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NASA Ball NASA
Procedural
Requirements
NPR 9790.1
Effective Date: August 30, 2017
Expiration Date: August 30, 2022
COMPLIANCE IS MANDATORY FOR NASA EMPLOYEES
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Payment of Travel Expense from a Non-Federal Source

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer


| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | ALL |

Chapter 2. Agency Requirements

2.1 Agency Requirements for Acceptance of Payment from a Non-Federal Source

2.1.1 Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), 41 CFR § 304-2 identifies acceptable forms of payment from non-Federal sources as:

a. Direct payment in the form of a check or other monetary instrument payable to a Federal agency (not to the employee personally), including electronic fund transfer (EFT), money order, charge card).

b. In-kind payment in the form of transportation, food, lodging, or other travel-related services provided instead of monetary payments.

c. In-kind payments in the form of waiver of fees a non-Federal source would normally collect (e.g., registration fees).

2.1.2 Employees are only authorized to accept payment from a non-Federal source on behalf of NASA. As used throughout this NPR, "on behalf of NASA" means either direct payments in Section 2.1.1.a made payable to the Agency or in-kind payments listed in Section 2.1.1.b and c. They may only accept such payments when the following criteria are met:

a. NASA determines that the travel is in the Agency's interest.

b. The travel relates to the employee's official duties.

c. The travel is for attendance at a meeting or similar function.

d. NASA has issued the employee (and/or the employee's spouse, where applicable) a travel authorization approving acceptance of such payment in advance of the employee's travel.

e. The non-Federal source is not disqualified due to a conflict of interest.

2.1.3 NASA may not accept non-Federal source payments in excess of the total cost authorized for travel.

2.1.4 Cash is not an acceptable form of payment from a non-Federal source and cannot be accepted by NASA or the employee directly for payment of employee travel expenses from a non-Federal source.

2.2 Pre-Travel Authorization for Accepting Payment from a Non-Federal Source

2.2.1 Employees shall obtain advance Agency approval for travel and/or attendance at a meeting paid by a non-Federal source. This applies both to employee travel and any travel expenses the non-Federal source will cover for the employee's spouse.

2.2.2 Pre-travel authorization for acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source is contingent upon the employee completing, submitting, and receiving approval of NF 1167.

2.2.3 The following persons, or their designees, must review and concur on the NF 1167 and supporting documentation before the Agency or an employee may accept the non-Federal source payment:

a. Employee's Immediate Supervisor.

b. Official(s) in Charge (OIC) or the designated deputy OIC. The Executive Director for Headquarters operations is delegated authority to act as the OIC when the traveler is the NASA Administrator or Deputy Administrator.

c. Office of Chief Counsel for employees at their respective Centers or the Office of General Counsel for HQ employees (for travel arrangements accepted under 31 U.S.C § 1353 and 51 U.S.C. § 20113(e)).

d. Office of Human Resources and Office of Education, NASA HQ (for personnel programs and training only).

e. Office of International and Interagency Relations, NASA, HQ (for travel arrangements involving foreign travel).

f. Director, Financial Management Division (Travel Office).

2.2.4 NPD 9710.1W provides the Agency policy on which officials may authorize and approve employee travel. The approving official shall not authorize acceptance of a non-Federal payment if he/she determines that acceptance would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts relevant to the particular case to question the integrity of NASA programs or operations, and/or if acceptance would cause a real or perceived conflict of interest. In making this determination, the approving official may consider all relevant criteria, including factors set forth in section 2.4.1 below. The approving official may qualify acceptance of an offered payment, even if permissible, if the official finds it in the interest of NASA to do so, such as by authorizing attendance at only a portion of the event or limiting the type or character of benefits that may be accepted

2.2.5 Employees shall follow the same authorization process, including use of the NF 1167, for authorization of acceptance of travel expenses from a non-Federal source under the authority granted in the Space Act, 51 U.S.C. § 20113(e).

2.3 Post-Travel Authorization for Accepting Payment from a Non-Federal Source

2.3.1 NASA travel policies are aligned with the FTR, and thus the provisions stated therein authorizing acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source while an employee is in travel status are extended to NASA and its employees.

2.3.1.1 NASA employees are expected to apply the policies denoted in Section 2.1 and to make every effort to obtain authorization for acceptance of payment, in advance of travel.

2.3.2 Per FTR § 304-3.13, an employee may accept payment from a non-Federal source, on behalf of NASA, if the same source offers to cover additional travel expenses while the employee is in travel status. Under these circumstances, an employee may accept payment from the same source, on behalf of NASA, if:

a. NASA authorized acceptance of payment of some of the employee's travel expenses for the meeting from this non-Federal source prior to travel.

b. Neither the employee nor NASA knew in advance that the non-Federal source would offer to pay additional travel expenses during travel.

c. The additional expenses being paid by the non-Federal source are comparable in value to those offered to or purchased by other meeting attendees.

d. NASA did not decline to accept payment for the additional expenses prior to travel, during review of the employee's initial request to accept payment from a non-Federal source.

