The university should revise policies to establish defined maximum limits for the reimbursement of domestic lodging costs and establish controls that allow for exceptions to the limits under specific circumstances only.
In October 2017 the university revised its travel policy to include a $275 per night maximum reimbursement rate (before taxes and mandatory hotel fees) for domestic lodging. The revised policy allows for exceptions and requires university travelers to submit additional documentation that supports the rationale for higher lodging rates.
The university's position on this recommendation remains unchanged since its October 2015 update.
The university stated that it plans to take no further action on this recommendation.
The university's position on this recommendation has remained unchanged since its November 2013 update.
In April 2013, the university provided us with a revised travel policy. The revised policy contained additional language that recommended travelers submit additional documentation when seeking payment for lodging expenses exceeding 200 percent of the federal per diem lodging rate. When we informed the university that this language did not satisfy our recommendation to establish defined maximum limits for domestic lodging costs and failed to establish controls to allow exceptions to the limits only under specific circumstances, the university reported that it would not take any additional action on this recommendation.
Subsequently, in November 2013, the university stated that its travel council had reviewed our recommendation and decided not to impose a defined maximum limit for the reimbursement of domestic lodging costs because much of the university travel involves academic conferences and conventions where staying at a host hotel often is integral to the event.
Thus, the university is refusing to implement our recommendation to establish defined maximum limits for the reimbursement of domestic lodging costs and establish controls that allow exceptions to the limits only under specific circumstances.
The university has assigned its CFO to analyze this recommendation and the feasibility of incorporating it into university policy. The CFO has convened the campus controllers to begin the process of reviewing existing policies. (See 2013-406, p. 292)