Chapter 40

Travel Expenses

Chapter 40

Overview

Travel Expenses

These rules establish comprehensive regulations for the authorization, payment, and reimbursement of travel expenses incurred (or requested to be incurred) by employees of the District government.

Chapter 40

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Chapter 40

Provisions

Travel Expenses


4000     Purpose and Applicability


4000.1    This chapter establishes procedures for requesting, approving, and reimbursing travel expenses incurred by employees for authorized District government purposes.

4000.2    The provisions in this chapter apply to all employees of the District government under the Mayor's personnel authority.

4000.3    This chapter shall apply beginning on October 1, 2020. The Department of Human Resources shall issue all forms referenced in this chapter, issue guidance to District agencies regarding the implementation of this chapter, and provide training opportunities to District government employees on the requirements of this chapter by September 1, 2020.

4000.4   Except as provided in §§ 4031 through 4035 (regarding local travel), this chapter applies to travel beyond fifty (50) miles from the District of Columbia, as measured from the John A. Wilson Building, located at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

4000.5    When an issue relating to the authorization or reimbursement of a travel expense is not covered by this chapter, agencies and employees should be guided by the Federal Travel Regulation, 41 CFR Chapters 300-304, in deciding whether the expense will be authorized or reimbursed.


4001     General Policy and Standards


4001.1    Travel expenses are necessary, in general, to effectively operate the District government.

4001.2    For specific employee travel expenses to be reimbursable by the District government, the expenses must be for:

  1. Travel deemed necessary for District government business, including travel for meetings and conferences;
  2. Travel deemed necessary for human capital development beneficial to the District government, including travel for employee training and seminars; and
  3. Emergency travel that interrupts travel approved for a purpose described in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this subsection.

4001.3    When incurring travel expenses, District employees shall be guided by principles of accountability, transparency, efficiency, and economy.

4001.4    In being guided by the principles of efficiency and economy, the following general standards shall apply:

  1. An employee traveling for District government purposes shall exercise the same care in incurring travel expenses that a prudent person of modest means would exercise if traveling on personal business. Expenses that would not be incurred by a prudent person of modest means shall not be authorized or reimbursed.
  2. Excessive costs (such as the use of unnecessary routes, extended stays, late fees, higher-level accommodations, and other expenses that are unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business) shall not be authorized and shall not be reimbursed.
  3. An agency shall limit the number of travelers (for example, participants at a conference) to the minimum necessary to accomplish the purpose of the travel.

4001.5    An employee must receive written authorization from his or her agency head, or the agency head's designee, before incurring any travel expense, unless circumstances beyond the control of the agency or employee make preauthorization impractical.

4001.6    An employee shall be responsible for payment of all expenses over the reimbursement limits established in this chapter, all expenses not authorized by his or her agency, and all expenses that are otherwise not consistent with the provisions of this chapter or District or federal law.


4002     Travel Officers


4002.1    Agency heads shall designate an employee to serve as the agency’s travel officer. In the absence of such a designation, the agency head shall be the travel officer.

4002.2    Travel officers are responsible for verifying that employee travel and training expenses are reasonable, necessary, consistent with the provisions of this chapter, and in compliance with the policies outlined in § 4001. This includes:

  1. Reviewing the travel requests and supporting documents for accuracy and completeness; and
  2. Ensuring compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

4002.3    All travel requests and expenses must be approved by the travel officer.

4002.4    The travel officer shall be responsible for:

  1. Making determinations under the provisions of this chapter (in consultation, where appropriate, with the agency’s general counsel);
  2. Receiving, reviewing, certifying, and processing requests for travel authorizations;
  3. Receiving, reviewing, certifying, and processing requests for advances;
  4. Receiving, reviewing, certifying, and processing requests for reimbursements of travel expenses;
  5. Carrying out other functions specified in this chapter or as assigned by the agency director; and
  6. Taking such actions as are necessary to ensure that the travel officer’s agency is in compliance with this chapter.


4003     Travel Expenses and Reimbursement, In General


4003.1     For the purposes of this chapter, travel expenses include:

  1. Transportation expenses;
  2. Lodging expenses;
  3. Meal and incidental expenses; and
  4. Miscellaneous expenses.

4003.2    Travel expenses must be reasonable and necessary in order to be paid for or reimbursed by the District government. As used throughout this chapter, an expense is reasonable when it is the least expensive option, taking into consideration government accountability, efficiency, and economy, as well as employee safety.

4003.3    Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the District government shall reimburse government travel expenses when approved in accordance with this chapter.

4003.4    No agency may approve or reimburse travel expenses that could reasonably be perceived to violate the public trust.

4003.5    If, for personal convenience, an employee travels by an indirect route or interrupts travel by a direct route, the employee shall be responsible for costs that exceed the approved cost of travel by a direct route on an uninterrupted basis.

4003.6    If, for personal convenience, an employee travels to the destination earlier than the date and time authorized for official travel or departs the travel destination later than the date and time authorized for official travel (such as by extending the employee’s stay at the travel destination for the purposes of a personal vacation), the employee shall be responsible for costs that exceed the approved cost of travel for the dates and times authorized for official travel.


4004     Travel Approvals


4004.1    All District government travel must be approved in writing. Approval of training does not itself constitute approval of travel associated with the training.

4004.2    Travel approval requests shall be submitted, reviewed, and approved using a form approved by the personnel authority. The personnel authority may approve a travel request in another manner where there is a good reason that the approved form cannot be used.

4004.3    Each travel approval request shall include the following information:

  1. The employee’s name, title, and employee identification number;
  2. The employee’s agency name;
  3. The purpose of the travel;
  4. The travel origin and destination;
  5. The dates of departure and return; and
  6. An estimate of each travel-related expense.

4004.4    In addition to the information provided pursuant to § 4004.3, each travel approval request shall be accompanied by:

  1. Documentation detailing the cost of the transportation (i.e., a printout of the ticket of intended purchase or of a price comparison website showing the cost of the ticket);
  2. Documentation showing that the cost of transportation is the lowest rate available (i.e., a printout from a price comparison website);
  3. Documentation detailing the cost of any lodging (i.e., a printout of the lodging price or of a price comparison website showing the cost of lodging);
  4. Documentation showing that the cost of lodging is the lowest rate available (i.e., a printout from a price comparison website);
  5. Documentation detailing the per diem lodging rate for the destination, if applicable (i.e., a printout from the General Services Administration (GSA) website); and
  6. Documentation detailing the per diem meal and incidental expense rate for the travel destination (i.e., a printout from the GSA website).

4004.5    If a travel authorization request is for a conference, training, or other event, the request shall include, in addition to the information required by §§ 4004.3 and 4004.4, the following:

  1. A copy of the brochure, flyer, letter of invitation, or announcement for the event;
  2. The agenda for the event, if applicable; and
  3. The registration pricing information (including early bird deadlines).

