Ofcom Expenses Policy

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1 Ofcom Expenses Policy Version: 3.6 Issue date: June 2011 Author: Finance Reviewed by: Exco Date: 22/04/2011 This policy was approved by ExCo on 21 st March 2011.

2 1.0 Introduction Summary 1.2 Roles and responsibilities 1.3 Monthly expense claim 1.4 Corporate cards Travel and Subsistence card Departmental card 1.5 Claim period 1.6 Reimbursement of expenses 1.7 Approval of expenses 1.8 Provision of detailed receipts 1.9 Lost / Missing receipts 1.10 Shared expenses 1.11 Advances 1.12 Foreign currency 1.13 Exclusions 1.14 Combining annual leave with business travel 2.0 Entertaining Entertaining stakeholders & guests / accepting hospitality 2.2 Colleague working lunches 3.0 Travel expenses Authorisation to travel 3.2 Taxis 3.3 Trains 3.4 Air travel 3.5 Late night travel home from work 3.6 Motor car, motorcycle and bicycle expenses 3.7 Tolls, congestion charges and parking expenses 4.0 Accommodation Claim 4.2 Eligibility 4.3 Type of Accommodation 4.4 Hotel Guarantees 4.5 Cancellation and No Show charges 4.6 Multiple trips and Multiple Bookings 4.7 Room costs 5.0 Subsistence When staying away overnight Ofcom Expenses Policy 2

3 5.2 Consumption of alcohol 5.3 Early start or late finish 5.4 Staying with friends or relatives 6.0 Professional subscriptions Business telephone calls from home Gifts Gifts for colleagues 9.0 Charitable donations Going to conferences Hardware and software Stationery, printing, post and courier costs External training courses Currency guideline...21 Ofcom Expenses Policy 3

4 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Summary As in any organisation it is important that Ofcom keeps a firm control over its costs and that appropriate governance is in place to ensure that this is the case. An appropriate and fair expenses policy is part of that control process. This document has been developed to provide clear guidance and clarity for colleagues and nonexecutive members when incurring expenses either out of pocket or through the use of a corporate card All legitimate expenses incurred in accordance with the expense policy will be reimbursed. However, it is the claimant s responsibility to ensure that costs are reasonable. Ofcom reserves the right, not to reimburse expenses when they do not comply with this policy. Falsifying expense claims will be classed as gross misconduct and may lead to summary dismissal. 1.2 Roles and responsibilities It is the responsibility of every colleague and non executive member to adhere to this policy. Approvers of corporate card and out of pocket expense claims (as defined in the delegation of authority stated on page 7) are responsible for reviewing, challenging where necessary and approving or rejecting claims. Any claim submitted to Finance that is not in accordance with the expenses policy will be returned to the claimant for corrective action, with a notification to the approver. Please direct any questions regarding this expenses policy to the Financial Controller. 1.3 Monthly expense claim Where a colleague has incurred Ofcom related expense it is reclaimable per this expenses policy. A monthly expense claim should be completed and submitted via the Concur expense management system within published timescales encompassing both out of pocket and corporate card expenditure on a single claim. 1.4 Corporate cards Ofcom has two types of corporate credit card: The travel and subsistence card should be used for the individual cardholder s Ofcom related spend. The departmental card should be used for departmental spend. Personal expenditure on any corporate card is not allowed. In the exceptional event that a colleague incurs personal expenditure on an Ofcom corporate card in error a cheque to reimburse Ofcom must be attached to the detailed report from Concur and submitted to the Manager Accounting Services in line with the published timetable. Ofcom Expenses Policy 4

