Travel and Hospitality Expenses Reports

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Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences for the year ending March 31, 2015

As required by the Treasury Board Guideline 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 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

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 related to supporting departmental mandate(s) and the government's priorities.

In particular, for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, this includes the delivery of the following core programs and/or services to Canadians:

  • The mandate of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is overseeing compliance with both the Privacy Act, which covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act(PIPEDA), Canada’s private sector privacy law.
  • The mission of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is to protect and promote the privacy rights of individuals.
  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) major programs are:
    1. Compliance activities: the Office is responsible for investigation privacy-related complaints and responding to inquiries from individuals and organizations.
    2. Research and Policy development: the Office serves as a centre of expertise on emerging privacy issues in Canada and abroad by researching trends and technological developments, monitoring legislative and regulatory initiatives, providing legal, policy and technical analyses on key issues, and developing policy positions that advance the protection of privacy rights.
    3. Public Outreach: the Office delivers public education and communications activities, including speaking engagements and special events, media relations, and the production and dissemination of promotional and educational material.
    4. Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. As a small entity, the Office's internal services include two sub-activities: governance and management support, and resource management services (which also incorporate asset management services).

For more information on OPC’s programs please consult the Office’s 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities and the Office’s 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada incurs travel, hospitality and conference expenditures for activities directly related to its mandate. Since most privacy trends are global in nature, the OPC invests considerable efforts in developing and sustaining partnerships with data-protection authorities around the world, as well as international associations and regulators. OPC officials deliver numerous speeches to transfer knowledge about privacy to audiences in Canada and abroad.  The OPC carries out investigations and audit under both legislations the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Investigation and Audit work tends to involve travel because it often necessitates site visits in order to review materials and discuss issues with respondents. OPC also incurs travel costs related to public events and other professional development activities that are critical for staff to remain current with rapid evolutions within the privacy field.

Total annual expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner are summarized below:

Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending, March 31, 2015
(a)
Expenditures for the year ending, March 31, 2014
(b)
Variance
(a-b)
(in thousands of dollars)
Travel – Public Servants 345.8 400.9 (55.1)
Travel – Non-Public Servants 9.3 0.4 8.9
Total Travel 355.1 401.3 (46.2)
Hospitality 22.8 25.6 (2.8)
Conference Fees 0 0.3 (0.3)
TOTAL 377.9 427.2 (49.3)

Overall, there is a net decrease of expenditures in fiscal year 2014-15, compared to the previous fiscal year.  This follows a significant decrease in expenses (i.e. in excess of 40%) that had occurred from 2011-12 to 2012-13.  The Office continues to work towards actively reducing its expenditures for travel, hospitality and conference fees.

TRAVEL:

  1. Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, the OPC’s travel expenditures decreased mainly due to the Office’s continued efforts to reduce costs by streamlining operational processes (for example, by using videoconferencing and teleconferencing).  Also the OPC did reduce its participation in out of town workshops compared to previous years.  Also of note, the position of Assistant Commissioner remained vacant for all of 2014-15; this partly explains the reduction in travel expenditures.
  2. Non-Public Servants: Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, OPC travel expenditures by non-public servants increased.  This is due to the OPC’s decision to engage with stakeholders across the country in order to identify the strategic privacy priorities that would guide the Office’s work through to 2020.  The Office also undertook public opinion and focus group research with Canadians to better understand their concerns and priorities. OPC investigators have also received in-house training in investigating and information gathering.

HOSPITALITY: Compared to fiscal year 2013-14, OPC’s hospitality expenditures did not significantly change.

Approval by

(Original signed by)

Maude Lavoie, BAA, CPA, CMA
Deputy Chief Financial Officer

(Original signed by)

Daniel Nadeau, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer

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