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Susan Combs  •  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Definitions

Advisory Board
A board whose primary function is advising a state agency in the executive branch of state government. Texas Government Code Section 2110.001
Appointed Officer
Includes the Secretary of State; an officer of a state agency who is appointed for a term specified by the Texas Constitution or a Texas statute, excluding an appointee to a vacated elective office; and an individual who is a member of the governing board of a state agency who is neither appointed nor elected.
Appropriated Funds
Monies appropriated under the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Texas Government Code Section 660.002(1)
Board
A board, commission, committee, council, governing body or similar entity in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of state government that is composed of two or more members. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(2)
Business Day
Any weekday except a weekday on which a national or state holiday occurs.
Cancellation Charge
A fee, charge or payment that a provider of travel services assesses because of the cancellation or change of a travel reservation or other travel plan. For example, a non-refundable purchase of an airline ticket becomes a cancellation charge when the ticket becomes unusable because of changed travel plans. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(3)
Chief Administrator of a State Agency
Includes the following:
  • an elected state official, including a member of a board whose membership is elected by vote of the people;
  • an appointed state official, including an individual whose appointment as a state official has not yet been confirmed by the senate;
  • a first assistant, chief deputy, chief clerk or similar individual employed by a state agency who is specifically authorized by law to act for the individual's superior;
  • the director of a legislative interim committee or board;
  • the chief administrator of an institution of higher education;
  • the chief administrator of a state hospital or special school; and
  • the executive director of a state agency that is governed by a part-time board.

The term does not include a legislator. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(4)

When the context of a provision on this site indicates that the term refers to only one individual of a state agency, the term means:

  • the executive director of a state agency headed by a part-time board; or
  • the presiding officer of a board that governs a state agency full-time, if the agency does not have an executive director; or
  • the executive director of a state agency headed by a full-time board, if the agency has an executive director; or
  • the individual who is elected or appointed to manage the operations of a state agency not headed by a board.
Commercial Lodging Establishment
(1) a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay; or (2) a person or establishment that provides lodging for pay that the Comptroller determines to have a sufficient number of the characteristics of a commercial lodging establishment for the purposes of the Travel Regulations Act. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(5) The term includes lodging provided by: (1) a governmental entity on property controlled by that entity; or (2) a religious organization on property controlled by that organization; or (3) a private educational institution on property controlled by that institution.
Commercial Transportation Company
A company or individual that transports people or goods at a cost. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(6)
Comptroller
The Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Contiguous United States
The District of Columbia plus the 48 mainland U.S. states. Alaska and Hawaii are the only states not included.
Council of Governments
A regional planning commission, a council of governments or a similar regional planning agency created under Texas Local Government Code Chapter 391. General Appropriations Act Article IX, 5.01(1)
County
When used in a provision that applies to states other than Texas, this term includes a parish of Louisiana.
Designated Headquarters
The area within the boundaries of the city in which a state employee's place of employment is located. If an employee's place of employment is located within an unincorporated area, then the area within a five-mile radius of the place of employment is the employee's designated headquarters. If an incorporated municipality or an unincorporated area is completely surrounded by the incorporated municipality in which an employee's place of employment is located, then the employee's designated headquarters includes the surrounded municipality or area. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(7)
Disability
A physical or mental impairment of an individual that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(8)
Duty Point
The destination, other than a place of employment, to which a state employee travels to conduct official state business. If the destination is outside the employee's designated headquarters, then the duty point is either the incorporated municipality in which the destination is located or the unincorporated area within a five-mile radius of the destination. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(9)
Educational and General Funds
Net tuition; special course fees charged under Texas Education Code Section 54.051(e), (l); lab fees; student teaching fees; organized activity fees; proceeds from the sale of educational and general equipment; indirect cost recovery fees; or hospital and clinic fees received by a state – owned clinical care facility that is operated using general revenue fund appropriations for patient care.
Educational Organization
An association that is organized and operated exclusively for an educational purpose, but only if no part of the association’s net earnings benefit a private individual. Texas Tax Code Section 156.102(a) A state college or university meets this requirement only if the institution meets the definition of a Texas institution of higher education in the Texas Education Code. Texas Tax Code Section 156.102(b)(2)
Electronic Signature
An electronic identifier intended by the person using it to have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature.
Executive Director
The lone individual who has the daily responsibility for managing the operations of a state agency that is headed by a board. The term does not include a member of that board.
Fiscal Year
Has the meaning assigned to appropriation year in USAS.
General Appropriations Act
The Texas General Appropriations Act (GAA) covering fiscal years 2012-13 or a subsequent GAA to the extent it is consistent with the GAA for fiscal years 2012-13.
Gratuity
Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually in response to or in anticipation of a service.
Incidental Expense
An expense incurred while traveling on official state business. The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and an applicable tax, except a tax based on the cost of a meal. The term does not include a meal, lodging or transportation expense, a personal expense, an expense that an individual would incur regardless of whether the individual were traveling on official state business, a tip or a gratuity. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(10)
Include
Used as a term of enlargement and not of limitation or exclusive enumeration. The use of the term does not create a presumption that components not expressed are excluded. Texas Government Code Section 311.005(13)
Institution Of Higher Education
Has the meaning assigned by Texas Education Code Section 61.003. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(12)
Institutional Funds
All funds collected at an institution of higher education that are not educational and general funds. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(11), Texas Education Code Section 51.009(b)
Key Official
A chief administrator of a state agency or an individual holding a position that has been designated as exempt from the position classification plan in accordance with the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or by the governor under the Position Classification Act. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(13)
Lease
A contract with a term of at least one month that gives the lessee possession and use of property or equipment while the lessor retains ownership of it. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(14)
Lodging Expense
A charge imposed by a commercial lodging establishment as consideration for providing lodging. The term does not include money paid as a donation, gratuity or tip to the establishment. Texas Government Code Section 660.113(a)
May Not
A prohibition against a specified action. The term does not mean "might not" or its equivalents. Texas Government Code Section 311.016(5)
Meal Expense
The cost of a meal plus any tax that is based on the meal's cost. The term does not include a tip, a gratuity or a mandatory service charge paid or imposed in conjunction with a meal.
National or State Holiday
Holidays listed in Texas Government Code Section 662.003(a)-(b). The term does not include a day that the General Appropriations Act (GAA) prohibits observing as a national or state holiday.
Non-Working Hours
All hours in a calendar day except working hours.
Payroll Document
The information that a state agency submits to the Comptroller for the purpose of requesting the Comptroller to pay compensatory or salary per diem on the agency's behalf or to reimburse a state employee on the agency's behalf for a meal expense incurred while engaged in non-overnight travel.
Person
Includes an individual, corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association or any other legal entity. Texas Government Code Section 311.005(2)
Place Of Employment
The office or other location at which a state employee most frequently conducts official state business. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(15)
Prospective State Employee
An individual that a state agency considers for employment with the agency. The term includes an employee of a state agency who is considered for employment by another state agency. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(16)
Rented or Public Conveyance
A motor vehicle, train, aircraft, boat or bicycle that a state employee rents or pays a fare to use for a period of less than one month. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(18)
State Agency
A unit of state government that uses appropriated funds to pay or reimburse a travel expense of a state employee. This includes the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and the Employees Retirement System of Texas. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(19)
State Employee
An individual employed by a state agency, including a key official. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(20) The term includes prospective state employees and aircraft pilots.
Travel Document
A term used in USAS. A travel document consists of one or more travel vouchers or transactions.
Travel Expense
A meal, lodging, transportation or incidental expense. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(21)
Travel Regulations Act
Texas Government Code Chapter 660. Texas Government Code Section 660.001
Travel Voucher
The information that a state agency submits to the Comptroller for the purpose of requesting the Comptroller to pay or reimburse a travel expense on the agency's behalf. If the information is submitted electronically, then the term means only the information the Comptroller requires to be entered into USAS before the Comptroller can make the payment or reimbursement. In USAS, the term is equivalent to the type of payment transaction that requests the Comptroller to pay or reimburse a travel expense.
Travel Voucher/Form
The paper or electronic form adopted or approved by the Comptroller that is completed for the purpose of (1) submitting a travel voucher to the Comptroller on paper, (2) supporting the legality and fiscal responsibility of a travel payment or reimbursement, or (3) for both purposes.
Unit of State Government
Includes all of the following:
USAS
The Uniform Statewide Accounting System.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. includes Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
Work Day
A day on which a particular state employee is regularly required to conduct official state business.
Working Hours
The hours during which a state employee is regularly scheduled to conduct official state business.

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Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.state.tx.us
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