Third Party Lodging
|Title||Third Party Lodging|
|Category||Finance, Operations and Auxiliary Services|
New Regulation approved November 26, 2014.
Disbursements Manager (737-1084; firstname.lastname@example.org); Materials Management (328-6434)
1. Purpose and Definition
The purpose of this regulation is to provide a comprehensive reference for uniform interpretation of the conditions under which ECU may reimburse travelers on official University business for expenses associated with Third Party Lodging. On October 18, 2012 the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) delegated to the University the authority to approve all third party lodging agreements involving funds administered by East Carolina University.
For purposes of this regulation, “Third Party Lodging” is defined as follows: Lodging in an establishment that is being rented out by a third party or an establishment treated as an apartment building by state or local law or regulation pursuant to a rental or lease agreement.
2. Requests for Reimbursement for Third Party Lodging
The Chancellor of East Carolina University has authorized the Director of Materials Management to review and approve these requests if appropriate.
Reimbursement for Third Party Lodging is not allowed unless approved, in advance, by the Director of Materials Management/Designee. Additional approval is required from the University Budget Office, also in advance, for state funds to be used.
Requests for prior approval must be first submitted to the Director of Materials Management/Designee. The applicant must provide the Director of Materials Management/Designee with all requested details regarding the arrangement, including the amount to be charged, the length of stay, and contact information. If approved, the Director/Designee will submit the request and details to the University Budget Office for approval for state funds to be used. An approval or denial will be forwarded back to the requesting department.
A signed lease or rental agreement and documentation of the above prior approvals, as appropriate, must be presented to Accounts Payable to receive reimbursement.
No reimbursement will be provided for third party lodging arrangements among East Carolina University employees and their family members.
No excessive costs, luxury accommodations, or unnecessary services for the convenience or personal preference of travelers will be approved. Requests for reimbursement of Third Party Lodging expenses must provide evidence of savings to the University as opposed to other available lodging alternatives in the area. Savings can be calculated in the following ways.
1. Amounts can be divided by the number of individuals covered on the lease compared to the applicable per person state reimbursement rate allowed by OSBM and University policy for in-state and out-of-state lodging, whichever applies. If individuals are staying on the property leased for different lengths of time, the amounts can be prorated according to the length of stay compared to the appropriate state rate.
2. If the amounts for which approval is being requested exceed the applicable state reimbursement rates, savings may be shown by obtaining rates from 3 mid-range hotels in the area for comparison.
3. An exception may be granted by the Director of Materials Management/Designee and for state funds, the University Budget Office, for requests that do not show a savings with sufficient justification to support the necessity for Third Party lodging. Exceptions may be granted based on certain criteria to include:
a. The availability of suitable lodging in the area;
b. The location of available lodging in the area;
c. The type of lodging available in the area;
d. Safety considerations for travelers (including students); and
e. Other extenuating circumstances not covered by the above items must be supported with adequate documentation.
The original approved request must accompany any reimbursement request or invoice to be paid by Accounts Payable for pre-approved third party lodging. University travelers who fail to obtain appropriate authorization for third party lodging in advance may be personally responsible for any costs that are incurred as a part of the rental/lease agreement. Costs incurred without preapproval will not be paid from state funds.