discrepancy, call Bank of America, 1-888-449-2273.

2. Put original copy of statement in envelope with original receipts, etc.

3. Fill out the Purchasing Card Account Summary Form. Give Account Summary Form and Activity Log Envelope with its contents to your supervisor for his/her review and signature.

4. After your supervisor has signed the Account Summary, cardholder forwards the Purchasing Card Activity Log/Envelope containing the following to Accounting Services:

• Original Account Summary with Supervisor’s signed approval

• Original statement from Bank of America

• Original order forms, receipts, packing lists, etc.

5. If you need copies for your files, Xerox them. 

 

How to Complete the Purchasing Card Account Summary

1. Enter Department name.

2. Enter Statement date

3. Enter Cardholder name.

4. Enter Cardholder signature.

5. Enter Account numbers (Fund, Department, Program, Class, Grant)

6. If you have charges for more than one Department, use a separate Account Summary form for each department.

7. Summarize your purchases by object code.

8. Enter each amount next to the object code it applies to.

9. Total the object code amounts. (This total must equal the total on the card statement.)

10. Obtain Budget Manager’s signature.

11. Put Account Summary in Activity Log Envelope with statement, receipts, etc., and forward to Accounting Services.

 

Definitions of Object Codes

712100 - Motor Vehicle Expenses – Used only by maintenance department.

714100 - General Supplies & Materials – Most purchases will fall under this object code.

714115 - Postage

715100 - Repairs and Maintenance – Minor repairs to equipment.

727107 - Registration Fees – Registration fees to workshops or seminars.

727109 - Subscriptions – Magazines, newspapers, etc.

733100 - Software

742100 - Publications & Printing – Any printing of posters, booklets, etc.

743100 – Non Inventory Equipment – Equipment valued under $800

 

WHERE DO I GET HELP?

Bank of America – In most situations, individual cardholders will deal directly with Bank of America. Customer Service is available 24/7 at 1-888-449-2273.

Purchasing Card Coordinator – The Purchasing Card Coordinator acts as the College’s liaison with Bank of America. The Purchasing Card Coordinator provides support and assistance to cardholders; processes applications for new cards; distributes new cards; provides training to new cardholders; processes changes in cardholder information (name, address, increase or decrease in spending limits, etc.); keeps cardholders informed of new information, program changes, etc.; and closes accounts as necessary.  Cheryl Baker, Secretary to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, is the campus Purchasing Card Coordinator. Please feel free to call her at 5105 if you have questions or problems concerning use of the Purchasing Card.

Procurement Department – When in doubt about whether a particular item can or can not be purchased using the Purchasing Card call the Procurement Department at 6346. The Purchasing Agent can answer your questions about mandatory source items or statewide contract items.

 

CARDHOLDER RESPONSIBILITIES

• Ensure the Purchasing Card is used for legitimate business purposes only. This card can not be used for personal purchases or as personal identification under any circumstances.

• Maintain card in a secure location at all times. The card and account number should be carefully guarded.

• Do not allow other individuals to use your card.

• Adhere to the purchase limits and restrictions of the card and ensure the total transaction amount of any single purchase does not exceed personal limit. Card will be denied at the point-of-sale level if you go over these limits. Do not split a transaction in order to circumvent the limitations of the card.

• Adhere to your departmental budget limits.

• Obtain a receipt or packing slip for ALL transactions.

• Reconcile the statement to the receipts and/or packing slips each month.

• Submit a reconciled statement with attached receipts and/or packing slips to supervisor/budget manager for his/her review and signature.

• Send reconciled statement, account summary, receipts, etc., to Accounting Services within 3 business days of receipt of statement.

• Attempt to resolve billing disputes directly with the supplier. If unable to resolve the dispute, Cardholder should contact Bank of America Customer Service, 1-888-449-2273, for information on forwarding a Purchasing Card Dispute Form to the bank.

• Ensure that an appropriate credit for the reported disputed item or billing error appears on a subsequent statement.

