C. Reimbursement of Expenses Procedures


C.1 Travel Expenses
C.2 Approval Requirements
C.3 Travel Voucher (FIN 10)
C.4 Rates and Reimbursement
C.5 Vehicle Travel
C.6 Ferry Travel
C.7 Air Travel
C.8 Accommodation
C.9 Miscellaneous Travel Expenses
C.10 Contractor's Travel Expenses
C.11 Travel Expenses in Foreign Locations
C.12 Job Interview and Post-Interview Expenses
C.13 Board and Lodging Expenses
C.14 Travel Allowances – Officials

C.15 Travel Allowances – Parliamentary Secretaries and Designated Members

C.16 Relocation Allowances
C.17 Business Meeting and Protocol Event Expenses
C.18 Remuneration for Appointees to Crown Corporations, Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Administrative Tribunals
C.19 Miscellaneous Expenses
C.20 Childcare Expenses
C.21 Reimbursement of Incidental Expenses

C.1 Travel Expenses

Core Policy - 10.0

C.1.1 General

C.1.2 Reasonable Accommodation

C.1.3 Commercial Transportation Charges

C.1.4 Account Verification Process

C.1.5 Account Verification by the Expense Authority Officer

C.1.6 Oracle iExpenses - Travel Claims

C.1.7 SMARTTEC Travel Emission Calculator - Reports

C.1.1 General

  1. All expenses associated with travel must be paid by the employee travelling except for airline tickets and some taxi billings. It is strongly recommended that government employees apply for a travel card to pay travel and other approved expenses and to obtain business travel cash (see E.3 for Travel Card procedures). See C.14.8 for officials.

  2. Supporting receipts and invoices (where required by travel policy) with proof of payment must be attached; however, in extenuating circumstances, copies may be certified.

  3. Travel claims and travel emission calculator reports should be completed and submitted within one week of returning from travel status or at least monthly if on extended travel status.

  4. Claims for less than the allowable amount are permitted. A brief note should be attached to show the employee is aware of the undercharge.

 

C.1.2 Reasonable Accommodation

  1. The Public Service Act directive on Employment Equity requires managers to provide reasonable accommodation for persons protected under the Human Rights Act.

  2. Policies requiring less costly travel alternatives still apply. However, once a decision is made that a person with a disability is required to travel reasonable accommodation should be provided to minimize any disadvantage the individual might experience as a result of the disability.

  3. Persons with disabilities who travel or attend meetings on government business may have special needs. Each deputy minister or delegate may issue special travel authorization, specific to the needs of the individual who has a disability, to enable full reimbursement of additional expenses incurred as a result of reasonable accommodation. For example, a person with a disability may need to pay a hotel rate exceeding the government rate where rooms available are not sufficiently accessible, or an employee who is deaf may require an interpreter at meetings. The accommodation need not be limited to expenses that normally require receipts. Incidental, meal and local transportation expenses may need to be increased to offset the additional costs. See Official Duties Expense Regulation (BC Reg. 226/2001 as amended) for information on officials with physical disabilities.

  4. Exemptions to the financial policy should be based upon communication between the employee and supervisor with the advice where required of health professionals and human resource/employment equity staff. Managers will exercise judgement in recommending exceptions to financial policy.

 

C.1.3 Commercial Transportation Charges

Core Policy - 10.3.2

When management designates transportation by commercial carrier(s) and the employee/appointee requests and receives authority to use their private vehicle instead, reimbursement will be based on the lesser of:

  • the distance allowance for the private vehicle (including any toll charges), or

  • the designated commercial carrier(s) cost for the trip.

    No meal, accommodation, travel time or any other expenses will be reimbursed beyond the transportation costs.

C.1.4 Account Verification Process

Core Policy - 10.3.2.2

  1. The account verification process can be tailored to reflect the risk level of the travel reimbursement claims under review. All high-risk transactions must be subjected to a review of all relevant aspects of the transaction, including a review of the supporting receipts.

  2. For low-risk travel reimbursement claims, the expense authority officer can conduct a "reasonableness check" to review only the most relevant aspects of each selected transaction (i.e., the payee is entitled to or eligible for the payment, the amount being reimbursed is reasonable in relation to the travel itinerary, the transaction is accurate and completed correctly, and complies with travel policies and procedures).

  3. Definitions of Risk:
  • High-Risk - transactions with the following criteria would be considered high-risk: highly sensitive transactions, for example travel claims that are likely to be the subject of Freedom of Information (FOI) or Public Accounts Committee requests (Groups III and IV), out-of-province travel, non-employee/contractor travel expenses, etc. This category could also include travel reimbursements of large dollar amounts or travel claims that are considered highly error prone (i.e., ministries are familiar with the current error rate from particular branches/offices).
  • Low-Risk - transactions with the following characteristics would be considered low-risk: transactions that are not sensitive in nature, or have a low error rate with a low dollar value impact of error (typically low to medium dollar value, i.e., routine travel reimbursement claims).

C.1.5 Account Verification by the Expense Authority Officer

Core Policy - 10.3.2.2

  1. The expense authority officer will determine the level of assurance review they will perform on each electronic travel voucher form received. Additionally, the expense authority officer can determine, by inspection, whether the travel claim appears out-of-line and warrants a more thorough review.

  2. Where necessary and appropriate, the expense authority officer will retrieve the corresponding travel envelope, or electronic documentation of same, containing the supporting receipts for review purposes (the travel envelope/electronic documentation and the electronic transmission are identified by the Control Number).

  3. Errors, omissions or questions can be documented in a comment section on the e-form, and routed back to the employee for clarification, correction and resubmission. As the e-form information is locked, only the employee can make any changes to the information online (i.e., the signing authority officers cannot alter the document in any way).

  4. Once expense authority has formally certified correct the electronic travel voucher, the e-form is routed electronically for payment.

C.1.6 Oracle iExpenses – Travel Claims

General

Core Policy - 10.3.16

  1. To claim travel expenses, employees must use iExpenses. In the rare case that employees do not have access to a computer, such as field or seasonal staff, it is acceptable to use a travel voucher. See C.14.6 for officials.

  2. For post audit purposes, expense authority officers should indicate on the electronic form that they are aware of or have approved any special arrangements.

  3. Other iExpenses policy:

    • Reason for travel or justification must be completed on the iExpenses form to indicate to an expense authority where the traveller went and/or the purpose of the trip.

    • For expense report preparation, delegates for iExpenses entry must not have an alternative delegate substituting for their leave or vacation period. Deputy minister expense reports are to be routed to the Executive Financial Officer or Chief Financial Officer who will act as expense authority for approving these reports.

    • Relocation expenses are to be processed using the Travel Voucher (FIN 10) form (government access only).

    • The expense type 'Foreign Travel' must be used for all out-of-country travel expenses (except U.S. airfare) to ensure that no GST is calculated by the iExpenses module.

Foreign Exchange on Travel Expenses

Core Policy - 10.3.4

  1. Each receipt and/or allowance is to be converted to Canadian funds. Actual exchange rates charged on supporting documentation (e.g. travel credit card statements, currency exchange slips) should be used, if available. Use of the travel credit card exchange rate is the preferred option. Several rates in one currency should be averaged.

