Language selection


1.0 Background

Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event activities are essential to the effective delivery of government services.

Travel can be required for a variety of reasons such as a staff member travelling to a Veteran’s home to complete an assessment. In 2013-14, 5,460 travel transactions valued at $3.8 million were processed for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) staff.

Hospitality consists of meals and/or refreshments provided during meetings or events that normally include non-public servants. In 2013-14, VAC provided hospitality to small or large groups on 123 occasions for a total cost of $52,533.

Conferences are formal gatherings such as conventions or symposiums, not linked to specific training or work planning, to discuss a particular topic and share information. In many cases, conferences are organized by a third party and involve staff from various public and private organizations. In 2013-14, VAC staff participated in 37 conferences that cost a total of $17,667.

Events typically represent or support the business activities and governance of a department and may include both employees and non-public servants. Events include business meetings or recognition ceremonies. One example of a recent event is the delegation of Veterans and public servants who participated in the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. These activities were previously included under the travel and hospitality categories listed above. As a result, costs specific to events were not available for 2013-14.

The Treasury Board (TB) Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditure came into effect in 2011. It was later updated October 2012 and August 1, 2013 with changes to reporting requirements coming into effect April 1, 2014. Some of the recent changes include:

  • revisions to the delegation of authority to approve travel expenditures;
  • creation of a separate category for events;
  • more detailed tracking of travel costs; and
  • strengthened reporting requirements.

Additionally, senior managers as well as the Minister and his staff are required to publicly disclose all of their travel and hospitality expenses. At VAC, as of June 1, 2014, there were 19 individuals subject to this requirement for public disclosure. In 2013-14, 70 transactions were reported for a total cost of $364K.

Date modified: