Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures (THCEE)


  • The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat directive on THCEE governs the management of travel, hospitality, conference and event expenses (basic principles, financial limits, approvals, etc.).
  • The purpose of the directive is to ensure the appropriate use of public funds.
  • The directive provides the following guiding principles:
    • Public scrutiny: Would Canadians agree that the expenditure is necessary for the department to achieve its objectives?
    • Value for money: Is there a more cost-effective way to achieve departmental objectives?
    • Accountability: Are effective oversight, accountabilities and controls in place to monitor these expenditures in the department, and are they documented?
    • Transparency: Is the information released for disclosure accurate and complete?
  • Travel:
    • All Deputy Head (DH) travel requires the approval of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
    • DH travel should follow the spirit of the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive.
    • Emphasis is put on the importance of considering the most economical and efficient alternatives for travel and associated expenditures.
    • Business class air travel should be considered only when continuous air travel exceeds nine (9) hours.
    • DHs’ spouses are not reimbursed for travel expenses as per the Travel Directive.
  • Hospitality: This consists of the provision of meals, beverages or refreshments during events.
    • Decisions to offer hospitality should be carefully considered and are necessary based on courtesy, diplomacy, protocol or to facilitate the achievement of the business of the government.
    • Hospitality provisions are subject to the NJC directives.
    • Hospitality considerations:
      • In situations where only public servants are present, hospitality should be provided on an exceptional basis only.
      • Ministerial approval is required when:
        • Hospitality costs associated with an event exceed $10K.
        • Alcoholic beverages or entertainment will be provided.
        • Food and beverage costs exceed the standard cost per person.
        • Hospitality will be provided to a person accompanying an event participant.
        • Hospitality paid by the federal government will be extended at a public servant’s residence.
      • Gifts:
        • DHs do not have the authority to present gifts to any partner, foreign visitors, delegations hosted by the department or other.
    • Approval authorities:
      • Minister: amounts greater than $10K.
      • DH: amounts greater than $3K, up to and including $10K.
      • Senior departmental manager or delegate: amounts that are $3K or less.
      • CFO: when the DH is an event participant where hospitality is provided.
  • Conference: consists of an event and refers to a formal gathering, which is usually organized by a third party external to government, where participants debate or are informed of the status of a discipline (e.g. science, technology).
    • Conference attendance should be directly related to the organization’s mandate and priorities.
    • Conferences must be managed so that they demonstrate value for money and use the most economical options to minimize and/or reduce such costs whenever possible.
  • Event: consists of gatherings of individuals (public servants and/or others) engaged in activities other than operational activities of the department (e.g. management and staff retreats, participation in conferences, departmental celebrations).
    • For the purpose of an event approval, total costs include items such as conference fees, professional services, hospitality and travel costs.
    • Approval authorities:
      • Minister: total event costs exceed $50K.
      • DH: total event costs greater than $25K, up to and including $50K.
      • Senior departmental manager or delegate: total departmental cost associated with an event that are $25K or less.
  • Mandatory travel and hospitality disclosures for DH and senior management (ADMs):
    • Strengthens public sector management by enhancing transparency and oversight of public resources.
    • Posted within 30 days following the end of the month in which an expense has occurred.


Éric Désautels, Manager of Financial Operations
Tel.: 613-415-9614

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