  2. When the travel credit card exchange rate is not available, the currency converter at: http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates-classic should be used to obtain average historical exchange rates for currency pairs for the range of dates travelled. Key in the dates travelled, select the foreign currency to convert and Canadian dollars, and then select the “Typical credit card rate plus 2%” from the “Interbank rate” drop down box. Generate the conversion table, and then use the “Average rate” for the trip to convert the foreign currency to Canadian funds.

  3. Refer to C.11 Miscellaneous Foreign Travel Expenses  for additional reimbursement items.

 

Completion of iExpenses Claims for Foreign Travel

Claims for Expenses in US Funds

  1. Obtain the US exchange rate (using the travel credit card exchange rate where available, or the “Average rate” determined from the currency converter, above 2.) for US receipts, and any BC meal or per diem claim in US dollars while travelling in the U.S.A. Convert to the Canadian dollar equivalents, claim the amounts in iExpenses and specify the US exchange rate used. (e.g.: converting US$ to CDN$ when the US$ is at say, a 1.20 average rate, and a US expense was $500 would mean a converted amount of $600 CDN expenses (500 x 1.20)).

Claims for Expenses in Other Foreign Funds

  1. Obtain the foreign exchange rate (using the travel credit card exchange rate where available, or the “Average rate” determined from the currency converter, above 2.) for all foreign receipts and meal or per diem claims for each foreign country. Convert to the Canadian dollar equivalents, claim the amounts in iExpenses, and specify  the foreign currencies (e.g.: European Euros, Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan) and the exchange rates used.

Foreign Travel Guide (government access only)

Refer to the CAS iExpenses User Guide for complete information on processing expense reports.

C.1.7 SMARTTEC Travel Emission Calculator - Reports

Core Policy - 10.3.18

To use SMARTTEC to calculate travel emissions:

  1. Log on to the SMARTTEC calculator via the government intranet site: Where green ideas work (government access only).

  2. Enter all employee travel information in the fields provided:

    • Purpose of Travel (e.g.: specific trip information, training/conference and date);

    • Travel Mode, Dates, From/To locations, Distances (where not pre-populated) and the Return Trip (as applicable);

    • Accommodation, Dates, City/Other locations and the Accommodation Provider.
  1. In a carpool or ride-sharing trip, only the claimant of the private vehicle allowance, rental vehicle expense, taxi or limousine fare is required to complete the related travel emission report for the vehicle emissions. In all other cases, each traveller is required to complete an emission report for the mode of travel (i.e. by air, bus, ferry, etc.).

  2. Save the draft or complete a final report.

  3. When the travel emission report is finalized, the traveller will receive an automated e-mail of the SMARTTEC PDF report with travel details, emissions in KgCO2e, and a confirmation number for the trip.

  4. Note: the PDF report needs to be saved using the pre-assigned name/confirmation number before it can be attached electronically to the traveller's iExpenses report (or printed for attachment to a manual FIN 10 Travel Voucher).

  5. Attach the final SMARTTEC PDF report(s) with the confirmation number(s) to the iExpenses report (or manual FIN 10 Travel Voucher) for the related travel.

  6. Refer to the government intranet site: Where green ideas work (government access only) for additional information and guidance on the SMARTTEC application. For Tier 1 help desk queries contact 387-7000 or e-mail: 77000@gov.bc.ca.

C.2 Approval Requirements

Core Policy - 10.3.2; 10.3.4

Every employee requesting approval for out-of-province/country travel will complete form FIN 99 (government access only) in full. For staff (and contractor) out-of-province/country travel approval requirements, refer to Core Policy 10.3.4.1. Individual ministries may require higher approval in addition to director approval for their staff. Employees need to ensure they obtain the appropriate level of ministry approval prior to out-of-province or out-of-Canada travel.

The employee requesting reimbursement for out-of-province or out-of-Canada travel will attach copies 1 and 2 of the approved TB/FIN 99 to their travel claim.

C.3 Travel Voucher (FIN 10)

A travel voucher form (FIN10 - government access only) is used to reimburse employees who do not have access to a computer (such as field or seasonal staff) for travel related expenses incurred while travelling on government business; otherwise use Oracle iExpenses (refer to C.1.6).

The travel voucher form can also be used as an invoice to reimburse employees for other related expenses (e.g., relocation allowances, etc.). Different STOBs may be used for allocating costs as applicable.

Where travel expenses are incurred in Canada, GST is calculated on the full amount of the claim. On entry, Accounts Payable staff need to select the "GST TRAVEL" tax code. Where travel expenses are incurred outside of Canada (except U.S. airfare), no GST is paid. To ensure that no GST is calculated on a foreign travel claim (e.g., STOB 5706), Accounts Payable staff do not enter a tax code.

The expenses and allowances claimed on a travel voucher are used to pay back an accountable advance where an advance has been approved and issued; a cheque is generated only for the balance due to the employee.

Attach all Out-of-Province Travel Approval forms FIN 99 (government access only), relocation forms and any other required documentation.

  • Travel Vouchers must be legible;

  • If handwritten use black or blue ink;

  • To make corrections, strike a line through the incorrect information and write/type the correct information above. Do not obliterate the incorrect information or use correction tape or fluid;

  • Initial changes where changes are made to Box X, Y, Z or Field 54; and

  • Attach receipts in the same order that the travel is listed on the travel voucher form.

Supplementary Claims

  • Claims for expenses under-claimed or overlooked are to be supported by a photocopy of the original travel voucher.

  • Claims arising from a contract settlement do not require photocopies of original travel vouchers. The retroactive supplementary claim should show:

    • Document numbers of all original travel vouchers for which a retroactive claim is being made;

    • Number of breakfasts, lunches and/or dinners X the meal differential amount; distances previously claimed X change in distance allowance rate; and/or number of other travel allowances X rate change; and

    • Total supplementary claim.

Foreign Exchange on Travel Expenses

Core Policy - 10.3.4

  1. Actual exchange rates charged on supporting documentation (e.g. travel credit card statements, currency exchange slips) should be used, if available. Use of the travel credit card exchange rate is the preferred option. Several rates in one currency should be averaged.

  2. When the travel credit card exchange rate is not available, the currency converter at: http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates-classic should be used to obtain average historical exchange rates for currency pairs for the range of dates travelled. Key in the dates travelled, select the foreign currency to convert and Canadian dollars, and then select the “Typical credit card rate plus 2%” from the “Interbank rate” drop down box. Generate the conversion table, and then use the “Average rate” for the trip to convert the foreign currency to Canadian funds.

  3. Refer to C.11 Miscellaneous Foreign Travel Expenses  for additional reimbursement items.

Completion of Travel Voucher Claims for Foreign Travel

Claims for Expenses in US Funds

  1. Enter the actual US dollar cost and "US" in the appropriate block for each expense incurred in US funds. Also enter "US" after any BC meal or per diem claim in US dollars while travelling in the USA.

  2. Make one claim for US exchange (using the travel credit card exchange rate where available, or the “Average rate” determined from the currency converter, above 2.) and enter the difference as a claim in the Miscellaneous Cost column on the last day claimed on the voucher. Show the average exchange rate used and the total US amount in the miscellaneous description column. (e.g.: converting US$ to CDN$ when the US$ is at say, a 1.20 average rate for the trip, and total US expenses were $2,000 would mean a foreign exchange claim of $400 CDN in miscellaneous expenses (2,000 x 1.20 -2000)).

