NNNGO TRAVEL POLICY

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NNNGO TRAVEL POLICY

I. Objective.

The objective of this Travel Policy is to further Nigeria Network of NGOs (‘organisation’) mission by ensuring that those who travel on behalf of the organisation act responsibly in incurring expenses and that the organisation complies with all applicable laws and regulations governing travel expenses.

Travel expenses are not treated as income to the traveler only if the expenses are “ordinary” (common and accepted in your field of business), “necessary” (helpful and appropriate to your business) and not “lavish or extravagant” (reasonable under the circumstances). Consistent with the requirements under this policy, the organisation will reimburse only those travel expenses incurred for an approved business purpose that are ordinary, necessary and reasonable.

The safety of individuals traveling on behalf of the organisation is of paramount importance. In the event of an emergency or in other situations where safety is a concern, higher travel costs may be justified.

II. Persons Covered.

This policy covers any individual who travels on behalf of the organisation, regardless of whether the person is a director, officer, employee, candidates for employment, volunteer, consultant, independent contractor or other party

III. Process.

A. Prior Approval.

All travel must be approved in advance by the appropriate Reviewing Party, unless advance approval is impractical under the circumstances. For purposes of this Travel Policy, the Reviewing Party shall mean, unless otherwise indicated, the following:

  1. For the Executive Director, the Chairman of the Board or his designee;

  2. For all other organisation employees, the traveler’s supervisor;

  3. For the organisation directors or officers, the Executive Director or his designee;

  4. For consultants, independent contractors or speakers at organisation’s events, the board chair overseeing the work in consultation with the Executive Director;

  5. For candidates for employment, the Executive Director or his designee; and

  6. For volunteers or any other traveler, the Executive Director.

  7. It is the responsibility of the individual planning to travel and seeking reimbursement to obtain any necessary approval prior to travel. Nigeria Network of NGO’s Travel Pre-Authorization form can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-YmNsQY7TQXMEt4amhhanFIdFE/view?usp=sharing

B. Documentation.

Expenses will not be reimbursed unless the individual requesting reimbursement submits a written expense report in a form prescribed by the organisation. The expense report must be submitted within thirty days after completing a business trip. Each traveler is responsible for preparing and submitting his or her own expense report, which must include sufficient detail to identify the purpose of the expense and the services provided. An itemized original receipt must be submitted for each expense. If an original receipt is not available, the traveler may submit alternative written proof of the expense, such as a bill, canceled check or, if nothing else is reasonably available, a written statement detailing the expense and the reason no receipt is available.

C. Expense Report Approval.

The Organisation will reimburse travel expenses only if a traveler’s expense report is approved by the Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for reviewing the expense report to ensure that only ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses are reimbursed. It is the traveler’s responsibility to submit the approved expense report to the Finance and Administration Department.

D. Use of Travel Agency.

All business-related air and train travel and lodging for the organisation staff must be booked through the organisation’s travel agent, unless it is impractical or not cost-effective to do so and an alternative method of booking travel is approved in advance by the Executive Director.


E. Travel Advances.

When it is not reasonably practical to determine the actual expenses, the organisation will advance a traveler the reasonably anticipated amount of travel expenses, provided that the traveler submits an advance request approved by the Executive Director at least fourteen days prior to travel. In addition, the traveler must submit an expense report for advanced travel expenses in the same manner as for expenses for which reimbursement is requested. If the amount of a travel advance exceeds the amount of expenses approved for reimbursement, the traveler must reimburse the organisation in an amount equal to such excess at the time the expense report is submitted.


IV. Types of Expenses.

A. Air and Road Travel.

In general, the organisation will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of coach travel only, not for premium or first-class travel. For an overnight international flight, an individual may upgrade to business class if it enables the individual to sleep during the flight and thereby save the time and cost of an overnight stay and the upgrade is approved in advance by the Executive Director or his designee.

