Policy 5410 - State Liability Travel Card
Effective Date: 1/1/2012
Responsible Office: Comptroller's Office
Louisiana Tech University has entered into an agreement with the State of Louisiana and Bank of America that provides qualified employees with a State Liability Travel Card to pay for specific, higher cost travel expenses, incurred during travel for official state business.
Louisiana Tech University will continue to utilize the CBA (Controlled Billed Account) that is part of the Louisiana “LaCarte” Purchasing Card program and will not issue additional CBA accounts under the Travel Card program.
As a State agency, Louisiana Tech University is bound by certain State and Federal regulations and laws. To ensure compliance with these requirements, cardholders must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the application and cardholder agreement. The policies in the application and agreement, as well as any revisions by the Office of the Comptroller, pertaining to the program must be followed when using the State Liability Travel Card.
This policy and procedures does not negate any current requirement and/or allowances in PPM 49 (Policy and Procedure Memorandum 49, the State of Louisiana’s general travel regulations), including the travel authorization/expense forms which must be completed for all non-routine travel, conferences, and out-of state travel, as well as Purchasing Policies, Rules, and Regulations, Louisiana Statutes, and Executive Orders.
No employee may qualify for a State Liability Travel Card if their State of Louisiana Corporate Travel Individual Liability account has been revoked due to charge-offs and/or non-payment or if their account currently has a balance. All Individual Liability accounts must be paid in full prior to consideration for a State Liability Travel Card. Travel advances should not be provided to any employee who does not qualify for a State Liability Travel Card.
STATE LIABILITY TRAVEL CARD CARDHOLDER’S GUIDE
- Description of Travel Card
- The State Liability Travel Card (“Travel Card”) is a VISA account issued by the Bank of America for the State of Louisiana. The Travel Card may be used by Louisiana Tech University employees to purchase specific, high-cost travel expenses, incurred during travel for official state business. Cards will be distributed only to frequent travelers based on the request of their Dean or Vice President. The cards will be issued with dual limits: an overall card cycle limit determined by the University and a single purchase limit (SPL) up to $5000. The University will set the individual cardholders’ purchase limits based on the travel patterns of the employee. This travel card account is a direct liability of the State and is paid by the University.
- The State Liability Travel Card will be identified with the State of Louisiana Seal and marked Commercial Travel Card/Louisiana Travel Card. The cards will be embossed with the employee’s name, department name, account number, and tax exempt number.
- Use of Card. The Travel Card may be used only for the purchase of a travel-related
expense for official university business provided that:
- The transaction does not exceed $5,000 (or the individual cardholder’s single purchase limit).
- The transaction is an allowable transaction as defined in Section II.B.
- The transaction is not for incidental expenses as defined in Section II. A.11.
- The transaction does not fall within one of the excluded merchant groups/spending categories.
- State Liability Travel Card Cycle
- The State of Louisiana Travel Card closing period ends at midnight the 8th of each month.
- Statements are received approximately five business days after the 8th of each month. Cardholder reviews statement for appropriate charges, attaches documentation for each charge, signs statement and forwards statement to the appropriate supervisor (Department Head and/or Dean) or designated reviewer.
- The appropriate supervisor (or supervisors) reviews the statement and all supporting documentation, signs statement, and forwards statement to the Office of the Comptroller.
- Louisiana Tech University remits payment to the Bank of America within 25 days of statement billing date.
- Individual charge transactions are received electronically each month and downloaded into the University’s Accounting system to allow charges to be posted to the appropriate account in the University’s Financial Information System.
- Description of Travel Card
- Cardholder’s Responsibilities
- The Individual Cardholders Shall:
- Use for official University travel only. No personal use is permitted.
- Attend training class and sign a State Liability Cardholder Agreement Form, acknowledging cardholder’s responsibilities prior to receiving the card.
- Never put the full Travel Card account number in emails, fax, reports, memo, etc. If designation of an account is necessary, only the use of the last four or eight digits of the account is allowed.
- Recognize that the Travel Card is the property of the State of Louisiana and the cardholder is responsible for the physical security and control of the Travel Card and its appropriate use. The Cardholder is also responsible for maintaining the security of card data such as the account number, the expiration date, and the card verification code (CVC), the 3-digit security code located on the back of the card.
- Never send a copy of the Travel Card if requested by a merchant. If this is required for payment, then the cardholder must use a form of payment other than the State Liability Travel Card.
- Present a personal credit card when checking into a hotel to cover any incidental expenses, which are not allowed, if using the Travel Card to pay for hotel room charges. If incidentals are incurred during a business trip, the traveler must be reimbursed for these incidentals through the travel expense account process.
