CIHR Travel Policy

Policy Number 2011-07
Date of Issue July 2011
Suppression March 2007
Issuing Authority Chief Financial Officer
Enquiries Internal Controls Division

Table of Contents


Introduction

Parliament and Canadians expect the federal government to be well managed by ensuring the prudent stewardship of public funds and the effective, efficient and economical use of public resources. In doing so, they also expect the government to act at all times with the highest standards of integrity, fiscal prudence, accountability, transparency, values and ethics. These fundamental management principles apply to all government expenditures, including travel.

General

Collective agreement

This policy is deemed to be part of the most recent Collective Agreement Between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Service Alliance of Canada for the Administrative Support Category, and employees are to be afforded ready access to this policy.

Grievance procedure

In cases of alleged misrepresentation or misapplication arising out of the policy, the grievance procedure, for all represented employees within the meaning of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, will be in accordance with Article 18 of the Collective Agreement Between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Service Alliance of Canada for the Administrative Support Category. For unrepresented employees, the CIHR grievance procedure as indicated in the CIHR Recourse and Conflict Resolution Policy applies.

Policy Objectives and Scope

This policy ensures that all travel arrangements are consistent with the provisions of the National Joint Council’s (NJC) Travel Directive. The purpose of this policy is to ensure fair treatment of employees travelling on government business consistent with the principles above. The provisions contained in this policy are mandatory and provide for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses necessarily incurred while travelling on government business and to ensure employees are not out-of-pocket. These provisions do not constitute income or other compensation that would open the way for personal gain.

Authorities and References

Relevant Legislation

Other Relevant Documents

Application

Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV apply to CIHR employees, exempt staff and other persons travelling on government business, including training.

Part V applies to those persons whose travel is governed by other authorities as per Treasury Board Special Travel Authorities including the President, Governing Council, Executive Group, Persons on contract, and Students.

Note that travel expenses incurred by CIHR Institute staff are governed by their host institution's policies.

Definitions

Accommodation

Commercial accommodation - lodging facilities such as hotels, motels, corporate residences or apartments.

Government and institutional accommodation - federal government training centers, universities, colleges, Canadian or foreign military establishments, DVA hospitals, trailers, tents and other facilities owned, controlled, authorized or arranged by the Crown, including other educational institutions that provide sleeping accommodation.

Private non-commercial accommodation - private dwelling or non-commercial facilities where the traveller does not normally reside.

Blanket travel authority - authorization for travel which is continuous or repetitive in nature, with no variation in the specific terms and conditions of trips and where it is not practical or administratively efficient to obtain prior approval from the employer for each individual trip. Any exceptions to the blanket travel authority (BTA) parameters shall require that the individual trip be specifically approved, prior to travel status, where possible. BTA does not apply to groups of employees. Employees may not have more than one BTA simultaneously.

Comprehensive allowance - a daily allowance that may include some or all of meal costs, incidental expenses, transportation costs and accommodation expenses.

Declaration - a written statement signed by the traveller attesting to and listing the expenses for payment without receipt.

Dependant - a person who resides full-time with the employee at the employee's residence and is

  1. the spouse of that employee, or
  2. the biological child, stepchild, adopted child including a child adopted by aboriginal people under the Custom Adoption Practice, or legal ward of that employee or of the employee's spouse who is both dependent on the employee for support and
    1. under 18 years of age, or
    2. dependent on the employee by reason of mental or physical disability, or
    3. in full-time attendance at a school or other education institution that provides training or instruction of an educational, professional, vocational or technical nature; or
  3. the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew or grandchild of that employee or of the employee's spouse who is both dependent on the employee for support and
    • under 18 years of age, or
    • dependent on the employee by reason of mental or physical disability, or
    • is in full-time attendance at a school or other education institution that provides training or instruction of an educational, professional, vocational or technical nature.

Economy class - the standard class of air travel, including special discount fares. It excludes first class and business class or equivalents.

Employee - a person employed in the public service.

Employer - Her Majesty in Right of Canada as represented by the Treasury Board, and includes persons authorized to exercise the authority of the Treasury Board.

Government business travel - all travel authorized by the employer, and is used in reference to the circumstances under which the expenses prescribed in this directive may be paid or reimbursed from public funds.

Headquarters area - spans an area of 16 kms from the assigned workplace using the most direct, safe and practical road.

Incidental expense allowance

Canada and Continental USA - an allowance to cover the costs of items that can be attributed to a period in travel, but for which no other reimbursement or allowance is provided under this directive and to help off-set some of the expenses incurred as a result of having to travel. It includes but is not limited to such items as gratuities, laundry, dry cleaning, bottled water, phone calls home, grass cutting, snow removal, home security check, plant watering, mail services, pet care, telecommunications hook-ups and service, shipping of some personal effects.

International - an allowance to cover the costs of items that can be attributed to a period in travel, but for which no other reimbursement or allowance is provided under this directive and to help off-set some of the expenses incurred as a result of having to travel. It includes but is not limited to such items as gratuities, laundry, dry cleaning, grass cutting, snow removal, home security check, plant watering, mail services, pet care, telecommunications hook-ups and service, shipping of some personal effects.

International incidental allowances are based on a formula which accounts for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner allowances based on the applicable country/location.

In situations where there are no meal allowances from which to compute the incidental allowance for a particular country/location, the traveler will be reimbursed the equivalent of the applicable incidental allowance published in Appendix C, in Canadian dollars.

Public service - for the purposes of this directive, "public service" shall include the same parties and persons outlined in Article 1 of the National Joint Council By-Laws.

Receipt - an original document or carbon copy showing the date and amount of expenditure paid by the traveller. Where expenses are incurred in a currency other than Canadian dollars, receipts shall indicate the currency type and must be annotated by the traveller to do so.

Spouse or common-law partner - in accordance with the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act, the parties hereunder agree that:

(a) in the collective agreements reached between the parties, current references to the term "spouse" are replaced by the expression "spouse or common-law partner." The term "common-law partner" refers to a person living in a conjugal relationship with an employee for a continuous period of at least one year. The term "spouse" refers to the person married to the employee.

(b) for the purposes of the Foreign Service Directives, current references to the term "spouse" are replaced by the expression "spouse or common-law partner." The term "common-law partner" refers to a person living in a conjugal relationship with an employee for a continuous period of at least one year. This "spouse or common-law partner" must qualify as a dependant under the Foreign Service Directives. The term "spouse" refers to the person married to the employee.

