Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012

As required by the Treasury Board Directive for the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, this report provides information on the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for Environment Canada (EC) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. It also provides the variance explanations from the previous fiscal year in each of these areas.

This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Expenditures on travel, hospitality and conferences incurred by federal departments and agencies are for the most part directly related to supporting departmental mandate(s) and the government's priorities.

In particular, for EC, this includes protecting the environment, conserving the country's natural heritage, and providing weather and meteorological information to keep Canadians informed and safe.

EC's Mandate and Program Activities

Environment Canada plays an important role every day and has established a legacy of action on behalf of the environment since it was first created on June 11, 1971, from elements of the Government of Canada such as the Meteorological Service of Canada (established in 1871) and the Canadian Wildlife Service (established in 1947).

EC's Program Activity Architecture (PAA) included three Strategic Outcomes that support our responsibility for providing Canadians with a clean, safe and sustainable environment:

  • Threats to Canadians and their environment from pollution are minimized;
  • Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions; and
  • Canada's natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations.

EC has authority under numerous pieces of legislation which affect how the department operates. Further information on the mandate, legislation, roles, responsibilities and program activities of Environment Canada can be found in Section I of EC's Reports on Plans and Priorities.

EC's Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of Environment Canada are summarized below:

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality, and Conferences
(in thousands of dollars)
Expenditure CategoryExpenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 (a)Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2011 (b)Variance (a - b)
Travel – Public Servants$27,754$33,359($5,605)
Travel – Non-Public Servants$2,051$2,196($145)
International Travel by Minister and Minister's Staff*$59$135($76)
Total Travel$29,864$35,690($5,826)
Hospitality$580$518$62
Conference Fees$361$626($265)
TOTAL$30,805$36,834($6,029)

(*) Includes international travel that is part of a department's program.

Key Variances compared to the previous fiscal year

The significant variances from the previous year's annual expenditures for each category are detailed below.

Travel

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, total travel expenditures have decreased by 16.3%. This is a direct consequence of the government's ongoing commitment to cost containment and identifying ways to reduce operating and program costs in order to return to balanced budgets by 2015-2016. Environment Canada contributes to the overall cost saving effort by achieving efficiencies via reductions to budget for travel. This has been facilitated by the increased use of videoconferencing and telepresence.

A. Public Servants

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental travel expenditures by public servants have decreased by $5.6M or 16.8%.

B. Non-Public Servants

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental travel expenditures by non-public servants have decreased by $145K or 6.6%.

C. Minister and Minister's Staff

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental international travel expenditures by the minister and his/her staff have decreased by $76K or 56.3%.

Hospitality

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental hospitality expenditures have increased by $62K or 12%. This increase was due to a one-time net hospitality cost of $152K for expenses associated with the 2011 Salish Ecosystem Conference that took place in October 2011.

Conferences

Compared to fiscal year 2010-2011, departmental conference fees expenditures have decreased by $265K or 42.3% mainly due to the government's ongoing commitment to identify ways to reduce operating and program costs. Effort has been put on achieving efficiencies via reductions to budget for conferences.

Environment Canada will continues to achieve overall cost saving through reductions to budgets for travel (facilitated by the increased use of videoconferencing and telepresence), hospitality, training and conference attendance, professional services (contracts), usage of vehicles, and office/warehouse space, among others.