FMPM 741 Travel 

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

Intent

The intent of this procedure is to ensure that all official University business travel (here on referred to as ‘University Travel’) is:

  • undertaken as efficiently and economically as possible, taking into consideration the nature of the business and travel requirements;
  • to ensure the University fulfils its duty of care obligations to staff who undertake University travel; and
  • to maintain accurate financial and non-financial travel records.

Scope

This procedure applies to all University domestic and international travel arrangements, regardless of the source of funds, duration of travel or business purpose.

This includes travel:

  • to destinations 60km or more from the staff members’ normal place of work (including travel at no cost to the University); or
  • to destinations within 60km of the staff members’ normal place of work where the University is required to pay travel expenses; or
  • that includes an overnight stay.

This procedure does not apply to travel for Special Studies Program (SSP), Visiting Scholars, interviewees, relocation of new appointees or students. Travel arrangements however are still to be made via the University’s contracted Travel Management Company (TMC).

Special Studies Program (SSP) travel rules and approval requirements are contained within the Human Resources Special Studies Program Policy .

Student travel rules and approval requirements are contained in Section 7.2 and 7.3 of this policy.

The visiting scholar’s guidelines are contained within the Human Resources Visiting Appointments Policy.

The Removals Policy (refer Human Resources Policy Manual) is to be applied where travel is required on appointment of new staff or transfer of existing staff to another campus.

Summary:

Those travellers who must submit manual/paper travel requisitions include:

  • Students; and
  • Members of Council (non-staff).

Those travellers who must submit electronic travel requisitions include:

  • Continuing staff;
  • Fixed-term staff;
  • Casual staff;
  • Adjunct staff; and
  • Staff undertaking SSP.

It is the responsibility of all financial delegates, travel approvers and University travellers to comply with this procedure, FMPM 740: Policy - Travel and FMPM 742: Authorised Limits - Travel

Definitions

One-up Authorisation

Official University Business

Domestic Travel

International Travel

Best Fare of the Day

Expense Management System

Reasonable Travel Expenses

Contents

1. APPROVAL TO TRAVEL

2. TRAVEL BOOKINGS

3. UNDERTAKING TRAVEL

4. TRAVEL EXPENSES

5. TRAVEL ACQUITTAL

6. PERSONAL/PRIVATE TRAVEL

7. TRAVEL FOR NON-STAFF MEMBERS


Procedure

1. APPROVAL TO TRAVEL

The traveller is responsible for ensuring that all University travel is authorised by the relevant approver/s prior to being booked and undertaken.

University travel must be approved under the principle of "one-up" authorisation, (i.e. an officer cannot exercise the delegation in relation to another officer at the same, or more senior, level.)

Note: The Vice-Chancellor can approve his/her own domestic travel but must submit a quarterly domestic travel summary to the University Council for review. For international travel the Vice-Chancellor must submit an international travel requisition for approval by the Chancellor.

Staff members requesting approval to travel must ensure that arrangements are made to cover their teaching, examination and/or administrative duties during any approved absence.

1.1 Travel Requisitions - Request Approval to Travel

Where permitted by the relevant Head of the Organisational Unit, the request and approval for domestic travel may be made:

  • verbally; or
  • via email

prior to booking with James Cook University’s nominated Travel Management Company (TMC). Where approval for domestic travel is granted, the traveller may book travel, but must complete and submit a travel requisition via the University’s Expense Management System (EMS):

  • prior to undertaking travel; and/or
  • within five (5) business days of the date travel is booked.

The request and approval for international travel and all other domestic travel (i.e. domestic travel where verbal or email approval has not been obtained) must be made by completing and submitting a travel requisition via the EMS prior to booking and undertaking travel.

The travel requisition must include sufficient information for the approver/s to authorise the travel.

The traveller is required to enter all travel related information including:

  • a travel budget (estimate of travel expenses) (refer to Section 4);
  • the account/s to be charged (orgu/project/fund source);
  • reasons for travel;
  • travel start and end dates;
  • any private travel components (refer to Section 6);
  • a travel itinerary/diary; and

Any requests for:

  • the corporate credit card cash advance facility (refer to Section 4.2.4); and/or
  • private motor vehicle usage (refer to Section 2.4.2).

Further information relating to how to complete and submit a travel requisition can be found in the JCU Expense Management System User Guide and Quick Guides (refer to the finance advice for details).

Where the same travel arrangements (i.e. destination, reason for travel etc.) are repeated over a period of time, one travel requisition may be completed for the entire period of travel, subject to a review in exceptional circumstances (e.g. travel advisory alert).

For example, where the traveller is required to teach at another campus, one day each week, for an entire study period, one travel requisition covering the travel arrangement for the entire study period should be submitted.

1.2 Travel Advisory Alerts

Prior to submitting an International Travel Requisition for approval, travellers must check whether the destination is subject to a Travel Advisory Alert issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) (refer to the Smartraveller website for details).

Where DFAT considers that there is a high level of risk in a country, perhaps a very high threat of terrorist attack or a volatile and unpredictable security or political situation, the destination falls into one of the following alert groups:

  • Category 5 countries - Advise against travel to these destinations; or
  • Category 4 countries - Reconsider the need to travel to these destinations (also includes some Category 5 locations within the country).

