Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations


Table of contents

All official travel must be authorized and approved with a valid travel authorization (TA) using FDA’s online travel management program GovTrip. Emergency travel can be approved and the travel order prepared and authorized after the fact. "After the fact" TAs should be utilized on a very limited basis.

The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) contained in 41 CFR 301, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 2012 Travel Manual, the FDA supplements to the DHHS 2012 Travel Manual and the Collective Bargaining Agreement govern official travel. Article 42 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is intended to be read in conjunction with the FTR and the HHS Travel Manual. If there is a conflict between the HHS Travel Manual and Article 42, Article 42 governs. Become familiar with these documents. All material contained in the Investigations Operations Manual (IOM) must be used in conjunction with, and subject to, federal travel regulations. Additional travel information can be obtained from the Office of Financial Management (OFM) Intranet home page.

For foreign travel, be aware that there are differences in reporting requirements and reimbursable expenses. See the Guide to International Inspections and Travel, Chapter 2, Subchapter 215.2 – Reimbursable Expenses, for specifics.

Federal employees must put most official travel-related charges on government-issued credit cards, with exceptions only for expenses that are either relatively minor or inconvenient for credit card usage such as parking, local transportation, tips, phone calls, and certain expenses for which credit cards are not accepted.

The FDA uses an Electronic Government Travel Services (ETS) as the Government Travel Service. The ETS is the Government-contracted, end-to-end travel management service that automates and consolidates the Federal travel process in a self-service Web-centric environment, covering all aspects of official travel, including travel planning, authorization, hotel and rental car reservations, ticketing, expense reimbursement, creating authorizations and vouchers (including local travel vouchers) and travel management reporting. Highlighted to denote updated text In addition, the Electronic Government Travel Services (ETS) Highlighted to denote updated text will interface with the Unified Financial Management System (UFMS) for obligation and payment of travel vouchers. Payments will include direct payment to J. P. Morgan Chase for expenses charged to the individual's official government travel credit card. The system incorporates Federal Government travel policies which include the city pair airfare contract program and Federal Travel Regulations and is structured to require justification if you want to deviate from General Services Administration's (GSA) regulations. A policy has been established with the FDA so that your government-issued credit card will be your primary method of billing and payment when you book flights, make hotel reservations, or reserve a rental car. Additional information can be obtained by contacting your Administrative Staff or visiting OFM's website.


Request round-trip tickets when it can be expected you will use them. You should cancel reserved tickets through Omega if you will not be using them. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary charges and could result in traveler being responsible for payment.

Requirements which authorize you to use cash payments for procurement of common carrier transportation and related expenses, in lieu of your government-issued credit card, or centrally billed account, are specified in 41 CFR 301-72.200 and 301-51.100. Cash payments are generally permitted:

  1. To obtain passenger transportation services, in an emergency, for any amount when authorized by your District Director (DD) and documented on your TA. Otherwise, cash and personal credit cards may not be used for transportation expenses exceeding $100.00.
  2. To pay air excess baggage charges up to $15.00 for each leg of a trip.

When cash is used, claim a reimbursement on your travel voucher and submit your ticket stubs or other appropriate receipts. You must also explain the circumstances for using cash on your travel voucher. See IOM 1.2.7 for mandatory statements required on a travel voucher. - Air

It is FDA's policy that you must always use a contract city-pair fare for scheduled air passenger transportation service, (an Internet list of city-pairs is available at, unless one or more of the following conditions exist(s):

  1. Space or a scheduled contract flight is not available in time to accomplish the purpose of your travel, or use of contract service would require you to incur unnecessary overnight lodging costs which would increase the total cost of the trip; or
  2. The contractor's flight schedule is inconsistent with explicit policies of your Federal department or agency with regard to scheduling travel during normal working hours; or
  3. A non-contract carrier offers a lower fare available to the general public, the use of which will result in a lower total trip cost to the Government, to include the combined costs of transportation, lodging, meals, and related expenses.

