Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences – 2011-2012

As required by the Treasury Board Directive for 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 Justice 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 federal departments and agencies are related to supporting departmental mandate(s) and the Government’s priorities.

The Department of Justice has the mandate to support the dual roles of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.

Under Canada’s federal system, justice is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal government and the provinces and territories. The Department supports the Minister of Justice in his responsibilities by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework principally within the following domains: criminal justice (including youth criminal justice), family justice, access to justice, Aboriginal justice, public law and private international law.

The Department also supports the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the Crown, both in terms of the ongoing operations of government and of the development of new policies, programs and services for Canadians. The Department provides legal advice to the Government and its departments and agencies, represents the Crown in civil litigation and before tribunals and drafts legislation.

Further information on the mandate, roles, responsibilities and programs of the Department of Justice can be found in the Department’s 2012-2013 Main Estimates, available on the following Web site: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20122013/me-bpd/me-bpd-eng.pdf.

In line with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences (THC), the Department of Justice adopted a plan to manage THC expenditures with prudence and probity. Enhanced controls and procedures were put into place to ensure that THC-related expenses were reasonable, appropriate and supported departmental objectives and priorities.

More specifically, the Department’s total annual plan for THC was approved by the Deputy Minister. This measure ensured that the assessments of the annual plan respected relevance, value for money and efficient economical use of resources. Further controls were also put into place in order to ensure periodic review of expenditures, such as the monthly review of THC plans and expenditures through an internal reporting process.

In addition, the Department has also implemented a new internal policy on business-class air travel on April 1, 2011. Business-class air travel is subject to the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive for all employees. Also through this Directive, managers are encouraged to reduce the number of business-class flights by having travellers arrange an overnight stop, if deemed cost effective.

Total annual expenditures for THC for the Department of Justice are summarized below:
(In thousands of dollars)
Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012
(a)
Expenditures for the previous year ending March 31, 2011
(b)
Variance
(a - b)
Travel - Public Servants 8,285 9,278 (993)
Travel - Non-Public Servants 467 917 (450)
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff* 21 - 21
Total Travel 8,773 10,195 (1,422)
Hospitality 174 283 (108)
Conference Fees 476 601 (125)
Total 9,424 11,079 (1,655)

* Includes international travel that is part of the department’s program.

Significant variances compared to the previous fiscal year

The overall reduction in THC spending from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012 is $1.655M. While the scale of variances differs between types of expenditures, the underlying factors relate directly to the new management measures implemented by the Department. In addition, the Department utilized more economical alternatives, such as tele/video-conferencing, whenever this was available and deemed sufficient to meet intended objectives.

Graph 1: Travel, Conference and Hospitality expenditures from 2009-2010 to 2011-2012
(in thousands of dollars)

Graph 1: Travel, Conference and Hospitality expenditures from 2009-2010 to 2011-2012

Description

Travel:

In 2010-2011 travel expenditures for the Department amounted to $10.195K and in 2011-2012 this value decreased by $1,422K to $8,773K (14%). A major reason for this decrease is due to strengthening of internal policies regarding Business Class Airfare and International Travel. The use of Business Class Travel has been restricted to only those flights where travel time exceeds nine hours or where the Deputy Minister approved an accommodation for medical reasons or for other special circumstances. Also, all international trips are now approved by the Deputy Minister. Implementation of these controls resulted in the decrease of travel expenditures.

  1. Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental travel expenditures by public servants decreased by $993K.
  2. Non –Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants decreased by $450K.
  3. International Travel by Minister and Minister’s Staff: Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental international expenditures by the Minister and his staff increased by $21K.

In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Minister and his staff did not travel internationally, while in 2011-2012 the minister and his staff travelled once internationally to attend the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting and the Quintet Meeting in Sydney, Australia.

Hospitality:

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental hospitality expenditures decreased by $108K as the number of hospitality events decreased by more than 52% (from 978 to 472 events). This reduction is mainly explained by the enhanced THC approval process mentioned above.

Conference fees:

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental conference fees expenditures have decreased by $125K. The number of approved conference attendees decreased by 196 in 2011-2012. This reduction is directly related to the conference approval process guided by the Deputy Minister.

In conclusion the spending on THC has reduced annually since 2009-2010 by a total of $2.444M or 21%. The Department of Justice has been pro-active in the management of THC expenditures and will continue to monitor the rate of spending as part of its regular internal reporting process and, where deemed appropriate, will continue to introduce internal policy instruments and management structures aimed at reducing the spending.

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