[Osmf-talk] Travel expenses for OSMF officials (to SOTM, mainly)

Henk Hoff henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org
Sat May 12 23:18:15 UTC 2012

Hi Frederick

I can give you a short answer to your questions: in previous years
OSMF board members have paid their travel expenses to SotM themselves.

However, we appreciate that the community would consider it
appropriate that board members traveling to SotM get their travel
expenses refunded by OSMF.


Secretary OSMF

2012/5/12 Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>:
> Hi,
>   this year for the first time, SOTM will be held in a country (on a
> continent even!) where every single board member will have to undertake a
> long-distance flight to get there.
> I guess that even minimal SOTM participation (flight & hotel) will cost
> about £1000 per person; if all seven board members chose to attend, that
> would be quite a lot of money for an organisation as small as ours.
> I am in no way saying that board members should *not* be reimbursed, after
> all it's the OSMF AGM and it would be quite a failure for an organisation to
> have its own directors absent from a meeting for budget reasons.
> I am however interested in how OSMF deals with the issue (or, if no
> decisions have been made yet, I recommend making them ASAP). The OSMF wiki
> has a general page on expense claims
> (http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Finances#OSMF_policy_on_expense_claims)
> which basically says that "essential travel" can be reimbursed if "by public
> transport" and "economy class", but that still leaves some questios open:
> * Who will be entitled to have their travel cost reimbursed? All board
> members? Only selected board members? All board members plus selected
> individuals from working groups?
> * Is there a limit on the amount reimbursed? From where I live, there's
> quite some difference in pricing (looking only at economy class, a direct
> Lufthansa flight is €1200 return, while an Aeroflot flight via Moscow is
> only €700 or so). Do we expect our board members to fly Aeroflot if it's
> cheaper? Do we reimburse them for the "cheapest direct flight"? What if they
> wait until the last minute and because of that pay double? Same for the
> hotel - what amount of luxury do we pay for? A taxi from Narita airport to
> Tokyo costs 120£ - is that within the budget or do we expect our board
> members to take the train?
> * What if people who are entitled for a reimbursement choose to prolong
> their stay for holiday reasons, or bring a friend/spouse?
> I am not asking these questions to cause trouble, but rather to avoid
> trouble; I have worked in an organisation where questions of travel expense
> reimbursement were quite often a source of friction and I think it is good
> to have a few answers.
> Of course nobody expects OSMF to have a 100-page travel expense guidebook
> for the few occasions where people are actually reimbursed for something.
> But in this case we're talking about a total amount that might quite likely
> exceed 10% of total conference-related expenditure so it's not peanuts.
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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