Travel policy

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

The travel policy below was created by Craig Allan, includes changes by board members and was approved during the 2023-10-26 OSMF board meeting.


This policy serves to define the manner in which the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) will support sponsored travel by its Board members, OSM volunteers, and OSMF contractors and employees.


Travel expenses will be sponsored only if the travel is necessary to personally deliver:
1. an approved administrative service for the OSMF; and/or
2. to present a talk, attend a meeting or a workshop on behalf of the OSMF.

The purpose of the travel must be directly related to and clearly benefitting the work of the OSMF.

For employees, the designated management contact of the employee must support the application for travel.

Independent contractors working for the OSMF may be sponsored in the same manner as if they were employees.

For volunteers, the relevant Board, Working Group, Team, Local Chapter or other collective structure (including anarchic structures) must support the application for travel.

Sponsored travel is limited to two (2) trips per year per person. The Board may over-rule this policy in exceptional circumstances.

The OSMF is funded by donors so it expects OSMF travellers to travel in an economical and efficient manner. A degree of austerity is expected.

The OSMF will not make travel arrangements. Travellers must make their own arrangements.

Travel costs will be refunded after the travel is completed, subject to completion of the steps in the "ON RETURN" section below.



The applicant must prepare an application describing:

  • details of the applicant
  • the purpose of the travel,
  • the expected clear benefit to OSMF of the travel,
  • the points at which the journey begins and ends,
  • the date, times, events to be visited,
  • the type of feedback to be provided on the return of the traveller/s,
  • a detailed, itemised estimate of the full costs of the travel,
  • support by the relevant management contact or voluntary OSMF structure
  • any other relevant information.


The applicant should submit the application to the Board Administrative Assistant.

The Administrative Assistant will prepare and post a circular for decision making. The circular will be supported by the application documents.

Note: Any award of expenses should be public information. As the travel application documents may include personal information they may not be published for public access without first redacting personal information.


Travel sponsorship must in all cases be approved in advance by the Board.

The Board has unrestricted powers to approve, partially approve or deny travel requests.

The Board must make a decision on a travel sponsorship request within 7 calendar days of receiving it from the applicant. The Board may decide an application by circular.

A decision of the Board may be appealed to the Board. The Board may decide an appeal by circular. A Board decision on an appeal is final.

The Board may delegate their powers to make decisions on travel to a Travel committee of two or more Board members. The Treasurer or their nominee must be a member of the Travel committee. Appeals against Travel Committee decisions must be decided by the Board.


On return from the travel the applicant must:

  • Claim for expenses on the Xero accounting system
  • (or) Submit claims to the Treasurer if the applicant does not have access to Xero.
  • Provide scans or photos of receipts for all claimed expenses to the Treasurer by email.
  • Get approval for the expense refund from the Treasurer, or if the Treasurer is the claimant, a different Board member.
  • Submit a report to the Board on the achievements or benefits of the travel.