Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures

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1. Effective Date

1.1 This directive took effect on January 1, 2011 and is amended as of August 1, 2013. This Directive replaced the Hospitality Policy of 1993.

2. Application

2.1 This directive applies to all departments as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act

2.2 Those portions of section 6.4.3 that provide for the Comptroller General of Canada to monitor compliance with this directive within departments and/or request departments take corrective action, do not apply with respect to the Office of the Auditor General, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. The deputy heads of these organizations are solely responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with this directive within their organizations, as well as for responding to cases of non-compliance in accordance with Treasury Board instruments that address the management of compliance. 

2.3 Appendix 2 of this directive does not apply to hospitality governed by 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.

2.4 Provision 1.3.1 of Appendix 1 will come into effect on April 1, 2014.

3. Context

3.1 Parliament and Canadians expect the federal government to be well managed with the prudent stewardship of public funds, and the effective, efficient and economical use of public resources. In doing so, they also expect the government to act at all times with the highest standards of integrity, fiscal prudence, accountability, transparency and values and ethics. These fundamental management principles apply to all government expenditures.

3.2 It is also understood that a range of travel, hospitality and conference related activities are necessary in order for departments to effectively deliver services to Canadians.

3.3 This directive is a key financial management policy instrument that requires departments to have oversight mechanisms, accountabilities and controls in place to ensure that expenditures related to travel, hospitality, conferences and events are managed in an effective, efficient and economical manner.  

3.4 It is expected that departments will focus travel expenditures on core mandate activities and where travel is required departments will maintain financial business processes that minimize expenditures.  In addition, departments will maintain effective travel planning, approval and reporting processes and ensure the consideration of alternatives to travel such as virtual presence and other remote meeting solutions.

3.5 This directive falls within the Policy Framework for Financial Management and supports, in particular, the Policy on Financial Resource Management, Information and Reporting, the Policy on Internal Control  and the Policy on Financial Management Governance.

3.6 This directive is also to be read in conjunction with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and that of your respective organization, other financial management policy instruments, the National Joint Council Travel Directive, the Directive on Special Travel Authorities and the Framework for the Management of Compliance. Further contextual information is included in the Foundation Framework for Treasury Board Policies.

3.7 This directive is issued pursuant to sections 7 and 9 of the Financial Administration Act.

4. Definitions

Definitions of key terms to be used in the interpretation of this directive are provided in Appendix 5.

5. Directive statement

That travel, hospitality, conferences and event expenditures are managed with prudence and probity and represent the most economic and efficient use of funds given the nature of the activity in relation to the achievement of a department's core mandate.

Departments have effective oversight mechanisms, accountabilities and controls in place for travel, hospitality, conferences and events to ensure:

  1. expenditures incurred are focussed on achieving a department's core mandate;
  2. expenditures are minimized and where they are necessary are managed in an effective, efficient and economical manner;
  3. where travel is required justification is provided regarding: why virtual presence and other remote meeting solutions were not used to meet operational requirements; the selection of the mode of transportation, the accommodation, and the number of travellers necessary to conduct government business.

6. Requirements

6.1 The deputy head is responsible for:

6.1.1 Approving the departmental total annual budgets for travel, hospitality and conferences. 

6.1.2 Ensuring that effective departmental oversight and control mechanisms are in place so:

  1. An accountability framework and decision support and reporting system is in place to manage approval processes, including to support necessary ministerial approvals, consistent with the specific approval authorities set out in Appendices 1 to 4 of this Directive;
  2. Means to avoid or minimize travel, hospitality, conference and event costs have been considered in the approval process, including; the use of virtual presence and other remote meeting solutions whenever available and appropriate to meet the objectives; ensuring the most economical means considering the location and the scale of activities or events; the minimum number of appropriate attendees are selected; and that travel is targeted to the department's core mandate, provides value for money and is justified;
  3. Individual proposals for travel, hospitality, conferences and events are reasonable and appropriate and support the departmental core mandate, objectives and priorities;
  4. Expenditures with respect to the annual departmental budgets for travel, hospitality and conferences are periodically reviewed during the year and managers with financial authorities have access to timely reporting to support effective monitoring and fiscally prudent decisions; and
  5. The requirements for travel, hospitality, conferences and events set out in Appendices 1 to 4 are applied.

