February 18, 2010 DO 14, s. 2010 – Guidelines on Official Travels Abroad
February 18, 2010
DO 14, s. 2010
Guidelines on Official Travels Abroad
To establish parameters in authorizing foreign travels, the following guidelines are adopted:
Foreign travels or travel abroad shall be authorized for attendance to the following:
- High level/ministerial meetings, conferences and the like where regional or global issues among country participants are discussed or concerns on international commitments with foreign bilateral partners of the Department are taken up, which are also regularly conducted;
- Direct applications of employees for training and education opportunities abroad which is sourced by own means such as those disseminated by the organizers;
- Invitation to conferences/meetings/seminars/trainings/workshops/ study visits/scholarships by sponsoring international organizations and foreign schools directed to officials/employees;
- Other related travels abroad approved on official time or official business which include but not limited to invitation as resource or guest speaker, to officiate international sport competitions, or visit/inspect facilities or equipment of foreign suppliers pursuant to provisions of RA No. 9184.
II. GENERAL POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES
- Foreign travels shall be regulated in a manner that will promote the best interest of the Department and its officials and employees’ professional growth and work productivity. Considerations shall be made according to the following:
- the internal requirement of the Department;
- the requirements of the inviting party;
- relevance of the activity to the Department;
- promotions and maintenance of good international relationship and fulfillment of international commitments by the Department; and
- level of representations e.g. ministerial meeting or senior officials meeting.
- Opportunities for foreign travel shall be on equitable basis among the employees of the Department. To ensure this, the frequency of foreign travels on official time and official business per year shall observe the guidelines below except those authorized by the Secretary such as attendance to meetings required for being a permanent member of a Board/Body or of reason of indispensability or expertise and the like:
- Undersecretary = 4 foreign travels
- Assistant Secretary = 3 foreign travels
- Director = 2 foreign travels
- Below Director level = 1 foreign travel
- Priority in assigning foreign travels shall be given to those who are qualified and have had the least travel except in the following cases:
- the organizers set specific requirements as to the qualifications of the participants;
- the organizers specifically requested an employee/official due to suitability and/or previous arrangements; and
- nature of the activity which will lead the Department to consider the suitability of the participant based on position; actual duties and responsibilities; task delegated to him/her by the Department; expertise; expected inputs/outputs; or follow-through activities.
- Foreign travels shall not adversely affect the delivery of service of the office, bureau, service, center and schools.
- The approval of the Authority to Travel abroad for all officials and employees of DepEd is the discretionary prerogative of the Secretary regardless of the length of travel and the number of personnel or delegates to be sent.
III. OPERATING GUIDELINES
- The Office of the Secretary (OSEC) shall clear all invitations to seminars/activities/events/scholarships that will be held abroad except those that are sourced by officials/employees in their personal capacity. The OSEC, through the concerned Undersecretary, shall identify and approve officials/employees for such activities in accordance with these general policies and principles.
- To ensure utmost impartiality and objectivity in the award of contracts, officials and employees shall not accept invitations to foreign travel which shall be fully funded by the foreign supplier/contractor.
- All ministerial meetings shall be attended by the Secretary unless he specifically designates an Undersecretary or an Assistant Secretary to represent him.
- All other international meetings and conferences may be attended by a duly designated Undersecretary or Assistant Secretary or by a Bureau/Service Director.
- Attendance by the representative or duly designated delegate of the Secretary in ministerial meetings and other international commitments will only be authorized to have one (1) or two (2) staff personnel to backstop him/her, whose functional designation and assignment are the same or related to the agenda of the international meeting.
- An Undersecretary and Assistant Secretary or a Director and Assistant Director in the same service/office/unit shall not attend an international meeting or conference at the same time unless otherwise authorized.
- The awarding of scholarships, fellowship and training grants shall at all times conform to the policy of transparency, accountability, equitable distribution and eligibility and shall be guided by the existing procedures/process set by the Scholarship Committee issued in separate Orders, Memoranda and Circulars.
- Scholarships/trainings and related activities sourced and pursued by officials/employees in their personal capacity should be brought to the attention of the immediate supervisor or head of office before application.
- To ensure coordinated Department response to such activities/ opportunities, no action shall be taken unless the Secretary or designated Undersecretary has approved the foreign travel with corresponding endorsement of his/her head of office.
- The Office of the Secretary-Proper shall monitor compliance of foreign travels undertaken by officials and/or personnel.
IV. ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES
- All requests for Authority to Travel Abroad shall be submitted to proper line of authorities before forwarding to the Office of the Secretary. The request shall include the accomplishment of the Form shown in Annex A.
- No foreign travel shall be allowed to any official or employee who has a pending administrative case. The certification of non-pending administrative case shall be issued by the respective Legal Offices.
- No official or employee shall be sent to foreign training, conference, or attend international commitments when they are due to retire within one (1) year after the said foreign travel.
- All attendance in meetings abroad shall be subject to availability of funds.
- No travel authority shall be issued if the previous travel has not been liquidated and cleared.
- An official/employee traveling on a non-sponsored foreign trip on official time and official business shall be entitled to a daily allowance allowed under the United National Development Program (UNDP) DSA Index Rates.
- The concerned official/employee shall submit a report on the training/seminar/conference/meeting/workshop/study visit attended or inspection conducted within thirty (30) days after his/her return to the permanent official station. The report shall include DepEd’s critical inputs/contribution to said seminars, etc. and/or merits/benefits gained from the foreign travel.
- Personnel who files leave of absence with intention to travel abroad on personal capacity shall likewise secure travel authority.
- These guidelines will be assessed periodically and correction mechanisms shall be instituted as may be necessary to make them more relevant and responsive to the needs of DepEd.
This Order shall take effect immediately and shall supersede, amend, or modify other pertinent provisions of Department Orders, Memoranda, and Circulars inconsistent herewith.
Jesli A. Lapus
Jesli A. Lapus