    Note: This exception does not apply if the contract carrier offers a comparable fare and has seats available at that fare, or if the lower fare offered by a non-contract carrier is restricted to Government and military travelers on official business and may only be purchased with a GTR, contractor-issued charge card, or centrally billed account (e.g., YDG, MDG, ODG, VDG, and similar fares); or

    Note: the non-contract fare ticket must provide at least a 40 percent savings from the total cost of the contract fare.

  4. Rail service is available and such service is cost effective and consistent with mission requirements; or
  5. Smoking is permitted on the contract flight and the nonsmoking section of the aircraft for the contract flight is not acceptable to you.

Any additional costs or penalties incurred by you resulting from unauthorized use of non-contract service are borne by you. If the non-contract fare is non-refundable, restricted or has specific eligibility requirements, you must know or reasonably anticipate, based on your planned trip, that you will use the ticket and your Agency must determine that the proposed non-contract transportation is practical and cost effective for the Government

Clear justifications are required and must be provided in the "Trip Details" section of your TA on why a Contract Carrier is not selected and must be approved on the travel authorization.

Refer to Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 301-10.107 and 301-10.108 for additional information.

Other that Coach Class Travel accommodations must be requested by the traveler's office via memorandum to and approved by the Director, Office of Financial Management.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, Section 1116 specifically states that federal employees may retain for personal use promotion items, including frequent flyer miles, earned on official travel. Normally it is the policy of the Government that employees generally must travel by coach class accommodations. However, you may upgrade your transportation class to premium service e.g. business class/first-class with your personal funds or your frequent flyer miles based on regulations found in FTR 301-10.123 and 301-10.124.

Accommodations other than coach will be approved in accordance with the FTR and the NTEU-MOU for foreign inspections.

Consistent with FTR 301-12.2, you may be reimbursed expenses related to baggage, but you should be prudent and only request reimbursement for reasonable excess baggage authorized and approved in advance on the travel authorization.

Please see the FTR on the GSA website for additional information. - Auto Rental

GSA and the Department of Defense (DOD) both provide employees with a nationwide commercial auto rental program. The Federal Travel Directory contains a list of vehicle leasing companies participating in this program. Agency policy dictates leasing the least expensive auto to satisfy the transportation requirements.

Commercial auto rental is available when specifically authorized and approved by your approving official on your travel authorization. Your agency must select the method most advantageous to the Government, when cost and other factors are considered. Under 5 U.S.C. 5733, travel must be by the most expeditious means of transportation practicable and commensurate with the nature and purpose of your duties.

In addition, your agency must consider energy conservation, total cost to the Government (including costs of per diem, overtime, lost work time, and actual transportation costs), total distance traveled, number of points visited, and number of travelers". If a rental vehicle is determined to be the most advantageous mode for travel, there must be specific written authorization or prior approval to obtain this service. See your Administrative Officer for additional information and necessary form to be uploaded into ETS.

Optional Collision Damage Insurance known as CDW will not be reimbursed for domestic travel. Participating rental companies have agreed to settle any claim for damages with the FDA. It is important to note that only damages incident to official travel will be covered by this agreement. If an investigation shows your vehicle damage or personal injury was the result of your unauthorized use of a rental vehicle, you may be personally liable for all related costs. See IOM - Liability.

CDW is required for foreign travel and will be reimbursed. See the Guide to International Inspections and Travel, 211.7 - Auto Rental.

The government will not pay or reimburse you for Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) for domestic or foreign travel. Travelers are covered while on official business by workmen’s compensation insurance. See IOM

Travelers are required to adhere to the same rules and regulations covering government owned vehicles when using a rental car while on official business. - Taxi

Reimbursements for the use of taxicabs will only be allowed when authorized on your TA. Allowable tips are 15% of the reimbursable fare. Receipts are required for fares over $75.00.

