§ 31.01 TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES.
   (A)   Authority to incur travel expenses.
      (1)   City officials and employees may be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
   (B)   Registration fees.
      (1)   Convention and conference registration fees may be reimbursed provided attendance at the convention or conference serves a direct city purpose. However, any meals or lodging included in a convention or conference registration fee will be deducted. A copy of the program or agenda of any convention or conference attended, showing itemized registration fees and any meals or lodging included in the registration fee, should be attached to and filed with the travel expense certificate.
   (C)   Lodging.
      (1)   Overnight lodging expenses may be allowed for actual expenses for lodging at a single occupancy rate, substantiated by receipts.
   (D)   Common carrier/travel agency.
      (1)   Transportation by common carrier will be paid to the employee or travel agent. Method of transportation will be in the best interest of the city and shall be substantiated by a receipt.
   (E)   Meals.
      (1)   Travelers may be reimbursed the actual cost of meals as determined by paid receipts not to exceed $50.00 per day. Gratuities are reimbursable up to a maximum of 15% of the total meal charges.
      (2)   The City Manager may allow additional meal costs for exceptional needs or requirements based upon travel destination and special circumstances.
   (F)   Vehicles.
      (1)   The use of privately-owned vehicles for official travel in lieu of city-owned vehicles or common carrier may be authorized by the City Manager if a city-owned vehicle is not available. Whenever travel is by privately-owned vehicle, the traveler shall be reimbursed at the optional standard mileage rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for employees who operate a passenger automobile for business.
      (2)   No traveler shall be allowed mileage reimbursement when the traveler is gratuitously transported by another traveler who is entitled to mileage reimbursement.
   (G)   Incidental expenses.
      (1)    Travelers may be reimbursed the actual cost for transportation expenses such as taxi, bus, tolls, limousine fares and rental cars. Reimbursement for rental cars requires the prior approval of the City Manager except under special circumstances.
   (H)   Forms.
      (1)   The Finance Department shall furnish the Travel Advance Form which will be used by all travelers when requesting payment for anticipated travel expenses. The Travel Expense Certificate shall be submitted to the Finance Department ten days after the traveler has returned to work. The certificate shall be accompanied with paid receipts for all applicable items and enclose any balance due. The form shall contain a statement that the expenses were actually incurred by the traveler as necessary travel expenses in the performance of official duties, and shall be verified by a written declaration that it is true and correct as to every material matter. These forms must be approved by the Director of Finance and at the discretion of the City Manager.
   (I)   Penalty.
      (1)   Any city official or employee who willfully makes and subscribes any claim that he or she does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter, or who willfully aids or assists in, or procures, counsels, or advises the preparation or presentation of such a claim that is fraudulent or is false as to any material matter, whether or not such falsity or fraud is with the knowledge or consent of the person authorized or required to present such claim, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in F.S. § 775.082 or § 775.083.
      (2)   Whoever receives an allowance or reimbursement by means of a false claim is civilly liable in the amount of the overpayment for the reimbursement of the public fund from which the claim was paid.
('58 Code, § 2.04) (Ord. 75-37, passed 3-18-75; Am. Ord. 80-3, passed 10-9-79; Am. Ord. 80-71, passed 7-2-80; Am. Ord. 87-20, passed 2-17-87; Am. Ord. 96-57, passed 3-26-96; Am. Ord. 97-65, passed 7-8-97; Am. Ord. 2003-70, passed 9-23-03)