Claims for Expenses in Other Foreign Funds

  1. Each receipt and/or allowance is to be converted to Canadian funds. Obtain the exchange rate (using the travel credit card exchange rate where available, or the “Average rate” determined from the currency converter, above 2.) for each foreign currency.

  2. Show each expense incurred in a foreign currency in the appropriate block of the Travel Voucher (e.g.:European Euros, Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan), along with its Canadian dollar equivalent (using the travel credit card exchange rate where available, or the “Average rate”). More than one line may be used for each day's expenses. Mark the Canadian dollar equivalent CDN.

  3. Show the average exchange rate used for each foreign currency in the miscellaneous description column, and include only amounts marked CDN when totalling daily claims.

Foreign Travel Guide (government access only)

C.4 Rates and Reimbursements

Part Day Travel Status - Group I and Group II

Travel status begins and ends at the designated departure and return locations; these may be the employee's headquarters, personal residence, or other points of assembly as designated by an expense authority.

  1. On the day of departure, unless a line authority (with authority or approval for such expense) has scheduled travel status to commence before the meal period ends, employees are on personal time during their meal period and are not entitled to the allowance for that meal.

  2. On the day of return, unless travel status ends after the meal period begins, employees are on personal time during their meal period and are not entitled to the allowance for that meal.

Claiming Higher Per Diems (Group I and II Employees)

Where Group I and II employees/appointees are required to attend a government function with the minister, parliamentary secretary, deputy minister or associate deputy minister, a higher per diem or meal rate (Group II or III) may be authorized for the duration of the function. The executive financial officer must approve the higher limits.

Meals Inside Headquarters

  1. Meal expenses incurred inside headquarters (within a 32 km radius) due to job responsibilities will be reimbursed as follows:

    • Group I - as per the applicable collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment (if a travel meal allowance is claimed, an overtime meal allowance may not be claimed for the same meal period);

    • Group II - meal expenses incurred within headquarters or geographic location due to job responsibilities are reimbursed in accordance with PSA Policy Statement 17. Travel, Appendix 1 sec.1 (6);

    • Group III - for the actual meal expenses incurred; and

    • Group IV - officials are not designated a headquarters. No additional claims above his or her daily meal allowance can be made.

  2. Claims must be submitted on a memorandum justifying the expenditure and processed by cheque requisition form.

  3. It is not the intention to provide meal expenses where employees can be reasonably expected to provide their own meals or where they are not entitled by a collective agreement. Meals considered as a business expense are an exception to the above and should be claimed on a Business Expense Approval (BEA) form.

C.5 Vehicle Travel

C.5.1 Private Vehicle Damage Reimbursement

C.5.2 Rental/Government Vehicles

C.5.3 Bus and Taxi Charges

C.5.1 Private Vehicle Damage Reimbursement

Core Policy - 11.3.2

Note: This section will not apply where a court holds that the employee/driver of the vehicle is guilty of wilful, wanton or gross negligence.

Claims Procedures

  1. Employees are required to provide the following documentation, if applicable, in support of their claim:

  • a covering letter outlining the circumstances of the damage, signed by the employee and by the employee's supervisor to verify the use of the vehicle on government business;

  • a copy of the police report, if applicable;

  • copy of the employee's insurance documents (Owner's Certificate(s) of Insurance; a copy of ICBC repair estimate, or if ICBC coverage did not apply, copies of estimates from two (2) repair shops;

  • a copy of the receipt for repair, if not repaired through ICBC; and

  • a copy of the receipt for payment of the deductible portion of the loss.

 
  1. Claims are sent to the Manager, Claims Administration, Risk Management Branch, Provincial Treasury for review.

  2. Risk Management Branch (RMB) adjudicates the claim on behalf of ministries. It will not pay the claim.

  3. After reviewing the claim, RMB sends a letter to the supervisor of the employee making the claim informing the ministry of its decision and authorizing the payment amount.

  4. Ministries will inform RMB, in writing, of the final disposition of the claim (the amount and date of the payment to the employee).

  5. RMB provides each ministry with an annual summary of the number and type of claims filed and the amount requested; and the number of such claims accepted/rejected and the final amount paid for each claim.

Payment Procedures

  1. Claims for vehicle loss(es) are processed by cheque requisition with a copy of the adjudication letter from Risk Management Branch and applicable receipts as supporting documentation. The claim will be authorized by the employee's supervisor (with expense authority).

  2. The expense is charged to STOB 7055, using supplier code 025726. This expense is not a taxable benefit.

C.5.2 Rental/Government Vehicles

Core Policy - 11.3.5

  1. Cargo Insurance or Personal Effect Insurance will not be purchased and will not be reimbursed. Employees are expected to follow prudent measures to protect government property while in their possession.

  2. Where air travel to a US destination is not a viable option, it may be appropriate to rent a vehicle under the terms of a standing agreement as the risk exposure is higher in using a government, rather than a rental vehicle to travel to the US. The rental agency must be advised that the vehicle will be taken out of the province.

C.5.3 Bus and Taxi Charges

Core Policy - 10.3.16.2

  1. Claims for taxi costs while travelling on government business will be reimbursed when other more economical means of transportation are either unavailable or unsuitable (e.g., public transit).

  2. Employees can direct bill taxi costs while travelling on government business, if authorized to do so; however, they must not claim these costs for reimbursement.

  3. Ministries must consider the following criteria with respect to authorizing employees to direct bill for taxi transportation:

    • frequency of travel on short notice;
    • availability of alternative methods of financing short-term travel (i.e., government approved travel card, etc.); and
    • the cost of introducing additional administrative controls to ensure that duplication of charges do not occur.

Ministries must maintain:

  • a listing of those positions authorized to charge for taxi transportation while travelling on government business; and
  • a description of the methods and procedures implemented to ensure that duplicate payments are prevented and that direct billings from taxi companies include only authorized taxi expenses.
  1. Tips identified separately on taxi receipts (including direct billings) cannot be reimbursed as they are considered a personal expense at the discretion of employees and officials and not an expense of government (see also C.9 on gratuities).

C.6 Ferry Travel

Core Policy - 10.3.11.1

  1. Claims for the full cost of ferry travel will be reimbursed and receipts for vehicles are required. The cost of a ferry stateroom must be reimbursed only if it is used for overnight travel. Reimbursement for daytime use must have written approval from the expense authority. If used for overnight accommodation, enter the cost in the "Accommodation Costs" column of the travel voucher.

  2. Receipts state the type of ferry travel used such as ALT (assured loading), COMM (commuter loading) and SCRIP (pre-paid tickets for commercial vehicles). Where these types of pre-paid tickets are used, enter the appropriate abbreviation in the "Bus/Taxi/Air/Ferry Costs" column of the travel voucher form (receipts are required as supporting documentation).

Assured Loading Tickets

ALTs should only be used if necessary, as they cost more than regular fares. They must not be used where paying the regular fare will maintain your business schedule. See BC Ferries' website for ALT information.

