About

Policy 5410 – State Liability Travel Card

Revision Date:  11/1/2018

Responsible Office: Office of the Comptroller

Reference: Office of State Travel


Introduction

Louisiana Tech University has entered into an agreement with the State of Louisiana and Bank of America that provides qualified employees with a Visa Travel Card. The Travel Card provides the following benefits to the University and its employees:

  • Enables employees to pay for specific, higher cost travel expenses with the convenience of a credit card
  • Provides management with a means of maintaining control over travel expenses
  • Improves efficiency and effectiveness by forming one source of payment
  • Reduces the need for cash advances and reimbursements

Louisiana Tech University will set individual Cardholders single purchase and monthly cycle limits. The University allows a SPL (single purchase limit) maximum of $5,000, and a monthly cycle limit (MCL) maximum of $5,000.  Both limits must reflect the individual’s travel patterns. The University recognizes certain business transactions require higher limits. Exception to the limits may be requested through the University’s Program Administrator to the Office of State Travel. The Office of State Travel must approve in writing any limit overrides.

As a State agency, Louisiana Tech University is bound by the State Travel Card Policy, the State’s Travel Policy PPM 49, State Statutes, State Executive Orders, 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 Travel Card.

The State of Louisiana State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy is located on the Office of State Travel website at https://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/osp/Travel/corptravcard.aspx.  The State’s Travel Policy PPM 49 is located on the Office of State Travel website at https://www.doa.la.gov/pages/osp/travel/TravelPolicy.aspx.