Travel status - an absence from the traveller's headquarters area on government business travel.

Traveller - a person who is authorized to travel on federal government business.

Workplace

Permanent/Regular - the single permanent location determined by the employer at or from which an employee ordinarily performs the work of his or her position or reports to.

Temporary - the single location where an employee is temporarily assigned to perform the work of his or her position or reports to within the headquarters area.

Principles

The following principles are the cornerstone of managing government business travel and shall guide all employees and managers in achieving fair, reasonable and modern travel practices across CIHR.

Trust Increase the amount of discretion and latitude for employees and managers to act in a fair and reasonable manner.
Flexibility Create an environment where management decisions respect the duty to accommodate, best respond to employees' needs and interests, and consider operational requirements in the determination of travel arrangements.
Respect Create a sensitive, supportive travel environment and processes which respect employees' needs.
Valuing People Recognize employees in a professional manner while supporting employees, their families, their health and safety in the travel context.
Transparency Ensure consistent, fair and equitable application of the policy and its practices.
Modern Travel Practices Introduce travel management practices that support the principles and are in keeping with travel industry trends and realities; develop and implement an appropriate travel accountability framework and structure.
Economic Cost

Travel costs should be avoided whenever there is a reasonable and more economical alternative available and deemed sufficient. Here are some examples:

  • use of alternatives (use of government facilities, tele/videoconferencing);
  • book transportation well in advance to obtain optimal discounted rates; and
  • restrict the number of people sent to the same event or activity.

Part I - Administration

1. Authorization

1.1 The employer has the responsibility to authorize and determine when government travel is necessary, and to ensure that all travel arrangements are consistent with the provisions of this Policy. Following consultation between the employer and the employee, the determination of travel arrangements shall best accommodate the employee's needs and interests and the employer's operational requirements.

1.2 Business travel shall be authorized in advance in writing to ensure all travel arrangements are in compliance with the provisions of this Policy. In special circumstances, travel shall be post authorized by the employer.

1.3 Expenses resulting from misinterpretations or mistakes are not a basis for reimbursement or non-reimbursement. However, such situations shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

1.4 Consideration to all related costs when more than one employee attends a meeting or an event and the reasonableness of travel arrangements should be given prior to making the travel arrangements.

2. Travel Agency

2.1 It is mandatory to use the Government Travel Service (Travel AcXess Voyage) when making travel arrangements for CIHR employees. Further information on the use of Travel AcXess Voyage on-line booking services may be found on the CIHR Intranet.

2.2 Non-CIHR employees may use other travel agencies instead of the Government Travel Service (Travel AcXess Voyage) for their travel arrangements.

3. Loyalty programs

Provided there are no additional costs to CIHR, employees travelling on government business can join loyalty programs and retain benefits offered by the travel industry for business or personal use. Such privilege is conditional upon the use of government approved services and products.

4. Overpayments

Overpayments, namely amounts reimbursed or paid to travellers, which are not in accordance with the terms of this directive, shall be recovered from the traveller as a debt owing to the Crown.

5. Receipts

Where the traveller certifies that the receipt was lost, accidentally destroyed or unobtainable, a personal declaration may replace the receipt.

6. Responsibilities

6.1 The employer shall:

  1. establish the proper delegation framework to comply with this Policy;
  2. ensure that this Policy is available at the employee's normal workplace during the employee's working hours;
  3. in consultation with the employee
    1. determine whether travel is necessary;
    2. ensure that travel arrangements are consistent with the provisions of this directive; and
    3. ensure that accommodation of needs is provided to the point of undue hardship.
  4. authorize travel;
  5. verify and approve travel expense claims before reimbursement; and
  6. ensure that all travel arrangements comply with relevant federal government legislation and employer policies, such as Employment Equity, Official Languages.

6.2 The traveller shall:

  1. become familiar with the provisions of this policy;
  2. consult and obtain pre-authorization to travel in accordance with the policy;
  3. inform the employer or its suppliers of his/her needs that may require accommodation;
  4. complete and submit travel expense claims with necessary supporting documentation as soon as possible after the completion of the travel;
  5. be responsible for cancelling reservations as required and providing justification to substantiate the cost associated with the cancellation;
  6. be responsible for safeguarding travel advances and funds provided, and making outstanding remittances promptly; and
  7. when responsible for a change in the travel arrangements/schedule, document and obtain approval for the additional cost related to the change.

6.3 When the employer and the employee are unable to resolve barriers affecting persons with disabilities that may flow from the application of this Policy, the employer and the employee shall consult with the appropriate CIHR and/or Union Employment Equity professional.

7. Suppliers, services and products

Employees on government business travel shall utilize government-approved suppliers, services and products selected in support of government business travel when these are available. Where access to these suppliers, services and products require the use of an individual designated travel card, the provision and use of the individual designated travel card requires the employee's agreement.

Preference shall be given to Canadian suppliers, services and products.

In consultation with the employee, the employer shall utilize the designated Responsibility Centre Travel Card known as the “Departmental Travel Card" to the extent possible to prepay travel arrangements.

When circumstances do not permit provision of prepaid arrangements, the traveller shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable costs, based upon receipts provided.

8. Travel advances

8.1 CIHR promotes the use of the government individual designated travel card (AMEX card). It provides advantages for the organization and it is cost effective.

8.2 When an employee chooses not to obtain and use a government individual designated travel card, provision of an advance shall be discussed between the employee and the employer. In such cases, travel advances shall not be unreasonably denied.

9. Travel forms

Government approved travel forms shall be used in seeking business travel authority and submitting travel claims with the supporting documentation where necessary.

Part II - Insurance

10. Insurance plans and compensation

10.1 In the event that an employee becomes ill, is injured or dies while travelling on government business, the employee or, where applicable, the employee's dependants may be provided with protection, subject to the terms and conditions of the following:

  1. the collective agreement or CIHR Terms and Conditions of Employment, i.e., injury-on-duty leave and severance pay,
  2. the Government Employees Compensation Act,
  3. the Flying Accident Compensation Regulations,
  4. the Public Service Superannuation Act,
  5. the Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan,
  6. the Public Service Management Insurance Plan,
  7. the Disability Insurance Plan,
  8. the Public Service Health Care Plan (for medical and hospital expenses not paid under the Government Employees Compensation Act),
  9. the Crown Indemnification Policy in the event of a civil action against an employee taken by a third party, and/or
  10. insurance as a result of contracting with government approved suppliers, services and products.