You will be reimbursed for the usual cab and/or airport limousine fares plus tip from your home/office to the common carrier terminal on the day you depart on an official overnight trip, and upon your return. In lieu of cab, you may use your personal car at a mileage rate not to exceed the cab fare plus tip. See your administrative personnel for current mileage rates, the maximum allowable taxicab fares, and other pertinent details. - Gainsharing

The Government Employees Incentive Awards Act, 5 USC Paragraphs 4501-4507, authorizes an agency to pay a cash award for "efficiency" or "economy". FDA in conjunction with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) implemented a Gainsharing Travel Savings Program which rewards you if you save the FDA money while you are on temporary travel (TDY). Your participation is optional. The Agency's gainsharing policy, filing instructions and frequently asked Questions/Answers for gainsharing claims can be found by accessing OFM's website.


Government owned or commercially leased/rented vehicles may not be used for other than official business. Official business shall be interpreted strictly and shall not be construed to encompass the mingling of official business with non-official business. Official business is defined as those activities conducted during duty hours, which are considered an official part of the employee's assigned duties. Non-official business for which the use of Government owned or commercially leased/rented vehicles is illegal includes, but is not limited to such activities as:

  • Attending to personal business
  • Attendance at luncheons or other social engagements
  • Pleasure trips; etc.

The distance involved in any such misuse is irrelevant.

You are responsible at all times for the proper care, operation, maintenance and protection of a GOV. Any employee of the Federal Government who willfully uses or authorizes the use of any Government-owned or commercially leased/rented vehicle for other than official purposes shall be suspended from duty by the office concerned, without compensation for not less than 30 days and shall be suspended for a longer period or summarily removed from office if circumstances warrant.

Operators of Government-owned and commercially leased vehicles shall become familiar with and obey all motor vehicle traffic laws of the State and local jurisdictions in which they operate. Fines imposed on a Government employee for an offense committed by him or her while in the performance of, but not as a part of the employee's official duties are imposed on the employee personally and payment thereof is his or her personal responsibility. This includes fines for parking violations, moving violations while operating a Government-owned/leased rented vehicle.

In accordance with EO 13513, "No Texting While Driving", Federal employees shall not engage in text messaging (a) when driving GOV, or when driving POV while on official Government business, or (b) when using electronic equipment supplied by the Government. FDA's, Daily Record of Government Vehicle, form, FDA-3369 is a required form which must be completed by each driver of a government-owned Commercially leased/rented vehicle. The form also bears acknowledgement of the ruling contained in the Executive Order. See: Executive Order 13513,

The use of tobacco products is prohibited in Government-owned or commercially leased/rented vehicles. If this regulation is violated, an employee may be charged for the cost of cleaning the affected vehicle(s) beyond normal detailing procedures to remove tobacco odor or residue or repairing damage cased as a result of tobacco use.

FDA prohibits the use of hand-held phones while operating a government-owned, commercially leased/rented vehicle. Hands free devices such as Bluetooth devices are permitted unless otherwise stated in each states law.

The use of safety belts is mandatory for the operator and passengers in Government-owned or commercially leased/rented vehicles. It is the vehicle operator's responsibility to ensure all occupants are wearing their safety belts.

Parking Privately Owned Vehicles, (POV) in government reserved parking spaces is strictly intended for Government vehicles only. Staff Manual Guide 2560.2 the section on Parking, Section 8 line (J) informs all employees that all posted parking signs must be obeyed. Therefore, parking any vehicle in a government space is prohibited.

For additional information regarding Federal Fleet Management, please visit: - Interagency Motor Pool

GOVs for District operations are furnished by the regional GSA motor pool. Be guided by the district operating procedures in effect for the appropriate regional pool.

Vehicle Operation - You are required to have a valid state, District of Columbia, or commonwealth operator's permit for the type vehicle to be operated, and a valid DHHS identification document (i.e., Agency ID card, credentials, building pass, etc.).