5 Repeated use of an Ofcom corporate card for personal expenditure may result in the card being withdrawn from the colleague, notwithstanding the reimbursement of such personal expenditure. Receipts for every transaction incurred when using the corporate card and appearing on Concur should be submitted on a monthly basis in accordance with the published timetable. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the card Travel and subsistence card These cards are issued to colleagues who are likely to incur regular travel related expense as part of their role. Colleagues that require a travel and subsistence card must complete the appropriate application form for authorisation by the approver (see delegation of authority stated on page 7). Authorised application forms together with an from the authoriser stating the requested single transaction and card limit must be submitted to the Manager Accounting Services. Travel and subsistence cards should only be used by colleagues for their own Ofcom related expense, other than in exceptional circumstances. In general, such expenses will be for the purchase of travel, accommodation and subsistence in accordance with this policy. Specifically colleagues should not use the card for expenditure relating to: Personal (non Ofcom related) expenditure Spend in respect of the Department (use Departmental card) Team events (use Departmental card) Any ICT purchases such as PCs and software (request via ICT) Purchasing training and / or development courses / programmes Travel in respect of colleagues other than the named cardholder Colleagues should ensure they have sufficient credit limit, both single transaction and total card spend, available before incurring expenditure and before travelling if leaving the UK on business. Increases to credit card limits must be approved by the approver (see delegation of authority stated on page 7) and submitted by to the Manager - Accounting Services Departmental card The departmental card is issued to certain nominated colleagues who have a need to purchase goods and services on behalf of their Group. This card may be used by the cardholder to purchase goods and services from a supplier who is not a listed supplier on SAP provided: Ofcom is unlikely to use this supplier on a regular basis (maximum of three times a year); and the total annual expenditure with the supplier should not exceed 5,000 with no single transaction exceeding 2,500 Colleagues should liaise with the Commercial team for guidance if necessary. Ofcom Expenses Policy 5

6 If the requirement for a departmental card is recognised then the appropriate application must be completed, (see delegation of authority stated on page 7) and submitted to the Manager - Accounting Services together with the requested overall credit limit and the single transaction limit. Departmental cards must have a named individual on each card and any expenditure incurred using this card will automatically feed through to their Concur account for coding and approval. 1.5 Claim period One expense claim per month per colleague for expenses is permitted. Authorised expense claims should be submitted to the Accounting Services team in Finance by the communicated date. 1.6 Reimbursement of expenses Out of pocket expenses (unless specifically approved in accordance with paragraph 1.7 below) will only be reimbursed if they are: supported by detailed (VAT) receipts, (credit card slips without corresponding receipts are only valid in exceptional circumstances), please refer to 1.9 Lost / missing receipts submitted through the Ofcom claim process fully completed appropriately authorised claimed in line with this policy In the interests of reimbursing colleagues promptly for expenditure incurred on behalf of the business and ensuring that all known costs are recognised in a timely manner, Finance asks colleagues to submit their claims within 45 days. Exceptions will be flagged in Concur and require a supporting comment from the line manager to consider approval. In certain circumstances, Ofcom will reimburse minor claims for travel without a back-up receipt, for example a toll fee where no receipt is issued although details of the trip should be provided. An explanation should be provided as to why no receipt has been provided. This must be included in the comments section in Concur before you obtain approval from the approver. When using a pre-paid Oyster card to travel on Ofcom business, details of the journeys made should be provided (available from Oyster on-line). Corporate cards should not be used to top up Oyster cards. Claims will be paid in line with the communicated payment dates. 1.7 Approval of expenses Ofcom Expenses Policy 6

7 The approver is responsible for checking the validity of all claims before authorising them. If in doubt over the validity of expenses, the approver must request and obtain additional supporting documentation. Non-receipted claims must be authorised in the body of the claim by the approver (see delegation of authority as stated on page 7). Upon receipt of an expense claim, approval must be made in Concur within 5 working days or the claim will be returned to the claimant for resubmission. Additionally, if an approver is absent from the office they must ensure an appropriate delegate approver is set up on Concur to approve claims in their absence. A delegated approver must be a colleague of the same level or higher within Ofcom. Finance will monitor the compliance of Corporate Card and out of pocket expense submissions. If expenditure is found to be inconsistent with the policy, the claim will be returned to the claimant with the approver being notified with an explanation and a request for corrective action. In relation to this Policy, expenses can only be authorised within limits established by Ofcom's scheme for the Delegation of Financial Authority. Claimant For all colleagues For Group Heads For Board Secretary For Chief Operating Officer For Finance Director For General Counsel For Chief Executive For Chairman For Part-time Ofcom Board Members (including the Deputy Chairman), Content Board Members, Consumer Panel members and other part-time members of Advisory Boards or Committees Approver Line manager (inc Group Heads where appropriate) The Finance Director or the Board Secretary The Chairman The Board Secretary The Chairman The Chairman The Chairman The Deputy Chairman The Board Secretary or the Finance Director Where a Group Head is absent and unable to approve an expense claim then the Finance Director will approve as a substitute. Ofcom Expenses Policy 7

