Travel policy

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This policy is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation to apply to Foundation activities.

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PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistent and fair treatment of people required to travel on behalf of the WMF. This policy applies only to travelers whose expenses are being paid by the WMF; it does not apply to travelers whose expenses are being paid by another organization, or by the traveler him or herself.

The guiding principles are:

  1. WMF travelers will be reimbursed for legitimate, reasonable travel expenses when directly connected with or pertaining to WMF business based on established allowances in this policy.
  2. WMF travelers are expected to generally be conscientious in their use of WMF funds, and to travel by economical and efficient means.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

  1. All travel arrangements (air, rail, vehicle rental and lodging), including all changes and cancellations of travel arrangements, must be made through WMF’s designated travel service provider, except with advance approval from the Executive Director or Chair of the Board of Trustees.
  2. The lowest available airfares shall be sought when making bookings. All travelers are expected to use economy class.
  3. The standard for rail travel is economy class.
  4. Rental vehicles may be used where economical and practical.
  5. WMF travelers shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable expenses for accommodation.
  6. Taxi fares are reimbursable, however the WMF encourages travelers to use more economical alternatives where practical.
  7. WMF travelers have a choice of submitting actual receipts for meals, or of receiving a standard daily meal allowance, for meals not provided during the trip.
  8. Other expenses are reimbursable provided they are legitimate, necessary and reasonable travel expenses directly connected with or pertaining to WMF business.
  9. Travelers may, on occasion, combine personal and WMF travel on the same trip provided there is no additional cost to WMF.
  10. Travelers must submit travel expense reports, with all required information, to the WMF within 1 month of completion of the trip, unless a longer delay is approved by the chair or the executive director. Every effort will be made to reimburse travelers within five working days of receipt.


PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES

1. TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS - GENERAL
All travel arrangements (air, rail, vehicle rental and lodging), including all changes and cancellations of travel arrangements, must be made through WMF’s designated travel service provider, except with advance approval from the Executive Director or Chair of the Board of Trustees or whenever the service provider can not easily provide this service.

2. AIR TRAVEL
The lowest available airfares shall be sought when making bookings. All travelers are expected to use economy class.
Business class may be used for flights exceeding nine hours in duration, if required to accommodate a traveler’s special physical or medical needs. Use of business class must be approved in advance by the ED. If approval is not given, the traveler may choose to fly business class regardless, and to personally pay the actual difference in cost.

3. RAIL TRAVEL
The standard for rail travel is economy class.

4. VEHICLE RENTAL
Rental vehicles may be used where economical and practical. All vehicle rentals must be for economy-class vehicles, unless three or more people are traveling together and/or when travelers have to carry excess baggage and/or equipment for WMF purposes. Rental vehicles must be returned on time and with a full tank of gas to avoid additional hourly costs and excessive refueling charges.

5. LODGING
WMF travelers shall be reimbursed the actual and reasonable expenses for accommodation while traveling on WMF business. A single room with a private bath is the standard.
Although travelers generally stay in commercial accommodation, travelers may choose to make arrangements for private, non-commercial accommodation (e.g. lodging with friends or family). In these instances, the traveler may claim $30.00 US per night. Receipts are not required for reimbursement of this amount.

6. TAXIS AND OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
Taxi fares are reimbursable, however the WMF encourages travelers to use more economical alternatives where practical.

7. ALLOWANCES FOR MEALS AND INCIDENTALS
WMF travelers have a choice of submitting actual receipts for meals, or of receiving standard daily meal allowances, for meals not provided during the trip. If meals are provided, the per diem below will not be given.

The standard meals & incidental expenses rate will be at 75% of the State Dept and GSA rates.

The breakdown of meals related to the global daily per diem will be as followed:

Breakfast: 20%
Lunch: 30%
Dinner:50%

For example, in year 2007, the standard USA State rate in Tampa, Florida, is 54 dollars. Wikimedia Foundation meals and incidental rate in 2007 in Tampa Florida is consequently 40 dollars (8 dollars for breakfast, 12 dollars for lunch, and 20 dollars for dinner).

8. OTHER EXPENSES (8a) and COMBINING PERSONAL and WMF TRAVEL (8b)

8a. Other expenses are reimbursable provided they are legitimate, necessary and reasonable travel expenses directly connected with or pertaining to WMF business.

Miscellaneous expenses that are reimbursable include:

  • Internet connectivity charges
  • Charges for business-related telephone calls
  • International Travel Costs: Actual costs of acquiring passports, visas, necessary photographs, birth certificates, required inoculations, immunizations, health cards and fees for the conversion of funds to foreign currencies are reimbursable.
  • Excess Baggage: Charges for excess baggage are reimbursable when the traveler is transporting WMF materials or when the extended period of travel necessitates excess personal baggage.
  • Laundry: Travelers will be reimbursed for reasonable and actual expenses for laundry services that are necessary due to an absence from home for five or more days or when unusual and documented circumstances mandate these services.
  • Gratuities: Normal, reasonable gratuity amounts (e.g., for taxis or restaurants)
  • Tolls and parking fees
  • Dependant care: Travelers will be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant care expenses. Dependant care include persons under 18 years of age or persons with mental or physical disability.
    • When the traveler is a volunteer, he or she will be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant care expenses
    • When the traveler is a staff member, he or she will be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant care expenses up to a daily maximum of $70.00 US per household. Dependant care allowance shall apply only for expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling and are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

Miscellaneous expenses that are not reimbursable include:

  • Pet care expenses
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Insurance coverage for privately owned vehicles
  • Expenses for the repairs of privately owned vehicles
  • Expenses related to damages to uninsured rental cars and privately owned vehicles
  • Interest charges levied on overdue invoices or credit card statements
  • Barbers, hairdressers, toiletry items, health club fees, prescriptions and non-prescription medications
  • Hotel pay-per-view video and mini-bar expenses
  • Expenses related to lost or stolen items
  • ATM fees
  • Meals included in another reimbursable item (e.g. conference fee, transportation charge, accommodation)
  • Personal telephone calls, with the exception of one brief call to the traveler’s home location, per day.
  • In general, personal expenses are not reimbursable, and are assumed to include any expenses which are not a necessary consequence of travel on behalf of the WMF.


8b. COMBINING PERSONAL AND WMF TRAVEL

Travelers may, on occasion, combine personal and WMF travel on the same trip provided there is no additional cost to WMF. Incremental costs are not reimbursable.

If the traveler takes an indirect route or interrupts a direct route for other than WMF business, reimbursement will be at either the actual charge or the charge that would have been incurred by traveling the direct route by the most economical means, whichever is less.

Any personal portion of the cost of a rental car must be subtracted from the total rental bill before requesting reimbursement. The personal portion is calculated by prorating the cost of the rental over the number of days for personal use and number of days for business use.

Expenses related to a traveler’s spouse or family members are considered personal and are not reimbursable, except:

  • When a spouse or family member is formally representing WMF and has been expressly invited for that purpose;
  • The traveler is relocating on behalf of WMF, in which case the traveler’s spouse is entitled to reimbursement for one trip to and from the new location.

9. TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORTS

Travelers must submit travel expense reports, with all required information, to the WMF within 1 month of completion of the trip. Every effort will be made to reimburse travelers within five working days of receipt.

Receipts are always the preferred form of documentation.

WMF expects that in general, a good faith effort will be made by travelers to collect and retain all required receipts. If a receipt equal to or greater than $25.00 US is not issued or is lost, the traveler is expected to substantiate the amount of the lost receipt in whatever way seems practical and reasonable (e.g., credit card statement or the like).