Crosswalk to Amendments to the Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conferences and Event Expenditures

Original table note 1 * Revisions in italics Rationale

Table 1 Notes

Table Note 1

Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality, and Conferences

Return to table note 1 * referrer

Sections 1.1 and 1.2

1.1 This directive takes effect on and was amended .

1.2 The Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences replaces the Hospitality Policy (1993).

Section 1.1

1.1 This directive took effect on and is amended as of . This Directive replaced the Hospitality Policy of 1993.

Sections simplified and combined into one section.

New – Effective date for provision 1.3.1

Added Section 2.4

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

Delayed effective date for provision 1.3.1 to allow adequate time to implement.

Section 3.1

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, including those related to travel, hospitality and conferences.

Section 3.1

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.

Section simplified

New section – Range of activities

Added 3.2 – Range of activities necessary to deliver service to Canadians

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.

Message strengthen

New section – Key financial management policy instrument

Added 3.3 – Key financial management policy instrument that requires oversight, accountabilities and controls

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.

Message strengthen

Sections 3.2 and 3.3

3.2 Travel, hospitality and conferences cover a large spectrum of legitimate activities or events, whether hosted by the government or attended or actioned by government representatives. Costs associated with these activities or events are often necessary to support statutory or regulatory requirements to deliver services to Canadians and to meet government priorities and departmental mandates. These include, but are not limited to expenditures related to the movement of troops in Canada and abroad, training and military exercises, policing and investigations, the provision of required health services to First Nations, Inuit and veterans, as well as the prevention and inspection activities in various areas such as food, transportation or border security. They also include the conduct of business with other levels of government, industry or public interest groups, visits by foreign dignitaries as well as departmental business meetings and working sessions necessary to conduct the government's business and to deliver on priorities.

3.3 All of these activities must be managed so that they demonstrate value for money and use the most economical options to minimize and/or reduce such costs whenever possible. As accounting officers, deputy heads are accountable for the management of their departmental resources. Chief Financial Officers support deputy heads by providing expert independent and objective advice on financial matters, including for the establishment and maintenance of effective departmental systems of internal control. Other senior departmental managers and all other managers are accountable for the expenditures falling within their areas of responsibility and their effective management. 

Combined section 3.4

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.

Message simplified and focused on key messages

Sections 3.4 to 3.6 – Context

Sections 3.5 to 3.7

Section numbers changed

Section 5.1 Objective

5.1 Travel, hospitality, conferences and associated expenditures are managed with prudence and probity, in a manner that maximizes effectiveness in meeting organizational mandates, minimizes costs and demonstrates value for money.

Section 5.1 Objective

5. 1 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.

Strengthen by adding "events" and core mandate terms

Section 5.2 Expected Results

5.2 Departments have effective oversight mechanisms and controls in place to ensure that travel, hospitality, conferences and associated expenditures are managed in an effective, efficient and economical manner:

  • Travel, hospitality and conference expenditures incurred are necessary to achieve departmental mandates and priorities.
  • The most economical and efficient alternatives for travel, hospitality, conferences and associated expenditures have been considered.

Section 5.2 Expected Results

5.2 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.

Strengthen by adding "events" and core mandate terms

Section 6.1 – Deputy head

Section 6.1.1

Section number changed

Section 6.2 – Deputy head

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

  • There is an assessment at the planning stage of recurring events or activities to validate continued relevance, value for money, and the efficient and economical use of resources;
  • Individual proposals for travel, hospitality and conferences are reasonable and appropriate and decisions support departmental objectives and priorities;
  • Alternative means to avoid, reduce or minimize travel, hospitality and conference costs have been considered, including early bookings of travel and of facilities, using government facilities as a first choice, tele/videoconferencing whenever possible, as well as ensuring value for money when determining the location and the scale of events and the type and number of attendees;
  • 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,
  • The requirements for travel, hospitality and conferences set out in Appendix A are applied.

Section 6.1.2 – Deputy head

6.2 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.

