Overnight Lodging and Meals

 
 

Meals and lodging are allowed when an employee is in official travel status (at a distance greater than 35 miles from the employee's official station or place of residence). Employees in travel status may receive payment for meals and lodging on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays while in travel status.

LODGING AT NON-COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS
The Office of the State Comptroller will only accept lodging receipts from a "commercial establishment." This means that you must stay at a registered hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, or similar establishment where their business is to lodge guests overnight. Payment to a relative, friend, or other private person will not be reimbursed, even if it is less than the maximum lodging rate for a given area.

OVERNIGHT TRAVEL STATUS - METHODS I & II
When an employee is in overnight travel status, payment for lodging and meal expenses can be made using one of two methods:

Method I - Unreceipted lodging and unreceipted meals For breakfast on the first day (if leaving before 7a.m.) or dinner on the last day (if arriving after 7 p.m.) of an overnight trip, travelers may claim the unreceipted amounts of $5 for breakfast and $12 for dinner. Receipts are not required.

Method II - Receipted lodging and unreceipted meals For breakfast on the first day (if leaving before 7a.m.) or dinner on the last day (if arriving after 7 p.m.) of an overnight trip, travelers may claim the federal per diem allowance for the area of assignment. Receipts are not required.

OVER THE MAXIMUM LODGING
The Office of the State Comptroller publishes a list of State travel allowances. This listing is available on the U.S. General Services Administration website, and indicates per diem meal and lodging rates by city and county for all locations in New York State, and most locations throughout the United States. Generally, one cannot be reimbursed in excess of these rates.

When using the Receipted Method (Method II), travelers are reimbursed actual lodging expenses up to the US General Service Administration established rate. When a traveler is unable to find a hotel within the maximum GSA lodging per diem rate, the traveler must obtain approval to exceed the GSA rate by submitting a justification prior to the travel. Such justification should be submitted via email to Betty Tirado, Dir, Business Services, and must show that the lodging situation is unique in some way, and/or that alternate costs, such as transportation to and from a less expensive motel, are equal to or greater than the lodging differential. Typically, such justification is acceptable only in connection with multiple night lodging related to a non-SUNY conference.

Whenever possible, agency sponsored conferences should be arranged at facilities honoring the federal per diem rates for meals and lodging. When meals and lodging are provided as a part of an agency sponsored conference or event, additional reimbursement is not permitted.