Officials at the body responsible for school exams have been banned from flying first class following a Sunday Mail exposé of five-star junkets.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) will also clamp down on its representatives’ use of luxury hotels and business class seats.
The new measures were ordered following months of revelations about how globe-trotting SQA reps had racked up huge costs, which were met by taxpayers.
The quango’s new chief executive Fiona Robertson said the tough rules and greater “transparency” will give more “value for money” following public outrage about the body’s spending abroad.
Use of business class – previously used on journeys of more than five hours by SQA management – will only now be applicable for flights lasting more than 10 hours.
Senior staff will also be forced to publish the cost of their travels on the SQA’s website every three months.
The use of five-star hotels will also be curtailed.
The amount the SQA is allowed to spend on international accommodation will be based on Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidelines and will include limits.
Approval for international trips will now be made by SQA directors.
We previously told how SQA insiders said they did not believe there was adequate reasons for many of the SQA’s official trips.
Robertson said: “I have taken action since my appointment on July 22 to address concerns about our international travel costs.
“Policy relating to international travel is now broadly aligned to the Scottish Government and in the interests of transparency, the policy is now available on our website.
“In addition, the international travel costs of senior staff will be published quarterly.
"The travel policy, which has been in place since November 22, contains a control process to ensure that authorisation for international travel and accommodation is agreed at director level or above before booking a trip.
“The guiding principles of the policy are based on delivering best value for money and all travel and accommodation is reasonable and justifiable.”
In the last year, the Sunday Mail has told how senior SQA staff stayed at some of the world’s top hotels while on official business, including the Ritz-Carlton in Saudi Arabia.
The body tried to block the information from becoming public. The three-day trip to Saudi Arabia made by three senior employees cost the taxpayer £17,000.
We also revealed how some staff would stay in luxury rooms in countries like Belgium and Greece – despite telling politicians they only used five-star hotels in dangerous countries.
Outgoing SQA chief executive Dr Janet Brown spent more on business and first-class flights in one year than Deputy First Minister John Swinney and 21 of his officials paid to attend an international teaching summit.
The staff on Swinney’s trips included Robertson – who replaced Brown.
Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “This guidance is welcome but also long overdue.
“Organisations like the SQA need to remember they are funded by the taxpayer and answerable to the taxpayer.
“It should not have taken a series of newspaper revelations to trigger this change.”