4 FAH-3 H-460 

TRAVEL AND TRAVEL ADVANCES

(CT:FMP-97;   08-30-2017)
(Office of Origin:  CGFS/FPRA/FP)

4 FAH-3 H-461  SCOPE

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

This subchapter provides procedures for:

(1)  The reporting, vouchering, approving, processing, and certifying of travel claims;

(2)  The issuing and recovering of advances for travel and transfer allowances;

(3)  The use of Government-contracted charge cards and travelers checks;

(4)  The processing of congressional travel; and

(5)  Educational travel.

4 FAH-3 H-462  TRAVEL APPLICABILITY

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

This subchapter applies to travel as defined in 14 FAM 500, Employee Logistics–Travel, for travelers in the Foreign Service and other U.S. Government travelers for whom specific provisions apply; Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) for travelers in the military or assigned to the military; and the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), 41 CFR 301-1--301-99; 41 CFR 304-1--304-99, for all other U.S. Government-authorized travel.  See 4 FAH-3 Exhibit H-462, Time Frames for Travel and Travel Advances, for the action responsibilities of the traveler, travel authorizing official, approving official and administrative or bureau/office fund manager.

4 FAH-3 H-463  TRAVEL ADVANCES

4 FAH-3 H-463.1  Calculation of the Advance

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

To calculate travel advances, the factors in 4 FAH-3 H-463.1-1 through 4 FAH-3 H-463.1-5 must be considered.

4 FAH-3 H-463.1-1  Out-of-Pocket Expenses

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

Estimated out-of-pocket expenses are calculated on the type and estimated duration of travel and the minimum amount that cannot be charged and must be paid in cash, by a personal check, or travelers checks.  Meals and incidental expenses, as prescribed in the FTR for travel within the continental United States (CONUS), or as prescribed in chapter 925, Per Diem Supplement to the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas) for travel outside CONUS, and miscellaneous expenses for taxis, tolls, parking, automobile rental, checked baggage charges, etc., are considered as out-of-pocket expenses.

4 FAH-3 H-463.1-2  Lodging Portion

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

The lodging portion is the daily amount designated for lodging for a specific locality as prescribed in the FTR for travel within CONUS, or as prescribed in chapter 925 of the DSSR for travel outside CONUS, unless a lesser rate is specified in the travel authorization.

4 FAH-3 H-463.1-3  Limitation of Advances

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

Travel advances are limited to 80 percent of the estimated combined total of out-of-pocket expenses less payments by the U.S. Government to a third party, such as payments for tickets, and, when allowed, lodging.  This limit includes permanent change of station travel, including advances for temporary quarters, and travel to attend training.  If issued in travelers checks, the travel advance is rounded to the nearest $50 increment.  The minimum travel advance allowed is $100.  Advances at 100 percent are not authorized except for non-U.S. citizen locally employed staff members when the 80-percent limitation would create a financial hardship for that employee.  Advances for non-U.S. citizen locally employed staff members at amounts above the 80-percent rate must be approved by the financial management officer at post.

4 FAH-3 H-463.1-4  Forty-Five Calendar Days

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

The total amount advanced may not exceed 80 percent of the estimated expenses for more than 45 calendar days of travel status.

4 FAH-3 H-463.1-5  Outstanding Advances

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

All prior travel advances to a traveler must be repaid (by voucher and/or direct refund) before the traveler may apply for an advance for transfer, separation, or further temporary duty travel.  A new advance is not allowed until prior outstanding advances for completed travel have been settled either by submission and approval of a voucher or liquidation by personal check.  To ensure that there are no prior outstanding advances, and before issuing an additional advance to a traveler, the TDY duty station must obtain an authorization for the additional advance by cable from the bureau or post of origin.

4 FAH-3 H-463.2  Issuing of Advances

4 FAH-3 H-463.2-1  Travel Advance Application

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

Form OF-261, Travel Advance Application, Voucher, and Account, is used by the traveler to apply for the advance.  The fiscal officer uses the form to make the payment and to account for the repayment(s).  The fiscal officer should make note of any outstanding travel advance balances and list them in blocks 8A-8C.

4 FAH-3 H-463.2-2  Fiscal Data for Advances

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

The fiscal data cited on form OF-261 for travel advances must include:

(1)  The appropriation fund symbol for which the actual travel is chargeable as explained in 4 FAH-3 H-463.3;

(2)  The appropriate allotment chargeable;

(3)  The obligation number (travel authorization number);

(4)  The estimated date of travel completion;

(5)  The paying office’s Treasury symbol;

(6)  The date paid; and

(7)  The amount of the advance payment.

4 FAH-3 H-463.2-3  Initial Notice of Interest to be Charged

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

As a travel advance is a loan, if it is not timely vouchered or refunded, it represents a debt to the U.S. Government.  The traveler will be notified when a travel advance is issued according to the Debt Collection Act, which provides for interest, administrative charges, and penalty to be assessed on the amount advanced beginning with the 31st calendar day following the completion of travel until the date the voucher and/or refund is submitted (see 4 FAH-3 H-463.4 and 4 FAM 490).