10.2 Details concerning Public Service benefit programs are found at the following site: TB Travel Directive Appendix A - Guide to Insurance Coverage for Employees on Government Business Travel

10.3 Employees are advised to confirm with their insurance agent that they are adequately insured if they use non-commercial flights.

10.4 Additional insurance purchased by the traveller shall not be reimbursed except for the cost of insurance to cover repairs to, or replacement of, damaged or lost luggage while travelling, unless such insurance is provided.

11. Vehicle insurance

11.1 Collision damage waiver coverage for the entire period that a vehicle is rented is required. This coverage is included when travellers use a government approved individual designated travel card. Travellers shall be reimbursed in circumstances where an individual designated travel card is not used.

11.2 Travellers shall not be reimbursed for personal accident insurance coverage premiums.

11.3 CIHR assumes no financial responsibility for privately owned vehicles other than paying the kilometric rate and the supplementary business insurance premium, where required. The employer is not responsible for reimbursing deductible amounts related to insurance coverage.

11.4 Privately owned vehicles or other types of transportation used on government business shall have at least the minimum provincial/territorial state/country insurance coverage of public liability and property damage.

11.5 Additional premium costs for public liability and property damage, collision and comprehensive coverage shall be reimbursed for the applicable period, when supplementary business insurance for a vehicle is required.

11.6 Travellers who intend to carry passengers are advised to confirm with their insurance agent that they are adequately insured.

Part III - Travel Modules

12. Module 1 - Travel within Headquarters Area - No overnight stay

The provisions outlined in this Module apply when an employee is away from the workplace on government business travel within the Headquarters Area without an overnight stay.

12.1 Accommodation:

Overnight accommodation within an employee's headquarters area shall not normally be authorized. Employees in the following exceptional cases shall be in travel status and reimbursed for overnight accommodation and according to the provisions of Module 3:

12.2 Additional business expenses:

Where required, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements to obtain entry documents as determined by the department/agency, and/or an appropriate passport and photos, and/or visa as determined by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defense shall be used for medical services. Any related expenses incurred by an employee shall be reimbursed.

The employee shall be reimbursed business expenses not otherwise covered such as photocopies, word processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for service charges/fees for actual and reasonable expenses and for financial transactions, such as but not limited to:

Reimbursement claims shall be supported by receipts and indicate the expense currency.

The employee shall also be reimbursed for the cost of a safety deposit box when supported by receipts.

12.3 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts.

12.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred to convert reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconvert any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

12.5 Dependant care

An employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant-care expenses up to a daily maximum of $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration, or up to a daily maximum of $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt when:

(a) the employee is the sole caregiver of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability, or

(b) two federal employees living in the same household are the sole caregivers of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability and both employees are required to travel on government business at the same time.

Dependant-care allowance shall apply only for expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling and are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

12.6 Incidental expense allowance

A traveller who is required to travel on government business overnight shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses not otherwise provided for in this directive for each day or part day in travel status as per Appendix C or D as applicable.

12.7 Insurance

See Part II and Appendix A.

12.8 Meals

Unless otherwise covered by terms and conditions of employment or collective agreements, meal expenses incurred within the Headquarters Area shall not normally be reimbursed.

Meal expenses, based on receipts and back-up justification, may be reimbursed up to the limit of the applicable meal allowance in Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the TB Travel Directive in the following situations:

  1. when employees are required to work through normal meal hours and are clearly placed in situations of having to spend more for the meal than would otherwise be the case;
  2. when employees are required to attend conferences, seminars, meetings or public hearings during the weekend or holidays;
  3. when employees are required to attend formal full-day conferences, seminars, meetings or hearings and where meals are an integral part of the proceedings;
  4. when employer representatives are involved in collective bargaining proceedings;
  5. when intensive task force or committee studies are enhanced by keeping participants together over a normal meal period; or
  6. when the reimbursement of meal expenses is clearly reasonable and justifiable as a direct result of an employee's duties.

12.9 Transportation

The most economical option available is chosen when selecting the mode of transportation, taking into account cost, duration, safety, and practicality respecting the principles of the National Joint Council Travel Directive. In addition to provisions outlined in this section under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed based on receipts, indicating the expense currency. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice. Such expenses include:

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed actual additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

(a) Commercial

Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the employee shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses shall be reimbursed, based on receipts. Taxi chits may not be used.

(b) Other modes of transportation

Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government business when this mode of transportation is safe, economical and practical.

Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances traveled.

(c) Vehicles

The standard for rental vehicles is mid size. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as but not limited to safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported.

The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government business are prescribed in the TB Travel Directive, Appendix B - Kilometric Rates. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government business travel.

When an employee has been authorized to use and uses a private vehicle within the headquarters area on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate in accordance with TB Travel Directive, Appendix B.

Parking charges are normally not payable when the employee is on duty at the workplace. In respect of every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time.

When an employee has been authorized to use and uses a private vehicle within the headquarters area on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate in accordance with TB Travel Directive, Appendix B.

Parking charges are normally not payable when the employee is on duty at the workplace. In respect of every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time.

12.10 Expenses not reimbursable

Incidental allowances are not applicable.

13. Module 2 - Travel outside Headquarters Area - No overnight stay

The provisions outlined in this Module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government business travel outside the Headquarters Area without an overnight stay.

13.1 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed business expenses not otherwise covered such as photocopies, word processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects. Employees should be prudent and diligent in incurring expenses.

Employees whose schedules have been altered for reasons outside their control shall be reimbursed reasonable telephone costs to attend to situations related to the employee's altered schedule.

13.2 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts.

13.3 Currency exchange

The costs incurred in converting reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconverting any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

13.4 Insurance

See Part II above and Appendix A - Guide to Insurance Coverage for Employees on government Business Travel of the TB Travel Directive.

13.5 Dependant care

The employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant care expenses up to a daily maximum of $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration, or up to a daily maximum of $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt when:

  1. the employee is the sole caregiver of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability, or
  2. two federal employees living in the same household are the sole caregivers of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability and both employees are required to travel on government business at the same time.

