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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T

ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM No. 79 Rev. 2
SUBJECT: INSTRUCTIONS FOR OFFICIAL AND STATUTORY TRAVEL FROM HEADQUARTERS

 

I.  DECISION:

By decision of the Secretary General, the following policy guidelines are established for official travel from headquarters: 

A.  Travel Authority

1.    Chapter VIII of the Staff Rules governs official and statutory travel by staff and their dependents. 

2.     All travel must be authorized in advance and in writing. In order for a staff member to travel on official business a requisition must be created in the Purchasing Module and approved by a supervisor. Travel from the Member States will continue to be processed through Project Accounting Module until the organization is web-enabled. Nevertheless, all statutory travel must be encumbered in the Purchasing Module. 

3.     Executive and Assistant Secretaries, Executive Coordinators, Unit, Department and Office Directors, and Office Chiefs ("the Supervisors") will produce quarterly Official Travel Plan documents. Each report should spell out the official travel planned, its justification in terms of the aims of the Organization, the approximate cost, the individuals involved, and the expected results. It shall be presented to the Secretary General for consideration and approved at least one month before the quarter in question begins. Once the Official Travel Plan is approved, the administrative procedures for travel should be processed at least 15 days before the travel takes place. 

4.    Unplanned travel due to unforeseen circumstances shall require prior approval by the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General.  

5.     Only the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General may approve their own travel plans. All other travel plans must be approved by the staff members' supervisor who must be at or above the level of department/office director.  Travel plans for executive and assistant secretaries, executive coordinators, directors, and senior advisors to the Secretary General, shall be approved by their immediate supervisors or, upon delegation of such authority from Secretary General, by the Chief of Staff. 

6.    Travelers must obtain prior approval by their supervisor to use annual leave during the travel period. Any itinerary changes must also have the supervisor's prior approval, in writing. 

7.    OAS official travel financed by outside organizations and at no cost to the OAS should also be included in the travel plan to be approved by the Secretary General. Copy of the travel plan should be sent to the Office of Procurement Management Services so that the traveler will be covered by the OAS insurance. 

8.    A staff member traveling on official business is entitled to OAS standard per-diem and terminal expense rates according to Staff Rules 108.12 and 108.13. If the rates for an OAS official travel financed by an outside organization should be substandard, the staff member is entitled to receive the difference between the OAS travel rate and the rate offered by the outside organization. The amount the OAS and the outside organization will pay for an official travel should be the result of an agreement between the "Program Manager" and the outside organization.  

9.    It is the responsibility of the supervisors to secure prior country clearance approval for the trip from the appropriate Permanent Missions, if required, before travel arrangements are initiated. 

10.  All staff members on official travel from Headquarters shall inform beforehand the Office of the General Secretariat in the appropriate Member State to which they will travel, and shall register with the Office upon their arrival in the country. Traveling staff members shall fillout an OAS Form 343 (registry of staff member on official mission), signed by the Director of the Office, for each Member State visited during the trip. If the Office is not on the traveler's itinerary, a telephone registration will suffice unless the Member State does not have an OAS office, in which case a registration cannot be done. 

B.      Administrative Procedures 

1.    For all official travel, (except General Assembly travel and statutory travel) the traveler will be responsible to make his or her travel reservations and to purchase the airline tickets with the Travel Division of the Office of Procurement Management Services. The Travel Division will provide the traveler the actual ticket cost for the creation of a requisition and purchase order in the traveler's name to be approved no later then fifteen days before the travel date. The traveler may pay for the tickets by credit card or by personal check made to the travel agency. 

2.    In this case, the airline tickets costs and travel advances for per-diem and terminal expenses (which include transportation to and from the airport, baggage fees, and departure taxes), shall be paid to traveler by the Department of Financial Services fifteen days before the travel date as detailed in the requisition/PO for the travel. This will be accomplished by depositing the payment in the staff member's account at a financial institution or by check given directly to the staff member. 

3.    For General Assembly and statutory travel, the General Secretariat will be responsible for making travel reservations with the Travel Division. They will provide the General Secretariat the actual ticket cost for the creation of a requisition and a purchase order to the travel agency to be approved no later than fifteen days before the travel date. Payment for airline tickets will be made upon receipt of invoice from the travel agency. 

4.    In the case of General Assembly and statutory travel, per-diem and terminal expenses (which include transportation to and from the airport, baggage fees, and departure taxes) shall be paid to travelers by the Department of Financial Services fifteen days before the travel date. This will be accomplished by depositing the payment in the staff member's account at a financial institution or by check given directly to the staff member. 

5.    In the case of official travel (except General Assembly and statutory travel), the General Secretariat in agreement with the OAS Staff Credit Union may provide staff members that travel frequently with a credit card to facilitate the traveler's purchase of airline tickets. The credit card with the Credit Union will have the following guidelines: 

a.             Application and use of this credit card will be optional.

b.     The credit card will be issued only to selected staff members - primarily those that travel frequently on OAS missions.

c.     The credit card will be issued in the name of the staff member and payments will be the sole responsibility of the credit card holder.

d.     Staff members will have to qualify for the credit card on their own merits.

e.     The OAS will not be responsible for payment of any interest or late charges against the credit card.

f.      The OAS will deposit travel advances directly to a member's account in the OAS Staff Federal Credit Union via automatic clearing house (NACHA), upon approval by the staff member.

g.     The OAS will pay for the credit card's annual fee, but will not pay for annual fees of credit cards that are not under the OAS/Credit Union travel program.

h.     The Staff member will sign a waiver on the credit card application form allowing the Credit Union to provide the General Secretariat with copies of credit card statements upon request of the General Secretariat.

i.      The use or non-use of this credit card will not affect in any way reimbursement allowances. 

6.      In order to receive a travel advance, a requisition must be approved in the Oracle Purchasing module. The requisition must contain the following expense information: Itinerary, actual airfare cost, the applicable per-diem rates, and terminal expenses, and any foreseen miscellaneous travel expenses and statutory travel expenses when applicable.  

7.      In the case of official travel, the sponsoring department will create and approve a requisition to pay a staff member for all travel expenses. In the case of General Assembly and statutory travel, the sponsoring department (SCM/DHRS) will create a requisition to pay the travel agency issuing the tickets, and separate requisitions to pay the travelers for per-diem, terminal expenses and any applicable statutory expenses.  

8.     From approved travel requisitions, the Office of Procurement Management Services will create and approve purchase orders and print hardcopies to be distributed to the travelers as information for the subsequent filling out of Travel Expense Claims forms (TECs).  

9.      For a purchase order made to a traveler, the Department of Financial Services will create an invoice and generate a payment to be deposited in the traveler's account in a financial institution or to be paid by check directly to the traveler. In the case of General Assembly and statutory travel, the Department of Financial Services will pay for the airline tickets upon receipt of invoice from the travel agency. For statutory travel the purchase order is closed at the time of payment. In the case of official travel the purchase order is left open to indicate that a TEC must be submitted. 

10.  After the Travel Division has completed the travel arrangements, the traveler must pick-up and sign for the air tickets and the OAS Travel Document (Passport) at the Travel Division.  

11.   Within 15 days of their return from an official mission, staff members shall return the OAS Travel Document (Passport) to the Department of Human Resources Services. DHRS will issue a receipt for the travel document. 

12.   Staff members returning from official travel are also required to submit to their supervisor a travel expense claim (TEC) to be approved and submitted to the Department of Financial Services within 15 days of their return from official travel. The TEC should contain the following: 

a.          Receipts for all expenses related to travel for which additional reimbursement is required.

b.          Copy of travel purchase orders.

c.           Airline ticket stubs and boarding passes.

d.          OAS Form 343 (registry of staff member on official mission)

e.          Receipt of the Travel Document (passport) from Department of Human Resources

f.            Any other supporting documents.  

13.  In the case of statutory travel, staff members are not required to submit a Travel Expense Claim. However, they will be required to keep all TEC information in file up to 5 years for auditing purposes.  

14.  Every month the Department of Financial Services will review paid purchase orders for official travel that have not been closed and contact the originating area to request submission of Travel Expense Claims. Instructions on how to complete a TEC are attached to this Administrative Memorandum. Failure to submit a TEC to the Department of Financial Services within the required time period may result in a deduction of the travel advance amount from the salary of the staff member. 

15.  Should the TEC amount equal the purchase order, the supervisor will submit the TEC to the Department of Financial Services requesting a final match to close the purchase order. 

16.   Should the TEC amount be less than the approved purchase order, the staff member will reimburse the Organization when submitting the TEC using a check for the difference. The Department of Financial Services will then perform a final match to close the purchase order, and send the check to Accounts Receivable to be processed and to credit the project that financed the travel. 

17.   Should the TEC amount be greater than the approved purchase order, the originating area must create and approve another requisition to reimburse the traveler for the difference. Once the Office of Procurement Management Services has approved the new purchase order, the area should submit the TEC to the Department of Financial Services containing both purchase order numbers. The Department of Financial Services will create an invoice for the second purchase order, issue a payment and do a final match to close both purchase orders. The payment will be deposited in the staff member's account in a financial institution or given to the staff member directly by check.  

C.  Reporting 

1.      Every staff member, except the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General and the Executive and Assistant Secretaries, who travels on official business away from Headquarters (except in the case of statutory travel) shall submit a mission report to the supervisor who authorized the travel no later than 15 days after returning. The report should specify the purpose of the trip, contacts made, progress achieved, problems encountered, and commitments undertaken on the official mission. 

2.      The supervisors who authorized travel should submit a quarterly Report on Official Travel that summarizes all travel carried out during the three months previous to the report. This document should specify the reason and cost for each travel, the staff members involved, and the accomplishments achieved on the official mission. 

3.      Unplanned travel shall be identified separately in the Report on Official Travel and will be justified in terms of its contribution to fulfilling the aims of the Organization. 

4.      Both the Official Travel Plan and the Report on Official Travel should cover only travel related to the official activities of the area in question. Statutory travel should not be included. 

II.           RESCISSIONS: 

By way of this administrative memorandum, all rules, regulations, instructions and practices of the General Secretariat that run counter to these provisions are hereby rescinded. 

III.      ENTRY INTO FORCE:

This administrative memorandum shall enter into force on the date of its signature. 

 

James R. Harding
Assistant Secretary for Management
 

 

Date:  March  28, 2000
Original: English
 

FLOWCHART  
OAS OFFICIAL TRAVEL  
FOR STAFF MEMBERS









FLOWCHART  
TRAVEL TO OAS  
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
 







FLOWCHART  
OAS  
STATUTORY TRAVEL





INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING OAS FORM 7  

TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM, "TEC"
 

All staff members who travel on official business of the General Secretariat must complete a Travel Expense Claim, or "TEC", upon returning from their trip. Staff members on statutory travel are not required to fill-out a "TEC", but are required to keep in file all documentation related to that travel in case of audit.

The completed TEC form should have the following documentation attached:  

      All original receipts

      Airline or other ticket stub

      Boarding passes

      OAS Form 343

      The receipt for the Travel Document (Passport) from the Department of Human Resources

      Other supporting documents of Expense  

The completed TEC, along with all supporting documentation must be submitted to the Department of Financial Services not later then 15 days after the completion of the travel. Failure to submit a TEC within the required time period will result in a deduction of the travel advance amount from the salary of the staff member.  

How to complete a TEC form:  

On pages 20 - 21 of this Administrative Memorandum is a reduced copy of TEC form to serve as a guide. The page has explanations with arrows pointing to parts of the TEC form indicating where information should to be entered.  

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING OAS FORM 7  
TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM, "TEC"  

 

 

 

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