4 FAH-3 H-463.2-4  Type of Currency

(CT:FMP-25;   12-07-2004)

Travel advances may be issued as cash, EFT, Treasury check, or if allowed, (see 4 FAH-3 H-467) Travelers Checks.  Travel advances for host country travel are paid in local currency only.  For travel outside the host country, travel advances may normally be paid in U.S. dollars (check or cash).  Local currency should be used whenever necessary.

4 FAH-3 H-463.3  Accounting for Travel Advance

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

The following are the procedures for accounting for all travel advances issued against allotment accounts or other accounts as provided:

(1)  Travel advances charged to post allotments are controlled by using COAST, Open Advance Report, which lists all transactions overseas against each obligation document.  The financial management officer (FMO) clears the outstanding advances closure process under the Global e-Travel system;

(2)  Travel advances issued by posts for Washington-authorized TDY travel are charged to the post allotment when the travel originates and ends at the post;

(3)  Prior to payment of any travel voucher or issuance of another advance, the Global Financial Management System (GFMS), Travel Advance Query, is checked by the certifying officer to determine if the traveler has a prior outstanding advance (see 4 FAH-3 H-463.1-5); and

(4)  For collection or repayment made by a post for travel advances charged to a Washington-held allotment, copies of Form DS-189, Travel Reimbursement Voucher, clearly stating the traveler’s name, social security number, and travel authorization number, is mandatory.  However, the Department of Treasury’s “Voucher Auditor Detail Report” (VADR-ACVR.070) or similar system-generated document may also be sent if requested.  For instructions as to where travel vouchers are submitted, see 4 FAH-3 H-465.

4 FAH-3 H-463.4  Repayment of Advances

4 FAH-3 H-463.4-1  Traveler Responsibility

(CT:FMP-54;   01-28-2011)

a. The traveler is responsible for timely repayment of his or her travel advance by submitting a travel reimbursement voucher (see 4 FAH-3 H-465) and/or by direct refund.

b. When travel is indefinitely postponed or canceled, any travel advance received must be repaid immediately.

c.  Interest, penalty, and administrative charges may be assessed on amounts outstanding more than 30 calendar days after travel completion. When the repayment of a travel advance is not made within 30 days after travel completion, collection will be in accordance with the timeframes set forth in 4 FAH-3 Exhibit H-462 and the procedures set forth in 4 FAM 490.

d. When it is necessary to use salary offset to collect the travel advance, follow the procedures set forth in 4 FAM 490 to collect past due travel advances from salary.

4 FAH-3 H-463.4-2  Advance Refund Responsibility of Others

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

a. Post management officers or bureau fund managers are to ensure that all outstanding travel advances are deducted from travel reimbursement vouchers and must notify the traveler, by memorandum, requesting that the advance be settled within 10 calendar days if:

(1)  The final travel reimbursement voucher is not submitted within the time prescribed in 4 FAH-3 H-465;

(2)  Repayment is not made following travel completion, indefinite postponement, or cancellation of travel; and/or

(3)  The approved amount of the voucher submitted is insufficient to cover the amount of advance outstanding and that the excess advance is due and payable.

b. Certifying officers must determine that outstanding travel advances are properly deducted before certifying a travel voucher.  Travel advances made against a quarterly or annual authorization are deductible from the final voucher for that period.  Travel advances made against one travel authorization will be deducted from the claim of another travel authorization.

c.  If settlement is not made within 10 calendar days after the notification has been made according to 4 FAH-3 H-463.4-2, subparagraph a, bureau fund managers or post management officers must refer the matter with appropriate fiscal data and surrounding details to the Global Financial Operations Directorate (CGFS/F) for collection action by salary deduction.

d. Monthly reports provided for advances chargeable to Washington-held allotments are forwarded to post management officers and Department fund managers by CGFS/F.  Notification and collection action is performed at the post as needed.  Post management officers and bureau fund managers will review, on a quarterly basis, the travel advance status reports, and inform CGFS/F of errors and/or collection difficulties within 30 days after receipt of the report.

e. Rate of exchange:  A travel advance is repaid by refund or voucher deduction in the same kind and amount of currency in which the advance was made, or in the equivalent thereof as provided for in 4 FAH-3 H-320, Collections.

4 FAH-3 H-463.4-3  Interest Charged

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

a. Interest is assessed on any delinquent travel advance outstanding more than 30 calendar days after travel completion at the rate set by Treasury rules and regulations.

b. An advance is considered as delinquent and interest is applied when the required voucher or refund is not submitted within 30 calendar days of travel completion and is computed from the 31st calendar day until the date of refund or voucher submission with the approving official.  Interest may be billed separately or deducted from any amount due a traveler’s claim.  Interest collected is deposited to miscellaneous receipts.

4 FAH-3 H-464  APPLICATION FOR Temporary quarters subsistence Allowance (TQSA) OR quarters allowance (QA) ADVANCES

(CT:FMP-36;   12-04-2006)

To apply for an advance for temporary quarters subsistence allowance (TQSA) or quarters allowance (QA), the employee submits Form OF-261, Travel Advance Application, Voucher, and Account, to the post officer authorized to approve such advances.  These advances are made in accordance with 4 FAM 460.

