2014-15 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 Agriculture and Agri-Food 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.

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 or agency mandate and the government's priorities.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s vision is to drive innovation and ingenuity to build a world-leading agricultural and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians. The departmental mission is to provide leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs to help Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector compete in markets at home and abroad, manage risk and embrace innovation. The activities of the Department extend from the farmer to the consumer, from the farm to global markets, and through all phases of sustainably producing, processing and marketing of agriculture and agri-food products.

Also refer to the Departmental Performance Reports and the Reports on Plans and Priorities for more information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s priorities, plans and activities.

Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (in thousands of dollars)
Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015
(in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures for the previous year ending March 31, 2014
(in thousands of dollars)
Change
(in thousands of dollars)
[1] Totals may not add due to rounding.
Travel: Public Servants 6,864 8,036 (1,172)
Travel: Non-Public Servants 847 810 37
Total Travel [1] 7,711 8,846 (1,135)
Hospitality 204 303 (99)
Conference Fees 305 249 56
Total [1] 8,220 9,398 (1,178)
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff (also included in Non-Public Servant travel) 169 179 (10)

Significant variances compared with the previous fiscal year

Travel, hospitality and conference expenditures of $8.2 million in 2014-15, have decreased by $1.2 million compared to $9.4 million in 2013-14. This decrease is due to measures taken by the department to ensure value for money, as well as the nature of the department’s activities, which fluctuate from year to year.

Travel

To assist travellers and managers in implementing the Treasury Board directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures, a department-wide Event Plan has been implemented to better coordinate attendance at events, and a Checklist of Travel considerations form has been developed to assist officials in selecting the most economical option available. The Event Plan template facilitates the process to obtain the Deputy Minister and/or the Minister’s approval and captures all associated costs (for example, hospitality, travel, conference fees, professional services, room rentals, etc.) related to an event. In addition, all international travel outside Canada and the continental United States requires approval by the Deputy Minister or Chief Financial Officer.

  1. Public servants:
    Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, departmental travel expenditures by public servants decreased by $1.2 million (15%). This decrease was partially a result of ongoing efforts to minimize travel costs through deliberate measures, such as the increased use of video conferencing which reduced the need for traveling, and earlier booking of travel to take advantage of reduced fares. The remainder can be attributed to the nature of the department’s activities, which fluctuate from year to year.
  2. Non-public servants:
    Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants remained relatively stable.
  3. Minister and Minister's staff:
    Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, departmental international travel expenditures by the Minister and the Minister’s staff remained relatively stable. The Minister and his staff participated in a number of trade missions to advance the government’s overall priority of strengthening the economy, while also deepening key agricultural partnerships to position the sector to take full advantage of market access opportunities. Ministerial trade missions were carried out to support and enhance the competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector by:
    • Advocating on issues of importance to the Canadian sector with key decision makers including Canada’s position on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
    • Supporting the sector in developing markets abroad through participation in key international trade shows, such as the Food and Hospitality China exhibition in Shanghai (November 2014).
    • Deepening bilateral relations with key trading partners including the United States, China, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan.
    • Promoting the importance of open trade and strong cooperation on biotechnology during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting on Food Security in Beijing (September 2014).

Hospitality

Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, departmental hospitality expenditures have decreased by $0.1 million, primarily due to measures taken to reduce such costs.

Conference fees

Compared to fiscal year 2013-2014, departmental conference fees expenditures have increased by $0.06 million, primarily due to an increased effort to send science professionals to conferences in 2014-15.

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