District Staff and Director Travel and Lodging Reimbursement Policy
Purpose: The Olivehurst Public Utility District (District) recognizes that, for the benefit and in the interests of the District, it is necessary for District staff and Directors to attend meetings and to travel in order to conduct District business. The District is committed to wise and prudent use of its entrusted public funds, to conserve District resources and to keep expenses within community standards. The District is also committed to providing effective and responsive services to its constituents. This policy sets forth guidelines for travel and meeting attendance on District business, and for the reimbursement of expenses.
Policy: All actual and necessary travel and incidental expenses shall be reimbursed upon submission of the District’s expense reimbursement form and accompanying receipts for preapproved training and educational courses and events. The expense reimbursement form must be submitted within 30 days of the qualifying travel or expense.
Preapproval for Directors: Directors travel and expenses subject to District reimbursement must be authorized by Board action. Preapproval may be in the form of established, Board approved annual training budgets applicable to each Director.
Meals: Meals shall be reimbursed at the actual cost, when accompanied by a receipt, provided that the expense is not lavish or extravagant. In lieu of actual meal expense reimbursement, a per diem for meals and incidental expenses is allowed. For travel exceeding a single day, the per diem rate is fifty dollars ($50) per day. The per diem rate for individual meals is as follows:
- a.) Breakfast: ten dollars ($10)
- b.) Lunch: fifteen dollars ($15)
- c.) Dinner: twenty five dollars ($25)
Lodging: If lodging is in connection with a conference or educational activity, lodging costs shall not exceed the maximum group rate published by the conference or activity sponsor, provided that lodging at the group rate is available at the time of booking. If the group rate is not available, comparable lodging will be used. Government and group rates for lodging will be used whenever possible.
Transportation: Government and group rates for transportation will be used when available.
Mileage: Mileage will be reimbursed at the IRS published mileage rate when a personal vehicle is authorized and utilized for travel while on District business.
Cash advance: Subject to approval of the General Manager (Board approval for Directors cash advances), a cash advance to cover the anticipated expenses for authorized travel may be offered by the District. An expense reimbursement form must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the travel, and any unused cash advanced must be returned to the District once the activity is completed.
All documents related to reimbursable District expenditures are public records subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.
Regardless of how it may occur, misuse of public resources or falsifying expense reports in violation of this policy may result in any or all of the following:
- a.) Loss of reimbursement privileges, (not applicable to Directors)
- b.) Restitution to the District,
- c.) Civil penalties for misuse of public resources,
- d.) Disciplinary action up to or including termination, (not applicable to Directors) and
- e.) Prosecution for misuse of public resources.
References and Citations: This policy shall be consistent with state law (AB 1234) and comply with state law and the District’s Conflict of Interest Code including changes to such from time to time.