Report on annual expenses for travel, hospitality and conferences 2016-2017

As required by the Board of Governors, this report provides information on the total annual expenses for each of travel, hospitailty and conference fees for IDRC for the financial year ending 31 March 2017. This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Travel, hospitality and conference fees incurred by the Centre are related to activities that support IDRC’s mandate described in About IDRC.

IDRC works in developing regions of the world to improve research capacity and to research and propose solutions that support sustainable development and poverty reduction.

IDRC’s activities involve scientific communication, dissemination, and networking across countries and regions. While some of these activities take place through various means of telecommunication, the achievement of desired outcomes requires a significant degree of face-to-face interaction.

Annual expenses for travel, hospitality and conferences of IDRC are summarized below:

 

Expenditure Category Expenditures for the year ending 31 March 2017
(in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures for the year ending 31 March 2016
(in thousands of dollars)
Variances
(in thousands of dollars)
Travel: IDRC Employees* $3,866.2 $3,695.3 $170.9
Travel: Non-IDRC Employees $458.9 $234.3 $224.6
Total Travel $4,325.1 $3,929.6 $395.5
Hospitality $66.9 $29.5 $37.4
Conference Fees $37.5 $35.3 $2.2
Total $104.4 $64.8 $39.6
Total Travel, Hospitality and Conference Fees $4,429.5 $3,994.4 $435.1
*Board of Governors travel included under IDRC Employees' Travel $133.9 $63.9 $70.0

Significant variances compared with previous financial year

IDRC manages travel, hospitality, and conference expenses with prudent stewardship and probity, and monitors its travel activities in order to meet its mandate and strategic objectives.

The expenses on travel, hospitality and conferences have increased by $435 thousands in the financial year ended 31 March 2017 compared to the financial year ended 31 March 2016. The main variances are explained as follows:

Employees’ Travel

Compared with financial year 2015-2016, employees' travel expenses increased by $170.9 thousands because of the following reasons:

  • fewer vacancies among program officers who do significant field work in support of research projects in developing countries; and
  • a significant increase in the number of active governors, which is now closer to the statutory number.

Non-employee Travel

Compared with financial year 2015-2016, non-employee travel expenses increased by $224.6 thousands. There were in 2016-2017 more research projects for which external expertise was needed, namely in the area of initial proposal assessment, project monitoring and independent evaluations linked to co-funded programs.

Hospitality

Compared with financial year 2015-2016, hospitality expenses increased by $37.4 thousands. The variance is mainly due to changes in the method of recording some hospitality activities more than mid-way through 2015-2016 — that is after the changes in policy requirements. Thus, the two years cannot be compared as equivalent.

The 2016-2017 capture of hospitality expenses does accurately reflect the actual level of hospitality activities as defined in IDRC’s hospitality policy posted on the website.

A small increase in hospitality expenses took place because a number of global program meetings were organized in March instead of April-May 2017. These meetings involve a modest amount of hospitality activities.

Conference Fees

The year-over-year variance is insignificant.