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Revised travel polices approved for Dare

Dare County commissioners unanimously adopted changes to the county’s travel policy. The changes are immediately effective.

The Sept. 21, 2020, agenda books states that the existing travel policy was last updated in 2014. The recommended changes come from the county’s finance staff and research from other travel polices.

Changes were forwarded to the commissioners after approval by the finance director, human resources director and the county manager.

As detailed in the board’s agenda book, significant changes by policy section are:

2.2.3 Clarifies the point of departure for a mileage claim and that the policy applies to all appointed boards and committees.

2.2.3 Creates consistency among boards and committees by eliminating paid travel from home to a board or committee meeting as of Jan. 1, 2021. Of the 27 county-administered boards and committees listed on the website, this eliminates the payment for the Planning Board and the Game and Wildlife Commission.

3.1.1.a The county pays for non‐refundable coach class airfare. Any upgrades must be paid by the traveler.

3.1.1.c A different class of fare could be approved under extraordinary circumstances.

3.1.1.d The number of checked bags that the county pays for depends upon the length of the trip. The change says that one bag is permitted for overnights of three or less and two bags for three or more nights. The county pays for additional costs for transporting county-owned equipment and supplies.

3.1.1.e The county pays for the costs of cancellations if canceled for the convenience of the county or under circumstances beyond the control of the employee.

3.1.1.f The cost of an additional night of travel is allowed if it results in a lower total cost of the trip.

3.1.1.g The traveler may keep the compensation for a voluntary “bump” of an airline flight. If the “bump” results in additional costs, the traveler must pay those costs. If the “bump” results in a duty hour delay, the employee must take annual leave.

3.2.5 Tolls are reimbursable and driving a county vehicle through an electronic (picture) toll system is allowed.

4.1.1 If lodging rates are determined to be unreasonable in the circumstances, the reimbursement will be at the area GSA rate.

4.2.4 No reimbursement will be made for breakfast provided by a hotel unless there are dietary restrictions which require breakfast elsewhere.

Additional changes include scheduling pool vehicles with human resources, not public works.

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