mileage rates Martha M. Taylor 06 Jan 2000 17:15 EST

I would like for the "group" to let me know if my response to this question
is way out of line.  But please be kind - it has been a really long day.......

Original question:
"If the regulations for your grant project specify a limit for mileage
reimbursement rates which is below your organization's rate, how do you
handle this?"

Jennifer Morgan's response:

"You could appeal to the D.O.T. to amend your award to allow the higher
rate. If that fails and they determine that 31 cents is all that is
allowed, you are limited to reimbursement from that grant at that rate.
Since your institution allows 32.5 cents, you could always reimburse the
other 1.5 cents from an institutional account to create equity."

This is pretty much what we would do but I would like to expand the issue a
bit.  I would suggest that if your institutional policy is to reimburse
32.5 cents per mile then the faculty member has a right to that level of
reimbursement.  If D.O.T does not budge, you should probably require that
the institution cost share the difference in 31 cents and 32.5 cents
because to not do so would deprive the faculty member of his rightful level
of reimbursement.  To suggest to the faculty member that he would have to
forfeit the remaining reimbursement or the university could not accept the
agreement might seem like coercion.

The reason I brought this up is because some universities might accept a
less than grand agreement if the faculty member is willing to accept
certain publication restrictions or a diminished IP or cost recovery
position just because they really need the funding and they don't think it
will hurt them too much.  What should we do to not be perceived as
coercing     but as      assisting      the faculty member?

PS.  I bet D.O.T. just doesn't realize that the IRS rate changed 1/1/2000.

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