8 1.8 Provision of detailed receipts Detailed receipts must be provided stating the breakdown of the expenditure rather than a summarised total bill in order to meet audit requirements. Detailed (VAT) receipts should be attached as scanned images to all expense claims submitted through Concur. HMRC recommend original receipts should be retained by colleagues for three years in case of any future query. If colleagues are unable to attach the original detailed VAT receipts as a scanned copy then the original receipts should be attached to the printed expense claim report from Concur and sent to Accounting Services. 1.9 Lost / missing receipts (receipts not available). When it is beyond the colleague s control to provide an official receipt for the expense the comment box must be completed in Concur with the reason behind the non submission of a receipt. In the absence of this, the amount cannot be submitted for approval. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to obtain copy receipts if the original receipt has been lost. Receipts for tolls are not required see Shared expenses Where expenses are paid for a group of colleagues, the most senior colleague must pay and claim the expense if out of pocket. The claimant must note the full names of other colleagues in attendance and the reason for incurring the expenditure. Please ensure that the expense claim is accurately completed. Your attention is drawn to the section on corporate cards specifically in respect of entertaining and hospitality see Advances Cash advances are not normally permitted. However, if there is an exceptional circumstance then a colleague may contact the Manager Accounting Services for this facility. Approval would need to be provided by the colleagues Group Head Foreign currency Colleagues must pay out of pocket expenses while abroad and then submit a claim via Concur. Colleagues may claim reasonable commission costs incurred in converting sterling to foreign exchange and vice versa. Colleagues should not purchase foreign currency or seek to withdraw foreign currency cash advances with their corporate card, please see 1.11 above. For out of pocket expenses colleagues should use the rate shown on the receipt when sterling was exchanged for the foreign currency. Ofcom Expenses Policy 8

9 For corporate card transactions the foreign currency will be converted at the rate as stated within Concur Exclusions The following types of expenditure are not claimable (this list is not exhaustive): Gifts, except those specified in 8.1 Travel to and from your home to your normal place of work except under late working conditions as per 3.5 Traffic fines (including non payment of congestion charge), travel fines and penalties 1.14 Combining annual leave with business travel If annual leave is combined with business travel, then reimbursement of expenses are limited to the actual expense for business time and use only. This covers all expenses incurred such as travel, subsistence and entertaining. For clarification, if it is necessary and appropriate for a colleague to travel to a location before an event this is classified as business time. 2.0 Entertaining 2.1 Entertaining stakeholders & guests / accepting hospitality Colleagues should take care when offering and accepting lunch or dinner invitations with stakeholders. Particular circumstances may mean that a lunch or dinner with a stakeholder is inappropriate (for example, if Ofcom is considering a policy matter which may affect the stakeholder, or if we are considering a complaint against them). Ofcom must always be seen as an unbiased and independent regulator. If colleagues are unsure whether to make or accept an invitation, they must obtain guidance from the relevant SMS member or the Board Secretary. The following guidelines apply to invitations from external organisations to functions: Event-based hospitality which allows colleagues to meet Ofcom stakeholders, and may shape or promote our work, is generally acceptable. For example, going to an industry awards dinner. Work-related hospitality from a single stakeholder or licensee is acceptable where it can clearly be seen to be of value to Ofcom s work Colleagues should avoid hospitality that benefits them personally if it is difficult to justify as being of benefit to Ofcom of if there is risk of a suggestion of possible bias. Examples would be tickets to certain sporting events or other cultural events. Entertaining received and given on behalf of Ofcom must be recorded in the Gifts & Hospitality Register. Ofcom Expenses Policy 9

