DATE: March 11, 2008

REAFFIRMED: March 14, 2012

SUBJECT: Acceptance of Payments for Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source

  1. DELEGATION. This directive delegates authority to the heads of bureaus, Departmental Offices (DO), the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to:
    1. Approve acceptance of payments or payments in-kind in lieu of funds by their bureaus from a non-Federal source, or authorize an employee to receive such payment on the bureau's behalf, for travel, subsistence and related expenses with respect to attendance of an employee (and the spouse of the employee under certain conditions) at a meeting or similar function, which the employee has been authorized to attend in an official capacity on behalf of the bureau; and
    2. Redelegate to officials at as high an administrative level as practicable in their respective bureaus and offices the authority to review and approve acceptance of payments under this delegation and to ensure adequate consideration and review of the circumstances surrounding the offer and acceptance of such payment of travel.

      The authority of the Inspector(s) General is set forth in Section 3 of the Inspector General Act and the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act, and defined in Treasury Order 114-01 (OIG) and Treasury Order 115-01 (TIGTA), or successor orders. The provisions of this directive shall not be construed to interfere with that authority.

  2. DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this directive, the following definitions apply (also refer to 41 C.F.R. 304-2.1 (FTR Chapter 304-2.1)
    1. ”Bureaus" include DO, OIG, and TIGTA. With respect to DO, the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer, or the equivalent position, is the "head of the bureau" within the meaning of this directive.
    2. “Employee” means an appointed officer or employee of an executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, including a special Government employee as defined in 18 U.S.C. 202, or an expert or consultant under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 3109.
    3. “Non-Federal source” means any person or entity other than the Government of the United States and includes any individual, private or commercial entity, nonprofit organization or association, international or multi-national organization (irrespective of whether an agency holds membership in the organization or association), or foreign, State, or local government (including the government of the District of Columbia).
    4. “Meeting(s) or similar functions” (“meeting”) means a conference, seminar, speaking engagement, symposium, training course, or similar event that takes place away from the employee’s official station. ‘‘Meeting’’ as defined in 41 CFR 304-2.1 of the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) does not include a meeting or other event required to carry out an agency’s statutory or regulatory functions (i.e., a function that is essential to an agency’s mission), such as investigations, inspections, audits, site visits, negotiations or litigation. ‘‘Meeting’’ also does not include promotional vendor training, or other meetings held for the primary purpose of marketing the non-Federal sources products or services, or long term temporary duty (TDY) or training travel. A meeting need not be widely attended for purposes of this definition and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
      1. (1) An event where the employee will participate as a speaker or panel participant focusing on his/her official duties or on the policies, programs or operations of the agency;
      2. (2) A conference, convention, seminar, symposium or similar event where the primary purpose is to receive training other than promotional vendor training, or to present or exchange substantive information of mutual interest to a number of parties;
      3. (3) An event where the employee will receive an award or honorary degree, which is in recognition of meritorious public service related to the employee’s official duties, and which may be accepted by the employee consistent with the applicable standards of conduct regulations.
    5. “Payment” means a monetary payment from a non-Federal source to a Federal agency for travel, subsistence, related expenses by check or other monetary instrument payable to the Federal agency or payment in-kind. Neither bureaus nor employees may accept payment in the form of cash from a non-Federal source, and employees may receive payment for the bureau only in the form of checks made payable to the U.S. Treasury.
    6. “Payment in-kind” means transportation, food, lodging, or other travel-related services provided by a non-Federal source instead of monetary payments to the Federal agency for these services. Payment in-kind also includes waiver of any fees that a non-Federal source normally collects from meeting attendees (e.g., registration fees).
    7. “Travel, subsistence, and related expenses (travel expenses)” means the same types of expenses payable under the FTR, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), and the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) for transportation, food, lodging or other travel-related services for official travel (e.g., baggage expenses, services of guides, drivers, interpreters, communication services, hire of conference rooms, lodging taxes, laundry/dry cleaning, taxi fares, etc.). These expenses also include conference or training fees (in whole or in part), as well as benefits that cannot be paid under the applicable travel regulations, but which are incident to the meeting, provided in-kind, and made available by the meeting sponsor(s) to all attendees. For example, this definition would allow an employee or spouse to attend a sporting event hosted by the sponsor(s) in connection with the meeting that is available to all participants. However, it would not allow the employee to accept tickets to a professional sporting event, concert or similar event, for use at a later date even if such tickets were given to all other participants.