4004.6    If transportation costs exceed basic coach-class service (or its equivalent); lodging costs exceed the lowest cost available; or costs otherwise deviate from the provisions of this chapter, a written justification shall accompany the travel authorization request.

4004.7    Travel approvals shall be processed as indicated in § 4017.


4005     Transportation Expenses


4005.1    The District shall pay for or reimburse transportation expenses incurred for approved employee travel to the extent authorized by the employee’s agency and consistent with this chapter.

4005.2    Allowable transportation expenses include:

  1. Transportation from the employee’s authorized point of origination (see § 4026) to an airport, train station, bus depot, or other authorized point of departure (such as a car rental location);
  2. Airfare, train fare, or other necessary transportation expenses (such as expenses of a rental car) from the travel departure city to the travel destination city;
  3. Transportation from the travel destination airport, train station, or bus depot to the employee’s travel lodging;
  4. Transportation while at the travel destination (for example, a shuttle bus or taxi ride from the employee’s lodging to a meeting location);
  5. Return transportation from the employee’s lodging to the destination airport, train station, or bus depot;
  6. Return airfare, train fare, or other necessary transportation expenses from the destination city to the return city (generally the travel departure city); and
  7. Transportation from the return city airport, train station, or bus depot or other authorized point of return (such a car rental location) to the employee’s home, office, or other authorized point of return (see § 4026).

4005.3    If an employee does not travel by the approved method or class of transportation, any additional expenses incurred which exceed the cost of the authorized method or class of transportation shall be borne by the employee.


4006     Ground Transportation


4006.1

  1. Ground transportation subject to reimbursement includes heavy rail (such as Amtrak, MARC, and Virginia Railway Express) and intercity bus service (see § 4007), as well as public transit systems (including subway, bus, and light rail), taxis, ride-hailing services (such as electronically hailed personal vehicles), shared-ride services (such as shared van service to or from an airport, or bikeshare), shuttles, and other similar means of transportation.
  2. For the purposes of this section, ground transportation does not include transportation by government or rental vehicles, which is covered by § 4008, or transportation by personal vehicles, which is covered by § 4009.

4006.2    An agency may authorize the reimbursement of the costs of ground transportation for the following travel:

  1. From the employee’s authorized point of origination to a common carrier (for example, Metrorail from the employee’s office to National Airport);
  2. From an airport, train station, or bus depot to the employee’s place of lodging or place of official business (for example, from the destination airport to the employee’s destination hotel);
  3. To, from, and between the employee’s place of lodging and official business;
  4. Between places of official business while traveling;
  5. To obtain meals at nearby locations when the nature and location of the official business or lodging necessitate such travel and the necessity is explained on the approved expense reimbursement form;
  6. From the employee’s place of lodging or place of official business to the airport, train station, or bus depot (for example, from the convention center at the destination location to the destination airport); and
  7. From the airport, train station, or bus depot to the employee’s authorized point of return (for example, Metrorail from National Airport to the employee’s office).

4006.3    An employee shall use courtesy transportation services, such as those furnished by places of lodging, to the maximum extent possible and as a first source of transportation between a place of lodging and common carrier terminals, places of official business, and meal locations.

4006.4    Whenever courtesy transportation services are not readily available, employees shall use the mode of ground transportation that is the least expensive mode of transportation, taking into consideration employee safety, cost, and efficiency.

4006.5    Tips more than twenty percent (20%) for a taxi, shuttle, ride hailing service, or similar means of transportation shall not be reimbursed. Tips exceeding two dollars ($2) per courtesy shuttle shall not be reimbursed.


4007     Heavy Rail and Intercity Bus


4007.1    If heavy rail or intercity bus service is approved by an agency as a mode of employee travel, an agency shall pay for, and an employee shall only be reimbursed for, the cost of the lowest-price coach class heavy rail (for example, Amtrak) or intercity bus service that reasonably meets the travel needs of the employee, unless another class of service is authorized under § 4007.3.

4007.2    To determine and obtain the lowest-price coach class fare that reasonably meets the travel needs of the employee, the employee shall:

  1. Compare prices online at the heavy rail or bus carrier website; and
  2. Arrange for the purchase of transportation as far as possible in advance in order to ensure that the lowest prices are available.

4007.3    An agency may approve a class of service other than basic, coach-class service if:

  1. No basic, coach-class service is reasonably available and the travel cannot be rescheduled in a manner that is advantageous to the government;
  2. Use of other than basic, coach-class service is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need;
  3. Regularly scheduled heavy rail or bus service between the origin and destination points only provide classes of service that are not basic, coach-class service; or
  4. The use of other than basic, coach-class service results in an overall cost savings to the government, for example by avoiding additional travel expenses, overtime, or lost productive time while awaiting or using basic, coach-class service.

Mere preference or convenience is not an acceptable factor for an agency to consider.

4007.4    An employee may upgrade to other than basic, coach-class service, or to preferred seating or service in coach-class accommodations, at the employee’s personal expense. The employee shall be responsible for the payment of the cost of any upgrades.


4008     Government and Rental Vehicles


4008.1    A government or rental vehicle may be authorized as a means of transportation to the travel destination and as a means of transportation while at the destination.

4008.2    Whenever practical, a government vehicle shall be used for ground travel to and from travel destinations within one hundred (100) miles of the District of Columbia, as measured from the John A. Wilson Building.

4008.3    If a government or rental vehicle is authorized as a mode of travel, the vehicle may be used at the destination only for the following purposes:

  1. To travel between places of official business;
  2. To travel between a place of official business and a place of lodging; and
  3. To travel between either a place of official business or a place of lodging and a restaurant, drug store, place of medical care, place of worship, or similar place necessary for the sustenance, comfort, or health of the employee (“necessary place”) to foster the continued efficient performance of government business, provided the employee shall minimize such use by traveling to the nearest necessary place and by combining trips to multiple necessary places.

4008.4    Except for collision damage waivers, personal accident insurance, or theft insurance for travel within the United States, the District shall reimburse authorized and reasonable expenses associated with the use of government and rental vehicles, including the costs of fuel, parking fees, and tolls.

  1. When a government vehicle is used, fuel shall be obtained in accordance with rules and procedures established by the Department of Public Works.
  2. When authorized, the actual cost of fuel, parking, and toll expenses shall be reimbursed.

4008.5    An employee shall rent, and the agency shall only reimburse the expenses of, the least expensive compact car available, unless a waiver for another class of vehicle is approved by the employee’s agency. In general, a waiver should only be approved when:

  1. Use of a class of vehicle other than a compact car is necessary to accommodate a special need;
  2. The cost of a class of vehicle other than a compact car is less than or equal to the cost of the least expensive compact car;
  3. Additional room is required to accommodate multiple employees authorized to travel together in the same rental vehicle;
  4. An employee must carry a large amount of District government material, and a compact rental vehicle does not contain sufficient space for the material; or
  5. When necessary for safety reasons, such as during severe weather.