10 Colleagues may entertain stakeholders and guests only where it is within budgetary limits and is likely to help Ofcom to further its objectives. Working lunches at Ofcom offices or the offices of the stakeholder need not be registered on the Gifts and Hospitality Register. To provide support, the following details should be included on the claim: the name of each person attending which attendees are from Ofcom and which are external guests the reason for the entertainment Ofcom requires this information to prove that tax is not payable on the entertainment. Colleagues should not allow themselves to enter into situations where they subsequently feel obliged to return an invitation. Subject to these constraints, colleagues may claim reasonable and appropriate entertaining expenses up to the following ceilings. For overseas stakeholder entertainment please refer to section 14 of the policy that provides guidance of the maximum daily rate in currencies other than sterling. These overseas rates have been fixed in order to counter the movement in exchange rates. To confirm, where colleagues need to join stakeholders for meals whilst working away from home, the allowance in respect of stakeholder hospitality is applicable. London Outside of London Overseas Lunch (per head and inclusive of VAT and service) Evening meal (per head and inclusive of VAT and service) In exceptional circumstances, the relevant Group Head, the Board Secretary or Finance Director may approve increased limits in individual cases in advance of expenditure being incurred. An confirming this should be sent by the colleague to the Manager Accounting Services. In the exceptional cases where advance approval could not have been pre-empted then approval should be provided by Group Head, the Board Secretary or Finance Director following the expenditure. The approval should be submitted together with receipts in accordance with the usual procedure. 2.2 Colleague working lunches The cost of staff hospitality is not generally reimbursable. However, where managers deem it appropriate and there is clear benefit for the organisation such expenditure may be incurred through arranging working lunches with colleagues. In such Ofcom Expenses Policy 10

11 circumstances up to a maximum of 20 per head may be spent including VAT and service. Managers should consider, where possible, undertaking working lunches in-house to minimise cost and ensure value for money. For all expenditure the claim should include: authorisation for the expenditure in line with the delegation of authority stated on page 7 reason for the expenditure the name of each person attending detailed receipts When approval is given and such hospitality results in a taxable benefit for the staff entertained, Ofcom will meet this tax liability. Group Heads will provide guidance regarding specific events. 3.0 Travel expenses Colleagues must consider cost and Ofcom s carbon footprint by evaluating the need to travel and the potential of using other less expensive and lower carbon travel alternatives such as , audio or video conferencing. Ofcom will pay reasonable costs of necessary travel on Ofcom business. For this purpose, the following do not count as travel on Ofcom business: Travel between home and permanent workplace Other travel which is primarily for private purposes Travel which is primarily for business purposes but which is substantially the same as travel between home and the permanent workplace except where incremental expense is incurred Colleagues must make every effort to obtain the most economical rates, use the most cost effective transport option available and take the most appropriate route consistent with the purpose of the trip. Colleagues should travel to off-site meetings and between offices by the most cost effective and appropriate mode of transport, taking into account journey time as well as monetary cost for each part of a journey. Travel arrangements should be planned and booked as early as possible to benefit from early booking discounts. Colleagues must state the start and end point of each journey and the reason for travelling. This information is necessary for all modes of travel. Ofcom Expenses Policy 11

