Chapter 2.25
PAYMENT OF CLAIMS, DEMANDS AND VOUCHERS

Sections:

2.25.010    City auditing officer.

2.25.020    Preparation of list of claims, demands and vouchers.

2.25.030    Payment of claims, demands and vouchers.

2.25.040    Claims, demands and vouchers presented by officers and employees.

2.25.050    Travel authorization and expense reimbursement policies.

2.25.060    Compliance with state law for damage claims.

2.25.070    Travel expenses supervision.

2.25.010 City auditing officer.

The administrative services director shall serve as the city auditing officer and shall act as auditor for the city for all claims, demands and vouchers presented to the city council for approval, except those claims, demands or vouchers submitted pursuant to ECC 2.25.040. Such claims, demands and vouchers shall be prepared for audit and payment on a form providing for the authentication and certification by the auditing officer that the materials have been furnished, the services rendered or the labor performed as described, and the claim, demand or voucher is a just, true and unpaid obligation against the city. [Ord. 2873 § 1, 1992].

2.25.020 Preparation of list of claims, demands and vouchers.

The accounting manager shall prepare a list of all claims, demands and vouchers presented to the city and to be examined by the auditing officer. [Ord. 2873 § 1, 1992].

2.25.030 Payment of claims, demands and vouchers.

No claim, demand or voucher may be paid until approved by the city council unless the following conditions are met:

A. The mayor and the auditing officer who are designated to sign the checks or warrants shall each be furnished an official bond for the faithful discharge of his or her duties in an amount determined by the city council, but not less than $50,000;

B. The city council has adopted contracting, hiring, purchasing and disbursing policies that implement effective internal control;

C. The council president shall be designated as the auditing committee for the city council. The council president shall review the documentation supporting claims paid and review for approval by the city council at its next regular public meeting all checks or warrants issued in payment of any claim, demand or voucher. A list of each claim, demand or voucher approved and each check or warrant issued indicating the check or warrant number, the amount paid and the vendor or payee shall be filed in the city council office for review by individual councilmembers prior to each regularly scheduled public meeting; and

D. The city council shall require that if, upon review, it disapproves a claim, demand or voucher, the auditing officer and the officer designated to sign the checks or warrants shall jointly cause the disapproved claim, demand or voucher to be recognized as a receivable of the city and shall pursue collection diligently until the amounts disapproved are collected or until the city council is satisfied and approves the claim, demand or voucher.

Notwithstanding the fact that all of the above conditions are met, the city council may stipulate that certain kinds or amounts of claims, demands or vouchers shall not be paid before the city council has reviewed the supporting documentation and approved the issue of checks or warrants in payment of those claims, demands or vouchers. [Ord. 2896 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2873 § 1, 1992].

2.25.040 Claims, demands and vouchers presented by officers and employees.

Certificates as to claims, demands and vouchers of officers and employees of the city for services rendered shall be made by the person charged with the duty of preparing and submitting vouchers for the payment of services, and that person shall certify that the claim, demand or voucher is just, true and unpaid, which certificate shall be part of the voucher. [Ord. 2873 § 1, 1992].

2.25.050 Travel authorization and expense reimbursement policies.

A. Policy. It is the city’s policy to provide payment for the reasonable accommodation of travel required to conduct city business by city officials and employees.

B. Applicability. This section and the policies contained herein shall be applicable to all elected officials, members of boards and commissions and city employees unless otherwise specifically exempted.

C. Authorization for Travel. All requests for travel or training shall be submitted and approved on an authorization to travel and attend training form prior to the person’s departure date.

1. All anticipated costs should be listed on the form, whether the costs are known or reasonably estimated.

2. The mayor is authorized to approve all employee’s requests which are included within the city’s annual budget.

D. Travel and Training Request – City Council Approval. City council president approval must be obtained of all travel and training requests for members of the city council and members of city boards and commissions.

E. Accommodations. Accommodations, such as transportation, lodging and conference registration shall normally be arranged in advance by designated staff member and billed directly to the city. Accommodations shall be made at the lowest reasonable rate available, such as coach fare for air transportation, use of special discounts and single occupancy government rates for lodging. Air travel should be used when other reasonable methods of transport are not otherwise available and time schedules require the additional expense.

F. Advance Payment of Expenses. Pursuant to ECC 2.25.070, advance payment of authorized expenses in excess of $100.00, as listed on the authorization to attend/travel form, will be provided upon request. Request for an advance payment must be made at least one week prior to the departure date.

G. Reimbursement of Travel Expenses.

1. Travel expenses by city officials and employees shall be paid by the city in accordance with the rate schedule listed below. Expense vouchers must be submitted for payment within 10 days following the individual’s return. Expense receipts and/or credit card receipts must be submitted for city payment. If a receipt has been lost or stolen, the employee should submit a written statement to the finance director explaining the circumstances of the missing receipt. Reimbursements based on this process may be issued. Reimbursement for any expenses which exceed the limits set forth in this policy shall require approval of the city council.

Transportation:

Air travel – Coach rate

Private car – Current IRS rate

Rental car – Requires prior approval

Lodging:

Regular lodging – Government/commercial rate

Conferences – Conference facility rate

Meals:

Per diem rate in conformance with the State of Washington Office of Financial Management guidelines in effect at the time of travel

Communications:

Telephone – One personal call per day kept to a reasonable amount

2. The transportation allowance shall be based upon the direct route round trip costs. Other allowable costs shall include ferry tolls and off-street parking. Taxis may be used if they are the most reasonable means of transportation available.

H. Nonallowable Expenses. Expenses not approved for reimbursement include, but are not limited to, alcoholic beverages, expenses for family or guests, entertainment, travel costs paid by another organization, mileage (if traveling as a passenger in a nonowned car), limousine services and personal travel insurance. Only the normal, reasonable and actual expenses will be reimbursed. Public officials and employees utilize public funds for their expenses and are admonished and requested to limit expenditures to those reasonably necessary to provide safe, clean and convenient lodging and healthy meals in settings appropriate to the public mission with which they have been entrusted.

I. Use of Private Cars. Private cars should be used by city officials and employees whenever a city vehicle is not available and/or the time the official or employee will be absent exceeds two or more days. Drivers must have a valid operator’s license, and the car must be insured to the state’s minimum liability standards. The mayor, members of the city council, boards and commissions shall not be reimbursed for mileage expenses incurred within the city limits of Edmonds. City employees will be reimbursed for mileage when using a private vehicle within the city limits when such use is in furtherance of city business. The city’s mileage reimbursement rate is intended to cover the cost of fuel, maintenance and insurance costs. Persons using a private vehicle and seeking reimbursement for mileage must maintain a valid driver’s license and individual auto insurance, including public liability, bodily injury and property damage, which insurance shall be deemed to be primary as to any other insurance available to the city. If a private vehicle is used in lieu of air transportation, the total amount of reimbursement shall not exceed the cost of air fare as established in subsection (G) of this section. [Ord. 3917 § 1, 2013; Ord. 3512 § 1, 2004; Ord. 3214 § 1, 1998; Ord. 2953 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2893 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2873 § 1, 1992].

2.25.060 Compliance with state law for damage claims.

Claims or demands for damages to persons or property shall be presented to the city in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35A.31 RCW. [Ord. 2873 § 1, 1992].

2.25.070 Travel expenses supervision.

The administrative services director is authorized, in accordance with the mayor’s administrative powers, to supervise travel expenses in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the State Auditor’s Office. In addition, the administrative services director is authorized to close such funds and report any fund balances in the course of the annual budget process. [Ord. 3540 § 2, 2005].