On 10 June ,Umeå University's procured travel agent XLNT Travel filed for bankruptcy.
As a result, the University can no longer use the booking services previously provided by the travel agent. A previous news article was published on 17 June.
Since then, several offices and functions within the University Administration have been busy dealing with different aspects of the situation.
Restrictive travel policy is maintained
The Vice-Chancellor reached a decision on 17 June that faculyt and staff, students and other travellers are urged to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding domestic and international travels.
Travel recommendations for Umeå University employees can be found on the web page Travels, a subpage to Information regarding COVID-19.
From 13 June, the Swedish Government has announced that healthy individuals can travel within Sweden. However, any potential travelling cannot risk the requirements for social distancing. Each journey must be carried out with great caution. Umeå University employees are instructed to, if possible, hold online meetings, keep physical distance and work from home.
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Domestic railway travels can be booked – domestic flight to follow
Since June, an online solution for booking domestic train tickets is available on the intranet Aurora: Book a train ticket.
This e-service is provided by SJ (Swedish Railways) and it lets University employees book train tickets with all domestic train companies in Sweden.
"The train booking e-service has been up and running on Aurora all summer and it works as it should", says Irina Geibrink who works as a Public procurement officer at the Vice-Chancellor's Office.
There are ongoing efforts to bring about a similar solution for booking domestic flight travels. It is hoped that an e-service hosted by the SAS airline could be presented within a week or two.
"Look to the Aurora page about Business travel for correct instructions on how to make travel bookings. These instructions will be updated when a booking solution for airline tickets is available" says Irina Geibrink.
Procurement work is commencing
Umeå University is starting a new procurement process for a travel agent. It is estimated that an agreement with a new supplier could come into force in the first quarter of 2021.
New instructions on how to claim for refunds
Many departments and units are still working to claim and receive refunds for cancelled travel arrangements that have been booked and issued by XLNT Travel. Instructions for financial administrators have recently been updated by The Financial Office.
University employees with questions about scheduled or cancelled travel arrangements should primarily contact a financial administrator at the department or office.