4008.6    An employee shall refuel a rental vehicle before returning the rental vehicle to the drop-off location. An employee shall not be reimbursed for purchasing a pre-paid refueling option for a rental car or for rental car vendor refueling charges; except, that if it is not practical to refuel completely prior to returning the rental vehicle because of safety issues or the location of the closest fueling station, the employee may be reimbursed for rental car vendor refueling charges.

4008.7    An employee shall be responsible for any additional cost resulting from unauthorized use of a government or rental vehicle and may be subject to administrative and criminal liability for misuse of government property.


4009     Employee Vehicles


4009.1    An employee may use his or her personal vehicle for official government business only when authorized by the employing agency.

4009.2    An agency shall approve the use of an employee’s personal vehicle only when use of a common carrier, government vehicle, or rental vehicle is not reasonable under the circumstances. Use of personal vehicles shall be in accordance with the District’s policy regarding the use of personal vehicles, including Mayor’s Order 2009-210.

4009.3    Reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle shall be determined by multiplying the distance traveled, by the applicable mileage rate (see § 4009.5).

4009.4    The following standards shall apply to the calculation of mileage associated with the use of personal vehicles:

  1. Mileage shall be calculated based on the distance between the authorized point of origination and the authorized destination, the distances traveled while within the destination jurisdiction, and the distance between the authorized destination and the authorized point of return.
  2. The distances shall be determined as shown in an online mapping service or the actual miles driven as determined from odometer readings.
  3. When travel originates from a location other than the authorized point of origination, or terminates at a location other than the authorized point of return, the mileage claimed shall be limited to the distance between the destination and the authorized point of return.

4009.5    The mileage rate shall be the rate published in the most recent Federal Travel Regulation bulletin establishing such rate or the rate displayed on the General Service Administration’s website (http://www.gsa.gov/mileage).

4009.6    When a personal vehicle is the authorized method of transportation, reimbursable expenses in addition to mileage shall include parking fees and bridge, road, ferry, and tunnel fees. Non-reimbursable expenses include charges for repairs, depreciation, replacements, grease, oil, antifreeze, towing, fuel, insurance, and state and federal taxes. Parking and tolls shall be reimbursed at the actual rate and shall be accompanied by a receipt, regardless of amount.

4009.7    An employee’s use of a personal vehicle may also be approved for transportation between his or her authorized origination point and an airport, train station, or bus depot from which the employee will depart for and arrive to if another means of transportation is not reasonably available.

4009.8    If an employee uses a personal vehicle for transportation to or from an airport, train station, or bus depot, when another means of transportation was authorized, the employee may be reimbursed for the expenses associated with the use of his or her personal vehicle pursuant to the standards, and at the rates, described in this section, except that the agency may reimburse such expenses (including mileage and parking expenses) only up to an amount equal to the estimated cost of the authorized mode of transportation.


4010     Responsibilities for Tickets


4010.1    An employee shall be responsible for paying tickets for any moving or non-moving infractions, such as speeding tickets and parking tickets.


4011     Air Travel


4011.1

  1. If air travel is approved by an agency as a mode of employee travel, an agency shall only pay for, and an employee shall only be reimbursed for, the cost of the lowest-price basic coach class airfare that reasonably meets the travel needs of the employee, unless another class of service is authorized under § 4011.3.
  2. In determining whether a ticket reasonably meets the travel needs of the employee, the agency may consider the reduced time of travel and added convenience of non-stop transportation; however, it will generally be considered reasonable for an employee to travel with one (1) stop with a layover of two (2) hours or less. Mere preference or convenience is not an acceptable factor for an agency to take into account.

4011.2    To determine and obtain the lowest-price coach class fare that reasonably meets the travel needs of the employee, the employee shall:

  1. Use at least one (1) major airline pricing comparison website; and
  2. Arrange for the purchase of transportation as far as practical in advance in order to ensure that the lowest prices are available;

4011.3    An agency may approve other than basic, coach-class service if:

  1. No basic, coach-class service is reasonably available and the travel cannot be rescheduled in a manner that is advantageous to the government. “Reasonably available” means available on an airplane that is scheduled to arrive within twenty-four (24) hours of the schedule start time of the government business at the travel destination, or scheduled to depart within twenty-four (24) hours after the end of the government business at the travel destination;
  2. Use of other than basic, coach-class service is necessary to accommodate a disability or other special need;
  3. Regularly scheduled flights between the origin and destination points provide only other than basic, coach-class accommodations; or
  4. The use of other than basic, coach-class service results in an overall cost savings to the government (for example, by avoiding additional travel expenses, overtime, or lost productive time while awaiting basic, coach-class service).

4011.4    An employee may upgrade to other than basic, coach-class service, or to preferred seating or service in coach-class accommodations, at the employee’s personal expense. The employee shall be responsible for the payment of the cost of any upgrades.

4011.5    An agency may use its purchase card only to purchase employee air travel at the rates authorized by this section. If the employee is purchasing a more expensive air travel ticket, the employee must purchase the ticket with his or her own funds, and thereafter request reimbursement of an amount equal to the price of the air travel ticket authorized by this section and approved by the agency.

4011.6    If the agency determines that a lower price for air travel would have been available if the employee had arranged for the purchase of his or her air travel at an earlier point in time or used a comparative pricing website, the agency may refuse to approve payment or reimbursement in excess of the lower price, but only if the lower price was not available due solely to the employee’s delay.


4012     Lodging Expenses


4012.1    The District government shall provide reimbursement for lodging expenses when an employee is traveling for government-related purposes for more than twelve (12) hours, if the lodging expenses are authorized by the agency and are consistent with the requirements of this chapter.

4012.2    Reimbursement for the costs of lodging shall be made on the basis of actual and authorized expenses. An employee shall not be reimbursed for the costs of lodging on a per diem basis.

4012.3    The number of reimbursable lodging nights shall be determined by the conference, meeting, or training schedule, or other legitimate travel purposes, and the employee’s ability to depart or arrive home at a reasonable hour. The employee shall arrange his or her travel schedule so as to minimize the number of lodging nights needed.

4012.4    An employee shall be reimbursed for lodging incurred on weekends and other non-workdays if the employee’s travel status requires his or her stay to include a weekend day or non-workday and the agency determines that the weekend or other non-workday travel status is the most cost-effective situation (that is, remaining in a travel status and paying expenses is more cost-effective than having the employee return to his or her residence) or is otherwise in the best interest of the government.

4012.5    Lodging taxes paid by an employee are reimbursable as a miscellaneous travel expense. The amount of lodging taxes that are reimbursable are limited to the taxes paid on reimbursable lodging costs. For example, if an agency authorizes an employee a maximum lodging rate of fifty dollars ($50) per night, and the employee elects to stay at a hotel that costs one hundred dollars ($100) per night, the employee may only claim and be reimbursed for the amount of taxes paid on fifty dollars ($50), which is the maximum authorized, reimbursable lodging amount.

