Chapter 3.92
REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18 Revised 5/19

Sections:

3.92.010    Authorization.

3.92.015    Definition.

3.92.020    Meals, Lodging, Travel and Incidentals. Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18 Revised 5/19

3.92.025    Exception.

3.92.030    Mileage.

3.92.040    Mileage Reimbursement to Volunteers.

3.92.050    Expenses for Which Reimbursement is Not Available.

3.92.060    Expenses Requiring Prior Authorization. Revised 5/19

3.92.070    Claims for Reimbursement.

3.92.080    Approval of Payment.

3.92.090    Claims – Time Limits and Penalty for False Submissions. Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18

3.92.100    Advance Allowances – Authorization. Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18 Revised 5/19

3.92.130    Sheriff's Advance Travel (Extraditions) Revolving Account.

3.92.140    Expenses of Applicants for County Positions. Revised 5/19

3.92.150    Non-Travel Meals and Light Refreshments. Revised 2/18

Cross-reference:    Chapter 42.24 RCW

3.92.010 Authorization.

County officials and employees who may claim reimbursement for expenses under this Chapter must be so authorized by their department director or designee. If at any time there are insufficient funds in a departmental budget to reimburse a County official or employee, no further reimbursements shall be authorized until necessary budget transfer or approval has been granted. Whenever County-owned equipment is used for out-of-state travel, prior permission for use shall be obtained from the appropriate elected official or designee within the respective office: Executive, Presiding Judge of District or Superior Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, or Chair of the Council, or respective designee. (Ord. 2014-37 § 1 (part), 2014; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995); Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.010)

3.92.015 Definition.

"Authorized travel" means any travel by a County official or employee for the purpose of official County business which is approved by the Executive, the department director or designee, or the Council Chair or designee. (Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995)

3.92.020 Meals, Lodging, Travel, and Incidentals. Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18 Revised 5/19

In addition to the rates of pay and other allowances set forth in the annual budget of the County, County officials and employees shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses related to the operation of the County and the position held by the County official or employee and incurred in the course of authorized travel on County business.

A.    Reimbursements shall be made for actual expenses incurred for convention, seminar, or other registration fees; reasonable expenses incurred at meetings related to official County business; transportation to destination and return or mileage in accordance with PCC 3.92.030; single occupancy lodging and automobile rental when overnight lodging is required; and incidentals. The cost of lodging will be paid up to the maximum per diem rate established by the Federal General Services Administration and confirmed by the Director of the Finance Department. Exceptions to the maximum may be authorized by the Director of the Finance Department.

B.    Reimbursements shall be made for expenses incurred for meals as follows:

1.    Meals in connection with authorized attendance at meetings, conventions, or conferences.

2.    Meals for employees engaged in authorized emergency repair or operations substantially beyond their normal duty hours.

3.    The amounts allowed for meal reimbursement shall be on a per diem basis according to the rates established by the Federal General Services Administration and confirmed by the Finance Department as follows:

a.    A full day for purposes of this Section means a travel period beginning before 8:30 a.m. and ending after 4:30 p.m.

b.    For individual meals when not traveling a full day, reimbursement shall be made according to the allowance reimbursement rates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

c.    The amounts allowed in subsections B.3.a. and b. above for meal reimbursement shall be adjusted according to the schedule established by the Federal General Services Administration and confirmed by the Director of the Finance Department. The Director of the Finance Department shall inform the Council annually of the adjusted amounts.

d.    If on approved County business for the full day, but one or more meals are included in the registration fee, the amount authorized in subsection B.3.b. above for the included meal will be subtracted from the total authorized per diem allowance to establish the maximum amount available for the remainder of the day.

e.    Special allowances shall be made for meal expenses incurred in high cost locations as designated by the Director of the Finance Department.

(Ord. 2019-11 § 1 (part), 2019; Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2014-37 § 1 (part), 2014; Ord. 2014-8 § 1 (part), 2014; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2002-72 § 1, 2002; Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.020

3.92.025 Exception.

Employees of the Office of Government Relations, for each day engaged in legislative business in Olympia during a session of the Washington State Legislature, shall receive, in lieu of reimbursement for meals and lodging in the manner and at the rates provided in this Chapter, an amount equal to the per diem established for members of the Washington State Legislature. (Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.92.030 Mileage.

