|Volume 2 - Management Services
Chapter 3 - Finance
Policy 3.9 -
Business Meeting Expenses
Effective Date: 27-Nov-2008
Responsible Branch: Financial Management Branch
Management Services Volume
Table of Contents | Amendment Log
All business meeting expenses in excess of $100 must be approved by the appropriate expense authority prior to the event. All expenditures must be an appropriate use of public funds.
There are two types of expenses for business meetings:
- Business meeting expenses (e.g. regional staff meeting). Attendees include ministry staff and may include other government staff or contractors but do not include spouses/children.
- Protocol event expenses (e.g. gifts for foreign dignitaries). Formal events sponsored by the Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat. A spouse/guest of an employee may attend a protocol event (i.e. Long Service Awards Ceremony) where a written invitation has been issued by the protocol office.
Once the meeting has taken place, the invoice(s) associated with the event are received, reviewed for appropriateness and approved for payment by the expense authority whose budget is being charged for the meeting.
If the meeting cost exceeds the approved estimate, the form will not need subsequent approval if all of the following conditions are met:
- the nature of the business meeting/protocol event has not changed; and
- the cost overage is minimal (reasonable); and
- the actual amount remains within the approval level of the expense authority who approved the original estimate.
If all above conditions are not met, subsequent approval of the revised amount by the appropriate expense authority is required prior to forwarding for payment.
||As per CORE C.17.2 meals may be provided during meetings where it is essential that business discussions not be interrupted or where it is essential to meet over a meal period (i.e. issue needs timely resolution and no other time is available). Providing meals and snacks at business meetings should be an exception rather than a regular occurrence, and such costs must be reasonable and appropriately pre-approved.
The provision of snack food items such as muffins and donuts, etc. for meetings involving only government staff is discouraged, especially in situations where meetings are conducted in the headquarters location of a majority of those employees. Often the meeting host(s) will purchase such items personally, as it would be an inappropriate use of public funds to do otherwise (unless justified by management as above).
The following are not appropriate business meeting expenditures:
- Retirements or office parties; including birthdays and staff transfers (expenses for these should be considered personal expenses).
- Costs for spouses or guests of the participants unless a written invitation has been issued by the Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat.
Alcoholic beverages are generally not to be provided for using public funds. Two exceptions are protocol events (formal events involving executives and dignitaries) and culturally-sensitive situations (where refusal to provide alcohol may be interpreted as an insult). These exceptions are rarely encountered outside of the Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, or certain offices involved in international trade.
Business meeting expense applications should be submitted on the ministry's Business Meeting Expenses Pre-Approval form.