No. 35.000 Rev. 6
Foreign Travel Approval
Effective Date 1/1/04
This policy addresses the signature authority and approval levels for foreign travel to both sensitive and non-sensitive countries. It further addresses the necessary approval levels that must be attained before airline tickets may be purchased.
This policy applies to all laboratory employees and all users of the laboratory expending DOE funds from the laboratory's financial plan.
CH has delegated the responsibility for final approval of non-sensitive foreign travel that does not include a major conference to the Director of the laboratory. This authority also includes the final approval for late exception travel that meets the above criteria. The Director of the laboratory has further delegated signature authority in the following manner.
- The Deputy Laboratory Director will approve foreign travel to non-sensitive countries for the Laboratory Director.
- The Laboratory Director will approve foreign travel to non-sensitive countries for the Deputy Laboratory Director.
- The Deputy Laboratory Director will approve foreign travel to non-sensitive countries for all Associate Directors.
- In the Deputy Laboratory Director's absence from the laboratory, his signature authority for all foreign travel related functions is delegated to the Associate Director for Administration
- In addition, the Deputy Laboratory Director will approve foreign travel requests to non-sensitive countries that include a major conference as defined by the Department of Energy in the Federal Travel Management System. In his absence this approval authority is delegated to the Associate Director for Administration.
- The Associate Director for Administration will approve foreign travel to non-sensitive countries
- No approval authority for foreign travel may be delegated below the associate director level.
- Users of the laboratory using funds resident in our accounts receivable system will be issued tickets only after Accounting has verified sufficient funds to pay for the tickets and other related expenses. Accounting will also verify that the traveler is authorized to expend funds for the proposed travel from the account.
- Users of the laboratory expending DOE funds from the laboratory's financial plan will initiate their Requests for Approval of Foreign Travel in the Foreign Travel Management System (FTMS) through the Principal Investigator to which they are assigned.
Final approval authority for foreign travel to sensitive countries or foreign travel to non-sensitive countries concerning sensitive topics or major conferences has not been delegated to the laboratory. The Department of Energy must approve all travel in these categories. Signature authority in the laboratory is as follows.
- The Deputy Laboratory Director will provide local review and approval of all Request for Approval of Foreign Travel forms to sensitive countries or to non-sensitive countries concerning sensitive topics or major conferences.
- In the absence of the Deputy Laboratory Director, the Associate Director for Administration will approve travel requests in these categories.
These various categories of foreign travel further necessitate timely submissions of an approved Request for Approval of Foreign Travel to the Directorate Foreign Travel Representative. The following applies to all foreign travel requests.
Document Submission Requirements
- All Request for Approval of Foreign Travel must be submitted to the Directorate Foreign Travel Representative forty calendar days prior to the departure date.
- All Request for Approval of Foreign Travel forms are to be submitted to the Directorate Foreign Travel Representative after receiving appropriate Division/Section Head approval. The Directorate Foreign Travel Representative will obtain the necessary Directorate approval and will notify the Division/Section travel representative promptly if a trip request is denied.
- All Request for Approval of Foreign Travel for sensitive foreign travel that arrive at the Directorate with less than the required forty calendar day lead time must be accompanied by an exception waiver generated by the traveler and approved by the cognizant Division/Section Head*. Travel authorizations that do not meet this criteria will be returned to the appropriate Division/Section travel representative for corrective action. The Associate Director for Administration must approve all such exception waivers.
- Airline tickets may be purchased upon approval of the travel authorization by the cognizant Division/Section Head*. For travel to a sensitive country the authority to buy tickets before full approval may, on a country by country basis, be withdrawn by the Directorate based on information concerning DOE's likelihood of approval. Travelers are required to verify travel approval prior to commencing travel. Users of the Laboratory may not purchase tickets until travel is approved by the Assistant Director for Administration.
- Hotel reservations and Conference Registration fees may be made after the cognizant Division/Section Head approves the trip request.
- Once the Request for Approval for Foreign Travel has been approved by the Directorate Foreign Travel Representative the Request for Approval for Foreign Travel is considered final. Changes can only be made under extraordinary circumstances documented by the cognizant Division/Section Head and approved by the Associate Director for Administration.
Changes must be signed by the traveler and re-submitted to the Directorate Foreign Travel Representative, Division/Section Head signature is not required unless the change is considered a major change in accourdance with the FTMS User Guide definitions.
- Enroute changes cannot be made without prior approval of the Associate Director for Administration. Changes related to weather, visas or unforeseen airline problems must be promptly reported to receive approval.
* In some cases a project manager may be delegated the Division/Section Head authority for project related travel to specific locations that is charged to specific pre-approved accounts. Such delegation is for a defined period of time and shall occur through an appendix to this policy signed by the Deputy Director.
6. 0 References
CH 551.1a enclosure 3, Federal Travel Management System (sensitive countries list, list of major conferences, etc.).
FTMS User Guide v4.1.1.doc, 11/02/2003 pg. 7-14