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POLICY CONSULTATION – PROPOSED POLICY #83 (TRAVEL AND OTHER BUSINESS-RELATED EXPENSES)

The UBC community is invited to comment on the Proposed Policy #83 (Travel and Other Business-Related Expenses) and its related procedures (collectively, the “Proposed Policy #83”). Proposed Policy #83 establishes an up-to-date, principled and flexible approach to govern business-related expenditures incurred on behalf of UBC and reimbursement of such expenses. More particularly, Proposed Policy #83:

1. allows for the repeal of Policy #79 (Travel Assistance for Graduate Students) (“Policy #79”), Policy #80 (Travel Expenses – Recipients of Honorary Degrees) (“Policy #80”), Policy #83 (Travel and Related Expenses) (“Policy #83”), Policy #84 (Entertainment) (“Policy #84”), and Policy #115 (Gifts) (“Policy #115” and together with Policy #79, Policy #80, Policy #83, and Policy #84, the “Current Policies”) and the consolidation of Policy #83, Policy #84, and Policy #115 into one policy, providing an integrated, principle-based framework to govern use of UBC funds in connection with business-related expenses;
2. creates a more streamlined approach which provides faculty members, staff, students and other persons authorized by UBC to incur expenses on behalf of UBC with a user-friendly, clear and concise policy regarding expenditure and claim reimbursement;
3. provides an enduring framework that will facilitate the continued application of the Proposed Policy #83 regardless of the type of expense management system implemented by UBC;
4. sets out a specific process to create formal rules governing the incurring of business-related expenses on behalf of UBC and claims for reimbursement of such expenses (“Rules”); and
5. provides a more nimble and efficient process to respond to changing circumstances.

Policy #79 and Policy #80 were created over 40 years ago to address very narrow issues. With the more recent creation of broader-based policies, such as the current version of Policy #83, it is unhelpful to continue to address the narrow issues in these policies. Policy #84 and Policy #115 are related to expenses and the principles in these policies can be consolidated into the Proposed Policy #83.

The Policy section of the Proposed Policy #83 sets out the principles that apply to incurring expenses on behalf of UBC and their reimbursement, and provides high-level guiding principles regarding expenses incurred for purposes of travel, entertainment, gifts and business-related work tools. The common theme set out in the Proposed Policy #83 is that expenses incurred on behalf of UBC must be appropriate, reasonable and financially prudent.

The Procedures section of the Proposed Policy #83 establishes approval requirements, the process for submitting claims for reimbursement, audit rights of UBC in respect of business-related expenses incurred on behalf of UBC, and a process to create additional Rules in respect of the subject matter of the Proposed Policy #83. Prior to creating or substantively revising any Rules, the Responsible Executive must establish an advisory committee to consider the proposed new Rules or amendments to existing Rules. Any proposed new Rules or substantive amendments to existing Rules will be published publicly for a period of at least two weeks on a UBC website designated by the Responsible Executive with a request for feedback to the advisory committee. The advisory committee will consider any feedback received and will provide advice to the Responsible Executive on the form and content of the new or amended Rules, as applicable. In recognition of the fact that there may be circumstances in which variations from the Rules may be required, the last part of the Proposed Policy is a variation section which provides that exceptions or variations to any Rules created pursuant to the Proposed Policy may be made in certain circumstances if the exception or variation is approved in writing by the Responsible Executive or his or her delegate.

When Proposed Policy #83 goes back to the Board of Governors for approval, it will be recommended that the Vice-President, Finance & Operations, in consultation with the University Counsel, will determine when the Proposed Policy #83 will come into force. The progress and timing of (1) the implementation of the Workday system (pursuant to the Integrated Renewal Program); and (2) the establishment of the set of applicable Rules will be considered in determining the effective date of the Proposed Policy. The Current Policies will stay in place until the Proposed Policy #83 comes into force, at which time the Current Policies will be repealed.

Proposed Policy #83 is now being published and all members of UBC’s community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at university.counsel@ubc.ca by February 1, 2019.

For further information about this policy proposal, please see the information package that was provided to the Board of Governors at https://bog3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/11/2_2018.11_Policy-83-Travel-and-Other-Business-Related-Expenses.pdf.

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