A.    Any County officials and employees who are required or authorized to use their private automobiles in the performance of their official duties shall be allowed a reimbursement equal to the standard mileage rate allowed by the Federal General Services Administration unless otherwise provided by union contract.

B.    All mileage payments are for each mile of necessary travel, provided that:

1.    Reimbursement for mileage shall not exceed the round-trip coach airfare of a common carrier; and

2.    Reimbursement for mileage shall be prohibited for travel by County officials or employees between their usual place of residence and their usual place of work. Parking expenses may be claimed under the category of incidentals and shall include official County automobiles.

(Ord. 2014-37 § 1 (part), 2014; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.030)

3.92.040 Mileage Reimbursement to Volunteers.

A.    Volunteers of Pierce County performing services to alleviate the duties performed by the County employees, may be reimbursed for mileage expenses incurred when authorized by the appropriate elected official or designee in their respective offices: Executive, Presiding Judge of District or Superior Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, or Chair of the Council.

B.    Volunteers shall be reimbursed for mileage at the same rate as full-time County employees pursuant to this Chapter.

C.    All claims for expenses shall be approved by the department directors supervising the volunteer.

D.    The "claim for expenses" form currently used for full-time County employees shall be used for volunteers. The department director submitting the claim for expenses shall clearly indicate on the form "volunteer."

E.    All reimbursements paid to volunteers of the County shall come from existing departmental budgets upon approval by the responsible department director. The payments shall be requested only with the approval of the department director responsible for the budget paying the expenses.

(Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.035)

3.92.050 Expenses for Which Reimbursement is Not Available.

No reimbursement shall be authorized or allowed for:

A.    Fines, penalties, and/or forfeitures;

B.    Tobacco, alcoholic beverages, personal telephone calls or telegrams, or other like personal items;

C.    Meals or lodging in lieu of other meals and/or lodging the expense of which is included in a convention or other registration fee;

D.    Meals or other expenses for persons not employed by the County, except as provided in PCC 3.92.020;

E.    Any unreasonable or unnecessary expense which may be otherwise permitted under this Chapter as determined by the appropriate elected official or designee in their respective office: Executive, Presiding Judges of District or Superior Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, or Chair of the Council.

(Ord. 2014-37 § 1 (part), 2014; Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.040)

3.92.060 Expenses Requiring Prior Authorization. Revised 5/19

Reimbursement for travel expenses incurred for travel, seminars, and for convention and/or education purposes shall be allowed only when authorized in advance by the following elected officials in their respective offices: Executive, Presiding Judges of District or Superior Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, or Chair of the Council, or his or her designee. This Section shall not apply to investigations conducted by the Sheriff or Prosecuting Attorney. (Ord. 2019-11 § 1 (part), 2019; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.050)

3.92.070 Claims for Reimbursement.

Claims for reimbursement of mileage shall state the dates and places, the number of miles, and the purpose or reason for the travel. Claims for reimbursement of travel expenses other than mileage shall be accompanied by invoices and/or receipts for all individual expense items in excess of $20.00, except for meals. Invoices and/or receipts showing payment of overnight lodging expenses shall have clearly identified thereon the single occupancy rate. No reimbursement shall be made for expenses for alcoholic beverages. (Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.060)

3.92.080 Approval of Payment.

A.    Non-council officials and employees. No claim for reimbursement for travel expenses shall be paid unless approved by the responsible elected official or designee.

B.    Travel Expenses of County Councilmembers/employees. No claim for reimbursement for travel expenses by Councilmembers/employees shall be paid unless approved by the Chair of the Council or designee. No claim made by the Chair shall be paid unless approved by the Vice Chair or designee.

