DECISION No 120/2014. on the implementing provisions for Regulations No 3/2014, No 4/2014 and No 5/2014 of the Committee of the Regions

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1 DECISION No 120/2014 on the implementing provisions for Regulations No 3/2014, No 4/2014 and No 5/2014 of the Committee of the Regions THE SECRETARY-GENERAL, HAVING REGARD TO HAVING REGARD TO HAVING REGARD TO Article 10 of Regulation No 3/2014 on the refund of travel expenses and the payment of flat-rate travel and meeting allowances for members and alternates of the Committee of the Regions; Article 10 of Regulation No 4/2014 on the refund of transport expenses and the payment of flat-rate travel and meeting allowances for rapporteurs' experts and speakers who participate in the activities of the Committee of the Regions; Article 7 of Regulation No 5/2014 on the refund of travel and accommodation expenses for third parties participating in the activities of the Committee of the Regions; WHEREAS WHEREAS it is necessary to lay down implementing provisions for these rules; any reference to members in the articles below shall be deemed also to refer to experts, speakers and third parties; HAS ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING DECISION: Article 1 Principles 1. An alternate may attend seminars, conferences etc which are of particular interest to the Committee of the Regions at the proposal of the Committee President, the chair of the commission concerned or the chair of the political group of which (s)he is a member, in accordance with the authorisation conditions set out in Article 1(3) of Regulation 3/2014. S/he shall be entitled to the refund of travel expenses and the payment of flat-rate travel and COR REGL-TRA (FR) 1/7 EN

2 meeting allowances, under the same conditions as members, if s/he is duly mandated or has been appointed as rapporteur for an opinion related to the topic of the seminar or conference. 2. Attendance at a plenary session or another meeting (other than a Committee Bureau meeting) held the day before or during the plenary session shall entitle the member or his/her alternate to a single refund of travel expenses and a single flat-rate travel allowance and daily meeting allowance. These refunds shall be paid to the member, unless (s)he directs otherwise. 3. The general secretariat shall be notified of the appointment of an alternate via the electronic system the day before the meeting at the latest. If the electronic system is temporarily unavailable, the member shall send his/her signed delegation by or fax to the general secretariat on the day before the meeting at the latest. Article 2 Officially declared place of residence If the member or alternate has obtained the Secretary-General s agreement for a second official address, s/he may travel from and return to this address. If the member chooses a route other than the direct route from his/her official address to the meeting venue, whether it be shorter or longer, s/he must supply reasons to the Secretary-General for his/her request for authorisation and give notification of the difference in price compared with the direct route. A statement from a travel agency or airline is required for this purpose. The same procedure applies where a member decides to stay at the meeting venue for more than 48 hours or stay for more than 24 hours at any place on the route, including when making a stopover of more than 24 hours in an airport located on the direct route between his/her place of residence and the meeting venue or vice versa. Article 3 Refund of travel expenses 1. Travel by rail, bus or boat Rail, bus or boat fares, including supplements, actually paid shall be refunded on presentation of the original tickets or electronic tickets. The cost of transport by tram, bus or underground railway shall also be eligible for reimbursement under the same conditions, except for such transport costs incurred in Brussels, which are covered by the flat-rate travel allowance. As any cost of hiring a cabin on a ship or a night train is already covered by the flat-rate travel allowance, such costs shall not be refunded. COR REGL-TRA (FR) 2/7

3 The cost of a railway season ticket for the year "n" shall be refunded in January of the year "n+1" on presentation of proof of payment and provided that the corresponding cost does not exceed the rate without a season ticket for journeys made by train on behalf of the Committee in year "n". The cost of purchasing a discount card shall only be refunded if the saving for the Committee is greater than the cost of the card. 2. Travel by car Members must indicate the number of the registration plate of the vehicle used on the reimbursement form. The administration shall check the distances declared by members on the basis of the fastest route using Microsoft AutoRoute software, the most recent version of which shall be used. If the calculation cannot be made using Microsoft AutoRoute, the administration reserves the right to check the distance by other appropriate means. The reimbursement of the cost of travel by car for a return distance of more than 400 km may not under any circumstances exceed the price of a first-class rail ticket for the same journey, as verifiable on the internet. The cost of travel by car for a return journey of more than km shall be calculated on the basis of the fastest journey with the software used by the Committee. This cost shall only be reimbursed on presentation of documentary proof of the distance travelled, such as receipts for purchases of fuel, hotel bills, or parking and motorway toll receipts. In the case of a return journey by car of more than km, reimbursement shall be limited to a maximum distance of km, even if this journey covers several Committee activities in different venues. The cost of travel by hired car to the meeting venue shall be subject to the same limitations and conditions and eligible for reimbursement on the basis of the same flat-rate allowance per kilometre on presentation of the hire car invoice. Under the same conditions, reimbursement of the cost of travel by official car shall be authorised, with costs being refunded to the member's public authority. These reimbursements shall be paid into the bank account of the public authority concerned. 3. Travel by air All members must submit original boarding cards or electronic boarding cards covering the entire outward journey. COR REGL-TRA (FR) 3/7