4 FAH-3 H-464.1  Processing of Transfer Advances

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

a. Advances for the home service transfer allowance (HSTA) and foreign transfer allowance (FTA) are limited to 80 percent of the estimated lodging and meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) and are processed in the same way as advances for permanent change-of-station (PCS) travel-related expenses.  Issue HSTA and FTA advances no earlier than necessary; see 4 FAM 463.3-1.  For approving, calculating, issuing, and recovering such advances, see 4 FAH-3 H-463.  Advances for the miscellaneous expense portion of the HSTA and the miscellaneous expense portion, wardrobe expense portion, and the lease penalty expense portion of the FTA are not permitted.  These allowances may be claimed on form SF-1190, Foreign Allowances Application, Grant, and Report, when you arrive at post.

b. When an employee is eligible to receive an advance of both PCS travel-related expenses and transfer allowances, the amount of each entitlement is computed separately but totaled and paid as a single advance.

c.  The bureau or post should instruct the employee when he or she arrives at the assigned duty station, either in the United States or the post, that an application form SF-1190 must be submitted to account for the applicable transfer allowance advance and a travel voucher/claim for the related travel expenses (see 4 FAH-3 H-463).  The employee must refund any advance in excess of the transfer allowance or related travel expenses for which not subsequently accounted.

4 FAH-3 H-464.2  Accounting for Transfer Allowance Advances

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

a. The fiscal data required for payments and repayments of transfer allowances or related PCS travel expense advances are charged to the allotment to which the travel expense or transfer allowance expenses are charged.

b. An advance is established to control TQSA or QA advances.  QA advances are repaid through bi-weekly credit from the payroll system.  All other transfer allowance advances are liquidated by submitting a form SF-1190, Foreign Allowances Application, Grant and Report, on which daily expenses are itemized.

4 FAH-3 H-465  TRAVEL CLAIMS

4 FAH-3 H-465.1  Traveler’s Responsibility

4 FAH-3 H-465.1-1  When to File

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

a. A voucher/claim (expense report) for reimbursement of expenses must be submitted within:

(1)  Five workdays after completion of authorized temporary duty (TDY) travel;

(2)  Five workdays after arriving for duty on post assignment or permanent change-of-station (PCS) travel; and

(3)  Five workdays after each 30 calendar days of extended travel, including long-term training or training in conjunction with PCS.

b. Employees are not to postpone this submission until completion of delayed travel by the employee’s family or the delayed transportation of effects.

4 FAH-3 H-465.1-2  Where to File

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

Generally, all travel vouchers or claims are submitted to the post management officer, or domestically to the executive office of the travel authorizing bureau or office responsible for assuring the prompt submission of vouchers by employees assigned to the post or bureau or office.  All vouchers for training at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and Warrenton must be submitted to the chief, Office of Claims (CGFS/F/C) in Charleston, SC.

4 FAH-3 H-465.1-3  Voucher Forms to be Used

(CT:FMP-97;   08-30-2017)

a. Submit TDY travel claims filed at posts on form DS-189, Travel Reimbursement Voucher, or when available, they must be submitted via electronic travel voucher.  For all manual domestic vouchers, use Form OF-1012, Travel Voucher.  All PCS travel claims are submitted on Form DS-189, and all transfer allowance claims are submitted on Form SF-1190.  All domestic TDY travel, except long-term training, must be submitted via the Department’s electronic processing system.  Long-term training vouchers must be submitted on form DS-189.  Each employee will be responsible for submitting his/her electronic travel voucher and also will be responsible for retaining the documentation that substantiates the claim.  Those records, which include a record of reimbursed expenses, lodging receipts, airline tickets, and any other required receipts, must be retained for 6 years and 3 months by the employee.  Where available, the travel receipts, tickets, and other documentation must be scanned into the electronic travel voucher processing database.  In addition, form DS-4087, Authorization Request for Business Class Air Travel, must be scanned into the electronic travel processing database.

b. When approving electronic travel vouchers, officials who have been delegated authority to authorize or approve are required to ensure upon completion of travel that:

(1)  The travel was performed as directed;

(2)  The items of expense claimed are appropriate, reasonable and in accordance with applicable regulations; and

(3)  Funds to pay for the travel have been obligated.

4 FAH-3 H-465.1-4  Receipts Required to be Attached to Manual Vouchers

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

Receipts must be attached on all travel vouchers or claims for itemizing each individual item of expense being claimed on the voucher in excess of $75, including tax.  Carbon/photocopy/fax copies are acceptable.  This includes such items as taxi fares, transportation paid directly by the traveler, and car rental (if authorized).  Lodging receipts are required regardless of amount to substantiate that the amount claimed is within the lodging limit.  For long-term lodging, the traveler must submit a signed copy of the lease with the voucher.

