Use of Personal Vehicle for University Business

Approved By: 
Executive Team Working Group
Effective Date: 
December 16, 2014

POLICY:

Recognizing that employees may be required to travel from time to time on University-related
business, it is the policy of Lakehead University to reimburse faculty, staff, and other individuals
who have been authorized by the person with budget signing authority related to the travel for
reasonable travel expenses associated with the various operations of the University.
 
This policy applies to travel expenses chargeable to operating budgets, ancillary operations,
research, trust funds and any other accounts or projects administered by the University.
 
It is the responsibility of individuals with budget signing authority to ensure that employees
whose expenses are to be charged to one of their accounts are familiar with the University’s Use
of Personal Vehicle for University Business Policy and the Travel Expense Policy prior to taking
a trip. For non-local travel, a pre-trip authorization will ensure health and safety and other
applicable insurance coverage is maintained while the employee is traveling.
 
Note: Individuals and organizations eligible for reimbursement under this policy will be
referred throughout by the word “employee”.

GENERAL:

1. USE OF PERSONAL VEHICLE
Only expenses related to University business are covered by this policy and expenses of a
personal nature will not be reimbursed. When it is necessary to travel on University
business by personal vehicle, the employee is entitled to be reimbursed at the prevailing
University mileage rate (See Appendix A of Lakehead’s Travel Expense Policy). The
reimbursement rate will be reviewed periodically and will be adjusted as circumstances
warrant on the basis of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Thunder Bay.
 
In general, local mileage for occasional trips by a staff member is not claimable.
Where staff members make frequent trips in the normal performance of their
duties, special consideration may be given on prior approval by their supervisors.
Standard distances have been established for travel between Lakehead University
facilities (see distance schedule). Department Heads may authorize drivers to use a
personal or other private vehicle for official University business.
 
Employees who are authorized drivers will be reimbursed by the University for University
business-related expenses provided the following conditions are met:
  1. The driver must hold a valid driver’s licence within the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is being operated.
  2. The driver must be insured for the use of his/her motor vehicle under a standard automobile policy for third party liability, including passenger hazard to a limit of not less than $1,000,000.
  3. The driver must be prepared to provide proof of said personal automobile insurance.
  4. The driver’s/vehicle’s personal auto insurance provides primary insurance with minimum liability coverage of $1,000,000.
  5. The driver is responsible for the personal auto insurance deductible(s).
  6. A University accident report must be filed if there are personal injuries to anyone involved in an accident or if non-University property is damaged, other than the driver’s vehicle.
  7. The driver’s insurance Agent is aware that the driver is using his/her vehicle on University business.
  8. Minimum coverage must be maintained at all times while using the vehicle on University business.
The claim shall be submitted on a Mileage Expense Statement and must be approved in the
normal fashion. Information on the purpose of the trip and the destination(s) shall be
outlined. For non-local travel, if travel by personal vehicle is desired by the employee and
the destination is serviced by regular air service, the University will pay the lesser of the
current approved mileage rate or the regular air fare normally payable by the University,
provided it is mutually agreed with the appropriate signing authority. All traffic violations
(e.g. speeding tickets, parking tickets) are ineligible for reimbursement. Mileage
allowance will be paid for only one personally-owned vehicle where employees traveling
together could reasonably be expected to travel in one vehicle. Premium increases due to
any violations and/or accidents are the responsibility of the employee.
 
2. CURRENCY
All Lakehead University employees will be reimbursed in Canadian funds equivalent to
the actual expenses claimed.

REPORTING PROCEDURES & APPROVALS:

1. MILEAGE EXPENSE STATEMENT
  1. Mileage Expense Statements shall be submitted on a monthly basis. These expense statements must properly detail the purpose, from and to locations, and dates of such travel. They should also identify the University Budget Account to be charged and are to be approved by the appropriate budget signing authority.
  2. The University will not reimburse claims for travel expenses that are older than six (6) months.
Note: Reimbursement of expenses does not itself constitute final approval and
all expense statements are subject to audit and subsequent adjustment if
necessary.
 
2. SIGNING AUTHORITIES
  1. Normally the signing authority is the individual responsible for the budget account to be charged. The individual approving the expense statement is responsible for ensuring that the expenses are for University purposes and that they comply with this policy. Signing approval limits are the same as those specified in the Approval Authority Policy. (http://finance.lakeheadu.ca/all-policies/)
  2. Expenses incurred by the grantee or principal investigator of a research grant or contract shall be approved by his/her Department Chair/Director. Such approval will provide the necessary audit verification that the expenses incurred conform to the policy guidelines but will not restrict the grantee or principal investigator from deciding whether a particular trip is appropriate.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY AN EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZE HIS/HER OWN
TRAVEL EXPENSES.

POLICY INTERPRETATION:

Associate Vice-President Financial Services is responsible for clarifying all aspects of
this policy as required.
 
Vice-President (Administration & Finance) will review this policy within three (3) years
to determine whether amendments are necessary.
 

EFFECTIVE DATE

Appendix A
Distance Schedule
Thunder Bay Main Campus to Thunder Bay Airport 16 kms return
Orillia Main Campus to Toronto Airport 242 kms return
Thunder Bay Main Campus to PACI Faculty of Law 7 kms return
Orillia Main Campus to Heritage Plac 10 kms return
Thunder Bay Main Campus to Munroe St. Lab 11.5 kms return
 
 Note: Travel between buildings housed within a single campus property will not be reimbursed.
 
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