Online Travel Booking System for ACU
- Application of Policy
- Policy Statement
- Policy Purpose
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Policy Review
- Further Assistance
ACU is replacing e3 Travel Booking system with a more user-friendly, smarter and efficient tool - the Serko Travel Booking System
Finance has worked closely with IT and HR as well as with Campus Travel and Serko to ensure that the system’s design meets the specific requirements of ACU travellers and travel bookers.
The Serko Online Travel Booking System will be available to ACU staff from 31 October 2016.
What does it do?
The new system provides a number of key improvements including:
1. Single sign-on access – once you are signed-in to your desktop computer, you can access Serko without having to sign in again.
2. Improved workflow approval – a three-tiered approval workflow which is set according to each staff member's position, responsibility and business needs.
- Standard – supervisor is notified by email and can then approve the booking.
- Exceptions 1 – supervisor requires email notification of when a booking but does not need to give prior approval.
- Exceptions 2 – the supervisor’s prior approval is not required and no email notification is sent.
3. Ability to group staff according to your unit’s business requirements.
- Traveller (Frequent traveller) – authorised to book their own travel but unable to book travel for others.
- Non-Traveller (Non-Frequent traveller) – not authorised to book their own travel. Requires assistance from a Travel Booker.
- Travel Booker - assists Travellers and Non- Travellers to book their travel.
4. Automated daily feed of new staff details and staff travel profiles directly to Serko.
5. Easy access and ability to update profiles - Travellers and Travel Bookers can make changes to their profiles directly within Serko.
1. Application of Policy
This Policy applies to all staff, non-staff and students of the University who are required to travel for University business, on University funds. The Policy includes air travel, accommodation and car hire. Approval for travel expenditure must be done in accordance with the University's financial delegations and this Policy.
For the purposes of this Policy, the terms 'The University', 'University' and ''ACU' refer to Australian Catholic University.
2. Policy Statement
A staff member will be provided with appropriate travel and accommodation arrangements to support their business travel requirements.
3. Policy Purpose
This Policy has been developed to ensure that:
- travel practices support the safety and wellbeing of the individual traveller;
- the University meets its duty of care to staff and students while they are travelling;
- travel is adequately planned;
- travel budgets are available for the required travel for all University staff;
- there is cost-effective management of travel budgets;
- travel practices and procedures are appropriately documented;
- there is appropriate reporting on financial acquittal of travel activities;
- the traveller is not required to undertake undue administrative efforts to acquit travel; and
- the possible incurrence of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) payable by a staff member has been considered (refer to section 7.9).
4. Roles and Responsibilities
A University staff member must obtain prior approval from their nominated supervisor before booking travel for University business.
5. Policy Review
The University may make changes to this Policy and its procedures from time to time to improve the effectiveness of its operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to provide comment / feedback about this Policy may forward their suggestions to the Director of Finance.
6. Further Assistance
Before starting your business trip:
- Seek travel approval
- Seek leave approval
- Apply for a University Purchase Card
- Book travel with Campus Travel or seek assistance with ACU Finance (email: email@example.com)
- Receive Itinerary and Statement of Costs
- Check passport, visas and inoculations
- Non-staff to purchase or ensure adequate travel insurance is in place prior to travel
- Keep a Travel Diary and receipts
- Seek reimbursement
- Manage and authorise Purchase Card, travel advances and Cab charges
Approve, as required, business-related travel in advance of the commencement of your travel.
Ensure that any expenses paid or reimbursed comply with the Travel Policy.
Ensure staff, students as well as non-staff are not travelling to areas where the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises against travel. Staff members seeking further clarification of this Policy should consult with their nominated supervisor. Further advice can be obtained from the Finance Directorate office in Brisbane, North Sydney or Melbourne. For contact details please refer to the ACU Staff Website for Finance.
7.1 Class of Travel
The University acknowledges that travel is often an integral part of the work of staff at the University. The University requires all staff who book travel for University business to make use of all available travel resources.
Staff are expected to utilise the best available fare:
- Best available domestic fare means the best fare available within 30 minutes either side of the preferred travel time that allows the staff member the ability to effectively complete their business.
- Best available international fare means the best fare available within a reasonable time of the desired departure.
The authorised standard for staff members travelling intra or interstate on University business is economy class air travel or first class rail travel, including sleeping berth. Upgrades can be obtained through use of frequent flyer points or personal funds.
