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

Alexandros Papadopoulos alexandros.papadopoulos at gmail.com
Sun May 13 09:20:54 UTC 2012

Hi Henk

Are we assuming what the community would consider appropriate here, or
it this statement based on something like a vote?



On 13 May 2012 00:18, Henk Hoff <henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org> wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
> Henk
> 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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