Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences – 2012-2013

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 the Department of Justice for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. 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, the administration of 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 2013-2014 Main Estimates.

In line with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences (THC), each year the Department of Justice adopts a plan to manage THC expenditures with prudence and probity. Enhanced oversight and procedures are in 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 is approved by the Deputy Minister. This measure ensures the assessments of the annual plan respect relevance, value for money and efficient economical use of resources. Further controls are also in place in order to ensure periodic review of expenditures, such as the regular review of THC plans and expenditures through the financial situation reporting process.

In addition, effective April 1, 2011, the Department has implemented an internal policy on business-class air travel. 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.

Further cost reductions were achieved in 2012-2013 by incurring less travel, hospitality and conference spending through the increased use of tele/video conferencing, as part of the Economic Action Plan savings initiatives announced in Budget 2012.

Effective October 3, 2012, the Directive on the THC was amended with an objective to enhance ministerial awareness of significant costs related to events and to provide assurance the expenditures offer value for money in the most economical manner. The amendment resulted in the Department implementing tighter oversight around the expenditures in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

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, 2013
(a)
Expenditures for the previous year ending
March 31, 2012
(b)
Variance
(a - b)
Travel - Public Servants 6,948 8,285 (1,338)
Travel - Non-Public Servants 436 467 (30)
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff* - 21 (21)
Total Travel 7,384 8,773 (1,389)
Hospitality 114 174 (60)
Conference Fees 384 476 (92)
Total 7,883 9,424 (1,541)

* 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 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 is $1,541K. While the scale of variances differs between types of expenditures, the underlying factors relate directly to the enhanced oversight implemented by the Department. In addition, as part of the Strategic and Operating Review initiative, 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 expenditures from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013
(in thousands of dollars)

Graph 1: Travel expenditures from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013

Description

Graph 2: Hospitality expenditures from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013
(in thousands of dollars)

Graph 2: Hospitality expenditures from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013

Description

Graph 3: Conference expenditures from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013
(in thousands of dollars)

Graph 3: Conference expenditures from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013

Description

The spending on THC has reduced annually since 2010-2011 by a total of $3,196K or 29%. 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 spending.

Travel

In 2011-2012 travel expenditures for the Department amounted to $8,773K and in 2012-2013 this value decreased by $1,389K to $7,384K (16%). This decrease was possible, mainly due to strengthening of internal policies around travel (restriction of use of Business Class Travel 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, and requirement of approval by Deputy Minister of all international trips).

Public Servants:
Compared to fiscal year 2011-2012, departmental travel expenditures by public servants decreased by $1,338K due to internal departmental restrictions and an emphasis on travel for the Department's core mandate activities.
Non –Public Servants:
Compared to fiscal year 2011-2012, departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants decreased by $30K, largely due to reduced use of professional services reflecting the implementation of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan.
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff:
Compared to fiscal year 2011-2012, departmental international expenditures by the Minister and his staff decreased by $21K.

Hospitality

Compared to fiscal year 2011-2012, departmental hospitality expenditures decreased by $60K as the number of hospitality events decreased from 472 to 386 (a drop of 86). This reduction is mainly explained by the commitment made by the Department to reduce the Travel, Hospitality and Conferences expenses following commitments made in the Deficit Reduction Action Plan.

Conference fees

Compared to fiscal year 2011-2012, departmental conference fees expenditures have decreased by $92K. The number of conferences attended decreased by 196 in 2012-2013, from 636 to 468. This reduction is directly related to the implementation of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan. The Department continues its commitment to align its program delivery with its core mandate and has increased the use of tele/video-conferencing.

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