|(a) Purpose. This subchapter governs the use of contract
travel services and state travel credit cards by state officials and
employees and other eligible persons. Contract travel services may
include state credit cards, travel agencies, airlines, vehicles, internet-based
reservation and ticketing, lodging and other modes and necessities
of state business related travel. The purpose of this subchapter is
to encourage travelers to obtain the lowest overall cost of travel
services. These rules do not alter, amend or affect the requirements
in Government Code, Chapter 660 relating to travel or the comptroller's
statutes and rules.
(b) Applicability. This subsection defines the persons
and entities eligible to use contract travel services.
(1) State agencies. State agency officials and employees,
in the executive branch, shall use the contract travel services as
required by this subchapter whenever those services provide the most
efficient travel resulting in the total lowest cost. State agencies
may and are encouraged to purchase travel services at rates lower
than the contract travel services rates.
(2) Other governmental entities. Officers and employees
of the following entities may, but are not required to, participate
in the travel services pursuant to this subchapter. These entities
may use contract travel services upon approval by the comptroller
of their application for the use of contract travel services:
(A) an institution of higher education as defined in
Education Code, §61.003 when the entity uses travel agency services
or when the services are purchased from funds other than general revenue
or education or general funds as defined by Education Code, §51.009;
(B) Employees Retirement System when the travel is
paid from other than general revenue funds;
(E) public junior colleges;
(F) school districts;
(G) emergency communication districts;
(H) qualified cooperative entity as the term is defined
under Government Code, § 2171.055; and
(I) the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals,
the courts of appeals, and other entities in the judicial branch.
(c) Official government business. Contract travel services
shall be used only for official governmental business, unless the
travel services contractor offers the same services for personal use.
No contractor is required to allow the use of contract travel services
for other than official governmental business.