DRAFT POLICY Attendance At Conferences, Seminars, Workshops & Deputations Representing Council (S18) (C&CS) Adopted: Policy 12/1/98 Amended: CPS 4/11/99, CPS 30/10/00, CPS 07/06/01, CPS 12/07/01 Responsible Division: Executive/C&CS OBJECTIVE To outline Council’s policy in relation to Councillors and staff attending conferences/seminars/workshops and deputations. POLICY Attendance Criteria, Reporting and Administration (Councillors and Staff) (See attached map for area covered by this policy) Council acknowledges the need for the ongoing development/enhancement of its employees' skills through their attendance at professional development conferences and seminars. Once approved by the Manager (if required), all requests for seminar/conference attendance should be referred to Human Resources for budgetary allocations. Applications that do not meet the requirements will be considered by the Director in light of Divisional needs and budgetary constraints. Attendance at conference/seminars by Councillors and staff will be considered under the following: - Council will pay all costs associated with attendance and will include accommodation, registration, travel and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses (telephone/taxi) upon production of receipts. - Travel or time in excess of normal rostered hours will accrue at the single time rate and will accumulate as time off in lieu and will be endorsed on the timesheet and taken at a mutually convenient time within four (4) weeks of accrual. - Council shall either provide transport or pay reasonable travelling expenses to enable Councillors and employees to attend course requirements. Overnight expenses will only be incurred where there is in excess of two hours travel by car to attend on the first morning. - Incidental expenses will be refunded in accordance with Council policy, upon production of receipts. - Attendance numbers will be kept to a minimum, having regard to the Conference/Seminar programme and the benefits of attendance. A report to the Divisional Director and briefing of other employees within two (2) week of attendance is required. - The Mayor and/or General Manager will report to Council on attendance at the Annual Local Government Conference. - The General Manager and Directors will report to Council on attendance at major conferences, such as the LGMA National Congress, RAPI Annual Conference, IPWEA Annual Conference, etc. - Attendance at other significant conferences will be reported to Council at the discretion of the General Manager and/or Directors. - Where the Conference/Seminar is attended by Councillors and staff a report will be prepared by the relevant staff member with input from Councillors. Where Councillors only attend, one report representing the views of all Councillors will be prepared and presented to Council. Expenses 1. Expenses shall be actual expenses and wherever possible, supported by documentation. Staff and Councillors are expected to be mindful of the expenditure of public funds and apply a degree of reasonableness to expenditure. 2. Expenses for each component shall not exceed, without detailed justification to the General Manager, guidelines provided below: The standard rates, excluding travelling, as set out hereunder are to apply: OTHER COUNTRY CAPITALS AREAS Accommodation $170.00 $130.00) (a) Daily Rate of: (expenditure for three meals) Breakfast $15.00 max $15.00 max Lunch $20.00 max $20.00 max Dinner $40.00 max $40.00 max Other business-related expenditure, ie. taxis, etc, will be reimbursed subject to supporting receipts 3. Expenses may be paid in the following manner: (a) From a cash advance provided by Council. The Director/Manager and the person requiring the advance shall give approximately 7 days notice and shall agree on a reasonable value for the advance. That person shall then retain receipts for all expenditure and on his/her return to Council, account for that expenditure and any remaining cash. All cash advances are subject to the “Cash Advance Guidelines” as detailed at the end of this policy. (b) From a Corporate Card or Purchase Card as supplied by Council. Use of these cards will be subject to the terms and conditions of use as detailed in the policy “Guidelines for Use – Corporate Cards & P-Cards”. (b) From personal resources, with reimbursement to be sought from Council. Please note that the booking of Conference Registrations, Accommodation & Travel (including flights) are to be booked & ordered through the standard Purchasing procedures. All bookings for these items require an official Purchase Order number. 4. Preference is to be given to the most appropriate form of transport, for example air, rail or use of Council vehicle. Private vehicles or other forms of transport are only to be used where prior approval has been obtained from the General Manager. 5. All travel by air to be by economy class at the cheapest rate available at the time of booking. The Mayor and the General Manager to be given the final say in such circumstances in respect to Councillors and staff. 6. Where destinations are up to two hours drive from Port Macquarie, travel should be by Council vehicle, unless otherwise approved by the General Manager, according to the circumstances. 7. Requests for travelling expenses of spouses of staff or Councillors are to be considered by Council beforehand. 8. With regard to the attendance of citizens at Council's request at functions on behalf of Council, an amount equal to the economy class train fare be paid for travel costs, irrespective of the mode of transport chosen. Where no reasonable rail link exists for the purpose of calculation, then vehicular mileage rates currently paid to Councillors and staff per the Local Government (State) Award and Council's Policy titled "Rates for Use of Private Vehicles on Council Business" be paid. 9. Expenses for travel, accommodation, meals, etc, for attendance of citizens at functions at Council's request, to be paid on the same basis as under policy pertaining to Councillors and staff. 10. That the above rates and limits be reviewed annually. Travel Outside Designated Area and Overseas Travel (Councillors and Staff) Where Councillors and staff plan to travel beyond the designated area or overseas to represent the interests of our area and Council funds will be used to finance the journey, the following guidelines are to be followed: Interstate Travel 1. (a) All proposals for travel beyond the designated area by staff should be considered by the General Manager. (b) Once approved by the General Manager, any request for travel beyond the designated area should be reported to Council for a decision. (c) An annual report on all interstate travel will be reported to Council. (d) Any request by the General Manager and Councillors for travel beyond the designated area should be considered by the Mayor in consultation with the General Manager. 2. Where the cost of the travel is not expected to exceed $1,500 for transport, accommodation and reasonable out of pocket reimbursement of expenses per person, no detail need be supplied other than a recommendation for approval that the visit is to take place. 3. Where the cost of travel is expected to exceed $1,500 for transport, accommodation and out of pocket expenses per person, a detailed report shall be provided outlining the following: - who is to take part in the travel - the objective to be achieved in undertaking it, including an explanation of what community benefits will accrue from undertaking the visit - details of costs, including any amounts expected to be reimbursed by participant. 4. If the travel is to be sponsored by private enterprise, ICAC guidelines and reporting structures are to be followed. 5. A detailed report is to be included in the Annual Report in the year in which the travel was undertaken, outlining how the travel's objectives were met and how the community benefited from it. For the purposes of this policy, the ACT is regarded as being within NSW. See Attached map of the Designated Area Overseas Travel 1. (a) All proposals for overseas travel by staff should be considered by the General Manager. (b) Any request by the General Manager and Councillors for overseas travel should be considered by the Mayor in consultation with the General Manager. (c) Once approved, any request for overseas travel should be reported to Council for a resolution. 1. If possible, proposals for overseas travel by Councillors and staff on Council business, is to be documented in Council's Management Plan. 2. Proposals for overseas travel should indicate: - who is planned to take part in the travel - the objectives for undertaking the trip, including an explanation of what community benefits will accrue from the trip - the approximate cost of the trip - detailed costs including a statement of amounts expected to be reimbursed by the participants. 3. If the visit is to be sponsored by private enterprise ICAC guidelines and reporting structure should be followed and should form part of the community reporting process. 4. A detailed report should be given in the Annual Report for the year in which the travel took place, outlining how the objectives were met and what quantifiable benefits will flow to the community. 5. Where travel has to be undertaken at short notice, the above proposals should be put to Council for information. The outcomes, costs and attendances should be included in the first Annual Report issued subsequent to the travel taking place.