Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences
As required by the Treasury Board Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures, this report provides information on the annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conference fees for the department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. It also provides the variance explanations from the previous fiscal year in each of these areas.
Expenditures on travel, hospitality and conference fees incurred by federal departments and agencies are related to activities that support a departmental or agency mandate and the government's priorities.
The vision of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage. It seeks to achieve this vision by working to improve the competitiveness of the natural resource sectors and to grow their contribution to Canada’s economy, by supporting the sustainable development of Canada’s resources in a manner that advances the country’s global standing as a leader on the environment, and by using its knowledge and expertise of Canada’s landmass to support the safety and security of citizens.
In support and development of its programs, NRCan incurs travel, hospitality and conference expenses. In 2013-14, NRCan spent approximately $11.8 million on travel, hospitality and conference fees.
The largest contributor to expenditures in travel (17%) were in support of the program activity ‘Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources’, which supports government departments, communities and the private sector to manage risks to human, natural resource and infrastructure health. This is done by providing regulation and knowledge, fulfilling legislated responsibilities, and ensuring capacity.
The largest contributor to expenditures in hospitality (24%) were in support of the program activity ‘Market Access Diversification’, which supports the breakdown of the two barriers: 1) trade and policy barriers and 2) lack of awareness of Canada’s natural resource products by making information available to Canadians, supporting negotiations to reduce trade barriers, and ensuring that regulations are up to date. This helps maintain natural resource sectors’ access to existing markets and increases their access to new market segments.
The largest contributor to expenditures in conference fees (37%) were in support of the program activity ‘Technology Innovation’, which supports academia, industry and the public sector to research, develop and demonstrate innovative solutions to environmental challenges encountered in the natural resource sector.
For more information on NRCans Plans and Priorities, see the 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities.
Total annual expenditures for travel, hospitality and conferences of NRCan are summarized below:
Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of Natural Resources Canada (in thousands of dollars)
|Expenditures for the Year Ending March 31, 2014
|Expenditures for the Previous Year Ending March 31, 2013
|Travel: Public Servants||$10,227||$12,278||$–2,051|
|Travel: Non-Public Servants||$1,088||$1,298||$–210|
|International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff (also included in Non-Public Servant travel)||$144||$75||$69|
Significant Variances Compared With the Previous Fiscal Year
Public servants: Compared with fiscal year 2012-2013, 2013-2014 departmental travel expenditures by public servants decreased by $2.051M mainly due to:
- Reduced program funding and maintained effort by management to prioritize and scrutinize travel requests to ensure value for money resulted in reducing the numbers of participants and exploring alternative ways of meeting with stakeholders and colleagues such as the use of tele/video conferencing. In addition, the Geo-mapping for Energy and Mineral (GEM) and the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) programs transitioned from the data collection phase to the analysis and reporting phase of the project resulting in a large decrease in field work travel.
Non-public servants: Compared with fiscal year 2012-2013, 2013-2014 departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants decreased by $210K mainly due to:
- Continuous decrease in travel based on management’s efforts to better prioritize and scrutinize travel. In addition, in 2012-2013, as mentioned above, the GEM program transitioned from the data collection phase to the analysis and reporting phase of the project.
- Travel expenditures for non-public servants are paid by NRCan when programs are delivered in collaboration with various stakeholders and university partners. NRCan supports stakeholders in their field activities and for presentation of scientific and/or technical results at various key domestic and international meetings and workshops.
Hospitality & Conferences: Compared with fiscal year 2012-2013, 2013-2014 departmental hospitality and conferences expenditures resulted in a net decrease by $83K mainly due to:
- NRCan continuing to absorb the impacts associated with the Budget 2012 Saving Measures where continued emphasis was on reducing discretionary spending and ensuring value for money. Both hospitality and conference fees costs have further decreased from prior years.
Minister and Minister's staff: Compared with fiscal year 2012-2013, 2013-2014 departmental international travel expenditures by the minister and his staff increased by $69K mainly due to:
- The Minister and his staff attending more meetings with external stakeholders internationally (USA included).
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