• Never accept cash in lieu of a credit to the card account.

• Immediately report a lost or stolen card to Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273, (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

• Immediately notify Card Administrator and Supervisor/Budget Manager of a lost or stolen card at the first opportunity during normal business hours.

• Immediately report declines or fraudulent charges to Supervisor/Budget Manager and the Card Administrator.

• If a vendor does not accept the card, contact the Card Administrator.

• Return the card to Card Administrator upon termination of employment or transfer to another department within Georgia Highlands College.

Budget Manager

• The Budget Manager is directly responsible for overseeing the Purchasing Card activity of the cardholder.

• Budget Manager must request cards for new employees in writing or by email to the Card Administrator. Request should include the employee’s name as it should appear on the card; the employee’s job title; and what purchasing limits are required (single transaction limit and monthly credit limit).

• Ensure that the card is used for legitimate business purposes only.

• Provide approval by signing cardholder Accounting Summary and sending to Accounting Services by established monthly due date (three business days after receipt of statement).

• Ensure that adequate budget balances are available to cover any purchases made using the Purchasing Card.

• Inform Card Administrator if cardholder transfers to a different department.

• Inform Card Administrator if a cardholder requires a change in transaction limits (per month or per transaction limits).

• Inform Card Administrator if cardholder terminates employment.

• Inform Card Administrator if cardholder violates policies and procedures.

 

YOUR PURCHASING CARD CAN BE REVOKED IF:

• The card is used for personal or unauthorized purposes.

• You accept a cash refund for items returned, in lieu of credit to the account.

• Receipts are not provided for all transactions.

• A purchase is split to circumvent the limitations of the card.

• You use another Cardholder’s card to circumvent the purchase limits assigned to your card.

• You allow your card to be used by another individual.

• Card is used to purchase alcoholic beverages or any substance, material or service which violates Georgia Highlands College policy, law or regulation pertaining to Georgia Highlands College.

• You do not adhere to all of the Purchasing Card policies and procedures.

Improper use of the Purchasing Card may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

 

PAPERWORK

Purchasing Card Agreement – An agreement between the cardholder and Georgia Highlands College which affirms that the cardholder has read and understands the policies and procedures for the Purchasing Card. Completed by the cardholder prior to issuance of Purchasing Card.

Purchasing Card Activity Log/Envelope – Used each time the Purchasing Card is used. Cardholder uses the Activity Log to keep track of each purchase made. Receipts, order forms, packing lists, etc., are stored in the Envelope.

Purchasing Card Statement – Mailed to cardholder from Bank of America within 5 days after the 15th of each month.

Purchasing Card Account Summary – Completed by the cardholder each month upon receipt of statement. Requires cardholder’s signature and supervisor/budget manager’s signature.

 

FORMS

Purchasing Card Account Summary

Purchasing Card Dispute Form

Sales & Use Tax Certificate of Exemption

 

TRAVEL

Georgia Highlands College employees are guided by general travel regulations when required to travel from their headquarters to fulfill official obligations. The travel regulations adopted by GHC are in compliance with regulations provided by the State Auditor’s Office, the Office of Planning and Budget, and the Board of Regents.

In requiring certain employees to travel from their headquarters, GHC expects to reimburse those employees for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred while traveling.

The travel regulations outlined in this document are effective as of January 9, 2006. GHC employees who are traveling on official business for the College and who are seeking more definitive guidelines should consult the Statewide Travel Regulations site at http://www.audits.state.ga.us/internet/nalgad/trvlpg.html, however, it should be understood that the College’s guidelines may be more restrictive than those of the State.

 

AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL

Georgia Highlands College employees anticipating travel to conduct official business are required to submit a Request for Authority to Travel at College Expense form unless they are traveling under Standing Authorization approved by the college president. The Request to Travel should be completed in full by the employee requesting travel and submitted to the Office of Accounting Services at least one (1) week prior to the date of travel departure. In the event an advance payment is requested, four (4) weeks’ notice to Accounting Services will be required for processing. As a procedural requirement for insurance coverage of employees traveling to conduct college business, a Request to Travel should be submitted regardless of costs associated with the travel or lack thereof.