Dependant care allowance shall apply only for expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling and are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

13.6 Meals

A traveller shall be paid the applicable meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner while on travel status.

Meal allowances shall be reimbursed in accordance with the rates specified in Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the TB Travel Directive.

A meal allowance shall not be paid to a traveller with respect to a meal that is provided. In exceptional situations where a traveller has incurred out of pocket expenses to supplement meals provided, the actual incurred costs may be reimbursed, based on receipts, up to the applicable meal allowance.

Where a traveller incurs meal costs that are higher than the established meal allowances in situations outside the traveller's control, the actual and reasonable expenses incurred shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

13.7 Transportation

The most economical option available is chosen when selecting the mode of transportation, taking into account cost, duration, safety, and practicality respecting the principles of the National Joint Council Travel Directive. In addition to provisions outlined in this section under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed based on receipts, indicating the expense currency. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice. Such expenses include:

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed actual additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

(a) Commercial

Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible. Any exceptions to using economy class must be pre-approved by a Vice-President or equivalent, upon presentation of proper written justification.

The standard for rail travel is the next higher class above the full economy class.

Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses shall be reimbursed. Receipts are only required to justify taxi fares in excess of ten dollars. Taxi chits may not be used.

(b) Other modes of transportation

Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government business travel when this mode of transportation is safe, economical and practical.

Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

(c) Vehicles

The standard for rental vehicles is mid size. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as but not limited to safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported.

The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government business are prescribed in Appendix B - Kilometric Rates of the TB Travel Directive.

Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government business travel.

Travellers, who are driven to or picked up from a public carrier terminal, shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate based on the distance to and from the public carrier terminal for each round trip.

In the interests of safe driving, when employee-driven vehicles are authorized, employees shall not normally be expected to drive more than:

Parking charges shall be reimbursed where it is practical and economical to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence.

In respect of every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time.

13.8 Expenses not reimbursable

Incidental allowances are not applicable.

14. Module 3 - Travel in Canada and Continental USA - Overnight stay

The provisions outlined in this Module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government business travel overnight, in Canada or Continental USA.

14.1 Accommodation

The standard for accommodation is a single room, in a safe environment, conveniently located and comfortably equipped.

A variety of options for accommodation are available for travel. Generally these include hotels, motels, corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation, and government and institutional accommodation.

Government hotel directories within city rate limits should be used for the cost, location and selection of accommodation as specified in the PWGSC Accommodation Search Page. In instances where an employee must use another location than one from the directories, justification is to be provided on the travel claim.

Unless the employer authorizes otherwise, when travel is related to activities held in an institution, the employee shall stay in institutional accommodations.

Although travellers generally stay in commercial accommodation, private non-commercial accommodation is encouraged. A traveller who chooses private non-commercial accommodation shall be reimbursed the rate as specified in Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the TB Travel Directive. In addition, ground transportation costs shall be authorized when it is cost effective. Cost effectiveness shall be determined by comparing the total cost of accommodation and transportation in the private non-commercial accommodation versus available commercial or government and institutional accommodation and the associated transportation costs.

14.2 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed business expenses not otherwise covered such as business calls, photocopies, word processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects. Employees should be prudent and diligent in incurring expenses.

Employees whose schedules have been altered for reasons outside their control shall be reimbursed reasonable telephone costs to attend to situations related to the employee's altered schedule.

When an employee is required to proceed outside Canada on authorized government business, CIHR shall make the necessary arrangements for obtaining an appropriate passport and/or visa, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defense shall be used for medical services.

14.3 Bottled water

The cost of reasonable amounts of bottled water shall be reimbursed based on receipts.

14.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred in converting reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconverting any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

14.5 Dependant Care

The employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant care expenses up to a daily maximum of $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration, or up to a daily maximum of $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt when:

  1. the employee is the sole caregiver of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability, or
  2. two federal employees living in the same household are the sole caregivers of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability and both employees are required to travel on government business at the same time.

Dependant care allowance shall apply only for expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling and are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

14.6 Home communication

Home communication is included in the incidental expense allowance.

The following exception applies: Employees in travel status on-board vessels shall be authorized to make up to the equivalent of one ten-minute phone call home using the equipment available over each continuous three-day period away from home port. When satellite communication systems are available and used, the phone call shall be limited to five minutes.

14.7 Incidental expense allowance

A traveller shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses not otherwise provided for in this Policy for each day or part day in travel status as per the TB Travel Directive, Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2 and 3.

Part day does not include days where a late-night flight arrives in the traveller's headquarters area after midnight.

The following exception applies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the incidental allowance as specified in Appendix C of the TB Travel Directive shall be paid starting on the thirty-first (31st) consecutive calendar day of travel status while at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to a traveller in the area surrounding the workplace, or the traveller chooses to stay in private accommodation.

When a traveller visits locations in Canada and the USA on the same day, the incidental expense allowance paid shall be that for the location where the day commences.

14.8 Insurance

See Part II above and Appendix A - Guide to Insurance Coverage for Employees on government Business Travelof the TB Travel Directive.

14.9 Meals

A traveller shall be paid the applicable meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner while on travel status.

Meal allowances shall be reimbursed in accordance with the rates specified in Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2 and 3 the TB Travel Directive.

The following exception applies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the meal allowances as specified in Appendix C of the TB Travel Directive shall be paid starting on the thirty-first (31st) consecutive calendar day of travel status while at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to a traveller in the area surrounding the workplace, or the traveller chooses to stay in private accommodation.

A meal allowance shall not be paid to a traveller with respect to a meal that is provided. In exceptional situations where a traveller has incurred out of pocket expenses to supplement meals provided, the actual incurred costs may be reimbursed, based on receipts, up to the applicable meal allowance.

Where a traveller incurs meal costs that are higher than the established meal allowances in situations outside the traveller's control, the actual and reasonable expenses incurred shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

14.10 Rest periods

Unless mutually agreed otherwise, itineraries shall be arranged to provide for

  1. a suitable rest period, and/or
  2. an overnight stop after travel time of at least nine consecutive hours.

Travel time is the time spent in any mode of transportation en-route to destination and/or awaiting immediate connections. This includes the time spent travelling to and from a carrier/terminal.

A suitable rest period shall not be unreasonably denied.

