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Update on Travel Ban

UPDATE AND REMINDER ON TRAVEL BAN TO NORTH CAROLINA AND MISSISSIPPI

Even though a partial repeal of the North Carolina law requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms matching their gender was repealed in March, the Governor Malloy’s Executive Orders banning travel to the states of North Carolina and Mississippi will continue to be in effect until further notice.

In order to assure consistency, decisions about approving travel under the Orders will continue to be made centrally.

STORRS & REGIONALS

The University requires pre approval for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi.  Travel without pre approval may result in the traveler being denied reimbursement.

At Storrs, the regional campuses and the Law school, requests for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi should be submitted to the Controller (Charlie Eaton) via email at charles.eaton@uconn.edu.  His office and General Counsel will collaborate to review individual requests for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi and determine whether they may be approved.
 
UCONN HEALTH

The existing process requires pre-approval for travel. The pre-approval must be submitted to the Controller (Chad Bianchi) via email at bianchi@uchc.edu or the CFO (Jeff Geoghegan) at geoghegan@uchc.edu.

Requests for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi should be submitted as all travel requests normally are.  There is no special procedure for submission.  The review process will include a determination regarding the application of the Order which will include collaboration with the General Counsel.

ALL CAMPUSES

– Travel funded by certain non-state funds (e.g. federal grants or private industry contracts) will be approved. The ban applies to use of other University funds including both block grant and tuition. It also applies to use of Bradley parking passes, which are funded directly by the state.

– Travel in which North Carolina or Mississippi is only a layover for a change of planes is not travel “to” that state and does not come within the ban.

Travelers, particularly for academic or research purposes, should not assume their request for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi on state funds will be denied, but should instead submit for review prior to booking the travel.

Travel Training Guides

The Accounts Payable and Travel Services Department has implemented a new training webpage with written procedures and video guides relating to: Vendor Set Up, AP Processing, and Travel.

Please note: the video guides are under 5 minutes and have guided comment boxes instead of voiceovers.

The webpage includes guides such as how to:

  • Create a New Vendor
  • Check the Payment Status of a PREQ or DV
  • Complete a Travel WebForm
  • Initiate Travel and Non-Travel Disbursement Vouchers

Visit the Training Videos and Guides webpage at: http://accountspayable.uconn.edu/TrainingVideosandGuides/.

 

For questions, please contact Amanda Betley at amanda.betley@uconn.edu.

Travel Ban

The University is requiring pre approval for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi.  Travel without pre approval may result in the traveler being denied reimbursement.

 

At Storrs, the regional campuses and the Law school, requests for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi should be submitted to the Controller (Charlie Eaton) via email at charles.eaton@uconn.edu.  His office and General Counsel will collaborate to review individual requests for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi and determine whether they may be approved.

 

  • Travel funded by non-state funds (e.g. federal grants or private industry contracts) will be approved.  The ban applies to use of state  funds.
  • Travel in which North Carolina or Mississippi is only a layover for a change of planes is not travel “to” that state and does not come within the ban.
  • If the Executive Order is expanded to apply to other states, the process described above will be applied to travel to those states as well.

 

Travelers, particularly for academic or research purposes, should not assume their request for travel to North Carolina or Mississippi on state funds will be denied, but should instead submit for review.

 

Update to Mileage Rates Effective 01/01/2016

The IRS has determined a new maximum mileage rate for eligible business travel is $.54 in effect for business travel beginning 1/1/16. Volunteer mileage is eligible for reimbursement at $.14 per mile. This is a reduction from the previous mileage rate of $.575 and $.17 (volunteer).

The Travel WebForm has been updated to reflect this update determined by the Start Date of travel. The TWF cannot calculate multiple mileage rates on one form so claims for mileage spanning over calendar year 2015-2016 will need to be done on two TWFs or have an the correct adjustment manually entered. To calculate the correct mileage rates for 2015 and 2016 mileage make sure to calculate how much the traveler is owed using .54 for all mileage incurred in 2016, and .575 for all mileage incurred in 2015. Calculate the difference of your new total and the total the form is calculating and then adjust accordingly by entering the new total in the “Adjusted Sub Total” section of the form. Also note this manual deduction somewhere on the Travel WebForm or the DV that’s submitted to claim the mileage. Last, please refresh your browser prior to your next visit to the Travel WebForm application to ensure no technical error occur within the form when calculating mileage.

 Please contact travel@uconn.edu or call (860)486-4137 with any questions or comments.