Each District has working arrangements for the repair and maintenance of vehicles, either with GSA contractors or the GSA motor pool. It is your responsibility to adhere to those safety and maintenance checks. Do not operate cars known to be mechanically unsafe. Handle emergency repairs in travel status in accordance with your District and GSA motor pool procedures.

Purchase gas and oil for your GOV with GSA Credit Cards. Make emergency purchases with cash only when the GSA Credit Card is refused. Your receipts are required by the GSA motor pool. Provide for the safe and proper overnight storage of GOVs while you are in travel status, and put the charges on your travel voucher. Please note the dollar limit for maintenance purchases without prior GSA approval is $100 except when purchasing tires, batteries or glass repair/replacement, GSA must be contacted first regardless of amount. Please consult your local Fleet Manager and supervisor for specific instructions and guidance.

You are responsible for all traffic violations, including parking fines, you incur during the use and operation of a GOV. See Staff Manual Guide 2173.1 Section 5.F.

While on official business, you may be reimbursed for parking fees or overnight storage charges. Put these charges on your travel voucher. Receipts are required when available.

Bridge, ferry and road tolls may be paid in cash. Put these charges on your travel voucher. Receipts are only required for amounts over $75.00. - Accidents

Immediate Action - Render first aid. If you are injured, obtain emergency treatment. Contact police. - INFORMATION TO BE OBTAINED

Information to be obtained:

  1. Description of vehicles involved, including license numbers
  2. Name, address and other pertinent information about drivers and owners of other vehicles; exchange state driver license information if possible
  3. Names, addresses and signed statements of witnesses
  4. Names, official affiliation of investigating police officers
  5. Photographs of the scene and the damage
  6. Make no statements as to responsibility for the accident, except to your supervisor or investigating official. - REPORTING

Report the accident to the police after rendering emergency first aid to the injured. Telephone your supervisor and the chief of the motor pool from which the vehicle is assigned, unless your supervisor advises you the district will handle it. Report the accident to the GSA Accident Management Control Center, Call (866) 400-0411, and select option 2.

  1. Complete the following forms and submit as required:
    1. "Motor Vehicle Accident Report" (SF-91) (A blank copy of these form should be kept in the glove compartment.)
    2. Copy of a traffic regulations or ordinance which was violated
    3. Results of any trial or disposition of summons if any arrests were made or charges preferred.
    4. "Claim for Damage, Injury or Death" (SF-95) or other written notification of an incident accompanied by a claim. (SF-95 or statement constituting a claim must be date-stamped by the office initially receiving the claim to document the exact date the claim was received.) To be completed by claimant/non-government employee.
    5. Investigation Reports and Policy Reports
    6. Statement of Witness (SF-94)
    7. Itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or two itemized written estimates of cost of repairs
    8. Statement listing date of purchase, purchase price and salvage value where repair is not economical
    9. Photographs of damage and/or scene of accident if available
  2. File reports to comply with all local and state laws dealing with accident reporting. Keep copies of all reports made and attach them to the federal accident report.
  3. Check with your personal insurance carrier for their requirements.
  4. Immediately submit to your supervisor any notice, summons, legal paper or claim, which may subsequently arise from the accident.
  5. Check with your supervisor or administrative staff to determine if additional reports or information are needed. - Liability

The Federal Drivers Act (28 U.S.C. 2679(a)-(e)) was enacted to protect government drivers from personal liability while driving within the scope of their employment. This means you must be on official business to be covered. It relieves you from the burden of acquiring private automobile liability insurance for driving while on the job.

The government's exclusive liability provided by this Act is predicated on its status as employer, without regard to whether the vehicle involved is government owned or privately owned.