Definitions

  • Accountholder/ Cardholder – terminology used to reference the employee that has been issued a Travel Card.
  • Agreement Form – A form signed by a Program Administrator, Cardholder and Cardholder Approver, annually, that acknowledges they have received required training from the University, completed the state’s certification requirement and received a passing score of at least 90, understands the Travel Card Policies, both state and University and accepts responsibility for compliance with all policies and procedures.
  • Approver – The Cardholder’s supervisor or the most logical supervisor that is at least one level higher which would be most familiar with the business case and appropriate business needs for the Cardholder’s transaction and is responsible for approving transactions on-line and signs both the Cardholder’s billing cycle log and monthly statement.
  • Billing Cycle – The period of time between billings. For example, the State of Louisiana Travel Card closing period ends at midnight on the 8th of each month.
  • Card Abuse – Use of the card for non-approved State business purchases such as for personal purchases. See definition of “card misuse” and “fraud” and Section V “Card Misuse” in the State of Louisiana State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy.
  • Card Misuse – Use of the card for legitimate purchases but for goods or services that are prohibited by State or internal policy (e.g., purchases for fuel for a State Vehicle when the University participates in the Statewide Fuel Card Program) See definition of “card misuse” and “fraud” and Section V “Card Misuse” in the State of Louisiana State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy.
  • Cardholder – A State of Louisiana employee whose name appears on the Travel Card and is given authority to make purchases within preset limits on behalf of the University.
  • Cardholder Enrollment Form – A form that initiates the Travel Card issuance process for the Cardholder.
  • Cycle – The period of time between billings. For example, the State of Louisiana Travel Card closing period ends at midnight on the 8th of each month. Synonymous with “billing cycle”
  • Cycle Limit – Maximum spending (dollar) limit a Travel Card is authorized to charge in a billing cycle. These limits should reflect the individual’s purchasing patterns. These are preventative controls and, as such, should be used judiciously.
  • Department Head – The President of the University.
  • Disputed Item – Any transaction that was double charged; charged an inaccurate amount, or charged without corresponding goods or services by the individual Cardholder.
  • Electronic Signature – An electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record or executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
  • Fraud – Any transaction, intentionally made that was not authorized by the Cardholder or not for Official State Business. See definition of “card misuse” and “fraud” and Section V “Card Misuse” in the State of Louisiana State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy.
  • Incidental Expense – Expenses incurred while traveling on official state business, which are not allowed on the state liability Travel Card. Incidentals include, but are not limited to meals; fees and tips (porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids); transportation between places of lodging/airport such as taxi; phone calls and any other expense not allowed in the State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy.
  • Merchant – A business or other organization that may provide goods or services to a customer. Synonymous with “supplier” or “vendor”.
  • Merchant Category Code (MCC) – Standard code the credit card industry uses to categorize merchants based on the type of goods or services provided by the merchant. A merchant is assigned a MCC Code by the acquiring bank.
  • Merchant Category Code Group (MCCG) – A defined group of merchant category codes. MCCGs which are used to control whether or not Cardholders can make purchases from particular types of merchants.
  • Personal Purchases – Non-work related goods or services purchased solely for the benefit of the Cardholder, the Cardholder’s family, or other individual(s).
  • Policy and Procedure Memorandum 49 (PPM49) – The state’s general travel regulations http://www.doa.la.gov/pages/osp/travel/travelpolicy.aspx. These regulations apply to all state departments, boards and commissions created by the legislature or executive order and operating from funds appropriated, dedicated, or self-sustaining; federal funds, or funds generated from other source.
  • Program Administrator – Person responsible for administering and managing the State Travel Card Program at the University level and acts as the main contact between the University and the issuing bank.
  • Receipt – A merchant-produced original document that records the relevant details for each item purchased including quantities, amounts, a description of what was purchased, the total charge amount and the merchant’s name and address (e.g. sales receipt, original invoice, packing slip, credit receipt, etc.). This must match the online transaction amount and be matched to any other related documentation regarding the transaction.
  • Single Purchase Limit (SPL) – The maximum spending (dollar) limit a Travel Card is authorized to charge in a single purchase. The SPL limit may be up to $5,000; however, this limit should reflect the individual’s purchasing patterns. These are preventative controls and, as such, should be used judiciously.
  • Split Purchase – A practice whereby one or more Cardholders or suppliers split a purchase into two or more transactions and/or purchase orders to circumvent either Single Transaction Limits or bid requirements. This is prohibited by the Statewide Travel Card Policy.
  • Transaction – A single purchase of goods or services. A credit also constitutes a transaction.
  • Transaction Documentation – All documents pertaining to a transaction, either paper or electronic. The documentation is also used for reconciliation at the end of the billing cycle and is to be retained with the monthly reconciliation documentation for review and audit purposes. Examples of transaction documentation include, but are not limited to: original itemized purchase receipts/invoices (with complete item descriptions, not generic such as “general merchandise), receiving documents, credits, disputes, and written approvals. If travel has been approved, documentation should also contain airline exceptions, justifications, approvals, travel authorization, travel expense, etc.
  • Travel Card – a credit account issued in a state employee’s name. This account is the direct liability of the State and is paid by each University. Travel Card accounts are the preferred means of payment for purchases of goods and services. Also referred to as the State Travel Card.
  • Travel Card/ Billing Cycle Purchase Log – Either paper or electronic form used in the reconciliation process for purchases/services charged during the billing cycle. The log is used to document Cardholder’s approval of purchases billed by matching the paper billing statement, received from the bank, to a log and the original documentation obtained from the vendor(s). Approval of the log by the Cardholder can either be by signature (paper log) or electronic signoff (through WORKS Workflow), likewise, designated Approver’s approval can either be by signature (paper) or electronic signoff (online in Workflow). Electronic Logs must be in an un-editable format such as a PDF. Both the Cardholder and Approver must sign the purchase log.
  • WORKS – Bank of America’s web-based system used for Program maintenance, card issuing/suspension/cancellation and reporting.
  • WORKS Workflow – Bank of America’s online system that includes user profiles and transaction workflow.

NOTE: As of 2018-2019, the online WORKS Workflow system has not been implemented for the University’s Travel Card Program; however, the Workflow process is included in the University’s policy and procedures in anticipation of future implementation.  Currently the Cardholder reviews the monthly statement, prepares the Travel Card Log, attaches all receipts and the travel authorization, and forwards the statement, log, receipts, travel authorization and other supporting documentation to the Approver.  Upon approval, the Approver forwards all documents to the Office of the Comptroller.

Implementation Procedure

The Office of the Comptroller is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Travel Card.  To ensure that Travel Card utilization is used in adherence with University budget, accounting and audit policies, the Office of the Comptroller will coordinate travel card management with the Office of Internal Audit, Office of Sponsored Projects (if applicable) and other campus departments.

No Travel Card shall be issued to Program Administrators, department heads, auditors of the Program, or any person with roles associated with administering and monitoring the Program including the person responsible for monthly audits/reports and second level review of the University’s Program. No Travel Card shall be issued to any non-state employee.

