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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:

Roles and responsibilities

Minister (or Chief of Staff) is responsible for:

The traveller is responsible for:

Administrative Assistant and Office Manager are responsible for:

Travel Allowances at a Glance
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

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:


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.

Hospitality allowances

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):

The hospitality report is required to include the following information (in both official languages):


  • 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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