BC Ferries Reserved Boarding

Information on reservations may be located on BC Ferries' website.

Employees are responsible for the costs associated with cancellations, except in exceptional circumstances (i.e., they are involved in a traffic accident en-route). In such an exceptional circumstance, expense authority approval is required.

Please note that as the reservation service costs more than a regular fare, a reservation is only to be made during peak travel periods. Employees must have a valid business reason for requiring a reservation.

C.7 Air Travel

Core Policy - 10.3.5
  1. Ministry expense authority officers may require the passenger copy of the air ticket to be attached to the travel claim. Indicate on the travel voucher form if QuickTickets or government air is used.

  2. Employees/officials/appointees are not authorized to fly private or personally rented aircraft on the employer's business (travel expenses, air travel insurance, Workers' Compensation Board coverage, etc. would not apply during this or any unauthorized travel).

  3. Air travel must be billed directly by vendors to ministries or paid using a Business Transaction Account (BTA) or the Purchasing Card (see the Purchasing Card Manual on airfare purchases).
  4. Fees assessed by a travel agency will depend on the volume, type of travel and payment method used.

To minimize travel agency fees, it is recommended that ministries/offices book directly with the air carrier for common short haul flights (i.e., harbour to harbour, Victoria airport/Vancouver airport, etc.), if the trip is not part of a larger trip itinerary.

C.8 Accommodation

Core Policy - 10.3.10
  1. Supporting hotel/motel receipts must be attached to the travel voucher. An employee must declare that "SINGLE RATE ONLY IS CLAIMED," in cases where the hotel/motel receipt shows that more than one person occupied the room.
  2. The following are acceptable for proof of hotel/motel costs:

    • copy of credit card flimsy along with hotel folio;
    • charge card impression on hotel folio;
    • zero balance on hotel folio;
    • "PAID" entered on hotel folio by hotel staff;
    • a receipt stating "received from (name), in the amount of $(amount), room rental from (date) to (date)," or
    • the name of the traveller and their credit card reference on the hotel folio when express check-out is claimed.
  1. Additional costs for the use of a kitchen unit in a hotel/motel cannot be claimed.

  2. Travelling employees are responsible for cancelling hotel reservations in time to avoid "no show" charges; government pays these charges where the employee has no control over the circumstance and is not at fault. The expense authority officer must decide if an employee should be held personally responsible for the charges.

C.9 Miscellaneous Travel Expenses

Core Policy - 10.3.11

Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Groups I and IV are eligible to claim laundry and dry cleaning expenses. They should be claimed in the "Miscellaneous" column of the travel voucher. All laundry expense claims must have receipts detailing items cleaned and costs. Laundry and dry cleaning expenses for Groups II and III are included in items covered by the incidental expense portion of their per diem. See PSA Policy Statement 17. Travel, Appendix 1 sec. 7.

Note: The $30 per day lodging allowance is to help defray the added costs, including laundry, to the householder when accommodating a guest. No additional laundry claims will be accepted unless the amount was paid to a company normally in the business of supplying laundry or dry cleaning services.

Business Expenses

Business meeting expenses (to any value provided that the appropriate coding and expense authority are affixed) may be claimed on a travel voucher if incurred while an employee is on travel status. See C.14.5 for information for officials.
If business meeting expenses are claimed by Groups I, II, or III by cheque requisition (STOB 6531) while on travel status, then the cheque requisition must be cross referenced to a travel voucher. If travelling out of province, the travel voucher must be cross referenced to the cheque requisition.

Gratuities

Tips and gratuities are at the discretion of employees and officials and are a personal expense (i.e., not an expense of government).
For a guideline on gratuities with regard to business meeting expenses, refer to C.17 under General Procedures.

Business Travel Medical Insurance

Employees covered under the employer’s extended health plan are also covered under a group business travel insurance plan for travel out-of-province or out-of-country on business for the BC Public Service. Under this plan, employees are covered for medical emergencies, including those resulting from pre-existing conditions, to a lifetime maximum of $3 million. This insurance does not apply to dependents or personal travel days. When combining business and personal travel, or if family members will be accompanying business travel, employees should purchase an individual travel insurance plan covering family members and their own personal travel days.

Those employees without extended health coverage through their employment with BC Public Service are not covered under the group business travel insurance plan. There are limited exceptions. Employees without extended health coverage should confirm their travel medical insurance status prior to making travel arrangements

If out-of-province or out-of-country business travel is required, employees without coverage under the corporate travel medical policy should purchase an individual travel insurance plan and claim the expense through their travel claim.  When purchasing travel insurance, make sure to read and understand the fine print. Most individual travel insurance plans exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Employees should carefully consider their personal health circumstances before agreeing to travel for work. For further information visit the MyHR  Travel Insurance link (http://www2.gov.bc.ca/myhr/article.page?ContentID=2abfefbf-a048-a6ac-1243-8f5f4740ee7f).

C.10 Contractor's Travel Expenses

Core Policy - 10.3.15

Contractors will only be entitled to travel expenses as specified by contract. Proof that the expenses have been incurred must be attached to the travel claim.

Contractors registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for GST purposes are entitled to claim input tax credits for the GST paid on their travel expenses and need to deduct this before they invoice ministries.

Contractors that are Small Suppliers for CRA purposes (with total annual revenues from taxable supplies not exceeding $30,000) are not required to, but can voluntarily register with the CRA for GST purposes to claim input tax credits.

C.11 Travel Expenses in Foreign Locations

Foreign Locations

Core Policy - 10.3.4.3

For travel in the U.S. meal or per diem allowances are amounts for BC in U.S. currency, which are then converted to Canadian dollars for claim purposes (as required by PSA Policy Statement 17. Travel, Appendix 1 sec. 8. (1)).

Core Policy - 10.3.4.4

For other foreign locations meal or per diem claims are determined in accordance with PSA Policy Statement 17. Travel, Appendix 1 sec. 9 based on rates published by the federal Foreign Affairs Department.

Miscellaneous Foreign Travel Expenses

Reimbursement may be claimed for foreign currency exchange costs and reasonable expenses incurred that relate directly to foreign travel as follows (receipts must be provided):

  • car rental insurance (Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is automatically provided when an employee uses their travel card to pay for the rental vehicle)

  • visa(s) and passport(s)

  • inoculation(s)

  • traveller's cheques

  • bottled water

  • preventive medication i.e., malaria tablets etc.

  • premiums for additional medical insurance to provide coverage equivalent to that available under the Provincial Medical Plan in BC (Note: Premium reimbursement is only provided if the employee is not covered under the employer’s extended health plan which includes Group Business Travel Medical Insurance (see C9 or the Foreign Travel Guide for more information)
  • additional dry cleaning/laundry costs that are incurred as a result of exceptional foreign conditions (not claims for normal dry cleaning/laundry costs included in per diem allowances for travel in foreign locations or under C.9)

  • additional baggage insurance

  • similar directly-related travel costs

Foreign Travel Guide (Government Access Only)

Local Travel Expenses at Foreign Locations

Employees posted to or hired locally in foreign locations who are on travel status on government business will be reimbursed travelling expenses in accordance with PSA Policy Statement 17. Travel, Appendix 1 sec.10.