There must be compelling reasons for an approver to authorise travel to any destination within a Category 4 or 5 alert groups. The approval of travel to such destinations is the responsibility of the International Travel Approver (Senior Executive – ie. Vice Chancellor and members of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee), or higher authority (refer to Section 1.3). Consideration should be given to:

  • the University’s duty of care and concerns for personal safety;
  • the needs of the work unit/research program (i.e. can the work be deferred, undertaken in an alternate destination, via teleconferencing or a local representative, etc.);
  • personal expertise and knowledge of the country/location;
  • local networks, support and language ability; and
  • whether the staff member has the capacity to implement suitable risk reduction and contingency plans.

Immediately prior to undertaking travel, travellers must review the DFAT advisories again. Where travel is approved, but not yet commenced, and the destination subsequently becomes subject to a DFAT travel advisory alert, the travel requisition must be updated, re-submitted and re-assessed for approval via the Expense Management System (refer to the FaBS website for details).

Where travel to a destination subject to a Travel Advisory Alert is unavoidable, travellers must register their travel movements and contact details with DFAT (refer to the Smarttraveller website for details). DFAT will forward the details to each of the overseas embassies so that they know the whereabouts of Australians in their respective countries.

The University, together with the traveller, has the responsibility for identifying potential dangers or risks present in areas where travel is to be undertaken and to take reasonable measures to control and/or avoid such risks (refer to Section 3.2).

If there is a cause for concern of safety for domestic travel, approval to travel must be provided by the Head of Organisational Unit.

1.3 Approval Roles and Responsibilities

Once the electronic travel requisition has been submitted by the traveller, the request will be forwarded to the relevant verifier/s and approver/s.

Roles

With the exception of the Vice-Chancellor, domestic travel must be approved by the:

  • Private Travel Reimbursement Approver (where applicable) (refer to Section 6).; and
  • Cost Centre Verifier; and
  • Travel Approver, subject to the one-up authorisation rule.

All international travel must be approved by the:

  • Private Travel Reimbursement Approver (where applicable) (refer to Section 6); and
  • Cost Centre Verifier;
  • Travel Approver, subject to the one-up authorisation rule; and
  • International Travel Approver, subject to the one-up authorisation rule.

Responsibilities

Before approving travel:

  • the Private Travel Reimbursement Approver must ensure that:
  • the Cost Centre Verifier must ensure that:
    • there are sufficient funds in the nominated account/s;
    • the travel budget is reasonable, based on the nature of the business and
    • travel requirements;
    • travel details and diary are completed adequately; and
    • the proposed travel complies with relevant JCU Policies and Procedures.
  • the Travel Approver (i.e. Head of Organisational Unit or higher authority) must ensure that the:
    • travel is required for the purposes of University business;
    • alternative means of conducting business are not viable (e.g. video conferencing);
    • Organisational Unit activities will not be detrimentally affected by the approval of the travel or arrangements have been made to cover duties during the absence;
    • travel budget is reasonable based on the nature of the business and travel requirements;
    • University fulfils its duty of care obligations; and
    • proposed travel complies with relevant JCU Policies and Procedures.
  • the International Travel Approver (i.e. Senior Executive) must ensure that the:
    • travel is required for the purposes of University business;
    • University fulfils its duty of care obligations (eg. review traveller’s DFAT travel advisory alerts (refer to Section 1.2) ; and
    • proposed travel complies with relevant JCU Policies and Procedures.

Where a verifier/approver deems that the information provided in the travel requisition is not sufficient or is unacceptable, the verifier/approver should include comments and/or request additional information from the traveller.

Further information relating to the approval of travel requisitions can be found in the EMS User Guide or Quick Guides (refer to the FaBS website for details).

1.4 Changes to Approved Travel

Where travel is approved and subsequently changed prior to departure, the traveller must update the travel requisition to reflect the new itinerary and any changes to the travel budget.

A variation to travel that involves additional travel costs, change to private travel days, destination and/or duration/ must be re-approved by the relevant approver/s (refer to Section 1.3). Where the changed travel plans do not include an increase to the cost or duration of travel, the travel requisition does not require re-approval, except where a DFAT alert has been issued.

Where changes to travel plans result in unused air tickets, travellers must contact the relevant Travel Management Company (TMC) to arrange for the credit or refund. Travellers are responsible for effectively utilising credited tickets for subsequent University travel

After the commencement or upon completion of travel, only changes to the travel itinerary (e.g. travel start/end dates, destinations visited, travel reasons) are required to be reflected in the travel requisition.

1.5 Field Trip Requisition

In addition to each traveller completing an electronic travel requisition through the EMS, the field trip Officer In Charge (OIC) must complete a field trip requisition via manual/paper travel requisition for all expenses. The OIC is required to enter all field trip related information including:

  • a travel budget for group travel expenses that will be covered by the University, and are not included in an individual traveller’s travel requisition. (For example, items such as groceries, vehicle hire and equipment hire would normally form part of the field trip budget) ;
  • the start and end date; and
  • the reason for the field trip.