4012.6    Employees shall request exemption from any hotel taxes, based upon their government identification and their travel authorization form. An employee shall not be reimbursed for lodging taxes paid if the jurisdiction in which the lodging is located provides a tax exemption for purchases by the District of Columbia government or its employees. Employees shall be responsible for filing the appropriate paperwork, if any, to obtain the tax exemption.


4013     Limitations on Lodging Expenses


4013.1    The District will generally provide reimbursement only for the lowest available lodging rate at the travel destination.

  1. To determine and obtain the lowest available lodging rate, the employee shall:
    1. Use at least one (1) major hotel pricing comparison website to determine the lodging rates at the travel destination; and
    2. Arrange for the purchase of lodging as far as practical in advance in order to ensure that the lowest prices are available.
  2. To determine whether a lodging rate is the lowest available, the agency may take into account factors such as:
    1. Additional expenses that are likely to be incurred for transportation between the place of lodging that has the lowest available lodging rate and the airport, train station, or bus depot, places of business, and other authorized places; and
    2. Inclusions in the lodging rate, such as parking or meals, which will offset other reimbursable travel costs.
  3. In determining the lowest available lodging rate, the employee shall request the government lodging rate, if lower than the standard guest rate or conference rate.
  4. If the lowest available hotel lodging rate exceeds the per diem lodging rate established by the GSA or the Department of State (DoS) for the destination, the employee must receive approval from the agency, prior to travel, to book at the higher rate. A request for approval must be supported by rate quotes showing the cost of rooms exceeding the GSA or DoS per diem lodging rate.
  5. An employee may request that the employee’s agency head, or the agency head’s designee, waive the lowest available hotel lodging rate requirement. Such a request may be approved if:
    1. The time to travel back and forth from the location of lodging available at or below the per diem rate to the airport, train station, bus depot, places of business, and other authorized places is excessive relative to the added cost of staying at or near the place of business;
    2. Lodging is procured at a prearranged place such as a hotel where a meeting, conference, or training session is held (“on-site lodging”), the on-site lodging is no more than one hundred twenty-five percent (125%) of the lowest available lodging rate, and the presence of the employee at the on-site lodging is important to the employee obtaining the full benefits of the meeting, conference, or training;
    3. The waiver is necessary to ensure that the lodging is of an acceptable quality; or
    4. The waiver is necessary to ensure the personal safety of the employee.
  6. Mere preference or convenience is not an acceptable factor for an agency to take into account when determining whether a lodging rate greater than the lowest available lodging rate may be approved or reimbursed.
  7. The lodging rate approved pursuant to a waiver must be the lowest available hotel lodging rate taking into consideration the circumstances under which the waiver is being approved.
  8. Waivers are at the discretion of the agency head, provided that in no case shall the approved rate exceed one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the GSA per diem rate without the approval of the City Administrator, upon the recommendation of the personnel authority.

4013.2    An employee shall be reimbursed the single occupancy rate actually paid for the lodging at the approved rate. If the employee shares a room with another person, the employee’s reimbursement is limited to one-half (½) of the double occupancy rate if the person sharing the room is another government employee on official travel. If the person sharing the room is not a government employee on official travel, the employee’s reimbursement shall be limited to the single occupancy rate.

4013.3    If the employee stays with a friend or relative, with or without charge, the employee may be paid a flat “token” amount or be reimbursed for additional costs the host incurs in accommodating the employee only if the employee is able to substantiate the costs and the employee’s agency determines the costs to be reasonable. The employee shall not be reimbursed the cost of comparable conventional lodging in the area.

4013.4    An employee may upgrade his or her approved lodging at the employee’s personal expense. The employee shall be responsible for the payment of the cost of any upgrades.

4013.5    An agency may use its purchase card only to purchase employee lodging at the rates authorized by this section. If the employee is purchasing more expensive lodging, the employee must purchase the lodging with his or her own funds and thereafter request reimbursement of an amount equal to the price of the lodging authorized by this section and approved by the agency.

4013.6    If the agency determines that a lower price for lodging would have been available if the employee had arranged for the purchase of his or her lodging at an earlier point in time or used a comparative pricing website, the agency may refuse to approve payment or reimbursement in excess of the lower price.


4014     Meals and Incidental Expenses


4014.1    The District shall provide reimbursement for authorized meal and incidental expenses when an employee is on approved travel for government-related purposes for more than twelve (12) hours.

4014.2   

  1. Meal and incidental expenses may be reimbursed by either or both of the following methods:
    1. Per diem method (or reduced per diem method); and/or
    2. Actual expense method.
  2. An employee may be reimbursed both by the actual expense and per diem methods during a single trip, but only one method of reimbursement may be authorized for a given calendar day. The agency shall determine when the transition between the reimbursement methods occurs.

4014.3    An employee shall be reimbursed for meals and incidental expenses incurred on non-workdays, including weekends, if lodging for the employee at the travel location was authorized for such days.

4014.4    An agency should not authorize reimbursement of meals and incidental expenses by the actual expense method unless:

  1. Actual expenses are less than the per diem amount;
  2. Meals are procured at a prearranged place, such as a hotel where a meeting, conference, or training session is held, and it is not feasible for the employee to purchase meals at an alternate location, and the cost of the meals together with allowable incidental expenses exceeds the per diem amount; or
  3. Meal expenses within prescribed allowances cannot be reasonably obtained.

4014.5    The maximum amount that an employee may be reimbursed under the actual expense method is limited to one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the applicable maximum meal and incidental expense per diem rate, unless a higher amount is approved by the City Administrator, upon the recommendation of the employee’s agency head and personnel authority.

4014.6    To receive reimbursement at actual expense, an employee must itemize all expenses and provide a receipt for each expense, including meals, snacks, and incidental expense, except when a receipt is not normally provided for the expense.

4014.7    When reimbursement for meals and incidental expenses is made by the actual expense method, the following provisions shall apply:

  1. Costs for each meal shall be reimbursable for:
    1. One (1) non-alcoholic beverage;
    2. One (1) appetizer;
    3. One (1) main course;
    4. The tax on the items listed in sub-paragraphs (1) through (3) of this paragraph; and
    5. A tip, subject to paragraph (c) of this subsection.
  2. The cost of alcoholic beverages, desserts, and other meal costs not listed in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not be reimbursable.
  3. Tips shall be reimbursable for no more twenty percent (20%) of the total reimbursable meal costs, including tax.

4014.8    When reimbursement for meal and incidental expenses is made by the actual expense method, allowable incidental expenses are fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, and hotel staff.


4015     Meals and Incidental Expenses; Per Diem Rates


4015.1    When meal and incidental expenses are authorized to be reimbursed on a per diem basis:

  1. For destinations within the United States, the per diem meals and incidental expense rates that an employee may be paid shall be the rate established by the GSA.
  2. For destinations outside the United States, the per diem meal and incidental expense rate that an employee may be paid shall be the rate established by the DoS.

