Manual of Policies and Procedures

G/5.5 Travel

Contact Officer

Director, Finance Operations

Approval Date

23/08/2017

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

30/08/2020

5.5.1 Purpose
5.5.2 Application
5.5.3 Roles and responsibilities
5.5.4 Approving travel
5.5.5 Booking travel
5.5.6 Cost of travel
5.5.7 Class of air travel
5.5.8 Other transport
5.5.9 Travel insurance and global assistance
5.5.10 Breach of travel policy or procedures
5.5.11 Definitions
5.5.12 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

POLICY ALERT

COVID-19 TRAVEL BAN AND RESTRICTIONS

The Australian Government has a ban in place for all travel to all countries due to COVID-19, and Australian states and territories have restrictions around border movements.

QUT has (until further notice):
* temporarily suspended all international travel for official business
* temporarily suspended all domestic travel for official business to locations defined by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer as a COVID-19 hotspot
* temporarily suspended all domestic travel to a state or territory that has declared areas of Queensland, or the state as a whole, as a COVID-19 hotspot.

QUT will allow:
* essential business travel within Queensland
* essential business travel to, and transit through, interstate destinations that are NOT defined as a COVID-19 hotspot.

Any domestic travel for QUT official business which is considered essential must be approved - or reapproved if an existing booking (credit) – as per the below:

Essential business travel within Queensland – approved by Head of Division, Executive Dean, or Institute Director
Essential business travel interstate – approved by Head of Division, Executive Dean, Institute Director and the University Registrar

5.5.1 Purpose

¡This policy outlines QUT’s approach to the management of official University travel. In this policy, individuals who travel on official University business are referred to as QUT travellers.

The following principles apply: 

  • QUT travellers are responsible for managing their travel program and activities and must ensure that travel is authorised and conducted consistently with QUT policies and procedures
  • travel must be appropriate and relevant to the traveller’s role, activities and responsibilities, and able to withstand public scrutiny
  • QUT travellers must, in undertaking their travel program and activities, comply with the applicable code of conduct (QUT Staff Code of Conduct B/8.1, QUT Student Code of Conduct E/2.1) and must ensure that QUT resources are used responsibly and appropriately, and only for official University travel
  • travel should be by the most direct, economical and logical route and mode of transportation, unless it can be demonstrated that an alternative is in the best interests of the University
  • safety of QUT travellers is of paramount importance and is a shared responsibility between QUT and the traveller
  • QUT travellers and other staff involved in the administration of travel must comply with detailed procedures specifying how official University travel must be managed (Finance Manual, Chapter 5.3, Travel (QUT staff access only)).

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5.5.2 Application

This policy applies to all QUT Council members, staff members, holders of honorary titles (B/2.1), and students who undertake official University travel. This policy also applies to contractors and consultants who are required to undertake travel in performing their contractual obligations to QUT.

The policy applies regardless of the funding source used to meet travel costs.

This policy does not apply to travel to or from QUT to begin employment, enrolment or an engagement with the University, and does not apply to travel at the conclusion of the relationship with QUT. 

All students undertaking official University travel must, at a minimum, utilise QUT’s global assistance services and address risks associated with travel, and will be subject to the QUT Student Code of Conduct whilst engaged in approved travel activities. Where the University funds official University travel, students must comply with all aspects of this policy and related procedures.

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5.5.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility
Chief Financial Officer
  • approves travel procedures for publication in the Finance Manual
Director, Finance Operations
  • as Service Owner of Travel, develops travel procedures and implements the travel management system
Supervisor (where applicable)
  • approves absences from the workplace during travel (where applicable)
  • endorses proposed travel as relevant to role and program of work or study
Approving Officer
  • ensures travel is appropriate and that benefits gained from travel justify the expense
  • approves official University travel as set out in the Schedule of Authorities and Delegations, including approval of estimated costs from an approved budget 
QUT Traveller
  • obtains relevant approvals  prior to booking travel and departure
  • consults travel advisories on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website and complies with risk/threat advices in regard to international travel
  • manages any other risks associated with travel
  • expends University funds economically and cost effectively whilst on official University travel and ensures the costs incurred are within available budget
  • incurs travel costs for University purposes only and ensures that all private expenses are paid by the QUT traveller
  • complies with all applicable QUT policies and procedures
  • acquits funds to provide both transparency and accountability
Travel Manager (Finance Business Solutions Division)
  • manages travel product category effectively and appropriately
  • adopts a client service focus in managing travel processes and procedures
Executive Director, Health, Safety and Environment or nominee (Division of Administrative Services)
  • supports duty of care responsibilities for all QUT travellers by monitoring travel advisories and incidents
  • provides updates to senior officers during overseas incidents and events

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5.5.4 Approving travel

All travel must be approved by the Approving Officer (Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations) prior to booking a trip and departure. Approval by the Authorising Officer is required even where travel costs are not funded by the University (for further requirements which may apply in this case, refer to, the Staff gifts and benefits policy (G/2.3)). 

