Employee Travel Policy Reform Earns Governor's Innovator Award

Jul 12, 2012, 12:45 ET from Pennsylvania Office of Administration

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today presented Innovator Awards to employees from the Office of Administration, Office of the Budget and Department of General Services for their successful efforts to reduce costs for employee travel.  The employees, John Clark, OA; Steve Weidner, DGS; and Steve Burns, OB, received the awards during a ceremony at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. 

"By making commonsense changes to the way we reimburse employees and establishing policies to encourage cost effective vehicle travel, we are reducing travel costs by an estimated $2 million annually," said Governor Corbett. 

The new rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. Highlights include increased accountability in the reimbursement of expenses and new guidelines for vehicle travel. 

Employees must provide a receipt or other documentation for every item on their travel expense reports. Previously, employees could claim expenses for food, up to a specified dollar amount, without providing receipts. Most employees can scan and attach their receipts directly to their travel expense reports and route them electronically for approval.

In addition, employees traveling by vehicle must choose the most cost-effective option: fleet vehicle, rental or personal vehicle. Employees who use a personal vehicle when it is not the least expensive option are reimbursed at a significantly lower rate compared to the old policy. 

The Commonwealth Office of Travel Operations was transferred from the Office of the Administration to the Office of the Budget, which also oversees the review and approval of employee travel expenses.

During the first quarter of 2012, the new policy resulted in a $500,000 reduction in travel expenses compared to the same period in 2011.

The awards are administered by the Governor's Innovation Office, which works with state agencies to improve efficiency and productivity in state government operations. 

To learn more about travel operations, visit www.travel.state.pa.us.

To learn more about other innovations in state government and to suggest your own ideas, visit www.innovation.pa.gov

Media contact: Dan Egan, Office of Administration, 717-772-4237

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Administration