POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

1.  Travel Authorization and Payments

To comply with UI Administrative Procedures, we are enforcing the requirement that you receive written travel authorization when traveling on grant funds managed by NIATT. Before such travel, you will need to get authorization from both your department chair and from the NIATT director or her representative. You can accomplish this by:

  • Completing a written form (either one from your department or from NIATT), getting it signed, and turning it in to NIATT BEFORE you travel. See Travel Request guidelines for a list of information needed to process your request.

The procedures for submitting travel claims can be found here.

2. Signature Authority

The OSP has notified us that each PI “must delegate authority on each grant account.” This would include the paperwork to set up new UTC budgets and signatures on 771 (ITD Monthly Reports).

Tami has assumed this responsibility in the past (having access to your project descriptions and the current status of your budget). If you would like to continue allowing Tami to have signature authority, we will ask you to put that in writing for our files (and for ITD). We have prepared forms for your use.

3. NIATT Purchasing Card Use

The use of University purchasing (credit) cards is a choice left to each department. Several years ago, NIATT administrators evaluated the advisability of using purchasing cards for purchases. We made informal queries to accountants in several departments to determine purchasing card use and department procedures. We took into account security issues as well as your need for students to make purchases to enable their research. We decided that the benefit of being able to make “quick” purchases outran the risks.

However because once a NIATT credit card is used, there is no way to “undo” the expense, we did establish some security measures. For one thing, all purchasing cards are in Tami’s name and must be checked out for use from the NIATT office. When students first use a card, they are given detailed instructions about the proper use of the card (which includes NOT passing the card to another student without checking the card back in).

Travel expenses are permitted. However, because travel charges are transferred from the purchasing card directly to Tami’s personal account, we are not allowing the use of the purchasing card for hotel charges. Except for certain student travel, we ask that you continue to use your own credit cards for hotel charges and get reimbursed through the “normal” travel reimbursement procedures. The NIATT purchasing card can be used for airplane fares.

Another security measure we put in place years ago was to establish the limit of $500 for a single purchase on the purchasing cards. There is one card that can be used for larger purchases.

Since we have had only one serious violation of the purchasing card use, we will continue to support the program. However, to insure that the use of the card(s) is authorized by the PI responsible for research budgets, you will be required to notify us (by email) of the names of the students you authorize to use a credit card (with the ability to purchase up to $500) whenever a new budget is established.

4. Your budgets

It is each PI’s responsibility to be aware of the status of his/her budget. NIATT tries to make this easy for you by supplying monthly reports that include information not obtainable through Banner (i.e. purchasing card charges before they are posted; encumbered salaries and fringes). In fact, your budget reports are updated daily and can be emailed to you upon request at any time. If you need help in interpreting the reports, we are glad to do so.

In the event that expenses are disapproved by the Office of Sponsored Programs, those expenses will be transferred to your overhead return budget. That is one reason your returned overhead account is maintained in NIATT rather than transferred to an account in your department.

Please help us ensure payment by supplying all necessary information for prompt and allowable expenses.

5. Personnel Activity Reports (PARs)

The Personnel Activity Reports (PARs) will be available for completion online. Each PI and student employee will have to log on to the Vandal Employee page to complete PARs, including indicating any cost-sharing. Student employee PARs are generated once a month.

We will continue to keep track of the amount of cost-sharing and budgets that PIs and students need to indicate on the PARs, and will ask that you continue to ask Tami for information.

6. Subcontract Payments

Although we have always asked for your approval before we submitted subcontract billings to be paid, Accounts Payable is now requiring that the PI personally sign invoices and indicate that the billed work has been completed. For all future bills, we will use a stamp that indicates the amount to be paid and the budget from which the subcontract is to be paid. We will then send the invoice to you. If you approve of the payment, you will sign on the approval line and write a short sentence indicating that the billed work has been completed. Please return the invoices to us as quickly as possible to be processed for payment.

7. Flying by Horizon/Alaska

In order to get the discounted prices on Horizon/Alaska, purchase of tickets will have to be done through EasyBiz. NIATT has established an account (as each department has been advised to do). If you wish to be added as a user so that you can purchase your own Horizon/Alaska tickets, please contact Tami, who is the EasyBiz administrator for NIATT.

Note—this is ONLY flights associated with Horizon/Alaska—not other airlines. You will get a discounted rate ONLY by purchasing through EasyBiz.

3/09/10

 

National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology

University of Idaho
115 Engineering Physics Building
Moscow, ID 83844-0901
Phone:  (208) 885-0576
Fax:      (208) 885-2877
E-mail:   niatt@uidaho.edu

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