|(a) General travel information will be maintained on
the comptroller's website. The information will include procedures,
as provided in this rule, Government Code, Chapter 660, and the General
Appropriations Act; examples; guidelines that will help support the
travel expense reimbursement process for state agencies. Procedures,
amounts, timing, limits, required documentation, permissible payees,
distinctions among different types of state employees, or any other
details concerning travel expense payments or reimbursements by a
state agency are governed by Government Code, Chapter 660, the General
Appropriations Act, and the rules adopted by the comptroller under
Government Code, Chapter 660.
(b) Eligible expenses. A travel expense must be incurred
before it is eligible for reimbursement.
(1) For lodging and transportation expenses, proof
of payment must be documented to validate that the expenses were actually
(2) A state employee who receives free transportation
or lodging in exchange for points or other non-monetary credits has
not incurred an expense for reimbursement purposes.
(3) A state agency may not reimburse a state employee
for any costs or expenses in excess of those incurred for official
travel that result from a state employee's personal preference or
(4) A state agency may not reimburse a state employee
for a travel expense incurred by or on behalf of another state employee,
(A) the reimbursement is authorized by law; or
(B) the travel expense is incurred while the paying
state employee and other state employee(s) are traveling on official
state business; the circumstances surrounding payment of the travel
expense necessitate the reimbursement of the paying state employee;
and the reimbursement of the paying state employee is approved by
the state agency.
(c) Erroneous processing and erroneous vouchers.
(1) A state agency or a state employee may not seek
reimbursement of a travel expense that the agency or employee knows
or reasonably should know is not reimbursable.
(2) The comptroller's omission of a particular travel
expense reimbursement as erroneous during a post-payment audit does
not prevent the comptroller from designating a similar reimbursement
as erroneous in a subsequent audit.
(d) Meal and lodging expenses.
(1) A state employee may be reimbursed for meal and/or
lodging expenses that are incurred on a day that the employee conducts
state business. The reimbursement is limited to the rates set forth
in the General Appropriations Act. The reimbursement limit applies
without a carry-over from one day to another.
(2) Meal and lodging expenses incurred at a duty point
the night before state business begins are reimbursable.
(3) Meal and lodging expenses incurred more than one
night before state business begins are not reimbursable unless traveling
to the duty point reasonably requires more than one day or the expenses
are incurred to qualify for a discount airfare.
(e) Apartment or house rental expenses.
(1) An apartment or house rental expense may be reimbursed
(A) the purpose of the rental is the conservation of
state funds; and
(B) the agency reasonably anticipates that the employee
will be using the apartment or house while conducting state business
throughout the term of the lease.
(2) Application fees and other mandatory costs associated
with applying for rental of the apartment or house are reimbursable.
(f) Other reimbursable expenses.
(1) In accordance with Government Code, §660.141,
a state employee may be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred while
staying extra days at a duty point to qualify for a discount airfare.
Such expenses may be reimbursed only if:
(A) the amount of the reimbursement plus the amount
of the discount is less than the average coach airfare or the contracted
(B) the employing agency determines that the employee's
absence for the extra days is not detrimental to the agency.
(2) Incidental expenses.
(A) Pursuant to Government Code, §660.002, a state
employee or legislator is entitled to be reimbursed for incidental
expenses when they are incurred for a state business reason.
(B) Examples of reimbursable incidental expenses include,
but are not limited to: mandatory charges or mandatory service charges;
telephone calls; toll charges; parking charges; repair charges for
a state-owned vehicle; postage; passport or visa charges required
for foreign travel; and currency exchange fees.
(C) Tips or gratuities and excess baggage charges for
personal belongings are not reimbursable expenses.
(3) Expenses of transportation by rented or public
(A) Pursuant to Government Code, §660.092, a state
agency may pay or reimburse the expense of transporting a state employee
by rented or public conveyance if the transportation is provided by
a commercial transportation company as defined by Government Code, §660.002(6).
