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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

U.S. Geological Survey Instructional Memorandum

No.: IM OA 2014-08

Issuance Date:  June 6, 2014

Expiration Date:  Retain Until Superseded

Subject:  Use of Limited Open Travel Authorizations (Blanket Travel Authorizations)

Instruction:  Interim guidance for limited open travel authorizations.  Replaces IM AEI 2012-08.

1.  Purpose.  This Instructional Memorandum (IM) provides interim guidance for when a paper limited open (blanket) travel authorization can be used for temporary duty travel.  This guidance will be rescinded when the blanket travel authorization is functioning electronically in the travel system, Concur Government Edition (CGE).

2.  Scope.  This IM applies to all travelers with limited open travel authorizations. 

3.  Approval Authority.  The approval authority for limited open travel authorizations is delegated to Office Chiefs reporting to the Director/Deputy Director and Managers and Supervisors who report directly to a Senior Executive Service Manager.

4.  Policy.  Limited open travel authorizations, otherwise known as “blanket travel authorizations,” are authorizations that allow employees to conduct multiple trips without obtaining trip-specific approval.  Paper blanket travel authorizations are only to be used for recurring trips to the same geographical area for a specific purpose such as field work and site visits where there are NO airfare reservations and NO lodging or lodging cannot be booked  in CGE (e.g., it is unknown until the day of travel where the employee will need to lodge).  Blanket travel authorizations must include the time period, not to exceed the current fiscal year, and the anticipated costs.

A blanket travel authorization is not allowed for the following activities:

** Except as authorized by the Cooperative Units Act of 1960, Public Law 86-686 as amended by the Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978, Public Law 95-616.

Any travel with reduced per diem rates (e.g., camp rates) must be clearly identified on the blanket travel authorization to ensure that the employee is aware of the allowable amounts for meals and incidentals.

5.  Procedures.  Form DI-1020, located in SharePoint, shall be used for preparing blanket travel authorizations.  With appropriate signatures, a paper blanket travel authorization provides the authority for an employee to travel.  However, as soon as possible, the traveler or travel arranger must establish an electronic travel authorization in CGE for each trip.  The electronic travel authorization must route to the appropriate approving official for electronic approval in order for the trip to be vouchered.  The blanket travel authorization must be attached to the voucher in CGE.

/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                                        June 6, 2014
__________________________________________                        ______________________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                                           Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Human Capital

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