Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353.
§304-5.1 When may we accept payment from a non-Federal source for travel to a meeting or authorize an employee to accept payment on our behalf?
You may accept payment from a non-Federal source or authorize an employee and/or the employee’s spouse to accept payment on your behalf only when—
(a) You have issued the employee (and/or the employee’s spouse, when applicable) a travel authorization before the travel begins;
(b) You have determined that the travel is in the interest of the Government;
(c) The travel relates to the employee’s official duties; and
(d) The non-Federal source is not disqualified due to a conflict of interest under §304-5.3.
§304-5.2 Who must approve acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source for travel expenses to a meeting?
An official at the highest practical administrative level who can evaluate the requirements in §304-5.3, must approve acceptance of such payments.
§304-5.3 What does our approving official need to consider before authorizing acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source for travel expenses for a meeting?
(a) The approving official must not authorize acceptance of the payment if he/she determines that acceptance of the payment under the circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts relevant to a particular case to question the integrity of agency programs or operations. The approving official must be guided by all relevant considerations, including but not limited to the—
(1) Identity of the non-Federal source;
(2) Purpose of the meeting;
(3) Identity of other expected participants;
(4) Nature and sensitivity of any matter pending at the agency which may affect the interest of the non-Federal source;
(5) Significance of the employee’s role in any such matter; and
(6) Monetary value and character of the travel benefits offered by the non-Federal source.
(b) The agency official may find that, while acceptance from the non-Federal source is permissible, it is in the interest of the agency to qualify acceptance of the offered payment by, for example, authorizing attendance at only a portion of the event or limiting the type or character of benefits that may be accepted.
§304-5.4 May we authorize an employee to exceed the maximum subsistence allowances (per diem or actual expense) prescribed in applicable travel regulations where we have authorized acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source for such allowances?
(a) Generally, yes. Subsistence allowances are usually limited to the maximum subsistence allowances (per diem or actual expense) prescribed in Chapter 301 of this title 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. However, the maximum subsistence allowances established by this title and by the Secretary of Defense may be exceeded as long as—
(1) The non-Federal source pays the full amount of the subsistence expenses, at issue; and
(2) The subsistence expense paid by the non-Federal source is comparable in value to that offered to or purchased by meeting attendees.
(b) The maximum subsistence allowances prescribed by the Secretary of State for travel to foreign areas may not be exceeded.
§304-5.5 May we authorize an employee to travel by other than coach-class on common carriers or other than lowest first-class on ships if we accept payment in full from a non-Federal source for such transportation expenses?
Yes, you may authorize an employee to travel by other than coach-class on common carriers or other than lowest first-class on ships as long as the:
(a) Non-Federal source makes full payment for such transportation services in advance of travel; and
(b) Transportation accommodations furnished are comparable in value to those offered to, or purchased by other similarly situated meeting attendees; and
§304-5.6 May we authorize acceptance of payment from more than one non-Federal source for a single trip?
Yes, you may accept payment from more than one non-Federal source for a single trip, as long as the total of such payments do not exceed the total cost of the trip.