Travel and Meal Expenses

The travel and meal expenses policy for Ottawa – Carleton Lifeskills reflects sound stewardship principles. The policy provides guidelines as to what is acceptable and allowable expense for travel, meals and accommodation while on OCL business.



Issued:  February  2012



Revised:  August 2012


1.01 It is the policy of Ottawa-Carleton Lifeskills (OCL) that:

a) Expenses for travel, meals and accommodation will reflect sound stewardship principles.

b) Within the context of this policy, legitimate and pre-approved expenses including travel, meals and accommodation will be paid by OCL for employees and members of the Board of Directors (Board) who are on OCL business.

2        PURPOSE

2.01 To provide a guideline as to what is an acceptable and allowable expense for travel,  meals and accommodation while on OCL business.

3        SCOPE

3.01 Applies to all employees and the Board of Directors.


4.01 EMPLOYEES and BOARD MEMBERS are responsible for:

a) Following this policy.

b) Submitting all original expense receipts for allowable expenses incurred for travel, accommodation and meals while on OCL business within 5 business days at the end of the trip.

c) Returning any unused money provided by OCL within 5 business days of the end of the trip.

d) Completing a Personal Vehicle Authorization Form as applicable.

e) Submitting any claims for expenses before leaving the employment of OCL, or before leaving the Board of Directors.

4.02 SUPERVISOR/PROGRAM DIRECTOR is responsible for:

a) Ensuring that all staff are aware of, understand, and comply with this policy.

b) Approving all travel arrangements for their staff in advance of any travel.

c) Approving and submitting expenses to the Finance Department for payment.

d)   Submitting and approving any Personal Vehicle Authorization request.

4.03 The FINANCE DEPARTMENT is responsible for:   a)   Paying approved expenses.

b)   Ensuring that all money has been expensed appropriately following the guidelines of          this policy.

c) Allocating all expenses to the correct budget line.

d)   Ensuring the documentation for audit purposes is maintained and available.

4.04 The EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT is responsible for:

a)   Making travel and accommodation arrangements for management and for the Board of Directors as requested.


5.01 Travel: The mode of transportation utilized to move from one place to another for OCL   business purposes (i.e. air, train, taxi, car rental, shuttles, personal vehicles, and  includes parking expenses, tolls, and bus fare).

5.02 Meals: Includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, taxes and   gratuities.

5.03  Gratuities:   Maximum is to be 15% of pre-tax amount, or rounded up to highest dollar value for meals, taxis, etc.

5.04 Accommodation:  Overnight lodging.

5.05 Itemized Receipt:  The original document identifying the vendor with the date, and amount of each expense item, taxes and gratuity paid by the employee/Board member.

5.06 Personal Vehicle:  Any privately owned, leased, rented or borrowed vehicle.

5.07 Personal Vehicle Authorization (PVA):   Approved use of an employee’s personal vehicle for OCL business purposes.

5.08 Hospitality:  The activity of providing food, beverage, accommodation, transportation  and other amenities for people who are guests of an organization.


Bill 122 Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010  Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive, 2011  Purchasing Goods and Services Policy (F-4)  Vehicle Transportation and Collisions Policy (E-15)  Site Manual (Personal Vehicle Authorization)

7        PROCEDURE

7.01 TRAVEL:    a) The most practical and economical means of travel will be utilized whenever                           possible.

b) All travel arrangements will be made by the employee’s Supervisor and/or the  Executive Assistant (ie: air, train etc.) if employee personal vehicles are not being  used.

c) Employees using personal vehicles must complete a Personal Vehicle  Authorization Form and submit it to their Supervisor for approval prior to  travelling.

d) Employees using their personal vehicles will be reimbursed for mileage at the  going rate per kilometre driven and must submit mileage claim forms for approval  at the conclusion of the travel.


a)  All accommodations will be arranged and pre-paid with an OCL credit card whenever possible prior to any travel.  The type of room booked must be the  most reasonable possible.

7.02 MEALS

a)  Alcohol cannot be claimed and will not be reimbursed as part of a travel or meal  expense. Agency funds must not be used to purchase alcohol of any sort.

b)  Meals (including taxes and gratuities) will be reimbursed at the established rate  based on current market value to a total of:    Breakfast:      $15     Lunch:  $20     Dinner:  $30

Gratuities are to be no more than 15% of the pre-tax amount, or rounded up to highest dollar value.

Note: Meal costs can be combined but are not to exceed a maximum of $65.00 per person per day (including taxes and gratuities).


a) Hospitality may be extended in an economical and consistent manner when: it can facilitate OCL business; and  It is considered desirable as a matter of courtesy or protocol.

b) Prior written approval is required for hospitality events.

7.04 Consultants/Other Contractors:

a) Allowable expenses can be claimed and reimbursed only when the contract specifically provides for this.    b) Itemized receipts must be submitted with the invoice as proof of purchase.


a) Itemized receipts must be submitted as proof of payment with all claims.

b)   The claim must include event details regarding: purpose; date(s); location;  type of hospitality (breakfast, lunch, dinner, reception, refreshments, etc.); attendees

c)   Any unused advances on expenses for meals or transportation costs must be submitted to the Finance Department within 5 business days upon return


a) Additional expenses not outlined in this policy must be approved by a Supervisor before any payment is made.  No employee can approve their own expense.