Employees are encouraged to carpool, use college-owned vehicles, and/or make other cost effective travel arrangements as may be practical. Failure to conserve funds wherever possible may result in lower reimbursement rates; reimbursement for the most economical arrangements consistent with the travel will be authorized. The Request to Travel should reflect the closest possible estimates, with a margin of 10% error, and include the name and date of any vendor contacted.

A Request to Travel, completed and signed by the employee requesting travel, should be submitted to the area secretary who will assign a departmental requisition number and accounting information. The Request will be forwarded to the area supervisor and vice president for approval before the original and once (1) copies are submitted to the Office of Accounting Services with a copy kept on file by the area secretary.

 

STANDING AUTHORIZATION

Georgia Highlands College employees who are covered under a Standing Authorization to travel as approved by the college president must submit a Request for Authority to Travel form during the month of May to encumber anticipated funds for any travel expenses that may occur during the remainder of the fiscal year (June 30).

 

PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL

GHC Professional Travel is generally defined as travel by employees to attend or present at conferences, seminars, and meetings, both in- and out-of-state. GHC employees requesting authority for professional travel will be authorized to choose between personal or college-owned vehicles, common carrier, or private aircraft only after careful analysis of the distance, timeliness, and overall cost factors of the trip, justification of which will be required. The employee is responsible for investigating reasonable and available travel arrangements. Charges to travel agencies are not acceptable and will not be reimbursed.

 

a.           Personal or College-Owned Vehicle

Employees are encouraged to use college-owned vehicles whenever possible. (For availability of college-owned vehicles, refer to: Outlook → Public Folders → Rental Vehicle + College Vehicle Request form) If there are no college-owned vehicles available, employees using personal vehicles for state travel will be reimbursed at the rate of $0.445 per mile. If a college-owned vehicle is available and a personal vehicle is opted, the reimbursement rate may be reduced to $0.285 unless the option is justifiable. Personal mileage incurred while on professional travel status will not be reimbursed.

 

b.           Meals

Meal expenses incurred while on professional travel may be reimbursed. Refer to pages 16-17 for guidelines in obtaining an estimate for the Request to Travel.

 

c.           Lodging and Excise Tax

Whenever practical, employees should make lodging reservations in advance to utilize minimum rate accommodations. Employees should avoid “deluxe” lodging and should obtain government or corporate rates when possible. Employees will be reimbursed for the actual lodging expenses, provided the expenses are reasonable.

GHC employees are required to take an Exemption of Local Hotel/Motel Excise Tax form where in-state lodging is anticipated. The Exemption of Excise Tax form is presented to the lodging clerk at check-in. Employees should review all lodging receipts at checkout to ensure taxes have been applied correctly, and any problems should be resolved at this time. Employees will not be reimbursed for payment of excise taxes.

 

d.          Advance Request

Advance payment for travel expenses in excess of $50.00 may be requested for the payment of registration fees, airfares, and lodging reservations. Advance payments are made payable to the GHC employee; any cancellations or indefinite postponements of authorized travel arrangements for which an advance has been made shall require the advance be refunded immediately to the Office of Accounting Services. Four (4) weeks’ notice to Accounting Services is required to process an advance payment.

INTERCAMPUS TRAVEL

Intercampus Travel is generally defined as travel by a Georgia Highlands College employee from one GHC campus or site to another. GHC employees may be entitled to reimbursement of mileage expenses incurred for intercampus travel if a Georgia county line is crossed during the course of conducting official business. Employees will not be reimbursed for travel between their places of residence and their headquarters. In the event employees travel to a campus or site other than their official headquarters for a first or last assignment of the day, and if a Georgia county line is crossed during that travel, the employees will be reimbursed for the shortest distance calculated either from their residence or from their headquarters to the assignment.