4015.2     If an employee’s meal and incidental expenses are reimbursed on a per diem basis, the amount of the per diem rate to which an employee shall be entitled shall be calculated as follows:

  1. When an employee is on government travel for more than twelve (12) hours, but less than twenty-four (24) hours, the meal and incidental expense allowance shall be seventy-five percent (75%) of the applicable daily meal and incidental expense rate.
  2. When travel is for twenty-four (24) hours or more, the daily meal and incidental expense allowance shall be as follows:
Day of Travel Meals and Incidental Expense Allowance
Day of departure Seventy-five percent (75%) of the applicable meal and incidental expense rate
Full days of travel One hundred percent (100%) of the applicable meal and incidental expense rate
Last day of travel Seventy-five percent (75%) of the applicable meal and incidental expense rate

4015.3

  1. If an employee’s meal and incidental expenses are reimbursed on a per diem basis and a meal is furnished by the government or included in a registration fee or as part of another event or activity that the employee is attending, an amount shall be deducted from the per diem rate as follows:
    1. For a furnished dinner: fifty percent (50%);
    2. For a furnished lunch: twenty-four percent (24%); and
    3. For a furnished breakfast: sixteen percent (16%).
  2. An agency may, at its discretion, allow an employee to claim the full daily meal and incidental expense rate even if a meal is furnished by the government or included in a registration fee or as part of another event or activity that the employee is attending, if:
    1.  
      1. The employee is unable to consume the furnished meal because of a medical requirement, religious belief, or dietary restriction;
      2. The employee made a reasonable effort to make an alternative meal arrangement, but was unable to do so; and
      3. The employee purchased a substitute meal to satisfy his or medical requirement or religious belief; or
    2. The employee was unable to take part in the meal furnished by the government or included in a registration fee or as part of another event or activity that the employee is attending due to the conduct of official business.


4016     Miscellaneous Expenses


4016.1    The District shall provide reimbursement for miscellaneous expenses related to approved government travel when an employee is on government travel for more than twelve (12) hours, subject to the limitations set forth in this section and chapter.

4016.2    The following expenses shall be reimbursable as miscellaneous expenses, to the extent necessary for the conduct of official business and approved by the employee’s agency:

  1. Baggage expenses authorized by 41 CFR § 301-12.2, including fees pertaining to the first checked bag; fees relating to the second and subsequent bags may be reimbursed only when the agency determines those expenses are reasonable and necessary;
  2. The use of computers, internet, printers, fax machines, and scanners, to the extent not provided by the government to the employee;
  3. Telephone calls for business purposes, when an employee has not been issued a mobile phone, or when mobile service is not available in the area,; telephone calls shall be itemized showing who was called, the purpose, date, length, and cost of the call;
  4. Faxes, which shall be itemized showing to whom the fax was sent, a description of the faxed document, and the purpose, date, number of pages, and cost of each fax;
  5. Lodging taxes on the actual amount of the lodging cost or the maximum lodging amount authorized by the agency, whichever is less; provided, no lodging taxes shall be reimbursed if the employee’s lodging would have been exempt from taxes if the employee had filed appropriate paperwork or taken appropriate actions to obtain the tax exemption; and
  6. Laundry and cleaning of clothing expenses when the employee is authorized for four (4) or more nights of lodging.

4016.3    The District shall not provide reimbursement for personal phone calls, entertainment, alcohol, or other personal expenses.

4016.4    Any additional items reimbursable under 41 CFR § 301-12.1 shall be reimbursable as miscellaneous expenses, to the extent approved by the employee’s agency.


4017     Agency Approval


4017.1    Travel approvals shall be processed as follows:

  1. The employee requesting travel authorization shall submit the approval form to his or her immediate supervisor;
  2. The supervisor shall review and certify whether the requested travel benefits the agency;
  3. The supervisor shall submit the approval form to the travel officer;
  4. The travel officer shall certify whether the request complies with this chapter, and that the request is complete and accurate;
  5. The travel officer shall secure the signature of the agency fiscal officer, certifying that funds are available to fund the request;
  6. The agency head, or designee, shall either approve or deny the travel approval request; and
  7. The travel officer shall notify the employee and the supervisor of the decision on the request.

4017.2    Each agency head, or the agency head’s designee, shall be the authorizing official for travel by an employee of the agency, except:

  1. The City Administrator shall be the authorizing official for deputy mayors;
  2. Each deputy mayor shall be the authorizing official for his or her agencies’ directors;
  3. The Mayor’s Chief of Staff shall be the authorizing official for the directors of agencies that report to the Executive Office of the Mayor;

4017.3    Travel must be authorized before the travel begins, unless extenuating circumstances acceptable to the authorizing official make it infeasible for the travel authorization to be issued before the travel begins. The extenuating circumstances shall be described in the authorization.


4018     Advance Payment of Expenses


4018.1    Whenever possible, an agency shall pay for travel expenses with the agency’s purchase card or through a requisition.

4018.2    When the purchase of travel expenses cannot reasonably be made using the agency’s purchase card or a requisition, an employee may be provided District government funds in advance of travel to pay for the estimated expenses.

  1. Advances shall be requested along with the corresponding request for travel approval.
  2. An employee may receive an advance of one hundred percent (100%) of the estimated travel expenses that cannot reasonably be secured with the agency’s purchase card or through a requisition.
  3. Advances shall be disbursed to an employee no sooner than ten (10) calendar days before the date of travel, unless an earlier disbursement is necessary to secure lower travel rates.
  4. An agency shall not advance funds to any employee who has an outstanding advance or portion of an advance due to the government.


4019     Reimbursement of Expenses


4019.1    An employee shall be reimbursed for approved and eligible travel expenses.

  1. Employees shall seek reimbursement for such expenses using a travel expense reimbursement form issued by the personnel authority.
  2. Completed forms, along with appropriate documentation, shall be submitted to the travel officer within ten (10) business days after returning from travel.
  3. The District shall provide an employee any authorized reimbursements within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving a properly completed reimbursement claim form.

4019.2    Reimbursement claim forms shall include:

  1. The approved travel approval form, including written waivers, variances, or other special authorizations;
  2. An itemized list of each expense (including the date, purpose, and amount of the expense) for which the employee requests reimbursement; except, that meal and incidental expenses authorized on a per diem reimbursement basis shall not be itemized;
  3. A receipt for each expense requested to be reimbursed, except for expenses for which receipts are not normally provided; and
  4. For expenses related to the use of a personal vehicle, documentation as to the date, origin, destination, addresses, and starting and ending odometer readings for each trip, which shall be provided on a form issued by the personnel authority.
  5. Any additional information the employee’s agency may specifically require; and
  6. A certification that the information provided on the form is true and correct to the best of the employee’s knowledge and belief, subject to criminal penalties, including fraud under the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982, effective June 11, 2013 (D.C. Law 4-164; D.C. Official Code § 22-2405), and to disciplinary action under the District’s personnel regulations.

