2016-2017 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 total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. 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 mandates and the government's priorities. The mandate of the Transportation Safety Board is to advance transportation safety. This mandate is fulfilled by conducting independent investigations into selected transportation occurrences to identify the causes and contributing factors of the occurrences and the underlying safety deficiencies.

The jurisdiction of the TSB includes all aviation, marine, rail and pipeline transportation occurrences in or over Canada that fall under federal jurisdiction. The TSB may also represent Canadian interests in foreign investigations of transportation accidents involving Canadian registered, licensed or manufactured aircraft, ships or railway rolling stock. The department's travel expenditures are primarily dependent on the frequency and location of transportation occurrences.  Travel expenditures are also incurred by the TSB for employees to attend training in their field of expertise. The credibility and success of the TSB depend on its ability to develop and maintain a competent and diverse professional workforce. Given the international nature of transportation, training and conferences on topics relevant to transportation safety are primarily held outside of Canada and travel costs are required in order to attend.

The TSB endeavors to minimize hospitality expenses to the extent possible. Expenses are primarily incurred by the TSB as a result of the requirement for employees to work through normal break or meal periods due to operations or business meetings. On an occasional basis, the TSB will host events and conferences directly related to the department's mandate whereby hospitality costs may also be incurred.

The TSB occasionally incurs expenses to host conferences. Conference expenses generally represent conference registration fees where a TSB employee has participated as an official representative of the organization or has presented on a subject relevant to the department's mandate. As per the Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements, expenditures to attend conferences where the primary purpose is to enable participants to maintain or acquire skills or knowledge are not reported as conference expenses but rather as training.

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences of the Transportation Safety Board are summarized below:

Expenditure category Expenditures for the year ending March 31 2017
(a)
(in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures for the year ending March 31 2016
(b)
(in thousands of dollars)
Variance
(a-b)
(in thousands of dollars)
Travel - Public Servants $1,050 $822 $+228
Travel - Non-public servants $11 $11 $-
Total Travel $ 1,061 $ 833 $ +228
Hospitality $ 11 $ 19 $ -8
Conference Fees $ 12 $ 12 $ -
TOTAL $ 1,084 $ 864 $ +220

Significant variances compared to the previous fiscal year

Travel:

A. Public Servants:  Travel expenditures by TSB employees increased by 228K between years, this represents a 27% increase due to travel related to occurrences, Outreach activities and departmental Branch meetings.

B. Non-Public Servants: Travel by non-public servants relates to expenditures incurred by consultants performing services for TSB. Generally, spending in this category of travel is minimal; as a result, a single event can present a significant percentage variance between years. Fiscal year 2016-17 showed no variance when compared to 2015-16.

Hospitality:

Typically, spending on hospitality expenditures is minimal; as a result, a single event can present a significant percentage variance between years. The decrease is explained by hospitality incurred for the America's Marine Accident Investigators' Forum hosted by the TSB in Ottawa, Ontario in fiscal year 2015-16.

Conferences Fees:

Spending in this category relates to conference fees incurred by TSB employees and Board Members who served as official TSB representatives to speak at various conferences. When possible, the TSB tries to arrange for its representatives to participate in the full conferences on a complimentary basis given their role as speakers on the conference program.  However, host organizations are not always agreeable to such arrangements and may charge registration fees for participation to the full program. There was no variance between fiscal years 2016-17 and 2015-16.