Re–ordered and re–written to clarify and strengthen requirements

Section 6.3 – Deputy head

6.3 Approving departmental delegation of authority matrices relative to travel, hospitality, and conferences.

Section 6.1.3 – Deputy head

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

Section clarified

Section 6.4 – Deputy head

Section 6.1.4

Section number changed

Section 6.5 – Deputy head

6.5 Ensuring that approval is received from the appropriate minister in cases where the total departmental cost for a single event exceeds $25,000, or any other element listed in section 2.5.2, Part 2, Appendix A are present; where the situation is the former confirming that the event provides a) value for money and b) the use of the most economical option to minimize or reduce costs, and where the situation is the latter, that total event costs are disclosed to the minister, for information.

Removed from Directive

Section 6.5 removed since it duplicated requirements already included in Appendix A, Part 2, paragraph 2.2.

Section 6.6 – Chief financial officer

Section 6.2.1

Section number changed

Section 6.7 – Chief financial officer

6.7 Supporting the deputy head and Senior Departmental Managers in putting in place and sustaining effective departmental processes, procedures and controls necessary to meet the requirements of this directive.

Section 6.2.2 – Chief financial officer

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.

Message strengthened

Section 6.8 – Chief financial officer

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

Section 6.2.5 – Chief financial officer

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. 

Added "events"

Section 6.9 – Chief financial officer

6.9 Ensuring that the information necessary to support periodic departmental reviews of these expenditures is provided to managers.

Section 6.2.3 – Chief financial officer

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

Message strengthened

New section – Chief financial officer

Added Section 6.2.4 – Chief financial officer

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.

Added responsibility previously recommended in the Travel Approval Guidelines for Deputy Ministers and Heads of Agencies, Boards and Commissions

Section 6.10 – Senior departmental managers and other managers with financial authorities

6.10 Ensuring within their areas of responsibility that:

  • Recurring events or activities are assessed annually to ensure continued relevance, value for money based on past performance, efficient and economical use of resources;
  • Individual proposals and expenditure decisions for travel, hospitality and conferences demonstrate that they are necessary to achieve departmental objectives and priorities;
  • Alternative means to avoid, reduce or minimize travel, hospitality and conference costs have been considered whenever possible, including the use of early bookings of travel and of facilities, using government facilities as a first choice and tele/videoconferencing whenever possible, as well as ensuring value for money when determining the location and the scale of events and the type and number of attendees;
  • Expenditures with respect to travel, hospitality and conferences are monitored throughout the year; and,
  • The specific requirements for travel, hospitality and conferences set out in Appendix A are applied.

Section 6.3.1 – Senior departmental managers and other managers with financial authorities

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

Re–ordered and re–written to clarify and strengthen requirements.

New section – Monitoring and reporting – deputy head

Added Section 6.4.1 – Monitoring and reporting – deputy head

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.

Addition of new deputy head monitoring requirement

Sections 7.1 and 7.2 – Monitoring and Reporting

Sections 6.4.2 and 6.4.3

Section numbers changed

Sections 8.1 and 8.2 – Consequences

Sections 7.1 and 7.2

Section numbers changed

New section – Consequences

Added Section 7.3 – Consequences

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

Reference made to Framework for the Management of Compliance

New Section – Roles and responsibilities of government organizations

Added Sections 8 to 8.1.3

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, Directive on Special Travel Authorities and Policies for Ministers' Offices.

To provide clarity on the roles of Treasury Board Secretariat's Financial Management Sector and Acquired Assets and Services Sector of the Office of the Comptroller General and the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

Section 9.2 – Other relevant documents

New references added

Section 9.2 – Other relevant documents added

New references added for completeness.

Appendix A, Part 1 – Specific Requirements for travel and/or conferences

Appendix 1 – Specific Requirements for Travel

N/A

New section – Introduction

Added 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.

Introduction added for context and clarity

1.1 Planning – First bullet

  • Travel costs should be avoided whenever there is a reasonable and more economical alternative available and deemed sufficient to meet the intended objective (e.g. use of government facilities, tele/videoconferencing);

Section 1.1.1

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. 

Message strengthened

1.1 Planning – Second bullet

  • Booking transportation, accommodations and conference facilities are expected to take place well in advance to obtain optimal discounted rates where possible;

Section 1.1.5

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.