4019.3    Receipts must include sufficient information to evidence each expense and to verify those expenses.

  1. For air, train, rental car, and similar transportation expenses, receipts must show
    1. The employee’s name;
    2. The name and phone number of the transportation company;
    3. For any flights, train travel, or similar carrier services, the route number, the class of service, the passenger record number, the date and time of the transportation and the starting and ending points of the transportation;
    4. For rental cars, the date, time, and location of the pickup and drop-off of the car, the type of car rented, and the rental confirmation number; and
    5. The total cost of the transportation, listing separately the pre-tax amount and the amount of any tax.
  2. For lodging, receipts must show:
    1. The employee’s name;
    2. The name, address, and phone number of the lodging;
    3. The check-in and check-out dates for the lodging;
    4. The room type and daily rate for the lodging;
    5. A description of any additional benefits included in the daily lodging charge (such as meals, parking, or internet access), if any;
    6. The tax rate and amount, if reimbursement of taxes is requested;
    7. An itemized list of additional charges, such as charges for telephone or internet service, if the reimbursement of these charges is requested; and
    8. The total cost of the lodging expenses.
  3. For meals, receipts must show:
    1. The employee’s name;
    2. The name and address of the restaurant;
    3. The date and time of the meal;
    4. An itemized list of each cost of the meal (that is, listing each beverage and meal item, and their costs, separately);
    5. The number of persons whose meals appear on the receipt, if more than one person is on the same receipt, with the specific costs for which reimbursement are sought clearly identified; provided, an employee shall obtain a separate receipt for his or her meal where feasible; and
    6. The total amount of the bill, listing separately the pre-tax amount, the amount of tax, and the amount of tip.

4019.4    Whenever a receipt is required by this section, and the required information is not provided on the receipt, the employee shall provide the missing information.

4019.5    The completed travel expense reimbursement form shall be signed by the employee, with a certification that the information provided in the form is true and correct to the best of the employee’s knowledge and belief.

4019.6    If an employee presents false information on a reimbursement claim form, the employee shall be subject to prosecution for criminal violations, including fraud under D.C. Official Code § 22-3221, and to disciplinary action under the District’s personnel regulations.

4019.7    The employee shall submit the completed travel expense reimbursement form to the travel officer.

4019.8    The travel officer shall review each submitted travel expense reimbursement form for completeness and accuracy and shall return to the employee any incomplete or inaccurate form.

4019.9    An employee shall be responsible for excess costs resulting from circuitous routes and delays caused by the employee and for expenses that are unauthorized or unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business.

4019.10  The travel officer must ensure:

  1. The claim is properly prepared in accordance with the applicable regulations and agency procedures;
  2. The types of expenses claimed are authorized and allowable expenses;
  3. The amounts claimed are accurate; and
  4. The required receipts, statements, justifications, and authorizations (or electronic images of such documents) are included.

4019.11  Following his or her review, the travel officer shall determine whether reimbursable travel expenses meet the requirements necessary for reimbursement under this chapter.

4019.12  Each travel expense reimbursement form signed by the travel officer shall be submitted to the agency head, or the agency head’s designee. The agency head, or the agency head’s designee, must review and sign the form to authorize the reimbursement of the travel expenses.


4020     Disputes as to Reimbursable Expenses


4020.1    An agency may disallow payment of an expense included on a travel expense reimbursement form if:

  1. The employee does not provide proper itemization of an expense;
  2. The employee does not provide a receipt or other documentation required to support the expense;
  3. The expense is not authorized under this chapter; or
  4. Reimbursement is otherwise inconsistent with this chapter, agency policies adopted in accordance with this chapter, or District law.

4020.2    When a claimed expense is denied, the agency shall provide notice to the employee and reimburse the employee’s claim for any remaining and allowable expenses. For each claimed expense that is denied, the notice shall explain the reason for the denial.

4020.3    To request reconsideration of a denied expense, an employee shall:

  1. File a new travel expense reimbursement form for the disallowed item(s);
  2. Provide full itemization of the disallowed item(s);
  3. Provide receipts or other documentation for each disallowed item that requires a receipt or other documentation, except that the employee shall not be required to provide a receipt or other documentation if the receipt or other documentation was filed with a prior travel expense reimbursement form (in which case the employee shall indicate on the form that the receipt or other documentation was previously filed with the agency);
  4. Provide a copy of the notice of disallowance; and
  5. State the proper authority for the claim if challenging the agency’s application of a law or regulation.

4020.4    An employee may appeal a denied reimbursement expense by filing a grievance pursuant to § 1628. When filing a grievance pursuant to this section:

  1. The travel officer shall serve as the first level grievance official consistent with §§ 1629 and 1630;
  2. If the employee disagrees with the decision of the travel officer, the grievance shall proceed to the third level for review by the agency head, or the agency head’s designee, pursuant to § 1632; and
  3. If a dispute remains following the third level review, the grievance shall proceed to the final review level, pursuant to § 1633.


4021     Reconciliation of Expenses Against an Advance


4021.1    If an employee received a travel advance, the employee must file a travel expense reimbursement form even if the employee is not seeking reimbursement above the advance amount, in order to reconcile actual expenditures against the advance.

4021.2    If the amount advanced is less than the amount of the total actual and authorized expenses for which reimbursement is claimed, the employee shall be reimbursed the net difference.

4021.3    If the advance exceeds the total actual and authorized expenses for which reimbursement is claimed, the employee must refund the excess by cash or check, or through payroll deduction. The refund or authorization to refund the excess through payroll deduction shall accompany the travel expense reimbursement form.

4021.4    If an employee provides a refund to the District using a check, and the check is dishonored by the issuing financial institution, the employee shall be liable to the District for any resulting fees authorized by Section 1044(b) of the Delinquent Debt Recovery Act of 2012, effective September 20, 2012 (D.C. Law 19-168; D.C. Official Code § 1-350.03).

4021.5    Except when there is good cause, an advance shall be revoked and the employee shall be required to reimburse the agency for the full advance, if the employee does not file a claim for reimbursement within ten (10) business days after travel is completed.

4021.6    If funds are advanced to an employee and the employee does not travel, fails to submit a properly completed travel expense reimbursement form by the required date and thereafter fails to reimburse the agency for the full advance, or fails to reimburse the District for any advance in excess of actual and authorized expenses as required by § 4021.5, the agency shall take steps to collect the debt, including an offset against the employee’s salary, a retirement credit, or other amount owed to the employee or any other legal method of recovery.


4022     Cancellation and Curtailment of Travel


4022.1    If authorized travel is cancelled:

  1. The employee shall immediately notify the travel officer of this fact and submit a refund of any monies advanced in connection with the authorized travel. Advances that are not refunded within three (3) business days shall be recovered by the agency in the manner described in § 4021.6.
  2. The individual who made the travel reservations shall immediately cancel any reservations for transportation, lodging, training, seminars, meetings, and/or conferences previously made and seek full refunds of any expenses and advances already incurred or, if refunds are not available, take other reasonable steps to minimize the costs incurred.

