DAOD 2009-1, Conference Sponsorship and Attendance

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. General Guidelines
  4. Sponsorship Guidelines
  5. Attendance Guidelines
  6. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 1999-01-15

Application: This is an order that applies to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND).

Supersession: NDHQ Policy Directive P3/92 - DND/CF Conference Policy

Approval Authority: This DAOD is issued under the authority of the Director National Defence Headquarters Secretariat (D NDHQ Sec).


2. Definitions

conference (conférence)

A conference is a formal gathering in one location where participants discuss, contribute to, or are informed about matters of common interest (i.e. acquire skills and knowledge and by implication enable people to maintain skills and knowledge).

The following are not conferences:

international conference (conférence internationale)

International conferences involve representatives of the federal government and the governments of one or more foreign countries.

level 1 advisors (conseillers principaux)

Level 1 Advisors are identified in the Position Equivalency Table in Support of the Delegation Matrix, Delegation of Authorities for Financial Administration for DND and the CF (A-FN-100-002/AG-006).

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3. General Guidelines

Audit Trail

3.1 In order to establish an audit trail, files must be maintained in accordance with standard practices for the management of paper records.

Booking of Commercial Facilities and Accommodations

3.2 It is the Government's policy to use the competitive process for all procurement, including the booking of commercial facilities and accommodations.

3.3 For information concerning delegated financial authorities and their levels of spending authority in this regard, see the document entitled Delegation of Authorities for Financial Administration for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.

3.4 For information concerning contracting policy and procedures, see A-LM-102-000/AG-001, DND Contracting Manual Policy and Procedures.

3.5 For further information on contracting regarding this matter, contact DC Pol.

4. Sponsorship Guidelines

General Principles

  1. Requests for sponsorship approval must be forwarded to the Deputy Minister (DM) or Minister, as required, through the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS).
  2. The DND and the CAF may not sponsor more than two major international conferences per year.
  3. Requests must include a breakdown of all anticipated expenses, including hospitality (see DAOD 1017-0, Hospitality in Canada).
  4. Approval of sponsorship requests represents approval of an expenditure ceiling.
  5. Sponsorship of international conferences requires a minimum planning time of two years.

Geographic Location

4.1 CAF/DND-sponsored conferences should take place in the most economical geographic location, taking into account the participants' travel expenses.


4.2 CAF/DND-sponsored conferences should take place in CAF/DND facilities, provided the location or its use does not compromise conference objectives. If CF/DND facilities are not available, other Government facilities should be used. For advice on the location and availability of Government facilities, contact the appropriate regional office of Public Works and Government Service Canada (PWGSC).

4.3 If neither CAF/DND facilities nor Government facilities are available, commercial facilities may be used. For further guidance on this matter, see the heading "General Guidelines".

Liaison With Other Government Departments and Agencies

4.4 When a decision has been made to sponsor a conference, the interests of other government departments and agencies must be considered and proper liaison established, where applicable.

4.5 If the conference is international, the sponsor shall consult the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). For more information, contact D Pub Pol.

Official Languages

4.6 The requirements of the Official Languages Act must be respected (e.g. simultaneous interpretation, translation, the production of documents in both official languages).


4.7 Level 1 Advisors shall provide conference funding as budgeted for in their business plans. Consideration should be given to alternate forms of funding such as:

  1. cost-sharing;
  2. cost-recovery;
  3. donations; and
  4. external sponsorship, where the conference is organized and run completely by an outside party as a non-government conference.

4.8 With regard to donations, CAF members and DND employees shall first ensure that receiving funds in this manner is appropriate and does not create a conflict of interest situation.

4.9 With regard to external sponsorship, arrangements must be set up so that they cannot be construed as a contractual arrangement on behalf of, or as agent for the CAF and the DND.

4.10 Treasury Board (TB) Information Bulletin dated November 1, 1995, Financing of Conferences and Seminars provides further details on these forms of funding.

Note - The provisions of DAOD 1017-0, Hospitality in Canada, TB travel directives and departmental and CAF travel regulations and orders apply to conferences sponsored by the CAF and/or the DND.

Approval Process

4.11 The following table outlines the process for obtaining approval for conference sponsorship.

Stage Who does it? What happens?


  • Requirement to sponsor a conference is identified.



  • Obtains endorsement from the Level 1 Advisor;
  • Prepares sponsorship request to DM with assistance from DPFL for international conferences and D Pub Pol for all other conferences; and
  • Obtains approval signature from the appropriate Level 1 Advisor.


Level 1 Advisor

  • Forwards request to the Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services) (ADM(Fin CS)) for review of the hospitality requirements and expenses related to the attendance of accompanying persons and other persons and onward transmission to the VCDS.



  • Forwards request to DM for approval or submission to the Minister, as appropriate; and
  • Ensures coordination with the office of the Chief of the Defence Staff, as required.


Level 1 Advisor

  • When approval is granted, identifies funding requirements in business plan.

Note - Funding must be consistent with the approved expenditure ceiling.

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5. Attendance Guidelines

Purpose of Attendance

5.1 Attendance of CAF members or DND employees at a conference must be for one or more of the following purposes:

  1. to represent the federal government in an official capacity;
  2. to advise government representatives;
  3. to serve the conference in an official capacity as an officer, resource person or member of the conference secretariat;
  4. to establish essential contacts with organizations sharing similar fields of interest;
  5. to establish professional contacts necessary to achieve program objectives;
  6. to facilitate recruiting activities; and/or
  7. to report on conference proceedings.

Attendance by Accompanying Persons

5.2 The attendance of accompanying persons shall only be approved in exceptional circumstances. Where the presence of an accompanying person at the conference is essential for reasons of protocol, prior approval must be obtained from the DM.

Note - Prior approval must be obtained from the DM, through the ADM(Fin CS), for any expenses related to the attendance of accompanying persons. The CAF member or DND employee may be paid, in accordance with TB travel directives and departmental and CAF travel regulations and orders, for the personal expenses of the person accompanying them.

Attendance by Other Persons

5.3 Persons from outside the federal government may be selected to attend a departmental conference when they either:

  1. have specialized knowledge that enables them to provide advice or information to the DND and/or the CAF; or
  2. represent provincial governments or interest groups in Canada, which should be informed about DND and/or CAF objectives, requirements or services, or about a particular program to be discussed at the conference.

5.4 Expenses for the attendance by other persons at any conference may be paid at public expense when:

  1. an Act of Parliament or other statute specifically states that their expenses be paid;
  2. they have been formally designated as members of the federal delegation; or
  3. they have been hired under contract to speak or to serve as an adviser or assistant at the conference.

Note - Prior approval must be obtained from the DM through the ADM(Fin CS) for any expenses to be incurred by other persons. Payment of the personal expenses of other persons must be on the same basis as CAF members and DND employees, in accordance with TB travel directives and departmental and CAF travel regulations and orders.

6. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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