Travel Update 17-05
|TO:||Agency Travel Coordinators|
|FROM:||Michael Hoffman, Chairman|
|DATE:||March 16, 2017|
|SUBJECT:||Lodging in Springfield, Illinois|
Current policy dictates that State agencies may process requests for excessive lodging charges without approval from the Governor’s Travel Control Board provided the request is in compliance with the travel rules. A request is considered in compliance if:
- In the Cities of Chicago and Springfield, a minimum of five (5) Preferred hotels were contacted (i.e., hotels appearing in the latest Travel Guide for State Employees or subsequent Travel Updates).
- In all other areas within the State of Illinois -- a minimum of three (3) Preferred hotels were contacted.
- In all out-of-state locations, a minimum of three (3) properties were contacted.
For areas with less than three (3) hotels on the Preferred Hotel Listing, a minimum of three (3) budget to mid-price hotels must have been contacted (where available). Upscale or deluxe properties would not count as contacted properties unless they appear on the Preferred Hotel Listing. Lodging is only allowed at non-Preferred hotels if the rate offered is lower than the rates of Preferred hotels in that particular area.
If the request is determined to be in compliance, agencies may process the claim provided:
- A note is placed in the “Comments” field on the travel voucher to reflect agency approval of the excessive lodging amount.
- Agencies maintain documentation of the justification for all excessive lodging approvals.
Although this policy provides criteria for agencies and employees to process vouchers containing excessive lodging charges, it is still imperative that employees make a diligent effort to locate lodging within the current maximum allowable rate ($70.00 plus tax). If this “state rate” cannot be found, the lowest available rate may be accepted. The purpose of this Travel Update is to announce a change to the excessive lodging charge policy in the City of Springfield.
Change in Policy
Effective for lodging charges incurred on April 1, 2017 going forward, if the “state rate” ($70.00 plus tax) cannot be obtained for required lodging in Springfield, approval must be obtained from the Governor’s Travel Control Board prior to processing the travel voucher containing the excessive charge. The request must be submitted in writing and include:
- name of the employee(s)
- date(s) lodging was required
- names of at least five (5) Preferred hotels contacted
- rates offered by each contacted property
- reason hotel was selected
All requests for excessive lodging in Springfield must be personally signed by the Agency Head (not a designee or other authorized individual).
This policy change will remain in effect until further notice and only applies to lodging needs in the City of Springfield. The excessive lodging charge policy noted at the beginning of this Update remains in effect for all other locations.
If you have questions, please contact Kelley Wells, State Travel Coordinator, at (217) 782-4705 or by e-mail at Kelley.Wells@illinois.gov.