4022.2    If authorized travel is cancelled based on an employee’s personal convenience, the employee shall be responsible for any expenses incurred.

4022.3    If authorized travel is cancelled for official purposes, or for a reason beyond the employee’s control that is acceptable to the employee’s agency, the agency shall be responsible for any expenses incurred that are not refundable. If the employee paid for the travel expenses with his or her own funds, the agency may reimburse the employee for those expenses that are not refundable.


4023     Agency Policies and Procedures


4023.1    Each agency may implement agency-specific travel approval procedures to supplement this chapter, as long as the procedures are not inconsistent with these regulations. However, only the personnel authority may develop approved forms. No agency may impose requirements or restrictions that conflict with this chapter.

4023.2    Agency-specific travel rules shall not authorize the payment or reimbursement of any expenses not authorized by this chapter.


4024     Program Management


4024.1    The Department of Human Resources shall be responsible for implementing the rules and requirements of this chapter, including:

  1. Promulgating forms, instructions, and guidance documents and posting such forms, instructions, and guidance documents on the internet or intranet website of the Department of Human Resources;
  2. Assisting agencies in the implementation of the requirements of this chapter (for example, providing training to travel officers);
  3. Auditing agency-wide compliance with the requirements of this chapter; and
  4. Recommending to the City Administrator additional travel policies and amendments to the requirements of this chapter.

4024.2    The Director of the Department of Human Resources, with the concurrence of the City Administrator, may issue variances to these rules in accordance with Chapter 1 of this title.

4024.3    The Director of the Department of Human Resources is delegated the authority to promulgate, with the concurrence of the City Administrator, amendments to these rules.


4025     Frequent Traveler Benefits


4025.1    An employee may use frequent traveler benefits earned on official travel for the employee’s personal use. However, an employee shall not select a travel provider based on whether it provides frequent traveler benefits.


4026     Transportation: Authorized Points of Origination and Return


4026.1    The authorized points of origination and return for an employee’s travel shall be the employee’s place of work, unless the authorizing official approves another point of origination or return based on a determination that travel from or to such other point is more advantageous to the District government.


4027     Emergency Travel


4027.1    Emergency travel is travel that interrupts authorized travel as a result of:

  1. An employee becoming incapacitated by illness or injury not due to his or her own misconduct;
  2. The death or serious illness of a member of an employee’s family; or
  3. A catastrophic occurrence or impending disaster, such as fire or flood, which directly implicates the employee’s real property.

4027.2    Employees shall be reimbursed for expenses associated with emergency travel to the extent approved by the agency and allowable under federal government travel regulations.


4028     Travel Expenses for Employees with Special Needs


4028.1    To be reimbursed, additional travel expenses for employees with special needs must be approved by the agency.

4028.2    Expenses that may be approved by an agency include:

  1. Services of an attendant to accommodate a special need, when necessary to make the trip possible;
  2. Transportation, lodging, and meals and incidental expenses incurred by an attendant;
  3. Other than basic coach-class accommodations to accommodate a special need;
  4. Specialized services provided by a common carrier to accommodate a special need;
  5. Specialized transportation to, from, and at the travel destination;
  6. Costs for handling baggage when those costs are a direct result of a special need;
  7. Renting and/or transporting a wheelchair; and
  8. Any other expense deemed necessary by the agency to accommodate an employee with a special need.


4029     Responsibility for Arranging for Travel and Purchasing Transportation and Lodging


4029.1    An employee shall be responsible for identifying his or her own transportation and for identifying reservations for his or her own lodging, unless the employee’s agency has designated its travel officer or another employee to make such purchases and reservations. The agency shall be responsible for paying for, or reimbursing the costs of, the transportation and lodging.


4030     International Travel


4030.1    In addition to the other requirements of this chapter, travel to a destination outside the United States shall be subject to approval by the City Administrator and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff.

4030.2    Employees, other than employees of offices and agencies that report to the Executive Office of the Mayor, must first submit International Travel Request Forms, outlined in Mayor’s Memorandum 2017-001, dated May 2, 2017, to the Office of the City Administrator for the City Administrator’s review at least forty-five (45) business days before the proposed travel. If approval from the City Administrator is granted, the Office of the City Administrator shall transmit the forms to the Mayor’s Office of General Counsel.

4030.3    International Travel Request Forms must be submitted to the Mayor’s Office of General Counsel for the Mayor’s Chief of Staff’s approval at least thirty (30) business days before the proposed travel. No employee may commit District funds for nonrefundable expenses before receiving the approval of the Mayor’s Chief of Staff.

4030.4    A proposed gift or donation of travel or travel expenses from a foreign government must be approved by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and shall be made directly to an agency, not to an individual employee. In addition, the policies and procedures set forth in Mayor’s Memorandum 2015-001, dated August 21, 2015, and Mayor’s Memorandum 2017-001, dated May 2, 2017, shall be followed.

4030.5    An employee may consult with the Office of the Secretary in advance of international travel for advice on customs particular to the country to be visited.

4030.6    If an employee receives a gift from a foreign government or organization during international travel, the employee must submit the gift to the Mayor’s General Counsel within three (3) days after the employee returns from travel, with an attached notation of who presented the gift and the date it was presented. In addition, the policies and procedures set forth in Mayor’s Memorandum 2015-001, dated August 21, 2015, and Mayor’s Memorandum 2017-001, dated May 2, 2017, shall be followed.

4030.7    If a District agency is paying for an employee’s international travel, the employee shall adhere to the applicable international per diem rates established by DoS. Reimbursement of expenses shall be issued in accordance with § 4003.

4030.8    Pursuant to the Fly America Act, 49 USC § 40118, when air travel is financed by federal funds, employees must use a U.S. flag air carrier, except as provided in 41 CFR §§ 301-10.135, 301-10.136, and 301-10.137.

4030.9    An agency that proposes to use federal grant funds to engage in foreign travel (other than to Canada or Mexico) must receive prior approval from the grantor agency, as set forth in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87, Attachment B, Section 43.e.


4031     Local Travel


4031.1    The District may provide reimbursement for government-related local travel. As used in this section, local travel means government-related travel within fifty (50) miles of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.

4031.2    Each agency shall purchase one (1) or more Metro SmartTrip cards for use by employees who engage in local travel. Authorizations, disbursement records, and documentation for the cards shall be maintained according to accounting requirements established by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

4031.3    Meals shall not be reimbursed for local travel, including local travel to attend a training, seminar, meeting, or conference, except as provided in § 4031.4(b).

4031.4

  1. Lodging shall not be reimbursed for local travel.
  2. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection, an agency head may request that the DCHR Director authorize the reimbursement of lodging expenses for local travel based on a disability or other medical condition of the traveling employee. In such a circumstance, an agency head may also request that the DCHR Director approve the reimbursement of the expenses of meals purchased by the employee at the travel destination if such meal expenses are associated with the extended stay at the destination. (For example, if overnight lodging is authorized for a two (2)-day conference, reimbursement of the costs of dinner on the first day and breakfast on the second day may be authorized.)


