Governance

Policies and procedures

Policy No.
UP07/41
Function
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
Finance - Central Unit
Date Approved
01/02/2006 Revised 19/07/2016
Next Review Date
01/02/2018
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Travel

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

In order for the University to achieve its primary mission of conducting teaching, research and scholarship at the highest international standards, it is often necessary for staff, students and other authorised persons to undertake travel. To enable the University to fulfil its obligations to persons travelling on its behalf, the University has adopted a travel policy, which will:

  • Support Travellers required to travel to undertake University activities.
  • Inform Travellers of their duties and responsibilities through policy, process and guidelines.
  • Recognise and manage risks of travelling.
  • Ensure travel is for a purpose that provides benefit to the University or to the staff member/student's professional development in proportion to the cost of the travel.
  • Provide adequate and quality conditions for travellers to undertake their activities whilst travelling away from their home base.
  • Ensure travel is conducted in a manner that is safe, efficient, cost-effective for purpose and prudent irrespective of the source of University funds (including research funds).

Definitions:

In this policy and any associated procedures,

"Air Travel" means all journeys by commercial or charter aircraft.

"Emergency Situation" means conflict, civil unrest, security risk, health alert or natural disaster (volcanic ash crisis, tsunami, earthquake and other events that occur in the locality of the Traveller.

"External Parties" means external travellers required to undertake University business where UWA Policy does not take precedence over their own organisation's policy and process

"Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)" means the tax imposed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) pursuant to the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (FBTAA).

"Impromptu" means the need to travel at short notice for business requirements within 48 hours.

"Other Travel" means intrastate, interstate and international journeys conducted or involving the use of any of the following:

* Accommodation.

* Vehicle hire.

* Sea craft such as ferry or charter hire.

* Trains or coaches.

"Per Diem" means an upfront travel payment paid through the Payroll System which is a definite, predetermined amount to cover the estimated reasonable travel costs of Academic employees not to exceed the maximum rates prescribed by the current Australian Taxation Ruling.

"Private Travel" has the meaning given by the Travel Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Policy.

"Risk Rating" means scales as determined within the University's selected international travel emergency service provider's website

"Travel Allowance" means an upfront travel payment paid through the Payroll System which is a definite, predetermined amount to cover the estimated reasonable travel costs of Professional employees not to exceed the prescribed rates in the Professional and General Staff Agreement.

"Travel Approvals" means the review process undertaken by the appropriate delegated authority to decide whether to approve, request for further information or decline the travel request.

"Travel Arranger" means the relevant Business Unit's staff member who arranges and manages travel on behalf of Travellers or External Parties.

"Travel Bookings" means the process required to confirm travel requirements with Travel Service Providers resulting in a ticketed and booked itinerary.

"Travel Diary" has the meaning given by the Travel Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Policy.

"Travel Emergency Services Provider" means the University appointed provider for medical, safety and security expertise and assistance for travel.

"Travel Insurance" means the University's corporate insurance cover for all staff/student travelling on official University Travel.

"Travel Itinerary" means a travel plan including destinations and purpose of travel.

"Travel Payments" means travel related expenditure for academic employees (Per Diem) and professional employees (Travel Allowance) that is paid through the payroll system, expenditure on Corporate Credit Cards or reasonable expenditure made for reimbursement.

"Travel Management System (TMS)" means the web based travel booking and approval tool, which comprises Concur Travel (online booking tool) and Concur Request (consultant assisted booking via the Travel Service Providers). The UWA Travel Management System is called Concur.

"Travel Service Providers (TSPs)" means the travel agent(s) as appointed and mandated for use by the University.

"Traveller" means authorised persons required to undertake University Travel where UWA Policy is precedent.

"Traveller Locator System" means the system implemented by the University to track Travellers conducting University Travel and contact Travellers in Emergency Situations to provide assistance, if required.

"Traveller Profile" means the Traveller's personal details supplied to and held by Travel Service Provider(s) for purposes of expediting travel bookings and enable contacts to be made during emergencies.

"University Travel" means all travel undertaken to conduct business or activities on behalf of the University, regardless of funding source

Policy statement:

All travel and travel-related expenditure incurred by the University must be in relation to official University business and undertaken as efficiently and economically as possible, irrespective of the source of University funds (including Research funds).

Travel must be for a purpose that provides benefit to the University or to the staff member/student's professional development in proportion to the cost of the travel.