14.11 Transportation

The most economical option available is chosen when selecting the mode of transportation, taking into account cost, duration, safety, and practicality respecting the principles of the National Joint Council Travel Directive. In addition to provisions outlined in this section under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed based on receipts, indicating the expense currency. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice. Such expenses include:

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed actual additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

(a) Commercial

Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible. Any exceptions to using economy class must be pre-approved by a Vice-President or equivalent, upon presentation of proper written justification

The standard for rail travel is the next higher class above the full economy class.

Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses shall be reimbursed. Receipts are only required to justify taxi fares in excess of ten dollars. Taxi chits may not be used.

(b) Other modes of transportation

Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government business travel when this mode of transportation is safe, economical and practical.

Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

(c) Vehicles

The standard for rental vehicles is mid size. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as but not limited to safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported.

The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government business are prescribed in Appendix B - Kilometric Rates of the TB Travel Directive. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government business travel.

Travellers who are driven to or picked up from a public carrier terminal, shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate based on the distance to and from the public carrier terminal for each round trip.

In the interests of safe driving, when employee-driven vehicles are authorized, employees shall not normally be expected to drive more than:

Parking charges shall be reimbursed where it is practical and economical to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence.

In respect of every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time.

14.12 Weekend travel home

The use of the weekend travel home provisions or its alternatives does not constitute a break in continuous travel at the same location.

An employee who is in travel status that extends through or beyond a weekend is eligible for weekend travel home provisions provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. work schedules permit the employee to be absent; and
  2. appropriate private or public transportation is available and its use is both practical and reasonable.

Every weekend:

An eligible employee entitled to travel home every weekend shall be reimbursed actual transportation costs up to an amount not exceeding:

  1. the cost of maintaining the employee in travel status for the week-end period (i.e. accommodation, meals, incidental, and other expense allowances), if the accommodation is cancelled for the week-end; or
  2. when the accommodation is not cancelled, the weekend travel home transportation allowances stated in Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2, and 3 of the TB Travel Directive shall apply.

Every third weekend on average:

There will be occasions when an employee in travel status for a period of more than thirty (30) consecutive calendar days in Canada or the continental USA is so far from home that travel home every weekend would be impractical.

In such situations where travel home every weekend is impractical and provided that the employee is in continuous travel status, the employee may return home on average every third weekend and schedule actual weekend trips home within the maximum number permitted to meet personal needs.

The employee shall be reimbursed the most economical return airfare, the necessary return ground transportation to and from the carrier's terminal and meals en route. The most economical air fare shall be air fare booked more than 14 days in advance with a Saturday night stay over. Meals and incidentals at destination shall not be reimbursed. The accommodation at the duty travel location need not be cancelled.

14.13 Weekend travel - Alternatives

(a) By the employee

Provided that the employee is not required by the employer to remain at the duty travel location, an employee may choose to spend the weekend at an alternative location. To be eligible for reimbursement, the employee shall: cancel charges for accommodation (and meals provided on-site) at the duty travel location; provide a receipt for alternative commercial accommodation when used; and not return home or to the headquarters area during the weekend.

Reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of maintaining the employee at the duty travel location and shall include the cost of accommodation, meals, incidentals and other expenses.

Arrangements are the personal responsibility of the employee without using the government approved services. The employee assumes personal liability as if the employee were not on travel status.

The use of this provision does not preclude the employee's entitlement to week-end travel home.

(b) By the employee's spouse or a dependant

As an alternative to weekend travel home by the employee, a spouse/dependant may be authorized to travel to the employee's assigned work location when there is no additional cost to the employer. The airfare and pertinent travel arrangements shall be processed through the government suppliers. Ground transportation to and from the public carrier shall be reimbursed. Insurance coverage for the spouse/dependant is the responsibility of the employee.

15. Module 4 - International Travel - Overnight stay

The provisions outlined in this Module apply when a traveller is away from the workplace on government business travel overnight, outside Canada or the Continental USA.

A daily comprehensive allowance may be authorized in circumstances where established allowances are neither practical, reasonable or equitable.

15.1 Accommodation

The standard for accommodation is a single room, in a safe environment, conveniently located and comfortably equipped.

A variety of options for accommodation are available for travel. Generally these include hotels, motels, corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation, government owned/leased accommodation and institutions.

Government hotel directories shall serve as a guide for the cost, location and selection of accommodation.

Unless the employer authorizes otherwise, when travel is related to activities held in an institution, the employee shall stay in institutional accommodations.

Although travellers generally stay in commercial accommodation, private non-commercial accommodation is encouraged. A traveller who chooses private non-commercial accommodation shall be reimbursed the rate as specified in Appendix D - Allowances - Module 4 of the TB Travel Directive. In addition, ground transportation costs shall be authorized when it is cost effective. Cost effectiveness shall be determined by comparing the total cost of accommodation and transportation in the private non-commercial accommodation versus available commercial or government and institutional accommodation and the associated transportation costs.

For periods of travel status of more than thirty (30) consecutive calendar days at the same location, accommodation at corporate residences, apartments, private non-commercial accommodation or government and institutional accommodation is encouraged. Travellers who choose to stay in a hotel after the thirtieth day (30th) when apartments or corporate residences are available in the area surrounding the workplace, shall be reimbursed up to the cost of the average apartment or corporate residence available.

15.2 Additional business expenses

The employee shall be reimbursed business expenses not otherwise covered such as business calls, photocopies, word processing service, faxes, internet connections, rental and transportation of necessary office equipment and transportation of required personal effects.

Employees whose schedules have been altered for reasons outside their control shall be reimbursed reasonable telephone costs to attend to situations related to the employee's altered schedule.

When an employee is required to proceed outside Canada on authorized government business, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements for obtaining an appropriate passport and/or visa, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the employee. Where possible, the services of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada or National Defence shall be used for medical services.

15.3 Bottled water

The cost of bottled water shall be reimbursed in situations deemed necessary and based on receipts for reasonable quantities.

15.4 Currency exchange

The costs incurred in converting reasonable sums to foreign currencies and/or reconverting any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed, based upon receipts, from all transactions and sources.

When these costs are not supported by receipts, the average Bank of Canada currency exchange rate shall apply. In cases where the Bank of Canada does not provide an exchange rate, an alternate bank rate from an established institution, as determined by the employer, shall be applied. The rate shall be the average of the rates applicable on the initial date into the country and the final date out of the country.