Where Supervisors are not the Approving Officer, their endorsement of the travel and approval of absences from the workplace or from studies must be obtained. Travel approvals must be in writing (email is acceptable) and retained for recordkeeping and audit purposes. 

A specific approval is required for all QUT travellers travelling to high risk destinations. High risk travel (international travel to a destination having a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advice risk of ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or domestic travel to remote or isolated areas) must be approved by the Executive Dean, Institute Executive Director, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President. For international travel with a DFAT travel advice of ‘do not travel’, approval of the Vice-Chancellor and President is required. Further information is available from the DFAT website and the Travel risk section of the Finance Manual (5.3.6.3) (QUT staff access only).

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5.5.5 Booking travel

Travel must be booked and paid for via QUT’s Travel Management Provider. Use of the Travel Management Provider is mandatory for all QUT Travellers (other than students whose travel costs are not funded by the University), to plan and book airfares, accommodation and car hire. Travel bookings must be at the ‘lowest logical fare’, that is, the most economical available airfare which, at the time of booking, suits the requirements of a QUT traveller in enabling business objectives to be met, and ensures effective use of the QUT traveller's time.

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5.5.6 Cost of travel

Fair and reasonable travel costs can be incurred based on actual expenditure.

In the majority of cases, QUT travellers will be provided with a Corporate Card and/or a QUT Prepaid Card to fund travel costs including transport, accommodation, meals and incidental costs. Payment via purchase orders and reimbursement of actual costs may be approved by the delegated authority where deemed more efficient.

Travel allowances (per diems) will only be approved by the Executive Dean, Institute Executive Director, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President and only in exceptional circumstances.

Procedures and payment arrangements for travel costs are set out in the Finance Manual (QUT staff access only).

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5.5.7 Class of air travel

Travel within Australasia

All air travel within Australasia must be booked at economy class unless the QUT employment contract expressly specifies otherwise. QUT travellers at or above the level of Executive Dean, Institute Executive Director, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President, and Distinguished Professors may travel to Western Australia or the Northern Territory at premium economy or business class.

International travel (other than within Australasia)

International travel is booked at economy class by all travellers, except as follows:

  • Where a staff member’s employment contract expressly states otherwise
  • The following travellers may travel at premium economy or business class:
    • Vice-Chancellor and President
    • Provost
    • Deputy Vice-Chancellors
    • Vice-Presidents
    • Executive Deans
    • Institute Executive Directors
    • Distinguished Professors.

When a QUT traveller who is entitled to a higher class of travel is accompanied by another QUT traveller not so entitled, both may travel at the higher class. In exceptional circumstances, and with approval, other categories of QUT travellers may upgrade to premium economy or business class.

Council members

QUT Council members (other than QUT staff who serve on Council, to whom the above provisions apply) are entitled to travel at premium economy or business class for all air travel.

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5.5.8 Other transport

Travel other than by air should involve the most economical commercial service available. For example, this may include the use of taxis or public transport where such use is more economical. In cases where the most efficient and economical means is a University vehicle or a QUT traveller’s private vehicle, the private vehicle can be used with prior approval and the traveller’s agreement.

Procedures for claiming vehicle mileage allowance where a private vehicle is used by a staff member for official University travel are set out in the Finance Manual (QUT staff access only).

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5.5.9 Travel insurance and global assistance

A corporate travel insurance policy is in place to provide cover for all QUT travellers on official University travel (including students).

A Global Assistance Provider has been engaged to provide medical, security and travel assistance services to all approved QUT travellers undertaking international travel. All international QUT travellers must be registered for these services.

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5.5.10 Breach of travel policy or procedures

A QUT traveller may be required to reimburse travel expenses where these were not properly incurred under travel or other policies and procedures. 

Where there is a serious breach of the applicable code of conduct relating to unauthorised or inappropriate travel, or the QUT traveller does not comply with the provisions of this policy and/or the procedures set out in the Finance Manual, the matter may be dealt with under the relevant procedures for the management of misconduct or serious misconduct, or unsatisfactory performance. 

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5.5.11 Definitions

Approving officer means the officer who has the relevant authority for approving travel.