The Office of the Comptroller utilizes the Cardholder Enrollment Form located on the University’s website at https://www.latech.edu/administration/finance/comptroller/travel. Cards will be distributed only to frequent travelers based on the request of their Dean or Vice President.  Issuance of a Travel Card is not an automatic process upon hiring.

Important Notes

Cardholders may have only one Travel Card.  When the Cardholder reviews transactions each month, the Cardholder will assign a University account and budget object code for each transaction. 

All Cardholders must have a reviewer that is at least one level of authority higher than the Cardholder.

No Cardholder can be their own reviewer.

The Office of Human Resources will receive notification of adverse Internal Audit findings and document in Personnel Files any findings in accordance with Civil Service regulations and policies of the University of Louisiana System.

The Office of Human Resources will ensure that the Office of the Comptroller is notified of the separation of any Cardholder from University employment.  If employee is separated from service before the card is collected, the Office of the Comptroller will immediately cancel the card and notify the immediate supervisor to ensure that all transactions are documented.

Process for Obtaining Travel Card

Employee must take and pass with a minimum of 90% the State of Louisiana on-line test.  Evidence of completion must be printed by employee and submitted with the Cardholder enrollment form (application) and Cardholder agreement form.

Employee’s direct supervisor must review and approve the Cardholder enrollment form. Supervisor/Approver will route the form through all offices on the form. The Approver must have also completed the on-line exam and passed it with a minimum of 90% and completed an Approver agreement form. 

Completed Cardholder enrollment forms, agreements forms, and proof of passing the state on-line exam will be kept on file in the Office of the Comptroller for three fiscal years. Cardholder Approver forms and proof of passing the on-line exam are kept on file in the Office of the Comptroller for three fiscal years.

The Travel Card Program Administrator agreement form will be completed by the Program Administrators in the Office of the Comptroller and maintained with other Cardholder information.  A copy with proof of passing the on-line exam will be sent to the President and the Director of Internal Audit.

The Office of the Comptroller will receive and issue Travel Cards and maintain records that includes the Cardholder enrollment form, date card is received, date card is issued, and date card is returned by Cardholder.

Monthly Review Process

Cardholder:
  • Within 5 working days of receiving the monthly paper billing statement (or within 5 working days of the close of each billing cycle after WORKS Workflow is implemented), Cardholder will review each transaction and complete a Travel Card Log.
  • Once the WORKS Workflow online system is implemented, Cardholder will scan and upload into system all receipts.
  • Cardholder will certify that each transaction was made within University and State Travel Card policies.
  • Cardholder will assign a University account & budget object code to each transaction on the Travel Card Log.
  • Cardholder will attach original receipts and the approved travel authorizations to the billing statement and the Travel Card Log and forward all documents to Approver. Cardholder must sign the monthly billing statement and the Travel Card Log.

If Cardholder does not approve transactions within five working days, the Approver will counsel Cardholder and determine if Cardholder is to maintain the privilege of having a card.

If Cardholder will be on extended leave, the Cardholder must notify their Approver and the Office of the Comptroller to suspend the card or reduce limits on the card to $1.00, until the Cardholder returns to the University. Types of extended absences would include maternity leave, family medical leave, medical leave, military obligations, sabbaticals, etc.

Travel Card charges are a direct liability of the State; therefore, as a rule Louisiana State sales tax should never be charged on card purchases, especially for hotels, Enterprise in-state vehicle rentals and Park-N-Fly parking charges. If sales tax is included on these transactions, Cardholder is responsible for obtaining a credit for the charged sales tax.  Credit must be issued to card account.

Supervisor/Reviewer:
  • Within 10 working days of the receipt of the paper billing statement (or within 10 working days of the close of each billing cycle after WORKS Workflow is implemented), first level reviewer will review and approve each transaction. Should documentation, account, budget object code or any other issue need to be corrected, Approver will make the correction. 
  • Approver will ensure that original statement and Travel Card Log are signed, reviewed and forwarded to the Office of the Comptroller along with the receipts and other supporting documentation. The Approver must sign both the billing statement and Travel Card Log.  Once WORKS Workflow is implemented, electronic signatures in Workflow by the Cardholder and the Approver are required as well as a signed log matching the monthly statement.

If Approver does not approve transactions within ten working days of the receipt of the paper billing statement (or within 10 working days of the close of each billing cycle after WORKS Workflow is implemented), the Office of the Comptroller will counsel Cardholder and Approver and determine if Cardholder is to maintain the privilege of having a card. In the absence of the Approver a substitute

If Cardholder has not had sales tax collection removed for applicable transactions, Approver will either require that sales tax be credited or take necessary steps to obtain a credit for sales tax.