Message strengthened

1.1 Planning – Third and Fourth bullets

  • The number of persons sent to the same event or activities, including conferences, should be kept to the minimum necessary for the effective conduct of government business, leveraging where possible individuals already located near the event or site;
  • In situations of periodic or multiple trips to the same destination or where several persons are sent to the same events or activities, including conferences, costs are to be minimized through effective planning and coordination.

Section 1.1.4

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.

Message strengthened

New section – Categories of Travel

Added Section 1.1.2

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.  

New travel data element defined, "travel category", along with definitions for the five categories.

New section – "Other travel" detailed explanation

Added Section 1.1.3

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.

Requirement to provide detailed explanation for "other travel"

New section – Non–public servant travel

Added Section 1.1.6

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.    

New principle to reclassify contractor travel costs as non–public servant travel (previously coded to professional services) – see explanation in Guideline.

New sections – Coding issues

Added Sections 1.1.7 and 1.1.8

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.

Clarification of related coding issues

New section – Blanket travel authorities (BTAs)

Added Section 1.1.9

1.1.9 Blanket travel authorities (BTA) as specified under the National Joint Council Travel Directives 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.

To restrict BTAs to current practice

Section 1.2 – Transportation – First and second bullets

  • The most economical option available is chosen when selecting the mode of transportation, taking into account cost, duration, safety, and practicality respecting the principles of the National Joint Council Travel Directive;
  • This includes, as set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive, "the standard for air travel is economy class" and the "standard for rail travel is the next highest class after the full economy class". In International Travel, the use of "business / executive class air travel shall be authorized where continuous air travel exceeds 9 hours". First class air travel is not permitted.

Removed from Directive

First bullet – Part of message in Section 1.1.5

Second bullet – Already covered by the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive

Section 1.3 – Accommodation – First bullet

  • As set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive, in general "the standard for accommodation is a single room in a safe environment, conveniently located and comfortably equipped" and "government hotel directories shall serve as a guide for the cost, location and selection of accommodation".

Removed from Directive

Already covered by the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive

New section – Travel – authorization – Delegation

Added Section 1.2.1

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. 

To limit travel approval authority to senior departmental manager level

New section – Travel – authorization – Conditions for delegation below senior departmental managers

Added 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.

Exception – Deputy head may delegate travel approval authority below senior departmental level if three conditions satisfied.

New section – Travel – authorization – Expenditure initiation options

Added Section 1.2.3

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.

Options to approve travel – per single trips or per a detailed travel plan for a period of time

New section – Travel – authorization – Local travel or emergencies

Added Section 1.2.4

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. 

Travel authority not required for local travel or emergencies (with latter to be approved after emergency resolved).

New section – Travel – authorization – Blanket Travel Authorities

Added Section 1.2.5

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.

If Blanket Travel Authorities used, full information from Table 1 (Section 1.2.6) still required.

New section – Travel – authorization – Additional travel information to be captured (Table 1)

Added Section 1.2.6

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

  1. Objective – Summary of the objective of the travel;
  2. Category – Include the applicable category from 1.1.2.  Only include one category;
  3. Traveller as public servant or non–public servant – Identify whether the traveller is a public servant or non–public servant;
  4. Virtual presence or other remote meeting solutions – Identify whether the traveller is a public servant or non–public servant;
  5. Number of travellers – Rationale for the number of travellers as it relates to the suitability of the named traveller for the stated objective;
  6. 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;
  7. 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;
  8. 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; and
  9. 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.

Additional trip and cost information to be captured for all travel

New section – Travel – authorization – Departmental financial management or related systems

Added Section 1.3.1

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.

Section 1.2.6 information to be maintained within the departmental financial system or supporting system.

New section – Travel – authorization – Internal controls and reports

Added Section 1.3.2

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.

Requirement to have appropriate internal controls and reports

Appendix A, Part 2 – Specific requirements for hospitality

Appendix 2 – Specific requirements for Hospitality

N/A

New section – Introduction

Added 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.