Travelers are required to select the lowest reasonable air or train fare available for a reasonably convenient, comfortable and safe itinerary. Whenever possible, air travel reservations should be booked round-trip and as far in advance as possible to maximize savings.


B. Hotel

The organisation will reimburse at the single room rate for the actual, reasonable cost of hotel accommodations of standard convenience, comfort and safety, not deluxe or luxury hotel accommodations. Travelers are required to select the lowest reasonable rate for standard lodging. In an effort to keep our costs manageable and affordable, for any approved travel and overnight stay, the hotel cost must not be above #15,000 per night. If it is higher, travelers must obtain prior approval from the Executive Director. The federal per diem rate authorized for lodging at that location should be used as a benchmark for what constitutes reasonable costs. However, the organisation is aware that, as a Non-Govermental organization, reduced government rates are not always available.

The organisation does not reimburse for in-room movies, laundry (except on trips over seven days long) or personal phone calls (beyond one call home per day). Whenever possible, travelers should use a cell phone or calling card rather than the hotel billing for long-distance calls. The organisation will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of internet access in a traveler’s hotel room or through the hotel’s business center if such service is used for business purposes.


C. Meals

The organisation will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of meals. The federal per diem rate authorized for meals at that location should be used as a benchmark for what constitutes reasonable costs


D. Local Ground Transportation

The organisation will reimburse for the actual, reasonable cost of local ground transportation. Travelers are required to use the most economical ground transportation appropriate under the circumstances and should use hotel courtesy cars or public transportation whenever it is safe, convenient and cost-effective. If hotel courtesy cars and public transportation are not safe, convenient or cost-effective, travelers may use shared ride services or taxis or, if less expensive than taxis, car services. For trips in which several travelers are attending the same event and live within a reasonable proximity to one another, or are at the destination airport or train station within an hour of one another, good faith efforts should be made to share local ground transportation services to and from the airport or train station.

Car rentals are generally expensive and, therefore, should be used only as a last resort, taking into account the safety, convenience and cost-effectiveness of other methods of transportation. Size and type of rental cars should be appropriate to the number of people in the car and the road conditions on which it will be used. In addition to the cost of the car rental, the organisation will also reimburse the traveler for the actual, reasonable cost of tolls and parking.


E. Personal Automobile

The organisation will reimburse for use of a personal automobile for business travel (which does not include transportation to and from the office) at the mileage rate allowed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria Internal Revenue Service, plus the actual, reasonable cost of tolls and parking. However, in the case of a traveler who uses his or her personal automobile to take a trip that would normally be made by air, the total reimbursement for use of a personal automobile will not exceed the cost of the lowest available round-trip coach airfare for a reasonably convenient, comfortable and safe itinerary.


F. Other Expenses

The organisation will reimburse for actual, reasonable incidental costs associated with business travel, including without limitation business phone calls, faxes, photocopies, computer supplies and tips. Tips, where customary and expected, should be between hundred naira and one thousand hundred naira, except that porter tips, where necessary, customary and expected, should be at the average of what is reasonably expected.

V. Non-Business Travel

A. Expenses of Traveling Companion.

The organisation will not reimburse for expenses that are attributable to a traveler’s spouse, partner, child or any other traveling companion, unless the companion is also conducting business on behalf of the organisation and the companion’s travel is approved in advance by the Executive Director or his designee.

B. Personal Travel

Travelers may incorporate personal travel with business trips if the personal travel is approved in advance by the Executive Director, the travel is arranged at a time that is acceptable to the organisation and the business travel expenses are not greater as a result of combining the business trip with personal travel. The traveler is responsible for the additional cost of any personal travel.

VI. Third Party Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

If the Executive Director of the organisation approves in advance the employee’s participation in an outside event as part of his or her official duties, then offers by a third party to reimburse the organisation for related reasonable travel expenses may be accepted. Any travels expenses that a third party has not agreed to reimburse will be reimbursed by the Nigeria Network of NGOs to the extent such expenses are consistent with this Travel Policy.