(Ord. 95-92 § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.070)

3.92.090 Claims – Time Limits and Penalty for False Submissions. Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18

Except as provided in PCC 3.92.110, all claims for reimbursement must be submitted to the Finance Department within 30 days, or immediately upon return from travel, on a form approved by the Finance Department, signed by the claimant, and approved by the claimant's department director or designee. Any person who knowingly approves or pays or causes to be approved or paid a false or untrue claim shall be punishable and civilly liable under RCW 42.24.110. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2014-37 § 1 (part), 2014; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.080)

3.92.100 Advance Allowances – Authorization. Revised 2/18 Revised 3/18 Revised 5/19

Officials and employees of the County may utilize the Purchase Card issued to its Department to cover anticipated, reimbursable expenses to be incurred in the course of all authorized travel on County business. The Purchase Card shall be made available upon the prior request of such officials and employees when approved by the appropriate Purchase Card Administrator where the nature and duration of travel justify such advance or where the failure to make such advance would result in economic inconvenience to such official or employee. Requests for such use of Purchase Card shall be made on such form as approved by the Finance Department. (Ord. 2019-11 § 1 (part), 2019; Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.090)

3.92.130 Sheriff's Advance Travel (Extraditions) Revolving Account.

A.    There is established the Pierce County Sheriff's Advance Travel (Extraditions) Revolving Account to be used solely for the purpose of making advance payments of estimated travel expenses of an extradition. This account will be maintained and replenished in strict accordance with RCW 42.24.130 and the directives of the Office of the State Auditor. Payment will be made only when authorized in advance by the County Executive or a person so designated by the County Executive.

B.    Once the County official or employee has submitted a proper claim and repaid any excess, the custodian of the account will make the proper claim for reimbursement from the Travel (Extraditions) Revolving Account. The custodian of this account and the amount to be provided shall be set forth by separate resolution which shall be kept current.

(Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; prior Code § 6.60.120)

3.92.140 Expenses of Applicants for County Positions. Revised 5/19

A.    When selecting personnel to fill County positions requiring special experience and training, it may be necessary, in order to ensure selection of the most qualified, for applicants for such positions to be personally interviewed. In such cases, payment by the County for interviews is a proper municipal expense and for a proper municipal purpose only when authorized in advance by the elected officials in their respective office: Executive, Presiding Judge of District or Superior Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, or Chair of the Council or their respective designee. These expenses shall be paid on the same basis as those of employees or officials of the County.

B.    The Executive, Presiding Judge of District or Superior Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, or Chair of the Council or their respective designee may approve reimbursement of moving expenses of a new County employee, necessitated by acceptance of a non-elected County position, pursuant to mutual agreement with such employee in advance of employment; provided, that the negotiated reimbursement amount shall not exceed 65 percent of the new employee's actual moving expenses or $4,000.00, whichever is less. Any reimbursement amount exceeding $4,000.00 shall be approved by the County Council. This reimbursement shall be available only for new professional or management County employees in positions requiring special experience and training and must involve a move of over 75 miles. The new employee shall sign a form acknowledging that if the new employee terminates or is terminated within one year of the date of employment, the County shall be entitled to reimbursement for the moving expenses which have been paid and may withhold such sum as necessary therefor from any amounts due the employee, plus suing for any unpaid balance. The form shall be signed before any reimbursement can be paid.

(Ord. 2019-11 § 1 (part), 2019; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 97-69 § 1, 1997; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 90-25 § 1 (part), 1990; Ord. 84-46 § 1, 1984; Res. 22542 § 1, 1980; prior Code § 6.60.130)

3.92.150 Non-Travel Meals and Light Refreshments. Revised 2/18

A.    Non-travel meals and light refreshments may be funded with County resources and served to Elected and appointed County officials, County employees, and invited attendees at County meetings, trainings, and events, as determined by the appropriate elected official or designee in their respective office.

B.    The Chair of the Pierce County Council or designee shall be the authorizing authority for the funding of non-travel meals and light refreshments served to County elected and appointed officials, County employees, and invited attendees to meetings, training, and events held in support of the Council's legislative duties and functions. These expenditures may be funded with appropriations for the Office of the Pierce County Council or Special Projects. Special Projects appropriations in support of the Council's legislative duties and functions shall be designated through an appropriation Ordinance. All expenditures shall require prior authorization by the Chair of the Council, or designee.

(Ord. 2017-61s2 § 6, 2017; Ord. 2014-37 § 1 (part), 2014)