Rescinded [2014-01-06] - Template and guidance for reporting departmental total annual expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences

This template and guidance is issued to support Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in planning and preparing the annual departmental report on travel, hospitality and conferences expenditures.

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1. Purpose

This template and guidance is issued to support Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in planning and preparing the annual departmental report on travel, hospitality and conferences (THC) expenditures. The sections below present the expected content and format of the report along with guidance on the type and nature of expenditures and related information to be included. The provisions of this template and guidance assist in reporting to ensure consistency and minimize efforts across government in the public reporting of expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences by departments.

2. Context

As per section 6.4 of the Directive on Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences (the Directive), effective January 1, 2011, departments are required to "disclose the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the department, through its website, including a brief description of the main variances from the previous year's actual expenditures. The timing of this disclosure is to coincide with the tabling of the Departmental Performance Report". Departments are not required to provide an explanation of variances in their first annual report (e.g. for fiscal year 2010-2011). Variance explanations are only required in the second and subsequent annual reports. Departments are to determine the location where the report should be posted on their website to best meet the needs and expectations of stakeholders and other users of their financial information.

3. Content of the THC report

The objective of the annual report on travel, hospitality and conference expenditures is to provide readers with:

  • The total amount of departmental annual expenditures on each of travel, hospitality and conferences;
  • A sense of how the expenditures were incurred in respect of the department's mandate and business objectives; and
  • A brief explanation of the variance in expenditures from year-to-year, with the exception of the first annual report (see below).

In addition, for travel expenditures only, departments will also provide a breakdown of the total travel expenditures by:

  • Travel for Public Servants;
  • Travel for Non-Public Servants (where applicable); and
  • International travel incurred by their Minister and/or Minister's Staff when such expenditures are charged to their departmental budget as part of a departmental program (where applicable).

Note: As "International travel incurred by their Minister and/or Minister's Staff" is reported separately, it should be excluded from the amount reported for "Travel for Non-Public Servants". Refer to the Policies for Ministers' Offices for guidance on "travel incurred by their Minister and/or Minister's Staff".

It is important to note that departments are not required to provide an explanation of variances for their first annual report (e.g. fiscal year 2010-2011). The objective of the first annual report is to establish a baseline for future year variance analysis (i.e. the first reports will only make public annual expenditures for current fiscal year with no variance explanations). Comparison with the previous year and related variance explanations will commence only with the second annual report (e.g. fiscal year 2011-2012 compared with 2010-2011).

Templates for use in preparing the first annual report, and second and subsequent annual reports on travel, hospitality and conference expenditures are provided at Annexes A and B respectively .

4. Posting of the THC annual report

As the information in the THC annual report complements the detailed information on travel and hospitality for selected and senior government officials already disclosed on departmental Proactive Disclosure web pages, it is recommended that the THC report be posted on the departmental Proactive Disclosure web page. Having departments post this information to the same location facilitates readers being able to easily access this information.

All THC annual reports should be kept online on the Proactive Disclosure web page for a period of at least seven years.

5. Definition of categories of expenditures

The definitions below provide guidance on the nature and type of expenditures in each of those categories and sub-categories include:

Conference Fees expenditures: Consistent with the description in the Government Wide Chart of Accounts - Object (0823) and under the provisions of the Directive on the Management of Expenditure on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, conference expenditures refer to the amount paid for fees to attend a conference, congress, convention, seminar or other formal gathering in one location where participants discuss, contribute to or are informed about matters of common interest.

Conference Fees expenditures exclude amounts paid:

  • for attendee fees where the primary purpose is to enable participants to maintain or acquire skills or knowledge;
  • for travel costs to attend a conference; and
  • to host a conference (e.g. facility rental, hospitality, equipment rental).

Hospitality expenditures: Consistent with the description in the Government Wide Chart of Accounts - Object (0822), hospitality expenditures refer to amounts paid for the provision of hospitality to individuals under the provisions of the Directive on the Management of Expenditure on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, and hospitality governed by other authorities such as the Official Hospitality Outside Canada (OHOC) policy established by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Heads of Post and Foreign Service Official Hospitality directives.

Travel expenditures: Consistent with the description in the Government Wide Chart of Accounts - Objects (0201 and 202), travel expenditures include travelling and transportation expenses of government employees and non-government employees, including when a travel agency invoices a department for travel expenditures. It includes:

  • The transportation of people by air, ground and marine modes of transportation;
  • Highways and tolls for access to highway; and
  • Meals and accommodation services such as hotels, motels, corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation, and government and institutional accommodation.

