Mission expenses provide an operational budget for costs incurred by staff on official business away from place of employment. In the EU context, as in most organisations, there is a comprehensive mission guide setting out associated procedures.
Different approaches are possible in practice, however there are typically three main components :
- Transport = arranged directly by employer or 100% ex post reimbursement (if prior agreement)
- Hotel accommodation = arranged directly by employer or 100% ex post reimbursement (if prior agreement), typically within guideline ceilings (although derogation is possible in certain circumstances)
- Daily subsistence allowance = a flat rate amount to cover meals, local transport (from departure point + to arrival point) and other necessary costs (eg. photocopies, telephone charges, force majeure) or 100% ex post reimbursement (if prior agreement)
In the EU context, with effect from 2014 the values for hotel ceilings and for daily subsistence allowances are regularly reviewed on the basis of a Eurostat report. A framework methodology was adopted in 2005 (document SEC_2006_397). This was re-examined and extended by the Article 64 & 65 expert Working Group during 2015. On this basis a detailed report was finalised by Eurostat in December 2015.
Where possible the updating methodology uses information already established, including relevant sub indices of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (to measure temporal evolution) and Purchasing Power Parities (to measure spatial differences).