Effective Date: March 29, 2019
Expiration Date: March 24, 2024
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4.1.1 The use of travel cards is mandatory for all official travel expenses, except for narrow exceptions. If a prospective traveler does not currently have a travel card, the application should be completed prior to travel commencing and preferably as soon as it is apparent that travel will take place.
4.1.2 Travel cardholders may use the travel card to pay for incidental non-reimbursable expenses where it is impractical to separate the cost from an allowable official travel expense (e.g., an in-room movie rental charge included on a hotel receipt, an alcoholic beverage with a meal, an employee group setting where the establishment will not accept separate checks, etc.). The travel cardholder shall deduct such non-reimbursable expenses from the total cost of the requested reimbursement when preparing the travel voucher.
4.1.3 Employees in an official extended TDY status, shall use the official travel card to cover all official expenses, such as long-term lodging, meals, incidentals, etc., unless a particular use is exempted.
Employees in an official TCS and PCS status shall use the travel card to charge for their and immediate family members' travel expenses, as approved on the employee's relocation travel authorization.
4.3.1 Because almost all travelers will now have a travel card, any cash advances and ATM charges for using the travel card to obtain these advances shall be limited to those exceptions under the FTR at 41 CFR § 301-51.2. For example, under the FTR, use of cash advances or other means of payment are permissible at foreign locations where use of the charge card is not accepted, or "impractical" or an unreasonable fee will be charged. However, a use is not considered "impractical" because one or more vendors only accept cash if reasonable alternative vendors are available, nor is a minor surcharge (2 percent or less) for use of a travel card in addition to a cash price considered an unreasonable fee by itself justifying a cash advance.
4.3.2 Any cash advance will be accompanied by a brief justification on the travel orders describing both the reason the cash advance is needed and the item(s) paid for by cash. This should be included in the travel authorization including the amount anticipated as reasonably necessary, but when not on the travel authorization the justification shall be included on the voucher.
4.3.3 Aside from cash advances obtained using the travel card under 4.3.1 above, no other form of cash advance shall be authorized except: (a) where a Center Deputy Chief Financial Officer grants a temporary exemption because the traveler's card has been suspended or charged off and the travel card will not be immediately reinstated (the exemption to be reviewed annually to ensure all necessary steps to correct the problem have been taken); or (b) where a waiver has been granted pursuant to sec. 2.2.3 above including a request and approval for cash advance.
NASA employees identified as part of the NASA, Continuity of Operations Policy (COOP) or Emergency Responders shall be authorized use of their travel card for all official travel-related expenses during an emergency situation and for COOP exercises without prior notice, to the extent such travel is mission critical.
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