Program Administrator:
  • Within 15 working days of the receipt of the paper billing statement (or within 15 working days of the close of each billing cycle after WORKS Workflow is implemented), the Office of the Comptroller will review each Cardholder statement and approve or request additional or corrected documentation. The Office of the Comptroller will review transactions and statements for adherence with travel regulations and Travel Card policies.
  • The Office of the Comptroller will ensure that the original statement and receipts are signed, reviewed, and that transactions are entered into the University’s financial system.
  • The Office of Comptroller will confirm University account coding and issue EFT payment to Bank of America within 25 days of statement billing date.
  • Hard copies of all statements will be maintained in the Office of the Comptroller.
  • The Office of the Comptroller will run all required reports and certify to the Office of State Travel that all reports have been run and reviewed. The monthly report shall state that all findings have been investigated, documented and handled appropriately.

Should Approver Note Improper Activity on the Travel Card

  • If Approver is not immediate supervisor, Approver shall notify the immediate supervisor.
  • Immediate supervisor shall determine if activity is incidental. If activity is incidental, supervisor will counsel Cardholder.
  • If activity is serious, supervisor shall notify the Office of the Comptroller to suspend card and notify Office of Internal Audit. Office of Internal Audit shall determine if further investigation is warranted.  Investigation shall follow standard University Internal Audit procedures.
  • If at any time illegal activity is detected, the Office of the President, the Vice President for Finance, and the Office of Internal Audit shall be notified. Further notifications include Office of State Travel, Legislative Auditor, and the District Attorney. Illegal activity may result in the loss of job and reimbursement of unauthorized charges.
  • Card suspension shall not be lifted without recommendation of Internal Audit and Immediate Supervisor.

Should the Office of the Comptroller Note Improper Activity on the Travel Card

  • If the Office of the Comptroller determines that the activity is incidental, the Office of the Comptroller shall counsel both Approver and Cardholder and cause any necessary corrective action to be taken.
  • If the Office of the Comptroller determines that the activity is serious, Office of the Comptroller shall suspend the card and notify the Office of Internal Audit. If the Office of Internal Audit determines further investigation is warranted, investigation shall follow standard University Internal Audit procedures.
  • If at any time illegal activity is detected, the Office of the President, the Vice President for Finance, and Office of Internal Audit shall be notified. Further notifications include the Office of State Travel, Legislative Auditor, and District Attorney.
  • Card suspension shall not be lifted without recommendation of Internal Audit and Immediate Supervisor.

Annual Review Process

  • The Office of the Comptroller shall run and review all required reports and certify to the Office of State Travel.
  • The Office of the Comptroller will review annual card utilization to identify any cards with no use. If a card has no use, Cardholder and immediate supervisor shall be contacted to determine if Cardholder requires continued use of a card.
  • The Office of the Comptroller will prepare annual report identifying individual Cardholders and submit to the Office of President for review and approval. The annual report shall state that all findings have been investigated, documented and handled appropriately. The Office of Internal Audit and the Office of the President shall receive a copy of this Report.
  • The Office of the Comptroller will require that each Cardholder and Approver annually complete the State online certification class, receiving a passing grade of 90% and complete a new Cardholder or Approver agreement form. The University Program Administrators will also complete the State online certification class, receiving a passing grade of 90% and complete a new Program Administrator agreement form. 
  • Once the WORKS Workflow online system is implemented, the Office of the Comptroller will ensure that an electronic copy of all transactions and reports on the Workflow System are backed up for archival purposes.
  • Each year, the Office of the Comptroller shall provide training updates on Travel Card use, WORKS Workflow system (subsequent to implementation), and annual changes in the system.

Internal Audits

The Office of Internal Audit will include the activities of the State Liability Travel Card Program in the annual risk assessment conducted by the internal auditor.  If the activities of the Travel Card Program are deemed to be high risk, the Office of Internal Audit should address this area of high risk in developing the annual audit plan and work schedule. The Office of State Travel encourages that the Office of Internal Audit conduct an audit of the Travel Card Program no less than once every three years.  Upon initiating an audit of the Travel Card activities, the internal auditor should notify the Office of State Travel via email.  In addition, copies of all completed audits should be provided to the Office of State Travel.

