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Section 10: Travel for Subgrantees

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Introduction

A project director or other person working under a grant sometimes has occasion to travel to gain knowledge of benefit to the grant. Such occasions may include attending a national or regional workshop or conference or obtaining special training relevant to the grant.

To be considered for inclusion and approval in a traffic safety grant, out-of-state travel must meet certain criteria. The grant agreement must also include provisions that allow the travel.

Once the trip is taken, there are requirements for requesting reimbursement for and reporting on the trip.

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Criteria for Reimbursement

To qualify for approval and reimbursement, the travel must be:

  • necessary to assist in the completion of project and program goals and objectives
  • specific to the purpose of the project (for example, an anti-DWI conference for a community alcohol project)
  • appropriate to the position and responsibility of the individual or individuals traveling (for example, community project director to community project seminar), and
  • of direct benefit to the state, with such benefit unavailable through other means (for example, travel for a national, one-of-a-kind event).
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Grant Inclusion

For travel to be considered for approval, the grant must include the following:

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Requirement

Explanation

Sufficient Travel Funds.

The grant budget should contain funds for travel. A line item for out-of-state travel or specific trips is not required. However, an indication of specific trips is recommended when known at the time of grant negotiation and approval.

Sufficient funds in the “Other Direct Cost” category of the budget to cover registration fee, if required.

If the conference or out-of-state event requires a registration fee, sufficient funds will need to be budgeted and included in the “other miscellaneous cost” category (700) in the approved project budget.

Provisions for out-of-state travel.

The grant must contain a provision that allows for out-of-state travel upon TxDOT approval and requires this approval prior to travel and reimbursement. (See example following this table.)



The provision for out-of-state travel reads as follows:

“For out of state travel expenses to be reimbursable, the subgrantee must have obtained the written approval of the Department, through eGrants system messaging, prior to the beginning of the trip. Grant approval does not satisfy this requirement.”

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Requesting Approval

Reimbursement for out-of-state travel expenses requires prior TxDOT TRF approval of the trip. To request approval for out-of-state travel, a subgrantee must:

  1. Ensure that the grant contains necessary provisions and that there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of the trip.
  2. Submit an Out-of-State Travel Request (through eGrants) for approval to the Traffic Safety Project Manager. The Out-of-State Travel Request is located under “Supplemental Approvals” and can be found under “Examine Related Items.”
  3. Select “Create New” under “Supplemental.” Select “I Agree” when prompted “Are you sure you want to create a Supplemental Report?”
  4. Click on “View, Edit and Complete Forms” and choose “Out-of-State Travel”
  5. Complete and save the form
  6. Complete the checklist request process by changing the status of the form (found under “Change the Status”) to “SR Submitted.” Once the status of the request has been changed to “SR Submitted,” the request will be electronically forwarded to the appropriate Project Manager for review.
  7. The request must include:
    • the purpose of the trip
    • the trip dates
    • the location
    • the registration fee (if applicable)
    • the persons involved and the relationship of the individuals to the particular trip
    • the estimated cost (travel, per diem, registration fee, etc.), and
    • the benefit to the grant.

Travel to attend in-state meetings or training does not require written authorization from TRF if the travel is included in the grant budget; however, the Project Manager must be notified by e-mail or correspondence prior to the trip. Following completion of the meeting or training attended, either out-of-state or in-state, each attendee will provide a summary of the meeting or training and submit this information in the next Performance Report.

The “Report of Meeting Attended,” located under “General Tool Box” on the eGrants Help Page ) is an excellent tool to assist in documenting meetings or training and can be submitted to the Project Manager for the file of record by attaching the report to the corresponding Performance Report or Request for Reimbursement (RFR). The Project Manager can request the mandatory use of this form at any time for any project(s).

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Out-of-State Travel Request Processing

A TxDOT TSS receiving an out-of-state travel request can review and approve the request or can forward it to the appropriate Program Manager at TRF-TS headquarters in Austin.

Upon receiving a travel request through eGrants, TRF-TS will evaluate it and send a response through eGrants to approve or deny the trip.

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Requesting Reimbursement

To request travel reimbursement, the subgrantee must:

  • include the cost of the trip in a monthly RFR
  • include a receipt for registration fee paid (if the registration fee includes certain meals, then these meals should not be claimed again for reimbursement), and
  • submit a brief trip report with the RFR (the length and content will be determined by the type of trip involved).
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