6.1.3 Under the authority of the minister, approving departmental delegation of authority matrices relative to travel, hospitality, conferences and events.

6.1.4 Disclosing the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality, and conference fees 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.

6.2 The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for:

6.2.1 Providing the deputy head with independent and objective advice and recommendations on the annual budgets and proposals, priorities and expenditures pertaining to the management of travel, hospitality, conferences and event expenditures.

6.2.2 Supporting the deputy head and Senior Departmental Managers in establishing sustainable and robust departmental frameworks and plans, policies, financial management systems, decision support information, monitoring and reporting necessary to meet the requirements of this directive.

6.2.3 Supporting periodic reviews of expenditures necessary to meet the requirements of this directive.  

6.2.4 Acting as the delegated travel approval authority in situations where the traveller is the deputy head, based on established written departmental policies and procedures.

6.2.5 Ensuring that delegated financial authorities and associated responsibilities relative to travel, hospitality, conferences and events are clearly communicated, and adhered to by managers. 

6.3 Senior Departmental Managers and other managers with delegated financial authorities are responsible for:

6.3.1 Ensuring within their areas of responsibility:

  1. Means to avoid or minimize travel, hospitality, conference and event costs have been considered in the approval process, including; the use of virtual presence and other remote meeting solutions whenever available and appropriate to meet the objectives; ensuring the most economical means considering the location and the scale of activities or events; the minimum number of appropriate attendees are selected; and, that travel is targeted to the department's core mandate, provides value for money and is justified;
  2. Individual proposals and expenditure decisions for travel, hospitality, conferences and events demonstrate that they are necessary to achieve departmental core mandates, objectives or priorities while demonstrating value for money;
  3. Expenditures with respect to travel, hospitality and conferences are monitored throughout the year and are considered as part of periodic reviews with recurring travel, hospitality, conferences and events periodically assessed to ensure continued relevance; and
  4. The specific requirements for travel, hospitality, conferences and events set out in Appendices 1 to 4 are applied.

6.4 Monitoring and Reporting

6.4.1 Deputy heads are responsible for ensuring appropriate monitoring frameworks are in place to support their oversight of the sustained and effective implementation of this directive.

6.4.2 Chief financial officers are responsible for supporting their deputy head by overseeing the implementation and monitoring of this directive in their departments; bringing to the deputy head's attention any significant difficulties, gaps in performance or compliance issues and developing proposals to address them; and reporting significant performance or compliance issues to the Office of the Comptroller General.

6.4.3 The Comptroller General is responsible for monitoring departments' compliance with the requirements of this directive and conducting a review within five years.

7. Consequences

7.1 In instances of non-compliance, deputy heads are responsible for taking corrective measures within their organization with those responsible for implementing the requirements of this directive.

7.2 In support of the responsibility of deputy heads, chief financial officers are to ensure corrective actions are taken to address instances of non-compliance with the requirements of this directive. Corrective actions can include requiring additional training, changes to procedures and systems, the suspension or removal of delegated authority, disciplinary action and other measures as appropriate.

7.3 For a range of consequences for non-compliance with this directive, refer to the Framework for the Management of Compliance.

8. Roles and Responsibilities of Government Organizations

This section identifies other government organizations that have a role with respect to this directive.  In and of itself it does not confer any authority to the administration of this directive.

8.1 The Treasury Board Secretariat:

8.1.1 The Financial Management Sector of the Office of the Comptroller General is responsible for the interpretation and monitoring of this Directive. 

8.1.2 The Acquired Assets and Services Sector of the Office of the Comptroller General is responsible for contracting policy.

8.1.3 The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer consults, interprets and advises on the National Joint Council Travel Directive, the National Joint Council Relocation Directive, the National Joint Council Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive , the National Joint Council Foreign Service Directives, National Joint Council Relocation Directive, Directive on Special Travel Authorities and Policies for Ministers' Offices.

10. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this directive to your department's headquarters. For interpretation of this directive, departmental financial headquarters should contact:

Financial Management Sector
Office of the Comptroller General
Treasury Board Secretariat
Ottawa ON K1A 0R5

Email: Contact Financial Management Sector by email: fin-www@tbs-sct.gc.ca


Appendix 1 - Specific Requirements for Travel

Introduction

Travel covers a large spectrum of legitimate activities that are necessary to support statutory or regulatory requirements to deliver services to Canadians and to meet government priorities. In this way travel supports the direct delivery of the core mandate and operations of departments.  Travel may also support other departmental objectives and priorities.  The specific requirements set out in this Appendix are in addition to terms and conditions of reimbursement of travel on government business provided in the National Joint Council Travel Directive or the departmental equivalent as appropriate.

1.1 Planning

1.1.1 Prudent planning for travel applies to both federal employees and non-public servants.  Travel is to be avoided where cost efficient alternatives are appropriate and available.  Virtual presence, teleconference, videoconference and other remote meeting solutions are to be considered for every travel situation, and if not used the reason is to be documented in the travel authorization justification.  

1.1.2 The following categories of travel are to be identified and form part of the travel authorization for expenditure initiation for each proposed trip:

  1. Travel that is required in support of the direct delivery of the core mandate of a department or legislative or legal requirements;
  2. Travel that is necessary to engage key stakeholders in relation to policy, program or regulatory development or renewal or other matters that support the departments' ongoing working relationship or operations with such communities;
  3. Travel that is necessary to support sound internal governance of a department including management meetings and Departmental Audit Committee meetings, or that is necessary for the recruitment or hiring of employees;
  4. Travel to enable the training of employees to meet the assigned duties of their positions; and
  5. Other travel.  

1.1.3 Where "other travel" is selected as the category for the travel a detailed explanation regarding the purpose of the travel is required as part of the travel authorization.

1.1.4 The number of departmental travellers is to be limited to the minimum necessary to deliver the business of government.  The total number of travellers attending the same event or activity is to be justified for each travel authorization.

1.1.5 The most economical means is to be selected given the nature of the trip when booking transportation, accommodations and meeting facilities, including giving preference to using appropriate government facilities.  Where possible the travel arrangements should be booked in advance to obtain optimal discounted rates.

1.1.6 Travel that forms part of contract requirements is to be coded in the Receiver General Chart of Accounts as non-public servant travel.     

1.1.7 Travel that falls under the National Joint Council Foreign Service Directives or the National Joint Council Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive is to be coded in the Receiver General Chart of Accounts solely to those items.

1.1.8 Travel in support of the relocation of employees and their dependants is not part of travel expenditure initiation under this Appendix.  It is coded in the Receiver General Chart of Accounts separately and solely as relocation.  Such elements are subject to the requirements of the National Joint Council Relocation Directive.

1.1.9 Blanket travel authorities (BTA) as specified under the National Joint Council Travel Directive are not to be used for a departmental organization or other group of employees.  These approval authorities will follow the same travel authorization process under this Directive.  Cost information in the travel authorization will reflect the best cost estimates available at the time.

1.2 Travel Authorization

1.2.1 The authority to approve travel in a department may only be delegated by the Deputy Head to the Senior Departmental Manager level unless further delegated under section 1.2.2. 

1.2.2 The Deputy Head may delegate the authority to approve travel to appropriate managers below the Senior Departmental Manager level where all of the following three conditions are satisfied: 

  1. where the program operations are regionally or globally dispersed;
  2. where the potential for delay in obtaining approval at the Senior Departmental Manager level could be injurious to the public interest or timely delivery of departmental services or operations; and
  3. there is no senior departmental manager present in the regional or foreign office.

1.2.3 Expenditure initiation for travel may be done in either of two ways:

  1. approval by the delegated manager of the travel authorization for a trip; or
  2. approval by the appropriate fund centre manager based on a travel plan approved by the delegated manager that reasonably covers the authorization elements of Table 1.  Where there are significant changes to trips within the travel plan at any point, those trips are to be reapproved by the delegated manager.  Departments using the approved travel plans for expenditure initiation are to apply enhanced mechanisms and controls for the monitoring of compliance with these requirements.

1.2.4 The travel approval authority required under 1.2.1 does not apply to:

  1. local travel within the normal office location and working environs of an employee using means such as taxis, public transit, personal vehicle or government fleet vehicles for the conduct of the government's day to day business, such local travel can be authorized by the appropriate fund centre manager; or
  2. travel required to enable the department to respond rapidly to urgent and unforeseeable events that require employees to travel on an emergency basis in order to provide expertise or delivery of departmental programs or services to safeguard health, safety and security.  In order to ensure efficient emergency responses, such travel expenditure initiation can be authorized by the appropriate fund centre manager with subsequent disclosure of the travel costs, for information purposes, to the Deputy Head. 