C.12 Job Interview and Post Interview Expenses

In accordance with BCPSA policy, job interview and post interview expenses may be provided.

In-Service Government Employees

The ministry for whom an in-service government employee incurred job interview travel expenses shall assume the payment of expenses (the ministry where the vacancy exists). This ministry should establish conditions for travel (mode of travel, number of travel days allowed, etc.), prior to the expense being incurred. Reimbursement rates will be in accordance with the employee's current group status.

Eligible travel expenses will be in accordance with current Treasury Board Directives on Travel Expenses (Treasury Board Order 88, as amended).

In-service government employees will complete a FIN 10 Travel Voucher form (government access only) and submit it to the Panel Chairperson.

STOB 5710 is to be used for job interview and post interview travel expenses for in-service government employee.

Out-of-Service Applicants

The ministry in which a vacancy exists may reimburse travel expenses for out-of- service applicants competing for that position at the discretion of the appropriate expense authority. Before authorizing the expense, the ministry should establish a clear understanding with the job candidate of the rates of reimbursement, mode of travel, length of travel status, and any other conditions and limitations. Normally, out-of-service applicants will be subject to Group I rates. The GST component of such costs will be reimbursed, but is not eligible for the province's rebate.

All expenses associated with travel except for airline tickets should be paid to the supplier by the person travelling. Request for reimbursement of costs shall be submitted on a travel voucher or an OCG approved ministry-specific form. Only in exceptional circumstances should an out-of-service applicant be given a travel advance. The panel chairperson or ministry personnel should arrange the air travel to ensure the most economical airfare is obtained.

Charge STOB 6503 - Job Interview Expenses for Out-of-Service Applicants and use block supplier number 135400 - Interview Expenses for Out-of-Service Applicants. (includes post interview expenses for out-of-service applicants).

Ministries are to submit to OCG a Cheque Requisition Form FIN 188 (government access only) with a copy of the Travel Voucher Form FIN 10 attached.

C.13 Board and Lodging Expenses

Board and lodging allowances are identified in collective agreements for bargaining unit employees and in Part 6, section 29 of the terms and conditions of employment for excluded employees/appointees.

C.14 Travel Allowances – Officials

Core Policy - 10.4.4

C.14.1 Different Types of Travel for Officials

C.14.2 Party Business (Political)

C.14.3 Personal Attendants for Officials with Physical Disabilities

C.14.4 Ministers' Staff

C.14.5 Business Expenses Approvals

C.14.6 Reimbursement Claims and Payment Requisitions

C.14.7 Officials' Office Travel Financial Reports

C.14.8 Travel Charge Direct Billings

C.14.1 Different Types of Travel for Officials

Travel as an Official (Government Business)

Ministry/Cabinet business includes travel related to the specific business of the ministry as well as travel related to the general responsibilities of Cabinet (e.g., a Cabinet retreat or meeting). This can include expenses in the officials' constituency (except accommodation and laundry expenses when the official is at home) if the trip is for government business.

Travel as a MLA (Legislative Business)

Caucus business is related to legislative duties, and the Legislative Accounting Office pays these expenses.

C.14.2 Party Business (Political)

Travel expenses for party conventions, fundraising events or political functions are the personal responsibility of the official.

C.14.3 Personal Attendants for Officials with Physical Disabilities

If an official with a physical disability requires a personal attendant in order for him or her to travel to discharge official duties, the personal attendant may claim at Group IV rates, for expenses incurred and allowances permitted for the period that the personal attendant aided the official in the discharge of official duties. The application of Group IV rates to a personal attendant is limited to transportation, meals, accommodation and out of pocket expenses necessarily incurred for the purpose of this travel. A personal attendant may also be a spouse.

C.14.4 Ministers' Staff

For ministers' staff, it is not necessary to differentiate between constituency and government business. Ministers' staff are governed by the same policies and procedures that affect public servants and travel expenses are paid by the Ministry of Finance.

C.14.5 Business Expenses Approvals

Business meeting expenses are to be approved in advance in accordance with ministry established approval limits.

All business expense estimates per event or function, prior to being incurred, should be reported for budgetary control purposes to the ministry's chief financial officer (who is responsible to account for the ministry's expenditure commitments-to-date, STOB 6531).

For formal functions, the prior approval of the Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat is required for all expenses for official ceremonies, occasions of protocol, meetings of a national nature or government-hosted functions. These "formal function" expenditures may be for actual meeting, conference, function, staff consultation, and meal expenses.

C.14.6 Reimbursement Claims and Payment Requisitions

Claiming Travel Expenses – General Information

When processing an official's claim for reimbursement of travel and related expenses, submit an electronic travel voucher (FIN 10 - government access only). For expense authority purposes, the travel voucher form must be approved by the official (or the official's designate).

When completing the travel voucher form (FIN 10), the official (or official's designate) is reminded to:

  • use a separate line for each day or part day of travel;
  • attach the supporting documentation (e.g., receipts, flimsies, bills, flight coupons, etc.), preferably in date order of incurring the travel expenses; and
  • enter the minister's nine-digit employee number (six-digit payroll number followed by the first three letters of the minister's surname) in the Employee (Payee Supplier) No. field on the form.

The designated ministry employee responsible for processing official's claims, will ensure that the travel claims are:

  • duly prepared and approved; and
  • submitted as soon as possible after any out-of-province or major in-province trip, and as a minimum, after each month for minor in-province travel.

Claiming Business Expenses

With respect to "formal functions," a business expense pre-authorization memorandum must be attached as supporting documentation to the official's reimbursement claim (e.g., authorization by the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat for formal functions).

The business expense documents (e.g., flimsies, receipts, invoices billing the individual, etc.) must be submitted with a description of the nature and purpose of the expenditure. The business expense documents must be signed by the official (or official's designate) before payment is requisitioned, for expense authority purposes (unless he/she exercised expense authority on the cheque requisition or other appropriate document).

The designated ministry employee responsible for processing the official's claims is to ensure that the business expense pre-authorization memo, where required, is attached to the expense documents, the expense documents are accurate, the expense has not been previously paid, and the claim is approved. Accounts payable checks for expense authority and qualified receiver signatures.

Ministries will charge their vote expenditure account, STOB 6531 - Business Expenses, and the actual supplier number for business expenses incurred by their minister, unless a central agency ministry has budgetary provision for such business function expenses.

Travel Claims

Travel claims are to be forwarded to the following address:

Accounts
Financial Services and Administration Branch
Ministry of Finance
PO Box 9415 Stn Prov Govt
3rd Floor - 617 Goverment Street
Victoria BC  V8W 9V1

The CFO of the Ministry of Finance will charge the official's office sub-vote (as per the service agreement) or the central agency expenditure vote, STOB and the official's supplier number.

C.14.7 Officials' Office Travel Financial Reports

Each month, the Ministry of Finance will distribute Detailed Transaction Reports to each official's office. The reports show all of the transactions processed by Finance, as well as year to date and actual expenditure figures. The Detailed Transaction Reports received by the officials' office staff should be reconciled on a monthly basis.

Any requests under the Freedom of Information and Protections of Privacy Act with respect to the travel expenses of officials should be referred to the Information Access and Records Services Branch, Ministry of Finance.

