Reports on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences for 2012-13

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 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. It also provides the variance explanations for 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 of Canada’s priorities.

SSHRC’s purpose is to promote and assist research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. Social sciences and humanities research builds knowledge about people in the past and present, with a view toward creating a better future.

By focusing on developing Talent, generating Insights and forging Connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that enhance our understanding of modern social, cultural, technological, environmental, economic and wellness issues. Further information on SSHRC’s mandate and program activities can be found in SSHRC’s 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities.

SSHRC’s program delivery is centred on a merit review model. External experts from across the country and around the world contribute their time and expertise to adjudicate grant proposals and scholarship and fellowship applications, with the aim of funding excellence for the benefit of Canada. The vast majority of SSHRC’s travel and hospitality expenses are to support this merit review process.

SSHRC’s total annual expenditures for travel, hospitality and conferences are summarized below:

Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2013
Expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2012

  (in thousands of dollars)
Travel–Public Servants 187 246 -59
Travel–Non-Public Servants 739 630 109
International Travel by Minister and Minister’s Staff* 0 0 0
Total Travel 926 876 50
Hospitality 117 107 10
Conference Fees 35 36 -1
TOTAL 1,078 1,019 59

* Includes international travel that is part of a department’s program.

Compared with fiscal year 2011-12, SSHRC’s non-public servants travel expenditures have increased, mainly due to the following:

  • Additional merit review meetings were held to evaluate new applications received following the announcement of additional funding provided for the tri-agency Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program, which occurs on a cyclical basis linked to the timing of the program competitions. As a result, the travel costs related to this program increased by approximately $75,000.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of proposals received for the Insight Grants funding opportunity. As a result, more merit review committee members were required to evaluate the applications. The travel costs related to this funding opportunity increased by approximately $100,000.

Nonetheless, SSHRC was also able to decrease its travel, hospitality and conferences fees expenditures in other areas by $116,000, by:

  • limiting the number of people attending meetings or conferences;
  • booking flights further in advance;
  • using travel alternatives, such as teleconferencing, videoconferencing and in-house meeting rooms; and
  • introducing a new Financial Resource Management Framework to strengthen the budget and financial risk management processes and controls.