Travel Cardholder’s Guide

  1. Overview
      1. State of Louisiana Travel Card
        • The State of Louisiana Travel Card is used by Louisiana Tech University employees to pay for specific, higher cost travel expenses, incurred during travel for official state business. The Travel Card is a Visa card issued by Bank of America (BOA) for the State of Louisiana and will be identified with the State of Louisiana seal and marked “Commercial Travel Card/Louisiana Travel Card”. The cards are yellow and embossed with the employee’s name, department name, account number and tax exempt number.
        • Louisiana Tech University will set individual Cardholders single purchase and monthly cycle limits. The University allows a SPL (single purchase limit) maximum of $5,000, and a monthly cycle limit (MCL) maximum of $5,000. Both limits must reflect the individual’s travel patterns. These limits must be judiciously established and adhered to accordingly.  The University recognizes certain business transactions require higher limits. Exception to the limits may be requested through the University’s Program Administrator to the Office of State Travel. The Office of State Travel must approve in writing any limit overrides.
      2. Allowable Travel Card Expenditures

        Your card may be used for the following expenditures for official state business travel:

        • Airfare
        • State Contracted Travel Agency Fees
        • Registration for Conference/Workshop
        • Membership Dues associated with registrations – should not be for memberships for non-travel purchases
        • Hotel/Lodging
        • Rental Car
        • Tolls in conjunction with the contracted vehicle rental.
        • Parking – Only with hotel stay and combined on the invoice and Park-N-Fly parking
        • Internet Services – Only with hotel stay and combined on the invoice
        • Gasoline for Rental Car/State Owned Car Only – Not to be used since the University is part of the Fuel Card Program/Contract. However, in the event that the Program is not covered in a certain area, then the travel card may be used and the file must be complete documented.
        • Shuttle Service – Only when pre-paid prior to trip. Not for individual ground transportation during a business trip such as taxi, bus, etc. without approval from the Office of State travel.
        • Convenience Fees should only be considered if it is deemed a necessary expense and the Program Administrator and/or Approver has had an opportunity to review the appropriateness of the fee prior to the transaction. Many suppliers charge fees that are not in compliance with Visa regulations and would therefore, not be an allowable charge. It is the responsibility, therefore, of the University to ensure that these fees are not only allowed by VISA regulations but also in the best interest of the State. Prior to processing any transactions that include convenience fees, the Cardholder must consult with the Program Administrator to discuss the appropriateness of the additional fee. The Cardholder must submit their request in writing justifying the need to make the purchase with their Travel Card and the Program Administrator will then determine if the convenience fee complies with Visa regulations and is in the best interest of the State. Only then will the convenience fee be allowable.
      3. Purpose and Benefits of Using the Travel Card

        The Travel Card provides the following benefits to the University and its employees:

        • Enables employees to pay for specific, higher cost travel expenses with the convenience of a credit card
        • Provides management with a means of maintaining control over travel expenses
        • Improves efficiency and effectiveness by forming one source of payment
        • Reduces the need for cash advances and reimbursements.
      4. Travel Card Cycle
        • Statements are received each month. The billing cycle ends on the 8th of each month. Cardholder reviews statement for appropriate charges, prepares Travel Card Log, attaches receipts for each charge, signs statement and log, and forwards all documents to the Approver.  The Approver reviews the statement, the Travel Card Log, and all supporting documentation and forwards all documents to the Office of the Comptroller. 
        • Louisiana Tech University remits EFT payment to the Bank of America within 25 days of statement billing date.
        • Travel Card transactions are recorded by journal entry each month by the Program Administrator into the University’s Accounting system.
  2. Steps To Obtain a Travel Card
    • Cardholder Enrollment forms can be picked up in the Office of the Comptroller or obtained on our travel webpage at https://www.latech.edu/administration/finance/comptroller/travel/.
    • Complete Cardholder Enrollment Form and return to the Office of the Comptroller.
    • Application will be submitted to Bank of America by the Program Administrator.
    • Visa card will be sent directly to the Office of the Comptroller in approximately 3 – 5 days (if the card is sent directly to the department, please inform the Program Administrator immediately).
    • The Cardholder will be trained prior to receipt of card.
    • The Cardholder will be required to pick up their card and sign a Travel Cardholder’s Agreement.
    • Cardholder should sign the Travel Card immediately upon receipt.
  3. Cardholder’s Responsibilities
    1. General Responsibilities
      • The State of Louisiana Travel Card is used by Louisiana Tech University employees to pay for specific, higher cost travel expenses, incurred during travel for official state business. The allowable travel expenditures are listed in Section I.B above.
      • The Travel Card remains the property of Bank of America. It may not be transferred, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the designated Cardholder.  The Cardholder will surrender the Travel Card upon request to Louisiana Tech University or any authorized agent of Bank of America.
      • Louisiana Tech University retains the right to cancel a Cardholder’s privileges. Cards be revoked for misuse or non-compliance with procedures and/or the Cardholder Agreement.
      • Expiring Travel Cards will automatically be replaced/renewed prior to the expiration date by the issuing bank and sent to the Program Administrator for distribution to Cardholders who have completed the annual requirements of re-certification from the state’s online training class, University training and signed the most current Cardholder Agreement Form.
      • The Cardholder is responsible for maintaining the security of card data such as the account number, the expiration date, and the card verification code (CVV), the 3-digit security code located on the back of the card. See additional information regarding card security in Section H below.
      • The Cardholder is required annually to complete all required state and University training on policies and procedures and sign the Cardholder Agreement Form, with original documentation given to the University Program Administrator and a copy kept on file with the Approver.
      • All Cardholders must keep informed of Program updates as sent from the University’s Program Administrators or anyone associated with the Program. Cardholders must have an understanding of PPM 49, state purchasing policies, rules and regulations, mandates, Louisiana Statutes, Executive Orders, and/or internal University policies and procedures as applicable on use of the Travel Card.
      • Notify the University’s Program Administrator if fraudulent charges are noticed, as the card may need to be cancelled and another card issued.
      • Notify the University’s Program Administrator if use of a card has changed and lower or higher limits are necessary.
      • Notify the Program Administrator immediately when anticipating and/or prior to an extended leave of absence. Ensure that all transactions have been reconciled and signed by both the Cardholder and Cardholder’s supervisor/Approver. Ensure that the account has been suspended until the Cardholder returns to work. Types of extended absences would include maternity leave, family medical leave, medical leave, military obligations, sabbaticals, etc.
    2. Use of the Card
      • Purchases should never be artificially divided to avoid the Travel Card policy limits. Cardholders are prohibited from splitting a transaction between two or more transactions in order to circumvent the Single Purchasing Limit (SPL) imposed on the card regardless of the amount of the SPL.
      • Use the Travel Card for official state business only. The Travel Card is limited to the person whose name is embossed on the card unless an exception has been approved by the University’s Program Administrator and the Office State Travel.
      • The Cardholder is to never:
        • Use the card to pay for another (unless prior approval has been granted by the Office of State Travel) or loaned to another person to pay for official or non-official business expenses.
        • Give account number or pin number to any individual other than the merchant in which a purchase is being made.
        • Include the full Travel Card account number in emails, faxes, reports, memos etc. If necessary use of the last four or eight digits are allowed. In the event that using the full account number is necessary to make hotel reservations, caution should be exercised by the University to ensure that the full account number is used in a secure environment with a valid hotel or hotel booking website and never filed with the entire account number. Caution should be made to blackout the account number on documentation prior to maintaining on file.
        • Send a copy of the Travel Card if requested by a merchant. If this is required for payment, then the Cardholder must use another form of payment other than the State Liability Travel Card.
        • Use an individual Travel Card for personal, non-business expenses for any reason.
        • Pay State sales taxes, especially for hotel, Enterprise in-state vehicle rentals, and Park-N-Fly parking charges when using the Travel Card, since it is a state liability. See Section I for additional information regarding sales taxes.
        • Use the Travel Card to access or attempt to access cash under any circumstances.
        • Accept cash, gift cards or store credit in lieu of a credit to the Travel Card account.