 

Intercampus Travel is typically estimated for an entire semester to include the anticipated mileage for each day travel will be required. A GHC Intercampus Mileage Record can be used to record allowable odometer readings and automatically calculate total mileage. Refer to the Intercampus Mileage Grid on page 15 for guidelines in obtaining an estimate of reimbursable mileage for a Request to Travel.

 

REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES

After completion of approved Georgia Highlands College travel, expenses incurred may be reimbursed by completing a Travel Expense Statement. A Travel Expense Statement is submitted after a Request for Travel has been approved; under no circumstances should these two forms be submitted simultaneously. It is imperative that all receipts for meals, lodging, parking, shuttle service, taxi, tolls, and airfare, including registration receipts and itineraries/agendas, be attached to the Travel Expense Statement. Accurate time logs and odometer readings must be entered in the appropriate fields of the Expense Statement. An Expense Statement received in the Office of Accounting Services by noon on Tuesday will normally afford a reimbursement check to be ready the following Friday.

 

All highlighted fields on the Travel Expense Statement form must be completed with the requested information. Fields not relevant to the travel should be entered with “N/A.” A Travel Expense Statement submitted to the Office of Accounting Services with blank fields will be returned to the employee for completion.

 

TRAVEL EXPENSE STATEMENT

After an employee has completed and signed a Travel Expense Statement, it should be submitted to the area secretary who will enter the assigned requisition number and estimate total from the related Request to Travel. The Expense Statement will be forwarded for review and initialed by the departmental supervisor. With a copy kept on file by the area secretary, the Expense Statement is then submitted to the Office of Accounting Services for final approval/disapproval by the college comptroller. Travel Expense Statements should be submitted for reimbursement within 30 days of the travel return date. Failure to submit an Expense Statement within 30 days may result in nonpayment of expenses. An Expense Statement can be faxed or e-mailed to the Office of Accounting Services with the signed original forwarded via intercampus or First Class mail to expedite payment to employees not headquartered at the GHC Floyd Campus.

a.           Automobile Mileage Record

Accurate and complete odometer readings should be recorded daily; personal mileage is not reimbursed. Carpools should be explained on the Expense Statement and include the name of the person(s) participating. Mileage is recorded by entering beginning and ending odometer readings and it will be automatically calculated at $0.445 per mile on the statement. Any adjustments to this rate will be made in the Office of Accounting Services.

 

b.           Purpose of Trip

The purpose of the approved travel is a required field on the Expense Statement and should

match the purpose noted on the related Authority to Travel. Standing Authority should be indicated if applicable.

 

c.           Common Carrier, Taxi/Shuttle

Expenses and dates for airline, taxi, and shuttle fares must be recorded on the Expense Statement with the receipts attached. The amounts will be automatically calculated on the Expense Statement.

 

d.          Miscellaneous

Phone line expenses for internet service and registration and parking fees must be recorded on the Expense Statement with the receipts attached. The amounts will be automatically calculated on the Expense Statement.

 

INTERCAMPUS MILEAGE GRID

 

Floyd

Heritage

Cartersville

Acworth

Marietta

WGA

Floyd

0

0

29

42

57

47

Heritage Hall

0

0

25

39

54

54

Cartersville

29

25

0

0

29

56

Acworth

42

39

0

0

17

72

Marietta

57

54

29

17

0

58

West Georgia

47

54

56

72

58

0

        

INTERCAMPUS MILEAGE RECORD

The GHC Intercampus Mileage Record is intended to be used to record, calculate,

and total multiple odometer readings. The Mileage Record should be attached to the Travel Expense Statement with an entry indicating the attachment under “Daily Travel” in the Automobile Mileage Record section of the Statement. Intercampus travel can be submitted for partial or full reimbursements at the employee’s preference: i.e., weekly, monthly, or end-of-semester. If partial reimbursements are submitted, a Travel Expense Statement is required with each reimbursement with the applicable time period listed. Request for a partial payment should be indicated in the appropriate field.

