Grants talk:TPS/Pgallert/e-Learning Africa 2015

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Update and explanation[edit]

I now got some more detailed information from the local conference organiser. I have updated the budget breakdown according to their cheapest offer. I can't guarantee, though, that their cheapest offer is still available once (and if) I get the okay, and the second-cheapest, both for accommodation and flight, is quite a bit more expensive. The visa fee has increased because the organisers strongly advise to obtain a business, not a tourist, visa.

I have now stated both versions (cheapest / second cheapest) to give an idea of the difference, and I have added 10% contingency. The total is for the cheapest option. Hope this is okay. --Pgallert (talk) 09:28, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Some information about your submission[edit]

Dear Pgallert, Thank you for your submission and congratulations on your accepted talk at e-Learning Africa 2015!

We are excited about your participation and are almost ready to fund your request. Before funding, we want to know if you checked with the conference organizers for help with funding the registration fee or perhaps receiving a discounted rate, since you are a speaker?

We can approve up to 22,400 ZAR.

  • Business visa fee: 600 ZAR
  • Registration fee: 5,300 ZAR
  • Return flight Windhoek-Addis Ababa: 12,500 ZAR
  • Four days of accommodation at 1,000 ZAR per night: 4,000 ZAR
  • Total: 22,400 ZAR

We have cut the per diem and buffer from your budget, and included the lower limits for your flight and hotel since we think our travel agent can get you flights and hotel for these prices:

  1. Meals (morning coffee break, lunch, and dinner) are included for the conference days, so you don’t need to include per diem.
  2. We will approve the lower amounts for flights and hotels, and if more funding is needed to get you there, we can adjust the budget accordingly after your request is approved. We also don’t fund buffer amounts in TPS requests. Again, if additional funding is needed to account for changes in travel costs, we will consider that at the time the change is needed.

We can book travel directly, and we can deduct any amount to be transferred to you in cash from the remainder of your PEG. If there are additional funds remaining from the PEG, you will need to return them to WMF or make other arrangements for reallocation of the remaining funding.

Sincerely, Jtud (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi Janice, and thank you for your positive response. To address some of your comments (sorry for the late response; my Internet access is rather shaky these days):
  1. I didn't know there is no contingency for such grants, sorry.
  2. They did offer me the 'speaker' rate (380 EUR). As I am not an African National (I carry a German passport), the normal rate is 690 EUR.
  3. Dinner is in all likelihood not included. I didn't find a mention of this in the program, and it would be unusual for an academic conference, particularly as its program ends 16:00. Lunch on conference days will likely be provided, though. So I'll be sitting on quite a number of food bills without per diem, also on the days before and after the conference :( Oops, they indeed state that dinner is included. My bad. --Pgallert (talk) 11:44, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
    (That's why I counted 3 days per diem: the day before, the day thereafter, and 3 x 1/3 day for the missing dinner)
Considering that I still have more than enough WMF money, would it be a good idea if (a) I book and pay myself through the conference organisers, or (b) if you agent arranges the travel, I transfer the money from here?
Best regards, Pgallert (talk) 11:32, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Request funded[edit]

Thank you for your reply, Pgallert. Your request is approved. As for booking your flight, it might be easier if you made the arrangements yourself since I am unsure how our travel team would (or if they are able to) handle payments outside of their current process, and it sounds like you may have enough leftover grant funds to cover the costs. I will be contacting you via email so that we may move forward with your grant and issue your grant agreement. I have also made the updates regarding your approved budget on your submission page. -- Best wishes, Jtud (WMF) (talk) 17:00, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

I made a mess[edit]

Hi Janice, and thanks for the quick okay on this. I wanted to book the flight today. That's when I saw that I have made a mess with the estimation of the flight cost: I did not see that they quoted only a one-way flight, and that the return is about the same price again. Now I'll make a turn at our local travel agent this afternoon; 25,000 ZAR (over 2,000 US$) seems excessive for a simple regional return flight. I'll report back, but I guess I have to get a re-approval on this grant request? Best regards, Pgallert (talk) 11:52, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

OK, now coming from our travel agent, the situation is this: The flights I looked at are indeed one-way and 12.5K ZAR each. She is able to book for me:
  • 19-22 May for 14,400 ZAR return
  • 19-23 May for 23,500 ZAR return
  • 19-24 May for 14,400 ZAR return
Returning 22 May I would miss the entire conference day (departure 8AM) and I don't even know the schedule yet. Returning 23 May would be perfect but expensive. She explained that this flight would combine several different airlines (2-stop flight), that's why it is so expensive. Returning 24 May would be cheaper again. As one of the legs of this flight was almost fully booked today I decided to book it without your confirmation... Hope this is okay with you. I'll also need one more night accommodation, please let me know if I can get that as part of the grant. The quote is 85US$ per night, slightly more than estimated (1,050 ZAR per today's exchange rate). I'll not ask per diem for May 23, as it is essentially a holiday for me.
Another question: The exchange rates ZAR-USD are rather volatile at the moment. How do I report these expenses to you---using the rate of the day I pay, or do I simply state the original currency in which I paid? Thanks and best regards, Pgallert (talk) 13:39, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Hello Peter, My apologies for the delayed reply. I have been at an offsite training for a few days and had limited internet time. I appreciate your patience, and thank you for the update on your travel arrangements. The additional cost of 1,900 ZAR (total increased from 12,500 ZAR to 14,400 ZAR) for airfare is approved. One extra day's accommodation is also approved but at the same 1,000 ZAR/day rate. As for expense reporting, for TPS grants, reporting the expenditures in the original currency spent is fine. I have updated your submission page. Please fell free to check my math :) -- Best wishes, Jtud (WMF) (talk) 04:21, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, Judith, and no worries about not replying immediately. I must admit that I started to get a bad feeling about booking that flight without prior approval... Pgallert (talk) 07:45, 20 April 2015 (UTC)