The Military Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claim Act of 1964 allows for claims against FDA by employees, provided the loss or damage was within the scope of their employment and the employee (claimant) is free of negligence regarding those losses (See IOM The Federal Tort Claims Act provides for claims generally coming from outside the Agency where the activities of the Agency or specific individual employees are negligent and cause death, injuries, or property loss or damage (See IOM

Claims should be submitted through your Administrative Office electronically to the "FDA Motor Vehicle Claims" via the Outlook mailbox or through regular mail to the FDA Fleet Manager, Logistics and Transportation Management Branch, 10993 New Hampshire Ave., White Oak Bldg. 1, Room 1312, Silver Spring, Md. 20993. The claim will be reviewed and forwarded to the Office of the General Highlighted to denote updated text Counsel for processing. - MILITARY PERSONNEL AND CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES' CLAIM ACT OF 1964

Documentation and information is to be submitted as follows for military personnel and civilian employees' claims under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claim Act of 1964.

Claims Involving Household Moves:

  1. "Employee Claim for Loss or Damage to Personal Property" (HHS-481)
  2. Schedule of Property
  3. Household Inventory showing items claims
  4. Other documents that may provide evidence of damage or loss
  5. Proof of Ownership
  6. Cost of Repair (if damage is over $50.00 submit receipt of cost of repair or estimate of cost on company letterhead)
  7. Photographs if available
  8. Copies of private claims if applicable (claims must be filed seeking recovery from carrier before FDA claim can be filed.)
  9. Personnel Order or Travel Authorization

Claims Involving Property Loss or Damage:

  1. "Employee Claim for Loss or Damage to Personal Property" (HHS-481)
  2. Schedule of Property
  3. Proof of Ownership
  4. Cost of Repair (if damage is over $50.00 submit a receipt for the cost of repair or estimate of cost on company letterhead)
  5. Photographs if available
  6. Copies of private claims if applicable
  7. Police report and/or other agency report and witness statements if appropriate

Motor Vehicle Accidents - See IOM - TORT CLAIMS

Tort Claims can be filed by any individual who states that they have suffered personal injury or property damage or loss resulting from the action of an FDA employee or Commissioned Officer who was acting within the scope of employment.

Property Damage or Personal Injury

  1. "Claim for Damage, Injury or Death" (SF-95) or other written notification of an incident accompanied by a claim. (SF-95 or statement constituting a claim must be date-stamped by the office initially receiving the claim to document the exact date the claim was received.)
  2. Investigation Reports and Policy Reports
  3. Statement of Witness (SF-94)
  4. Itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or two itemized written estimates of cost of repairs
  5. Statement listing date of purchase, purchase price and salvage value where repair is not economical
  6. Photographs of damage and/or scene of accident if available - REFERENCES

FDA Staff Manual Guide 2260.1

Staff Manual Guide 2173.1 Section 5.F.Highlighted to denote updated text

Military Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claims Act of 1964 Directive 495.1 - Claims Under The Military Personnel And Federal Tort Claims Act - Use of a GOV between Your Residence and Place of Employment

Unless approved by the Secretary, DHHS, employees are not authorized the use of a Government-owned or commercially leased/rented vehicle between residence and place of employment. See Staff Manual Guide 2173.1

No employee shall use a government vehicle for transportation between their home and place of employment without the expressed written approval of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Requests for Home-To-Work Authority must be submitted in writing by the Office Director/Center Director/ORA Headquarters to the FDA Fleet Manager.

Vehicles assigned to or purchased or leased by FDA are intended for official business as authorized by FMR 102-34.220. FDA motor vehicles are not provided for the convenience of FDA employees. Government vehicles should only be used when it is: (1) the least costly method of transportation available (considering the value of employee time and actual transportation costs) or (2) when no other practical method of transportation is available considering the mission to be performed; the location; and any equipment needed to be transported to support the mission.

The Daily Log of Government Vehicle (Form FDA-3369) must be maintained by all approved persons using a GOV, assuring that all items indicated on the form are completed for each trip. The DHHS now requires that each person taking a GOV home, in order to perform Field work, must indicate in Column 10 on the FDA-3369, the location of their residence.

