|(a) Exceptions to use of contract travel services.
In accordance with these rules and applicable statutes, state agencies
may allow their employees to use travel services other than contract
travel services only if one or more of the exceptions in subsections
(b) through (i) of this section apply. Nothing in this section affects
or alters the authority of the comptroller regarding travel reimbursement
or audit of travel transactions.
(b) Lower overall cost of travel. The state agency
obtains lower priced travel services through the use of fourteen day
or other advanced reservations programs, promotional price reductions,
or any method that provides a lower overall cost of travel. When a
state agency uses any travel services obtained at a lower overall
cost than the contract travel services price, the exception must be
documented by the agency. The agency should document and follow a
consistent cost comparison methodology.
(c) Unavailability of contract travel services. The
contract travel services are not available during the time or at the
location necessary for the business purpose; or the contract travel
service does not provide for the service required; or because the
contractor is unable to provide the contract services due to a force
(d) Special needs. The traveler's health, safety, physical
condition, or disability requires accommodations, including medical
emergency or other necessary services, not available from contract
travel service contractors.
(e) Custodians of persons. The traveler has custody
of a person pursuant to statute or court order and the traveler is
required to provide a degree of security and safety that is not available
from contract travel service contractors.
(f) In travel status. The traveler is in the course
of travel and changes in scheduling render the use of contract travel
services impractical or the appropriate travel services are not available.
The traveler shall make reasonable efforts to secure rates equal to
or lower than the contract travel service rates.
(g) Group program. The traveler is using a group program
wherein reservations were made through a required source to obtain
a particular rate or service.
(h) Emergency response. The traveler is responding
to a public health or safety emergency situation and the use of contract
travel services is not available or would result in an unacceptable
(i) Legally required attendance. The traveler is required
by a court, administrative tribunal, or other entity to appear at
a particular time and place without sufficient notice to obtain contract
(j) Lodging reimbursement exceeding General Services
Administration rates. Except when a state employee may claim less
than the maximum meal reimbursement rate for a duty point and use
the amount of the reduction to increase the maximum lodging reimbursement
rate for the duty point, if a state agency reimburses lodging at a
rate exceeding the maximum set in the regulations issued by the United
States General Services Administration for a particular location,
the agency must document its determination that local conditions necessitate
the higher rate for that location.