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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 travelers, support staff and the Chief of Staff or Minister.


The Travel Directive can be found on the National Joint Council (NJC) website and Annex G2 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 Meals* Transportation
1 – Travel within headquarters area n/a** 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
3 – Travel in Canada and Continental USA – overnight stay R R R R R n/a PD A PD
4 – International Travel – overnight stay R R R R R R PD A PD

n/a = not applicable
R = reimbursed based on receipts
PD = reimbursed based on per diem
A = See Appendix A of Travel Directive

*The cost of alcoholic beverages will be removed from expense claims when receipts are used for reimbursement.

** There are exceptional circumstances where accommodation can be paid, so incidentals would also be payable in this case

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:

Departmental Travel Expense Card

When travel has been booked directly with carriers or a travel agency (because of direct savings or the offer of better scheduling), claims for reimbursement can be made following each trip, or the authorised expense can be charged to the Departmental Travel Expense Card (DTEC).

The DTEC for this office is kept by the Office Manager.


Hospitality is defined as the provision of meals, beverages or refreshments in events that are necessary for the effective control of government business and for reason of courtesy, diplomacy or protocol.

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 Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures 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 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
Example of allowances based on october 1, 2019 rates
Food and beverages Standard cost per person Maximum cost
per person
Breakfast 1.5 x 20.35 = $30.53 1.5 x 30.53= $45.79
Refreshment 0.5 x 20.35 = $10.18 1.5 x 10.18= $15.26
Lunch 2.0 x 20.60 = $41.20 1.5 x 41.20= $61.80
Reception 2.0 x 20.35 = $40.70 1.5 x 40.70= $61.05
Dinner 1.75 x50.55 = $88.46 1.5 x 88.46= $132.69


As per the financial delegated authority, the Minister has delegated the pre-approval authority for the provision of alcohol to the Deputy Minister (DM). 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.

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