In September I wrote to you announcing changes to travel at UQ resulting from the Travel Improvement Project. The new Travel Policy has been approved by the Vice-Chancellor to take effect from 5 December 2016. This will coincide with the release of the new UQ Travel website and the removal of the domestic travel pre-trip approval application in UniFi.
The main objective is to make the travel process easier for travellers, while ensuring the University receives the best value for money from our large travel expenditure. We also need to exercise duty of care by ensuring we are able to locate UQ travellers at all times.
The Project has 21 key initiatives in four focus areas: policy, procedure, systems and tools, and increasing value from our travel budget.
What changes from 5 December?
- UQ staff will no longer be required to complete a UniFi Travel Request for domestic travel. This change will save an estimated 3,300 hours of completing Travel Requests by staff each year. Over 60% of UQ trips will no longer require up to a frustrating 5 levels of approval.
- A dedicated ‘one-stop shop’ UQ Travel website will be launched, providing up-to-date travel alerts, information on the new travel process, and the latest deals available through our preferred travel agent (Campus Travel).
- Removal of red-tape enables travellers faster access to funds if they don’t have a UQ Corporate Credit Card. The new UniFi Domestic Travel Card Load application will only require one approval by a Financial Delegate.
- Greater transparency and duty of care as UQ staff will now book travel through the preferred supplier Campus Travel, either through the Online Booking Tool (Single Sign-On required) or via email email@example.com.
- By booking travel through the preferred supplier, Campus Travel, your business unit will no longer pay travel booking fees. The booking fees will be covered by the COO budget.
- UQ has negotiated increased discounts for airfares and accommodation. The new discounted rates are available now through the OBT or Campus Travel.
- A UQ Travel News initiative has been developed exclusively for UQ staff. UQ staff can receive exclusive travel discounts, deals and access to up-to-date travel information and alerts.
What won’t change from 5 December?
The approval process for international travel remains unchanged for now. Staff will be required to submit an International Travel Request in UniFi prior to booking travel.
What’s next for 2017?
- A new Expense Management System (EMS) for easy reconciliation of travel expenses, including the ability to capture and upload receipts via mobile devices.
- A simplified international pre-trip approval application.
- A Central Travel Payment Account with Campus Travel – great fares will not be lost because it takes too long to process the payment.
Where do I go for more information?
The Travel Improvement Project website includes:
- Registration details for the Travel Update Information session for UQ staff to be held on Thursday, 24 November at 9:00am-10:00am.
- A pre-published version of the Travel Policy is available for information purposes only.
- The UQ Travel Improvement Summary outlining all 21 Project initiatives.
- The UQ Travel News registration.
Note: you will need to be logged in to the UQ Internet Management Service (https://login.uq.edu.au) using your Chrome browser to access the website above.
Chief Operating Officer
The University of Queensland