Travel Booking and Expense Management steering committee will launch in October
The goal is improvement to U of M’s travel program
A steering committee has been established to oversee the work of improving U of M’s travel booking and expense management processes. The committee, consisting of seven faculty members plus the university comptroller, is charged with reviewing the University’s current travel and expense policy and procedures, processes and tool (Concur) for the purposes of making recommendations for improvements.
The work of the committee, expected to be completed by spring 2017, will include a full review of the current state, a series of multi-stakeholder engagement opportunities, research into best practices at other institutions and presentation of recommendations to the Provost.
Janice Ristock, provost and vice-president (academic), notes that consultation is integral to ensure the best possible improvements for the overall travel and expense process are advanced. “As the steering committee solicits feedback from the university community, I encourage all faculty and staff to make suggestions and recommendations,” she says.
Over the past few years, U of M has focused its efforts on updating its travel policy and procedures in order to modernize the overall travel process and comply with the university’s main research funders, the Tri-Agencies – Canadian Institute of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
In 2011, the Tri-Agencies made recommendations to improve the University’s compliance efforts in relation to travel and expenses. As a result, the University’s policy and procedures were revised and the online tool, Concur, was implemented. In 2015, the Tri-Agencies, conducted a second review and additional recommendations to further improve compliance resulted. In response, the U of M dedicated resources towards this project, and in May 2016, released the report, Travel Booking and Expense Management report. This report will serve as a backdrop to the steering committee’s efforts.
Ristock notes, “Because faculty know the complexities of travelling and the realities of research funding and reporting compliance, they are well-represented on this steering committee. Our improvement efforts need to be guided and informed by faculty.”
“Together, we can make a difference to improve our systems. This speaks directly to a goal in our strategic plan, Taking our Place — to develop robust processes for input in the development of new administrative programs and systems.”
For information on the steering committee and its terms of reference, see the change management and project services website.
I think at least two of the committee members should be staff who deal with these issues on a daily basis, even if only helping those of us who cannot understand Concur.
Dr. Mary Brabston, thanks for your suggestion. I just forwarded it to the project manager who is overseeing the review and stakeholder engagement strategy.