Introduction added for context and clarity

Section 2.1.1 – Planning – Limitation of hospitality expenditures

2.1.1 The provision of food and beverages is acceptable in accordance with the standard and the maximum per person cost limits in the Table 1, which are based on the allowances set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive.

[Table 1, now Table 2, essentially unchanged]

Section 2.1.1

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.

Footnotes in former Table 1 added to paragraph 2.1.1 to reinforce the message.

Sections 2.1.2 and 2.2.3

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–federal government persons in government events. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided as hospitality at events involving only federal government persons.

2.2.3 The provision of bottled water or water coolers to federal employees except in situations where they are provided as part of refreshments at events covered under this directive.

Section 2.1.2

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.

Sections 2.1.2 and 2.2.3 merged, with a strengthen message.

Section 2.1.4 – Hospitality at federal employee's residence

Removed from Directive

Included in Appendix 2, Section 2.2.1 (f).

Section 2.2.1 – Local transportation to and from event or activity

Section 2.1.4

Section number changed

Section 2.2.2 – Facility rental and associated costs

2.2.2 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 lunch).

Section 2.1.5

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.

Message strengthened

Section 2.3.1 – Provision of hospitality by federal employees

Section 2.1.6

Section number changed

Section 2.3.2 – Recipient of hospitality and reimbursement

Section 2.3.1

Section number changed

Section 2.3.3 – Approval of hospitality when participating

2.3.3 With the exception of a Minister or deputy head, 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. A deputy head may delegate in writing to senior departmental managers at the associate deputy head level and above the authority to approve hospitality even when the individual approving is in attendance.

Section 2.2.6

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.

Section simplified and CFO to approve when deputy head in attendance

Section 2.4.1 – Provision of hospitality by non–federal government persons

Section 2.1.7

Section number changed

Section 2.5.1 – Minister approval for event costing more than $25,0000

Appendix 4, Section 4.2.1

Section moved to Appendix 4 since "event" related

Section 2.5.2 – Ministerial approval required for certain hospitality components

2.5.2 When total departmental costs associated with an event are $25,000 or less, Ministerial approval is required for the following elements unless delegated under 2.5.2.1 or 2.5.2.2. In all circumstances, total departmental event costs will be provided to the Minister for information purposes.

  1. Total hospitality costs associated with the event exceed $5,000; or
  2. Alcoholic beverages will be provided; or
  3. Food and beverage costs exceed the maximum or standard cost per person (Table 1); 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; or
  7. Hospitality for honouring a distinguished Canadian.

Section 2.2.1

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. Entertainmentwill 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.

Wording clarified plus (g), for distinguished Canadian, removed since rare and handled on case–by–case basis.

Section 2.5.2.1 and 2.5.2.2 – Ministerial delegation

2.5.2.1 Ministers may choose to delegate to a deputy head, in writing, any element of the approval authorities in 2.5.2 a. to f. When a deputy head has increased delegation for any element of 2.5.2 a. to f., ministerial approval is still required for all events where total departmental costs exceed $25,000.

2.5.2.2 Increased hospitality approval authority limits under 2.5.2 a. may be delegated only when the deputy head has government–wide responsibility for a community of practice, including training delivery, or to meet operational requirements.

Combined into Section 2.2.2

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.

Wording simplified.

New section – Delegation and event approvals

Added Section 2.2.3

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.

Clarification that both hospitality and event approvals may be required.

Section 2.5.2.3 – To honour a distinguished Canadian

Removed from Directive

To be developed on a case–by–case basis.

Section 2.5.3 – Event requiring ministerial approval hosted by department

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

Appendix 4, Sections 4.1.4 and 4.2.2

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.

4.2.2 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.

Clarification of the responsibility of the lead department to gather event costs of other departments and provide to the Minister.

Section 2.5.4 – Agents of Parliament and ministerial approval

Section 2.2.7

Section number changed.