2.3.3 Under FTR § 304-3.13, if acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source is not authorized by NASA prior to travel, the following applies:

2.3.3.1 An employee shall accept payment on behalf of NASA only for:

a. Types of travel expenses specified on the employee's travel authorization (i.e., meals, lodging, transportation, but not recreation or other personal expenses).

b. Travel expenses incurred within the maximum allowances, as stated on the employee's travel authorization, but the employees shall request NASA's authorization to accept payments received under this section immediately following completion of travel, and in no event more than seven (7) working days after the travel ends, using the NF 1167.

2.3.3.2 If NASA does not authorize acceptance of payment from the non-Federal source, NASA shall:

a. Reimburse the non-Federal source for a reasonable approximation of the market value of the benefit provided, not to exceed maximum allowances stated on the employee's travel authorization.

b. Require that the employee reimburse the non-Federal source for the amount paid, and allow the employee to claim that amount on the employee's post-travel voucher.

2.4 Allowable Payments from a Non-Federal Source

2.4.1 NASA will only accept direct payments and in-kind payments from a non-Federal source for:

a. Travel-related expenses incurred by an employee attending a meeting or similar function (as defined in 41 CFR § 304-2.1).

b. Any portion of those expenses mutually agreed upon between NASA and the non-Federal source.

2.4.2 Employees shall request written documentation from the non-Federal source detailing the conditions under which payment will be provided. This documentation should include the following information and be maintained by the employee to support completion of post-travel vouchering and Agency reporting:

a. The NASA employee's requested role and/or reason for participation in the meeting or similar function.

b. Type of payment(s) the non-Federal source will provide.

c. What the non-Federal source will pay for (e.g., airfare, meals, lodging, transportation, for spousal travel, etc.), including whether the source is waiving any fees because the employee is speaking or presenting, and whether all speakers and presenters are being treated similarly.

d. Meeting location and duration of the event (including dates required for travel).

e. A statement about whether the non-Federal source has any contracts, grants, or agreements with NASA, and if so, that no NASA funding will be used as part of the non-Federal source's payment.

2.4.3 NASA may accept payment from multiple non-Federal sources to cover the cost of a single trip (meeting attendance and/or travel); however, the employee shall not solicit such payments and the total of such payments may not exceed the total cost of the trip.

2.4.4 NASA must authorize acceptance of payment from each non-Federal source that will contribute to costs and fees associated with employee meeting participation and/or travel.

2.4.5 Payments received cannot exceed the total amount of travel-related expenses, as specified on the employee's travel authorization.

2.4.6 If an employee is contacted directly by a non-Federal source, offering to pay all or a portion of travel expenses, the employee shall inform their immediate supervisor and start the process to determine whether or not NASA will accept the payment.

2.5 Exclusions and Prohibitions

2.5.1 Conflict of Interest. Employees are not authorized to accept payment from a non-Federal source when a conflict of interest exists and the approving official determines that acceptance of the payment under the circumstances would cause a reasonable person, with knowledge of facts relevant to a particular case, to question the integrity of Agency programs or operations.

2.5.1.1 Conflicts of interest will be evaluated by all reviewers by considering all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

a. Identity of the non-Federal source.

b. Purpose of the meeting.

c. Identity of other expected participants.

d. Nature and sensitivity of any matter pending at NASA which may affect the interest of the non-Federal source.

e. Significance of the employee's role in any such matter.

f. Monetary value and character of the benefits offered by the non-Federal source.

2.5.2 Solicitation of Payment. A NASA employee shall not solicit payment for travel, subsistence, or related expenses from a non-Federal source. Solicitation is defined in this case as entreating or petitioning the non-Federal source for payment of travel expenses.

2.5.3 Cost Avoidance. NASA shall not accept payments from a non-Federal source for the sole purpose of shifting the cost of its normal travel operations to non-Federal sources. If the employee's attendance at a meeting, or other event, is required to carry out a NASA statutory or regulatory function that is essential to the Agency's mission or the employee's official duties, NASA travel funds shall be used to pay for the associated travel expenses. "Further, where the proposed travel is low-cost, under $250 total cost to the non-Federal source, sponsored travel shall not be approved and any official travel must be performed using NASA travel funds."

2.5.4 Marketing. NASA employees shall not accept payment of travel expenses in connection with promotional vendor training or other meetings held for the primary purpose of marketing a non-Federal source's products or services.

2.5.5 Personal Expenses. Payment of travel expenses from a non-Federal source for travel unrelated to the employee's official capacity (e.g., travel for a personal vacation), or personal recreational expenses incurred while on an authorized official trip, are not permitted under this policy or the related regulations. However, if approved in accordance with this policy, employees may accept benefits that cannot typically be paid for under the travel regulations, but which are incident to the meeting, provided in kind, and made available by the meeting sponsor to all attendees, e.g., a guided tour hosted by the sponsor in connection with the meeting that is available to all participants. Any other gifts or arrangements should be reviewed and handled under the Standards of Conduct for accepting personal gifts.

2.6 Violations and Penalties

2.6.1 Any NASA employee who accepts payment from a non-Federal source in violation of this NPR or other Federal laws or regulations:

a. May be required to pay the amount accepted from the non-Federal source to the general fund of the Treasury, in addition to any other penalties provided by law and regulations.

b. Shall forgo entitlement to any reimbursement from NASA for travel expenses that a non-authorized payment was intended to cover.



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