12 In order to improve operational efficiency small low value travel expenses of less than 5 per trip should be aggregated (per cost centre and project code) by the colleague during the month and a single claim made with appropriate support to aid approval. The claim should include details of from where and to, type of expense (bus, tube etc) and reason for the journey within the comment section of the claim. 3.1 Authorisation to travel All travel by air, train or boat must be authorised prior to booking via Ofcom s travel provider if not in line with this policy. For non business as usual travel, for example when attending stakeholder events or attending conferences, colleagues should gain approval from their Group Head and refer to instructions provided on the Loop re approval from the External Engagement Group (EEG) Taxis Public transport should be used wherever possible except where it is either impractical or inappropriate. In such cases licensed taxis / black cabs may be used. For prearranged travel requirements within London black cabs may be ordered from the providers listed on the Loop Taxis should be paid, and costs reclaimed in the normal way. For travel to and from airports, if impractical, inappropriate or not possible to use public transport then use of licensed taxis is acceptable. In order to secure the lowest rates possible taxis should be pre- booked wherever possible. See also 'late night travel home from work Trains All train travel should be booked on-line through Ofcom s travel provider using the Concur cliqbook travel system. Colleagues should travel by standard class. However in order to allow colleagues to work effectively during longer journeys, in excess of two hours, travel by first class is permissible but must be approved in advance by the colleague approver. This approval confirmation ( ) should be attached with the receipts when submitting the expense claim. Expensive flexible tickets offering varied return times should not be purchased. In the event that such a ticket is required for business reasons this should be approved by the colleague s approver prior to booking. Ofcom Expenses Policy 12

13 For use of Eurostar, where part of the journey to Europe starts in the UK and total journey time exceeds two hours, then Standard Premier class should be used. Business class may be used if Standard Premier is not an available option. 3.4 Air travel Air travel should only be used when it is the most economical and practical method of travel. You must book flights as far in advance as possible to get discounted rates. The most cost effective ticketing arrangements must be used. All air travel should be booked on-line through Ofcom s travel provider using the Concur cliqbook travel system. Ofcom will not reimburse the cost of flights through the out of pocket expense claim process except in exceptional circumstances. In such circumstances, you must support the claim with a valid boarding card and your claim form must justify why you did not use Ofcom s travel provider. Air travel on Ofcom business should be by economy class. Under no circumstances will Ofcom meet the cost of first class air travel. Business class air travel will only be allowed when the flight time is in excess of four hours and this has been approved in advance by the colleague s approver. This approval confirmation ( ) should be attached with the receipts when submitting the expense claim. In line with 3.0 air travel around the UK is not permitted if the train is an available option and is a more appropriate method of travel for this journey. In line with 3.1 all non business as usual international travel should be approved in advance by the relevant Group Head and EEG. If colleagues require business class facilities in order to work prior to boarding flights, and travel is a regular part of their role, a business class lounge pass can be provided to supplement their economy class flight. Colleagues should contact the Commercial team for an application form. The Board Secretary or the Finance Director may, in exceptional circumstances, approve the request to travel business class for flights of less than 4 hours. You should obtain approval before making your travel arrangements. In the event that you are unable to do so (for example having to return back home in an emergency) then please ensure that you have discussed your particular circumstances with the Board Secretary or the Finance Director within 48 hours of returning to work and gained appropriate approval. Ofcom Expenses Policy 13

14 Expensive flexible tickets offering varied return flight times should not be purchased. In the event that such a ticket is required for business reasons this should be approved by the colleague s approver prior to booking. 3.5 Late night travel home from work Ofcom may agree to meet the cost of late night travel home from work. Your expense approver specific approval is required and will only be given in the following circumstances: where you have to work until 21:00 or later in which case you may take a taxi to your normal mainline / tube station your receipt should be date and time stamped. You may then get a taxi from your home station to your home your receipt must be date and time stamped. If the taxi company does not have the facility to time stamp then the time should be clearly written on the receipt. where you have to work until 22:00 or later in which case you may take a taxi from the office directly to your home address your receipt must be date and time stamped. If the taxi company does not have the facility to time stamp then the time should be clearly written on the receipt. and you must observe the following: o o late working does not follow a regular pattern; and you do not claim for late night travel on more than 25 occasions in the tax year Where approval is given and such travel results in a taxable benefit for staff Ofcom will meet this tax liability. 3.6 Motor car, motorcycle and bicycle expenses Business travel by motor car should only be undertaken if other more cost effective and lower carbon modes of transport are not available or are impractical. It is your sole responsibility to ensure you are properly insured (i.e. fully comprehensive and full business use) before using your personal vehicle to travel on Ofcom business. In the event of an insurance claim, Ofcom will not pay any excess charges levied by your insurance provider. In relation to use of private vehicles, the following rules apply: You are responsible for ensuring that both you and your vehicle are appropriately insured. You must keep an accurate record of your business mileage claimed in each tax year (6th April to 5 th April) to justify the rates of mileage allowance claimed. Ofcom Expenses Policy 14