Note: "Ministers Office Travel Expense Guidelines" are available from the Executive Financial Clerk, Financial Services and Administration Branch, Ministry of Finance.

C.14.8 Travel Charge Direct Billings

Officials may request suppliers to bill the ministry directly for the following travel costs:

air travel invoices (including airline QuickTickets);

accommodation expenses incurred by officials (excluding personal charges); and

taxi company invoices.

The invoice or ticket must be signed by the official (or officials's designate) for expense authority purposes (unless they exercise expense authority on the cheque requisition or other appropriate document). The designated ministry employee responsible for processing official's claims will ensure that the invoice is accurate, not previously paid and is approved.

The specified invoices are to be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance.

C.15 Travel Expense and Allowances – Parliamentary Secretaries, Committee Members and Designated Members

Individuals in these roles are included in the definition of "officials" per the Official Duties and Expenses Regulation (BC Reg. 226/2001 as amended).

C.16 Relocation Allowances

Core Policy - 18.3.9

C.16.1 Travel Expenses on Relocation

C.16.2 Moving of Household Effects and Chattels

C.16.3 Moving Company Charges

C.16.4 Moving Mobile Homes

C.16.5 Relocation/Duplicate Rent

C.16.6 Requested Relocation by Employee

C.16.7 Employer Forced Relocation

C.16.8 Relocation at Time of Retirement

C.16.9 All Employees

C.16.10 Relocation for New Appointees

C.16.11 Relocation for OIC Appointees Already in Government Service

C.16.12 Claiming Relocation Allowances

C.16.1 Travel Expenses on Relocation

Excluded employees will be reimbursed for meals on relocation in accordance with his/her Group rates; however, the employee's spouse and dependents 13 years of age and over will receive the meal reimbursement at full Group I rates, and dependents 12 years and under are eligible for one-half the Group I rate.

Reimbursement of relocation expenses will involve either a cheque or journal voucher coded to one of the following three STOBs:

    5225 Taxable relocation expense (for T4A report) 5226 Non-taxable relocation

    5228 Field move relocation

For Public Accounts purposes relocation costs (STOB 52) are not reported with other public servant travel (STOB 57 with an employee number). Travel expenses on relocation need to be coded with the employee-type supplier number.

Note: For purposes of relocation assistance, those employees covered by a collective agreement include BCGEU, PEA and Nurses. The standing collective agreements in effect for each bargaining unit should be consulted for further details. (e.g., Nurses have a different definition of headquarters according to their Collective Agreement).

C.16.2 Moving of Household Effects and Chattels

The BC Moving Agent, BC Employee Relocation Services, BC Mail Plus arranges provincial, national and international employee relocations.

The BC Moving Agent will arrange all aspects of the employee move once the move has been authorized by initiation of the Employee Move Authorization form (FIN 191 - government access only).

For assistance with a specific move, call BC Employee Relocation Services at 250 952-4038 or facsimile 250 952-5117.

Insurance

The moving firm is responsible for claim costs based upon release rate; the remainder of the costs are covered through Risk Management Branch who will charge back the remaining claim cost to the originating ministry program.

Limitations and exclusions to Risk Management Branch coverage is covered in the Information Package forwarded by the Moving Agent, BC Employee Relocation Services to the employee moving.

Note: The above applies to regular status employees covered by a collective agreement and excluded employees. It does not apply to mobile, field status or new hire employees.

Transporting a Motor Vehicle

The employer shall pay the cost of insuring a motor vehicle being shipped in accordance with BCPSA Policy.

C.16.3 Moving Company Charges

All moving and storage related costs for an employee relocating are electronically charged back to the originating ministry program. A charge back summary sheet will be forwarded to the contracting ministry upon completion of the move. BC Employee Relocation Services, BC Mail Plus maintains a listing of non-admissible items and services that are not permitted to be carried by the moving firm at government expense.

C.16.4 Moving Mobile Homes

On relocation, an employee/appointee who owns a mobile home may opt to have the mobile home moved by the employer in accordance with BCPSA Policy. Note that an employee who opts to move a mobile home shall not be entitled to the reimbursement provisions for the moving of household effects nor to the reimbursement provisions for real estate and legal fees.

C.16.5 Relocation/Duplicate Rent

Claims for duplicate rent are to be made on ministry specific invoices that will be processed by cheque requisition using an employee supplier code. Receipts must be attached as supporting documentation. See BCPSA Policy for entitlement information.

C.16.6 Requested Relocation by Employee

Where an employee requests relocation from one headquarters or geographic location to another, the travelling/living expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the employee.

C.16.7 Employer Forced Relocation

BCPSA Policy provides for the reimbursement of relocation expenses where a regular employee is required by the employer to relocate as a result of the employer moving its operation.

C.16.8 Relocation at Time of Retirement

See the collective agreement article 27.17 for details on relocation at the time of retirement, and BCPSA Policy.

C.16.9 All Employees

Relocation provisions will be paid in accordance with BCPSA Policy (see Relocation Expenses). An employee is to submit the claim on a travel requisition. Expenses are to be processed on a cheque or journal requisition, using STOB 5226 and an employee supplier code. The travel requisition and receipts will act as supporting documentation.

Employee Moves His Own Effects and Chattels

The employee is to follow the provisions of BCPSA Policy. The claim is to be processed on a cheque requisition, using STOB 5225 and an employee supplier code.

Incidental Expenses on Relocation

The employee is to follow the provisions of BCPSA Policy. The claim must be completed and processed on a cheque requisition, using STOB 5226 or STOB 5225 (see Canada Revenue Agency policy on moving allowance) and an employee supplier code.

Real Estate and Legal Fees

A claim for real estate and legal fees must be submitted on a ministry specific invoice with supporting documentation. The claim is to be processed on a cheque requisition, using STOB 5226 and an employee supplier code. The cheque stub code 16 must be entered in block 10 of the requisition.

C.16.10 Relocation for New Appointees

Relocation Assistance Policy for all new appointees to government service is based on Treasury Board Order No. 316/01. Refer to BCPSA Policy for details.

Approval of Excess Amounts

Payment of allowances in excess of those listed above require the prior approval of the deputy minister of the hiring ministry.

Expense authorities must ensure that the total amount paid does not exceed the total eligible amount, and that all relocation expenses paid directly to suppliers (if any) are deducted from the total eligible amount before the balance of the assistance approved (if any) is paid to the employee.

The house-hunting assistance is separate and in addition to the above relocation assistance.

Direct Payments to Suppliers

Relocation expenses paid directly to the supplier(s) are discussed in the BCPSA website.

Direct payments to a supplier are at cost, must be supported by invoices/paid receipts (if applicable), and are not required to be reported for Taxable Benefit T4A purposes and are coded to STOB 5226. This requisition must be dual coded: payee code to the firm and distribution supplier code. The ministry expense authority should advise appointees to retain copies of the relocation expense documentation for income tax purposes to substantiate the reimbursement to Canada Revenue Agency, upon request. (Refer to Federal Interpretation Bulletin IT-178 R2, Moving Expenses.)

