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 total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for Infrastructure Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. It also provides the variance explanations from the previous fiscal year in each of these areas.
Expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences incurred by federal departments and agencies are related to supporting departmental mandates and the government's priorities.
Infrastructure Canada leads the Government of Canada's efforts in addressing Canada's public infrastructure challenges. This is accomplished through three main activities: investing in provincial, territorial and municipal assets; engaging in key partnerships with the provinces, territories, municipalities, municipal associations, not-for-profit organizations and the private sector; and developing and implementing sound policies. Additionally, INFC is the project authority charged with delivering the New Bridge for the St. Lawrence Corridor (NBSLC) project in Montreal, Quebec. In order to ensure safe and efficient transportation for commuters and commercial vehicles, the Government of Canada is committed to building a new bridge for the St. Lawrence to replace the existing Champlain Bridge, which is nearing the end of its useful life. Infrastructure Canada is responsible for ensuring that the new bridge is in service by December 2018, with the rest of the corridor to be completed by November 2019.
Infrastructure Canada has one regional office located in Montreal, Quebec, for members of the Federal Montreal Bridges branch, the group responsible for the NBSLC project.In 2014-15, expenditures for travel, hospitality and conferences were largely incurred to negotiate agreements with proponents following the launch of the New Building Canada Fund (NBCF), as well as travel to the Montreal regional office in support of the NBSLC project.
|Expenditure Category||Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015
|Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014
(a − b)
|(in thousands of dollars)|
|Travel – Public Servants||443||143||300|
|Travel – Non-Public Servants||43||2||41|
|International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff||0||0||0|
Significant variances compared to the previous year
Total expenditures for travel, hospitality and conferences increased by $380,000 (235%) from fiscal year 2013-14 mostly due to the travel requirements of the Federal Montreal Bridges branch. While expenditures have increased, the expenditures are below the annual budget for travel, hospitality and conferences of $614,000 and the Department continues to make efforts to increase the use of teleconference and video conference in lieu of travel. Infrastructure Canada is committed to continuing its efforts to ensure the value for money in all of its operations through careful and thoughtful control of expenditures.
- Public Servants: Departmental travel expenditures by public servants increased by 210% in comparison to fiscal year 2013-14. This is largely due to travel to the Montreal regional office in support of the NBSLC project ($189K out of $443K) and for travel required to meet with stakeholders during the first year of NBCF implementation.
- Non-Public Servants: Departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants, representing a small portion of overall travel expenditures, have increased by 2050% in comparison to fiscal year 2013-14. The reason for such a large percentage increase is twofold. First, the travel expenses for ministerial staff became the responsibility of Infrastructure Canada starting in 2014-15 following a machinery change and the appointment of the new Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs responsible for Infrastructure Canada, thus assuming the corresponding travel expenditures which were previously paid by Transport Canada. Second, there was an increase in non-public servant travel to cover travel costs for stakeholders to attend the Asset Management round table, to address a Budget 2013 priority to ensure the sustainability of investments in public infrastructure.
Departmental hospitality expenditures increased from $11,000 to approximately $22,000. Most of these costs related to a Gas Tax Fund workshop for partners and stakeholders as well as an Infrastructure Canada all-staff meeting.
Departmental conference expenditures increased from $6,000 to $34,000. In 2014-15, Departmental officials attended a number of conferences to engage partners and stakeholders on the NBCF.
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