15 Fines for traffic offences will not be reimbursed. Where it is cost effective to make a business journey by car, motorcycle or bicycle you may claim a mileage allowance as follows: Allowance Pence per mile First 10,000 business miles in tax year Business mileage over 10,000 in tax year Bicycle rate Motorcycle rate These rates are reviewed annually, and updated in line with the HMRC authorised mileage rates. In order to improve operational efficiency mileage claims of less than 5 per trip per vehicle should be aggregated by the colleague (per cost centre and project code) during the month and a single claim made with appropriate support to aid approval. The claim should include details of from where and to, mileage and reason for the journey within the comment section of the claim. The mileage should be totalled. 3.7 Tolls, Congestion charges and Parking expenses Tolls, congestion charges and parking fees are reimbursable whilst travelling on Ofcom Business. In order to improve operational efficiency claims of less than 5 should be aggregated by the colleague (per cost centre and project code) during the month and with appropriate detail provided in the comments section of the claim in order to aid review and approval. Fines or interest charges regarding late or non payment are the responsibility of the colleague and will not be reimbursed. 4.0 Accommodation Reservations All accommodation should be booked on-line via Ofcom s travel provider using the Concur cliqbook travel system and the claimant should accept the cheapest option displayed. If the cheapest option is not appropriate another within policy should be chosen. Ofcom has negotiated some specific rates for hotels near Ofcom locations which will appear as a booking option. If out of policy accommodation is required then prior approval is required in line with the delegation of authority on page Claim Ofcom Expenses Policy 15

16 All expenses in relation to meals and subsistence must be claimed for via the personal travel and subsistence corporate card or through personal out of pocket expense claims. 4.2 Eligibility Overnight stays are allowed where the destination is more than 100 miles from home and the business cannot be completed in one day. Approval must be given in accordance with the delegation of authority on page 7 and in advance for any overnight stays outside of these circumstances. Overnight stays in London for colleagues based at Riverside House are not allowed except in exceptional circumstances and unless you have prior written agreement from your Group Head. 4.3 Type of Accommodation In all cases the cheapest type of room available must be used. In most cases this will be a single room. 4.4 Hotel Guarantees All reservations must be made with guaranteed late arrivals. This ensures that the allocated room is not given away by the hotel thus causing inconvenience to the colleague. 4.5 Cancellation & No Show Charges The cancellation policy of a hotel will be displayed on the Concur travel booking system cliqbook. If accommodation needs to be cancelled colleagues should ensure that it is cancelled appropriately to avoid penalties and charges. Unless there is an urgent personal or compelling business reason for cancelling a reservation after the cancellation deadline, any charges incurred will be deemed the personal responsibility of the colleague and are not reimbursable. 4.6 Multiple Trips and Multiple Bookings If more than one colleague is travelling to the same destination, all bookings should be made at the same time in order to obtain the best possible rates using a departmental corporate card. 4.7 Room costs Room costs are reviewed annually. Ofcom s travel provider use these rates when booking accommodation. Accommodation allowances per night are as follows: Ofcom Expenses Policy 16

