Council Policy 1-01 Employee Travel




PURPOSE: To establish policies and procedures for in-town and out-of-town transportation for employees, the Mayor, and City Council who have a need to conduct official city business.


BACKGROUND: City employees use city-owned and, occasionally, privately-owned vehicles (POVs) to perform their duties. Cost for acquisition and operation of vehicles represents a substantial investment for city government. A policy is needed to assure proper assignment and utilization of these vehicles. This policy pertains only to vehicles used primarily for transportation. It does not pertain to police cars, fire trucks, trucks one-ton and larger, and other similar work vehicles. Often the Mayor, council members, employees and other city representatives are required to travel out of town on official business to attend meetings, conferences, workshops or schools. A formal standard operating procedure is needed so that travel arrangements can be made effectively and funds can be obtained and accounted for properly. Procedures should protect the interests of the city, while minimizing inconvenience to the traveler.




1. City employees are authorized use of either a city vehicle or privately owned vehicle (POV) for transportation in the performance of official business. The availability of a city vehicle and the type of transportation authorized will be based upon the needs of the city. Employee convenience is not a consideration.


2. A valid Oklahoma driver's license is required to operate a city vehicle or POV used on city business. City policy requires that department directors verify that employees driving on city business possess a valid license.


3. Current valid vehicle insurance with minimum coverage, as established by Oklahoma law is required for use of POV.


4. Types of Transportation


a. Type 1 - A city vehicle assigned to an individual for city business on a portal-to-portal (to and from residence) basis.


b. Type 2 - A city vehicle assigned to an individual for transportation in the performance of official business.

c. Type 3 - The reimbursed use of a POV for official city business at an established rate.


5. Standards for Transportation Authorization


a. Type 1 - May be driven portal to portal but is limited to Lawton city limits. To receive this authorization the employee must be required to attend after hours meetings or respond to emergency situations on a frequent basis. City Manager approval is required.


b. Type 2 - Required for official duties; cannot be driven portal to portal; requires department director's approval.


c. Type 3 - Employee must have a recurring transportation requirement, and no city vehicle available in order to receive regular reimbursement. Funding must be included in the department budgets. The employee shall have in effect public liability and property damage insurance as required by the state. City Manager approval is required on an annual basis.


6. Requests for Transportation Authorization


a. The department director shall be approving authority for Type 2 transportation requests.


b. Requests for Type 1 and (Type 3 in the case of regular POV use), transportation must be forwarded to the City Manager annually. Department directors shall submit these requests to the City Manager for approval with budget requests each year.


7. Reimbursements for Use of Privately owned Vehicles (Type 3)


a. Mileage will be paid in accordance with the mileage rates set forth in attachment A of this policy.


b. An employee authorized Type 3 transportation will keep a record of all mileage driven while on city business. Beginning and ending odometer readings will be recorded for each trip.


c. At the beginning of each fiscal year an estimated amount will be encumbered for regular POV usage based upon the prior year’s mileage, and a requisition will be prepared prior to the end of the fiscal year. Recorded mileage will be submitted to the department director for approval in the case of regular POV usage. A copy of the approved mileage record will be submitted to Financial Services with the assigned purchase order number recorded on the document in order for payment to be processed. Out of town POV mileage will be submitted on the Out of Town Travel Expense Statement as shown in Attachment C and submitted to Financial Services with the assigned purchase order number recorded on it for payment.




1. General Provisions


a. Travel arrangements and payment of travel expenses will be made in accordance with the guidelines established herein.


b. Funds for travel expenses will be included in the approved annual budget.


c. The City Manager may grant leave with pay, together with necessary travel and expense allowances, to employees to leave the city for official city business or to attend conferences, schools and similar events.


d. The Mayor, Council, and other officials serving on municipal boards, commissions, and committees, or assisting the city in an advisory capacity shall have necessary travel and expense allowances paid by the city when out-of-town travel is required to discharge their official responsibilities.


e. Travel expenses shall be paid only for officials representing the City of Lawton. Expenses for spouses, friends, and business associates will not be reimbursed. An exception to this policy is provided for in paragraph II 2d of this policy which authorizes the City Manager to approve payment for another person's meal.


f. With the exception of elected officials, no more than one employee of a department will be authorized to attend the same out of state conference, seminar, or other such meeting. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the City Manager.