Summary

1. TRAVEL

Employees will travel only where such travel is deemed to be necessary and in the interest of (NNNGO) Such travel will only be on the authorisation of the Executive Director and the means of transport will be decided by (NNNGO).

2. TRAVEL AUTHORISATION

Where a staff member has been nominated to travel, a completed Travel Requisition form (sample attached as Annex 1) approved by the Executive Director must be submitted to the Finance Unit at least 5 working days before date of travel.

3. OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Only the Executive Director may travel on business class. All other staff will travel on economy class unless there is a written authorization to travel business class from the Executive Director.

4. ALLOWANCES FOR OVERSEAS TRAVEL

  1. Travel allowances within the region: Staff on official assignment within the region (Africa) will be paid an incidental allowance of $50.00 per day for the period of travel from the departure date to the last day of the travel. This is applicable where full cost of travel by staff is being paid by host organization.

  2. Travel allowances outside the region: Staff on official assignment outside the region (West Africa) but within Africa will be paid an incidental allowance of $70.00 per day for the period of travel from the departure date to the last day of the travel. This is applicable where full cost of travel by staff is being paid by host organization.

  3. These allowances cover incidental expenses (communication, transportation tips and entertainment while traveling in a foreign country). If during the trip there is need to travel within the foreign country, this will attract another allowance to be determined by management.

  4. Travel on (NNNGO) ticket: Where full cost of travel is to be covered by (NNNGO), travel advance covering actual cost for accommodation, transportation and other travel expenses (visa fees and airport tax) will be provided. In addition, an allowance of $80.00 per day will be provided for meals and incidental allowance. Receipts for accommodation, transportation and other travel expenses should be submitted upon return. Where a separate allowance is provided for communication, this must be accounted for with receipts.

  5. Travel outside Africa on (NNNGO) ticket: Where full cost of travel is to be covered by (NNNGO), travel advance covering actual cost for accommodation, transportation and other travel expenses (visa fees and airport tax) will be provided. In addition, an allowance of $120.00 per day will be provided for meals and incidental allowance. Receipts for accommodation, transportation and other travel expenses should be submitted upon return. Where a separate allowance is provided for communication, this must be accounted for with receipts.

  6. Baggage allowance: The standard free baggage allowance authorized by the airline is considered adequate to meet an employee’s normal baggage requirements. If for exceptional reasons, where staff member is carrying publications/luggage on behalf of (NNNGO) that will exceed the standard allowance provided by the airline, (NNNGO) will provide the staff member a cash advance to cover payment of the excess baggage. Where the cost of the excess baggage still exceeds the travel advance, an application for reimbursement (with receipt) will be submitted for approval by the Executive Director.

5. DOMESTIC TRAVEL

  1. Employees on official assignment within (Nigeria) will be entitled to the approved incidental allowance of N20,000.00 per day for overnight journeys approved by management. This include the cost of accommodation but exclude the cost of transportation to and return the trip.

  2. Where transportation is not provided by (NNNGO), staff will be paid Travel & Transport allowances as per agreed amount depending on the destination.

  3. Where a journey can be accomplished in a day, it would be regarded as normal working hours.

  4. Where full cost of overnight travel is being paid by (NNNGO), the travel advance will cover board/ lodging and meals and incidental allowances. Receipts for accommodation (boarding/lodging) must be submitted upon return. Where a separate allowance is provided for communication, this must be accounted for with receipts.

6. TRAVEL EXPENSE AND MISSION REPORT

A travel expense and mission report together with relevant receipts must be submitted to the Finance Unit within 14 days of return from travel. Where advances are not accounted for within the stipulated time, one of the following sanctions will be applied:

  1. no further travel advances will be made to employee/consultant until previous advances have been accounted for; or

  2. outstanding travel advance will be deducted from staff member’s salary.