Where expenses are segregated and incurred by individual travellers, those expenses should appear in the individual traveller’s electronic travel requisition, not the manual field trip travel requisition completed by the OIC.

Safety and transportation documentation relating to the field trip must also be completed prior to undertaking travel (refer to Field Trip Forms for details).

Every effort should be made by travellers to accurately reflect all costs incurred individually.

2. TRAVEL BOOKINGS

The University has supplier agreements with World Travel Professionals (WTP) and Escape Travel as the nominated TMCs. WTP and Escape Travel have been appointed because:

  • they assist the University in fulfilling its duty of care obligations to travellers;
  • they provide airfare discounts and incentives that produce savings for the University;
  • they offer a range of services related to travel; and
  • utilising TMCs reduces travel administration costs to the University.

The following travel arrangements must be booked through WTP:

  • domestic air travel; and
  • domestic car hire.

The following travel arrangements must be booked through either WTP or Escape Travel:

  • international air travel; and
  • travel visas.

The use of other service providers for air travel may be permitted where exceptional circumstances exist.

For example, circumstances where:

  • a package deal connected with a conference offers substantial savings;
  • route availability is not offered by the University’s TMCs; or
  • a substantially cheaper airfare is available.

Under such circumstances, the traveller must obtain approval from the Associate Manager, Procure to Pay, prior to booking.

Note: The University will not guarantee the payment or reimbursement of travel booked or arranged through other (non-contracted) TMCs, direct with airlines or which was incurred by individuals where the Associate Manager, Procure to Pay, has not given written approval.

Accommodation and other travel related expenses should be booked through the University’s TMCs where practical.

Domestic travel bookings should be made via WTP’s on-line booking system E-Res, as no Travel Management Fees are charged to the traveller. Where access to WTP’s on-line booking system is unavailable, and for international travel, bookings should be made via email, phone or using E-Book through WTP’s travel portal, however, please note that Travel Management Fees are charged.

2.1 Class of Air Travel

All University air travel must be undertaken in economy class, except as outlined below.  Any additional costs incurred are deemed a ‘Private Expense’ and must be paid by the traveller directly. Travel must be booked as per this procedure with any request for upgrade and payment subsequently arranged directly via the relevant University TMC.

University air travel may be undertaken in Business Class by:

  • the Chancellor;
  • the Vice-Chancellor (VC); and
  • members of the Senior Executive.

Travellers may upgrade to business class, with prior approval from the above officers if:

  • accompanying the Chancellor or any member of the Senior Executive;
  • where the nature or frequency of duties warrants such usage;
  • where travel in economy class may be harmful or painful to an employee; or
  • the staff member has negotiated to fly business class as part of their employment contract.

If a traveller would like to travel business class, which is not supported by the above positions, they can travel business class if they wish to pay the fare difference (at their own cost) between economy class travel and business class travel, with all other factors remaining constant.

First class air travel will only be authorised for individuals travelling on University related business under exceptional circumstances with the approval of the Vice Chancellor or Chancellor.

2.2 Air-Travel - Best fare of the Day

The ‘Best fare of the Day’ must be selected for all University air travel. The ‘Best fare of the Day’ represents the lowest fare available at the time of booking, providing the greatest value to the University. Consideration should be given to:

  • cost;
  • class of travel;
  • duration;
  • the flexibility required by the traveller;
  • the nature of the business; and
  • any other necessary travel requirements.

As soon as it is known that travel is required, bookings must be made immediately to take advantage of the best fares at that time.

Personal preference to use a specific airline, including membership to Frequent Flyer Programs or Airline Clubs/Lounges, will not be accepted as justification for selecting a more expensive fare.

2.3 Accommodation

The standard for accommodation is business class hotels convenient to the place of business. ‘Reasonable’ rates and maximum limits are set out in FMPM 742: Authorised Limits - Travel. These rates should be used as a guide when determining what accommodation expenses are considered reasonable given the location and purpose of travel.

The University’s TMCs have access to preferential rates with certain hotel chains and should be used to book accommodation where value for money can be obtained. Where a significantly better offer can be obtained externally, accommodation can be booked through alternate service providers.

Caution should be exercised when using distressed accommodation websites (e.g. Wotif) to ensure the University is not exposed to risk of financial loss from unguaranteed bookings.

2.4 Ground Transportation

Travellers should select the most time efficient, safe, and cost effective means of ground transport.

Where it is more economical and efficient, travellers should use University vehicles, public transport (buses, trains and trams), ferries and/or taxis, in preference to hire cars.

Conditions for the use of University vehicles for University travel must be in accordance with the provisions outlined in the policy on the University Vehicles page. For Package vehicle information refer to JCU's Salary Packaging Program.

2.4.1 Hire Cars

Hire cars may be used where other forms of ground transport are unavailable, unsuitable, or not cost-efficient. The University has preferential rates with our sole domestic car hire service provider, Hertz. Domestic car hire bookings must be made via the University’s domestic TMC World Travel Professionals.

Travellers should generally hire a standard sedan, or smaller class vehicle. Upgrades to higher class vehicle should only be made if:

  • the upgrade is free;
  • where there is a University business related need; or
  • there are no other vehicles available.

