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Delegations of Authority

Who has it?

  • Most of the "authority" associated with the Travel/Relocation Programs belongs to the Director of the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR), and it is given by Law (Government Code). "The Director" is defined in GC19815 as the Director of the CalHR.
  • In all other codes related to Travel/Relocation, the ONLY authority cited is "the director". "The Director" is charged with the responsibility to establish rules sufficient to activate the provisions of the Government Code(s) and to impose certain limitations in those provisions.

How does a department get it?

  • One-time exceptions are granted when, in certain circumstances, the CalHR Director allows for case-by-case exceptions to certain provisions/limitations within the "CalHR Rules". Generally, when an exception appears to be justified, the requesting department must submit an exception request to CalHR. The request is measured against exception criteria, past approvals and general sensibility, and either approved or denied at CalHR.
  • "Delegation of Authority" takes place when the Director of CalHR allows department Appointing Powers (usually Directors) to review and make determinations on internal exception requests. In this situation, the authority vested in the Director of CalHR is handed (delegated) to the department Appointing Authorities. Departments are then responsible and accountable for assuring that all criteria and common sense issues have been met when approving an exception, just as it would had the exception been reviewed by CalHR.
  • Delegations of Authority have been awarded by CalHR through PMLs, through rule text, and through collective bargaining. Delegations of authority given through PML and rule text can be monitored and reviewed by CalHR, and revoked or revised if necessary. Delegation given in a bargaining unit contract cannot be revoked unless agreed upon by the Union and the state.


  • The delegation of authority allows departments to become more accountable for the administration of their travel program. Departments develop an exception process to document and justify the internal approval of the exception. Appointing Authorities may designate Staff to review/sign on their behalf. Only Staff named in writing (name, title and signature must be on file with the accounting office and the SCO Audits section) by the appointing authority may approve exceptions to the travel/relocation rules, and only for exceptions which have been delegated. Anyone not so designated may not approve the exceptions.

The Director of CalHR has delegated the following exceptions:



1.  The reimbursement of travel meals and lodging within 50 miles of, but not at, the home or headquarters location (delegated via PML 93-28, also delegated for Excluded employees in 599.619).

CONSIDERATIONS: The employee is required to be away from the home/headquarters locations for more than one day, but less than 50 miles.  The nature of the work to be performed, the hours of work or the road/weather conditions make it impractical for the employee to return to the home/headquarters location at night.  This exception is not to be used in lieu of overtime for one day travel.   Meals/lodging reimbursed for travel less than 50 miles from home/headquarters is taxable income and must be reported to SCO by the tenth of the month following the payment. Meals/lodging reimbursed for trips of less than 24 hours is taxable income and must be reported to SCO by the tenth of the month following the payment.

2.  Continuation of travel reimbursements for more than 3 days if an employee becomes ill while on travel status. (599.633; delegated via PML 93-28, also delegated in 599.633.1)

CONSIDERATIONS:  The employee on travel status is too ill to travel home, or it is more economical to maintain the employee on sick leave and travel status in order to complete the assignment.

3.  Extension of short term travel reimbursement beyond 30 days.

CONSIDERATIONS: The assignment end-date is not known and short-term extensions are being made; the assignment's end-date is known but it is of such limited duration that it is impractical to obtain long term lodging. In this case, the department may take steps to locate lodging at reduced rates by the week, or arrange for reduced daily lodging expense based on the expected duration of the assignment. It is not appropriate to make a succession of continuing short term assignments to avoid the provisions of long term assignments. Immediately upon becoming aware of the length of an assignment of this type, the department is responsible for establishing a long term assignment.


Excess lodging on short term travel: The appointing authority, per CalHR rule 599.619, may approve/deny rates in excess of the state rate. The criteria (requirements/substantiation) applicable for requests needing CalHR approval apply to these requests as well.


Travel expenses for persons who are called to interview for positions in State service (CalHR Rule 599.634, delegated in PML 93-28).

CONSIDERATIONS:  Applies ONLY to persons who are NOT currently employed by the state. The applicant must have been called for an interview to a position for which the appointing authority has determined that the expenditure is necessary to recruit qualified persons. Reimbursement is for ground transportation to/from the nearest airport, coach air fare, lodging /meals not to exceed the state rates, and only for the period of time needed to complete the interview.

Previously delegated items subsequently incorporated into the MOUs (for most units) and the CalHR Rules for Excluded employees:

Lodging up to $110 for attendance at state sponsored conferences/conventions. (in a room contracted for by the conference sponsors) NOTE: Specifically excluded is any event, meeting or gathering initiated by a state agency for dissemination of information to its own departmental employees. (See CalHR rule 599.635.1 for Excluded employees) Attendance is at the discretion of the Appointing Authority.

Non-state sponsored conference/convention lodging rates in excess of the state maximum for the area, in a room contracted for by the conference sponsors. No maximum limit is imposed by CalHR rule. Attendance and lodging at above the state rate is at the discretion of the appointing authority.

The use of current Federal Government meal and incidental rates for state business travel to foreign locations as published monthly for foreign locations PML 93-28, effective 5/1/93, DPA rule 599.619, MOUs.


  Updated: 5/26/2016
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