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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

340.10 - Miscellaneous Expenses


OPR: Admin/Financial Management

1. Purpose and Scope. This chapter establishes types of miscellaneous expenses authorized for reimbursement in connection with the travel of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees in the performance of their official duties. These reimbursable expenses are related to the need for administrative support and facilities essential to the accomplishment of the mission in a travel status away from the employee's normal duty station.

2. Policy. SM 340.1.2.

3. Responsibilities. SM 340.1.3 and SM 340.2.3B.

4. Allowable Expenses.

A. Miscellaneous Expenses. Charges for stenographic or typing services or rental of typewriters or personal computers in connection with the preparation of reports or correspondence, clerical assistance, service of guides, interpreters, packers, drivers of vehicles, and storage of property used on official business shall be allowed when authorized or approved.

B. Hire of a Room. When necessary to engage a room at a hotel or other place to transact official business, a separate charge for that room shall be allowed when authorized or approved.

C. Traveler's Checks, Money Orders, or Certified Checks. Reimbursement for cost of traveler's checks, money orders, or certified checks purchased in connection with official travel may be allowed. The amount of the checks or money orders may not exceed the amount of funds necessary to cover the estimated reimbursable expenses.

D. Fees Relating to Foreign Travel.

(1) Conversion of Currency. Commissions for conversion of currency in foreign countries may be reimbursed. Losses incurred on a currency exchange may not be reimbursed. Similarly, there is no authority for the Government to recoup any gain in currency conversion from the employee. (Reference 63 Comptroller General 554.)

(2) Check Cashing Costs. Charges covering exchange fees for cashing United States Government checks or drafts issued for the reimbursement of expenses incurred for travel in foreign countries. Exchange fees incurred in cashing checks or drafts issued in payment of salary shall not be allowed in travel expense accounts.

(3) Trip Insurance. Cost of trip insurance purchased by employees for use of Government-furnished or privately owned vehicles during official business for specific or individual trips into a foreign country. Trip insurance covers potential liability for property damage or personal injury or death to third parties. Reimbursement is limited to instances in which the purchase of such insurance is required by foreign statute or is a practical necessity due to the legal procedures of a foreign country which, in the event of an accident, could result in detainment of the driver and impoundment of the vehicle. The amount of reimbursement is limited to the cost of the minimum amount of insurance required for the use of a foreign country's roads or minimum amount required to be purchased by industrial custom.

(4) Travel Document Costs. Fees in connection with the issuance of passports, visa fees, costs of photographs for passports and visas, costs of certificates of birth, health, and identity, and of affidavits and charges for inoculation which cannot be obtained through a Federal dispensary.

E. Miscellaneous Purchases. Purchases shall be allowed only in an emergency situation. The traveler must certify the procurement was an emergency need required to accomplish the travel assignment. The traveler's supervisor must concur with this statement.

F. Other Expenses. Expenditures not included above, when necessarily incurred by the traveler in connection with the transaction of official business, will be allowed when approved.

5. Additional Travel Expenses Incurred by an Employee With a Disability. These provisions are intended to accommodate an employee with a disability by providing for reimbursement of necessary additional travel expenses incurred in the performance of official travel. This section applies to an employee with a disability as defined below:

A. Employee with a disability. The term, "employee with a disability," means an employee who has a disability as defined in Paragraph 340.10.5.B., below, and is otherwise generally covered under the Rehabilitative Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq..

B. Disability. The term, "disability," with respect to an employee means:

(1) Having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(2) Having a record of such an impairment.

(3) Being regarded as having such an impairment.

C. Physical or mental impairment.

(1) The term, "physical or mental impairment," means:

(a) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.

(b) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as: mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

(2) The term, "physical or mental impairment" includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as: cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, and orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments.

D. Major life activities. The term, "major life activities," means functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

E. Substantially limits. The term, "substantially limits," means the employee is unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or is significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which he/she can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform that same major life activity.

F. Has a record of such an impairment. The term, "has a record of such impairment," means the employee has a history of or has been classified as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

G. Is regarded as having such an impairment. The term, "is regarded as having such an impairment," means the employee:

(1) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities, but the impairment is treated by the agency as constituting such a limitation.

(2) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment.

(3) Has none of the impairments defined in Paragraph 340.10.5.C., above, but is treated by the employing agency as having a substantially limiting impairment.

H. Allowable expenses. The following expenses are allowable additional travel expenses payable to an employee with a disability.

(1) Transportation and subsistence expenses that are incurred by an attendant accompanying the employee, whether the attendant is or is not a member of the employee's immediate family, when the employee requires the assistance of an attendant.

(2) Cost of specialized transportation for the employee to and from and/or at the temporary duty location.

(3) Cost of specialized services provided by a commercial carrier necessary to accommodate the employee's disability.

(4) Costs incurred as a direct result of the employee's disability for baggage handling in connection with public transportation or at lodging facilities.

(5) Cost of renting and/or transporting a wheelchair.

6. Payment to Government Employees. Neither payment nor reimbursement will be allowed under any agreement made by the traveler with an employee of the Government for personal services.

7. Payment and Reimbursements. Where cash payment is made for services, reimbursement for the charges actually made may be allowed, provided the voucher shows the quantity, unit, and unit price. If cash payment is not made, the account will be approved by the traveler, certified by the payee, and forwarded to the administrative office for approval, then to the Office of Financial Management for payment.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 08-Jan-2013@15:43 (kk)
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