The Daily Log must be kept for at least period of three years and must be available for audit purposes. - Care & Custody of U.S. Vehicles

GSA has issued instructions on the use and protection of U.S. Government vehicles, Government National Credit Cards, and car keys. The parts of these instructions applicable to you while the car is in your custody are:

  1. The car should be locked when parked in public areas, in private lots, or in open government parking areas.
  2. The operator is responsible for the keys and the credit card. They should be returned to the Administrative Officer/Program Fleet Manager and secured in a locked environment daily/nightly.
  3. The keys and credit card are returned to the motor pool office when the vehicle is returned. These items should be kept in a safe place at the office if the vehicle is stored at other than a motor pool location.
  4. The credit card must be removed when a vehicle is left at a garage or service station and the keys remain with the garage or station attendant.
  5. The credit card may only be used to purchase fuel and lubricants or other items listed on the back of the card for the vehicle identified, and not used for other vehicles.
  6. Before signing a service ticket, check for accuracy. Be sure the imprinted address is legible, and write the vehicle mileage (odometer reading) on the ticket and submit a copy or original to the Administrative Officer/Program Fleet Manager for monthly reporting requirements in the Motor Vehicle Management and Information System, (MVMIS).

The use of tobacco products is prohibited in government-owned or commercial, leased vehicles.


On official business, you may use your POV instead of a GOV, if authorized. However, reimbursement for mileage will not exceed the cost of using a GOV. You should carry a set of government accident reporting forms whenever you use your POV for official business. See IOM for accident reporting requirements.

In general, the mileage allowance is in lieu of all expenses of operating your POV, except tolls. Unless otherwise authorized, reimbursement is limited to the cost of travel by common carrier. Standard highway guide mileage may be used in lieu of odometer readings for direct travel from one town to another. Explain any extra mileage on your travel voucher.

According to HHS Logistics Management Manual, HHS employees and contractors may use their privately owned vehicles (POV) for official purposes when it is considered to be advantageous to HHS. Employees and contractors authorized to use POVs for official duties are entitled to reimbursement, per miles driven, based on GSA's annual rates.

Please Note - HHS employees and contractors who use POVs should inform their insurance companies that their vehicles are being used for official purposes. An HHS employee or contractor assumes full financial liability when using a POV for official purposes. - Accidents

The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (Workmen’s Compensation) protects employees against losses due to personal injuries received while operating POVs on official business.

Under the Federal Driver’s Act [28 U.S.C. 2679(a)-(e)], you are immune from any civil liability to other parties for property damage, personal injury, or death resulting from operation of a vehicle within the scope of your employment. This immunity applies whether the vehicle involved is a GOV or POV. The government would defend any such claim or suit, and would pay any damage award to the injured party.

If an accident was caused by your negligent operation of a vehicle, and your vehicle is damaged, the cost of repairing your vehicle will not be paid for by the government. You should look to your own private insurance carrier for reimbursement, payable under the terms of your own automobile insurance policy. You are protected from liability by the Federal Drivers Act. See IOM for further information on this.

If the accident is determined not to have been caused by your negligence, the provisions of the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 240-243) would be applicable. Under this Act, you would be reimbursed for the deductible portion of the repair not covered by your own automobile insurance policy, up to a maximum of $250.00 deductible. (You may also collect from the other party's insurance.) Form DHHS-481, Employee Claim for Loss or Damage to Personal Property, should be obtained from, completed, and submitted electronically to the "FDA Motor Vehicle Claims" Outlook mailbox or through regular mail to the FDA Fleet Manager, Logistics and Transportation Management, 10993 New Hampshire Ave., White Oak Bldg. 1, Room 1312, Silver Spring, Md. 20993 with evidence establishing that the use of a POV was authorized for official purposes and that the accident was not caused by your negligence.

Employee Liability - see IOM

Reporting - Report vehicle accidents as instructed in IOM


Subsistence is the cost of lodging, meals, tips, and the miscellaneous expenses you incur while in travel status. Per Diem is based on the actual cost of lodging, plus a set amount for "Meals and Incidental Expenses" (M&IE), not to exceed the maximum rate for the prescribed city or area.

