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Reimbursement of Council Members Expenses Policy

Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This Policy is made by the External Committee under delegated authority from the Council (Resolution C17:034).

(2) The University recognises the valuable work undertaken by the external, staff and student members of the Council and the costs involved in undertaking such work.

(3) The University is committed to assisting members to fulfil their role and will reimburse reasonable expenses necessarily incurred by members in the exercise of their duties for the University.

(4) The Reimbursement of Council Members' Expenses Policy (the Policy) applies to expenses incurred by members attending meetings and official events as part of their duties or functions as a member of the Council.

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Section 2 - Roles and Responsibilities

(5) Council members are responsible for making claims for reimbursement of their expenses as set out in this Policy.

(6) The Office of the Chancellor is responsible for management of all claims for reimbursement.

(7)  The Chancellor is the approval authority for expenses incurred by the Deputy Chancellor, members of Council and members of Council committees.

(8) The Chancellor is also the approval authority for verification and appeals should a question arise as to the reasonableness of any expenses incurred by the Deputy Chancellor, members of Council and members of Council committees.

(9) The Chair of the Finance Committee is the approval authority for expenses incurred by the Chancellor.

(10) The Council is the approval authority for verification and appeals should a question arise as to the reasonableness of any expenses incurred by the Chancellor.

(11) The University Secretary and the Chief Financial Officer have authority to process claims for reimbursement once authorised.

(12) Financial Services is responsible for maintaining the systems and processes to support this Policy, including maintenance of registers for claims for reimbursement by Council members. The University Secretary is responsible for provision of a report of payments made during the preceding 12 months to the first Council meeting of each year
including claims for reimbursement and details of any expenses paid directly by the University on behalf of Council members in the exercise of their duties.

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Section 3 - Policy Principles

Remuneration and Others Benefits

(13) External and student members of Council may, on appointment / election, be remunerated in accordance with remuneration levels approved by Council from time to time.

(14) Elected staff members are not remunerated for their role on the Council as membership of the Council is a valuable part of a staff member's professional development which is supported by the staff member's college or division.

(15) Council members will be supplied with an iPad for the purpose of review of electronic documents produced for Council meetings. The iPad provided must be returned to the University at the expiration of a Council member's term of office or if a member otherwise leaves or ceases to be a member of the Council.

(16) Council members must agree to the Information Technology Conditions of Use Policy.

(17) Approved University staff benefits are also available to Council members as identified in the Council Member Schedule of Benefits as approved by the University Secretary from time to time.

Professional Development

(18) Professional development will be provided for Council members from the Council Professional Development Program Budget approved under this Policy.

(19) Professional development activities for individual Council members will be allocated by the University Secretary in consultation with the Chancellor.

(20) The approved Council Professional Development Program Budget is for expenditure up to $100,000 per annum from 2017, plus an increase for each subsequent year in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) (Australia).

Chancellor's Remuneration and Support Package

(21) The Chancellor will be remunerated and supported in accordance with the resolution of Council of 23 March 2012, for a specific remuneration and support package, including IT resources and administrative support (Resolution C12:042).


(22) The University will reimburse any reasonable expenses necessarily incurred by Council members in the exercise of their duties.


(23) Reimbursements of reasonable expenses in accordance with this Policy may be requested as agreed with and in a form requested by the University Secretary. Any items which are claimed for reimbursement must be accompanied by substantiating evidence in the form of a formal tax invoice, including the supplier's ABN.

(24) Where a receipt has not been issued or the description on the receipt is not clear, the Council member must ensure that the expense is substantiated by making a Statutory Declaration witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or completing the University of Newcastle 'No Receipt Declaration' authorised by the University Secretary and Chancellor.

(25) Any expenditure deemed to be unreasonable will not be authorised.

Management of Expenditure

(26) Claims for reimbursement will be managed by the University Secretary.

Approval Authorities

(27) The approval authorities for expenses incurred in accordance with this Policy are as follows:

Member Approval Authority
Chancellor Chair of Finance Committee
Deputy Chancellor, members of Council and members of Council committees Chancellor

Verification and appeal

(28) If a question arises as to the reasonableness of any expenses incurred, or whether an expense was incurred in the performance of a member's duties, the approval authority indicated below will determine whether reimbursement is justified.

(29) These authorities also apply to any request for reimbursement outside the provisions of this Policy:

Member Approval Authority
Chancellor Council
Deputy Chancellor, members of Council and members of Council committees Chancellor

Specific Expenditure

Domestic Travel

(30) The University will book the most reasonable and appropriate travel for meetings and events. Travel arrangements made by individuals that require reimbursement will only be considered for reasonableness and relevance with office held.


(31) The University will make all bookings for air travel. Bookings will provide for the timeliest flights within 24 to 48 hours of the meeting or event.

(32) The authorised standard for air travel on University business is Economy Class. Members of the Council may travel Business Class on domestic flights of over 2 hours.


(33) In accordance with the Travel Policy, external, staff and student members will use public transport, University vehicles, hire cars, or private vehicles for travel associated with meetings and events.

Travel by Private Vehicle

(34) This must be carried out in accordance with the Vehicles – Private Vehicle Use Procedure.


(35) Where the quickest route requires the use of a toll road, the University will accept reimbursement of such tolls.


(36) Where possible, the University will book parking for meetings held both on and off its campuses and locations. Where such pre-booked parking is not available, the University will reimburse parking expenses for the duration of the meeting or event.

(37) The University will not reimburse parking infringements, however members of Council have a right to park on University property and any fines issued on the University Campus will be resolved by the University Secretary.

International Travel

(38) The Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor and Pro Chancellors may be required to attend international events including graduation ceremonies. Reasonable expenses incurred during such travel will be reimbursed, in line with this policy.

(39) Members of the University Council may travel business class on international flights.


(40) The University will book accommodation for meetings and events having regard to providing a safe and secure environment, being convenient to the place of work, and providing value for money (as per Travel Policy).

(41) The provision of accommodation will be dependent on the time of meeting or event, and distance from home or available residence. Accommodation may be provided for a maximum of the night before, during, and one night following the meeting or event.

(42) Accommodation arrangements made by individuals that require reimbursement will only be considered for reasonableness and relevance with office held.

 Other Expenses

(43) Where the University provides morning or afternoon teas or meals during meetings or events it hosts, claims for reimbursement of food or drink expenses will not generally be reimbursed.

(44) Meals consumed during travel to or from a meeting or event may be reimbursed.

(45) Student or staff members of Council cannot claim expenses incurred in any election process which results in their appointment to the Council.