No additional insurance or fees are required to be paid to the car rental agency to reduce the accident excess payable on the hire vehicle. This is covered under the University’s Corporate Travel insurance policy and any insurance excess is paid from a University central account. Please contact the University’s Insurance Officer (insurance@jcu.edu.au) if you have had an accident using a hire vehicle for JCU business purposes and are required to submit an insurance claim.

University travellers should take advantage of the Hertz #1 Club Gold program to enable more efficient service and time of pick up and drop off.

Note: If required vehicles are not available through the TMC or the price variance is excessive, contact should be made immediately with the Associate Manager Procure To Pay.

2.4.2 Private Motor Vehicles

A private vehicle may only be used for University travel in cases where all other means of transportation are unavailable, or deemed to be unsuitable or inappropriate. The use of a private motor vehicle must be approved prior to undertaking University travel. Approval for the use of a private motor vehicle for University travel should not be anticipated, and no expenses may be incurred prior to approval.

The traveller must request approval for the use of a private motor vehicle for University travel by completing the Private Motor Vehicle section of the domestic travel requisition via the EMS (refer to the FaBS website for details). The traveller is required to include a statement detailing the circumstances necessitating the use of the private vehicle, as well as making declarations regarding:

  • licensing;
  • registration;
  • insurance; and
  • salary packaging.

Note: University Insurance does notcover the use of a private vehicle for University business. It is the sole responsibility of the traveller to ensure that their vehicle will be covered for business use (refer to Section 3.3 below).

2.5 Airline Club/Lounge Membership

The University may fund business airline club/lounge memberships for travellers who have a justified need (e.g. undertake University travel more than five (5) times each year). Applications for University-funded travel club membership require authorisation from the Head of the relevant Organisational Unit.

All other eligible staff members may salary sacrifice membership fees to join an airline club/lounge taking advantage of the University’s corporate rate (refer to the JCU Salary Sacrifice Program for details).

2.6 Frequent Flyer Schemes

Frequent flyer scheme joining fees will not be funded by the University.

Frequent flyer points accumulated while undertaking University travel can be offset against subsequent University travel.

3. UNDERTAKING TRAVEL

The traveller is responsible for ensuring that a travel requisition is submitted, travel is approved, relevant bookings are made, and any other travel requirements have been arranged, prior to undertaking official University business travel.

3.1 Passport-Visa Requirements

Travellers must ensure that they comply with any relevant immigration requirements prior to undertaking travel. DFAT provides details and requirements relating to specific travel destinations (refer to the Smartraveller website). Applications for visas should be made through the University’s TMCs. The University will meet the costs for travellers to obtain passports and visas where there is a need for undertaking University travel.

Note: Passports must be valid for at least six (6) months following the date of return to Australia.

3.2 Traveller Whereabouts

All travellers are required to provide contact details in their traveller profile with the University’s TMCs. This number will be contacted in the event of an emergency to check traveller’s safety and wellbeing. An email will also be sent to travellers in such cases.

Where travel to a destination subject to a Travel Advisory Alert is unavoidable, travellers must register their travel movements and contact details with DFAT (refer to the Smarttraveller website for details). DFAT will forward the details to each of the overseas embassies so that they know the whereabouts of Australians in their respective countries.

University travellers within an area that is, or becomes, subject to a DFAT Travel Advisory should monitor threatening situations and maintain contact with the relevant Head of Organisational Unit and the Australian Embassy in the host country.

In the case of an emergency, the traveller must immediately contact the Head of the Organisational Unit, and where undertaking international travel, the Australian Embassy.  The Head of the Organisational Unit must notify the Associate Manager, Procure To Pay.

Note: Staff are encouraged to copy important documents such as their passport, itinerary, hotel contact details, confirmation of airline tickets etc. and to carry them in a different bag from the originals.

3.3 Insurance

The University’s Corporate Travel insurance policy provides cover for authorised University travel for a continuous period of up to nine (9) months to destinations in excess of 50km from the place of residence or business (excluding commuting).  Where University travel is for periods greater than nine (9) months, private insurance arrangements need to be made. Contact JCU Insurance (insurance@jcu.edu.au) for further information.

Staff members undertaking University travel are covered by the Workers Compensation legislation relevant to their place of employment (Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) for Queensland based employees).  WorkCover must be advised when University staff will be overseas or interstate for greater than six (6) months (excluding SSP). Details of such travel arrangements must be forwarded by the traveller to Human Resources.

The University’s insurance policy does not provide cover for:

  • Private Motor Vehicles – Travellers who use their own private motor vehicle are responsible for private motor vehicle insurance.  The University is not liable for any loss or damage suffered or expense incurred by any person arising out of or in connection with the use of a private vehicle for University travel.

Further information regarding the University’s Corporate Travel insurance policy can be found on the insurance website or by contacting insurance@jcu.edu.au.  Other useful travel tips and information can be found on the Customer Care Medical Assistance website.

Note: For insurance coverage 50km from the place of residence or business is stipulated which compares to the Scope of this policy state 60km from the place of residence or business.  A 60km radius is incorporated into this Policy to covert sites off campus that are visited on a regular basis.

Contact insurance@jcu.edu.au for Insurance Policy details.