Table 1 (below) indicates the class of travel determined for all staff (both international and domestic).
|Class of travel||Staff|
|First Class||Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor (International travel only)|
|Business Class (includes premium economy)|
|Economy Class (excludes premium economy)|
Notes: Staff members who elect to travel at a higher class must personally pay the difference at the time of booking.
Definitions of Senior Executive and Executive can be found in the Delegations Policy.
Staff members travelling business class should also consider using business/premium economy/economy class travel mixes.
7.2 Travel Agent
Campus Travel is the sole authorised Travel Agent and all airfares and domestic hotel bookings must be booked via Campus Travel for University travel.
Under the corporate airfares agreement between the University, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin, generous discounts on advertised fares (including web-based airfares) are provided when booked either directly with Campus Travel or via online booking tool SERKO.
Domestic travel (including airfares, accommodation and car hire), as well as travel to Timor and New Zealand, can be booked using the SERKO tool or by contacting Campus Travel directly. All other bookings require Campus Travel to be contacted by phone or email.
SERKO online Booking Tool (Domestic, Timor and New Zealand only)
SERKO Web site https://travelhub.acu.edu.au
Telephone +61 2 9423 8010
SERKO Training Requests
Telephone +61 2 9423 8010
International and Domestic Travel
Toll free 1300 555 062
Tel +61 2 9423 8010
Fax +61 2 9423 8019
Campus Travel Office Hours 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday AEST) during Daylight Saving Time Office Hours are extended to 8.30am - 6pm (Monday to Friday AEDT).
Emergencies after Hours: 1300 662 703 (Within Australia)
+61 7 3170 7823 (From Overseas)
Account Manager: Tim Hunt firstname.lastname@example.org
Team Leader: Jon Stevenson email@example.com
Travel Manager: Jeff Pike firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel Manager: Belinda Lorusso email@example.com
Group bookings for international travel require quotes from a panel of travel agents and are co-ordinated via ACU Finance Procurement (email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) to achieve the best travel results.
The Campus Travel mobile app allows users to access their itinerary and flight status notifications on their mobile device. It can be downloaded from the App store. Once downloaded, open the app from the icon and follow the instructions to register.
Campus Travel and the University have an agreed list of preferred hotels that are provided at a significant discount when booked via Campus Travel. Accommodation should be selected from ACU’s Preferred Hotels and Senior Executive Hotels listings and as listed in the SERKO online booking tool with a P icon.
When alternate accommodation is booked, it must be due to unavailability of hotels on the Preferred Hotels listing, accommodation must be booked via Campus Travel, and price must be within the stated cost limits for each capital city and align with the University’s Reimbursement Policy:
Australian capital cities
|Accommodation||All Staff**||Executive Group**||Senior Executive Group**|
** Rate inclusive of club floor access.
|Accommodation||All Staff||Executive Group||Senior Executive Group*|
|International Accommodation (dependent on the cost of the country)||$370||$462.50||$647.50|
* Rate inclusive of club floor access.
All Domestic hotels must be booked via Campus Travel or via SERKO booking tool and international hotels via Campus Travel or directly with the international hotels within the policy pricing limits, if hotel availability isn’t available within the pricing limits, the traveller must book via Campus Travel, who will obtain the required approval via ACU.
In the event that the traveller elects to stay in accommodation with a rate in excess of the above limits, or outside of the preferred hotel listings (unless hotel availability pushed the price above the hotel limits), then the traveller must personally pay the excess cost and this must be paid at the time that the booking is made.
The safety and security (including fire service installations) of overseas accommodation should be considered, when booking accommodation outside of the preferred hotels.
7.4 Car Hire
Car hire bookings should be made through Campus Travel or via SERKO booking tool, to utilise the University’s preferred supplier arrangements with Hertz and AVIS. Public transport and carpooling should be utilised where practical.
7.5 Travel Profile
A Campus Travel profile is required for all travellers and must be established prior to making any bookings.
To create a new profile, contact Campus Travel (refer to section 7.2) or use SERKO. Once a staff member’s profile is created, the details are automatically generated and included on all booked travel for that staff member.
A staff member’s travel profile includes their current contact information and the details of any delegated person who can book travel on their behalf. It also includes details such as the traveller’s cost code, supervisor’s name; membership details (e.g. Qantas Frequent Flyer); specific requests or medical conditions.
Should a travel booking need to be made using a different cost code to the one on the profile, the staff member must quote the alternate cost code to Campus Travel when making the booking or enter the code in the Project Code field on the SERKO booking tool. All travel itineraries must be checked by the staff member for accuracy of information.