        • Never use for Incidentals. Traveler must present personal credit when checking into a hotel to cover any incidental expenses. If incidentals are incurred during a business trip, traveler must be reimbursed through the University’s travel reimbursement policy and procedures.
        • Avoid procurement or payment procedures.
        • Purchase of alcohol, food, other travel expenses or entertainment services without obtaining prior written permission from the University’s Program Administrator and Office of State Travel. If requested and approved, all travel expense transactions must be in accordance with the current State Liability Travel Card Policy and current PPM49 guidelines.
        • Fuel or vehicle maintenance since the University is part of the Fuel Card and Maintenance Program. However, in the event that the fuel Program is not covered in a certain geographic area, then the Travel Card may be used, and documentation of the transaction should be maintained indicating the reasons why a fuel card could not be used.
        • For purchases with online vendors such as PayPal, cardholders must have a standalone business account or registration.  The account or registration cannot be combined with an individual’s personal account.  By doing this, it allows approvers, the Office of the Comptroller, and auditors access to view the accounts online while verifying that all purchases are business related and email receipts are not altered.
    3. If Approval is Denied
      • If a merchant advises that card approval has been denied, it is most likely a violation of one the established levels of authority checks.
        • Example – the purchase exceeds the single transaction limit
        • Example – the account is over the monthly number of transactions limit and/or spending limit.
        • Example – the purchase is a violation of a Merchant Group/Spending Category code or a Merchant Category Code to which access is prohibited.
        • Example – Cardholder’s Travel Card has expired and has not picked up and signed for new card.
      • The merchant will not have information related to the reason for denial, nor does the Cardholder have the authority to obtain this information. If a transaction is denied, the Cardholder should contact the Office of the Comptroller for assistance.
      • The Office of the Comptroller will contact the proper persons, obtain information on the denial, coordinate resolution of the issue, and maintain documentation of declined transaction.
    4. Reconciliation and Approval Process
      • Primary responsibility for the reconciliation and approval process rests with the Cardholder.
      • Statements are received by each Cardholder on a monthly basis.
      • Compare the transactions on the statement with the actual sales receipts, invoices, credit card slips, etc. (supporting documentation).
      • Verify each transaction as to date, vendor and amount by matching to the supporting documentation. Supporting documentation must be an itemized/detailed receipt (cannot be a generic receipt). Documentation must be adequate and sufficient to adhere to Travel Card policies, Louisiana Statutes, Executive Orders, internal University policies and procedures and/or PPM49 and for recording of expenditures in the University accounting system.
      • Complete a monthly log, either paper or electronic. The log must be signed by both the Cardholder and the Approver. Once the University is implemented into WORKS Workflow, the Billing Cycle Log will meet the requirements of the electronic log. The log must be signed by the Cardholder and Approver. Use of the WORKS Billing Cycle Log for reconciliation eliminates the need for manual signatures on the log since the sign off in the system constitutes an electronic signature as long as it shows both the Cardholder and Approver signoff/date. Signature stamps are not permitted.
      • Attach to the statement, supporting documentation for all transactions listed on the record. Also, attach the approved travel authorization and Disputed Items Report (if applicable).
      • Cardholder must sign statement certifying agreement with the legitimacy and accuracy of the listed transactions. The statement must also be signed by the Approver. These signatures will be a certification by the signers that all charges are accurate and valid University expenditures. The Cardholder should retain a copy of the statement.
      • Submit statement with supporting documentation, Disputed Item Report (where applicable) to the Approver within five days of receipt of paper billing statement.
      • Statements not received from the Approver within 10 days after the receipt of the paper billing statement may result in cancellation of card.
    5. Disputed and Questioned Items
      • The Cardholder is responsible for ensuring accurate charges to the Travel Card and resolving any transactions not made by the cardholder, incorrect transactions, or issues with service or quality.
      • Cardholder is responsible for settling any disputes with the merchant.
      • Cardholder should contact merchant to resolve any outstanding issues. Most billing problems can be resolved expeditiously in this manner.
      • If Cardholder is unable to reach agreement with merchant, the Disputed Item Form must be submitted and forwarded to the Office of the Comptroller. Bank of America must be notified in writing of any unresolved disputed item within sixty (60) days of the date of the statement on which the questioned item appears.
      • Cardholder should indicate on statement that an item is in dispute and attach a copy of the Disputed Item Form.
      • The Office of the Comptroller will forward Disputed Item Reports to Bank of America and assist Cardholder in resolving disputed and ensuring that proper credit is given on subsequent statements.
      • NEVER MAKE A PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO THE BANK in the event that an unauthorized charge is placed on the individual’s State Liability Travel Card. Making a payment directly to the bank will cause the monthly statement billing file to be out of balance, and the University will have to determine the cause. Ultimately, it will be determined that a personal payment was made. In order to avoid this situation, report any unauthorized charges to the University’s Program Administrator immediately, along with decision on how the funds will be reimbursed back to the University.
    6. Lost or Stolen Cards
      • Report any lost or stolen cards immediately to the bank first and then the Office of the Comptroller. The bank will immediately cancel the card and forward a replacement card within three to five business days.
      • To report lost or stolen cards, contact Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273.
    7. Termination of Employment or Extended Leave.