    1. Title 31 U.S.C. Section 1353 authorizes an agency to accept travel gifts in connection with an employee's attendance at meetings or similar events. It does not supersede other statutes that permit an employee to accept travel reimbursements, such as the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act concerning reimbursements from foreign governments and international organizations, or the Training Act concerning organizations exempt from taxes pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). General Services Administration (GSA) regulations at 41 C.F.R. Part 304 (FTR Chapter 304) set forth travel expenses for which agencies may accept payment from a non-Federal source.
    2. As long as all the conditions set out in the FTR are met, a bureau may accept payments or payments in-kind in connection with domestic and foreign travel from non-Federal sources when the travel involves an employee's attendance at a "meeting or similar function" as defined in the FTR.
    3. Pursuant to the FTR:
      1. (1) A bureau may accept payment for travel expenses to a meeting from non-Federal sources. Except as provided in limited circumstances (see FTR 304-3.13), an employee must obtain advance approval before performing travel paid by a non-Federal source.
      2. (2) An employee shall not solicit payment of travel expenses from any non-Federal source, but may inform a non-Federal source of this authority after receipt of an invitation from a non-Federal source to attend a meeting.
      3. (3) An employee (and when applicable, an employee’s accompanying spouse) is generally limited to the maximum subsistence allowances (per diem, actual expense or conference lodging) as prescribed in Chapter 301 of Title 41 C.F.R. for travel in CONUS, by the Secretary of Defense for travel in non-foreign areas, and by the Secretary of State for travel in foreign areas.
      4. (4) A non-Federal source may pay for a spouse to accompany an employee when it is in the interest of and authorized in advance by their bureau, in accordance with the FTR.
      5. (5) An employee is not required to adhere to the provisions of the Fly America Act if a non-Federal source pays in full, or reimburses the bureau in full, for the cost of the airline ticket.
    4. Under the Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4111), employees may accept travel reimbursements from 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations consistent with Departmental and bureau procedures.
    5. Under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (5 U.S.C. 7342), employees may, with bureau approval and in accordance with Departmental and bureau procedures, accept payment of travel expenses from a foreign Government for travel taking place entirely outside the United States.
    1. All payments accepted from a non-Federal source pursuant to the FTR Chapter 304 for an employee's or spouse's travel, other than payments in-kind, are to be made to the bureau. Any such payment received by the employee is accepted on behalf of the bureau and is to be submitted as soon as practicable to the appropriate bureau accounting official for credit to the applicable bureau appropriation.
    2. All payments and payments in-kind accepted under this delegation must be authorized in advance by the designated bureau official on a case-by-case basis, except as provided in limited circumstances in accordance with the FTR. If full reimbursement is offered, it shall be noted that the travel would be at no expense to the Government. Authority to approve acceptance of payments or payments in-kind under this delegation may be exercised only after legal counsel review of the proposed acceptance of travel expenses. Legal counsel's review shall be noted in writing. Where the payments are from a non-Federal source and where there is a conflict of interest, legal counsel's review shall be documented in a separate memorandum.
    3. Where the travel reimbursement also covers the spouse of the employee, the travel authorization (or accompanying documentation) shall be annotated, in advance of travel, to reflect a determination by the bureau official authorized to approve acceptance of payments under this delegation that the spouse's presence at an event is in the interest of the bureau because the spouse will:
      1. (1) Support the mission of the bureau or substantially assist the employee in carrying out his or her official duties;
      2. (2) Attend a ceremony at which the employee will receive an award or honorary degree; or
      3. (3) Participate in substantive programs related to the bureaus programs or operations.
  5. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. All bureaus are required to submit semi-annual reports to the Departmental Deputy Chief Financial Officer’s (DCFO) Office of payments received from non-Federal sources pursuant to the FTR Chapter 304 for all payments that exceed $250 per event for an employee and accompanying spouse. For the purposes of the $250 threshold, payments for an employee and accompanying spouse shall be aggregated. Bureaus will be notified by the Departmental DCFO’s office of the data required to be submitted and report due date.
    1. 41 C.F.R Part 304 (FTR Chapter 304)
    2. 31 U.S.C. 1353.
    3. 5 U.S.C. 7342.
    4. 5 U.S.C. 4111.
    5. 5 U.S.C. 5701-5709.
    6. Treasury Order (TO) 101-05, "Reporting Relationships and Supervision of Officials, Offices and Bureaus, Delegation of Certain Authority, and Order of Succession in the Department of the Treasury," dated May 17, 2002.
    7. TO 114-01, "Office of Inspector General," dated May 16, 1989.
    8. TO 115-01, “Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration,” dated January 14, 1999.
  7. CANCELLATION. Treasury Directive 12-24, Delegation of Authority to Accept Payments from Non-Federal Sources for Travel Expenses, dated April 22, 1991, is superseded.
  8. OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST. Office of Accounting and Internal Control, Office of the Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer.


Peter B. McCarthy
Acting Assistant Secretary for Management
and Chief Financial Officer