Travel

Conferences

Travel

What will I be reimbursed if I am authorized to use common carrier transportation or a rental vehicle and I use a privately owned vehicle (POV) instead?
According to chapter 301-10.309, you will be reimbursed the applicable POV rate on a mileage basis, plus per diem, not to exceed the total constructive cost of the authorized method of common carrier transportation plus per diem. Your agency must determine the constructive cost of transportation and per diem by common carrier under the rules in §301-10.310.

How is reimbursement handled if another person(s) travels in a POV with me?
According to chapter 301-10.305, if another employee(s) travels with you on the same trip in the same POV, mileage is payable to only one of you. No deduction will be made from your mileage allowance if other passengers contribute to defraying your expenses.

Is it required for two or more people to share a rental car when traveling to the same temporary duty station?
No. The Federal and Agriculture Travel Regulations do not require travelers traveling to the same temporary duty location to share a rental vehicle. However, section 3 g.(1) pg. 4 of the Agriculture Travel

Can I request actual expenses for lodging above the 300 percent ceiling?
No.  According to chapter 301.11.305 the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), reimbursement of actual expenses is limited to the 300 percent ceiling.  There is no authority to exceed this ceiling.

What are the consequences for making reservations outside of Concur or through the Travel Management Center (TMC)?
According to chapter §301-73.105 of the FTR, if an employee does not use the ETS (when available) or your agency's designated TMS, he/she is responsible for any additional costs (see §301-50.5 of this chapter) resulting from the failure to use the ETS or your TMS. In addition, you may take appropriate disciplinary actions.

Conferences

What documents do I need to include in CTAT?

  • Under Secretary Memo with signature and date
  • Location estimated cost for requesting attendance at a conference or training event and location estimated cost comparison with 3 locations for a request to host or sponsor a conference/training event (both OCFO templates)
  • Attendees Cost Detail spreadsheet (OCFO template)
  • An Agenda
  • Conference Utility contracts and supporting documents (if applicable)
  • Documented OGC opinion when accepting contributions from non-Federal sources

My Undersecretary doesn't actively use CTAT. Who can approve conference requests on their behalf?
Agencies can designate appropriate staff to log into CTAT on behalf of the Undersecretary, Administrator or SATO.
Note: This staff member IS NOT approving the request; they are stamping the request in the system for routing purposes only. Please ensure the Undersecretary signed approval letter is uploaded into CTAT prior to applying electronic signature.

Why is an Undersecretary's signature on the memorandum still required for events with projected expenses of $75,000 or more?
OCFO and Deputy Secretary approval are based on hard copy executive correspondence. An electronic approval in CTAT does not replace an Undersecretary's signature on executive correspondence.

When can I obligate funds?
According to OMB Memorandum 12-12, Section 2 -Conferences: [Federal Agencies] must initiate senior level review of all planned conferences…to be sponsored or hosted by the agency (or by other Federal or non-Federal entities) where net conference expenses by the agency will exceed $100,000. Agencies shall suspend incurring obligations for conferences until a senior level review is completed.

When do I need OGC review as a co-sponsor of a conference?
According to the ATR, Section 3., m. Conferences., (3) (c) Approval to Conduct Conference and Training Activities: If an agency is proposing to receive financial support for the event from non-Federal sources, these proposals shall also include Agency or Staff Office Heads' certification that there is no conflict of interest.
In addition, the 'Office of Government Ethics, A Collection of Federal Resources Relating to Conferences states': …an agency does not need express statutory authority to work with a non-Federal entity to present a conference, as long as the conference/co-sponsorship furthers the agency's mission. When answering questions about conferences, the agency ethics official should look for any agency-specific guidance in addition to the resources cited in this guide.
In fulfillment of this practice, the USDA's requirement is to have cosponsored events funded in part by non-federal sources reviewed by OGC. Agencies should have this review completed 30 days before submitting the request to OCFO. The review can be conducted by Agency or Department level counsel.