4 If the original boarding cards for the outward journey are not submitted, the administration shall accept the original ones for the return journey or written confirmation from the airline that the air tickets submitted were actually used. If the boarding cards for the outward journey are not submitted during the meeting, the member may submit a scanned copy of the original boarding cards for the return journey. Mobile phone boarding cards will not be accepted. The member is required to print them out before the meeting or to request a written statement from the airline. Air travel expenses actually incurred will be reimbursed, however, only on production of proof of the electronic reservation of the outward/return journey and of the invoice which must indicate the number of the ticket(s) used and/or the reservation code. If, for exceptional reasons, it is necessary to use a private aeroplane, the prior agreement of the Secretary-General shall be required. The request shall set out the reasons for not using a scheduled flight and must be accompanied by a declaration issued by a travel agency or an airline indicating the price of a ticket in business class, on a scheduled flight, on the day of the meeting. The original invoice, indicating the route, the passenger's name and the price, shall be sent to the Members' Financial Service. The reimbursement may not, under any circumstance, exceed the price of a ticket in business class for the same journey. 4. Additional journeys If, for exceptional work-related reasons, a member is required to make a second journey during a plenary session, or between two meetings held on two consecutive days, the member shall submit to the Secretary-General an application for prior authorisation, in order to obtain reimbursement. The member is required to prove that the reason given is work-related and to indicate the amount of the costs to be incurred. 5. Travel expenses between the officially declared place of residence or meeting venue and the railway station, airport or port For meetings held away from Brussels, travel by taxi from the station, airport or port to and from the meeting venue shall only in exceptional cases be eligible for refund upon application in writing to the Secretary-General, stating reasons and enclosing supporting documents. Absence of public transport and/or of transport provided by the co-organisers of the meeting, early-morning or late-evening arrival or departure at times when public transport is not operating and cases of force majeure shall be considered as exceptional cases. The cost of a taxi between a member's officially declared place of residence and the airport, railway station or port of departure shall not be reimbursed, with the exception of the cost of a COR REGL-TRA (FR) 4/7

5 combined taxi/ferry service incurred by members living on islands without an airport, for the distance between their residence and the airport on a neighbouring island and vice-versa. 6. Other expenses Administrative costs arising in connection with the purchase of travel tickets shall be reimbursed on presentation of the travel agency invoice. These costs include seat reservation fees, costs related to payment by credit card, travel agency fees, delivery, cancellation and reservation fees. This list is not exhaustive. The cost of prepaid airline meals shall be reimbursed only if the member travels in a class lower than business class. If approved in advance by the Secretary-General, the cost of access to VIP lounges in airport terminals incurred by the President or first Vice-President shall be reimbursed on production of supporting documents proving the amounts paid. Visa fees for travel outside the EU shall be reimbursed if approved in advance by the Secretary-General. The cost of shuttle services (taxis shared by several people, for example) shall be considered as bus fares. Toll-bridge charges shall be reimbursed in lieu of the cost of travel by boat. As the Committee already provides travel insurance/personal assistance cover, no costs of this kind shall be reimbursed. Article 4 Flat-rate travel allowance In the case of air travel, distances shall be calculated on the basis of a journey between the departure airport and the arrival airport in accordance with the official distances established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In the case of travel by car or train, distances shall be calculated on the basis of the fastest route using Microsoft AutoRoute software, the most recent version of which shall be used. If the meeting is cancelled and the member has not been informed in good time, the flat-rate travel allowance shall be paid in respect of the journey made. If the member is unable to take part in a meeting as a result of unforeseen circumstances, s/he must justify his/her request for reimbursement of travel expenses and payment of a travel allowance to the Secretary-General, who shall submit it to the President for a decision. COR REGL-TRA (FR) 5/7

6 Article 5 Flat-rate meeting allowance Irrespective of the reason, a flat-rate meeting allowance may not be granted if the member has not attended the meeting. Article 6 Refund procedure If s/he fails to sign the official attendance list at each meeting or on each meeting day, the member or alternate shall send a signed declaration to the Members' Financial Service, stating reasons, testifying to his/her attendance of the meeting in question. This declaration must be accompanied by additional documentary evidence such as photographs, certificates, statements made during the meeting etc. Each application will be examined by the administration and will be submitted to the Secretary- General for a decision. In the case of individual attendances or in the absence of a duly authorised member of the administration, signature of the attendance list shall not be obligatory. Article 7 Arrangements for payment of allowances and refund of travel expenses 1. Post Statements of flat-rate allowances paid and travel expenses reimbursed shall be sent by to a confidential address given to the Committee by the member. The shall be sent when the payment instruction is sent to the bank. 2. Payment of allowances Payment instructions in favour of a member requesting that the refund be paid to a bank or post office account in a European Union country shall be sent with an instruction that costs are to be shared. The member shall send the Committee a financial identification form with his/her full bank details, the stamp and signature of the bank and the account holder's signature. The member shall also send the Committee the legal entity form containing his/her personal details, signature, a clear double-sided copy of his/her passport or national identity document and, if necessary, an official document stating that his/her VAT number is correct. Bank transfers may not be made until these details have been validated in the European Commission's central files. COR REGL-TRA (FR) 6/7

7 These payments may only be considered to be domestic payments if IBAN and BIC codes are provided. Members who have incurred bank charges may apply for these costs to be reimbursed at the beginning of January each year, by presenting supporting documents that state the actual amounts paid. 3. Notification of bank details The Committee shall be notified of the member's bank details, or any changes to these, by means of the form provided by the Committee. The form shall bear complete bank details, the signature of the account holder and the signature and stamp of the bank. 4. Currency conversion Currency conversions for countries outside the euro area shall be made at the official rates published by the European Commission in the edition of Infor-Euro for the date of the meeting attended by the member. Article 8 Final provision This decision repeals Decision No 254/2011 on the implementing provisions for Regulation No 003/2007 on the refund of travel expenses and the payment of flat-rate travel and meeting allowances for members and alternates of the Committee of the Regions. This decision shall enter into force on 1 July Done at Brussels, 23 June The Secretary-General (signed) Daniel Janssens COR REGL-TRA (FR) 7/7

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