4. TRAVEL EXPENSES

4.1 Travel Budget

The traveller is required to set a travel budget when completing the travel requisition via the EMS (refer to the FaBS website for details). The travel budget represents an estimate of travel expenses to be incurred whilst undertaking University travel.

Travellers are encouraged to refer to the following to assist with the calculation of the travel budget:

  • Section 4.2 Actual Travel Expenses;
  • Section 4.3 Allowances;
  • the ‘reasonable’ travel expenses guidelines (refer to FMPM 742: Authorised Limits - Travel); and
  • quotes from the University’s TMCs.

4.2 Actual Travel Expenses

The University will cover pre-approved actual travel expenses relating to:

  • airfares;
  • accommodation;
  • meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner);
  • ground transport;
  • car parking;
  • conference/seminar registration;
  • entertainment; and
  • other reasonable University travel expenses (e.g. passport & visa charges, inoculations, tipping (where customary), use of telephone, fax and email).

Travel costs cannot be claimed where no cost has been incurred by the traveller.

For example, a traveller who stays with friends/family at no cost cannot claim accommodation or relevant meal expenses. Under such circumstances the University may meet the cost for the provision of a small ‘thank you’ gesture of up to $50/night to the friends/family hosting them (e.g. paying for somegroceries or taking family/friends out for a meal. Tax invoices/receipts for the cost of the ‘thank you’ gesture must be obtained. Any proposed ‘thank you’ gesture should be documented on the travel requisition and the normal travel requisition approval procedures will apply.

The University will not cover unauthorised or private travel expenses, or costs relating to personal activities. This includes but is not limited to costs relating to:

  • damage to hotel rooms/property;
  • alcohol from the mini bar or excessive alcohol purchases;
  • accompanying partner/spouse;
  • private travel components;
  • in house movies;
  • beauty treatments; and
  • recreational activities.

Where the corporate credit card is used to pay for such an expense, the traveller must repay that amount to the University (refer to Section 5 & Section 6 below).

4.2.1 Payment of Actual Travel Expenses – Corporate Cardholders

The University corporate credit card is the preferred method of payment for all actual University travel expenses, and must be used where possible.

Staff members, who are expected to undertake international travel or domestic travel at least twice per year, will be issued with a University corporate credit card. A request to be issued with a University corporate credit card can be obtained by completing the Corporate Credit Card Issue/Request form which is located on the Financial and Business Services Forms page (refer to the FaBS website for details).

Further information relating to University corporate credit cards can be obtained in the FMPM 420: Policy - Corporate Credit Cards and FMPM 421: Procedure - Corporate Credit Cards.  

All travel booked through the University’s TMCs must be paid using the traveller’s own University corporate credit card. All expenses in relation to that traveller are not to be incurred on any other University corporate credit card.

Note: Personal funds should not be used for any University travel expenses that can be paid for using a corporate credit card. Petty Cash must not be used to pay for any travel related expenses. (Travel Cash Expense Reimbursement via the EMS is to be used (refer to Section 4.2.3).

4.2.2 Payment of Actual Travel Expenses – Non-Corporate Cardholders

Where a traveller does not have a corporate credit card, the payment for airfares will be charged to the Central Travel Account (refer to Section 4.2.2 below), and the costs are transferred to the nominated account (OPF). The Central Travel Account is a card-less credit account held within Financial and Business Services.

Payment for accommodation and/or conference/seminar registrations should be made by the area’s Procurement Officer. Payment for car hire charges will be charged to the Central account and transferred to a nominated account.

Out of pocket expenses incurred by travellers without a corporate credit card,such as meals and taxi fares, should be paid using private funds (i.e. paid in cash or charged to a personal credit card) and claimed back by completing a cash expense reimbursement via the EMS within 21 days of the travel return date (refer to Section 4.2.3 below).

For more information refer to the Basic Travel Steps for the Non-Cardholder located under the EMS User Guide and Quick Guides page (refer to the FaBS website for details).

4.2.3 Reimbursement of Actual Travel Expenses

An on-line ‘expense reimbursement’ claim must be completed and submitted via the EMS (refer to the FaBS website for details) for all pre-approved actual travel expenses incurred using private funds (i.e. paid in cash or charged to a personal credit card). This should apply to minor expenses only (i.e. not for airfares and accommodation or other expenses payable in advance).

Expense reimbursement claims may be completed and submitted while undertaking travel and must be made within 21 days of the travel return date. The Cost Centre Verifier may elect to only reimburse a proportion of the travel costs incurred if they were not pre-approved or are deemed excessive or inappropriate.

Note: The University will not guarantee the reimbursement of expenses that should have been made through the University’s TMCs (i.e. airfares and domestic car hire). (refer Section 2)

4.2.4 Travel Cash Advance via Corporate Credit Card

Cash advances should not normally be used unless in connection with approved University travel in exceptional circumstances where the:

  • the University corporate credit card cannot be used for some travel expenses; and
  • these travel expenses are of a significant value.

Travellers requiring access to the corporate credit card cash advance facility should indicate their intentions to do so when completing the travel requisition via the EMS (refer to the FaBS website for details). A PIN number is required to access the corporate credit card cash advance facility. To obtain a PIN number, a PIN Request form must be completed which is located on the FaBS Forms page (refer to the FaBS website for details).

