Travel Update 18-05

​​​​​TO: Agency Travel Coordinators
FROM: Tim McDevitt, Chairman
DATE: March 28, 2018
SUBJECT: Lodging in Springfield, Illinois​

Travel Update 17-05 required approval from the Governor’s Travel Control Board prior to processing travel vouchers in excess of the state rate in Springfield, Illinois. That policy was put in place in order to obtain data on state rate availability. The Governor’s Travel Control Board is rescinding Travel Update 17-05 and re-establishing the previous policy as stated below. This is in effect for all travel occurring on or after March 28, 2018.

State agencies may process requests for excessive lodging charges without approval from the Governor’s Travel Control Board provided the request is in compliance with the travel rules. A request is considered in compliance if:​

  • ​In the Cities of Chicago and Springfield, a minimum of five (5) Preferred hotels were contacted (i.e., hotels appearing in the latest Travel Guide for State Employees or subsequent Travel Updates).
  • In all other areas within the State of Illinois -- a minimum of thre​e (3) Preferred hotels were contacted.
  • In all out-of-state locations, a minimum of three (3) properties were contacted.​

​For areas with less than three (3) hotels on the Preferred Hotel Listing, a minimum of three (3) budget to mid-price hotels must have been contacted (where available). Upscale or deluxe properties would not count as contacted properties unless they appear on the Preferred Hotel Listing. Lodging is only allowed at non-Preferred hotels if the rate offered is lower than the rates of Preferred hotels in that particular area.

If the request is determined to be in compliance, agencies may process the claim provided:

  • A note is placed in the “Comments” field on the travel voucher to reflect agency approval of the excessive lodging amount.
  • Agencies maintain documentation of the justification for all excessive lodging approvals. ​

Although this policy provides criteria for agencies and employees to process vouchers containing excessive lodging charges, it is still imperative that employees make a diligent effort to locate lodging within the current maximum allowable rate. If the “state rate” cannot be found, the lowest available rate may be accepted.

If you have questions, please contact Kelley Wells, State Travel Coordinator, at (217) 782-4705 or by e-mail at kelley.wells@​​illinois.gov​.