Reimbursement of expenses for members of Council and University advisory bodies Policy

Document Number000997
Date Approved7 December 2012
 

1.      Introduction

The University recognises the valuable work undertaken by the external, staff and student members of its governing and advisory bodies and controlled entities and the costs involved for undertaking such work.

The University is committed to assisting such members in fulfilment of these roles / in carrying out these functions.  For this reason the University may reimburse reasonable expenses necessarily incurred in the exercise of their duties for the University.

While many members of the University’s governing and advisory bodies may prefer not to claim expenses, this policy recognises that others may wish to do so. It therefore establishes the principles by which such reimbursements may be made.

2.      Scope

This policy applies to certain categories of members of the University bodies listed in Schedule 1.

3.      Relevant definitions

In the context of this document:

Hire-car means a rented self-driven car

Reasonable expenses means expenses that would reasonably be expected to occur as a result of the exercise of duties for the University body

Reimbursement means payment for monies expended on reasonable expenses necessarily incurred in the exercise of duties for the University

Remuneration means payment for service on Council

University body means those listed in Schedule 1.

4.      Policy provisions

This policy applies to meetings and official events attended by certain categories of members of the University bodies listed in Schedule 1 as part of their duties or functions as a member of the particular body.   

4.1      Domestic travel

The University will book the most reasonable and appropriate travel for meetings and events.  Travel arrangements made by individuals that require reimbursement will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Air

The University will make all bookings for air travel.  Bookings will provide for the most timely flights within 24 to 48 hours of the meeting or event. 

The authorised standard for air travel on University business is Economy Class.  Members of the Council may travel Business Class on domestic flights of over 2 hours.

Ground

In accordance with the Travel Policy 000782, external, staff and student members will use public transport, University vehicles, or hire cars, as appropriate before using private vehicles for travel associated with meetings and events.

For example, while external members would not have access to a University vehicle, it may be possible for such members to travel with a member of University staff in a University vehicle. 

Travel by Private Vehicle

If using own vehicle, the University will reimburse the travel in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Usage Allowance Rates in force at the University at the time. 

The traveller is responsible for his/her private motor vehicle insurance as the University does not cover damage or theft of a private vehicle.

Tolls

Where the quickest route requires the use of a toll road, the University will accept reimbursement of such tolls. 

Parking

Where possible, the University will book parking for meetings held both on and off its campuses and locations.  Where such pre-booked parking is not available, the University will reimburse parking expenses for the duration of the meeting or event. 

The University will not reimburse parking infringements, except in exceptional circumstances which must be justified.  

4.2      International travel

The Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor and Pro Chancellors may be required to attend international events including graduation ceremonies.  Reasonable expenses incurred during such travel will be reimbursed.

Members of the University Council may travel business class on international flights.

4.3      Accommodation

The University will book accommodation for meetings and events having regard to providing a safe and secure environment, being convenient to the place of work, and providing value for money. (Travel Policy 000782).  A traveller’s preference for particular accommodation may be accepted within the above parameters. 

The provision of accommodation will be dependent on the time of meeting or event, and distance from home or available residence.  Accommodation may be provided for a maximum of the night before, during, and one night following the meeting or event in accordance with the following.

A traveller requiring more than 2 hours travel to or from a meeting or event by car, or 3 hours by other modes of transport, may be provided with accommodation the previous night where a meeting or event begins before 10am and the following night where a meeting or event finishes after 7pm. 

The University recognises that there may be exceptional circumstances during which a traveller may require accommodation outside the parameters specified above.  Such requests will be approved in accordance with the authorities in Section 6.

Accommodation arrangements made by individuals that require reimbursement will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. 

4.4      Other expenses

The University will generally provide morning or afternoon teas or meals during meetings or events it hosts.  This is generally also the case for conferences or other events organised by external parties.  Claims for reimbursement of food or drink expenses where such is supplied at a meeting or event will therefore not be reimbursed. 

Meals consumed during travel to or from a meeting or event may be reimbursed.

Student or staff members of Council cannot claim expenses incurred in any election process which results in their appointment to the Council.

5.      Reimbursement and Substantiation

Reimbursements of reasonable expenses in accordance with this Policy may be requested using the Student and Visitor Reimbursement Form available at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/Resources/Divisions/Services/Corporate%20Services/Commercial%20Services/Travel/forms/Student-and-Visitor-Reimursement-Claim-Form.pdf 

Any items which are claimed for reimbursement must be accompanied by substantiating evidence in the form of a formal tax invoice including the suppliers ABN.