 

REGISTRATION

Registration fees are recorded on the Travel Expense Statement under “Miscellaneous.” Any agenda or itinerary supplied with the registration should be attached to the Expense Statement along with the receipt for registration. If the registration was paid by separate requisition or state purchasing card, a copy of the receipt should be attached to the Statement.

 

MEALS

Georgia Highlands College employees traveling more than 30 miles from their residence or headquarters during the course of official obligations for a period greater than 13 hours may be eligible for reimbursement of meal expenses. Eligibility of meal reimbursement will be determined by the times of departure and return. Meal reimbursements may be refused if the departure and return times are not entered on the Travel Expense Statement. Meal expenses, including taxes and tips, must be recorded on the Expense Statement with the receipts attached. The amounts will be automatically calculated on the Expense Statement. GHC employees will not be reimbursed for meals opted for in favor of those included in registration and/or lodging expenses.

 

STANDARD MEAL EXPENSE GRID

Number of Meals Allowed

Meals Allowed

Daily Maximum

Allowable Expense

3 meals per day

breakfast/lunch/dinner

$28.00

 

 

 

2 meals per day

breakfast/lunch

$13.00

 

breakfast/dinner

$21.00

 

lunch/dinner

$22.00

 

 

 

1 meals per day

breakfast

$6.00

 

lunch

$7.00

 

dinner

$15.00

 

 

Certain areas of Georgia are classified as “high cost” areas and may cause employees to exceed the general meal limits. The high cost areas of Georgia include Metropolitan Atlanta (with Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties); Augusta, Richmond County; Brunswick, Glynn County; and Savannah, Chatham County.

 

HIGH-COST MEAL EXPENSE GRID

Number of Meals Allowed

Meals Allowed

Daily Maximum         Allowable Expense

3 meals per day

breakfast/lunch/dinner

$36.00

 

 

 

2 meals per day

breakfast/lunch

$16.00

 

breakfast/dinner

$27.00

 

lunch/dinner

$29.00

 

 

 

1 meal per day

breakfast

$7.00

 

lunch

$9.00

 

dinner

$20.00

 

Meal reimbursements for out-of-state travel are governed by Federal regulations which may vary from city to city and state to state. Employees may contact the Office of Accounting Services for these estimates as they may change.

 

LODGING

State employees may be charged local sales and use taxes (Georgia only) but shall not be charged excise tax on lodging. An Exemption of Local Hotel/Motel Excise Tax form should be presented to the lodging clerk at check-in. Lodging excise taxes will not be reimbursed.

 

EXCEPTIONS TO TRAVEL REGULATIONS

Employees may be entitled to reimbursement of travel within a Georgia county boundary if the mileage exceeds a total of 40 miles and is approved by the departmental supervisor.

 

Employees with questions concerning the travel regulations herein should refer to the Statewide Travel Regulations website or the Office of Accounting Services.

 

Consideration for exception to GHC Travel Regulations should be submitted to the Office of Accounting Services, in writing and prior to the anticipated travel date(s), with justification and/or explanation for the exception. All written requests for exception should include:

 

·               The name(s) of the person(s) for which the exception is requested

·               An explanation of the purpose of the trip

·               An explanation of the types of expenses to be incurred

·               The anticipated travel dates

 

An approved exception is not to be considered a blanket waiver of the GHC Travel Regulations. Exceptions are granted individually and are allowable for the specified event only.

 

TRAVEL FORMS

All travel forms require original signatures; signature stamps will not be accepted.

 

Request for Authority to Travel at College Expense

College Vehicle Request

Exemption of Local Hotel/Motel Excise Tax

GHC Intercampus Mileage Record

Travel Expense Statement

 

INVENTORY

The inventory section of this manual is a work in progress and will be posted upon completion. 

 

FORMS

Equipment Transfer Form


BUDGETING

The budgeting section of this manual is a work in progress and will be posted upon completion.

 

FORMS

Budget Amendment Form



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