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Wikimedia Foundation Travel and Expense Policy

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

I. Purpose

The Wikimedia Foundation ("WMF") believes that traveling in the name of its mission, is critical to raising the visibility of Wikimedia projects and recognizing its distributed workforce.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that people who are required and approved to travel on behalf of WMF, and request reimbursement for travel are treated equally and fairly. The guiding principles are:

  1. WMF travelers will be reimbursed for actual legitimate, reasonable and necessary travel expenses incurred while on WMF business based on the established allowances set forth in this policy.
  2. WMF travelers are expected to use WMF funds responsibly, and to travel in an economical and efficient manner.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all staff, board members, vendors and other guests who travel or incur business expenses while traveling on behalf of WMF. This policy applies only to travelers whose expenses are being paid by the WMF; it does not apply to travelers whose expenses are being paid by another organization, or by the traveler themselves; nor does it apply to scholarship recipients.

III. Policy

This policy is intended to assist WMF's business traveler and its management team by establishing guidelines and reporting requirements related to WMF's expectations and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.

The Wikimedia Foundation is entrusted with responsibly stewarding resources for the Wikimedia movement. As a result, WMF recommends travelers to consider to following:

  1. Except with prior approval from the Global Travel and Convening Team, all travel arrangements and reservations required for business travel (air, rail, vehicle rental and lodging), including all changes and cancellations of travel arrangements, must be made through the Global Travel and Convening Team. People traveling on behalf of WMF are not allowed to make their own travel arrangements using a personal credit card.
  2. Expenses must fall within WMF's established organizational guidelines and will be reimbursed with proper documentation.
  3. The lowest available airfares should be sought when making bookings. All travelers are expected to travel in economy class.
  4. The standard for rail travel is economy class.
  5. Where it is economical and practical, rental vehicles may be used.
  6. WMF travelers shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable expenses for accommodation.
  7. Taxi fares are reimbursable, however WMF encourages travelers to use more economical alternatives whenever possible.
  8. WMF travelers can submit actual receipts for meals, or receive a standard daily meal allowance (per diem), for meals not provided during the trip.
  9. Other expenses are reimbursable if they are directly related to WMF business and are legitimate, necessary and reasonable.
  10. Travelers may combine personal and WMF travel on occasion provided there is no additional cost to WMF.
  11. Cost-effective business travel is the responsibility of all travelers and their expense approvers. All expense reports should be carefully reviewed and approved by each expense approver. Items that are not reimbursable should be brought to the attention of the traveler prior to being submitted for reimbursement.
  12. Travelers must submit travel expense reports, with all required information, to the WMF within 1 month of completion of the trip, unless a longer delay is approved by the chair of the Board or the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). Every effort will be made to reimburse travelers within five working days of receipt.
  13. While this policy is intended to be comprehensive, it is impossible to anticipate every situation that a traveler may face. WMF expects travel-related expenses to be reasonable and necessary and the traveler is expected to apply this policy prudently. Any legitimate, reasonable, and necessary business-related travel expenses that are not covered by this policy should be proposed to and approved in advance by the CFO or delegated authority.
  14. If a traveler fails to follow this policy, WMF may deny reimbursement for an out-of-policy expense.

IV. Definitions

Traveler - Means anybody whose travel is paid for and approved directly by WMF for WMF-related travel.

Expense Approver - WMF staff members who will review expense reports before they are submitted by the traveler for reimbursement of payment. The traveler's direct manager, the budget owner (when not the same person), and/or Accounting personnel act as expense approvers.

V. Document version history

Version Date Author Change description
1.1 2022-09-13 Travel & Convening Team Draft to update the current Travel Policy

See also