Where a receipt has not been issued or the description on the receipt is not clear, the traveller must ensure that the expense is substantiated by making a Statutory Declaration witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (see http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/revenue-accounts-payable/reimbursement-form.html)

Any expenditure deemed to be unreasonable will not be authorised.  

In accordance with procedures for reimbursement of expenses incurred by University staff through Spendvision, claims must be submitted and substantiated within four (4) weeks after the date of the expense. 

6.      Management of expenditure

Claims for reimbursement will be managed by the Governance and Policy unit. 

6.1      Approval authorities

The approval authorities for expenses incurred during domestic and international travel in accordance with this Policy are as follows:

            Member                                                                          Approval authority

Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, members of Council
and members of Council committees                                        University Secretary

Vice-Chancellor                                                                        Chief Financial Officer

Where a person is a member of more than one University body, all requested reimbursements will be forwarded to and authorised by the approval authority of the primary body on which the member sits.

6.2      Verification and appeal

If a question arises as to the reasonableness of any expenses incurred, or whether an expense was incurred in the performance of a member's duties, the approval authority indicated below will determine whether reimbursement is justified. 

These authorities also apply to any request for reimbursement outside the provisions of this Policy:

            Member                                                                          Approval authority

Chancellor                                                                                Council

Deputy Chancellor, members of Council and members
of Council committees                                                               Chancellor

7.      Reporting

Council will be provided with an annual report of claims for reimbursement by, and reimbursement payments made to, Council members and the external, staff and student members of the other University bodies listed in Schedule 1.  Information for the preceding year will be presented at the first Council meeting of each year.  The register and reporting of claims and payments will be maintained by Financial Services.

8.      Provisions relating to Council members

8.1          Remuneration

From 1 January 2010, the Council implemented approved levels of remuneration for external and student members of the Council (Resolution C09:149). The remuneration recognises the increasing workload, time commitment and fiduciary responsibilities placed upon Council members. The decision was guided by the findings of an externally commissioned report that showed remuneration of Board members has been adopted by other Australian universities, particularly in Victoria, as well as most boards in the private and not-for-profit sectors.

Council determined that elected staff members would not be remunerated for their role on the Council as membership of the Council is a valuable part of a staff member’s professional development which is supported by the staff member’s faculty or division.

Council members will be asked at the beginning of each calendar year whether they wish to be remunerated for the following year of their term, or any remaining term where this is less than one year.

8.2          Ipads

The University produces electronic documents for Council meetings via iPads.  Council members will be supplied with an iPad for this purpose and must agree to the University Computing and Communications Facilities Conditions of Use Policy 000817.  The iPad must be returned to the University at the expiration of a Council member’s term of office or if a member otherwise leaves or ceases to be a member of the Council. 

8.3          Professional development

The Council Professional Development Program Budget is approved by Council annually. Significant expenditure for Council members outside this process (for example, attendance at a conference), must also be approved by Council. 

9      Chancellor remuneration and support package

At its meeting of 23 March 2012, the Council approved a specific remuneration and support package for the Chancellor including IT resources and administrative support (Resolution C12:042). 

10   Essential Supporting Documents

            Code of Conduct Policy 000059

Conflicts of Interest Policy 000934

11   Related Documents

University Travel Policy 000782 (under revision)

12   SCHEDULE 1

This Policy applies to the external, staff and student members of: 

·  Council

·  Standing Committees of Council

·  Council appointed members on other bodies (e.g. Alumni Advisory Committee; any of the University’s Controlled entities)

·  Animal Care and Ethics Committee

·  Human Research Ethics Committee

·  2NUR Advisory Board

·  Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training (BATSIET)

·  University of Newcastle Foundation Advisory Board.

and to University appointed members of its controlled entities and other bodies: 

·  Newcastle Innovation Ltd

·  UON Services Ltd

·  UON Singapore Pte Ltd

 

 

Approval AuthorityCouncil
Date Approved7 December 2012
Date for Review7 December 2014
Policy SponsorVice-Chancellor
Policy OwnerUniversity Secretary
Policy ContactManager, Council Secretariat
Amendment History

Approved by Council (Resolution C12:250) 7 December 2012.