4 FAH-3 H-465.2  Accounting for Transportation

4 FAH-3 H-465.2-1  When Provided by Government Transportation Request (GTR) or Centrally Billed Account (CBA)

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

a. After travel is completed, travelers at post must submit with the travel voucher (see 4 FAH-3 H-465.1) any unused tickets obtained by Government transportation request (GTR) or centrally billed account (CBA), airline-denied boarding checks, and unused GTRs, to the post management officer for TDY and PCS travel.  Domestically, you must submit such documents with the travel voucher to the bureau/office executive officer who authorized the TDY travel or to CGFS/F for PCS travel for processing refunds on unused tickets (see 4 FAH-3 H-465.3).  For vouchers processed electronically, these documents must be submitted to the bureau executive officer for disposition.

b. Travelers are responsible for the use and/or disposition of all tickets, Government transportation requests (GTRs), airline-denied boarding compensation checks, or promotional materials bought by GTR, Government Travel System (GTS), or other voucher.  In addition, the traveler is responsible for reporting any changes in transportation arrangements.  Travelers are required to:

(1)  Notify the Travel Management Center (TMC) immediately when the trip or portion of the trip will not be made;

(2)  Document in writing that the TMC was notified.  This must include the name of the person notified; and

(3)  Notify the executive office/post management office of unused tickets and refunds due.

c.  The traveler and executive office/post management office are responsible for ensuring that the account was credited for any refunds due.

4 FAH-3 H-465.2-2  When Provided by Separate Voucher

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

If tickets are purchased by the Government on a separate voucher, not GTR or CBA, the voucher processor should furnish the name and location of the paying U.S. disbursing officer (USDO) or cashier, voucher number, and account charged on the schedule of voucher payments.

4 FAH-3 H-465.2-3  When Paid by the Traveler

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

The traveler is responsible for obtaining a refund for any unused tickets acquired by using cash, personal check, travelers check, personal credit card, or Government-contracted individual charge card.  Only the direct travel cost of the tickets used may be claimed on the travel voucher (see 4 FAM 470).

4 FAH-3 H-465.2-4  Information and Receipts Required

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

Support the submitted documents with an itemized list, in duplicate, which includes the traveler’s name, points of travel involved, unused GTR number, unused ticket number, denied-boarding compensation check number, promotional material (see 4 FAH-3 H-472.8 for handling of promotional material received from carriers), etc.  A copy of the itemized list should be signed by the office receiving the documents and returned to the traveler as a receipt with the original being submitted with the traveler’s claim.

4 FAH-3 H-465.3  Approving Official Responsibility

4 FAH-3 H-465.3-1  Redeem Unused Transportation

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

The post management officer or the bureau/office executive office in Washington, receiving the voucher from the traveler, must process any unused tickets for redemption in accordance with 4 FAH-3 H-472.8 and record balances due as accounts receivable to be reported monthly.  Unused tickets remain attached to the PCS vouchers submitted in Washington for redemption processing by CGFS/F.

4 FAH-3 H-465.3-2  Voucher Review for Leave

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

The approving official should review each voucher to ascertain that any leave (annual or sick) taken while in travel status by the employee is being properly reported on the employee’s leave record and that no claim for reimbursement is being made for the period of leave.

4 FAH-3 H-465.3-3  Voucher Review for Approval

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

Prior to certification, each travel reimbursement voucher is examined to ascertain that the following information is provided:

(1)  Dates for expenses incurred:  The travel expenses incurred by the employee or family member or other traveler are for the period of travel stated in the travel authorization.  A period of 2 days before or after the “on/or about date” shown on the travel authorization is allowed before an amended authorization is required.  When the travel authorization directs attendance at meetings or conferences, the traveler may schedule the arrival for the day prior to and departure for the day after the conference.  Additional days before arrival and/or departure are for personal convenience and will be at the traveler’s expense.  Any additional days over the authorized period of travel requires an amendment to the travel authorization, if justified by the approving official.  Any time over the authorized period of travel requires an amendment to the travel authorization.  An amendment to the travel authorization will also be required if the amount claimed exceeds the estimated expenses by $250 or more, and if the increased amount is beyond the traveler’s control, the amendment will state, “additional amounts claimed were erroneously omitted”;

(2)  Claimed amounts:  The amounts claimed on the voucher must be proper and in accordance with the applicable regulations as cited on the travel authorization, provisions of law, this regulation, or other applicable regulations;

(3)  Partial reimbursement vouchers:  Travelers must submit a partial reimbursement voucher for each 30 consecutive calendar days of reimbursable travel or training.  The post of assignment will set the procedures by which a partial reimbursement voucher may be processed.  Vouchers for PCS travel are submitted at the assigned PCS post.  Vouchers for long-term training must be submitted to the Global Financial Operations Directorate, Office of Claims (CGFS/F/C), Charleston Financial Service Center, PO Box 150008, Charleston, SC 29415-5008.  If lodging is obtained on a long-term basis for training, a signed copy of the lease must also be submitted with each voucher;

(4)  Amount payable to the traveler:  The amount allowed for interim payment or final settlement of a voucher, less any outstanding travel advance (see 4 FAH-3 H-463.4), is the amount to be certified as payable to the traveler;

(5)  Items for redemption:  Detach any unused tickets, exchange orders, coupons, etc., for transportation or accommodations purchased (not used by the traveler), unused GTRs, or denied boarding compensation checks from the travel voucher and process them in accordance with 4 FAH-3 H-472.8;

(6)  Authorized traveler(s):  The traveler(s) authorized to travel at government expense is listed on the voucher.  Family members traveling at no cost to the Government must be included in the itinerary to reflect any extra cost that may be allowed when accompanying the traveler; and

(7)  Fiscal year charged:  The fiscal year being charged is in accordance with the travel authorization.

