Report on annual expenses for travel, hospitality and conferences 2018-2019

As required by the Board of Governors, this report provides information on the total annual expenses for each of travel, hospitality and conference fees for IDRC for the financial year ending 31 March 2019. 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:

Expense Category Expenses for the year ending 31 March 2019 Expenses for the year ending 31 March 2018 Variances
  (In thousands of dollars)
Travel      
for operational activities $3,701.2 $3,399.4 $301.8
to meet key stakeholders $552.1 $1,094.0 ($541.9)
for internal governance $248.3 $253.5 ($5.2)
for training $66.9 $52.2 $14.7
for other purposes $31.5 $25.3 $6.2
A. Total Travel $4,599.9 $4,824.4 ($224.5)
B. Hospitality $23.9 $45.3 ($21.4)
C. Conferences Fees $32.4 $31.2 $1.2
Total [A+B+C] $4,656.2 $4,900.9 ($244.7)
International travel by Governors included in international governance travel $105.0 $119.4 ($14.4)

Significant variances relative to the 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 total expenses on travel, hospitality, and conference fees have decreased by $244,700 in the financial year ended 31 March 2019 compared to the financial year ended 31 March 2018. The main variances are explained as follows:

Travel

In comparison with the previous year, 2018-2019 total travel expenses decreased by $224,500 mainly due to the following closely linked factors:

  • higher number of vacancies in the Programs and Partnerships Branch; and
  • decreasing requirements to engage with key stakeholders and researchers in relation to program development.

Hospitality

Compared with financial year 2017-2018, hospitality expenses decreased by $21,400 due to continuing efforts to minimize hospitality costs.

Conference fees

The year-over-year variance is not material.

International travel by Governors

The IDRC Board is currently composed of three international governors and four Canadian governors who are based abroad. All other governors are based in Canada. The international travel of IDRC governors is incurred for two reasons:

  • governors coming to Board meetings in Ottawa, and
  • governors travelling to assess IDRC’s research impact in the developing regions of the world.

Compared with financial year 2017-2018, Governors’ international travel expenses went down by $14,400. This can be explained by the fact that there was not a field trip in 2018-2019. However, much of what was saved by not having a field trip (about $58,000) was offset by the higher cost of travel to Ottawa of newly appointed foreign-based governors.