- Never use an individual Travel Card for personal, non-business expenses for any reason. The Travel Card is limited to the person whose name is embossed on the card. The Travel Card shall not be used to pay for another or loaned to another person to pay for official or non-official travel expenses.
- Never pay Louisiana sales tax on hotel and Enterprise in-state vehicle rental charges with this card, since it is a state liability. See Section II.F.
- Never, under any circumstances, use the Travel Card to access cash.
- Never accept cash in lieu of a credit to the Travel Card account.
- Never use Travel Card for incidentals. Incidentals include, but are not limited to meals; fees and tips to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids; transportation between places of lodging/airport such as taxi; phone calls and any other expense not allowed in Section II.B.
- Never use Travel Card for gift cards/gift certificates.
- Never use Travel Card for purchase of alcohol, food, or entertainment services.
- Never use Travel Card for fuel and/or maintenance since the University is part of the state’s Fuel Card and Maintenance Program.
- Never use Travel Cards to avoid procurement or payment procedures.
- Submit travel expense account form and all required transaction documentation, special approvals, etc. timely, and in accordance with the University’s policy. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of Travel Card.
- Never make a payment directly to the bank in the event that an unauthorized charge is placed on the Travel Card. If the payment is made directly to the bank, it will cause the monthly statement billing file to be out of balance and the University will have to determine the cause. Report any unauthorized charges to the program administrator immediately.
- Notify the program administrator if fraudulent charges are noticed, as the card may need to be cancelled and another card issued.
- Notify program administrator if use of the card has changed and lower or higher limits are necessary. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to notify the program administrator of any extended absences.
- Immediately report a lost or stolen card to Bank of America, 1-888-449-2273.
- Allowable State Liability Travel Card Transactions:
- Airfare – State contracted airfare (contract rates) must be purchased on the Travel Card or the CBA account. Other airfare such as lowest, logical airfares may be purchased with the traveler’s personal card. Note: All airfare must be purchased through the state contracted travel agency in compliance with PPM 49.
- State contracted travel agency fees
- Registration for conferences/workshops - This card may not be used for membership dues.
- Rental car
- Parking – Only with hotel stay and combined on invoice
- Internet services – Only with hotel stay and combined on invoice
- Airline baggage fees – Only when combined with normal airfare cost at time of reservation. (NOT YET AVAILABLE). If baggage charge is invoiced separately or at time of check-in, these fees are not allowed on the Travel Card.
- Shuttle service – only when pre-paid prior to trip. Not for individual ground transportation during a business trip such as taxi, bus, etc.Note: All Travel Card transactions must be in accordance with PPM 49, Purchasing Policies, Rules, and Regulations, Louisiana Statutes, and Executive Orders.
- Documentation, Reconciliation, and Approval Process
- Primary responsibility for the reconciliation and approval process rests with the individual cardholder.
- Documentation (receipt, invoice, or ordering document) must be obtained indicating the date of purchase/service, the vendor name, and description of the item, amount, and receipt date for each transaction. This may be accomplished by maintaining a “Travel Card Log.”
- Cardholders will receive paper memo statements monthly from Bank of America within approximately 5 business days of the close of the billing cycle.
- The cardholder must reconcile purchases/services charged during the billing cycle by matching the bank memo statement to the Travel Card Log and the documentation obtained from the vendor. The card charges must be reviewed and certified by the cardholder as received or reported as a disputed item.
- Cardholder must sign statement certifying agreement with the legitimacy and accuracy
of the listed transactions. The cardholder must attach to the statement supporting
documentation for all transactions listed on the statement. Supporting documentation
must include, but is not limited to:
- Travel Card Log
- Receipts/Invoices for every transaction (even if not required in PPM 49)
- Copy of travel authorization
- Copy of travel expense account
- Any special approvals for exceptions or unusual circumstances
- Agenda/registration documentation
- The cardholder should forward the statement and all supporting documentation to the supervisor (Department Head and/or Dean) or designated reviewer. The cardholder should retain a copy of the statement.
- The immediate supervisor or designated reviewer must review the information and documentation
submitted by the cardholder. The reviewer must verify that each transaction:
- Has an appropriate business purpose
- Is in compliance with PPM 49 and/or any applicable purchasing rules and regulations
- Is in compliance with the University’s and State’s Liability Travel Card policies
- Has all required documentation supporting the transaction
- Is not a duplication of a travel expense account reimbursement requestThe supervisor or reviewer must sign the statement and the Travel Card Log. The Cardholder shall not approve his own monthly Travel Card statement.