15.5 Dependant Care

The employee who is required to travel on government business shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable dependant care expenses up to a daily maximum of $35 Canadian, per household, with a declaration, or up to a daily maximum of $75 Canadian, per household, with a receipt when:

  1. the employee is the sole caregiver of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability, or
  2. two federal employees living in the same household are the sole caregivers of a dependant who is under 18 years of age or has a mental or physical disability and both employees are required to travel on government business at the same time.

Dependant care allowance shall apply only for expenses that are incurred as a result of travelling and are additional to expenses the employee would incur when not travelling.

15.6 Home communication

Over each contiguous three-day period away from home, employees in travel status shall be reimbursed the equivalent of one ten-minute phone call home, based on receipts.

When satellite communication systems are available and used, the phone call shall be limited to five minutes.

Employees provided with international telephone-card privileges, or who have made use of government international telephone network facilities for home communication, shall not claim the cost of telephone calls home.

15.7 Incidental expense allowance

A traveller shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses not otherwise provided for in this directive for each day or part day in travel status as per TB Travel Directive Appendix D - Allowances - Module 4.

Part day does not include days where a late-night flight arrives in the traveller's headquarters area after midnight.

The following exception applies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the incidental allowance as specified in TB Travel Directive, Appendix C - Allowances - Modules 1, 2 and 3 shall be paid starting on the thirty first (31st) consecutive calendar day of travel status while at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to a traveller in the area surrounding the workplace, or the traveller chooses to stay in private accommodation.

When a traveller visits locations in different countries on the same day, the incidental expense allowance paid shall be that for the location where the day commences.

15.8 Insurance

See Part II and TB Travel Directive Appendix A - Guide to Insurance Coverage for Employees on government Business Travel

15.9 Meals

A traveller shall be paid the applicable meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner while on travel status.

Meal allowances shall be reimbursed in accordance with the rates specified in the TB Travel Directive Appendix D - Allowances - Module 4. The following exception applies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of the meal allowances as specified in Appendix D shall be paid starting on the thirty first (31st) consecutive calendar day of travel status at the same location when corporate residences or apartment hotels are available to a traveller in the area surrounding the workplace, or the traveller chooses to stay in private accommodation.

Where no meal allowance has been established in a given country or where sudden changes in currency exchange rates or high inflationary trends may invalidate the specified meal allowance, actual and reasonable expenses shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

A meal allowance shall not be paid to a traveller with respect to a meal that is provided. In exceptional situations where a traveller has incurred out of pocket expenses to supplement meals provided, the actual incurred costs may be reimbursed, based on receipts, up to the applicable meal allowance.

Where a traveller incurs meal costs that are higher than the established meal allowances in situations outside the traveller's control, the actual and reasonable expenses incurred for all meal expenses on that travel day shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

15.10 Rest periods

Unless mutually agreed otherwise, itineraries shall be arranged to provide for

  1. a suitable rest period, and/or
  2. an overnight stop after travel time of at least nine consecutive hours.

Travel time is the time spent in any mode of transportation en-route to destination and/or awaiting immediate connections. This includes the time spent travelling to and from a carrier/terminal.

A suitable rest period shall not be unreasonably denied.

15.11 Transportation

The most economical option available is chosen when selecting the mode of transportation, taking into account cost, duration, safety, and practicality respecting the principles of the National Joint Council Travel Directive. In addition to provisions outlined in this section under (a) Commercial, (b) Other modes of transportation and (c) Vehicles, expenses associated with the selected mode of transportation shall be reimbursed based on receipts, indicating the expense currency. Where a receipt is not available, a declaration will suffice. Such expenses include:

When authorized travel or overtime causes a disruption in the employee's regular commuting pattern, the employee shall be reimbursed actual additional transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

(a) Commercial

Where commercial transportation is authorized and used, the traveller shall be provided with the necessary prepaid tickets whenever possible.

The standard for air travel is economy class. The lowest available airfares appropriate to particular itineraries shall be sought and bookings shall be made as far in advance as possible.

Where available, business/executive class air travel shall be authorized where continuous air travel exceeds nine hours. Continuous air travel starts at the scheduled departure time, and ends with the arrival at destination or with an overnight stop or layover equivalent to an overnight stop. Any exceptions to using economy class where continuous travel is less than or equal to nine hours, must be pre-approved by a Vice-President or equivalent, upon presentation of proper written justification.

The standard for rail travel is the next higher class after the full economy class.

Taxis, shuttles and local transportation services are alternatives for short local trips. Actual expenses shall be reimbursed, based on receipts.

(b) Other modes of transportation

Occasionally, other modes of transportation not normally used on roadways shall be authorized for use on government business travel when this mode of transportation is safe, economical and practical.

Travellers using these other modes of transportation shall be reimbursed at the applicable kilometric rate based on the direct road distances, if available. When there are no road distances, the traveller shall be reimbursed for actual or reasonable distances travelled.

(c) Vehicles

The standard for rental vehicles is mid size. Rental vehicles beyond the standard shall be authorized based upon factors such as but not limited to safety, the needs of the traveller and the bulk or weight of goods transported.

The kilometric rates payable for the use of privately owned vehicles driven on authorized government business are provided in Appendix B - Kilometric Rates of the TB Travel Directive. Travellers shall use the most direct, safe and practical road routes and shall claim only for distances necessarily driven on government business travel.

Travellers who are driven to or picked up from a public carrier terminal, shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate based on the distance to and from the public carrier terminal for each round trip.

In the interests of safe driving, when employee-driven vehicles are authorized, employees shall not normally be expected to drive more than:

Parking charges shall be reimbursed where it is practical and economical to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence.

In respect of every day on which an employee is authorized to use a private vehicle on government business travel, the employee shall be reimbursed the actual costs of parking the vehicle for that period of time.

15.12 Weekend travel home

The use of the weekend travel home provisions or its alternatives does not constitute a break in continuous travel at the same location.

An employee who is in travel status that extends through or beyond a weekend is eligible for weekend travel home provisions provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. work schedules permit the employee to be absent; and
  2. appropriate private or public transportation is available and its use is both practical and reasonable.