1 Travel Approvals

1.1 All University Travel must be approved in line with the University's Travel Policy and by the appropriate University delegated authority referring to the UWA Financial Delegations. Domestic travel will be auto-approved for UWA staff only, if booked via Concur Travel (online booking tool), as opposed to Concur Request (consultant assisted booking). The auto-approval facility may be revoked in the case of misuse and the traveller may be liable for additional costs.

1.2 Regardless of funding source(s), Travellers and Travel Arrangers are required to arrange and manage Air Travel and where possible, all other forms of travel through the Travel Management System.

1.3 External Parties conducting University Travel must have their Air Travel and where possible all other forms of travel approved, managed and booked through the Travel Management System.

1.4 For External Parties where the University Travel Policy is not precedent, the University will consider the safety and well-being of External Parties undertaking University Travel.

1.5 Travel Arrangers or Approvers accept no liability for External Parties when accepting the Travel Management System Terms and Conditions, completing the Travel Activity Checklist and completing or approving the High Risk Travel Assessment for expediency of approval and booking. External parties should be governed by their own organisation's policy and process.

1.6 Where an external organisation is booking and paying for Air Travel, the Traveller is required to submit a travel requisition within the Travel Management System for approval. The e-ticket or itinerary must then be emailed to plans@concur.com. This enables the travel details to be entered into the UWA Traveller Locator System and for emergency assistance to be provided as required.

1.7 Other forms of travel activities such as expenditure for travel on public transport and by taxi need to be managed using local processes.

1.8 For further essential information on related process and guidelines, please refer Travel Approval Process.

2 Travel Bookings

2.1 The University has negotiated agreements with three preferred travel service providers (TSPs), Tertiary Travel, Campus Travel and STA Travel.

2.2 All Air travel must be booked through the Travel Management System via the Travel Service Providers who can also make reservations and bookings for accommodation and car hire.

2.3 It is University Policy that Travellers are required to travel economy class unless it is a condition of the staff member's employment contract. Limited exceptions to this requirement exist and are detailed in Section 3 Class of Travel.

2.4 Where Travellers wish to incorporate personal leave for Private Travel with University Travel, they must ensure that a leave request is submitted for approval through Employee Self Service (ESS) prior to booking. Private Travel may be subject to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and Travellers should seek advice from the local Business Unit and/or Financial Services Tax team prior to booking. Travellers should also consult the Travel Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Policy.

2.5 Upon submission of the travel booking, Travellers accept full financial, personal and legal liability for any Private Travel.

2.6 If Impromptu travel is required whilst travelling the Traveller should use the Travel Service Providers (a 24 hour emergency service is available from the Travel Service Providers). The Traveller is required to ensure that their e-ticket or itinerary is emailed to plans@concur.com. Where possible, approval should be sought prior to booking Impromptu travel. Abuse of this facility may result in recovery of administrative costs from the business unit.

2.7 For further essential information on related process and guidelines, please refer to the section in the Travel Web on Travel Booking Process.

3 Class of Travel

It is University policy that Travellers are required to travel economy class unless it is a condition of the staff member's employment contract.

Exceptions to the policy are:

  • On medical grounds: before making the travel arrangement the staff member/student must provide a current medical certificate from a medical practitioner to support the need to travel business class
  • The nature and timing of the journey, impact on employee, student productivity or the need to conduct in-flight business.
  • For these exceptions;

(i) Domestic business class and premium economy travel must be approved either by the Dean (or equivalent).

(ii) International business class and premium economy travel must be approved by the Dean (or equivalent). Deans (or equivalent) are required to have travel approved by their supervisor in accordance with the delegations policy.

First-class travel may only be approved by the Vice-Chancellor in writing.

Where staff/students have forward notice of the journey and its duration, bookings should be made to take advantage of fare discounts. Failure to do so could affect payment of the account in full, or reimbursement to the staff member/student.

Approval of travel, and particularly business class and premium economy travel, is to be subject to the availability of funds assessed as part of the travel approval process within the University's Travel Management System and in line with University policy.

All travel must be purchased through the University's TSPs, in line with the University's Travel Policy. Failure to do so may result in the University not paying the cost of the travel and may result in disciplinary action.

4 Travel Insurance

4.1 Travellers conducting authorised University activities are covered under insurance by the UWA Corporate Travel Insurance.

4.2 Exclusions from the insurance may apply to areas with a high/extreme Risk Rating (e.g. in 2012, Iran, Iraq and North Korea) and/or activities conducted by the Traveller that are deemed a high/extreme risk (e.g. professional sport, skiing and the like. Travellers are advised to seek further clarifications on these exclusions.