1.2.5 If Blanket Travel Authorities (BTAs) are used to satisfy the travel authorization for individuals, the BTA will also include all Table 1 information applying the best cost estimates available.

1.2.6 The trip data elements of Table 1 are to be included in the travel authorization for expenditure initiation purposes and, at a minimum, will form part of the associated authorization form.

Table 1: Checklist of Trip Authorization Elements
Element Description
A. Objective Summary of the objective of the travel
B. Category Include the applicable category from 1.1.2.  Only include one category
C. Traveller as public servant or non-public servant Identify whether the traveller is a public servant or non-public servant
D. Virtual presence or other remote meeting solutions Rationale why  virtual presence or other remote meeting solutions were not applied
E. Number of travellers Rationale for the number of travellers as it relates to the suitability of the named traveller for the stated objective
F. Mode of transportation Identify the estimated cost and rationale for the use of each of the applicable  modes of transport:  air, rail, bus, ferry, taxi, personal motor vehicle, rental motor vehicle, government fleet vehicle, public transit or other mode
G. Accommodations Identify the estimated cost and rationale for of each type of accommodation including commercial accommodation, commercial accommodation not listed in Accommodation and Car Rental Directory, private accommodation, other accommodation.  
H. Meals Identify the estimated cost of the meals based on the meal allowances set out in the NJC Travel Directive and excluding those meals that are paid as part of the event or the mode of transportation
I. Incidentals and other costs Identify the estimated cost of the incidentals and other costs based on the allowances set out in the NJC Travel Directive

1.3 Reporting and Control 

1.3.1 Departments will collect and sustain in their departmental financial management or related systems the travel category (element B) and the associated financial information data elements F to I specified in Table 1.

1.3.2 Departments will have appropriate internal controls and an associated monitoring system in place to support periodic departmental reviews of travel expenditures.  This will also contribute to the validation of the annual departmental report on the total annual spending on travel as set out in provision 6.1.4

Appendix 2 - Specific requirements for Hospitality

Introduction

The provision of hospitality is often necessary to support the conduct of the government's business and to deliver on core mandates and priorities.  In this way, it may support the conduct of business with other levels of government, industry or public interest groups, visits by foreign dignitaries as well as departmental business meetings. All federal employees are responsible for exercising rigorous management of hospitality, including taking measures to minimize and/or avoid costs. Decisions to offer hospitality must be carefully considered and demonstrate the necessity based on the circumstances and/or courtesy, diplomacy or protocol.

2.1 Planning

In the planning of hospitality expenditures the following limitations or exclusions are applied:

2.1.1 The provision of food and beverages is acceptable in accordance with the standard and maximum per person cost limits in Table 2.  These limits are based on the allowances set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive and reflect per person hospitality costs provided per meal type over the course of a single day and per serving for refreshments.

  1. The Standard Cost per Person is the expected meal cost per person to be applied in normal circumstances, particularly for events involving federal government persons only, and are approved by the appropriate delegated authority;
  2. A cost per person exceeding the Standard Cost and up to the Maximum Cost per person is to be applied in exceptional circumstances, justified by the type of event, the status and nature of participants and for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy and/or protocol.  The Deputy Head is the approval authority for these proposed hospitality costs; and
  3. Planned costs exceeding the maximum cost per person require approval by the Minister.
Table 2: Maximum Food and beverage Cost Per Person
Food and beverages Standard Cost per Person Maximum Cost per Person
Breakfast 1.5 X Breakfast Allowance 1.5 X Standard Cost Per Person
Refreshment 0.5 X Breakfast Allowance
Lunch 2.0 X Lunch Allowance
Reception 2.0 X Breakfast Allowance
Dinner 1.75 X Dinner Allowance

 2.1.2 The standard for hospitality is the provision of non-alcoholic beverages. The provision of alcoholic beverages is only permitted in special circumstances where it is a matter of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol involving non-public servants in government events. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided as hospitality at events involving only federal public servants. The provision of bottled water or water coolers to federal employees is not part of hospitality except in situations where they are provided as part of refreshments at events covered under this directive.