Provided the employee is in continuous travel status, the employee is entitled to return home as per the table below:

Minimum of:
7 weeks = 1 trip
12 weeks = 2 trips
17 weeks = 3 trips
22 weeks = 4 trips

The employee shall be reimbursed, based on receipts, a maximum of the most economical return airfare, the necessary return ground transportation to and from the carrier's terminal, and meals en route. Meals and incidentals at destination shall not be reimbursed. The accommodation at the duty travel location need not be cancelled.

The most economical airfare shall be booked more than 14 days in advance with a Saturday night stay over. The employee may schedule actual weekend trips home within the maximum number permitted to meet personal needs.

15.13 Weekend travel - Alternatives

(a) By the employee

Provided that the employee is not required by the employer to remain at the duty travel location, an employee may choose to spend the weekend at an alternative location. Such arrangements shall be made in consideration of security and diplomatic contexts. To be eligible for reimbursement, the employee shall: cancel charges for accommodation (and meals provided on-site) at the duty travel location; provide a receipt for alternative commercial accommodation when used; and not return home or to the headquarters area during the weekend.

Reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of maintaining the employee at the duty travel location and shall include the cost of accommodation, meals, incidentals and other expenses.

Arrangements are the personal responsibility of the employee without using the government approved services. The employee assumes personal liability as if the employee were not on travel status.

The use of this provision does not preclude the employee's entitlement to week-end travel home.

(b) By the employee's spouse or a dependant

As an alternative to weekend travel home by the employee, a spouse/dependant may be authorized to travel to the employee's assigned work location when there is no additional cost to the employer. The airfare and pertinent travel arrangements shall be processed through the government suppliers. Ground transportation to and from the public carrier shall be reimbursed. Such arrangements shall be made in consideration of security and diplomatic contexts. Insurance coverage for the spouse/dependant is the responsibility of the employee.

Part IV - Emergencies, Illnesses, Injuries And Death

16. Death while on travel status

16.1 If an employee dies while in travel status, the employer shall authorize the payment of necessary expenses that are additional to those which might have been incurred had the death occurred in the headquarters area. Reimbursement of costs incurred shall be reduced by any amount payable under some other authority. Expenses payable are:

  1. at the place where death occurred: ambulance, hearse, embalming/cremation, outside crate/container (but not the cost of a coffin/urn) and any other services or items required by local health laws, and
  2. transportation of the remains to the headquarters area or, if desired by the survivors, to another location, up to the cost of transportation to the headquarters area. Costs for an escort over and above the costs included in transporting the remains are payable only when an escort is required by law.

16.2 Where the remains are not transported, travel for next-of-kin or a representative of the family to the place of burial shall be reimbursed as though that person were an employee.

17. Emergencies, illnesses and injuries while on travel status

17.1 Payment for the use of a suitable conveyance, such as an ambulance or taxi, shall be authorized where an employee becomes ill or is injured when, in the opinion of the employer, the employee, or the attending medical practitioner, the nature of the illness or injury requires that the employee be transported to a medical treatment facility, the workplace, the travel-related accommodation, or home.

17.2 An employee shall be reimbursed the necessary expenses incurred as a result of illness or accident occurring while in travel status, to the extent that the employer is satisfied the expenses were additional to those which might have been incurred had the employee not been absent from home, and which were not otherwise payable to the employee under an insurance policy, the Government Employees Compensation Act, or other authority.

17.3 An employee who becomes ill or is injured while outside Canada shall, where practical, be provided with a justifiable, accountable advance when incurring sizeable medical expenses. Such advances would subsequently be repaid to the employer under the employee's private insurance plans, the Government Employees Compensation Act, or other authority.

17.4 When, in the opinion of the attending physician, an employee's condition resulting from illness or injury warrants the presence of the next-of-kin or a representative of the family, actual and reasonable travel expenses may be reimbursed, as if that person were an employee.

17.5 An employee may be authorized to return earlier than scheduled as a result of personal illness or accident or in the event of emergency situations at home (e.g. serious illness in the opinion of a physician, fire, flood, ice storm).

17.6 A trip home under this section shall not be taken into account when establishing the employee's eligibility for weekend travel home.

17.7 When a trip home for reasons specified in this section is not warranted, actual and reasonable expenses incurred for long-distance telephone calls home shall be reimbursed.

Part V - Special Travel Authorities

There are some exceptions to Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV of this policy that are included under the Treasury Board Special Travel Authorities for the President, Governing Council, Executive Group, Persons on contract, and Students. This Part explains the exceptions for each person or group of persons.

18. President

The President has discretion over his commercial accommodation selected, telephone calls, meals and incidentals in excess of the per diems, based on receipts. Meal expenses should not include alcohol. Costs associated with guests are governed by the CIHR Hospitality Policy and should be reported as such.

This discretion should be exercised with prudence and probity, mindful that all expenditures must further government objectives. Although specific circumstances may warrant exceptional expenses, the basic norm should be comfortable and convenient, but not excessive. A benchmark may be found in the provisions of this Policy. The President is accountable and must be prepared to justify his expenses in keeping with the responsibility of public office holders to conduct themselves in a manner that can bear the closest public scrutiny.

19. Executive Group / Governing Council

This section includes Executive Group CIHR grade 13 and above except for business class air (see 19.6) that applies to CIHR grade 14 and above (but not those in acting positions) and Governing Council members. Blanket Travel Authorities (BTA) are available to CIHR Grade 15 and above, subject to the P resident's approval. BTA's are approved and expire by fiscal year and must be approved annually as required.

During normal business trips away from the vicinity of the headquarters area (excluding weekends home, extended travel, relocations and expenses related to guests, which automatically fall under hospitality), the following flexibilities apply:

19.1 Meals

Claims may include the daily meal allowances or actual and reasonable meal expenses based on receipts. When actual expenses are claimed for a given meal (based on receipts), meal allowances are applicable to other meals purchased that day (and no receipts are required).

Actual meal expenses shall not include alcohol, costs associated with guests or co-workers, or the additional cost of room service, which is to be identified by the claimant. Employees must submit the actual bill for their own meal, rather than claim a bill that covers a number of people, except under the PDF.