17 Location Including Breakfast Maximum including VAT UK London Other towns and cities Outside of UK Capital cities and other major cities* Specific exceptions to these maximum limits, due to their proximity to Ofcom offices, are available from the Ofcom travel provider. If you are attending a conference or an event organised by a third party you may stay at the hotel arranged by the event organiser if it is cost effective and beneficial to do so. All accommodation must be booked via Ofcom's travel provider except in exceptional circumstances, in which case you must observe the maximum VAT-inclusive daily costs specified above. *For overseas accommodation please refer to section 14 of the policy that provides guidance of the maximum daily rate in currencies other than sterling. These overseas rates have been fixed in order to counter the movement in exchange rates for the most frequently travelled destinations. There may be circumstances in which the above rates or those set out in section 14 are not applicable. Examples may include proximity to the meeting or event location, safety or other reasons that maximise efficiency and effectiveness at a reasonable cost. In such situations, you must obtain approval from your Group Head, the Board Secretary or Finance Director prior to any arrangements being made. 5.0 Subsistence For operational efficiency individual low value subsistence claims of under 5 should be aggregated (per cost centre and project code) and claimed as one line item each month. Claims should have appropriate detail to aid approval by completing the comment section of the claim on the Concur expense management system. This will include; description of the expense, why the expense was incurred, value and date. Receipts should be provided to support each line item. Colleagues should not be financially disadvantaged when performing Ofcom business and away from their normal working location. If the colleague is working away from their normal working location and the cost of lunch is more expensive than that which Ofcom Expenses Policy 17

18 would have normally been incurred the excess may be claimed up to a limit of 10 per colleague per day. A receipt should be provided for the cost incurred stating the excess being claimed. 5.1 Subsistence when staying away overnight Ofcom will reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses when a journey on Ofcom business makes it necessary to stay away from home overnight. You may claim up to the following for each night whilst you are away: Evening meal including a beverage per night UK Evening meal including a beverage per night Overseas * Breakfast when not included within accommodation costs UK Breakfast when not included within accommodation costs Overseas * For overseas subsistence please refer to section 14 of the policy that provides guidance of the maximum daily allowance in currencies other than sterling. These overseas rates have been fixed in order to counter the movement in exchange rates. There may be circumstances in which the above rates or those in section 14 are not applicable. In such situations, you must obtain approval from your Group Head, Board Secretary or Finance Director prior to any expenditure being incurred. For example, if you are travelling to a country with expensive subsistence costs. 5.2 Subsistence - consumption of alcohol The cost of a glass of wine or similar alcoholic beverage may be included as part of the overall cost of an evening meal. Cost of drinks outside of an evening meal should not be claimed. The figures quoted for subsistence are not flat rate allowances, but limits on the amounts that Ofcom will reimburse against receipts. 5.3 Subsistence Early Start or Late Finish If you are not away from home overnight but have to work late or start early because of Ofcom business, you can claim reasonable out of pocket expenses for subsistence, this includes early starts when travelling. All amounts quoted below are limits of actual expenditure that Ofcom will reimburse against a valid receipt. Approval is required (see delegation of authority on page 7) and will only be given in the following circumstances: Early Start - if you are required to start work by 07:00 hours or required to work away from your usual office and need to begin your journey by 7.00am (away from home if you are a non executive) expenses up to 10 per day may be claimed towards subsistence to cover breakfast, coffee, sandwich etc. Ofcom Expenses Policy 18

19 Working Late - if you are required to work to 21:00 hours or later, an evening meal may be purchased up to the value of Limitations of the reimbursements are: o early start or late finish should not follow a regular pattern and o must be for business requirements. 5.4 Subsistence Staying with friends or relatives If you have to stay away from home overnight on Ofcom business, and stay with relatives or friends instead of a hotel, you may claim a flat rate allowance of 25. You must confirm that the overnight stay was necessary for business purposes and the claim form should be approved by the expense approver. This cannot be claimed through expenses but instead a claim should be submitted to HR using the lodging allowance claim form and paid through the monthly payroll. If you claim this allowance you cannot also claim reimbursement of the actual accommodation costs as above, but may claim reimbursement of the cost of an evening meal, if incurred against receipts. 6.0 Subscriptions If you are a member of a professional body, you may claim the cost of annual subscription provided that the membership activities are directly relevant to your Ofcom duties. Discretionary amounts, e.g. benevolent fund contributions, are not recoverable. If you are required by Ofcom to train for a qualification which involves admittance to another professional body, Ofcom will also reimburse the annual subscription to that body. All subscriptions require the approval by the Head of Professional Development and should be coded per the instructions provided at that time. The approval should be attached to the expense claim in Concur. 7.0 Business telephone calls from home If you do not have access to an Ofcom provided mobile device and make business telephone calls from home or your personal mobile phone, you may claim the VAT inclusive cost of the call. Your claim must give details of the call, identify the business reason for making it and be accompanied by a copy of the appropriate page of an itemised telephone bill, on which the business call is highlighted. Ofcom will not pay for line rental. If you need to make and receive calls as a regular part of your job whilst away from your main place of work, you should apply for a mobile device in accordance with the Ofcom Mobile Device Policy Ofcom Expenses Policy 19