7.6 Domestic Travel Booking Procedure
- Booking created by the traveller or travel booker
- If approval is required for the booking an email is sent to the authoriser to approve or reject the booking (see attached example)
- The authoriser must attend to this email the day it is received to ensure the booking can be completed at the prices chosen
- Reminder emails will be sent to the authoriser if action has not been taken
- The authoriser then approves or rejects the booking
- The traveller and travel booker are notified of the authorisers decision. If approval is given they receive a copy of the confirmed itinerary
- If the booking is rejected the traveller and travel booker are notified of this along with the reason the authoriser provides
- The travel booker, if required, then submits a new booking request with any required amendments (the original booking is locked for audit purposes and can't be amended)
- (If you accidentally select the wrong option on the email please contact Campus Travel immediately - 1300 555 062 or 02 9423 8010)
Itinerary changes or cancellations must be approved by the relevant supervisor / approver. Change requests for all itineraries (whether originally booked via email or using SERKO) should be emailed to Campus Travel who will confirm a revised or cancelled travel itinerary.
Non University Staff and Students who need to travel for course-work, or other University related activities, must have their travel approved by the National/State Deputy Head of School or Manager of Unit or Department Director. Bookings must be made by a designated staff member.
7.7 International Travel Booking Procedure
All international travel requires an approved Travel Authorisation Number to be issued prior to Campus Travel creating a booking.
To obtain a Travel Authorisation Number, please contact the following:
- Education and Arts - Peter Vear ex 3852
- Health Science - Maria Scaffidi ex 3179
- Law and Business- Catherine O'Neil ex 3953
- Theology and Philosophy - Vicky Bryson ex 3501
- Research - Candy Jowett ex 7115
- Administration- Candy Jowett ex 7115
Faculty and Institute staff:
- Complete the International Travel Authorisation Form – Academic Staff & Professional Staff
- The Form must indicate the dates of travel, the places to be visited, the nature of the visits, and the names of any accompanying ACU staff
- Send to the Head of School or Research Institute Director for information. For non-research funded travel, send to the Executive Dean for endorsement.
- Send to the relevant SEG member for approval.
- Forward the approved form to the appropriate contact above for a Travel Order Number to be issued.
- Provide Travel Order Number to Campus Travel to complete the travel booking.
- Provide the completed and approved form to the QLD Finance Office (Candy Jowett).
- Provide Travel Order Number to Campus Travel to complete the travel booking.
- Complete the International Travel Authorisation Form – Academic Staff & Professional Staff
- Send it to a member of the Executive for endorsement.
- Send it to a relevant SEG member for approval.
- Forward the approved form to Candy Jowett (ex 7115) for a Travel Order Number to be issued.
- Provide Travel Order Number to Campus Travel to complete the travel booking.
The Chancellor approves the travel of the Vice-Chancellor as well as the Pro-Chancellor and Senate, the Vice-Chancellor approves the travel of the Company Secretary, and the Company Secretary approves the travel of the Vice-Chancellor’s Direct Reports.
Executive staff may delegate authority to book international travel or accommodation on their behalf to their respective assistants.
Non University Staff and Students
The above authorisation form and process must be undertaken for University funded Non-University Staff (including overseas visiting academics) and Students who need to travel for course-work or other University related activities. Following approval, a designated staff member will need to book the travel.
7.8 Reimbursement of Travel Expenses
A staff member should not be out of pocket as a result of incurring expenses associated with the carrying out of University business, where such expenses are reasonable and have been approved by the staff member's supervisor prior to travel.
The University Visa Purchase Card is to be used as a first preference for purchasing travel-related expenditure.
Travellers who do not have a University Visa Purchase Card may apply for a card, with approval from an Executive or SEG member.
The University Purchase Card must not be used for private expenses and personal credit cards should not be used for booking airline tickets.
All requests for payment or reimbursement of costs associated with University-related travel will require the following documentation to be forwarded to the Finance Office (Nth Sydney):
- Original tax invoices /receipts to support all expenses being claimed;
- Staff Reimbursement Form authorised in accordance with the Financial Delegations policy requirements, staff reimbursements to align with the University’s Reimbursement Policy;
- International Travel Authorisation Form(not applicable for domestic travel);
- Travel Diary for Domestic or international travel in excess of five nights.
7.8.1 Cash Advance - Acquittal (international travel only)
A staff member, without a credit card may request a cash advance for anticipated expenses by completing the Cash Advance form. However, prior notice of five working days is required to transfer the advance to their bank account. The advance must be acquitted and unspent funds returned within 14 days on return from travel, by completing and forwarding the Overseas Acquittal Form and above documentation to the Finance Office (Nth Sydney).
