Department of Resources' authorisation for extended or European travel
Committee on Members Allowances - Practice Note 5
1. The Green Book provides that Members "must notify the Department at least three days before [a journey under the extended or European travel provisions], giving the purpose, location, duration and persons or organisation to be visited. The Department's authorisation for the journey is necessary."
2. From October 12 2009, the requirement for prior authorisation for extended or European travel will be enforced and the practice of permitting retrospective authorisation will cease, save in exceptional circumstances when the need to travel was not known to the Member in advance of the three day deadline.
3. A Member who notifies the Department at least three days in advance will have been deemed to have been granted authorisation if he or she has not received any response from the Department to the notification.
4. A Member who believes that there have been exceptional circumstances which have required him or her to travel without prior authorisation must write to the Department to explain what those circumstances were.
5. For the purposes of paragraphs 1 to 3, a "day" does not include Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays.
6. European travel must be to the national parliament of a Council of Europe member states or to an EU institution or agency.
7. "National parliament" means the seat of the Parliament, not any regional office or travelling committee of that Parliament; and the institutions of the EU are the Council; the Parliament; the Commission; the Court; the Court of Auditors; the Economic and Social Committee; the Committee of the Regions; the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank, and those agencies listed on the Europa website.
8. Extended and European travel provisions may not be used to cross-subsidise travel for which claims cannot be made from parliamentary allowances.
9. Extended and European travel provisions cannot be used for travel with All-Party Groups.
10. This Practice Note (except paragraphs 2 and 4, which enter into force on 12 October 2009) enters into effect on 1 June 2009.
11. This Practice Note is subject to the Principles set out on pages 8 and 9 of the Green Book.