20 8.0 Gifts It is Ofcom policy not to accept, provide or receive gifts either from an individual or an organisation. In the event that an individual or organisation insists on making a gift and its value is greater than 10, it should be donated to a charity of Ofcom s choice. Gifts of less than 10 in value may be accepted by colleagues All gifts with a retail value of more than 10 must be declared and recorded on the Gifts and Hospitality Register which can be found on the Loop at Promotional gifts such as pens, mugs, mouse mats with a value of less than 10 in value do not require declaration and may be accepted by colleagues. Under no circumstances should gifts be accepted by: Colleagues working in the Commercial team Colleagues involved in any tender exercise Colleagues involved in putting into practice or discussing policy, or making a decision which might affect the individual or organisation concerned. Under no circumstances should gifts of any value be accepted from regulated entities. If a colleague has any uncertainty regarding the Gifts and Hospitality guidelines they should contact the Secretariat team for further guidance. 8.1 Gifts for colleagues Flowers or appropriate gifts can only be purchased and reclaimed for colleagues regarding: Serious illnesses Deaths All gifts should be authorised (see delegation of authority stated on page 7) 9.0 Charitable donations Whilst payments may be made to charitable organisations for the provision of legitimate services in connections with the fulfilment of our duties, Ofcom does not make charitable donations. Colleagues should not make donations on behalf of Ofcom either through use of the corporate card or out of pocket expenses Going to conferences You must not accept payment or gifts (gifts received are covered by the Gifts Policy for speaking at external conferences, workshops or seminars. However, organisers may make a donation to a charity of Ofcom s choice Ofcom Expenses Policy 20

21 The Organisers may also pay travel expenses for Ofcom colleagues to and from conferences, workshops and seminars unless the organiser is a stakeholder or Ofcom supplier, in which case Ofcom will pay the travel expenses. If a workshop or seminar provides a business benefit to Ofcom, approval should be gained before booking a place at the event. Prior to attending a conference approval should be received from the relevant Group Head and EEG Computer Hardware and software ICT purchases all Ofcom computer hardware and software. No hardware or software may be bought by an individual without ICT prior written approval. This approval document must accompany the expense claim in Concur Stationery, printing, post and courier costs Such costs should only be claimed in exceptional circumstances where it is impractical to use supplies provided by Ofcom External training courses If a training course provides a business benefit to Ofcom, approval should be gained prior to booking a place. All training courses should be booked and approved via Professional Development Currency - guideline The rates stated below are the maximum limits per category. Fixed rates have been set for the Euro, USD, DKK and CHF rates (the main non sterling rates used) to cater for movement in exchange rates. In exceptional circumstances where these rates are not appropriate your Group Head, the Board Secretary or Finance Director should be contacted in advance to gain approval. Ofcom Expenses Policy 21

22 Euro US dollar CHF (Swiss franc) Danish Krone Entertaining Stakeholders overseas per head (inclusive of VAT and service) Lunch Evening meal Subsistence overseas per head (inclusive of VAT and service) Breakfast when not included within accommodation costs Evening meal including a beverage Accommodation overseas (inclusive of VAT) Accommodation inc breakfast Ofcom Expenses Policy 22

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