- Submit statement with supporting documentation to the Office of the Comptroller WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF RECEIPT OF MEMO STATEMENT.STATEMENTS NOT RECEIVED WITHIN 10 DAYS MAY RESULT IN CANCELLATION OF CARD.
- The Office of the Comptroller will review the statements and supporting documents on a monthly basis. If it is determined that personal or unauthorized charges are occurring on the card, appropriate steps shall be taken to resolve the misuse/abuse of the card. See Section D.
- The statements and supporting documentation will be retained by the Office of the Comptroller in accordance with record retention laws.
- The Office of the Comptroller will process a monthly entry into the Financial Information System recording the Travel Card transactions to the appropriate account.
- Card Misuse
- A fraud purchase is any use of the Travel Card which is determined to be an intentional attempt to defraud the State or the University for personal gain or for the personal gain of others.
- An employee suspected of having misused the Travel Card with the intent to defraud the state will be subjected to an investigative review in accordance with University and University of Louisiana System (ULS) policies.
- A fraud purchase will result in the revocation of the employee’s Travel Card.
- The Individual Cardholders Shall:
- Non-Approved Purchase
- A non-approved purchase is a purchase made by a cardholder for which payment by the University is unapproved or unallowable. A non-approved purchase differs from a fraud purchase in that it is a non-intentional misuse of the Travel Card with no intent to deceive the University for personal gain or for the personal gain of others.
- A non-approved purchase may be the result of an unintentional duplication of a travel expense account reimbursement request, use of the card for travel incidentals, approved purchases over the allowances (such as lodging or car rentals exceeding the allowable rate in PPM 49), or sales taxes charged on the card. A non-approved purchase could also occur when the cardholder mistakenly uses the Travel Card rather than a personal card.
- When a non-approved purchase occurs, the cardholder will be counseled to use more care in the handling of the Travel Card. The Office of the Comptroller will notify the employee and the appropriate supervisor in writing concerning the non-approved purchase and maintain a copy of the notification for one year. The employee must reimburse the University for any non-approved or non-allowable transaction. See Section II.E.
- If there is more than one incident of a non-approved purchase during a 12 month period, the Office of the Comptroller may revoke the employee’s Travel Card.
- Repayment of Non-Approved Transactions
- If an employee incurs a non-approved transaction on the Travel Card, the Office of the Comptroller will deduct the non-approved transaction or allowance overage from the employee’s travel expense account reimbursement where possible.
- If the travel expense account reimbursement has already been processed prior to the discovery of the non-approved transaction on the Travel Card, the Office of the Comptroller will contact the employee and appropriate supervisor in writing to request repayment by the employee of the non-approved purchase or overage. The employee should repay the non-approved amount within 15 working days of the notification. Failure to complete repayment within the specified time may result in the revocation of the employee’s Travel Card.
- The cardholder should never make a payment directly to the bank. Any repayment of a non-approved expense should be made to the Office of the Comptroller.
- Sales Tax
- Charges are a direct liability of the State; therefore, Louisiana sales tax should not be charged on hotel and Enterprise in-state vehicle rental charges.
- Cardholders should make every effort at the time of purchase to avoid being charged Louisiana State sales tax. This may be accomplished by bringing the revenue letter regarding tax exemptions. Note that the tax exemption may not be used for charges such as room services, movies, double occupancy for additional non-state employees, or personal days of lodging.
- In the event state sales tax is charged and a credit is warranted, it will be the cardholder’s responsibility to have the vendor-merchant (not Bank of America) issue a credit to the cardholder’s account.
- It is State Policy not to pay Louisiana State sales tax; however the University has exempted cardholders from obtaining a credit from the vendor-merchant for state sales tax charges of $25 or less. If a cardholder continually allows taxes of $25 or less to be charged to the card, corrective measures will be taken.
- Lost or Stolen Cards
- Report any lost or stolen cards immediately to the Bank of America first and then the Office of the Comptroller. The card will be cancelled and a replacement card will be issued.
- To report lost or stolen cards: 1-888-449-2273
- Termination of Employment – As part of the termination process, an employee must notify the Office of the Comptroller that the employee is terminating and that the card should be cancelled. This notification will be included on the standard Employee Exit/Termination Form required by the Office of Human Resources. The Office of the Comptroller is responsible for notifying Bank of America that the account should be cancelled.
- Steps in Obtaining a Travel Card
- Applications may be picked up in the Office of the Comptroller or sent to the employee through campus mail.
