Travel and hospitality
Travel expenses for Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Ministers' staff incurred while on Departmental business, are eligible for reimbursement in accordance with the Policy for Ministers’ Offices, and subsequently the National Joint Council Travel Directive. The following outlines the responsibilities of travellers, support staff and the Chief of Staff or Minister.
The Travel Directive can be found on the National Joint Council (NJC) website and Annex G3 of this binder.
The intent of this directive is that those travelling on Government business are reimbursed for reasonable and legitimate expenses they incur while on travel status.
Reimbursement of travel expenses is based on either established rates and allowances or actual receipts.
The Travel Directive outlines four common travel situations referred to as travel modules:
- Module 1 — Travel within headquarters area
- Module 2 — Travel outside headquarters area — no overnight stay
- Module 3 — Travel in Canada and Continental USA — overnight stay
- Module 4 — International Travel — overnight stay
Roles and responsibilities
Minister (or Chief of Staff) is responsible for:
- approval of exempt staff’s Travel Authority (TA)
- approval of Blanket Travel Authority
- approval of travel expense claim
- reviewing, monitoring and reporting on the travel-related transactions that involve charges to the Minister’s Office budget
The traveller is responsible for:
- pProviding dates, modes of travel, purpose of travel and estimates for the TA
- choosing the most cost effective and direct travel options in accordance with the NJC Travel Directive
- maintaining supporting documentation, including receipts and mileage logs for expense claim
- submitting supporting documentation, within 10 working days after the completion of the trip, so that travel expense claims can be completed
- review and approve travel expense claims for accuracy and additions/omissions
Administrative Assistant and Office Manager are responsible for:
- Administrative Assistant will complete TA and expense claim according to Travel Directive and information provided by traveller
- Administrative Assistant can make reservations based on travel directive
- Office Manager to enter into financial system once all signatures have been received within 2 business days of receiving the claim
- Office Manager to provide status of reimbursement
|Module||Accommodation||Additional Business Expenses||Bottled Water||Currency Exchange||Dependant Care||Home Communication (+3 days)||Incidental expense (always requires overnight stay)||Insurance||Meals1||Transportation|
|1 — Travel within headquarters area||n/a2||R||R||n/a||R||n/a||n/a||A||R||R|
|2 — Travel outside headquarters area — no overnight stay||n/a||R||R||n/a||R||n/a||n/a||A||PD R||R|
|3 — Travel in Canada and Continental USA — overnight stay||R||R||R||R||R||n/a||PD||A||PD R||R|
|4 — International Travel — overnight stay||R||R||R||R||R||R||PD||A||PD R||R|
- n/a = not applicable
- R = reimbursed based on receipts
- PD = reimbursed based on per diem
- A = See Appendix A of Travel Directive
Methods of payment
Individual Designated Travel Card
Exempt staff that are expected to travel frequently are advised to apply for an Individual Designated Travel Card (IDTC). The IDTC currently being used is provided by MasterCard. The Department can assist exempt staff in obtaining this card.
The IDTC offers several important advantages for government business travel, including:
- no annual fee
- significantly reduces the government work effort and costs required to manage and process travel expenses
- free coverage against liability for collision damage on rented cars (provided the rental is paid for using the IDTC)
- free additional insurance coverage (e.g., flight delay, baggage loss) and emergency travel assistance services (if required)
Hospitality is defined as the provision of beverages, snacks, meals and sometimes entertainment to guests of departments or agencies.
There may be instances when a Minister requires a Parliamentary Secretary or staff member to extend hospitality on behalf of the Minister or department. Such hospitality may be necessary because it will economically facilitate the business of the department or agency or because it is considered essential as a matter of courtesy or protocol. In these instances, such hospitality shall be extended in accordance with the Directive on the Management of Travel, Hospitality and Conferences and all the requirements for documentation shall be met. Claims for reimbursement should be approved by the Chief of Staff or Minister, as appropriate.
Separate claims should be submitted when a member of a Minister's staff claims reimbursement for his or her own hospitality expenses and for hospitality disbursements made on behalf of the Minister.
|Food and beverages||Standard cost per person||Maximum cost per person|
|Breakfast||1.5 × Breakfast allowance||1.5 × Standard cost per person|
|Refreshment||0.5 × Breakfast allowance||1.5 × Standard cost per person|
|Lunch||2.0 × Lunch allowance||1.5 × Standard cost per person|
|Reception||2.0 × Breakfast allowance||1.5 × Standard cost per person|
|Dinner||1.75 × Dinner allowance||1.5 × Standard cost per person|
As per the financial delegated authority, only the Minister can approve alcoholic beverages.
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.
Proactive disclosure of travel and hospitality
DFO is required to post all travel and hospitality expenses for Ministers, Ministers of State, Parliamentary Secretaries, and their exempt staff on the Departmental internet site.
Information is collected on a quarterly basis and must be posted on-line within thirty days of the end of the each reporting period as indicated below:
|Quarter||Reporting period||Date report will be posed to the internet site|
|1||March 2 to June 1||Last day of June|
|2||June 2 to September 1||Last day of September|
|3||September 2 to December 1||Last day of December|
|4||December 2 to March 1||Last day of March|
When the above dates for posting fall on a weekend or statutory holiday, information must be posted on-line by the last business day before the weekend or holiday in question.
The travel report is required to include the following information (in both official languages):
- name of traveller
- purpose of travel
- date(s) of travel
- other transportation
- meals and incidentals
- other expenses
- total expense
The hospitality report is required to include the following information (in both official languages):
- name of exempt staff
- type and purpose of hospitality
- date of hospitality
- attendees (# of government and # of other)
- name of establishment and Location
- total cost
- a hospitality event in which the Minister attends will be reported under the Minister’s name, not the claimant
- reported amounts must be in Canadian currency
- the disclosure must indicate whether or not the reported amounts include taxes
Travel and hospitality reports are distributed to the traveller and hospitality claimant to review, modify, approve and sign. All exempt staff members are required to sign one report per quarter (nil reports must also be signed).
The Office Manager will create the attestations using the previous quarter’s travel and hospitality expenses, which will then be provided to your office to ensure accuracy and for signature before external publication.
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