Travel policy for OWG-related travel

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Policy approved at the 2023-03-30 OSMF board meeting.

This policy describes the process for approving Operations Working Group (OWG)-related travel and our expectations about the nature of travel expenses.

See also: OSMF policy on expense claims

For travel costs to OSMF sites to be expensed by the OSMF, the following rules must be followed:

  • The travel purpose needs to be announced to and approved by the OWG. The exact requirements for approval are at the discretion of the OWG.
  • Once approved, travel arrangements are usually to be made autonomously by the person travelling without requiring further approval from OWG or the board. However, inform the OWG and, if applicable, your point of contact on the personal committee about the plans.
  • OWG-related travel may be mixed with private travel. The OSMF will pay for the costs that would have accrued for the same journey without a privately spent section of the journey. The OSMF part of the budget of travel arrangements with such mixed purpose needs to be approved by the OWG.
  • OWG includes an estimate about the frequency of travel required over the year in their annual budget. It informs the board if circumstances change and significantly more travel is needed.

When making travel arrangements, we expect that you choose the travel options that allow you to make most efficient use of your time while keeping the cost in check. Choose the travel option that reduces stress for you and arrange travel times so that you are not exhausted at your destination. At the same time we expect that you actively look for cost-effective accommodation and means of transport. In particular, try to make travel arrangements as early as possible to avoid last-minute surcharges. All things equal, choose the more environmentally friendly option.

OSMF usually covers the common modes of transport (public transport, commercial airlines and ships, car, and vehicle rental) and mid-range accommodation. If you think you require something else, check with OWG first.

The board will review travel expenses from time to time and may impose additional restrictions, if expenses are considered excessive.