Where relocation expenses are paid directly as above, the remaining amount will be paid as a single lump sum allowance to the appointee and should be reported as a Taxable Benefit for T4A purposes and coded to STOB 5225.

The ministry's chief financial officer, or designated officer, shall ensure that requests from employees for direct payment to suppliers for relocation expenses:

Are documented in the payroll employee file;

Are reduced from the lump sum allowance payment; and

Are recorded in the ministry-wide listing of Memo Accounts Receivable - Relocation Allowances to New Appointees.

Pre-Relocation Househunting Expenses

The employee is to submit the claim on a travel requisition. Expenses are to be processed on a cheque requisition, using STOB 5226 and an employee supplier code. The travel requisition will act as supporting documentation. See the above BCPSA website for details.

Application for Relocation Allowance and Expenses

A new appointee, who receives relocation assistance and/or house-hunting expenses, is required to sign (in duplicate) a "New Appointees Relocation Assistance and/or Househunting Expense Report and Assignment of Wages" form. See the BCPSA website for policies.

Note: The liability to repay a pro-rata amount of the relocation assistance arises when an employee resigns (i.e., voluntary resignation). No such obligation to repay is created where an employee is dismissed from employment.

Payment Requisitions for Relocation Expenses

For lump sum payments to the employee, the ministry will requisition payment by Cheque Requisition (form FIN 188 -government access only), using either STOB 5225 (taxable) or 5226 (non-taxable), and an employee supplier code. Following documents will be attached:

A photocopy of the appointment agreement (or letter) authorizing the pre-relocation househunting travel assistance offered; or

A letter from Personnel authorizing amount (if not in appointment agreement); and

A copy of the New Appointees Relocation Assistance and/or Househunting Expense Report and Assignment of Wages.

Timing of Payments

The following may not be paid until both an Employee Number has been assigned and the Effective Date of the appointment has passed:

Relocation expenses paid directly to suppliers (if any);

Remaining relocation lump sum allowance (if any); and

Househunting expenses.

Note: The date that an applicant is appointed as an employee is the EFFECTIVE DATE indicated on the Personnel/Pay Data Authorization ("A" Form FIN 223) as approved by a delegated appointment authority.

Payments to individuals before the EFFECTIVE DATE that the applicant is appointed an employee will be made under policies for suppliers of services. Payments to individuals after the EFFECTIVE DATE will be made under financial administration policies for employees.

Memo Accounts Receivable

The ministry shall retain the New Appointees Relocation Assistance - Application And Assignment of Wages Agreement in an employee payroll file and shall maintain a ministry-wide list of memo Accounts Receivable - Relocation Allowances To New Appointees.

If there is an outstanding portion at the time the employee resigns, the ministry will set-up an account receivable and will credit refund of expenditure:

All refunds of expenditure that relate to expenditures incurred in prior fiscal years shall be credited to an account, "Recovery of Prior Year's Expenditure"; and

All refunds of expenditure that relate to expenditures incurred in the current fiscal year shall be permitted as credits to the appropriate expenditure account.

C.16.11 Relocation for OIC Appointees Already in Government Service

See the BCPSA Policy where relocation is approved for OIC Appointees already in government service.

Approval of relocation expenses in excess of those listed in the BCPSA Policy require the prior approval of the deputy minister.

C.16.12 Claiming Relocation Allowances

Ministries will maintain a control record for every relocation (Group I and excluded employees). This may be accomplished by completing a Relocation Control Record (FIN 20 - government access only) or another format that contains at a minimum the same information.

Retroactive Claim Adjustments

Where BCPSA Relocation Assistance Policy is amended and the effective date is retroactive, claims may be submitted for the adjustment amount in the same manner as for the original claim. Ministry signing authorities will ensure that the retroactive adjustment amount has not been previously claimed and that the following attachments are provided:

- Application form, if applicable, for the adjustment amount, and

- Copy of the initial voucher.

Relocation for Auxiliary to a Regular Employee Position

Bargaining unit auxiliary employees who have successfully completed their initial probationary period (913 hours) and who are required to move from one geographic location to another after winning a competition, or at the employer's request, will be entitled to relocation expense reimbursement accorded to regular bargaining unit employees.

Excluded auxiliary employees who move from one geographic location to another at the request of the employer or who have completed 1827 hours immediately prior to winning a regular competition in another geographic location, will be entitled to relocation expense reimbursement accorded to regular excluded employees.

C.17 Business Meeting and Protocol Event Expenses

Core Policy - 18.3.4

C.17.1 General

17.2 Business Meeting Expenses

C.17.3 Protocol Event Expenses

C.17.4 General Procedures

C.17.1 General

The Business Expense Approval (BEA) form (FIN 215)(government access only) is available to obtain pre-approval and to support reimbursement (excluding travel costs for BC government employees and meeting registration fees) for expenses expected to exceed $100.00. The BEA form is also available when purchasing protocol related gifts for dignitaries. Use of the BEA form is discretionary and appropriate where ministries require expense authorities to have additional control given the nature of the expenses, purpose and attendees of the event.

There are two classes of provincially hosted meetings. They are classified as business meeting expenses and protocol event expenses.

C.17.2 Business Meeting Expenses

Where justified by management, meals may be provided during meetings where it is essential that business discussions not be interrupted or where it is essential to meet over a meal period, as the issue is important, needs early resolution and no other time is available. Providing meals at business meetings should be an exceptional rather than regular occurrence, and such costs must be reasonable.

The provision of snack food items such as muffins and donuts, etc. for meetings involving only government staff is discouraged, especially in situations where meetings are conducted in the headquarters location of a majority of those employees. Often the meeting host(s) will purchase such items personally, as it would be an inappropriate use of public funds to do otherwise (unless justified by management as above).

Business meeting expenses must not include any associated costs for spouses or guests of the participants.

C.17.3 Protocol Event Expenses

Where a written invitation has been issued for spouses of employees to attend the Long Service Awards Ceremony, the travel expenses for the spouse or guest will be reimbursed at the Group I rates. An employee's own ministry must pay for the travel expenses associated with the employee attending a protocol event. (Also see BCPSA policy on Recognition and Awards.)

C.17.4 General Procedures

Agreements for the meeting room rentals, meals and coffee service should be in writing (a confirming letter is sufficient). A flat fee or a percentage (e.g., 10 to 15 percent of the total food bill) may be negotiated as a gratuity (see CPPM 18.3.4.4 for approvals). The business meeting expenses of individuals must not be directly billed to the government. Direct billing of a ministry may occur for ministry arranged functions (seminars, meetings, etc.) where the size of the function would warrant it. Where direct billing is permitted, ministries shall ensure that controls are in place to avoid duplicate payments.

Where the ministry uses the BEA form, it may be submitted with the payment request as supporting documentation together with actual receipts and/or invoices marked with proof of payment.

Where appropriate, a single employee may claim for the total meal expenses incurred at a business meal meeting.

Business meeting expenses to any value may be claimed on a Travel Voucher when the claimant incurred the expense while on travel status, provided that the appropriate coding and expense authority are affixed.

Meals Inside Headquarters. Where no practical alternative exists, business lunch meetings may be held away from the meeting area or office. For these "meal inside headquarters," reimbursement of expenses shall be:

    as per collective agreements for unionized employees; in accordance with specified meal rates; actual meal expenses for Group III's; and

    no additional claim for Group IV's if a claim for the daily meal allowance has been made.