Any private/personal portion of a corporate credit card transaction/s (or full amount), and any unused proportion of cash withdrawal transaction/s not used for business travel expenses, should be coded as a ‘Private Expense’ in the EMS. These ‘Private Expense’ funds will be automatically deducted from the corporate credit card holder’s next fortnightly after-tax pay/s. Alternatively if a corporate credit cardholder travels to the same international destination frequently and can utilize the remaining funds within the near future (e.g. six months), the excess funds can be retained in a secure location and used for the next official University business travel. The entire cash withdrawal transaction/s is required to be acquitted in full within 21 days after the completion of travel.

Note: Travel cash advances must not be used for substantial costs that can be paid using the University corporate credit card (i.e. airfares, accommodation, car hire, etc).

4.3 Allowances

The University may provide an allowance to cover expenses for University travel where the traveller is required to;

  • camp out overnight where the University provides food but not accommodation;
  • camp out overnight and food and accommodation is not provided by the University;
  • travel overnight and have incidental expenses;
  • use a private motor vehicle (within Australia); or
  • live away from home.

Further information relating to the allowance rates and limits is located under FMPM 742: Authorised Limits - Travel.

Travellers must include the incidental or field or camping or private motor vehicle allowance in the travel budget when completing the travel requisition. To claim payment of the allowance the traveller must complete and submit an expense reimbursement claim through the EMS (refer to Section 4.3.4).

4.3.1 Camping Allowance

Where travellers are required to ‘camp out’ overnight and food, beverages and accommodation are not provided by the University, they may be entitled to a camping allowance. For details on how to claim the camping allowance (refer Section 4.3.6)

4.3.2 Field Allowance

Where travellers are required to ‘camp out’ overnight and food and beverages are provided by the University but accommodation is not, they may be entitled to a field allowance. For details on how to claim the field allowance (refer Section 4.3.6).

4.3.3 Incidental Allowance

An incidental allowance is available to cover employee incidental expenses while on University travel. Therefore, employees are not eligible to separately claim any incidental expenses incurred while on business travel by cash reimbursement (petty cash) or on their JCU Corporate Credit Card by a card transaction or cash advance withdrawal.

The following expenses are considered as incidental:

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Morning and afternoon tea expenses
  • Snacks such as cake, coffee, tea or drinks etc.;
  • Laundry expenses; or
  • Personal items necessary for business travel.

An incidental allowance is available only where travel involves at least one night away from home. Where a traveller stays away from home for at least one night, the incidental allowance is payable per night away. Only one incidental allowance can be claimed by a traveller for any particular day.

For details on how to claim the Incidental Allowance, (refer Section 4.3.6).

Note: Incidental Allowances can only be paid in addition to one other Allowance stated above (e.g. Incidental Allowance and Camping Allowance; or Incidental Allowance and Field Allowance).  All three allowances stated cannot be claimed for the same time period.

4.3.4 Private Motor Vehicle -MV- Allowance

Where the use of a private motor vehicle for University travel within Australia is approved, one traveller per vehicle is entitled to claim a private MV allowance. Travellers must keep a record of the actual kilometres travelled in order to claim a private MV allowance on return from travel. Any private MV allowance received will appear on the traveller’s Payment Summary and will be included in the assessable income. For details on how to claim the Private MV allowance (refer Section 4.3.6).

The relevant sections of the electronic travel requisitions submitted via the EMS must have the Vehicle declaration fully completed and approved prior to the payment of any Private MV allowance.

Private Motor Vehicle Allowances cannot be paid in addition to fuel that was purchased throughout the approved travel.

4.3.5 Living Away From Home Allowance -LAFHA

Where University travel is for an extended period of time such that the staff member takes up temporary residence away from their usual place of residence, the University may provide a LAFHA instead of meeting actual travel expenses.

When ‘travelling’ becomes ‘living away from home’ depends upon the specific circumstances of each case. Factors supporting the existence of ‘living away from home’ as opposed to ‘travelling’ (or being permanently relocated) include circumstances where the staff member:

  • has established a second or alternative work location; and/or
  • has moved residence to live close to a new (but temporary) work location; and/or
  • is accompanied by family members; and/or
  • is away for a finite period of time, with a clear intention of returning home after a set period of time; and/or
  • utilises longer-term accommodation while away (eg lease of residential premises); and/or
  • takes personal property with him/her that is more than just ‘normal travel items’.

Where a staff member is to be living away from home and will incur additional expenses as a result, the staff member will be entitled to a LAFHA.

Where a traveller is deemed entitled to a Living Away From Home Allowance (“LAFHA”) the allowance amount must not exceed the FBT exempt limit.

Further information relating to LAFHA can be found under Human Resources (refer to the Human Resources Allowances Schedule for details).

The payment of LAFHA is made outside of the EMS.

Note: LAFHA is not included in the assessable income of the recipient and is not required to be included on the recipient’s Payment Summary.

4.3.6 Payment of Allowances

The traveller must complete and submit an expense reimbursement claim through the EMS to claim a camping, field, incidental or private motor vehicle allowance (refer to the FaBS website for details).