(B) To be considered a commercial transportation company
as defined by Government Code, §660.002(6), an entity must be
covered by insurance that covers any accident or loss that occurs
while transporting people or goods for pay, as required by law.
(C) A commercial transportation company as defined
by Government Code, §660.002(6), includes a transportation network
(1) Amount of mileage reimbursement.
(A) The mileage reimbursement rate is established by
the legislature in the General Appropriations Act.
(B) With the exception of tolls and parking expenses,
the mileage reimbursement rate is inclusive of all expenses associated
with the operation of the employee's personal vehicle.
(2) Determination of reimbursable mileage.
(A) The number of miles traveled by an employee for
state business may be determined by point-to-point itemization.
(B) Point-to-point mileage may be documented by an
employee's vehicle odometer reading or by the readily available electronic
mapping service selected under subparagraph (C) of this paragraph
by the employee's agency, institution of higher education, or other
entity required to comply with Government Code, Chapter 660.
(C) Each agency, institution of higher education, or
other entity required to comply with Government Code, Chapter 660,
must select no more than one readily available electronic mapping
service for use by its employees and must adopt the service by internal
(h) Travel advance accounts.
(1) A state agency may establish an account for advancing
funds to a state employee for the employee's projected travel expenses.
(2) A state agency that declines to establish a travel
advance account may not make travel advances.
(3) A travel advance account may not be used for any
purpose other than to make travel advances.
(4) A state agency may not issue a travel advance to:
(A) a prospective state employee;
(B) an employee of another state agency unless the
employee will be providing services to the agency issuing the travel
(C) a person who is not a state employee, including
a commercial transportation company, a commercial lodging establishment,
a credit card issuer, and a travel agency.
(5) The comptroller may not reimburse the travel advance
account of a state agency for a travel advance to a state employee
who at the time of the advance had been properly reported to the comptroller
as being indebted to the state.
(6) Under and over advances.
(A) If a state employee received a travel advance that
is less than the reimbursable expenses incurred, the employing state
agency may reimburse the employee for the difference.
(B) If an employee received a travel advance that is
greater than the reimbursable expenses incurred, then the employee
shall promptly reimburse the account for the difference.
(7) A travel advance account may not be reimbursed
for a travel expense that would not have been reimbursed if the account
had not been used.
(i) Voucher and documentation requirements.
(1) The comptroller requires supporting information
and/or documentation to be included on a voucher prior to submission
(2) Supporting documentation must be sufficient to
detail the expenses claimed. Supporting documentation requirements
apply to a travel expense that is paid directly and to a travel expense
reimbursement made by an agency. The information or documentation
required changes periodically; however, it generally includes the
following: documentation of employee's headquarters, required itemizations,
purpose of trip, and required receipts.
(j) Audits conducted by the comptroller.
(1) Under Government Code, §660.028, the comptroller
is required to periodically audit travel vouchers submitted for payment
either before or after the comptroller issues a warrant or initiates
an electronic funds transfer in response to the voucher. These audits
and examinations assist the comptroller's office in determining whether:
(A) the expenses were reasonable and necessary;
(B) the purpose of travel clearly involved state business
and was consistent with the agency's legal authority;
(C) the travel conducted and expenses incurred complied
with the Travel Regulations Act, comptroller rules, travel provisions
of the General Appropriations Act, the comptroller's Statewide Procurement
Division contract requirements, and policies and procedures adopted
by the comptroller's office; and
(D) the number of individuals traveling for the same
or a similar purpose was necessary to perform state business.
(2) The comptroller may question the fiscal responsibility
of a payment even if it is technically legal.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §5.22 adopted to be effective September 9, 2008, 33 TexReg 7566; amended to be effective March 14, 2010, 35 TexReg 2017; amended to be effective October 26, 2015, 40 TexReg 7428; amended to be effective June 25, 2020, 45 TexReg 4218