2.1.3 Exceptionally, the offering to non-public servants of tickets to the theatre or sporting events, tours of local areas or other places of interest, and other similar entertainment activities as well as other reasonable measures deemed appropriate for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol as part of a government event. Federal employees who are required to accompany non-federal government persons can similarly partake in the entertainment activities.

2.1.4 Local transportation to and from the event or activity is not considered as part of hospitality except in special circumstances involving non-public servants (e.g. a foreign dignitary) for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol.

2.1.5 Facility rental and associated costs such as audio/video equipment and technical support or translation services are not considered as part of hospitality except in special circumstances for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol (e.g. in circumstances where the costs are directly and inherently for hospitality purposes, such as the rental of a room to be used only for hosting a lunch).  These costs, however, do form part of approvals of events under this directive.       

2.1.6 Federal employees can be provided hospitality only in situations where:

  1. federal employees are required to participate in operations, business meetings, training or events that extend beyond normal working hours. This includes situations where employees are required to work through normal break and meal periods.  It may include situations where there are no nearby or appropriate facilities to obtain refreshments or meals and/or where staff dispersal is not effective or efficient.
  2. federal employees are required to be part of an event, or to participate in a government hosted conference, which includes participants that are not employees of the Government of Canada and for whom hospitality will be provided as a matter of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol.      

2.1.7 Non-public servants can be provided hospitality in events where it is a matter of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol or is necessary to facilitate the achievement of the government's business.

2.2 Hospitality Authorization See footnote 1

2.2.1 Ministerial approval is required when the following hospitality components are present, unless delegated under paragraph 2.2.2

  1. Total hospitality costs associated with an event exceed $5,000; or
  2. Alcoholic beverages will be provided; or
  3. Food and beverage costs exceed the maximum cost per person (Table  2); or
  4. Entertainment will be provided; or
  5. Hospitality or entertainment will be provided to a spouse or to a person accompanying an event participant; or
  6. Hospitality paid by the federal government will be extended at the residence of a federal employee.

2.2.2 Ministers may choose to delegate to a deputy head, in writing, any element of the approval authorities in 2.2.1 (b) to (f) or an increased hospitality approval authority limit under 2.2.1 (a) to meet operational requirements.

2.2.3 When a deputy head has increased delegation for any element of 2.2.1 (a.) to (f.), event approvals will still be required as set out in Appendix 4 if applicable.

2.2.4 Deputy Head approval of hospitality is required when the total hospitality costs exceed $1,500 but are $5,000 or less and none of the components listed in 2.2.1 (a.) to (f.) are present at the ministerial level.

2.2.5 Senior departmental manager or delegate approval of hospitality is required when total hospitality costs associated with the event are $1,500 or less, and none of the elements listed in 2.2.1 are present.

2.2.6 With the exception of the Minister, an individual who is a participant at a hospitality event may not approve the hospitality. In such circumstances, the approval of higher authority is to be obtained.  In situations when the deputy head is in attendance the CFO will be the approval authority for hospitality.

2.2.7 With respect to the Office of Auditor General, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner; deputy heads of these organizations can exercise the ministerial approval authority in section 2.2.

2.2.8 According to Section 12.(1)(b) of the Financial Administration Act, deputy heads have authority to provide for awards to employees and may approve hospitality as a part of a related ceremony consistent with this Directive.  Deputy heads may also provide hospitality consistent with the National Public Service Week: Serving Canadians Better Act.  Event approvals under Appendix 4 of this Directive may still apply.

2.3 Reporting and Controls

2.3.1 When a public servant is the recipient of hospitality, he/she is responsible for ensuring that he or she does not seek reimbursement for equivalent meals or refreshments as a part of a travel claim or other expense claim.

2.3.2 Departments will have appropriate internal controls and an associated monitoring system in place to support periodic departmental reviews of hospitality expenditures.   This will also contribute to the validation of the annual departmental report on the total annual spending on hospitality as set out in provision 6.1.4.

