Monday, October 9, 2017

Coming Next Week

New UC policy changes to improve resource management, operations systemwide

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This fall, UC will implement a series of policy changes to strengthen the university’s management of its resources and improve operations.

These changes, which will go into effect beginning Oct. 15, will enable the university to better align its policies and procedures with best practices and to more effectively manage costs. They also align with recommendations in the state audit of the Office of the President that was issued in April.

“These measures, and others we will be taking, will ensure the continued careful management of our resources and transparency in their use across the UC system,” President Janet Napolitano said. “Every organization, including UC, has room for improvement. We’ve made significant progress so far, and we will continue to do so.”

The new policies will:

  • Reduce reimbursement for lodging and meals for those traveling on UC business.
  • Eliminate prospectively car allowances for newly hired or appointed senior management group level employees, or current senior management level employees transferring to a different position.
  • Eliminate prospectively a supplemental retirement contribution for newly hired or appointed senior management group level employees, or current senior management level employees transferring to a different position.*
  • Eliminate the cash relocation allowance for senior management group and management and senior professional level employees. Under the new practice, the university will reimburse employees for limited, documented eligible transaction costs associated with the sale of a primary residence.
  • In addition, at the Office of the President, UC-issued cell phones, tablets and mi-fi contracts are being reassessed and will be allowed only if a position requires remote access or before or after work hour access. In addition, the revised cell phone policy also outlines restrictions on phone replacement.

Earlier this year President Napolitano convened a task force chaired by Chief Operating Officer Rachael Nava to implement the state auditor’s recommendations. These new changes are responsive to the state audit recommendations and the result of extensive consultation with internal stakeholder groups, including campus representatives. In addition, UC surveyed the prevailing practices of other universities, and state and federal agencies.

More details about the university’s implementation of the state audit recommendations and the timing of additional policy changes are available on the UCOP Audit Implementation Plan website.

An email from UCLA Corporate Financial Services recently summarized changes most likely to affect faculty:

The UC Office of the President recently announced new policy changes, which include the two travel related changes listed below. These changes will take effect October 15, 2017.

Meals and Incidentals Expenses (M&IE) – NEW LIMIT of $62

Prior to this change, UC Travel policy G-28 capped M&IE at $74/day for travel assignments of less than 30 days within the continental United States.

Change to Policy: Effective for travel occurring on or after October 15, 2017, the new M&IE cap will be $62/day. Please note that, as with the previous policy, this amount is the maximum allowed. Reimbursement is limited to actual amounts expended if under $62/day. Travelers should be required to submit meal receipts if it appears that they are treating the cap as a per diem by routinely claiming the full M&IE amount.

Continental US (CONUS) Lodging Expenses – NEW CAP of $275 nightly rate

Prior to this change, UC policy stated that lodging expenses must be reasonable for the location of travel. UC policy recommended that if lodging expenses exceed 200% of the federal per diem for the locality of travel, the traveler submit additional documentation supporting the higher lodging rate incurred.

Change to Policy: Effective for travel occurring on or after October 15, 2017, daily hotel rates will be capped at $275 per night for trips within the lower 48 states, before taxes and other hotel fees. If the traveler is unable to secure lodging at $275 per night or less, the traveler must submit additional documentation such as price comparisons within the proximity of the meeting location that supports the higher lodging rate incurred. The price comparisons should be performed at the time of booking.

A traveler who is required to attend a conference where the prearranged conference lodging rate exceeds the $275 per night cap may stay at the conference hotel without exceptional approval.

Travelers who currently have lodging reservations that exceed $275 for travel on or after October 15, 2017, are encouraged to change their reservations to meet the new limits if changes can be made without penalties. However, if changes cannot be made to existing hotel reservations, we will apply the policy in effect prior to October 15, 2017.
*This provision appears to address the Yudof pension issue that was highlighted in the news media recently.

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