A camping, field or incidental allowance expense reimbursement claim may be raised before undertaking travel.

A private motor vehicle allowance expense reimbursement claim may only be raised upon completion of travel. Travellers must keep a record of the actual kilometres travelled in order to claim a private motor vehicle allowance on return from travel.

All expense reimbursement claims must be raised within 21 days of the travel return date.

Once the expense reimbursement claim is approved, the traveller will be paid in accordance with payment runs as advised by the Procure To Pay team.

Note: An allowance cannot be claimed where the University covers actual University travel expenses.

5. TRAVEL ACQUITTAL

All travel expense transactions paid with a corporate credit card, including cash advances, will be recorded in the EMS. The acquittal of all travel related expenses must be completed through the EMS within 14 days of the completion of travel, or if the travel related expense is incurred before travel, acquittal should be completed before start of travel. The traveller is accountable for the acquittal of their own expenses, regardless of a delegate being appointed to acquit their travel expenses.

Allowances and actual travel expenses incurred using private funds will appear when an expense reimbursement claim is completed in the EMS. Details on how to acquit travel expenses and linking transactions to a travel requisition can be found in the EMS User Guide and Quick Guides (refer to the FaBS website for details).

Where actual travel expenses exceed the pre-approved travel budget (completed as part of the travel requisition) by more than the tolerated variance, the original approver/s will automatically be sent details of those expenses for authorisation via the EMS.

5.1 Retention of Tax Invoices/Receipts and Statutory Declarations

In order for the University to claim an input tax credit for the GST component of travel expenses, tax invoices/receipts showing the tax inclusive amount of the good or service must be retained.

Where tax invoices/receipts are lost or cannot be obtained, an input tax credit cannot be claimed by the University. In these cases the GST inclusive amount must be borne by the traveller’s cost centre.

It is highly recommended that all supporting evidence documents (e.g. tax invoices, receipts, statutory declarations) are scanned and attached to the corporate credit card transaction / requisition / reimbursement in the EMS, with original documentation being retained for at least 12 months. After this period, paper copies are no longer required to be retained, except for Statutory Declarations which will have to be kept for seven (7) years as this is a legal document.

If the supporting evidence documents are not attached to the transaction / requisition / reimbursement as suggested, they must be retained by the cardholder (or other relevant party in the event of departure of the cardholder) for seven (7) years and be produced upon request from Internal or External Auditors or the Director, Financial and Business Services.

As receipts/tax invoices are not always able to be obtained, or sometimes are misplaced, a Statutory Declaration is only required to be completed when the total of card transactions/cash reimbursements exceeds AUD$200 or equivalent (per trip). This applies to both domestic and international travel to locations where tax invoices/receipts are not easily obtainable such as remote international and remote domestic locations (eg. Papua New Guinea). Where possible tax invoices/receipts must always be obtained.

For example, auditors will dispute why a traveller whom has travelled to Cairns has not obtained tax invoices/receipts where it is known that this is possible to do so. The statutory declaration form can be found on the FaBS Forms webpage (refer to the FaBS website for details).

Detailed procedures on substantiation requirements and appropriate records of expenditure are provided in the EMS User Guide and Quick Guides (refer to the FaBS website for details).

At all times, expenditure incurred and/or being reimbursement must have appropriate supporting documentation prior to being verified and approved by authorised officers.

Note: All scanned attachments must be a legible copy of the original documentation.

5.2 Private Travel Expenses Incurred on Corporate Credit Card

Where the University traveller incurs an expense that is not related to University travel expenses, the traveller must repay the amount to the University.

For example, where a portion of a corporate credit card cash advance is not used for University travel, or where the corporate credit card is used to pay for in-house movies or alcohol from the mini-bar as part of an accommodation bill and the hotel does not accept two forms of payment (e.g. personal credit card and the JCU corporate credit card) upon checkout.

The corporate credit card transaction (or part thereof) must be coded as a ‘Private Expense’ in the EMS and the funds will automatically be deducted from the travellers’ next fortnightly after-tax pay. Where an expense amount charged to the University is deemed to be Private and also includes GST, the GST inclusive amount must be coded as a ‘Private Expense’ (refer to the FaBS website for details).

Note: Private expenses should only be incurred on University travel transactions where it was not possible to pay for the private component using a separate personal payment method due to vender restrictions. In regards to cash withdrawals, private expenses should only relate to repaying the University the unspent business cash withdrawal. The amount taken out as a cash withdrawal should be kept to a minimum. It is highly recommended that smaller cash withdrawal amounts be taken out on a more frequent basis rather than one large amount.

It is not ethical to use the University’s corporate credit card for any non-business transactions for self or family members, unless stated above.

6. PERSONAL/PRIVATE TRAVEL

The University will not pay for any personal or private expense incurred while undertaking University travel. Where supporting documentation shows that a staff member received University funds for personal/private use, an FBT liability will arise. In such cases, the traveller must repay to the University the private expense/component to negate the FBT liability.

The portion of travel expenses that are considered ‘private’ is determined by the purposes for travelling. The purpose/s of travel will be judged on a case by case basis by the Associate Manager, Procure to Pay.

