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Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences

As required by the Treasury Board Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, this report provides information on the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. It also provides the variance explanations from the previous fiscal year in each of these areas.

This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences incurred by NRCan support the Department’s mandate and the government’s priorities.

NRCan’s vision is to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage. It seeks to fulfill this vision by working to ensure that: Canada’s natural resource sectors are globally competitive; that natural resource sectors and consumers are environmentally responsible; and that Canadians have the information to manage their lands and natural resources, and are protected from related risks.

The Department is an established leader in science and technology in the fields of energy, forests, and minerals and metals and uses its expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of Canada’s landmass. It develops policies, programs, and regulations that help create a sustainable resource advantage, supporting strong, competitive natural resource sectors that are environmentally and socially responsible. NRCan uses partnerships and international collaboration to help drive progress on natural resources issues that are important to Canadians. More broadly, the Department plays a critical role in Canada’s future, contributing to high-paying jobs, business investment and overall economic growth.

In support and development of its programs, NRCan incurs travel, hospitality and conferences expenses. In 2011-12, NRCan spent approximately $17 million mainly in support of two program activities.

A large portion of these expenses (33% of travel; 27% of hospitality and 34% of conferences expenses) were in support of the program activity ‘Economic Opportunities for natural resources’, which supports the competitiveness of Canada's natural resources at home and abroad by reducing trade and policy barriers, promoting Canadian products abroad, increasing productivity and encouraging investment in our natural resources.

Another significant portion of expenses (19% of travel; 37% of hospitality and 30% of conferences expenses) supported the program activity ‘Clean Energy’, which develops and delivers energy science and technology, policies, programs, legislation and regulations to mitigate air emissions and reduce other environmental impacts associated with energy production and use.

For more information on NRCans Plans and Priorities, refer to the 2011-12 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of Natural Resources Canada are summarized below:

The table below identifies the expenditures in travel, hospitality and conferences for fiscal year 2012 and 2011 and also identifies the variance between both fiscal years.

Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 (a) Expenditures for the previous year ending March 31, 2011 (b) Variance
(a - b)
(in thousands of dollars)
Travel – Public Servants 14,569 16,938 (2,369)
Travel – Non-Public Servants 1,731 1,612 119
International Travel by Minister and Minister’s Staff * 104 0 104
Total Travel 16,404 18,550 (2,146)
Hospitality 253 369 (116)
Conference Fees 376 778 (402)
TOTAL 17,033 19,697 (2,664)

(*) Includes international travel that is part of a department’s program.

Significant variances compared to the previous fiscal year.


  1. Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, 2011-2012 departmental travel expenditures by public servants decreased by $2.369 million mainly due to:
    • NRCan reducing travel expenditures as a result of Budget 2010 cost containment measures. An effort by management to prioritize travel when necessary and using tele/video conferencing when appropriate has resulted in a decrease of expenditures. As well, 2010-11 was the last year for the "Budget 2009 Economic Action Plan", in which NRCan moved laboratory facilities from Ottawa to Hamilton. In addition, a joint project between CANMETMining and the Canadian International Development Agency which involved international travel concluded in 2010-11 and resulted in a decrease in international travel by public servants.
  2. Non-Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, 2011-2012 departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants increased by $119 thousand mainly due to:
    • NRCan incurring travel costs in collaboration with the National Research Council in 2011-2012. NRCan agreed to cover domestic travel expenditures required for the experts acting in a voluntary capacity for technical meetings for two separate projects: “Update of Model Energy Efficiency Requirements for Houses and Small Businesses” (EEHSB) and “National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings” (NECB), as NRCan has a strategic interest in both projects.
  3. International Travel by Minister and Minister’s Staff: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, 2011-2012 departmental travel expenditures by the minister and his staff increased by $104 thousand due to:
    • a change in the Treasury Board Policies for Ministers’ Offices. As a result of the policy change, International travel costs incurred for departmental operations or program purposes have been charged to program expenditures starting in 2011-2012, instead of being charged to the Minister’s Office budget and reported under Travel – non public servants.

HOSPITALITY & CONFERENCE FEES: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, 2011-2012 departmental hospitality & conference fees expenditures decreased by $518 thousand mainly due to:

  • NRCan reducing hospitality and conference fees expenditures as a result of Budget 2010 cost containment measures. Added emphasis was applied to ensuring value for money with respect to the number of attendees at conferences and associated hospitality costs.
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