Appendix 3 - Specific requirements for Conferences

Introduction

Conferences or similar events often provide unique opportunities for exchange, debates or discussion of specialized or professional information, including establishing or maintaining relationships necessary for the conduct of government business or the delivery of the core mandate of a department. Conferences tend to be organized by external organizations and participants are charged fees to attend.  To that end, conference approval authorities are conscious of the need for prudence and probity including justification where travel approval is required under Appendix 1 or under the event approval requirements of Appendix 4.

3.1 Planning

3.1.1 The objective of attending a conference will be principally to support the delivery of the core mandate of the department and should be specified in the applicable conference approval document.  Where travel is involved the travel authorization elements of Table 1 in Appendix 1 will apply as well as the rationale for the minimum number of necessary conference participants.

3.1.2 The number of employees attending a conference from a department will be the minimum necessary to achieve the departmental objective.

3.1.3 Departments that are organizing a conference will consider the availability and appropriateness of virtual presence or other remote meeting solutions to minimize costs for participating departments or other participants, and will use available government facilities as a first choice.

3.2 Conference Authorization See footnote 2

3.2.1 The conference approval authority is the senior departmental manager level as set out in the delegation of financial authorities document.

3.2.2 Where multiple employees in a department will be attending the same conference which constitutes an event, the total planned conference costs will be provided for approval to the most senior approval authority as defined under Appendix 4.

3.3 Reporting and Controls

3.3.1 Departments will have appropriate internal controls and an associated monitoring system in place to support periodic departmental reviews of conference expenditures.   This will also contribute to the validation of the annual departmental report on the total annual spending on conferences as set out in provision 6.1.4.

Appendix 4 - Specific requirements for events

Introduction

Events typically represent or support the business activities and governance of a department and may include both employees and non-public servants.  In keeping with the provisions of this Appendix, the approval of planned spending on events will be subject to appropriate disclosure that supports both Ministerial and deputy head oversight of their departments.

4.1 Planning

4.1.1 Departments will determine the maximum number of employees that are appropriately attending the same event in considering the appropriate event approval authority as specified in section 4.2.  This will include obtaining the records of the planned costs where travel is involved, as well as other cost factors when a department is hosting an event such as professional services and facilities rental that will usually fall under a specific fund centre.

4.1.2 In situations where the primary purpose of an event relates to the direct delivery of the core mandate of a department approvals as set out in section 4.2 are not required.  All other appendices to this directive continue to apply.

4.1.3 Training activities are considered events.  The following criteria define training that does not require approvals, note that all other appendices to this directive continue to apply, as set out in section 4.2 including:

  1. Formalized programs approved and delivered by a department to departmental staff to ensure that staff are qualified to perform their assigned duties;
  2. Formalized program of instruction to ensure that staff are qualified to perform their assigned duties approved by a department and delivered by a third party such as the Canada School of Public Service, universities or colleges; or
  3. Formalized program of instruction or accreditation approved by a professional body as recognized by federal or provincial statute and delivered by organizations certified by the professional body, including for the purpose of acquiring or maintaining those accreditations required by staff as part of their duties.

4.1.4 In situations where a department is organizing the event with a total departmental cost in excess of $25,000 and other departments are participating, it is incumbent on the lead organizing department to obtain estimated costs for the total of the participants from other federal departments.  The participating departments are required to provide the estimated cost information including total estimated participant's costs related to travel as per provision 4.2.2.

4.2 Event Authorization See footnote 3

4.2.1 Ministerial approval is required when total departmental costs associated with an event will exceed $25,000.

4.2.2 Where an event requiring ministerial approval is hosted by the department, the minister will also be provided, for information purposes, the total estimated federal cost for all participating departments.

4.2.3 Deputy head approval of an event is required when total departmental costs associated with the event exceed $5,000 but are $25,000 or less. 

4.2.4 Senior departmental manager or delegate approval of an event is required when the event has total departmental costs of $5,000 or less. 

4.2.5 For the calculation of the total departmental costs for a single event in order to determine the required approval authority, total costs are to include items such as conferences fees, professional services charges, hospitality, accommodation, transportation, meals, taxes, gratuities and service charges, costs incurred by the Minister or the Minister's staff for activities related to a department's programs that are charged to the department's budget, and other relevant costs directly attributable to the particular event.  These costs exclude salary costs and other departmental fixed operating costs as part of the on-going operations of the department.