 

Update to GSA rates Beginning 10/01/15

For travel beginning October 1, 2015, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has updated all domestic per diem rates.  All travel that occurred before October 1 should continue to use FY15 GSA rates.  The per diem rates for all fiscal years can be viewed using the drop down menu on the GSA website

When initiating travel reimbursements, please ensure that the correct GSA rate is selected based on travel dates.  For travel that begins before October 1 and ends after, two separate rates can be manually selected on the Travel WebForm. 

 

Update to UConn Parking Expenses Reimbursement

Effective 7/1/15 the attached parking change was made. Employee permits are honored at comparable locations on other UConn campuses when traveling on University business. This eliminates the need for employees to pay for parking at any campus.  Claims for parking expenses for business on UConn campuses are not eligible for reimbursement effective 7/25/15.  If you have questions about this policy or require assistance in determining which parking location is best for you, please call Parking Services at 860-486-4930 and ask for Lynn Garvais or send an email to parkingservices@uconn.edu.

Update Regarding Record Retention when Using KFS

Attention KFS Users:

 

Please note that this memo only applies to documents scanned into KFS to document University financial transactions. Information about retention/destruction requirements for any other documents is available online at Records Compliance (http://records.compliance.uconn.edu/).

 

The State Office of Public Records’ policy and standards for Digital Imaging allow electronic images or other reproductions to be considered the same as original records, papers or documents and be known as the “official record copy.” Therefore, Accounts Payable, Travel Services, and Procurement Services will be initiating the following procedures effective July 1, 2015:

 

  • Departments will no longer need to mail the DV cover sheet or the original invoices/receipts that were attached in KFS to Accounts Payable or Travel Services.
  • Departments are responsible for scanning documents (e.g. invoices, receipts, etc.) into KFS and retaining the original hardcopy documents for the following periods:
    • Documents other than PCard documents – 1 year (for administrative purposes)
    • PCard supporting documents and receipts –3 years (for review purposes)
  • After these required retention periods, Departments are responsible for destroying the physical hardcopy documents in accordance with standards set by the Office of the Public Records Administrator (“OPRA”), discussed below, which require Departments first to seek permission from OPRA using Form RC-108.1.
  • Documents need to be scanned at a proper resolution where the document is legible. University Departments are responsible for ensuring a clear and readable scan.
  • The electronic version will become the official record copy and will be maintained in KFS. The state mandated record retention period will then apply to the electronic version, and now official record copy, of all documents scanned into KFS.

 

Procedures/Protocols

Accounts Payable

 

Paper Invoices related to Purchase Orders and Personal Service Agreements:

 

  • Accounts Payable will continue to scan the physical paper invoices into KFS.
  • Accounts Payable will then retain/hold the physical paper invoices that were scanned into KFS for 1 year for administrative purposes and then destroy, if applicable, the physical paper invoice in accordance with OPRA standards.

 

Paper Invoices used for Disbursement Vouchers:

 

  • University Departments will continue to scan the paper invoices (Disbursement Vouchers) into KFS and will not send the paper invoices or DV Cover Sheet to Accounts Payable.
  • University Departments will then retain/hold the physical paper invoices that were scanned into KFS for 1 year foradministrative purposes and then destroy, if applicable, the physical paper invoice in accordance with OPRA standards.

 

Travel Services

Reimbursement of Expenses to Employees and Non‐Employees:

 

  • University Departments will continue to scan the paper receipts/documents into KFS and will not send the paper receipts/documents to Accounts Payable/Travel.
  • The University Departments will then retain/hold the physical paper receipts/documents that were scanned into KFS for 1 year for administrative purposes and then destroy, if applicable, the physical paper invoice in accordance with OPRA standards.

 

Procurement Services

PCard Supporting Documents and Receipts:

 

  • As we begin the transition to a paperless environment, the preference is to have University Departments scan the paper invoices/receipt into KFS (PCDO) and continue to retain/hold these invoices/receipts, supporting PCard Program policy review and auditing requirements.
  • Once scanned into KFS, University Departments will retain the physical paper invoices/receipts for a period of 3 years for review purposes and then destroy, if applicable, the physical paper invoices in accordance with OPRA standards.

Grant based activities

For Grant based activities, the same rules and procedures/protocols apply as above.

