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COMMISSIONERS LIKELY TO REVISE TRAVEL POLICY

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Utah County commissioners are expected to approve a new policy next week that will better regulate travel expenses for county employees.

Commissioners said the current policy for reimbursing employees for travel and expenses incurred while attending training seminars and conventions is inconsistent. Some employees are being paid for expenses they do not incur. The proposed policy will establish the kind of travel that qualifies for reimbursement and per diem allowances."We figured it was time to have something in place for department heads to follow that is fair and reasonable," Commission Chairman Richard Johnson said.

Under the proposed policy, employees and nonemployees traveling on county business will be reimbursed the federal mileage rate. The mileage statement must include miles traveled, destination, reason for travel and must be signed by the county department head. Employees, other than public safety officials on call, who use county vehicles for personal use will be charged the federal mileage rate.

If in-state conferences require an overnight stay, the county will pay the single-rate cost of a motel room and a per diem of $20 per day. If a meal is not furnished at one-day conferences, the county will pay a reasonable amount for lunch upon presentation of a receipt.

For out-of-state travel, employees will be reimbursed the single-rate cost of a motel room and will receive a per diem of $30 per day. The county will pay air fare, mileage to and from the airport and taxi fee to motel or convention site. Car rental will be paid if necessary to get to convention site. Car rental for any other purpose must be approved by the commission.

Employees who drive to out-of-state conventions will be reimbursed the federal mileage rate. However, employees who choose to drive to a convention when traveling by air is cheaper will be required to pay the additional expense.

"I hope a little common sense prevails in choosing which method to travel," Commissioner Gary Her-bert said.

When preparing the 1993 budget, commissioners reduced travel expenses in most departments. Commissioners said they are trying to cut down on employees traveling to out-of-state training seminars.

"We feel there are people with expertise right here in Utah, and we're encouraging employees to attend more in-state training seminars," Johnson said.

Commissioners will discuss the policy Monday and likely will approve it Wednesday.