Approving Official Responsibilities

» Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Many approving officials ask, “What is my responsibility as an approving official?” The answer to this question is that approving officials are to ensure:

  • The claim is properly prepared in accordance with the pertinent regulations and agency procedures;
  • A copy of the authorization for travel is provided;
  • The types of expenses claimed are authorized and allowable expenses; § The amounts claimed are accurate; and
  • The required receipts, statements, justifications, etc. are attached to the travel claim. (Receipts should be attached to vouchers electronically in eTS.)

It is also the approving official’s responsibility to:

  • Verify expenses/receipts
  • Acknowledge that the expenses are reasonable/necessary
  • Review the accounting code selected to ensure that the correct funds are being used for the travel
  • Ensure that adequate funds are available

An approving official assumes ultimate responsibility under 31 U.S.C. 3528 for the validity of the claim. However, the traveler must ensure all travel expenses are prudent and necessary and submit the expenses in the form of a proper claim. The authorizing/approving official then reviews the completed claim to ensure that the claim is properly prepared in accordance with regulations and agency procedures prior to authorizing it for payment.

An approving official authorizes travel for employees in advance of travel, when the travel is essential to the mission of his/her agency. The approving official should also approve a properly-prepared voucher, or notify the traveler if the voucher is not properly prepared, within 7 business days upon receipt. In our eTS, the approving official(s) receives an e-mail informing them that a document is awaiting their approval.

by Susan Garrett

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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