The FTR requires traveling employees to exercise care in incurring expenses which includes claiming a federal exemption from payment of state and/or local taxes on lodging whenever this option is available. Not all states and localities offer tax exemption, and some locations do not specify a particular form. Please view GSA’s tax exempt state forms at to determine whether or not you can take advantage of the tax exemption.

For domestic travel if the hotel does not accept the tax exempt form, report lodging taxes separate from lodging expenses and claim them on your travel voucher. Foreign travel taxes still remain a part of your lodging expenses.

Lodging expenses should be paid using your government-issued credit card, when possible with direct payment to your government issued credit card (split disbursement) indicated on your travel voucher. It is your responsibility to pay the bill on time. The FDA will reimburse late charges on your bill only when you can show the late payment was due to late reimbursement of funds by the FDA.

Accurately record all of your expenditures. Document the date of your departure from each point where your duty is performed. Be guided by your District’s policy for where to record this information, e.g. in an administrative diary, etc.

Your regulatory notes (See IOM 2.1) should not contain notes of a purely administrative nature (documentation of travel, expenses [tolls, sample costs, etc.], fiscal data, mileage, etc.) These administrative notes can be documented in a separate section of the same bound notebook where your regulatory notes are kept or in a separate administrative diary. They do not need to be kept in a permanent record other than the completed Travel Voucher, Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business, Receipt for Samples, etc. Follow your district’s requirements for maintaining this information. - Per Diem Rates

Per Diem commences when you depart your home, office, or other point of departure, and terminates when you return to your home, office, or other point. This applies whether you are traveling by auto or by common carrier.

The M&IE Allowance is 3/4 of the daily rate on the first and last day of travel when overnight travel is involved, and the full daily rate for each intervening day.

M&IE may apply where there is no overnight lodging. However, M&IE will not be allowed for periods of time less than twelve hours.

Your work time plus your total commute time must be greater than twelve hours for you to be eligible for M&IE. - Hospitalized In Travel Status

If, while you are in travel status, you become hospitalized by illness or injury not due to your own misconduct, your per diem continues (even if covered by your health insurance carrier) provided you do not receive hospitalization (or reimbursement therefore) under any Federal statute such as Workmen's Compensation, VA, or military hospital.

Your per diem is calculated on the lodgings-plus system, not to exceed the per diem rate allowed. Check with your district supervisor or administrative personnel.


Relocation services are provided by the Bureau of Public Debt which has been consolidated under the Administrative Resource Center (ARC), Bureau of the Fiscal Service ( The ARC Debt provides a fully automated, end-to-end relocation service to the FDA in processing all types of relocations including CONUS, OCONUS, New Appointee, Transfer and Commissioned Corps.

Relocation Services Include:
- Prepare and process pre-relocation documents
- Counsel employees about relocation allowances including Guaranteed Home Sale (when applicable)
- Manage the move, including packing and shipment of household goods
- Assist employee with travel arrangements
- Prepare and process employee vouchers
- Process third party real estate payments
- Make tax payments
- Prepare W-2s


You will use your government-issued credit card to obtain a cash advance from an ATM machine, for official government business only. Ensure your Travel Authorization (TA) contains a statement that you are authorized to use an ATM to obtain cash advances and the maximum total amount authorized for your trip. Regardless of amounts indicated on your TA, ATM cash advances also may not exceed the weekly ATM withdrawal limit on your Travel Card account. This limit is established at the time that you apply for the travel card- based on a personal credit worthiness check.

ATM cash advance is to be used only to cover anticipated out-of-pocket incidental travel expenses which generally cannot be charged directly to the card. Excessive ATM cash advances not commensurate with travel are Travel Card misuse. Therefore, direct charge of the Travel Card must be utilized in lieu of ATM Cash whenever and wherever possible for approved, travel related expenses.