Australasia for the purposes of this policy, refers to the following countries:  Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea), Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Domestic travel means travel more than 50 kilometres (one way) from a QUT traveller’s regular place of work/study.

Economy class excludes Premium Economy.

International travel means travel outside the borders of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Supervisor is the person the QUT traveller reports to directly (if a staff member) or in the case of higher degree research student, that person’s principal supervisor.

Travel is an approved journey involving commercial transportation (eg aircraft, train, bus, car hire) and/or accommodation as part of QUT business activities.

Travel acquittal is the process to substantiate and approve business related expenses.

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5.5.12 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (VC126, VC127, VC128, VC129, VC202, VC203, VC204).

 

Related Documents

MOPP B/8.1 QUT Staff Code of Conduct

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website

Finance Manual – Chapter 5.2 Corporate Cards (QUT staff access only)

Finance Manual – Chapter 5.3 Travel (QUT staff access only)

Queensland Government Open Data website

QUT Digital Workplace - Finance - Travel (QUT staff access only)

QUT Digital Workplace - mileage for use of privately owned vehicles (QUT staff access only)

Financial Accountability Act 2009 and associated regulations and standards

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

30.07.20 G/5.5.7 Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar Revised policy to clarify International travel (other than Australasia)
05.08.20 G/5.5.4 Vice-Chancellor and President Policy alert updated to clarify travel approval process
17.03.20 G/5.5.4 Vice-Chancellor and President Policy alert updated for temporary suspension of all international travel including New Zealand due to coronavirus
04.03.20 G/5.5.4 Vice-Chancellor and President Policy alert added for temporary suspension of international and non-essential domestic travel due to coronavirus
10.07.18 All Vice-Chancellor and President Revised policy to include department name change from Corporate Finance to Finance Resource Management
23.08.17 All Vice-Chancellor Revised and simplified policy
05.05.17 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy to remove disestablished position Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Programs and Partnerships) - effective 31.12.16
09.12.16 G/5.5.1 Enhancing the Student Experience REAL Difference Change Manager Revised policy to include REAL Difference initiative, approved name change for position title, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Library Services) - effective 03.01.17
01.02.15 G/5.5.1 Vice-Chancellor Revised policy to include Institute Directors in business class air travel
17.11.14 G/5.5.6 Manager, Policy and Workplace Relations and Director, Corporate Finance Editorial amendments to reflect the termination of the senior staff agreement
26.05.12 G/5.5.1 Vice-Chancellor Editorial amendment to include addition of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Programs and Partnerships)

19.02.11

All

Vice-Chancellor

Policy revised to include approved position title change for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching Quality) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

19.06.08

All

Acting Executive Director, Finance and Resource Planning

Policy reviewed – no change required

28.02.08

G/5.5.1

Vice-Chancellor

Revised to include new position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching Quality)

23.08.06

G/5.5, G/5.5.1, G/5.5.5

Acting Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy to include details of medical and security risk management services relating to overseas travel (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 05.07.06)

12.07.06

G/5.5.2

Executive Director, Finance and Resource Planning

Revised procedure relating to taxi charges (Cabcharge vouchers replaced by eTickets from 01.08.06)

31.03.06

G/5.5.6

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy

08.04.05

G/5.5.1

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy relating to air travel for Council members (endorsed by Chancellor's Committee 09.03.05)

08.04.05

G/5.5.5

Vice-Chancellor

Updated process relating to approval of overseas travel

27.05.04

G/5.5.4

Client Services Manager, Financial Services Department

Editorial amendment to reflect policy changes relating to personal and private expenditure (as per G/5.2)

06.02.04

G/5.5.5

Acting Financial Services Director

Revised to include process for prior approval of overseas travel (in accordance with requirements of Internal Audit Recommendation 5.1.1)

11.12.03

G/5.5.1, G/5.5.5

Acting Financial Services Director

Revised to include details of preferred Travel Service Providers and information on risk advice relating to overseas travel.

28.08.03

G/5.5.1

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy on air travel for senior staff members

06.12.02

G/5.5.5

Vice-Chancellor

Approved protocol for overseas travel

05.09.02

G/5.5, G/5.5.1, G/5.5.4

Financial Services Director

Revised in accordance with internal audit requirements

30.10.01

G/5.5.4

Accounting Services Director

Revised to reflect current practice

24.09.01

G/5.5

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy re reporting on overseas travel

05.07.01

G/5.5.1

Vice-Chancellor

Revised policy

24.05.99

G/5.5

Finance Manager

Updated

27.08.98

G/5.5

University Executive

Revised policy

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