REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES
The IPA is a member-supported organization with charitable status, and the smallest reasonable amount of money should be used for travel, accommodation and food. Equally, members work for the IPA voluntarily and often at some personal cost; many of them are elderly, and they are often working in unfamiliar foreign countries; they are entitled to reasonable standards of comfort.
- No-one should find themselves out of pocket as a result of carrying out authorised IPA business.
- No-one should receive funds in excess of the actual amount spent (this includes taking account of any funding they may have received from other sources).
In consideration of these principles, authorised and reasonable expenditures incurred wholly and necessarily on behalf of the IPA will be reimbursed.
NB: No-one is entitled to make unbudgeted expenditure commitments for the IPA without the consent of the Treasurer.
a) Reimbursement requests (comprised of a claim form accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation) should be sent to the Finance Director, who will ask the Budget Holder for approval. The Budget Holder (eg, a committee Chair) is responsible for verifying that expense claims are for activities that fall within the applicable budget. Budget Holders and members should keep a copy of the reimbursement request for their own records.
b) Any IPA member or Budget Holder claiming reimbursement for expenses should use the official claim form, which is available in the members area of the IPA website. Claims should be sent by email, but may also be sent by post or fax.
c) Supporting documentation (eg, airline ticket receipts, hotel statements, taxi receipts, copies of credit card transactions) for reimbursement requests must be sent with the claim form. Claimants are asked to keep copies of all supporting documents.
d) Reimbursement claims should be sent within six weeks of the date the expense was incurred. After receipt, IPA staff aim to process reimbursements within ten working days. The IPA is required to close all accounts for the calendar year four weeks after the end of the year. All claims for the prior year must be received no later than 31 January – those not received by this date will normally be automatically disallowed unless the Treasurer has exceptionally agreed otherwise.
a) Ground travel
Ground travel by train or taxi (as is appropriate and reasonable) will usually be reimbursed at cost (generally this might include travel from home or office to the departure airport; and from the arrival airport to the hotel; plus the reverse on the return trip).
Where travel is by private car, no rate will be reimbursed for travel expenses, fuel, etc, but the actual cost of car parking will be reimbursed (but fines for illegal parking, etc, will not be reimbursed). It may be possible to make a contribution to fuel used, but this should be agreed in advance with the Finance Director.
In places where taxis are not charged at a flat rate they should if possible be avoided: eg, people arriving at London's Heathrow Airport should use the Underground or mainline railway; people arriving at New York's JFK could use the taxi to Manhattan. Where safe and reasonable public transport exists within a city it should be used in preference to taxis.
b) Flights – except officers and Board members
All flights must be on the cheapest (non-flexible) Economy Class ticket; where possible, flights should be booked three months in advance to secure Advance Purchase ("APEX") tickets.
Longer or distorted routes must not be booked simply to maximise the air-miles or for any other reason considered by the Treasurer to be illegitimate; where it appears to the Treasurer that an unreasonable or distorted route has been used, the claim may be disallowed in whole or in part.
Where flights are booked too close to the date of travel, or are in the opinion of the Treasurer unnecessarily expensive (or are in the wrong class), or for routes which are unreasonable when there are less expensive alternatives, the Treasurer will substitute the amount claimed for the cheapest APEX Economy Class ticket that would normally have been available three months before departure.
From time to time and in exceptional cases, the Executive Committee may permit people who travel frequently on IPA business but who are not officers or Board Members to travel in a higher class than Economy; permission must be requested in writing and in advance, and is at the Executive Committee's discretion and subject to budget being available. Permission must be sought for each travel request unless the Executive Committee explicitly decides otherwise. Permission is granted to an individual in a specific post, and automatically lapses when the person filling that post changes.
c) Flights – officers and officers-elect only
Because officers and officers-elect have to undertake numerous flights each year on IPA business, it is unreasonable to require them always to travel in Economy Class. Therefore:
- where a direct flight is scheduled to take up to 2 hours: the cost of the cheapest upgradeable (but not fully flexible) Economy Class ticket;
- where a flight is over 2 hours or less than 4 hours (except overnight flights): either the cost of the cheapest upgradeable (but not fully flexible) Economy Class ticket, to enable the ticket to be upgraded using air miles or the claimant's own funds to their preferred class of travel; OR the cost of the cheapest upgradeable (but not fully flexible) Premium Economy / additional legroom ticket;
- where a flight is 4 hours or more, or any overnight flight: the cost of the cheapest Business Class ticket.
In all cases, direct flights must be taken where these are available; journeys may not be broken at a hub unless essential and, where a broken journey is taken, only the cost of the cheapest flight, whether direct or broken, may be claimed; and nor may be claimed any additional hotel accommodation necessitated by a broken journey where there is a more direct alternative.
The rules set out in this paragraph (c) will also apply to the Executive Director. The rules for all other staff will be at the discretion of the Executive Director.
d) Flights – Board members other than officers
Because Board members have to travel more than once a year on IPA business, it is unreasonable to require them always to travel in Economy Class. Therefore:
- for flights under 4 hours: the cheapest available Economy Class ticket must be purchased;
e) Early or advance seat reservation fees
- for flights of 4 hours or more, or for any overnight flight: the cheapest available Premium Economy ticket may be purchased. (This provision will also apply when Board members travel on other IPA business (eg, for work on other IPA committees).)
Where it is not provided as part of the ticket, the cost of any early or advance seat reservation fee will be reimbursed.
f) Choice of airline
Airlines which have been refused permission to enter airspace controlled by the CAA, FAA, European or other safety authorities may not be used for IPA flights unless there is an emergency or no reasonable alternative exists.
g) Airline reward points
The IPA expects airline reward points received as a result of IPA-funded travel to be applied to purchasing air fares or seat upgrades (to whatever class of travel may be chosen).
a) In order to obtain meeting room space at no (or reasonable) cost, the IPA typically books a block of rooms. In such cases, hotel reimbursement will be made only for participants staying in the designated hotel. Participants choosing to stay elsewhere will not be reimbursed for hotel expenses.
b) Reimbursement for accommodation should not be claimed when an IPA member or representative has stayed free of charge on IPA business.
c) Hotel accommodation will be reimbursed for the night before a meeting and the night after, if necessary. For intercontinental travel involving an early arrival, any expenses necessary to secure an early check-in (up to the cost of an additional night) will also be reimbursed. Any additional nights will not be reimbursed unless previously agreed by the Treasurer.
a) There are two methods to claim reimbursement for subsistence costs (one method or the other must be chosen):
i) select the per diem rate for the city where the meeting is being held. (The rate is available from the Finance Director.)
ii) send in receipts for actual subsistence costs. There is a maximum amount reimbursable using this method. (The amount is available from the Finance Director.)
b) The per diem rate depends on the location of the meeting and is determined by a world-wide schedule originated by the United States Internal Revenue Service (which serves as a guideline for many organisations). A per diem is payable when a day of travel is required to reach or return from the venue of a meeting, and for days when a person is required to be at the venue in order to attend a meeting.
6) IPA Congresses (and other conferences)
a) Unless agreed in advance by the Executive Committee, no reimbursement for airfares is paid when an IPA member attends a meeting that is being held in conjunction with an IPA Congress, or any other meeting which that member would be expected to have attended at their own expense (or through funding from another organisation). However, when an IPA Board or Executive Committee meeting is held in conjunction with a regional conference or Constituent Organisation meeting, Board and Executive Committee members from that region may claim expenses on a comparable basis with other Board or Executive Committee members.
b) Unless agreed by the Executive Committee, the IPA does not reimburse Congress registration fees, transportation to/from/during the Congress, subsistence costs during the Congress, or ticket costs for the Congress Gala Dinner.
c) Where a committee chooses to hold a meeting adjacent to an IPA Congress (or other meeting which some or all of them may have been expected to attend), and which would normally involve travel via an airport that might be used by other Members to access the Congress (or other meeting), reimbursement will not be given for any flights – only for the transport from the Congress airport to the meeting venue (this is to prevent committees attempting to avoid the restrictions set out in 6(a), above).
d) Special Provisions for the Officers, Officers-elect, and Honorary Officers
- In recognition of their inability to participate to any significant degree in IPA Congresses, due to the exceptional nature of their roles which require near full-time commitment to IPA work, the travel expenses to/from the Congress for the officers and officers-elect will be reimbursed in the usual way. The IPA will also reimburse hotel room costs during the period of the Congress, Congress registration fees, and the costs of Gala Dinner tickets for the officers and officers-elect.
- Typical practice is for the officers-elect to be given a budget (for setting up their office) in the year they take office. Deviations from this practice (eg, budgeting for the officers-elect to attend meetings held in conjunction with regional conferences in the year prior to taking office) may be approved via the IPA’s usual budget process, or, for out-of-cycle requests, by the Treasurer.
- Honorary Officers of the Board shall not be entitled to reimbursement of expenses for attendance at IPA Board meetings, with the exception of those occasions when their attendance is required for specific reasons (eg, to report to the Board on a particular matter).
7) Expenses for administrative assistance
a) The IPA does not typically contract with administrative assistants external to the Central Office, but such expenses may be approved by the Budget and Finance Committee (with the consent of the Executive Committee). Such contracts will include compensation only for the hours of service and not compensation for holidays, vacation periods, sick pay, bonus pay, severance pay, or any other emoluments. Invoices claiming such reimbursement must specify the hours of work, the hourly compensation rate, and the nature of the work delivered.
b) The IPA will reimburse officers for the cost of administrative assistance on the following general basis:
i) the President will be allowed a full time administrative asssistant; the Vice President and the Treasurer a half-time post each.
ii) the IPA will not normally directly contract administrative assistants but will request officers to contract them, with the IPA reimbursing the costs. The IPA may indemnify the officers as necessary against any unforeseen circumstances.
iii) exceptions to the principles set out in paragraphs (8a) and (8b) must be approved by the Treasurer, unless the Treasurer is seeking the exception, in which case it will be referred to the Vice President.
8) Video conferences and meetings
The IPA uses a video conferencing service and can assign a free licence to a member who wishes to hold a call. Please contact IPA staff (email@example.com) for details on how to arrange meetings using this system.
9) Costs for dependent care or disabilities
a) Carer responsibilities
The IPA will reimburse reasonable costs for childcare, or care of other dependants (for example, an elderly parent) which are solely incurred while carrying out authorised IPA business.
b) Members with disabilities
The IPA will also reimburse the reasonable costs of providing special transport, equipment or facilities which are required for an IPA member or representative with a disability.
*Appendix 1. Official Claim Form (PDF)
Revised Reimbursement of Expenses Procedural Code approved by the Executive Committee (after being delegated the authority to do so by the Board), June 2016
*This change record is for background information only and does not form part of the Procedural Code. If there is any conflict between a statement in the Procedural Code and a statement in this change record, the change record will be disregarded.