How do I book my travel?

When directed to travel on official business, flights must be booked through IPEA’s travel service provider, Flight Centre Management (FCm).

How do I claim my travel expenses?

Staff make their own accommodation bookings and receive travelling allowance for each overnight stay away from their work base on official business. Travelling allowance may be paid in advance or as an acquittal.

What is the difference between an advance travelling allowance claim and an acquittal travelling allowance claim?

A travelling allowance claim is considered an advance if it has been approved by an Authorised Officer or the employing parliamentarian before the last date of travel.

Advance travel allowance claims have two steps:

  1. submitting a claim approved before the last date of travel
  2. returning the acquittal form following completion of travel.

The acquittal form tells IPEA that you undertook the travel in line with your claim or allows you to modify your claim if travel plans changed.

What is a Travel Profile Number?

A Travel Profile Number (TPN) is an identification number used to book travel services through FCm. There are two types of TPN:

Individual TPN: an individual’s identification number used to book their travel through FCm. A staff member can request an individual TPN by completing the FCM Travel Profile Number and Cabcharge Request form.

General TPN: this is the office’s general identification number used to book travel for those that do not have their own TPN, for example new staff. When IPEA receives a ticket booked using the General TPN, it assesses the traveller’s details to ensure travel expenses are attributed to the correct budget (if relevant).

Can I stay in an AirBnB?

In almost all instances, AirBnB provides residential (non-commercial) accommodation, not commercial accommodation. IPEA generally only pays the non-commercial rate for each overnight stay booked through AirBnB. If you believe your AirBnB accommodation may satisfy the requirements of commercial accommodation, please contact IPEA prior to your travel for confirmation.

When can I claim taxis and similar expenses? (e.g. cabcharge card, reimbursement for taxis or ride sharing)

A staff member may be directed to undertake travel that requires the use of a car with driver service. When directed to do so, a Cabcharge card may be used, or alternatively, you may cover the cost and seek reimbursement.

You can claim travel to and from:

  • the airport when travelling for official business
  • official meetings.

It is a staff member’s responsibility, and their cost, to transport themselves to and from work for their normal hours of duty.  You cannot claim:

  • travel between your work and home
  • travel between your work and accommodation, including when travelling on official business away from your work base.

There are exemptions, which must be approved by your employing parliamentarian if:

  • the trip is approved for personal safety reasons (for example, where the risk to personal safety is significantly increased due to the requirement to work late)
  • scheduled public transport services are not readily available
  • carrying luggage to and/or from the office for the purpose of the trip.
When can I take a personal stopover?

Personal stopovers are personal time spent in a destination where you have been directed to travel for official business. You may also take a personal stopover at a usual point on route to the final travel destination.

A staff member planning to take a personal stopover must:

  • seek approval from their employing parliamentarian prior to travel
  • ensure the stopover is taken in a destination where they have been directed to travel on official business, or a usual point on the way to this destination
  • ensure the stopover does not exceed a maximum of two nights
  • not access annual leave in conjunction with the stopover
  • cover any additional costs, such as accommodation, taxis and additional flight costs (when compared to a non-stopover or ‘through fare’ where available).
I am planning travel for personal reasons before or after my official travel. Can I do this?

Official travel at Commonwealth expense must begin or end at your work base, your home address, or a place you have travelled to on official business.

Unless exceptional circumstances apply, if you have travelled to a location for personal reasons, you are required to cover the cost of travel to either return to your work base, or the cost to travel to the place of official business. Exceptional circumstances include an urgent and unplanned recall to duty from private travel.

A staff member planning to travel at Commonwealth expense must ensure:

  • the purpose of the travel is for approved official business
  • travel is from their home address or work base, or the place to which they have travelled on official business
  • return travel is to their home address or work base.