4 FAH-3 H-465.4  Statistical Sampling

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

The audit of vouchers may be statistically sampled as required by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (see 4 FAH-3 H-425).

4 FAH-3 H-465.5  Certification Exceptions

4 FAH-3 H-465.5-1  Foreign Service National Employees

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

Foreign Service National employees are reimbursed in accordance with local currency laws.

4 FAH-3 H-465.6  Suspensions and Disallowances

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

Travelers must indicate on their voucher the total amount being claimed and the amount of any advance to be applied in determining the net amount due the traveler.  The certifying officer must furnish the traveler an explanation, in writing, of any differences between the amount claimed and the amount due as being approved for payment.  When the traveler has evidence (receipt) as support for or objects to a suspended or disallowed amount, the traveler may submit a reclaim voucher to which the evidence or an explanation is attached.

4 FAH-3 H-466  GOVERNMENT-CONTRACTED INDIVIDUAL CHARGE CARDS

4 FAH-3 H-466.1  Mandatory Compliance

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

Compliance with the following procedures is mandatory for the issuance, use, and maintenance of Government-contracted individual charge cards.

4 FAH-3 H-466.2  Applicability

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

Each Department employee expecting to travel more than two times a year must apply for and use the charge card (where the charge card program has been established).  Submit applications to the charge card contractor through the Global Financial Operations Directorate (CGFS/F).  Cards may be issued only to U.S. citizen Department employees.

4 FAH-3 H-466.3  General Contract Information

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

a. The employee, as a cardholder, is issued a card valid for 1 or 2 years.  Cardholders who become delinquent will be reported by the card vendor to credit-reporting companies.

b. No interest or annual membership fees are assessed to the cardholder.  Preset expenditure limits are placed on the card, and the cardholder is provided travel accident insurance and lost baggage insurance when purchasing transportation using the card.

c.  Where the card is accepted, the cardholder is allowed personal check-cashing privileges, and, on an emergency basis at posts, may purchase travelers checks or cash from authorized contractor-affiliated banks where the service is available.

4 FAH-3 H-466.4  Authorized Charge Card Use

4 FAH-3 H-466.4-1  Official Travel Expenses Only

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

A charge card is used according to the employee card account agreement for official travel expenses only, such as payment of lodging and meal expenses, authorized excess baggage charges (where permitted), the purchase of travelers checks for miscellaneous expenses, or the purchase of transportation.  Misusing a card may result in its being suspended (see 4 FAH-3 H-466.8).

4 FAH-3 H-466.4-2  Purchase of Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

A cardholder may purchase travelers checks from the designated provider.  Such purchases are limited to the out-of-pocket travel expenses shown on the travel authorization.  Any fee charged for this service may be claimed as a miscellaneous expense on the travel voucher.

4 FAH-3 H-466.5  Financial Obligation and Liability

4 FAH-3 H-466.5-1  Cardholder

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

The cardholder is liable for all billed charges except when a lost or stolen card is promptly reported and is responsible for disputing any unreasonable charges with the vendor (i.e., charge card contractor).  In addition, immediately report the disputed charges to your card-issuing bank and document all correspondence.  U.S. Government employees are required to pay their just financial obligations in a proper and timely manner.

4 FAH-3 H-466.5-2  U.S. Government

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

The U.S. Government assumes no liability for charges incurred on a charge card issued an employee, nor is the U.S. Government liable for charges on lost or stolen cards.

4 FAH-3 H-466.6  Settlement of Charge Card Bills

4 FAH-3 H-466.6-1  Payment of Monthly Charge Card Billings

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

Payment by the cardholder should be for the full amount billed, which is due and payable within 25 days of the statement date.  Deferred payments are not allowed.

4 FAH-3 H-466.6-2  Disputed Billings

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

The cardholder is responsible for contacting the charge card contractor to resolve any disputes in billings and to assure that any entitled credits are applied.

4 FAH-3 H-466.7  Lost or Stolen Charge Cards

4 FAH-3 H-466.7-1  Care and Security of the Card

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

The cardholder is expected to exercise the same care for security of the card and card number as for his/her own personal credit cards.  If a card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must notify the contractor within 24 hours of discovery.  The cardholder will be provided a replacement card.

4 FAH-3 H-466.7-2  Review of Charges

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

The cardholder must review all charges to determine those not made by the cardholder and provide the charge card contractor a signed statement (affidavit of forgery) of any charges considered to be fraudulent; otherwise, all charges are the responsibility of the cardholder.

4 FAH-3 H-466.8  Suspension or Cancellation

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

a. Cardholder use of the card may be suspended by the contractor, when the cardholder has been delinquent for more than 60 days from the billing date, if a cardholder does not provide a valid and acceptable reason to the contractor.

b. A charge card may be suspended or canceled by either the Department’s program coordinator, or contractor.  Cancellation may take place for misuse by the cardholder or will take place when an employee separates from the Department.

c.  A travel advance will not be issued to an employee when use of the charge card has been suspended or canceled due to the employee’s misuse or nonpayment.  Misuse is any use not related to official travel.