There are usually two fees associated with an ATM cash advance. The "Terminal Fee" assessed by the ATM terminal's owner/supplier and the "Cash Advance Fee" assessed by the bank. Currently, there are two formulas to calculate the reimbursable Cash Advance Fee using a 2.5% of the fee or a minimum of $3.00. Percentage – 2.5% multiplied by (Cash advance amount + ATM Terminal Fee). Minimum payment - $3 plus (Cash advance amount + ATM Terminal Fee). The Cash Advance Fee is described in your credit card agreement. These amounts should be included on the Travel Authorization/Voucher along with receipts before reimbursement is made.

If you do not have a government travel card and are required to travel, please see your administrative officer about receiving a travel advance. For further information, see Staff Manual Guide 2343.1 Government Travel Card and ATM Advance Programs.


Within five days after each trip, submit your electronic claim for reimbursement (Travel Voucher) using ETS. Expenses for local travel for meetings and/or field work are also claimed using ETS. All travel vouchers are processed electronically.

Clerical procedures vary from district to district, so consult your supervisor or administrative officer for instructions. State all items in chronological order. Show your mode of transportation and if a POV/GOV is used and you are accompanied by other travelers, show their names as well.

Show your date of departure and return to your official duty station, and when periods of leave commence and end. Show all points where costs are incurred.

Mandatory Statements Required on Travel Voucher - See IOM Exhibit 1-1 for allowable expenses, receipts required, etc.

If you take any type of leave while in travel status, include a statement on your travel voucher that you apprised your timekeeper of the amount and type of leave taken.

Explain the necessity for un­usual expenditures such as rental equipment, steno­graphic services and emergency charges (See IOM Exhibit 1-1). The following cash purchases are reimburs­able when accompanied by necessary receipts (see Documentation below):

  1. Travel costs such as road and bridge tolls, storage and parking for government cars, and handling of official (not personal) baggage.
  2. Costs for samples and the necessary casual labor charges for their collection and packing. (See IOM Official Samples.)
  3. Telephone and telegraph expenses. Document that the use was for official purposes. See IOM 1.2.8 "Telephone Communication" for additional information.
  4. Emergency purchases (flashlights, batteries, photo­graphic film, jars, or dry ice for samples, etc.)
  5. Coveralls or lab coat laundry while in travel status
  6. Personal laundry while in travel status within continen­tal U.S. (CONUS) for four or more consecutive nights

Documentation - Except for samples, all cash payments should be supported by itemized invoices or receipts signed by vendor, if possible. If you are unable to furnish receipts when submitting your voucher, explain that on the voucher.

Receipts for registration fees at meetings are required regardless of the amount. See Exhibit 1-1.


Local, official telephone calls are reimburs­able. When placing an official call from a non-government phone, use your government-issued calling card, call col­lect if permitted by your District's policy, or call commer­cially and claim reimbursement on your travel voucher.

Commercial calls from hotels or motels should be made using your government-issued calling card, whenever possible. If not possible, they should be claimed on your travel voucher and be supported by the phone bill. Calls made using a personal credit card or similar billing arrangements should be claimed on your travel voucher if a receipt is available at the time of voucher preparation. Otherwise, a follow-up petty cash voucher should be sub­mitted, supported by a copy of your itemized phone bill, and certification the charge was for official government business.

FDA has established the following guidelines under which an employee in travel status for more than one night within the U.S. may be reimbursed for telephone calls home:

  1. Calls should be made as economically as possible.
  2. Calls should be made on the FTS network when possible. If not possible, calls should be made using your government-issued calling card. Telephone calls made with government-issued calling cards are automatically billed to the FDA. You are reimbursed through the voucher system when a surcharge is imposed for credit card calls from the traveler's motel/hotel room. Refer to Staff Manual Guide 2343.2 to determine the maximum allowable reimbursement for telephone calls home.

Districts that have differing union-negotiated agreements regarding telephone calls home while in travel status should be guided by those agreements.


Since situations arise which necessitate contacting you while in travel status, provide your supervisor with a travel itinerary listing where and how you can be reached.

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