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«Expense claim guide Commences 1 April 2011 Contents 1. Introduction 2. Procedure Expense Claims (Available from the Finance Department and ICON). 3 ...»

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Staff information

Expense claim


Commences 1 April 2011


1. Introduction

2. Procedure

Expense Claims (Available from the Finance Department and ICON). 3

Travel Request Form – PR4 (Available from the Finance Department,

and ICON)

Travel Expenses paid by third parties

3. Late Claims

4. Certification

5. Travelling

5.1 Need for travel

5.2 Travel by Taxi

5.3 Travel by Pedal Cycle

5.4 Purchase of travel tickets

5.5 Travel by Air

5.6 Travel by Rail

5.7 Travel by Private Vehicle

5.7.1 Standard Rate

5.7.2 Public Transport Rate of Mileage Allowance

5.7.3 Passenger Supplement

5.7.4 Parking and Tolls

5.7.5 Mileage incurred by non-ICO members of staff

5.7.6 Journeys direct to places other than the Office

5.8 Travel by Hire Car

6. Subsistence

6.1 Night Subsistence Allowance

6.2 Day Subsistence Allowance

7. Actual Expenses

8. Purchase of budget/package deals

Appendix A


Appendix B – Current Rates

Accommodation allowances

Subsistence allowances

Mileage rates

1. Introduction

Set out on the following pages are the arrangements for meeting the extra expenses incurred by members of staff who travel on behalf of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The aim is to provide for the reimbursement of extra expenses incurred actually and necessarily during the course business.

This is not intended as a comprehensive guide to travel and subsistence allowances, and members of staff should consult with the Head of Finance if they are in doubt about their entitlements before submitting a claim.

Each member of staff is responsible for the correctness and completeness of the claim they submit.

Claims must not in any circumstances contain charges not strictly necessitated by official duties.

Expenses claimed should always reflect the most cost effective journeys, often this will mean the cheapest overall cost, but not always – there will be times when personal circumstances, personal health and safety and general staff welfare will result in it being inappropriate to undertake the cheapest overall journey. A line manager is expected to agree the journey in advance so can discuss any such requirements with members of staff, and if unsure consult Finance as to the appropriateness of any additional expenditure.

The ICO may refuse to meet in whole or in part claims in respect of unreasonable expenses, or those expenses which could have been avoided had a journey been better planned.

The guide primarily covers travel within the United Kingdom. Foreign travel expenses should be claimed where possible in accordance with these rules, although there will be occasions when this is not possible. HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) publish subsistence rates for many cities throughout the world, and information on these can be obtained from Finance on request or from the internet http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/emp-income-scale-rates.htm

2. Procedure Expense Claims (Available from the Finance Department and ICON) If in any doubt about the application of these rules, members of staff should seek the advice of the Head of Finance before committing themselves.

Expense claims must be submitted to the Finance Department on the form provided on the Finance Department section of ICON.

A receipt should support all actual expenses.

Members of staff should be careful to indicate the nature of the expenses included in their claims by giving full details of each journey, and brief explanations of any unusual expenditure.

The member of staff must set out their movements (whether on foot, cycle, motor vehicle or public transport) in their proper order, and in such detail as to enable their route to be traced.

When a subsistence allowance is claimed, the exact times of departure from and return to home or office must be recorded.

Travel Request Form – PR4 (Available from the Finance Department, and ICON) You should complete your travel request form in good time for your journey, ideally a minimum of three working days in advance of the date of travel.

Form PR4 should be completed in respect of each journey (other than for hire cars) and passed to the Finance Department, who will arrange for the tickets to be booked, or alternatively passed to the person in your department with a Government Procurement Card or has acess to Evolvi rail booking software is able to book travel on your behalf.

The traveller should ensure that the PR4 is passed to their appropriate line manager with responsibility for the department’s budget, or with delegated authority from the budget holder, who will need to authorise the journey with his signature.

Individual travellers should collect their tickets from the Finance Department in advance of their journey.

The Finance department will notify the traveller of any problems with the completion of form PR4 and/or booking the requested travel arrangements.

Travel Expenses paid by third parties On occasions third parties are requested to meet our travelling expenses, e.g. when a member of staff is undertaking a public speaking engagement.

Where such an arrangement is made, the member of staff should confirm with the third party the arrangements and cost is acceptable, similarly, if business class air tickets are booked as opposed to economy. Wherever possible written confirmation of the third parties agreement should be sought.

The PR4 should include the contact name and address, to who the invoice should be forwarded to ensure payment to out travel agents.

Regular travellers may prefer to hold a Government Procurement Card to settle travel expenses. Request should be made to the Finance Manager, via the employee’s budget holder.

3. Late Claims All members of staff must render their claims promptly.

Claims submitted outside the following time limits may be disallowed. Late claims will only be admitted when there is some good reason for the delay, at the discretion of the Head of Finance.

Claims should be submitted immediately after the duty has been completed and if not made within one month from the completion of the duty, will be treated as a late claim.

4. Certification A member of staff of at least Job Level D must certify claims and who has line management responsibility for the claimant, and the delegated authority from their department head to certify claims.

Certified claims are to be forwarded to the Head of Finance by the person certifying the claim, and not the claimant.