4 FAH-3 H-467  Government-Contracted Travelers Checks

4 FAH-3 H-467.1  Permission to Maintain and Issue Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

a. Post management officers must request permission to maintain and issue Government-contracted travelers checks from CGFS before initiating such a program.  Such requests should include the following information:

(1)  The facilities for securing the travelers checks (if separate from the cashier facilities);

(2)  The total number of travel advances issued (cash and Treasury checks) for the previous twelve-month period; and

(3)  The total dollar amount of travel advances issued for the same period.

b. Prior to authorizing a post to hold and issue travelers checks, CGFS/F will consult with the servicing USDO to assure timely payments to the contractor.  Approval is contingent upon post officials making unannounced verifications and the cashier(s) completing the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) cashier training course.

4 FAH-3 H-467.2  Maintaining Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

Travelers checks are negotiable instruments and must be treated the same as cash.  See 4 FAH-3 H-390 for information regarding the accountable officer designated to handle and maintain travelers checks.  In addition, an inventory will be maintained for the travelers checks, which includes the number and denomination of checks received, issued, voided, returned, and on hand.

4 FAH-3 H-467.2-1  Receipt of Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

When authorized by CGFS/F and as part of the separate agreement with the U.S. Government contractor, travelers checks may only be obtained through the contractor.  The cashier must verify the number, amount, and check numbers of travelers checks received against the contractor receipt form.  Once verified, travelers checks are to be stored in either a safe or vault (see 4 FAH-3 H-317 and 4 FAH-3 H-397).

4 FAH-3 H-467.2-2  Disbursing of Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-54;   01-28-2011)

Travelers checks are disbursed as travel advances.  Issuing travelers checks as travel advances is the same as issuing cash advances.  A travel advance in travelers checks, as determined in 4 FAH-3 H-463, is rounded to the nearest divisible amount available in the denominations of the predetermined check packets on hand, not individually.  The travel advance is recorded upon payment to the contractor for the travelers checks issued.  The traveler must repay the government for the full value of any travelers checks issued as a travel advance.

4 FAH-3 H-467.2-3  Voided and Destroyed Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-25;   12-07-2004)

All voided and destroyed travelers checks determined to be unusable must be clearly marked as voided by the cashier.  The cashier supervisor notifies the contractor by letter of the voided and destroyed checks.  A photocopy of each check voided and destroyed is retained to show the reduction of the on-hand inventory.

4 FAH-3 H-467.3  Payment and Accounting for Disbursed Travelers Checks

4 FAH-3 H-467.3-1  Payment for the Travelers Checks

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

After the cashier reconciles the purchase agreements to the travel advances issued and charge slip sales for all travelers checks disbursed, send copies to the contractor.  The contractor is paid by voucher from the certifying officer at least weekly for all travelers checks disbursed or sold.

4 FAH-3 H-467.3-2  Accounting for Travelers Checks as Travel Advances

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

The travelers checks issued as travel advances are charged to the appropriate travel advance account (4 FAH-3 H-463).  Each purchase agreement copy is attached to the travel advance application to confirm that the checks were issued to the traveler.

4 FAH-3 H-467.4  Reconciliation of On-Hand Inventory

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

a. At least once a month, the cashier supervisor will make a reconciliation of the Contractor Provided Inventory Record and Paid Unadvised Report to the physical on-hand inventory by denomination, number, and amount.

b. Report the total on-hand balance on the monthly Form DS-3058 (formerly FSC-365), Cashier’s Reconciliation Statement.  See 4 FAH-3 H-390.

4 FAH-3 H-467.5  Acceptance of Travelers Checks Issued

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

After a traveler has been issued travelers checks, he or she has full responsibility for their safekeeping and use.  The cashier may not exchange for cash or accept any travelers checks issued by the Department.

4 FAH-3 H-468  Congressional Travel Procedures

4 FAH-3 H-468.1  Authorization and Notification of Funds

4 FAH-3 H-468.1-1  Authorization Letter

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

a. The authorization (letter) required for purposes of 4 FAM 468 may be provided by the:

(1)  Speaker of the House of Representatives in the case of a member or employee of the House;

(2)  Chairman of a standing or select committee of the House of Representatives in the case of a member or employee of that committee;

(3)  President of the Senate, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the Senate, or the Minority Leader of the Senate, in the case of a Member or employee of the Senate;

(4)  Chairman of a standing, select, or special committee of the Senate in the case of a member or employee of that committee or of an employee of a member of that committee; or

(5)  Chairman of a joint committee of the Congress in the case of a member or employee of that committee.

b. The authorization provided is the sole authority for financing the three basic elements of congressional travel (transportation, per diem, and other official expenses).  The authorization letter will specify the members of the delegation and the destination countries.  Changes in delegation composition or the country of destination must be specifically sanctioned in writing by the authorizer.