Section 2.5.5 – Deputy head approval authorities

2.5.5 Deputy head approval of an event is required when the event has the following characteristics:

  1. Total departmental costs associated with the event exceed $5,000 but are less than $25,000; or
  2. Total hospitality costs associated with the event exceed $1,500 but are less than $5,000; and
  3. None of the elements listed in 2.5.2 a. to g. are present for which delegated authority has not been provided.

Appendix 4, Section 4.2.3 and Appendix 2, Section 2.2.4

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. 

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.

Wording simplified and approval authorities split into hospitality and events appendices.

Section 2.5.6 – Senior departmental manager or delegate approval authorities

2.5.6 Senior departmental manager or delegate approval of an event is required when the event has the following characteristics:

  1. Total departmental costs associated with the event are $5,000 or less; and
  2. Total hospitality costs associated with the event are $1,500 or less, and
  3. None of the elements listed in 2.5.2 are present.

Appendix 4, Section 4.2.4 and Appendix 2, Section 2.2.5

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. 

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.

Wording simplified and approval authorities split into hospitality and events appendices.

Section 2.5.7 – Deputy head authority related to awards

2.5.7 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 Act.

Appendix 2, Section 2.2.8 and Appendix 4, Section 4.2.6

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.

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.

Wording simplified and reminder about possible event approvals.

New section – Hospitality – Internal controls and reports

Added Appendix 2, Section 2.3.2

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.

Requirement to have appropriate internal controls and reports

New Appendix 3 – Specific requirements for Conferences

Appendix 3 – Specific requirements for Conferences

N/A

New – Introduction

Added 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.

Introduction for context and clarity

New – 3.1.1 – Planning – Objective of attending a conference

Added Section 3.1.1

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.

Reinforces conference attendance to support delivering departmental core mandate.

New – 3.1.2 – Planning – Number of employees

Added Section 3.1.2

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

Reinforces the principle of minimum number of employees to attend conferences.

New – 3.1.3 – Planning – Virtual presence and government facilities

Added Section 3.1.3

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.

Introduces new principles for conference organizers.

New – Section 3.2.1 – Conference Authorization – senior departmental manager approval required

Added Section 3.2.1

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

Approval to attend conferences limited to the senior departmental manager level

New – Section 3.2.2 – Conference Authorization – Event approval

Added Section 3.2.2

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.

If the conference is an "event", event approvals are required.

New – Section 3.3.1 – Conference – Internal controls and reports

Added Section 3.3.1

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.

Requirement to have appropriate internal controls and reports

Appendix 4 – Specific requirements for events

Appendix 4 – Specific requirements for events

N/A

New – Introduction

Added 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.

Introduction for context and clarity

New Section 4.1.1 – Planning

Added Section 4.1.1

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.

Reinforcement of planning principles

New Section 4.1.2 – Planning – Core mandate

Added Section 4.1.2

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.

Elevates former guideline principle that events which are the direct delivery of a department's core mandate are exempt from "event" approval requirements.

New Section 4.1.3 – Planning – Training excluded from event approval

Added Section 4.1.3

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.

Elevates former guideline principle that job related training is exempt from "event" approval requirements.

New – Section 4.2.5 – Total Departmental Costs

Added Section 4.2.5

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.

Elevates former guideline principles for total departmental costs for events

New – Section 4.3.1 – Events – Internal controls and reports

Added Section 4.3.1

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

Requirement to have appropriate internal controls and reports

Appendix B – Definitions

New – Definitions added for blanket travel authority, deputy head, travel status and traveller and significant change to "event" definition.

Event ( évènement)
include business meetings, conferences as well as any other formal gathering of federal government or non–federal government persons invited to participate in activities such as interviews for recruitment into the public service, prestigious ceremonies, awards and recognition ceremonies. This may include participants from other levels of government or foreign governments, foreign or political dignitaries, national or international organizations, industry representatives and public interest groups. For the purpose of an event approval, total costs include items, such as conferences fees, professional services, hospitality, accommodation, transportation, meals and other relevant costs including those for participants on travel status.

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.
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.
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.
Event (évènement)
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.

New definitions added to provide further clarity, as appropriate.

For the most part, previous definitions remain unchanged or have minor changes.

Event definition significantly changed to focus on core departmental mandates.

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