DATE: June 21, 2002
TO: Board of Regents
FROM: Chairman Roehm
RE: Adoption of rules defining reimbursement for Regents’ travel expenses
Montana Code 20-2-113 states, “Appointed members of the Board of Public Education and the Board of Regents shall be compensated and receive travel expenses as provided for in 2-15-124 for each day in attendance at board meetings or in the performance of any duty or service as a board member.” This is the only statute that currently applies to Board of Regent members governing payment of regent’s travel. According to our fiscal department, any travel voucher submitted by a regent listing expenses “in the performance of any duty or service as a board member” must be paid.
Since there are no limitations to the statute, the potential for excesses exist. The open-ended nature of this statute allows for reimbursement for potentially any travel, and to any location, as long as the claim is made that the travel was in the performance of any duty or service as a board member. It is essentially impossible to budget for the potential expenses that might be claimed under the statute. In times of reduced funding, it is especially critical that the Board of Regents control expenses.
The next statute in MCA (20-2-114) allows the Board of Regents to adopt rules necessary for its own government. This is the statute that gives us the authority to adopt policies for the execution of the powers and duties conferred upon us by law.
I propose adoption of the attached policy to establish reasonable rules to avoid excess, allow for predictable budget projections, and yet allow regents sufficient latitude to perform our duties.