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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

335.4 - Employee Claims for Reimbursement of Official Business Expenditures


OPR: :  Office of Administrative Policy and Services, Office of Accounting and Financial Management

Instructions This chapter is being revised to clarify the types of business expenditures that a USGS employee can claim for reimbursement.  For purposes of this chapter, employee includes volunteers.  (See SM 500.23, Acceptance of Volunteer Service.)  In addition, the reference to Travel Manager, in terms of preparing the SF-1164, and the $500 limitation for employee claims for official expenditures were removed.

1.  Purpose and Scope.  This chapter provides policy and procedures for the reimbursement of USGS employees for authorized expenditures made in and around the official duty station (50-mile radius).  A signed SF-1164, Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business, is used to claim reimbursement. 

2.  Policy.

A.  Authorized Uses.  USGS employees may be reimbursed for the following cash expenditures:

(1)  Mileage reimbursement, tolls, and parking fees for use of privately owned vehicle for official business.  Mileage reimbursement is for local travel only and is based on the mileage from the duty station to the place of official business and return.  An employee must deduct the normal daily commute if departing from or returning to their residence.  This deduction should be clearly notated on the SF-1164.

(2)  Taxicab, bus, subway, and streetcar fares.

(3)  Registration fees for attendance at meetings within the local area - receipt required.  Note: For payments using the Government charge card, “purchase business line” is the preferred method of payment for registration fees.

(4)  Training and tuition - receipt and training form required.  The training form must be signed by the approving official and the SF-1164 should be annotated that no other payment mechanism was accepted by the vendor.

(5)  "Postage due" on official mail – receipt required.

(6)  Official calls in the local area.  Employees are expected to use Government telephones or Federal Calling Cards for official calls in the local area. The Department of the Interior telecommunications policy states:

“Employees should not expect reimbursement when using personal wireless services for Government business without prior approval of managers and supervisors.  If an employee has a recurring need for wireless services and if cost-benefit reviews support the requirement, the office should consider acquiring Government-owned wireless technologies that can be checked out or assigned to employees on an as-needed basis.”

Any official call being claimed on the SF-1164 must be supported by documentation with official charges clearly highlighted.  Only the cost of the service differentiated, and itemized as an additional cost actually incurred by the employee, may be claimed for reimbursement.

(7)  Professional liability insurance, the lessor of 50 percent of the cost or $150.00 per year.

B.  Prohibited Uses.  SF-1164 shall not be used to claim reimbursement for the following:

(1)  Any official Government purchase, such as supplies or equipment, made by an employee who has not been designated with purchase authority.  Any micro purchase made in the local area should be charged to the Government charge card by an employee with purchase authority only.

(2)  Personal services of temporary, seasonal, laborer, or contractor personnel.

(3)  Purchase of controlled property or equipment.

(4)  Utility bills.

3.  Procedures.  The following are procedures for the preparation and submission of a claim for reimbursement:

A.  The SF-1164 can be prepared by using the Lotus Electronic Forms package at:  The SF-164 form should clearly state the purpose of the claim, provide dates, and be signed and dated by the claimant and the first line supervisor, supported by any required receipts.  The SF-1164 should be presented to an official with Remote Data Entry (RDE) capability for payment as an 8V document.  If the office does not have an official with RDE capability, the SF-1164 can be forwarded to the Office of Accounting and Financial Management for processing.

B.  Since it is costly to process claims for small amounts, a SF-1164 will not be submitted ordinarily until the cumulative amount exceeds $10.00.  A receipt is required for all expenditures over $75.

C.  Claims for reimbursement of miscellaneous expenditures made in and around the official duty station should not be made on travel vouchers.

D.  All payments will be made by Electronic Funds Transfer based on the employee’s banking information recorded in the Federal Financial System.


(signed  Kelly Bradley) for Karen Baker                                                  5/12/09

___________________________________________                      _________________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                    Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services

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Last modification: 08-Jan-2013@15:28