2. Allowance


a. Transportation


(1) Air transport shall normally be air-coach class. First class is not an option. Whenever possible, air travel for City business will be departure from and return to the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport. Short trips may be made in city vehicle or in a POV. Should traveler want to drive a POV to a distant location, he must do so without costing the city time or travel funds in excess of the lowest costs of airfare.


(2) The department is responsible for making transportation arrangements.


(3) a) City vehicles which are available to city officials are expected to be used for short trips. Department directors will determine whether a city vehicle in suitable mechanical condition is available for the trip. Expenses involved in operating the city vehicle, i.e., fuel and repair costs, will be reimbursed. The traveler, with approval of the department director, may elect for his own convenience to drive his personal vehicle even if it has been determined that a city vehicle is available. In this instance, the amount paid to the traveler will be one-half the standard mileage rate.


b) When more than one (1) individual is traveling to the same event/activity covering the same time period(s) the city shall either supply a city vehicle or the expense for one (1) POV in accordance with II 2a (3)a.


(4) The City will reimburse travelers who drive POV at the mileage rate shown in Attachment A. In addition to the mileage rate, the city will pay for tolls, meals, and lodging while en route, but the total reimbursement for en route expenses may not exceed the cost of coach class airfare, plus transportation costs to and from the airport. Should the total travel expense be less than coach class, the actual expense is the amount which will be reimbursed. When traveling POV, reimbursement for expenses incurred after arrival at the destination will be made for the time period that would have been involved if the traveler had flown. This time should be, at the most, one day before and one day following a meeting.


b. Insurance


Persons authorized to travel in a personal vehicle shall have the minimum insurance coverage required by the State of Oklahoma. A statement that the owner has the minimum insurance coverage will be signed on the Out of Town Travel Authorization Request from (Attachment B) when the traveler requests use of a POV.


c. Lodging


The city will pay the normal cost of hotels and motels. Normal means the cost of single occupancy without special accommodations, i.e., suites, sitting rooms, movies, or other higher costs arrangements. Only business telephone calls are reimbursable.


d. Meals


When gone for a full day (7:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.), payment for meals will be on a per diem basis. Per diem amounts are shown in Attachment A. Amounts shown include foods, taxes, and tips. Receipts for meals are not required. Reimbursement will not be made for meals provided on an airline or during a conference, seminar, or convention when price of the meal is included in the registration or otherwise provided at no charge. The city will pay for breakfast if the traveler departs by 7:00 a.m. or earlier. The city will pay for lunch if the traveler is out of town between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Reimbursement or payment for dinner will be provided if the traveler has not returned by 7:00 p.m. Payment for another person's meal may be requested at the time the travel claim is submitted. A statement justifying the expense must be attached and submitted to the City Manager approval.


e. Miscellaneous


(1) Registration, tuition, taxi, parking fares, bus fares, tolls, gratuities, except for meals, and other fees or items necessary in the performance of official business are reimbursable.


(2) Alcoholic beverages, including beer of any alcoholic content, wine, and cocktails plus cover charges for entertainment are not reimbursable travel expense.


3. Administration


a. Out-of-town travel must be approved by the department director, requisitions submitted and purchase order numbers assigned prior to payment for registration or travel costs. The City Manager must approve travel requests for department directors, and all requests for out of state travel. Requests for out of state travel for seminars, workshops, schools and training that is submitted to the City Manager must also be accompanied by a course description. Department directors may take out-of-town "one day" trips without approval by the city manager. The Out-of-Town Travel Authorization Request, shown as Attachment B, will be used to request the travel. The request, when possible, must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the travel. The City Manager may approve exceptions based on emergencies.


b. In those cases where an individual wishes to drive a POV to a distant location, the provisions of paragraph II 2a (3) of this policy shall apply. In addition, the costs of the lowest class airfare must be indicated in parenthesis after the estimated mileage expenses shown on the Out-of-Town Travel Authorization Request.