4 FAH-3 H-468.1-2  Notification of Post

(TL:FMP-3;   05-30-1995)

a. The Department’s legislative affairs office or the Under Secretary for Management (H or M) will cable the post(s) being visited with the authorizations for the payment of per diem, transportation, and other expenses in strict conformity with the letter of authorization.  Any authorized extraordinary expenses will be specifically delineated in the cable. Authorizing cables, which include the accounting strip code, can only be sent after the Department has received the congressional letter of authorization.

b. The authorization may only be transmitted to posts by H or M, as the cable constitutes the legal authority to incur expenses to provide the support requested by the delegation.  Posts do not have this authority until the cable has been received from H or M.

NOTE:  Posts are not permitted to transmit authorizations for Congressional travel between posts.

4 FAH-3 H-468.2  Funding of Congressional Accounts

(CT:FMP-25;   12-07-2004)

a. The Department administers the following congressional accounts at the request of and on behalf of the Congress:

Account Symbol

Account Title

00X0188.1

Congressional Use of Foreign Currency, Senate

00X0488.1

Congressional Use of Foreign Currency, House of Representatives

b. Although the Department administers these accounts, they are not Department of State funds.  The authorizing statute, 22 U.S.C. 1754, assigns the responsibility for the use of these funds and their accountability to the Congress.  Thus, neither the Department in Washington nor any post abroad may incur any obligation for services to or finances for any CODEL or STAFFDEL delegation member not covered by a specific congressional authorization.

4 FAH-3 H-468.3  Per Diem and Other Expenses

4 FAH-3 H-468.3-1  Per Diem Allowed

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

a. Congressional travelers receive in local currency owned by the United States an amount not to exceed the equivalent of $75 per day per person or the maximum per diem allowance established under the authority of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 57, subchapter I, for employees of the U.S. Government while traveling in a foreign country (the locality of travel), whichever is greater, exclusive of the actual cost of transportation.  The maximum per diem allowance is calculated as the sum of the location’s maximum lodging limit allowed, plus the meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) rate, as published in chapter 925, Per Diem Supplement to the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas).  When no lodging cost is incurred (e.g., the traveler stays in no-fee U.S. Government quarters or in a private residence), the traveler is entitled only to the greater of either $75 or the M&IE rate.  In all instances, a minimum of $75 should be disbursed.

b. When the Congressional authorizer specifically requests enhanced per diem to cover exceptional subsistence expenses deriving from special or unusual circumstances, the authorization cable must state explicitly the maximum per diem allowance and enhanced rate authorized.  In these instances, the enhanced per diem must be calculated as:

      Three hundred percent of the otherwise applicable per diem.

c.  When no lodging costs are incurred but special circumstances have led the congressional authorizer to request an enhanced M&IE, the latter must be calculated as:

      Three hundred percent of the otherwise applicable M&IE rate.

d. Posts are to disburse per diem monies in local currencies for each night spent in the country of jurisdiction.  If U.S. currency is specifically required to pay hotel expenses, or has been specifically requested in the authorizing cable, posts are to disburse in dollars.  Posts with insufficient U.S. dollars should advise the Department (Attention H or M) in sufficient time to permit dollar disbursement to travelers before departing the United States.  Posts with adequate U.S. dollar reserves may be requested to disburse dollars to the travelers to cover per diem for subsequent stops.

e. Per diem is computed on a full-day basis and is paid at the rate where the traveler is located at midnight.  Disbursements to congressional travelers are not advances and are not paid at the 80-percent limit applied to Executive Branch travelers.

4 FAH-3 H-468.3-2  Other Services

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

a. When “other services” are authorized, expenses for the following may be incurred on demand and without additional specific authorization and are chargeable to the appropriate congressional account (see 4 FAH-3 H-468.3-1) and subobject 2168:

(1)  Car and/or bus rental;

(2)  Control room(s), rental of office equipment (e.g., copiers or fax machines);

(3)  Supplies and publications;

(4)  Official long-distance phone calls, Embassy tie-lines; and

(5)  Support-related overtime pay.

b. Unusual and extraordinary expenses require specific authorization from the congressional authorizer.  Such expenses are:

(1)  Charter of aircraft;

(2)  Purchase of airline tickets on foreign carriers;

(3)  Reciprocal hospitality functions;

(4)  Interpreters, photographers, or security guards; and

(5)  Special meeting rooms other than control rooms.

4 FAH-3 H-468.3-3  Accommodation Exchange

(TL:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

Upon departure of CODELs and STAFFDELs, unused local currencies disbursed to travelers from one of the two congressional funds (see 4 FAH-3 H-468.2) may be converted to U.S. dollars through reverse accommodation exchange.  Final accountability for such conversions rests with the individual traveler.  Unspent monies disbursed and charged against either 00X0188.1 or 00X0488.1 may, at the option of the traveler, be returned at post for credit to the charged account.

4 FAH-3 H-468.4  Accounting and Reporting for Congressional Travel

4 FAH-3 H-468.4-1  Accounting Strip Code

(CT:FMP-54;   03-03-2010)

a. Authorization cables provide the accounting strip code for obligating and liquidating charges and consist of an appropriation/allotment/obligation number.  Subobjects, which are not included in the authorization cable but must be used for post level liquidations and reporting, are:

·         2166 for transportation (including local);

·         2167 for per diem; and

·         2168 for other official expenses.