4.3 For further essential information, please refer to the UWA Corporate Travel Insurance website.

5 Travel Payments

5.1 Travellers are required to comply with the UWA Financial Services Travel Payments Policy.

5.2 Travellers are required to comply with the University Policy on Travel Payments for Travel Expenses.

5.3 A Travel or Per Diem Allowance is a definite, predetermined amount to cover the estimated reasonable travel costs of the recipient.

5.4 Travellers are to inform themselves of the different types of Travel or Per Diem Allowances and their liabilities/limits.

5.5 Reimbursement for airfares is no longer applicable other than in emergency circumstances with approval from the Head of School or equivalent.

5.6 Reimbursement for airfares is only applicable to cater for Emergency Situations with approval from the appropriate University delegated authority referring to the UWA Financial Delegations.

5.7 Corporate credit cards can be used for low-cost, internet-based airlines such as Tiger Airways and Easy Jet, where this is the only payment option available and travel is booked outside of Concur.

5.8 For further essential information on related process and guidelines, please refer to the section in the Finance Manual on Travel Payment Methods, Travel Allowances, Corporate Card Usage and Travel Reimbursement

6 Travel Diaries

A travel diary is to be completed in accordance with the Travel Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Policy.

6.1 For further essential information on related process and guidelines, please refer to the section in the Finance Manual on Travel Diaries.

7 Risk Management and Emergency Situation

7.1 Travellers are to ensure that travel activities are in accordance with the requirements of the UWA Fraud and Corruption Policy, Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.

7.2 Travellers must ensure the University is aware of Air, Other Travel plans and activities to be undertaken. Travellers must also ensure their Traveller Profile is kept up to date. All this information will assist the University in locating Travellers during Emergency Situations.

7.3 Where changes to the travel itinerary have been made and travellers have booked outside of Concur, Travellers must promptly email the new Travel Itinerary or e-ticket to plans@concur.com for manual update of the Traveller Locator System.

7.4 Travellers must read and follow relevant travel advice issued by the University risk detection and notification module within the Travel Management System and other reputable sources for travel to countries rated high/extreme and in Emergency Situations.

7.5 If travelling to destinations with a security or medical risk warning of high or above, the Traveller must ensure they have prepared a satisfactory risk management assessment. It is also recommended that the traveller reviews the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website.

7.6 In an Emergency Situation whilst overseas, the Traveller must:

  • Immediately contact the University's emergency services provider call centres and comply with the instructions provided;
  • Register with the Australian or home country embassy in the host country;
  • Contact UWA/Faculty supervisor, UWA Security (+61 8 6488 2222) and University appointed Travel Service Providers. Phone contact is preferred to email;
  • Communicate all movements to the relevant embassy, the University's Emergency Travel Services Provider, UWA contacts (Supervisor and UWA Security) and University appointed Travel Service Providers; and
  • Keep abreast of developments, both local and international.

7.7 Should a Traveller require flights due to an Emergency Situation, the Traveller should use the Travel Service Providers where practicable and ensure that their e-ticket or itinerary is emailed to plans@concur.com. A 24 hour emergency service is available from the Travel Service Providers regarding the above.

7.8 For Other Travel, Travellers must comply with the following Policies:

  • Field Work Procedures in Rural and Remote Areas
  • Driving in Remote Locations
  • Working Overseas - Safety and Health Guidelines

8 Exclusions

8.1 The policy does not cover the use of personal or UWA vehicles for Perth Metropolitan, intrastate and interstate travel. These have to be in compliance with other relevant policies, procedures and guidelines such as UWA Use of University Vehicles, Driving in Remote Locations, and Field Work Procedures in Rural and Remote Areas.

8.2 The policy does not cover expenditure for travel on WA public transport and taxi but they are covered by local processes.

8.3 The policy does not cover travel in the Perth Metropolitan area unless involving Air Travel or sea craft.

8.4 All Air Travel must be arranged, approved and managed through the Travel Requisitioning System and booked through the Travel Service Providers unless approved by a band 3 Officer.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:

F27221

Contact position:

Chief Procurement Officer

Related Policies or legislation:

University Financial Manual Section on

  • Travel Approval Process
  • Travel Bookings Process
  • Travel Payment Methods
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • Travel Allowances
  • Travel Diaries

University Policies

Other