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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG 1455.4




Effective Date: 01/08/2010

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To authorize and approve travel, transportation, and related expenses for Commissioned Officers. Commissioned Officers’ travel and transportation entitlements are governed and prescribed by the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) issued by the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee (including the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health), chartered under the Department of Defense. The JFTR will supersede when there are inconsistencies between the delegations referenced in SMG 1455.4 and the JFTR. To authorize and approve:

1. Local and domestic travel;

2. Foreign travel;

3. Actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses;

4. Cash or in-kind travel;

5. Cash for non-emergency transportation;

6. Use of non-contract air carriers;

7. Use of cash to purchase emergency and non-emergency transportation in excess of $100.00;

8. Attendance at domestic non-governmental meetings;

9. Use of non-US air carriers;

10. Doubtful claims of $25.00 or less.

11. Advancement of funds.


Principal Deputy Commissioner; Deputy Commissioners; Direct Reports to the Commissioner; Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs; Center Directors and Deputies; Center Associate Directors for Management; Director, Office of Management, CDER; Director, Office of Resource Management, ORA; Director, Office of Executive Operations, OC; and Senior Travel Official or designee.


The Commissioner of Food and Drugs shall designate a Senior Travel Official (STO), who is a full time Federal employee at the SES level or equivalent and who, for purposes of serving as STO, reports directly to the Commissioner. The designation of the STO must be reported to the Office of Acquisition Management and Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, HHS. The STO responsibilities include but are not necessarily limited to:

1. Reporting directly to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs on all matters related to travel policy, programs, and practices;

2. Serving as the principal liaison between OAMP, the FDA, and the subordinate components within the FDA on all matters regarding travel policy, programs, and practices;

3. Communicating travel related policy and operational information to all travelers and approving officials in the FDA;

4. Reviewing and approving where appropriate all Premium Class Accommodations traveler requests;

5. Conducting appropriate oversight within the FDA of all travel related matters and adherence to travel policy; and

6. Timely filing and certifying the accuracy of reports of travel activity required by law, regulation, or HHS policy.

In fulfilling this role, the STO will be required to attend information sharing meetings and sessions to discuss travel policy, its application, and matters related to travel programs and practices.

The designation of the STO does not relieve the FDA Commissioner of the ultimate responsibility to ensure that employees comply with all elements of the Department’s travel policy and that the FDA’s travel program and practices are designed and followed to achieve the requirements of the Department’s travel policy.


A. This delegation does not include the following authorities:

1. To authorize travel and transportation entitlements pursuant to a missing persons determination and to direct or authorize travel and transportation entitlements pursuant to temporary duty pending further assignment;

2. Temporary duty in connection with a permanent change of station;

3. Temporary duty for an indefinite period of time or which exceeds six months;

4. Temporary duty under orders which do not direct return to the permanent station;

B. The Senior Travel Official or designee must approve all first-class air travel in advance. Under extenuating circumstances or in emergency situations where advance approval cannot be obtained, each case of such use must be documented and submitted for post-approval at the earliest practical date.

C. All acceptances from non-federal sources of cash or in kind travel support must be approved by the Center/Office delegated HHS-348 approving official).

D. No FDA official may authorize or approve his/her own travel. An authorizing official occupying a higher organizational level of authority may approve such travel.

E. The Senior Travel Official or designee may approve all domestic travel up to $4,000.

F. Authority to approve travel for the purpose of attending a conference or to receive training is restricted to those officials who have been delegated authority under Actual and Necessary Travel and Subsistence Expenses in 1455.1, Authority to Authorize Travel, Transportation, and Related Allowances - Civil Service Personnel.

G. The Commissioner must authorize travel of the dependents, shipment of household goods, and transportation of the privately owned motor vehicle of a Commissioned Officer who dies while on active duty.

H. An official higher than the Commissioned Officer's immediate supervisor must exercise approval of actual expenses.


This authority may be redelegated. Any redelegation must be in writing and specify the nature and extent of the authority redelegated. Delegatees must be certified as knowledgeable about the legal, regulatory, and policy requirements regarding travel.

A copy of the redelegation of this authority must be furnished to the Director, Office of Financial Operations (OFO); Director, Office of Financial Management, OFO, OA; Director, Office of Financial Services, OFO, OA; and the FDA Principal Delegation Control Officer. Delegatees are subject to compliance audits.


Russell J. Abbott, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, approved this delegation, via memorandum, on January 8, 2010.

Initial03/06/2009N/aOC/OO/OM/OFMWilliam Collinson, Director, OFM
Revision01/08/2010N/aOC/OA/OFOR. Abbott, Deputy Commissioner for Administration