Travel Policy Change: Maximum Limits for Reimbursing the Cost of Lodging

The CSU has implemented a maximum lodging rate of $175 per night, excluding taxes, for in-state and out-of-state travel, including Alaska, Hawaii, and US possessions. This rate is effective for business travel occurring on or after April 1, 2013. Rates in excess of this amount must be pre-approved by a campus vice president, or designees, in accordance with the campus approval process. Approval must include the business purpose for the necessity to stay within a facility at a rate exceeding $175 per night.

Why are we doing this?

The Bureau of State Audits has recommended, on behalf of the California State Auditor, that the CSU establish maximum limits for reimbursing the cost of lodging and provide guidelines that allow for exceptions to such limits only under specific circumstances.

How will approval be handled at San José State?

To retain our existing travel authorization process in Financial Transaction Services, (FTS) and avoid changes to the existing travel approval structures, all campus AVPs have now been delegated authority to approve lodging rates in excess of the $175 per night limit for travel within the state of California; out-of-state travel currently requires the approval of the appropriate vice president.

When submitting the 'Request for Authorization to Travel', the traveler will identify lodging rates exceeding $175 per night limit in the 'Additional Trip Details' field, and provide explanation/justification for the higher rate. When routed for approval, the designated AVP/VP will review the 'Additional Trip Details' field to verify the justification is appropriate.

There may be instances in which university travelers, on or after April 1, 2013, received authorization to travel, prior to the policy change, and have lodging in excess of the established rate limit. In this case, the reimbursement request must be accompanied by written approval from the AVP.

The established lodging limits do not apply to travel funded through Auxiliary Organization funds.

Mileage Reimbursement Rate for 2013

The California State University standard mileage rate for business travel occurring on or after April 1, 2013 will increase from 50 cents per mile to 56.5 cents per mile. Miles driven for moving purposes will be reimbursed at 24 cents per mile, increased from 19 cents per mile.