      Employees must complete an exit form with the University and return the Travel Card immediately upon request or upon separation from the University. Cardholder should discontinue use of the Travel Card immediately upon notification of separation. This will allow sufficient time for receipts to be submitted and for outstanding charges to be processed before leaving employment. Failure to do so may result in charges not being reconciled.

    8. Card Misuse
      • Fraud Purchases – any use of the Travel Card which is determined to be an intentional attempt to defraud the state for personal gain or for the personal gain of others is prohibited.
        • An employee suspected of having misused the Travel Card with the intent to defraud the state will be subjected to an investigation. Should the investigation result in findings which show that the actions of the employee have caused an impairment to the state service, and should those findings be sufficient to support such action, the employee will be subject to disciplinary action. The nature of the disciplinary action will be at the discretion of the appointing authority at the University and will be based on the investigation findings and the record of the employee. Any such investigation and ensuing action shall be reported to the Legislative Auditor, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Director of the Office of State Travel.
        • Any recognized or suspected misuse of the Travel Card Program should be immediately reported to the University Program Administrator and may be anonymously reported to the State of Louisiana Inspector General’s Fraud and Abuse Hotline at 1‐866‐801‐2549 or http://oig.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&nid=3&pnid=0&pid=4&catid=0.
        • Cardholders and other Program personnel are prohibited from using the Travel Card for the purchase of any goods or services not directly or indirectly related to official State of Louisiana business. Intentional use of the card for personal purchases will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination from State employment and criminal prosecution.  Supervisors or other approving officials who knowingly, or through willful neglect, approve personal or fraudulent purchases are subject to the same disciplinary actions as those making the purchase.
      • Non-Approved Purchase – a purchase made by a State Cardholder for which payment by the state is unapproved. 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 is generally the result of a miscommunication between a supervisor and the Cardholder.
        • A non-approved purchase could occur when the Cardholder mistakenly uses the Travel Card rather than a personal card.
        • When a non-approved purchase occurs, the Cardholder should be counseled to use more care in handling of the Travel Card. The counseling should be in writing and maintained in the employee’s file for no longer than one year unless another incident occurs. The employee should be made to pay for the item purchased inappropriately. Should another incident of a non-approved purchase occur within a 12-month period, the appointing authority should consider revocation of the Travel Card.
        • Merchant Forced Transactions – Commercial cards are accepted by a variety of merchants that process transactions only if approved by the issuing bank thereby abiding by the card controls in place. Merchant processing is typically a two-step process:
          • Merchant authorizes transactions against card controls (MCC, limits, expiration date, etc.) and if approved receives an authorization number.
          • Merchant submits the transactions for payment from the bank.
            • In rare instances, merchants will circumvent the authorization process and only perform step 2. This means that the merchant didn’t authorize the transaction against the card controls and therefore did not receive an authorization number.      
            • If this does happen, the merchant has forfeited all dispute rights and the transaction can be disputed and unless the merchant can provide a valid authorization number, the dispute will be resolved in the Cardholder’s favor.
        • Card security – Each Cardholder is responsible for the security of their card, and therefore should:
          • Never display their Card Account Number around their work area.
          • Never give his or her Card Account Number to someone else without his or her Program Administrator’s permission.
          • Never email full account numbers under any circumstances.
    9. Sales Tax
      • Travel Card charges are a direct liability of the State; therefore, as a rule Louisiana State sales tax should never be charged on card purchases, especially for hotels, Enterprise in-state vehicle rentals and Park-N-Fly parking charges. The State of Louisiana tax exemption number is printed on the front of the Travel Card.
      • It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to ensure that state tax is not charged. Cardholders must make every effort at the time of purchase to avoid being charged Louisiana State sales tax. If in-state sales taxes are charged, it is the Cardholder’s responsibility to get a credit issued to their card, or the Cardholder should be made to reimburse the University the total amount of the state taxes. Documentation of attempts to obtain credit for any State Sales Tax charged in error must be maintained with the documentation for the transaction where the tax was charged.
      • 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.

See current State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy Section VII for state related travel exemptions: http://www.doa.la.gov/osp/travel/corptravcard/TravCard-CBApolicy-2018.pdf