4.2.6 According to Section 12.(1)(b) of the Financial Administration Act, deputy heads have authority to provide for awards to employees and may approve an event as a part of a related ceremony consistent with this Directive.  Deputy heads may also approve an event related to the National Public Service Week Act, consistent with 4.2.3.

4.3 Reporting and Controls

4.3.1 Departments will have appropriate internal controls and an associated monitoring system in place to support periodic departmental reviews of event expenditures.

Appendix 5 - Definitions

Blanket travel authority (autorisation générale de voyager)

authorization for travel which is continuous or repetitive in nature, with no variation in the specific terms and conditions of trips and where it is not practical or administratively efficient to obtain prior approval from the employer for each individual trip. Any exceptions to the blanket travel authority (BTA) parameters shall require that the individual trip be specifically approved, prior to travel status, where possible. BTA does not apply to groups of employees. Employees may have more than one BTA simultaneously.

Business meetings (réunion d'affaires)

meetings conducted to advance government objectives or operations, including departmental and/or interdepartmental working sessions, work planning meetings, advisory and corporate management committees and staff retreats. Business meetings may or may not involve non-public servants. Typically, meetings that take place as part of sound management and governance of a department, including meetings of Departmental Audit Committees, are considered business meetings. 

Conferences (Conférences)

refers to a congress, convention, seminar, symposium or other formal gathering, which are usually organized by a third party external to government, where participants debate or are informed of the status of a discipline (e.g. sciences, economics, technology, management). (This definition is based on the object of expenditure 0823 Conference Fees of the Receiver General Chart of Accounts). Guest speakers are often part of such conferences that involve employees and/or non-public servants. Retreats, work-planning meetings and training seminars or courses that provide training are not considered as conferences.

Deputy head (administrateur général)

for the purposes of this Directive deputy head includes all those individuals who have legal status as the deputy of a minister but not including associate deputy ministers.

Entertainment (divertissement)

includes, but is not limited to tickets to musical, theatre, sporting or similar events, tours of local or other places of interest, and other similar activities for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy and protocol.

Events (événements)

include business meetings, departmental or corporate management meetings, conferences as well as any other formal gathering of public servants or non-public servants invited to participate in these activities including prestigious ceremonies, awards and recognition ceremonies. Events do not include meetings or activities whose sole purpose is the direct delivery of core departmental mandates, including examples such as inspections of food processing plants, the conduct of military exercises, or undertaking regulatory or quasi-judicial proceedings which may involve participants from other levels of government or foreign governments, foreign or political dignitaries, national or international organizations, industry representatives and public interest groups.

Hospitality (accueil)

consists of the provision of meals, beverages or refreshments to non-public servants in events which are necessary for the effective conduct of government business and for courtesy, diplomacy or protocol purposes. In some circumstances and within restrictions defined in this directive, hospitality can also be provided to employees. Exceptionally, in situations involving non-public servants, it may also include entertainment, local transportation to and from events as well as other reasonable measures deemed appropriate for reasons of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol. Hospitality does not include expenditures for employees or individuals on travel status subject to the National Joint Council Travel Directive; local transportation to and from events or activities for employees; rental of facilities and associated costs; and bottled water or water coolers provided to employees on on-going basis above and beyond an event as defined in this Directive.

Non-Public Servant (Personne ne faisant pas partie du gouvernement fédéral)

is any person who is not currently paid a salary by the Government of Canada from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Public Servant (Personne faisant partie du gouvernement fédéral)

is any person who is currently paid a salary by the Government of Canada from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Protocol (protocole

is a set of conventions governing correct etiquette and precedence.

Reception (réception)

an extended period between when attendees arrive and when the meal is served, these might also serve the purpose of sustaining attendees during the wait before a meal.  Reception food may also be served with no main meal afterward if circumstances dictate.

Refreshments (rafraichissements)

include beverages or food (e.g. light snacks) or both, that do not constitute a normal meal but are served between meals.

Senior departmental managers (cadres supérieurs des ministères)

For the purpose of this directive, senior departmental managers are defined as managers reporting directly to a deputy head and also includes, where applicable, the most senior regional departmental managers.

Travel status (déplacement)

occurs when an employee or traveller is on authorized government travel.

Traveller (voyageur)

a person who is authorized to travel on federal government business.

Date Modified: