The Document Foundation Travel and Other Expense Reimbursement Policy
The Document Foundation encourages all contributors to our projects and members of the community to apply for refunds when traveling to conferences and meetings to present about LibreOffice (the product and the project).
Please observe the following guidelines, when either invited as an officer or employee of the Document Foundation to give a talk, or when considering to apply for refunds as a contributor to our projects or as a member of the community:
Please note that being a member of the board of trustees ("TDF member") is NOT a requirement for travel refunds.
- When presenting about LibreOffice, please use LibreOffice to create your slides. If possible, please also use LibreOffice to present your slides. Consider using the Impress Remote.
- When presenting about the LibreOffice project in general, use a slide master themed according to the BrandingElements, esp. the LibreOffice/TDF green color. The LibreOffice conference slide template might be a starting point. If the talk subject is on a specific feature or work in LibreOffice implemented mainly by one company, using that companies slide master instead is ok, if required to do so by that company.
- Whenever a presentation names TDF sponsors it should always at least include advisory board members too, best on the same slide.
- To illustrate the diversity of the community, and all the projects and events we engage with and participate in, the board strongly encourages everyone applying for a travel refund to send in a short written report along with their refund request to firstname.lastname@example.org
- A few sentences about the event and your general impression would be wonderful, and ideally you send it in under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, so we can use it in our annual report. Feel free to also blog about your impressions and send us a link - in fact, this would be even better, to spread the word already during the year!
Thank you very much for your support, and to everyone who takes the time to send in travel reports about their trip!
The Board of Directors of The Document Foundation (TDF) recognizes that contributors to our projects and members of the community may be required to travel or incur other expenses from time to time to further the mission of this non-profit organization. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that (a) cost controls are in place, (b) travel and other expenditures are appropriate, and (c) there is a uniform and consistent approach for the timely reimbursement of authorized expenses incurred. It is the policy of TDF to reimburse only reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred.
The following reasons are usually considered as valid for a reimbursement:
- Attending the annual LibreOffice Conference to give a talk or help/contribute to the organization,
- Giving a talk at a free software event which is instrumental for the growth of the LibreOffice community,
- Taking part in a developer event or other meeting as a LibreOffice contributor,
- Representing TDF at a conference or an important industry meeting.
TDF officials (directors and their deputies, or members delegated by the Board of Directors) may request a reimbursement for expenses incurred while representing TDF at business meetings which are deemed as important for the development of the project.
In determining the reasonableness and necessity of travel expenses, applicants shall consider the ways in which TDF will benefit from the travel and weigh those benefits against the anticipated costs of the travel. The same considerations shall be taken into account in deciding whether a particular presence on a trip is necessary. In determining whether the benefits to TDF outweigh the costs, less expensive alternatives, such as participation by telephone or video conferencing, shall be considered.
In any case, the applicant should first try to get his employer to pay for the trip, or find a third party sponsoring it or consider paying for it from his own funds.
If the applicant would not be able to attend the event because of the costs or paying for it from his funds would be impossible because of his low income or the costs being especially high, he should request a reimbursement.
When incurring expenses, TDF expects applicants to:
- Exercise discretion and good judgment with respect to those expenses.
- Be cost conscious and spend TDF money as carefully and judiciously as if the funds would be his/her own.
- Report expenses, supported by the required documentation, as they were actually spent.
The applicant must apply for a reimbursement to TDF Board of Directors before the trip, stating the estimated expenses and declaring that neither his employer nor he can pay for it.
TDF Board of Directors decides about the reimbursement based on the usefulness of the trip for the project, the need of the requestor and the availability of funds. After receipt of the request, the Board of Directors will discuss it in one of the next meetings and decide on it in due time. TDF Board of Directors will notify the requestor in writing about the acceptance of the reimbursement request, and the amount of the reimbursement. In no event shall this policy imply a legal right of the requestor, neither with respect to the reason, nor to the amount requested, towards The Document Foundation. Granting or rejecting a request is at the sole discretion of the board.
The applicant will not get the money beforehand, but will have to lay the money in advance. If the applicant is not able to do that and there is an alternative way for TDF to directly pay the expenses, it is possible to make a specific exception. Expenses will not be reimbursed unless the applicant requesting reimbursement submits a written Expense Report. The Expense Report, which shall be submitted within two weeks of the completion of travel, and prior to payment (if travel expense reimbursement is requested), must include:
- The applicant's name,
- If reimbursement for travel is requested, the date, origin, destination and purpose of the trip, including a description of each TDF-related activity during the trip.
- An itemized list of all expenses for which reimbursement is requested.
Receipts (the original ones) must be sent to the treasurer of TDF by snail mail. If original receipts were issued in PDF format, emailing those is acceptable. TDF reserves the right to request a hardcopy signed Expense Report regardless of that. Individuals traveling on behalf of TDF may incorporate personal travel or business with their company-related trips; however, personnel shall not arrange company travel at a time that is less advantageous to TDF or involving greater expense to TDF in order to accommodate personal travel plans. Any additional expenses incurred as a result of personal travel, including but not limited to extra hotel nights, additional stopovers, meals or transportation, are the sole responsibility of the individual and will not be reimbursed by TDF. Expenses associated with travel of an individual’s spouse, family or friends will not be reimbursed by TDF. Generally, reimbursements will be transferred to bank or PayPal accounts. For transfers to bank accounts, the following information is needed:
- For EU (SWIFT) transfers: name of the account holder, name of the financial institution, SWIFT and IBAN numbers,
- For transfers outside the EU: name of the account holder, name of the financial institution, account number, national bank code, postal address of the bank and the country.
For transfers to PayPal accounts, the PayPal id (in form of an email address) is needed. SWIFT and Paypal transfers are the preferred solutions. Non-SWIFT transfers cause substantial fees, usually more than Paypal.
Air Travel Expenses
Air travel reservations should be made as far in advance as possible, in order to take advantage of reduced fares. TDF will reimburse or pay the cost of either:
- The lowest coach class fare available for shortest logical route flights from the airport nearest the member home or office to the airport nearest the destination.
- Any cheaper alternatives
Individuals traveling on behalf of TDF may accept and retain frequent flyer miles and compensation for denied boarding for personal use. They cannot choose an airline to accumulate frequent flyer miles if less expensive comparable tickets are available on another airline.
Individuals traveling on behalf of TDF will be reimbursed the single room rate for the reasonable cost of hotel accommodations. Convenience, the cost of staying in the city, and proximity to other venues on the itinerary shall be considered in determining reasonableness. Applicants shall make use of available corporate and discount rates for hotels. "Deluxe" or "Luxury" hotel rates will not be reimbursed.
Individuals traveling on behalf of TDF can request reimbursement for their meal expenses. Reimbursals via TDF Berlin are handled via fixed per diems, the details of which best get discussed in advance with the treasurer.
The following rates apply for travels to Germany:
- single day trip
- 0 up to 8 hours: no per diem refunded
- more than 8 and up to 24 hours: 12 €
- multiple day trip, only with overnight stay
- arrival day, independent from travel duration: 12 €
- departure day, independent from travel duration: 12 €
- every additional day: 24 € per day
If you plan to ask for a meal refund, we strongly recommend asking the treasurer before your trip, to get the current details for your destination. You might also be asked to keep individual meal receipts.
Applicants are expected to use the most economical ground transportation for the circumstances and should generally use the following, in this order of desirability:
Many hotels have courtesy shuttles, which will take guests to and from the airport at no charge. The hotel will generally have a courtesy phone at the airport if this service is available. Please take advantage of this free service whenever possible.
When courtesy shuttles are not available, a taxi is often the next most economical and convenient form of transportation when a minimal mileage is involved. A taxi may also be the most economical mode of transportation between the home and the airport.
Car rentals are expensive, so other forms of transportation should be considered when practical. Individuals will be allowed to rent a car while out of town provided that the cost is less than alternative methods of transportation.
The use of personal cars is permitted, if this is the most economic transportation. Using a personal car in any case needs a signed travel report, including kilometers travelled. TDF will refund 0.30€ per driven kilometer.
TDF asks everyone to use the most cost efficient end-to-end means of transport for yourself, team-mates and materials. When cheaper public transportation is available, it should be preferred. Transporting event materials or excessive transfer times might be reasons for exemption. If in any doubt, please get confirmation before travel.
Parking and toll expenses incurred will be reimbursed. On-airport parking is permitted for short business trips. For extended trips, travelers should use off-airport facilities.
TDF maintains a strict policy that expenses in any category that may be perceived as lavish or excessive will not be reimbursed, as such expenses are inappropriate for reimbursement by a nonprofit, charitable organization. Expenses that are not reimbursable include, but are not limited to:
- Travel insurance,
- First class tickets (unless cheaper than coach) or upgrades,
- When lodging accommodations have been arranged by TDF and the individual elects to stay elsewhere, reimbursement is made at the amount no higher than the rate negotiated by TDF, and transportation between the alternate lodging and the meeting site will not be reimbursed,
- Limousine travel,
- Movies, liquor or bar costs,
- Expenses for spouses or other relatives (if a spouse or relative accompanies the applicant on a trip, it is the applicant's responsibility to determine any added cost for double occupancy and related expenses, and to make the appropriate adjustment in the reimbursement request).
This policy is maintained by the Board of Directors of The Document Foundation.
Find more information on travel refunding at the Refunding page