7.8.2 Partly Funded Travel Expenditure
Where a staff member or their spouse is eligible to partly funded travel, the costs should be initially incurred by the staff member and reimbursed in accordance with the Reimbursement of Actual Expenses Policy.
7.8.3 How much expense can I claim?
Schedule 1 of the Human Resources Policy – Reimbursement of Actual Expenses outlines guidelines for claiming reimbursement of actual expenses and includes a guide to limits on amounts claimable based on Australian Taxation Office (ATO) ruling TR 2004/19 (TD2015/14).
The Schedule covers local and overseas travel and provides guidelines on limits in relation to accommodation, meals and incidental expenses. Also provided are guidelines on reimbursement of fares and motor vehicle expenses. It is important that staff members familiarise themselves with the requirements of this Schedule. Please note that only actual expenses incurred within the ATO limits will be reimbursed and will only be paid where appropriate receipts/documentation has been provided and will be paid to an Australian bank account.
The traveller is required to pay any costs that exceed those outlined in Item 7.3. These costs must be paid at the time of booking.
7.9 Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
7.9.1 FBT on Personal Travel
Where private travel (approved annual/long service leave, at the manger's discretion) is combined with official University travel, the trip must be principally for business purposes; the private travel component must only be incidental to the overall purpose of the trip and cannot exceed 15 annual / long service leave days for it to be accepted as ‘No Private Use’.
‘Private Use’; attracts liability for Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).
In circumstances where approved annual/long service leave is not incidental or is greater than fifteen (15) days, even where incidental, the purpose of travel will be considered ‘Dual Purpose’ and the private travel component of the University business related airfare will not be treated as a University expense. To avoid incurring FBT, the traveller will be required to pay 50% of the University business related airfare, 100% of personal flights and all other associated private travel expenditure including but not limited to accommodation and meals from personal funds.
Please note that regardless of whether travel is considered dual purpose or no private use, all private/personal flights and associated private travel expenditure including but not limited to accommodation and meals must be paid for from personal funds.
Any charges put on a University account, including an ‘Academic Pursuits Account’ or a Purchase Card, are considered University expense. The private component of travel cannot be paid for from a University account.
Please find a link to the Calculation Form to assist in the assessment of 'Dual Purpose' travel. The Form needs to be forwarded to Finance (Qld) who will be responsible for ascertaining the airfare and amount payable by the employee. Repayment will be made directly to ACU’s bank account or via Payroll who will make an after tax deduction from the employee’s pay.
7.9.2 Travel Diary
To comply with Australian Tax Office requirements and minimise the University’s tax liability for Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), travellers must provide a travel diary record whilst on University travel for a period of more than five nights both domestically and internationally.
Travelers must complete:
- the Period Absent section of the International Travel Authorisation Form (item 7.7); and
- a Travel Diary
7.10 International Travel Advice
7.10.1 Risk Management and Duty of Care
The University has a duty of care to its travellers to ensure their safety and wellbeing at all times. It is the traveller’s responsibility whilst travelling to be mindful of potential risks in the local area (including field excursions or laboratories) and to act in a manner that will minimise harm.
To meet this duty of care, the University will:
- identify potential dangers or risks present in areas where staff may travel;
- seek advice from International SOS (Refer 7.10.2), and
- take reasonable measures to control such risks and notify staff.
Supervisors aware of staff travelling with a significant medical condition should:
- evaluate the need to travel;
- ensure they receive a travel management plan developed by the traveller and their doctor or an International SOS consultant; and
- remind the traveller how International SOS can assist them before and during overseas travel.
To minimise a potential operational impact to the University, no more than two SEG members should travel on the same flight.
7.10.2 International SOS Travel Advice
All staff, students and volunteers who travel internationally for University business are required to register their trip with International SOS (automatically completed when booked via Campus Travel) and are encouraged to use its services before and during international travel.
Travel booking details are passed on from the University’s travel manager, Campus Travel, to International SOS who register the traveller on their system. Once registration is confirmed, a traveller will automatically receive travel advice by email before departure. These advisories provide security, medical, cultural and other relevant travel information for the countries shown on the traveller’s itinerary.
ACU’s International SOS Membership number is: 12AYCA080047.
