Foreign Travel Being Streamlined


Over the past twelve months, LBNL participated in a complex wide National Laboratory Directors Committee (NLDC) work group chartered to streamline and standardize the DOE Foreign Travel Order.  The goal was to eliminate burdensome policies and streamline the foreign travel approval and reporting process.   After nearly a year of on-going discussions, DOE agreed to many of the NLDC recommendations and is moving forward to bring consistency throughout the various DOE program offices under DOE O 551.1D. We in the Travel Office will do all we can to assist Travelers with the process.

Streamlined approvals


The Laboratory has been delegated the authority to approve foreign travel and the responsible DOE Program Secretarial Officer (PSO) will have five (5) business days from the date of Laboratory approval to review and disapprove.  Additional clarification and cost justification can be requested by the PSO at any time during the process.

The following items are no longer necessary: The following requirements are now in effect for all trips approved on or after August 1, 2012:
  • Foreign trip reports and abstracts 
  • 5-Point Criteria (Fossil Energy)
  • 11-Point Criteria (Environmental Management)
  • Letter of Invite (Fossil Energy, Nuclear Energy, and Environmental Management)
  • Late justification statement
  • The 45-day submission for travel to a sensitive country and 60-day submission to a terrorist sponsoring country (T-4) (all programs)
  • Previous foreign trip report (Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE))
  • Daily summary/calendar of events (Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)
  • A request for official foreign travel is be completed by the division staff and approved by the Division Director (or designee) 30 days prior to departure. The request is made through submission of a travel authorization in TREX. The Travel Office will work with divisions in those special situations where the 30 day time-frame is not met; however, travelers should be aware that it may not be possible to secure approval to conduct foreign travel in very short time frames. 
  • Travelers are not to embark on international travel until DOE has had the opportunity to review the request and State Department approval is granted.  The Travel Office will notify the traveler and arranger via TREX when the trip approvals are received.
  • Any foreign travel request that includes vacation time must comply with a 2:1 ratio. Travelers are permitted to take one vacation day for every two days of official business conducted.  The first and last day of travel are considered one business day each.
  • The Travel Office is to  be notified immediately when dates of travel or business locations change.
  • An agenda and presentation (if applicable) is required for all travel requests that include conference attendance. If the presentation is not available, DOE has agreed to accept an outline, abstract, or brief summary in lieu of. Note: Final presentation must be submitted to the Travel Office along with expense report.
  • Expense reports are to  be submitted within 30 days of return.

Please Note:

Although the Laboratory has been granted the authority to approve foreign travel requests, the authority requires strict compliance with the DOE Order governing foreign travel and the contractor requirements document. Therefore, the Laboratory does not have the ability to grant exceptions to the Order’s requirements.

Should you have any questions regarding the information above, please contact Elijah Walker at 510-495-2483 or


Office of the Chief Financial Officer TRAVEL STAFF
Sonya Crawford | Quanita Johnson-Benjamin | Michelle McCan | Maxine Redfearn | Lonnette Robinson | Klara Sebek | Cynthia Thomas |
Elijah Walker |  
Travel Manager:
Victoria Oberholser