Where travel is deemed to be ‘dual purpose’, the private travel component is subject to an FBT liability and the traveller may be required to repay a portion of the airfare incurred by the University.

For example, travel may be deemed ‘dual purpose’ when a traveller undertakes:

  • seven (7) days of University travel and five (5) days of private travel;
  • five (5) day of University travel and ten (10) days of private travel; or
  • four (4) weeks of University travel and two(2) weeks of private travel.

Where travel is deemed to be ‘single purpose’ the private travel component is considered incidental and the traveller is not required to contribute to the cost of the airfare.

For example, travel may be deemed single purpose when a traveller undertakes:

  • five (5) days of University travel and two (2) day of private travel over the weekend; or
  • four (4) weeks of University travel and one (1) week of private travel.

Any private travel days and personal component of travel must be declared when completing the travel requisition via the EMS (refer to the FaBS website for details) and must be recorded as leave in compliance with HR policies.

Travellers must identify and repay any travel expenses incurred by the University that are deemed personal/private in nature.

7. TRAVEL FOR NON-STAFF MEMBERS

The University will meet certain costs relating to approved travel by associates of the University that are not staff members. Approval for incurring these costs can only be given by:

Domestic Travel - Head of the Organisational Unit; and

International Travel – the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor.

7.1 Members of Council and Committee Members

The University will meet the cost of travel, within Queensland, for Members of Council and Committee Members to attend Council/Committee Meetings or other official University business as follows:

  • return airfares, or other travel costs as appropriate, between the town/city of residence (or Brisbane, for non Queensland based members) and the meeting venue; and
  • travel assistance for the period spent on official University business as outline in FMPM 742: Authorised Limits - Travel.

Members of Council and other Committee Members who travel to attend a meeting of Council, or who are on other University travel, must book their travel through the University’s TMCs.

Staff representatives on the Council must submit their travel requisition online via the EMS and will also be entitled to any travel assistance as outlined above.

7.2 Enrolled Higher Degree and Final Year Honours Students

Higher degree and final year honours students proposing to embark on University travel must submit a manual/paper Travel Requisition to the Head of the Organisational Unit, or higher authority, for approval prior to undertaking travel. The approved requisition must then be forwarded to the relevant Finance and Procurement team in the relevant Faculty/Division.

Higher Degree and Final Year Honours Students are entitled to claim approved ‘reasonable’ actual travel expenses or travel allowances for the period spent on official University business as outlined in FMPM 742: Authorised Limits - Travel.

If a student under this classification undertakes travel in the capacity of staff member, an electronic travel requisition must be submitted and no allowances or advances will be payable.

7.3 Enrolled Students other than Higher Degree and Final Year Honours

Individual Organisational Units may meet the cost of transport for other enrolled students attending compulsory excursions or camps that are prescribed as an integral part of a course of study in accordance with DEEWR guidelines. Students who are required to travel away from their Campus will be required to submit a manual/paper Travel Requisition to the relevant Head of the Organisational Unit, or higher authority, for approval prior to undertaking travel. The approved requisition must then be forwarded to the relevant Finance and Procurement team in the relevant Faculty/Division.

7.4 Other Non-Staff Members

Where there is a legitimate requirement for a non-staff member to accompany a University traveller (eg. a carer) that person may be entitled to the same travel benefits as the traveller. The University traveller must complete a manual/paper Travel Requisition on behalf of the person accompanying them and submit to the relevant Head of the Organisational Unit, or higher authority, for approval prior to undertaking travel. The approved requisition must then be forwarded to the relevant Finance and Procurement team in the relevant Faculty/Division.

Contracted Suppliers

World Travel Professionals (domestic and international travel)

Escape Travel (international travel)

Hertz (domestic and international car hire through World Travel Professionals)

Spendvision (Expense Management System)

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Directive No.9/11 Domestic Travelling and Relieving Expenses

Financial Accountability Act 2009

Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Industrial Relations Act (Qld) 1999

Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986

James Cook University Enterprise Agreement 2010

Payroll Tax Act 1971

Public Sector Ethics Act (Qld) 1994

Public Service Commission - Policies and Procedures

Public Service Regulation 2008

State Procurement Policy (published by the Queensland Government)

Various Tax Rulings, as applicable

Work Health and Safety Act (Qld) 2011

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2003

For enquiries in relation to this FMPM Procedure please contact PurchasingTravel@jcu.edu.au.

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval authority:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval date:

24/06/2015

Version no:

17-2

Date for next review:

11/04/2020

Modification History

Version

Revision date

Implementation Date

Details

Author

17-219/07/201724/07/2017Links and contacts updatedHead-Legal and Assurance

17-1

10/04/2017

11/04/2017

Amendments made to align procedure with the Financial Delegations Register

Manager, Strategic Procure to Pay

15-01

22/06/2015

 

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

QSP

11-01

15/11/2011

15/11/2011

  

09 - 01

02/03/2009

02/03/2009

  

08 - 2

21/11/2008

01/12/2008

  

08 - 1

01/09/08

01/09/08

  

07 - 1

03/09/07

05/09/07

  

05 - 1

09/2005

09/2005