Travellers may call International SOS at any time before or during international travel to receive information or help with:
- medical assistance (including emergency evacuation)
- translation services
- replacement of lost documents (e.g. passport)
- pre-departure medical and security advice and information
- language translation services
- transport information
- doctor referrals
- cultural information
The International SOS website is available to all University staff and students. It provides comprehensive details for all countries as well as warnings regarding disease outbreaks, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and labour disputes.
The International SOS mobile app is available for download at http://app.lk/sos-member (enter ACU’s membership number 12AYCA080047) and can be used for up-to-date alerts while in-country.
International SOS can be contacted on 02 9372 2453 for advice and can provide a private consultation with a doctor prior to travel to discuss any medical conditions that may impact travel arrangements.
7.10.3 Overseas Pre-Trip Travel Security Risk Analysis
The University uses DFAT Travel Advice Ratings to approve international travel. DFAT Travel Advice Ratings fall into four broad categories:
Do not travel means travel must not be taken to the specified country. Travel to a country or region with a Travel Advice Rating of ‘Do not travel’ requires the specific approval of a SEG member. The SEG member may impose a complete travel ban to certain countries or areas and may require travellers already in those areas to return home.
Reconsider your need to travel means travel is discouraged unless absolutely necessary and will require a completed Risk Management Assessment — Staff Travel Overseas form to be approved by the appropriate dean/director.
Exercise normal safety precautions and Exercise a high degree of caution should not impact on travel but may require caution by the traveller as well as a full understanding of the International SOS travel advice provided by email or online.
Before departure for international travel, travellers must provide a complete copy of their itinerary, via International SOS including accommodation phone numbers. In the event of an emergency, authorised University staff are able to view details on International SOS ”MyTrips” to establish the location of travellers.
7.10.5 Health requirements
It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure they have the required inoculations and vaccinations prior to departure. Costs related to immunisation required for University travel will be paid for by the University. General travel health information is available on the International SOS website, by selecting the country or countries being visited.
Before departing on approved University Travel, it is the responsibility of travellers to ensure that they possess a valid passport (a minimum validity of six months is preferred at all times) and the required visas for their intended journey. The University will fund the cost for visas required for University Travel.
7.10.7 Personal Emergency
Where an emergency occurs of a personal nature for the traveller and travel plans need to be changed, then the traveller will be responsible for the additional cost, if any, in excess of the original travel cost.
To ensure travellers do not incur initial out of pocket expenses for which they have not budgeted, ACU may pay this additional cost up-front and then seek re-imbursement from the traveller. At this point the traveller may make a submission for ACU to accept this additional cost (or part there-of) by showing just cause. “Just Cause” will be at the discretion of ACU and may include consideration of personal hardship, compassionate grounds, the extent of the additional cost (or part there-of), the willingness of the traveller to mitigate costs and the options that were available to the traveller at the time.
Staff and students are covered for approved business travel by the University’s insurers. Non-staff traveling on University business should obtain adequate travel insurance and must purchase travel insurance prior to the travel. Where a spouse is required by the University to travel with a staff member on University business, they are covered by the University’s insurance policy.
Only standard insurance included in a car hire fee should be undertaken. Additional insurance to reduce excess is not required.
Any private travel component of greater than fifteen (15) days, the traveller will be responsible for their own travel insurance, for the entire portion of private travel.
7.10.9 Corporate Lounge Membership
A Frequent Traveller can request corporate lounge membership by seeking expenditure approval from the Executive Dean, Institute Director, Directorate or SEG member.
Frequent Traveller: an employee who travels more than ten times per year.
7.10.10 Roles and Responsibilities
Accountable Officer: Chief Operating Officer.
The Chief Operating Officer or nominee is responsible for authorising corrective action to rectify all breaches of this Policy and must also report any fraudulent activities to the Vice-Chancellor.
Implementation Officer: The Director of Finance
The Director of Finance is the primary point of contact for advice on implementing and administrating the policy.
The Approving Officer must ensure:
- travel is necessary to effectively perform the business purpose;
- the availability of existing funds within an approved budget, or that the external source of funds is available and sufficient;
- travel is conducted in the most cost effective and efficient manner, and
- required acquittal, trip reporting and relevant receipts and documentation are submitted in support of all travel within set time frames.
The Traveller must ensure:
- there is approval to travel before any bookings/payment is made;
- bookings are made in a timely manner using the most cost effective travel options (lowest logical fare) at all times;
- acquittal, trip reporting, receipts and documentation are submitted in support of all travel within set time frames;
- risk management has been addressed; and
- emergency contact details for the period of the approved travel are supplied to the relevant delegate of the faculty, institute, directorate or portfolio.