4032     Local Travel: Approval of Local Travel and Local Travel Expenses


4032.1    Local travel expenses shall be approved by the agency’s authorizing official or his or her designee.

4032.2    An agency’s authorizing official may delegate to supervisory personnel in the agency the authority to approve their supervised employees’ local travel if the local travel includes only subway, bus, taxi, or ride-hailing expenses or involves only the use of a government vehicle.

4032.3    Employee requests and agency approvals for local travel need not be in writing, if the agency head authorizes oral requests and approvals.

4032.4    An employee shall obtain approval in advance of the local travel and in advance of incurring any local travel expenses unless the authorizing official determines there is good cause for obtaining approval after the local travel.

4032.5    In order to receive written authorization to engage in local travel and incur local travel expenses, an employee shall prepare and submit to the authorizing official or the agency’s travel officer a local travel authorization form.

4032.6    The employee shall request authorization for local travel at least ten (10) calendar days before any local travel expenses are expected to be incurred; except, if the employee only becomes aware of the need to incur local travel expenses within ten (10) calendar days before any local travel expenses are expected to be incurred, the employee shall submit the form as promptly as possible after the employee becomes aware of the need to incur local travel expenses.

4032.7    An authorizing official or his or her designee (or supervisory personnel with delegated authority under § 4032.2) may authorize local travel only if he or she determines that the travel and associated expenses are consistent with the principles set forth in § 4000.


4033     Local Travel: Transportation


4033.1    An agency may pay for or reimburse the transportation expenses of local travel.

4033.2    In authorizing local travel transportation expenses, the agency shall require that the employee travel by bus or subway, unless:

  1. The travel origination or destination point is not reasonably accessible by bus or subway, in which case travel by automobile may be authorized;
  2. Travel time by bus or subway is significantly greater than transportation by automobile and the agency determines that transportation by automobile is advantageous to the District government;
  3. Travel by government vehicle is available and the expected cost of parking is equal to or less than the expected cost of travel by bus or subway; or
  4. The employee wishes to travel by personal vehicle, no government vehicle is available, and the use of a personal vehicle is allowable under the District’s policy regarding the use of personal vehicles, including Mayor’s Order 2009-210.

4033.3    If transportation by automobile is authorized under § 4033.2(a) or (b):

  1. The agency should authorize transportation by a government vehicle, unless a government vehicle is not available, in which case the agency may authorize transportation by taxi or ride-hailing service; provided, the agency may authorize transportation by a personal vehicle when a government vehicle is not available and the use of a personal vehicle is allowable under the District’s policy regarding the use of personal vehicles, including Mayor’s Order 2009-210; provided, the expenses reimbursed for the use of a personal vehicle (including parking) in such a circumstance shall not be greater than the expense that would have been reimbursable if the employee had travelled by taxi; and
  2. The employee must take reasonable steps to minimize the costs of parking. Government vehicles parked in metered spaces are not required to pay meter fees. Parking expenses associated with the use of personal vehicles are generally minimized by the use of on-street parking. Therefore, an employee generally must take reasonable steps to determine that on-street parking is not available before parking in a commercial parking facility. Moreover, in selecting a commercial parking facility, an employee must use reasonable efforts to minimize the costs of such parking.


4034     Local Travel: Reimbursement of Local Travel Expenses


4034.1    In order to be reimbursed for local travel expenses, an employee shall submit a completed local travel expense reimbursement form to the agency travel officer no later than ten (10) business days after the travel expenses were incurred.

4034.2

  1. A request for reimbursement of a taxi, ride-hailing service, or parking expense shall be accompanied by a receipt.
  2. A receipt for a taxi or ride-hailing service shall include:
    1. The date and time of travel;
    2. The starting and ending points of travel;
    3. The dollar amount of the fare and tip, listed separately;
    4. The name of the taxi company; and
    5. A description or designation of the purpose of the travel.
  3. A receipt for parking shall include:
    1. The date of travel;
    2. The starting and ending times of parking;
    3. The dollar amount of parking expenses incurred;
    4. The name of the parking facility, if applicable;
    5. The address of the parking facility; and
    6. A description or designation of the purpose of the travel.

4034.3

  1. A request for reimbursement of personal vehicle mileage shall be accompanied by a document that lists the travel origination and destination point for each leg of travel and the mileage of each leg of travel. To support the calculation of the mileage, either the document shall be accompanied by a printout from an online mapping service showing the mileage for each leg of travel or the starting and ending odometer readings for each leg of travel shall be printed on the document.
  2. Reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle shall pay for mileage at the mileage rate set by the Federal government for its employees (see www.gsa.gov for current rates).
  3. Reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle shall include parking expenses that are consistent with § 4033.3(b).

4034.4    Authorized bus, subway, and taxi expenses shall be reimbursed at the actual rate of fare or fee.

4034.5    Tips for taxi or ride-hailing services shall also be reimbursed; provided, however, that tips in excess of twenty percent (20%) shall not be reimbursed.

4034.6    Authorized parking expenses shall be reimbursed at the actual amount of expenses; provided, if transportation by automobile is authorized under § 4033.2(c) or (d), reimbursement for parking expenses shall be limited to the actual parking expenses or the cost of travel by bus or subway (had the local travel occurred by bus or subway), whichever is less.


4035     Local Travel: Government-Owned Vehicle Expenses


4035.1    Authorized users of District government vehicles shall obtain necessary gas, oil, maintenance, and repairs from a District government facility and will only be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses (gas, oil, repairs, and other vehicle expenses) when it is impractical to obtain such service at the District’s facilities.


4099     Definitions


4099.1    When used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed:

Agency – an office, department, board, commission or other entity within the District government, except any entity that possesses independent personnel authority which includes the authority to establish regulations for the authorization, payment, and reimbursement of travel expenses incurred (or requested to be incurred) by employees of that entity.

Incidental expenses – fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids and others. Incidental expenses do not include the cost of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, movie rentals, entertainment, or other expenses of a personal nature that are not related to the official business of the District.

Local travel – travel to a location that is less than fifty (50) miles from the John A. Wilson Building.

Lodging – a hotel, motel, inn, guest house, or other establishment that provides lodging to transient guests for overnight sleeping facilities.
Meal expenses – expenses for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and related tips and taxes. Alcoholic beverages and all entertainment expenses are specifically excluded from meal expenses.

Mileage rate – the reimbursable rate for the authorized use of an employee’s personal vehicle for travel for official government business as determined by the

General Services Administration (see www.gsa.gov for current rates).
Per diem allowance – a set daily payment provided to an employee, instead of actual expenses, for reimbursement for meals and related incidental expenses. A per diem allowance is separate from lodging expenses, transportation expenses, and miscellaneous expenses.