Department of Premier and Cabinet
Category
Department of Premier and Cabinet Circular
Identifier
P1996-09
Status
Archived

P1996-09 Official Travel

Description:

Current guidelines for official travel are set out in Premier's Memorandum No 89-2 (overseas
travel), Premier's Memorandum No 90-41 (class of air travel) and Premier's Memorandum
No 95-18. The guidelines apply to public employees (including Chief Executive Officers and
members of the Senior Executive Service), statutory office holders, members and employees
of statutory authorities, and members of Government boards and committees. In this Circular
people in these categories are referred to collectively as public officials.

Current guidelines for official travel are set out in Premier's Memorandum No 89-2 (overseas
travel), Premier's Memorandum No 90-41 (class of air travel) and Premier's Memorandum
No 95-18. The guidelines apply to public employees (including Chief Executive Officers and
members of the Senior Executive Service), statutory office holders, members and employees
of statutory authorities, and members of Government boards and committees. In this Circular
people in these categories are referred to collectively as public officials.

The following changes to the current guidelines applying to Ministers and public officials take
effect immediately to ensure complete probity and appropriate economy in official travel.

  • Ministers should continue to seek the Premier's approval for their own official overseas travel.
  • The delegation from the Premier for Ministers to approve official overseas travel by
    public officials is withdrawn. Where a Minister considers such travel is essential, a
    proposal endorsed by the Minister should be submitted to the Commissioner for Public
    Employment for approval. This includes circumstances where the agency will not need
    to meet the cost of the travel, eg, public officials travelling as part of a sponsored group
    with travel costs met by the sponsor of the group.
  • Approvals by the Premier in the case of Ministers, and the Commissioner for Public
    Employment in the case of public officials, are not required for ,official travel to New
    Zealand and Papua New Guinea for periods of seven days or less, on the basis that
    this is regarded as domestic travel. Approval is required for travel to these destina-
    tions for periods exceeding seven days.
  • The strictest economy should continue to be exercised by Ministers in supporting
    official overseas travel. Significant benefit to the Minister's own administration and/or
    to the State in general should be demonstrated in submissions for approval.
  • Where a public official travelling overseas on duty proposes to extend the visit for
    private purposes, or conversely proposes to extend private travel for official purposes,
    the Minister's support and prior approval by the Commissioner for Public Employment
    are required. Under normal circumstances these proposals will not be approved.
  • Ministers may approve their own official domestic travel. Chief Executive Officers,
    statutory office holders reporting directly to Ministers, and Chairpersons of statutory
    bodies and of Government boards and committees may, with their Minister's
  • concurrence, approve their own official domestic travel. The Minister's support should
    be obtained for any proposed travel arrangements which might attract public concern
    and a submission outlining what is proposed referred, to the Commissioner for Public
    Employment. The strictest economy should be exercised. Ministers should monitor.
    travel patterns and costs in relation to public officials who approve their own domestic
    travel.
  • Domestic travel by all other public officials must be approved in writing by the relevant
    Chief Executive Officer or Chairperson, or delegates acting under formal delegation.
  • Where a public official undertaking domestic travel on duty proposes to extend the
    visit for private purposes, or conversely proposes to extend private travel for official
    purposes, prior approval is required. This practice should not be encouraged.
  • Chief Executive Officers, members of the Senior Executive Service, and Chairpersons of
    statutory bodies and of Government boards and committees, may continue to use
    Business Class for overseas travel. Economy Class should continue to be used for all
    travel within New South Wales, and to the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria,
    South Australia and Queensland destinations south of and including Brisbane.
    Business Class may continue to be used for travel to Western Australia, the Northern
    Territory and Tasmania, and for travel to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
  • All travel by other public officials, both overseas and within Australia, should be
    Economy Class, except that where the official is:
  • (a) accompanying a Minister when travelling overseas or within Australia, the
    official may, if required by the Minister, travel in the same Class as the
    Minister for the sectors where they travel together. Ministers may be
    accompanied by public officials from their own or other Ministers' administra-
    tions; or
  • (b) travelling overseas on duty as a member of a Government sponsored
    delegation or similar representative group, the submission to the Commissioner
    for Public Employment may propose that the official travel in the same class
    as the members who are not NSW public officials for the sectors where they
    travel together.
  • Where a Minister is travelling overseas for a combination of official and private
    purposes (with the Premier's approval), it may be appropriate for a public official
    accompanying the Minister to be on duty during both the official and private sectors of
    the Minister's itinerary. Such arrangements should be specified in the submission to the
    Commissioner for Public Employment.

Any proposed variations on these arrangements should be the subject of a separate
submission to the Commissioner for Public Employment. Such submissions will be assessed
against the strictest tests of probity and economy.

The arrangements explained in this Circular apply to all public agencies, including departments, statutory authorities and state owned corporations.

KEN CRIPPS
Commissioner