The purpose of this policy is to outline authorization of travel requirements for Georgia Tech employees and students traveling on official business in compliance with University System of Georgia, State Accounting Office, and Georgia Tech policies.
All Travelers must have prior authorization to travel for the performance official duties from their manager, department head or Dean (or their respective delegates).
Authorization of Travel
Authorization of travel is required for any travel outside the state of Georgia, including international travel on behalf of Georgia Tech. Authorization is obtained by the completion of a spend authorization through Georgia Tech’s financial management system and must be approved by the employee’s manager, cost center manager (or their delegate), and driver worktag manager(s) prior to the first day of travel. The approval of a spend authorization serves as an attestation to the necessity of the travel and that the anticipated travel expenses are reasonable in nature and amount. In no case is a subordinate authorized to approve a spend authorization for travel for their superior.
In situations where there are no charges to Georgia Tech, but the purpose of the trip is official business, a spend authorization should be submitted denoting a cost of 1 (one) cent to facilitate appropriate review of travel.
If the itinerary of the trip fundamentally changes (location or business purpose) from the what has been stated on the original spend authorization, and the original spend authorization has been approved, a new spend authorization should be completed and the original should be cancelled.
Declaration of External Professional Activities or Vacation
All Travelers traveling on behalf of Georgia Tech must declare any external professional activities or vacation associated with the business trip. Leave time for external professional activities, or vacation, which coincides with the business trip should be approved in advance in Georgia Tech’s time management system. Travelers should indicate any leave time for external professional activities or vacation when completing the travel authorization in Georgia Tech’s financial management system. Additionally, Travelers are required to report any external activities in the Conflict of Interest system here: https://ecoi.research.gatech.edu
Authorization of travel is not required for in-state travel. However, campus units may require that a spend authorization be completed for all in-state travel within their unit to meet their business needs. Approval to travel within the State of Georgia, or just beyond the state borders, on a regular or continual basis may be given as a blanket routine travel authorization. This may be maintained as an internal list in department files, or may be granted based on the employee’s primary job duties that include a business need to travel in-state. Travelers whose primary work station is outside of the state of Georgia are not required to complete a spend authorization for routine travel within that state.
Travelers must comply with U.S. laws and regulations when traveling internationally on Georgia Tech business. International travel being sponsored by the federal government must be ticketed by U.S. Flag carriers.
As part of the spend authorization process for international travel, the Traveler must complete a questionnaire in Georgia Tech’s financial management system. This questionnaire should be submitted no later than thirty (30) days prior to the desired departure date for travel to a foreign country and 45 days for travel to countries under travel advisories or involving the shipment of equipment or biological materials.
Georgia Tech strongly recommends against, but does not prohibit, travel for the performance of official duties to countries where the U.S. Department of State has issued an official Travel Warning (a Travel Warning is distinct from a State Department issued Public Announcement), or where there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks. The final decision about making a trip to such a country is up to the Traveler; however, Georgia Tech reserves the right to require the execution of an appropriate release or waiver before permitting such travel. This recommendation is directed toward individual Travelers in the following categories: faculty, staff and graduate students. Faculty and staff taking students on international travel will require prior approval from Office of International Education.
Prior to international travel, faculty should become aware of applicable export laws, regulations and risks associated with international travel. Several key reference sources include:
All Georgia Tech employees (faculty, staff, and students).
Employees (students, faculty, and staff) traveling on behalf of Georgia Tech.
The Traveler is responsible for ensuring the travel is to perform business duties on behalf of Georgia Tech, the appropriate spend authorization is accurately completed, supporting documentation is submitted, and appropriate approval is obtained prior to the first day of travel. The Traveler is also responsible for ensuring the appropriate travel class is reserved and for ensuring any personal or external professional activities have been excluded from the request for reimbursement.The Traveler is responsible for declaring any external professional activities or vacation associated with a business trip, and reporting all external activities in the Conflict of Interest System.
5.2 Expense Preparer
An expense preparer may book travel reservations on behalf of the Traveler and is responsible for ensuring appropriate spend authorization and all required supporting documentation is obtained prior to the first day of travel.The expense preparer is also responsible for ensuring appropriate travel class is reserved and for verifying the Traveler excludes any personal or external professional activities from the reimbursement. The expense preparer should also verify the Traveler has declared any external professional activities or vacation associated with such travel, and has reported all external activities in the Conflict of Interest System.
Managers and supervisors, or their delegates, are responsible for:
- Verifying the business purpose of the trip;
- Verifying the trip is allowable;
- Verifying the reasonableness of the cost of the trip;
- Verifying the travel class is compliant with Georgia Tech and USG policies;
- Verifying all required supporting documentation is submitted;
- Verifying any personal or external professional activities are excluded;
- Verifying any external professional activities declared by traveler are reported in the Conflict of Interest System.
Travelers who are in violation of this Policy are at risk of not receiving reimbursement for travel expenses.
To report suspected instances of ethical violations, please visit Georgia Tech’s Ethics Hotline, a secure and confidential reporting system, at: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_custom.asp?clientid=7508