c. The traveler may submit for travel funds in advance up to 30 days prior to departure; the funds will not be paid more than two weeks prior to departure. Advance travel can be obtained for all anticipated expenses except airfare. A separate requisition will be processed for payment of airfare. To receive advance travel, a purchase requisition must be submitted and a purchase order number assigned, at which time the Out-of-Town travel Authorization Request will be submitted to the Financial Services Division. Traveler will indicate on the request the amount of advance requested.

d. Within ten days of return, the traveler will submit to his supervisor an Out-of-Town Travel Expense Statement, Attachment C, with expenditure receipts attached. Receipts, or an itemized signed statement, must be attached for all expenditures except meals. If a Pike Pass is used for tolls, no receipts are required. If receipts have not been obtained then the traveler must identify those expenses and provide an itemized, signed statement for those expenses in order to be reimbursed. An itemized statement will only be accepted for parking and local transportation such as taxi or bus. If advance travel was received, a copy of the Out-of-Town Travel Authorization will be attached. If advance travel had not been paid, the original Out-of-Town Authorization will be attached. A copy of the Out-of-Town Travel Expense Statement is shown at Attachment C.


e. If funds are due the traveler, they will be paid based upon the Out-of Town Travel Expense Statement that will be submitted to Financial Services upon completion of travel with the assigned purchase order number recorded on it and the Out of Town Travel Authorization attached.


f. If the traveler owes the City money, it will be remitted to the Revenue Collections window and a receipt obtained. The receipt will be forwarded with the expense statement.


g. The City is authorized to make payroll deductions for collection of advanced funds not substantiated by receipts or an itemized, signed statement, unused funds, or vouchers not turned in within ten days of return. All travel documents with purchase orders will be kept on file in the Financial Services Division. The Auditing Division will perform a quarterly review of a random sample of purchase orders and documents related to travel.




EFFECTIVE DATE ANDRESCISSION: This policy becomes effective October 10, 2006, and rescinds Council Policy No. 1-1 dated July 1, 2006.



John P. Purcell, Jr., Mayor





I. Mileage Rates


A. Regular Travel .445 per mile

B. Convenience of Traveler .23 per mile


II. Standard Meal Allowance


A. Daily (Per Diem)

Oklahoma $38.00

Outside Oklahoma $50.00


B. Individual Meal Allowance


BreakfastLunch Dinner


Oklahoma $8.00 $10.00 $20.00

Outside Oklahoma $ 8.00 $12.00 $30.00








Employee Name: __________________________________________________


Date of Request:Travel To: _______________________


Budgeted (Y/N):Inclusive Dates Of Trip: _____________


Purpose of Travel: _________________________________________________


Mode of Transportation: _____________________________________________


Is POV Being Used For The Convenience Of The Traveler? _____Yes _____No

If travel is by POV, I certify, by my signature below, that I have the minimum amount of auto insurance as required by law.


Ins. Policy #:Ins. Company:Exp. Date:


Anticipated Expenses (Check Box Next To Item If Travel Advance Is Requested):


Registration Fees / Membership Fees



Mileage - Regular Travel – 0.445 x



Mileage - Convenience – 0.23 x












Lodging – Nights @ $



Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner



Taxi / Rental Car



Bus Fares



Parking Fees



Other Expenses:



Total Anticipated Expenses:



Total Advance Requested:


NOTE: Receipts MUST be obtained for all expenditures to be reimbursed – except meals.


Submitted By Position Title


Supervisor’s Approval / Date Department Director’s Approval / Date






Employee Name:_________________________________________________


Dates Of Trip:___________________________________________________



Points Of Travel









Schedule Of Expenses Claimed












Transportation By Common Carrier (If Not Prepaid)



Transportation By Employee’s Car









Regular Travel

X 0.445



X 0.23



Total Expense Claimed


Advance Given



Amount Due Traveler:





Signature Of Traveler / Date Signature Of Director / Date





10/10/2006,  Amended, 07/01/2006, Amended, 08/16/2002, Use of Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport for travel,