However, it does not include situations where a contractor invoices the government for labour and travel, (i.e. where the total expenditure is charged to Standard Object 04).


Annex A

Template for reporting expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences for the first annual report.

Department/Agency XXXX
Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences

This report template provides generic text that should be included in each report.

As required by the Treasury Board Directive for the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, this report provides information on the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the [Department XXXX] for the fiscal year ending March 31, XXXX.

This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences incurred by federal departments and agencies are for the most part directly related to supporting departmental mandate(s) and the government's priorities.

In particular, for [Department XXXX], this includes [the delivery of the following core programs and/or services to Canadians]:

  • Provide a brief description of the department's mandate, major programs and linkages with core legislation/regulations as appropriate.
  • The purpose of this short introduction (few sentences) is to set out the key contextual information to properly position and enable accurate understanding of the expenditures incurred by the department in the area of travel, hospitality and conferences
  • To avoid duplication of information, this description could include hyperlinks to sections of the department's Departmental Performance Report (DPR), Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) or other sources of relevant information.

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of Department XXXX are summarized below:

Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 20XX (in thousands of dollars)
Travel – Public Servants $$$
Travel – Non-Public Servants $$$
International Travel by Minister and Minister's
Staff[1]
$$
Total Travel $$$$
Hospitality $$$
Conference Fees $$$
Total $$$$

Annex B

Template for reporting expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences for the second and subsequent annual reports

Department/Agency XXXX

Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences

This report template provides generic text that should be included in each report.

As required by the Treasury Board Directive for the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, this report provides information on the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the [Department XXXX] for the fiscal year ending March 31, XXXX. It also provides the variance explanations from the previous fiscal year in each of these areas.

This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences incurred by federal departments and agencies are for the most part directly related to supporting departmental mandate(s) and the government's priorities.

In particular, for Department XXXX this includes [the delivery of the following core programs and/or services to Canadians]:

  • Provide a brief description of the department's mandate, major programs and linkages with core legislation/regulations as appropriate.
  • The purpose of this short introduction (few sentences) is to set out the key contextual information to properly position and enable accurate understanding of the expenditures incurred by the department in the area of travel, hospitality and conferences
  • To avoid duplication of effort, this description could include hyperlinks to sections of the department's Departmental Performance Report (DPR), Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) or other sources of relevant information.
  • Significant structural or program changes such as new or changed programs or initiatives, increased program budgets, mergers with other departments, sunsetting of programs could be mentioned here.

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of Department XXXX are summarized below:

(in thousands of dollars)
Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 20XX
(a)
Expenditures for the previous year ending
March 31, 20XX[2]
(b)
Variance (1)
(a – b)
Travel – Public Servants $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Travel – Non-Public Servants $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff* $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Total Travel $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Hospitality $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Conference Fees $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Total $$$$ $$$$ $$$$

Significant variances compared to the previous fiscal year.

This section is used to provide a brief explanation of significant variances from the previous year's annual expenditures for each category.

Travel:
  1. Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 20XX-20XX, departmental travel expenditures by public servants increased/decreased mainly due to:
    • Provide a brief explanation of the significant reason(s) for the increase/decrease in annual expenditures for travel of public servants.
  2. Non-Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 20XX-20XX, departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants increased/decreased mainly due to:
    • Provide a brief explanation of the significant reason(s) for the increase/decrease in annual expenditures for travel of non-public servants.
  3. Minister and Minister's Staff: Compared to fiscal year 20XX-20XX, departmental international travel expenditures by the minister and his/her staff increased/decreased mainly due to:
    • Provide a brief explanation of the significant reason(s) for the increase/decrease in annual expenditures for travel by the Minister and Minister's Staff.
Hospitality:

Compared to fiscal year 20XX-20XX, departmental hospitality expenditures increased/decreased mainly due to:

  • Provide a brief explanation of the significant reason(s) for the increase/decrease in annual expenditures for hospitality.
Conference Fees:

Compared to fiscal year 20XX-20XX, departmental conference fees expenditures increased/decreased mainly due to:

  • Provide a brief explanation of the significant reason(s) for the increase/decrease in annual expenditures for conference fees.
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