Talk:Expense policy

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Connectivity[edit source]

Seems ok to me.

The one question not addressed is telephone and internet access expenses.

  • Will WMUK provide mobile phones for staff?
  • Laptops?
  • Hot spot subscriptions?
  • What about temporary staff?
  • Unpaid interns?
  • Volunteers?

--Filceolaire 22:24, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

It is mentioned under Meals & Incidental Expenses. Where office equipment is supplied as part of a package for staff, this is covered by the terms of employment rather than the expenses policy. Other situations (such as reimbursing volunteers for their mobile internet costs) would require advance agreement or be part of planned event costs. Situations such as unpaid interns we have no current experience of, so it seems premature to write the policy for those areas. -- 23:07, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

procedure vs policy[edit source]

The document is full of rococo detail. It lacks the viewpoint of a policy level document, something simple along the lines that we meet HMRC requirements and Charities Commission guidelines and in addition all expenses must be <a paragraph in line with our values> followed by links to any absolutely necessary special detailed procedure and a default position that when in doubt we probably follow a similar pragmatic approach to the WMF's expenses process. -- 15:15, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I disagree, I think this has the right level of detail. It is not just a statement of principles, but a working policy. It is good to have things like this down in writing because that way everyone knows where they stand and it's very clear if someone is misappropriating funds by abusing the expenses system (we don't want to end up with our own expenses scandal like the MPs, with people saying "but it wasn't against the rules"). --Tango 21:08, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I believe that being clear may involve saying less rather than more, it does not mean we have to tip the ocean into the fish-bowl. For example, there seems little point quoting HMRC mileage rates for every variation of personal transport when we can point to HMRC's direct guidance. -- 08:28, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Fæ here. I would even go as far that the more extensive the document is, the more people will try to act by its letter (and try to find loopholes) rather than by its spirit. You should not have to account for every single possible abuse in the document, because you are bound to miss many more. Effeietsanders 08:33, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I want to see all of the information in one place so that we don't end up wasting lots of time pointing to other places (I've wasted a fair amount of my time with university expense claims [normally other people's] as a result of this). Plus, there are some differences with the standard HMRC guidance here, due to our needs (e.g. not having 45p/mile for all car journeys until the 10k miles limit is reached, which would be ridiculous given our situation of lots of volunteers making short journeys rather than a salesman being on the road all the time) The introduction is the place for the higher-level summary, with the detail then given in the section below. Mike Peel 09:25, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
See below. Ive had a go at creating a smaller version that still includes most of the oroginal but I ve tried to remove some of the deatil that we can contain the the word "reasonable". We seem to have some comments that assumed the per diem rate is a max allowable. By my understanding its an alternative offered to those who would prefer to not want any faff and up to a limit WMUK is willing to concede the small risk that someone makes a "profit" by bringing their own thermos flask. Victuallers 18:34, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Conflict of Interest Policy[edit source]

The policy contains a section on expenses which could be deleted if we include something similar text to

  • WMUK will reimburse reasonable expenses to board members that are properly incurred for the benefit of the chapter. Advance payment of expenses will be made if requested. Trustees neeed to submit expenses in line with the Charity Commission guidance "CC11 - Trustee expenses and payments"

Drastic edit[edit source]

Comment I was concerned that the expenses policy contained a lot of redundant language and repeated the word "reasonable" or "where necessary" so often. I have removed this or added a standard footnote to replace these clasues. As an exercise I had a go at removing all of this and tried to create a shorter version.Victuallers 18:53, 6 November 2011 (UTC) See below

Wikimedia UK is committed to reimbursing the necessary expenses incurred by volunteers, board members and staff when they are engaged on Wikimedia UK business, including meetings, conferences and workshops. We will reimburse attendance of international events and those in the UK.[1]

Please note that unless specifically mentioned below all expenses are expected to be pre-authorised, reasonable and the minimum[1] available.

Expenses must be approved by the individual(s) responsible for the appropriate budget line (or, in their absence, the WMUK board). Evidence must be provided ideally via receipts, or alternatively via bank or credit card statements, unless the expense falls under the standard per diem.[1]

No part of this expense policy should be construed as forming part of a salary or hourly rate for the individuals being reimbursed. As such, minimum wage considerations do not apply to this policy.

Travel[edit source]

We will reimburse the costs of:

  • Airfares[1], when flights are over 2 hours then use of standard airlines is acceptable. Please use price comparison websites. Increased costs resulting from traveling at convenient times are acceptable. Travel by train is preferable.[1]
  • Train fares.[1] First class fares[1] may be reimbursed where the benefits of internet access and catering outweigh the increased cost of the ticket).
  • Travel by private motor vehicle, motor-bike or bicycle is reimbursed at standard HMRC rates. An additional 5p per person per mile may be claimed when carrying passengers on WMUK business. Please ensure that your insurance allows you to be compensated for travel.[2] The cost of car insurance is included in the mileage rate and will not be covered by WMUK.
  • Tolls and travel by ferry
  • Travel via bus[1] (Taxi only when alternatives are not available[1])
  • Vehicle rental[1] e.g. for transporting bulky items, or if the cost is less than motor vehicle mileage.[1]
  • Transport for physical or medical reasons (e.g. business class air fares are required).[1]
  • Travel insurance. WMUK will not normally reimburse expenses and liabilities incurred that would otherwise have been covered by such insurance.
  • Travel for those who require carers e.g. a 10 year old, when the travel for their guardian will be considered.[1]
  • The costs for employees commuting to the WMUK office will not be reimbursed.