- All applications for the Travel Card must be authorized by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
- The completed application should be returned to the Office of the Comptroller.
- The application will be transmitted to the Bank of America by the Office of the Comptroller.
- The Travel Card will be sent directly to the Office of the Comptroller in approximately two weeks (if the card is sent directly to the employee, please inform the Office of the Comptroller immediately).
- The Cardholder will be required to participate in training, pick up the Travel Card, and sign a Cardholder’s Agreement.
- Cardholder should sign the Travel Card immediately upon receipt.
- Expiring Travel Cards will automatically be replaced/renewed prior to the Travel Card’s expiration date by the issuing bank. All replacement/renewed cards will be sent to the University’s program administrator.
Contact information for Program Administrators:
Office of the Comptroller
Keeny Hall Room 128
SEE APPENDIX A FOR UNIVERSITY RESPONSIBILITIES
University Responsibilities for the State Liability Travel Card Program
- The Office of the Comptroller is responsible for the administration of the State Liability Travel Card program and compliance with state guidelines in the State’s Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy and in PPM 49.
- The President will designate University Travel Card Program Administrators in the Office of the Comptroller and notify the State Program Administrator at the Office of State Purchasing and Travel of any changes.
- The Office of the Comptroller is responsible for developing a policy documenting all the internal procedures and ensuring that they are in accordance with the guidelines of the State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy and updated when necessary as changes occur.
- The University Program Administrator is responsible for keeping abreast of program updates as they are sent as email updates and are posted on the Office of State Purchasing and Travel Website, along with the dissemination of this information to the President, cardholders, and any other University personnel as deemed appropriate.
- The University Program Administrator is responsible for performing post audits of cardholder transactions to monitor appropriate use while verifying that purchases are made in accordance with PPM 49 and/or all purchasing rules and regulations.
- The University Program Administrator is responsible for the following:
- Conducting necessary training to ensure that the cardholder is aware of all duties and responsibilities associated with possession/use of a State Liability Travel Card. Administrator shall maintain the original employee signed copy of the State Liability Travel Card Program Cardholder Agreement Form for all participants of the Travel Card Program. A copy of the signed agreement along with the State and University policies shall be provided to the participating employee.
- Determining appropriate cardholders and setting individual cardholder limits for single transactions, daily, and or cycle transaction limits. Only employees authorized by their Dean or Vice President will be issued a Travel Card. The cardholder limits will be set based on the travel patterns of the employee.
- Determining allowable merchant category codes based on individual needs and the State’s allowances.
- Educating cardholders on use of cards and sales tax requirements. This information will be included in the cardholder training and updated as necessary. The sales tax exemption forms will be available online for all University employees.
- Maintaining budgetary controls.
- Developing a Travel Card Log used to assist in the reconciliation process. The Travel Card Log will be available online to all cardholders.
- Monitoring for inactive cardholder accounts and adjusting the limits accordingly based on possible changes in needs and/or cancellation of card, especially when not utilized in a twelve month period. Activity on cardholder accounts will be monitored by the Program Administrator on a periodic basis.
- Collecting and cancelling cards, as part of exit paperwork, upon termination of the employee. This will be included on the standard Employee Exit/Termination Form required by the Office of Human Resources.
- Educating cardholders on process of reporting a card lost, stolen and/or any fraudulent activity. This information will be included in the cardholder training.
- Requesting cards, performing any maintenance necessary for cardholders, monitoring the issuance of cards, and ensuring prompt receipt and reconciliation of periodic memo statements.
- Reducing Travel Card cardholders to $1 limits during an extended absence and/or until cardholder returns. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to notify the Program Administrator of any extended absences.
- Disciplining employees in the event of abuse or failure to comply with established guidelines as well as procedures for recoupment of unauthorized charges and/or overage of allowances as defined in PPM 49. Disciplinary action will be conducted in accordance with University and University of Louisiana System (ULS) policies.
- Maintaining a list of all University cardholder’s names.
- Ensuring that the payments to Bank of America are made within 25 days of the statement billing date. The payment will be approved by the Comptroller or Assistant Comptroller.
- Recording Travel Card transactions in the University’s Financial Information System each month.
- Maintaining a file of all Travel Card statements and supporting documentation in accordance with record retention laws. This file will be subject to periodic review by the Office of the Legislative Auditor and any other authorized auditor.
- Establishing fiscal year end closing and cut-off dates for all Travel Cards.
- Audit Reports should be run on at least a monthly basis. These reports include the Card Decline Report and Card Status Report.