Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences (THC) – 2013-2014

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 conference fees for the Department of Justice for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. 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 conference fees incurred by federal departments and agencies are related to activities that support a departmental mandate 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 for 50 statutes and areas of federal law 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 federal government departments and agencies; represents the Crown in civil litigation and before administrative tribunals; drafts legislation; and responds to the legal needs of the federal departments and agencies.

Further information on the mandate, roles, responsibilities and programs of the Department of Justice can be found in the Department's 2014-2015 Main Estimates, available at: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/me-bpd/20142015/me-bpd-eng.pdf.

Total annual expenditures for THC for the Department Justice are summarized below:
(In thousands of dollars)
Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014
(a)
Expenditures for the previous year ending March 31, 2013
(b)
Variance
(a - b)
Travel - Public Servants 5,085 6,948 (1,863)
Travel - Non-Public Servants 283 436 (153)
Total Travel 5,368 7,384 (2,016)
Hospitality 106 114 (8)
Conference Fees 172 384 (213)
TOTAL 5,646 7,883 (2,237)
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff (also included in Non-Public Servant travel)* 9 - 9

* Includes international travel charged to Justice's budget.

Significant variances compared to the previous fiscal year

The spending on THC has decreased annually since 2011-2012 by a total of $3,778K or 40%, from $9,424K to $5,646K.  The Department of Justice has been pro-active in the management of THC expenditures in a way that it aligns with operational requirements and will continue to monitor the rate of spending as part of its regular internal reporting process.  Where deemed appropriate, it will continue to introduce internal policy instruments and structures aimed at managing spending.

The overall reduction in THC spending from 2012-2013 to 2013-2014 is $2,237K. While the scale of variances differs between types of expenditures, the underlying factors relate to:

  • the Deficit Reduction Action Plan as part of the Economic Action Plan savings initiatives announced in Budget 2012;
  • the Economic Action Plan 2013 further promoting the government's commitment to control direct program spending by expanding the use of telepresence technologies to help facilitate a reduction in travel expenditures; and to
  • the enhanced oversight implemented by the Department. The Department utilized more alternatives, such as teleconferencing, whenever this was available and deemed appropriate to meet intended business objectives.

Travel

In 2012-2013 travel expenditures for the Department amounted to $7,384K and in 2013-2014 this value decreased by $2,016K (27%) to $5,368K.

Public Servants:
Compared to fiscal year 2012-2013, departmental travel expenditures by public servants decreased by $1,863K due to internal departmental restrictions and an emphasis on travel for the Department's core mandate activities.
Non-Public Servants:
Compared to fiscal year 2012-2013, departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants decreased by $153K, largely due to reduced use of professional services and enhanced effort to use available technologies such as teleconferencing.
International Travel by the Minister and the Minister's Staff:
The Minister and his staff did not travel internationally during the year 2012-2013. In the year 2013-2014, the expenses totalled $9K and were incurred as a result of the Minister (former Minister Hon. Rob Nicholson) and his staff attending the Quintet meeting of Attorneys-General held in Auckland, New Zealand in May of 2013. 

Hospitality

Compared to fiscal year 2012-2013, departmental hospitality expenditures decreased by $8K. This reduction is mainly explained by the commitment made by the Department to reduce the Travel, Hospitality and Conferences expenses through: the Deficit Reduction Action Plan; the Economic Action Plan 2013 further promoting the government's commitment to control direct program spending; and the enhanced oversight implemented by the Department.

Conference Fees

Compared to fiscal year 2012-2013, departmental conference fees expenditures have decreased by $213K. This reduction is directly related to the commitment made by the Department to reduce the Travel, Hospitality and Conferences expenses through: the Deficit Reduction Action Plan; the Economic Action Plan 2013 further promoting the government's commitment to control direct program spending; and the enhanced oversight implemented by the Department.

The Department continues its commitment to align its THC spending with its operational requirements and the use of teleconferencing.

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