Travel by underground, bus and cycle can be covered by 'Meals & Incidental Expenses' below.[1]

Accommodation[edit source]

We will reimburse the costs of accommodation provided that:

  • Stays are at 3 star or below. Travelers who choose to stay with friends or family, camp or who choose hostels may claim the per diem rate.
  • When a standard hotel is designated by a conference or workshop, then we would expect people to stay at that hotel.

Meals & Incidental Expenses[edit source]

Wikimedia UK will pay for meals and incidental expenses for volunteers as follows;

  • £25 for a full day involving an overnight stay before or after the day in question That means you get the £25 both on the day before and after a one-night stay - you should only get it once.—TangoSounds reasonable enough, provided that actually the majority of that day will be spent for the trip/activity (although 7h might be a high threshold). I.e. if you get home at 11 am you should not get full per diem.—Lodewijk
  • £10 for a full day where no overnight stay is involved This is promoting people to take a hotel instead of going home late in the evening. If 7+ hour is spent, I'd say 25 pound is fair.—Lodewijk

A "full day" means at least 7 hours of activity on behalf of Wikimedia UK.[1] including travel time. Where all relevant meals are provided as part of an event programme, this per diem rate should not be claimed. If the costs of meals and incidental expenses are expected to be significantly higher or lower than the quoted rate, then a modified per diem rate should be agreed in advance of the expense. e.g. where travel is in the United States, then the expected per diem will be at 75% of the State Dept and GSA rates, as defined by the U.S. General Services Administration or the U.S. Department of State

People who opt wfor the per diem rate should not claim for:

  • meals and refreshments (including breakfast, lunch and dinner for the full rate; or either lunch or dinner for the lower rate; in both cases including refreshment costs in between meals)
  • costs of phone calls and/or data connections
  • Bus fares, car park charges and short taxi rides too trivial to submit claims for.

These rates apply to stays of less than 7 days duration within the UK, the rest of the European Union, and the United States of America. Rates for longer stays and other locations may be altered at the discretion of the Chief Executive and Treasurer.

Where any volunteer claims per diem expenses on a recurring basis, the Chief Executive or, if necessary, the Board of Trustees will review the arrangement to ensure that Wikimedia UK is not breaking its obligations under minimum wage legislation.

Expenses may be claimed based on receipts, rather than on the per diem rate, where requested either prior or after the expense.

Note that WMUK will not reimburse the costs of alcohol, cigarettes or other recreational expenses.[1]

Travel for multiple purposes[edit source]

If a single journey incorporates multiple purposes that are not solely for the advancement of WMUK's charitable mission (e.g. staying a couple of extra days for personal reasons), then WMUK will reimburse only the portion of the expenses that is for WMUK purposes.[1]

Other expenses[edit source]

WMUK will[1] reimburse, or will directly cover, the costs of:

  • Registration costs for conferences
  • Meeting rooms, Conference calls[1], catering and other corresponding costs for WMUK and WMUK-related events
  • Long-duration car parking expenses[1]
  • Publicity material, such as badges, T-shirts and printed materials, and corresponding postage costs[1]
  • Childcare or other costs of caring for dependent individuals whilst on WMUK business[1]
  • Any other expenses[1] approved by the budget holder in advance of the expense being incurred including entertainment costs for other parties[1]

Approval and reimbursement process[edit source]

Epenses will only be paid without prior authorisation in exceptional situations. Where possible, expenses should be paid directly by WMUK. Expenses may also be transferred to staff or board members.

Reimbursement will normally be carried out by bank transfer or cheque after provision of the receipts or bank or credit card statements. Reimbursement will normally take between 3 and 4 weeks. Advances may be provided to cover anticipated expenses, however this means that evidence is required to cover any money that is not returned.

The person being reimbursed is responsible for all tax implications of the reimbursement.

Expense claims must be submitted within 6 months of the completion of the corresponding trip; claims submitted after this point will not be reimbursed.

Where the individual concerned is receiving a speaker's fee or honorarium for their presence, then WMUK would not expect to cover their corresponding expenses. Additionally, where expenses are being covered by another party, then WMUK will not also reimburse for said expenses.

Should WMUK discover that expenses have also been reclaimed by other means; that a speaker's fee/honorarium has been provided; or where expenses have otherwise been reimbursed multiple times or in excess of the amount claimed, then WMUK expects to be refunded for the excess payments as appropriate.(this is mild Victuallers 18:12, 6 November 2011 (UTC))

Conflicts of interest that arise as a result of this expense policy should be addressed as per the Conflict of Interest policy. This includes situations where a speaker's fee or honorarium is being received.

Opting out of being reimbursed in full[edit source]

Where there is a significant claim that someone chooses not to claim then they may care to contact the treasurer as there may be advantages in claiming it and then giving it back.

Notes[edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 Please note that unless specifically mentioned all expenses are expected to be pre-authorised, reasonable and the minimum available. It is stated here to avoid repeating it. For instance where we previously said minimum then we meant the reasonable minimum.
  2. This may require you to include use for business purposes on the insurance for your vehicle - please check this with your insurance company.

External guidance[edit source]