 

Digital Imaging Policy and Standards

Please visit the following link for the State Digital Imaging Policy and Standards, and please ensure that this policy and standards are met when you scan your documents into KFS: http://records.compliance.uconn.edu/scanning-requirements/

The Digital Imaging Standards have an Image Resolution section that provides guidance on the pixels per inch (ppi) needed for documents scanned digitally. In general, the documents need to be scanned into KFS at either 200 ppi for standard business documents. However, 300 to 600 ppi may be required for smaller, damaged or low-contrast documents. We highly recommend scanning all documents at a minimum of 300 ppi to ensure proper resolution. In all cases, the document must to be legible in KFS. Please review Digital Imaging Standards – Image Resolution section in the link above for further details

 

Record Retention and Destruction of documents

After the retention period ends for documents scanned into KFS, see above, the State of Connecticut Record Retention Policies require the University to obtain approval from OPRA before destroying any paper documents such as invoices, receipts, receiving/shipping information, P.O.’s, etc. For general information, please visit the UConn’s Office of Audit Compliance & Ethics website for further information on the policies for record retention and destruction of documents at http://records.compliance.UConn.edu/. For specific instructions on destruction procedures for reformatted records (i.e. documents scanned into KFS) using Form RC-108.1 please visit http://records.compliance.uconn.edu/forms/. For questions or assistance on record retention or destruction of documents please contact either Betsy Pittman, University Archivist, at 860-486-4507 or Laurie Neal in Audit Compliance & Ethics at 860-486-4805

 

As a reminder, all documents associated with financial operations are state records and must comply with state regulations, regardless of format. The changes are a reflection of OPRA’s work to have the regulations more closely reflect changes in technology and process workflow.

 

Update in Disbursal of AP/Travel Payments

To enhance customer service by eliminating the need for employees to sign up in two places (Payroll and A/P) for initiating direct deposits, we are pleased to announce that disbursements made by Accounts Payable and Travel Services will be paid to the “primary” payroll direct deposit account established by employees. Direct deposit enables you to avoid the inconvenience of manually depositing a check, and it also protects against the loss or theft of checks. Payments made via direct deposit are timely and reliable and the funds from direct deposit payments are accessible earlier than the funds from checks. Effective April 10, 2015, paper checks will no longer be issued for reimbursements and advances to employees who currently have payroll direct deposit.

 

Most employees with payroll direct deposit elect to have their biweekly pay deposited into a single “primary” bank account. Likewise, any AP/Travel payments made to an employee will also be disbursed to this single “primary” account. For employees who have elected to have his/her biweekly pay directly deposited into two separate accounts, the “primary” account used for AP/Travel payments will be determined as follows:

 

Accounts Used for Payroll Direct Deposit Account Used for AP/Travel Direct Deposit
Paycheck is split between a checking account and a savings account Reimbursement/advance will be deposited to the employee’s checking account
Paycheck is split between two checking accounts with different % allocations Reimbursement/advance will be deposited to the checking account with the highest % allocation
Paycheck is split between two checking accounts with equal (50%) allocations Reimbursement/advance will be deposited to the checking account with the lowest account number
Paycheck is split between two savings accounts with different allocations Reimbursement/advance will be deposited to the savings account with the highest % allocation
Paycheck is split between two savings accounts with equal (50%) allocations Reimbursement/advance will be deposited to the savings account with the lowest account number

 

In some cases, the deposit from AP/Travel may go to a bank account that is not preferred by an employee. Due to certain limitations within the current Core-CT payroll system, we are unable to accommodate all banking preferences. Therefore, in these instances, it is recommended that employees utilize their bank’s online services to transfer the funds, or make a check deposit, to the appropriate bank account.  When AP/Travel payments are made, employees will receive email notifications to their UConn email with a reminder of the account default described above.

 

Please note that only direct deposit information maintained in the Core-CT payroll system will be used for AP/Travel payments going forward. Direct deposit accounts previously established for the purpose of AP/Travel payments will be deemed void, and all future AP/Travel payments will be deposited in accordance with the criteria above.

 

Direct deposit is a safe and convenient payment option that we strongly encourage for all University employees.  If you are not already signed up to receive direct deposits through payroll you may read about the  benefits of direct deposit and find the enrollment forms on the Payroll Department website at http://payroll.uconn.edu/PY/for_employees/direct_deposit.html.  Please contact Payroll at (860) 486-2423 for assistance in completing the forms. Questions regarding the changes shared in this memo can be directed to Accounts Payable at (860) 486-4137 or email your questions to AP_Vend_Coord@uconn.edu.

 

General Travel Questions/Comments

Current Travel Forms

Please leave your comments and suggestions about the current Travel Forms here. All feedback is greatly appreciated!