In order to certify a claim, the member of staff should be conversant with the duties of the member of staff whose claim they are certifying. They are responsible for satisfying themselves as far as is reasonably practicable that the travelling was necessary and has been done, and that the journeys were planned with due economy of time and money.

In the first instant the Finance Department will take up with the person certifying the claim, any questions on aspects of the claim.

The certifier is not expected to verify the arithmetical accuracy, mileage or subsistence rates, which will be checked by the Finance Department.

A Certification Checklist is attached as an Appendix A.

5. Travelling Official Travelling means travel on duty, including attendance at external training courses.

It does not include travel between the member of staff’s home and

normal place of work, except on the following occasions:

–  –  –

From 1 April 2011 a claim for travel expenses can no longer be made when a member of staff is required to make an additional attendance outside normal working hours (e.g. at week-ends).

In these exceptional circumstances, Inland Revenue rules require that PAYE and National Insurance Contribution deductions are deducted.

Except where explicit provision is made to the contrary, a member of staff may be reimbursed only the expenses they necessarily incur in the course of official travelling.

Members of staff are required to take advantage of any cheap deals, which may be available, including day return and season tickets.

Frequent travellers are encouraged to sign up for any relevant loyalty card schemes they become aware of. All points accrued from travel and accommodation incurred on ICO business should be used for further travel and accommodation for the ICO.

5.1 Need for travel Prior to meetings being held at other UK offices, consideration should be given to the need and whether alternative methods such as telephone or video conferencing, would be more appropriate. It is acknowledged that this may not always be possible, and it is also acknowledged that if regular telephone or video conferencing conferences are held it will be beneficial to meet in person on occasion.

5.2 Travel by Taxi Taxi fares are admissible only for journeys for which there is no other suitable method of public transport, where heavy luggage has to be transported, or where the cost of the taxi fare is outweighed by the time saving it achieves, for example reducing overtime, or when a member of staff is concerned about their personal security, i.e. early mornings/late night travelling alone.

In the event of a taxi being used for a journey, prior approval should be sought from a Department Head whenever practicable, and the justification for the use of the taxi noted on the expense claim form.

5.3 Travel by Pedal Cycle Members of staff using pedal cycles for official journeys may be reimbursed at the Pedal Cycle rate.

5.4 Purchase of travel tickets Travel tickets can be purchased by completion of a travel request form (available from the Finance Department).

The completed form must be signed as approved by a Departmental head, or such person to whom such authority has been delegated, and forwarded to the Finance department.

Travel requests should be submitted to the Finance Department at least 3 days prior to the date of travel, in order to ensure tickets can be delivered to the Office in time.

Tickets that are unused for whatever reason should be returned promptly to the Finance Department to enable a refund to be sought.

Where an individual department has chosen to use a Government Procurement Card (GPC) or the Evolvi rail booking software, the completed travel request can be forwarded to the appropriate cardholder, who will make the appropriate purchase in accordance with the separate GPC procedures.

5.5 Travel by Air Air travel should normally be used when there is a cost advantage because of savings of subsistence allowances and official time, or if some other reason justifies any additional cost.

Air fares are often cheaper the earlier they are purchased, if booking at less than 20 days prices can rise significantly, so where possible advance bookings should be made as early as possible to take advantage of potential lower prices. However, as ever this must be weighed against the risks of meetings being re-scheduled or cancelled, and the potential costs that may arise from non-flexibility of tickets. The traveller is clearly the person with the experience and knowledge to make such judgements All members of staff should fly in economy class, unless special offers are available and any additional expense can be justified as necessary in the circumstances.

For flights lasting more than two and a half hours in the air, all members of staff may fly business class. However, approval should be sought from the Head of Finance in advance of booking the ticket, who will consider whether the benefits accruing from the visit justify the additional costs to the Office.

5.6 Travel by Rail All members of staff are to travel standard class unless there is a compelling business or welfare need.

It is not possible to list all of the possible scenarios that would be classed as a ‘compelling business or welfare need’ but the types of events envisaged are likely to be exceptional and rare events.

Where a rail ticket includes a meal/food of any standard (e.g. Virgin Business) the member of staff travelling is not eligible for a subsistence allowance.

5.7 Travel by Private Vehicle Mileage allowances are payable when a member of staff uses their own private vehicle for travel on official business.

Members of staff using their private vehicles must have insured their private motor vehicle for the purpose of business travel. Each member of staff is advised to check with their own insurance company to ensure that business travel cover is included within their policy, as some policies for ‘Social, Domestic and Pleasure’ cover will only provide insurance cover to and from a regular place of work and therefore will not cover business travel to places other than the Office.

Standard rate will be paid for journeys undertaken with Comprehensive insurance cover, the Public Transport rate will be paid for journey undertaken with other types of insurance cover.

5.7.1 Standard Rate The standard rate of motor mileage is payable at the Inland Revenue

published Fixed Profit Car Scheme Rates to employees who:

–  –  –

To qualify for the standard rate of mileage allowance, prior written authority for travel by private motor vehicle is required from the member

of staff’s department head, in the following circumstances:

–  –  –

In considering requests in respect of the above paragraph, department heads should take account of all expenditure including travelling and subsistence allowances and the cost of official time associated with the journey.

Approval may be refused on the grounds of cost alone, and will only be

given when it is clear that:

the journey will not involve more expense than would have been incurred by travel by other means, or, other advantages outweigh the extra cost of travel in the particular instance.

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