19.2 Incidentals

  1. The incidental allowance covers such items as laundry, dry cleaning, gratuities, a daily newspaper, luggage depreciation over the duration of a trip, even though a particular expense may be higher on a given day.
  2. Whenever actual and reasonable expenses are claimed, the Travel Expense Claim must include a brief statement describing why the meal or incidental allowances were inadequate under the specific circumstances.
  3. The incidental allowance is cumulative. For example, with respect to laundry and dry cleaning costs, even though such expenses are unlikely to occur before day three, the allowance is provided on a daily basis so that when a dry cleaning expense is incurred, the employee has the necessary funds to cover the cost.
  4. Actual incidental costs may be claimed in unusual circumstances. However, if one decides to claim actual incidental costs instead of the pre-determined incidental allowance, then all incidental expenses reimbursements incurred on that trip will be on the basis of receipts.
  5. It is recommended that the claims of employees who qualify under the Executive Group be flagged for easy retrieval should the Treasury Board Secretariat request an internal audit.

19.3 Taxis and parking

On overnight business trips away from the vicinity of the headquarters area, actual expenses may be claimed for taxis and parking, based on the honour system (without receipts). Receipts may be submitted if preferred.

19.4 Hotels

The Accommodation Search Page no longer lists properties on white or green pages. Accommodations are now listed by the equivalent, as within the city rate limit or above the city rate limit. Accommodations within city rate limit shall be preferred. As a result of changes from the Budget of February 25, 1992, accommodation above the city limit rate must be justified on the travel claim. Selection of such properties should be because it is cost-effective or because exceptional circumstances warrant.

19.5 Calls home

For travel in Canada and continental USA, home communication is included in the incidental expense allowance.

For international travel, the regular telephone provisions of section 15.6 of the CIHR Travel Policy apply when international telephone-cards are not provided or cannot be used because cities are not linked to this network, as is often the case for overseas travel.

When international telephone cards are provided and may be used, executives should use them and not separately claim the cost of telephone calls home. Executives are asked to exercise discretion in their use of this facility as to the frequency and duration of calls home.

19.6 Business class air

It is a government directive that the President manage a reduction in the use of business class travel for the Executive Group (CIHR grade 14 and above) and Governing Council.

Note

20. Persons on contract

20.1 Identify travel costs in contract

The rates and allowances to be reimbursed for government business travel are stipulated in Appendices B, C and D of the TB Travel Directive. Travel expenses must be treated as an amount payable under the contract for services rendered. All travel expenses payable should be specified and the costs should be included as part of the overall cost of the contract. Only original receipts will be accepted from contractors; photocopies of hotel bills, air tickets, etc. are not claimable.

20.2 Amounts payable

Where a contract specifies that "travel is in accordance with the CIHR Travel Policy" it refers strictly to the negotiated meal, private vehicle and incidental allowances specified in the TB Travel Directive Appendices B, C and D, and to those policy provisions referring to "travellers" rather than those referring to "employees". It is CIHR's responsibility to inform contractors (and those bidding on contracts) of the current government rates and allowances.

20.3 No fees paid

A contract may be entered into where the only consideration for services rendered is payment of all or part of the travelling expenses incurred, and there are no fees paid. This could include private sector experts. Where the contract is a verbal agreement between the parties concerned, officers with payment authority should obtain a memorandum from the contracting authority outlining the agreed-upon terms of the engagement and the applicable travel provisions.

20.4 Air fares

In an effort to contain costs, the department will reimburse consultants for fares up to full-fare economy only. Contractors are required to seek the lowest possible airfares, including charters and other discounts for each trip, and to book immediately upon contract approval, in order to take advantage of the lowest fares. CIHR retains the right to limit the reimbursement of the air portion when the lowest appropriate fare is not obtained. Upgrades to business or first class may be personally paid by the contractor or private sector company, where this is company policy.

20.5 Private motor vehicles

Contractors who use a private motor vehicle are entirely responsible for the management and underwriting of risk pertaining to the operation of the vehicle, Insurance premiums are paid by the contractor and are not reimbursed other than through the payment of the kilometric allowance (Appendix B of the TB Travel Directive). This mode of travel, once parking and time-billed are included, is only permitted when cost-effective in relation to commercial transportation.

20.6 Insurance

It is the financial responsibility of contractors to cover the cost of insurance, such as, for cars/accidents/sickness/airline travel and immunizations.

20.7 Booking air and hotels

Reservations for transportation and accommodation will, where determined to be practical by CIHR, be arranged through CIHR in order to qualify for reduced rates. In cases, where they are not, hotel management is not obligated to provide government preferred rates to government contractors, although it may elect to do so. Contractors are expected to use moderately priced hotels, and they risk partial reimbursement of actual costs should claims be for unreasonably high-priced accommodation or transportation. Should a contractor stay with friends or relatives, the private non-commercial accommodation rate is reimbursed.

20.8 Reimbursement of costs

Contractors, when so advised, are permitted to make their own travel arrangements. Arrangements may be made through private travel agents or directly with suppliers. In such cases the contractor is expected to pay for all travel and related living expenses personally and subsequently invoice CIHR for reimbursement. Such expenses as telephone calls home, child care and weekend travel home are not paid to contractors. Any payment in excess of the prescribed limits must be pre-approved in writing by the President.

21. Students

The travel allowance for persons engaged under one of the student employment programs are published in the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students. You may also refer to the Treasury Board Student Employment Policy for additional information.

Monitoring and Reporting

As per the Government decision on the proactive disclosure of travel and hospitality expenses announced December 12, 2003, CIHR will post on-line the expenses related to travel incurred by the President, Executive Vice-President and Vice-Presidents. The Financial Operations Unit will update the information posted on the CIHR website on a regular basis as per the disclosure guidelines, and it will actively monitor its management practices and controls supporting this policy.

On an annual basis the Financial Operations Unit will prepare the necessary disclosures of the total annual travel expenditures (along with hospitality and conferences), through the website, including a brief description of the main variances from the previous year's actual expenditures. The timing of this disclosure is to coincide with the tabling of the Departmental Performance Report.

The Financial Operations Unit will report any systematic or recurring issues of non-compliance to the Manager, Internal Controls, in order that the latter may address any deficiencies in the contents or format of the policy, its related procedures, and associated training materials. Internal Controls Unit will also review travel expenses on an ongoing basis to ensure CIHR staff are complying with this policy, and it will recommend additional training to affected staff as required.

The Treasury Board Secretariat will evaluate regularly the implementation of this policy by reviewing CIHR monitoring and internal audit reports, as well as data from the CIHR website, and other information available from the central financial systems.

Enquiries

Additional information may be obtained from:

Internal Controls
Tel.: 613-954-6039
E-mail: angela.cummings@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

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