Now for the good news. At their most recent meeting, Conservancy’s board
approved the proposed changes to the travel policy that were recently
submitted to policies-discuss. Let me give a quick recap of those
changes so I can discuss next steps for PLCs.
Second, the policy increases the cost of international flights that
require preapproval, from $1,500 to $1,650. This change is just to keep
pace with fares we’re seeing; the $1,500 limit has been in place since
at least 2012, and of course fares have risen since then. This should
reduce the number of flights that require preapproval.
There are also a couple of changes that just provide additional
flexibility in handling reimbursement requests. The new rules clarify
that our 90-day limit on reimbursement requests starts from the last day
of travel, not the day the expense was incurred. (This is how we’ve
treated it since the 90-day rule was introduced, but now it’s official.)
Expenses that require preapproval can be approved by any officer of
Conservancy, not just the executive director. This should help us be
more responsive to your requests.
Next steps: We would like to make these changes effective in a week, on
20 September. The reason for the gap is we want to give you time to
discuss them internally. Because these changes potentially mean
increased project expenses, we understand you might not be prepared to
take those on. If you would like to follow the old policies, or other
rules that are stricter than ours, you can always do that. Just let us
know through your project alias, and we’ll handle your reimbursement
requests accordingly. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll follow the new
rules for any reimbursed expenses incurred on or after 20 September.
I really hope you all like these changes; our goal in pushing them
forward was really to try to address head-on a lot of the feedback I’ve
heard about flight reimbursements and preapprovals while I’ve been
helping with our bookkeeping, and I’m optimistic we’ve made good
progress there. If you have any questions about the changes, feel free
to ask us through your project alias, or on policies-discuss if it’s
appropriate for public discussion.