Posts are to use only the above subobjects; no other subobjects apply:

(1)  Voucher documents supporting transactions must indicate full accounting data as shown in the authorization cable as well as the subobject code; and

(2)  Expenditure amounts must be reported in dollars only.  For Foreign Service accountability (FSA) accounts, the USDO must process the charges and credits to the proper appropriation(s), as reported on form SF-224, Statement of Transactions According To Appropriations, Funds, and Receipt Accounts (Foreign Service Account).

b. Any funds originally charged to 00X0188.1 or 00X0488.1 that are returned should be credited back to the proper account.

4 FAH-3 H-468.4-2  Reporting

(CT:FMP-83;   03-07-2014)

a. The Department is obliged to report promptly and fully to the Congress the itemized charges associated with support for foreign congressional travel, in order for Congress to meet its statutory reporting obligations.  Posts must report within 10 days all disbursements of per diem or payments for lodging for each traveler, as well as itemizing the expenditures for authorized other services.

b. The information must be cabled to the Department:  Attention H, with a copy to the Office of Accounting Operations (CGFS/F/AO).  EXCEPTION:  When the travel is incident to travel by members or staff of the Commerce, Justice, and State Subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the information should be cabled to the Department:  Attention M, with copies to Global Financial Services, Washington Liaison Office (CGFS/F/WO).

c.  All supporting documentation must be retained at post and not sent to either the Department or Congress in Washington.

d. The following is the required cable report format for all funded Congressional travel:

(1)  Expenditures for CODEL Jones visit to (post name), (dates of visit);

(2)  Per diem—00X0488.1-2089-210489-2167 Dols 700:

Jones, Rep. John H Dols 100

Adams, Rep. George Dols 200

Jefferson, Martin Dols 200

Smith, Mary Dols 200;

(3)  Per diem returned unspent (Jones) Dols 100;

(4)  Transportation—00X0488.1-2089-210489-2166 Dols

Rental of Vehicles Dols 485; and

(5)  Other Expenses—00X0488.1-2089-210489-2168 Dols 670:

·         Control Room Dols 225

·         Overtime Local Staff Dols 325

·         Interpreters Dols 120

4 FAH-3 H-469  Educational Travel

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

a. Payment and reimbursement of expenses incurred in association with educational travel, as authorized per 14 FAM 532.5, may include actual expenses for transportation for the dependent child; travel per diem within the maximum applicable rates, as authorized; and transportation expenses for unaccompanied air baggage (UAB), up to the weight allowance of 113 gross kilograms, or 250 pounds.  In lieu of transporting the UAB back to the dependent’s post, the cost of storage may be claimed, per 14 FAM 620.  Employees are responsible for making arrangements with local storage facilities to store the UAB and must pay all fees directly to the storage company.  Reimbursement for this expense may be requested at post at a later date.

b. Before electing storage as an option, the employee should consult post to determine what documents he or she will be required to produce in order to receive reimbursement.  In addition, the employee is responsible for obtaining an estimate on the shipping of the UAB to determine the maximum reimbursement amount he or she will be authorized based on the particular circumstances.  Payment of the storage portion of the claim will be limited to the constructed cost of shipment of UAB or storage, whichever amount is less.

c.  Claim reimbursement of any authorized educational travel expenses via Form DS-189, Travel Reimbursement Voucher.  The reimbursement request should include all necessary receipts and reference the entitlement detailed on the post assignment travel (PAT) orders.  The fiscal data charged for the payment of the claim will be the accounting data on the educational travel orders issued by post for this post-funded expense.  This data should include the post allotment code, the associated appropriation symbol used to fund the educational travel, the obligation number, and budget object code 2162 (the code assigned to educational travel), as well as other relevant accounting data associated with the educational travel orders.


4 FAH-3 Exhibit H-462  
Time Frames for Travel and Travel Advances

(CT:FMP-62;   01-28-2011)

1. Travel authorization:  The travel order is issued, and if a travel advance is allowed, submit an application if the advance is to be issued as:

 

Before Departure

EFT payment to payroll account:

10 calendar days

Travelers checks (if allowed locally):

3 calendar days

2. Traveler:  When travel is completed or cancelled, a voucher and/or refund of any advance must be submitted for:

 

After Completion

TDY travel:

5 workdays

PCS travel:

5 workdays

Extended travel (for each 30-day calendar period):

5 workdays

3. Management officer or bureau/office fund manager:  If a travel voucher is not submitted, the traveler is notified to submit a voucher or repay advance within 10 calendar days of the notice for:

 

After Completion

TDY travel:

30 calendar days

PCS travel:

30 calendar days

Extended travel (for each 30-day calendar period):

30 calendar days

4. Approving official approves voucher submitted by traveler:

 

After Submission

TDY travel:

2 workdays

5. Voucher processing office:  If voucher is timely submitted, audit and certify the voucher so that payment is made within:

 

After Submission

 

25 calendar days