Educational travel tours are unique continuing educational activities. When no competition exists, transactions should be handled through the Academic Support Services Order (ASSO) process under the authority of the Board of Regents (See UW System Financial Policy and Procedure 31). If the ASSO process is not appropriate, standard competitive bid procedures must be followed.
Travel agencies are responsible and assume all liability for tours. Department tour coordinators should not act as a travel agent. Doing so increases the University’s liability associated with the tour
2. PROCEDURES: Departments may choose one of the following methods:
2.1 Academic Support Service Order (ASSO) Process. Department tour coordinators should contact travel agencies to determine which agency is best able to provide the unique travel services required in the geographic region covered by the tour.
Departments must request an ASSO to a travel agency at least two weeks prior to the departure date. Departments should prepare a requisition and attach a brief justification explaining why this particular agency is the only one that can adequately provide the services required for the tour.
Purchasing Services agents will work with Department tour coordinators to prepare Academic Support Services Agreements (ASSA) and ASSO. ASSOs in excess of $5,000 will require a written contract with the travel agency. All ASSAs must be processed on behalf of the Board of Regents and by Purchasing Services. No Emergency Transactions (ETs) will be processed for ASSO transactions requiring a written agreement.
Transactions of less than $5,000 may have ASSAs if the Department tour coordinator or travel agency request them.
An annual ASSA can be developed with a travel agency if the department tour coordinator has several tours or a long-term need for that agency’s services.
Department tour coordinators are reminded that they are not authorized to sign any agreements. Only the Director of Purchasing Services may sign ASSAs on behalf of the Board of Regents.
2.2 Competitive Bid Process Department tour coordinators should contact the Purchasing Agent responsible for travel services for assistance in bidding travel agency services.
3. After the purchase order is issued, department tour coordinator provides itinerary to travel agent. The travel agent then arranges airline, rail or bus travel, hotels, event tickets, dining reservations, etc.
4. Moneys from participants are collected and deposited into University accounts, not to the travel agency.
5. All travel agency invoices should be submitted by the travel agency to Accounts Payable referring to the Purchase Order number, for invoice processing. If desired by the Departmental tour coordinator, positive approval of such invoices may be requested by indicating that requirement on the requisition.
6. The Departmental tour coordinator may pay for incidental and unanticipated expenses or en route activities, not covered by the travel agency, via American Express Corporate Card, University Purchasing Card, personal credit card, or may obtain a University travel advance for cash payments (contact Accounting Services for process).