C.18 Remuneration for Appointees to Crown Corporations, Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Administrative Tribunals

Policy for the remuneration and travel expenses of appointees to Crown corporations, agencies, boards, commissions and administrative tribunals is contained in Core Policy 18.3.3.

C.19 Miscellaneous Expenses

C.19.1 Christmas Cards

C.19.2 Loss of Personal Possessions

C.19.3 Discretionary Expenditures

C.19.1 Christmas Cards

The Deputy Minister of Citizen's Services, by way of a memo, informs Cabinet Ministers of the procedures for ordering of Christmas cards.

The Premier and Cabinet Ministers are the only government officials entitled to the purchase of Christmas cards with government funds.

C.19.2 Loss of Personal Possessions

Core Policy – 10.3.12

Claims on the employee/appointee's homeowner's insurance policy must have been made before claims can be made under this section.

Claims Procedures

Employees/appointees will provide the following documentation, if applicable, in support of their claim:

a completed General Incident or Loss Report (FIN 597)(government access only);

a covering letter outlining the circumstances of the loss or damage, signed by the employee and the employee's supervisor to verify the loss or damage and the necessity of the item in the performance of duties;

a copy of the employee's homeowner's insurance policy (or renewal certificate), if applicable;

for losses claimed on an employee's homeowner's policy, a copy of the loss report submitted to the insurer;

for repairable items, an estimate of repair, followed by a copy of the receipt for full payment; and

for items not claimed on an insurance policy, date and original purchase price of item(s).

Claims will be sent to the Director, Claims & Litigation Management, Risk Management Branch, Provincial Treasury for review.

Risk Management Branch (RMB) will adjudicate the claim on behalf of ministries. It will not pay the claim.

After reviewing the claim, RMB will send a letter to the supervisor of the employee making the claim informing the ministry of its decision and authorizing the payment amount.

Ministries will inform RMB, in writing, of the final disposition of the claim (the amount and date of the payment to the employee).

RMB will provide each ministry with an annual summary of the number and type of claims filed and the amount requested; and the number of such claims accepted/rejected and the final amount paid for each claim.

Payment Procedures

Claims for extraordinary loss(es) will be processed on cheque requisitions (or through petty cash, if under the petty cash limit) and include a copy of the adjudication letter from Risk Management Branch and applicable receipts (original or certified copies) as supporting documentation. The claim will be authorized by the employee's supervisor (with expense authority).

The expense will be charged to STOB 6501 and made to supplier code 025726. This expense is not a taxable benefit.

C.19.3 Discretionary Expenditures

Ministry expense authority officers are to exercise care, and use sound judgement when authorizing discretionary ministry expenditures that are not required to meet program objectives. Examples include, but are not limited to: bottled water, plants, flowers for funerals, festive decorations, etc.

As expense authority officers are accountable for effective financial management, due regard must be given to the spirit and intent of the government's management and financial policies. Expense authority officers should be aware of the public perception with respect to the purchase of such items, and use the utmost discretion prior to initiating the expenditure.

To determine if unique circumstances exist that may warrant the purchase, any discretionary expenditure should be made in consultation with the ministry chief financial officer.

C.20 Childcare Expenses

Additional childcare expenses are reimbursed in accordance with Article 27.24 of the British Columbia Government Employees' Union (BCGEU) Master Agreement. For the purposes of this Article, "course" refers to training through a series of lectures or demonstrations where the employee registers their attendance and where some tuition fee is paid by or on behalf of the employee.

Tuition fees may not be involved if the trainer or course is produced in-house. However, training is not staff meetings, conferences or retreats where Ministry staff gather to discuss, plan or learn about ministry operations or objectives.

"Additional" childcare expenses mean those childcare expenses over and above those expenses normally incurred while the employee is at work from day to day. The intention is not to reimburse for normal childcare expenses incurred during normal work hours even though the employee may be out of town.

Note: Childcare Expenses apply to all employees except Statutory Term, Locally Engaged and OIC Category C (who are not employed in a minister's Office).

Employee Attends Activities as Requested/Required by Employer

Additional childcare expenses incurred as a result of attending employer- endorsed education, training and career development activities, or employer-sponsored activities that are not included in the normal duties of the employee/appointee's job, and are outside their headquarters or geographic location will be reimbursed up to $60.00 per day upon production of a receipt.

The supporting receipt must be a signed statement indicating the date(s) being charged, the hourly rate of pay, the total hours of care provided, the caregiver/agency and the total amount charged.

Employees will complete the FIN 10, Travel Voucher form (government access only) and record the childcare cost per day in Field 23 (MISCELLANEOUS COLUMN). Enter "Child Care Expense" in Field 24 (DESCRIPTION) of the travel voucher form to identify the miscellaneous cost.

STOB 5725 will be used for childcare expenses incurred while on travel status and charged to the employee's payroll number.

This reimbursement is not considered a taxable benefit, rather, a reimbursement of reasonable travelling expenses of the employee. (This amount must not be claimed as a childcare expense on an individual's personal income tax return).

Employee Attends a Course Approved By the Employer

The additional childcare expenses as a result of attending a course approved by the employer outside the employee/appointee's normal scheduled work day will be reimbursed up to $30.00 per day upon production of a receipt. This reimbursement shall not exceed fifteen days per calendar year.

The supporting receipt must be a signed statement indicating the date(s) being charged, the hourly rate of pay, the total hours of care provided, the caregiver/agency and the total amount being charged.

Employees will complete a Cheque Requisition form (FIN 188) (government access only) and attach the supporting receipt.

Charge STOB 5215 on the cheque requisition form (Field 17) and supplier code to the employee's payroll number (Field 11).

This reimbursement is considered to be a taxable T4 benefit. One extra copy of the cheque requisition form must be photocopied and forwarded to the ministry payroll office for recording on the employee's master payroll record. (The ministry payroll office will input the taxable benefit onto the employee's master payroll file using DOE code "ZB").

C.21 Reimbursement of Incidental Expenses

C.21.1 Licensing and Professional Dues (except Legal Counsel and Salaried Physicians)

C.21.2 Medical/Dental Travel Expenses

C.21.3 Boot Allowance (Safety Toe Footwear)

Incidental expenses as outlined below may be claimed for reimbursement by completing the Reimbursement of Incidental Expenses form (BCPSA 97). Attach the supporting receipt as evidence of payment and submit to the appropriate expense authority officer for approval. Once approved, the documentation will be forwarded to the ministry Payroll Office for processing via the Corporate Human Resource Information and Payroll System (CHIPS).

C.21.1 Licensing and Professional Membership Dues (except Legal Counsel and Salaried Physicians)

Refer to the applicable Master Agreement for BCGEU (Article 27.26), PEA (Article 3.05), Nurses (Article 3.02) or Terms and Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees (BCPSA Chapter 5.5) to determine eligibility for licensing and professional membership dues.

Eligible financial positions are included on the Professional Dues Reimbursement Matrix (government access only). Ministry Chief Financial Officers approve all changes and additions to the matrix, which is maintained by the Financial Management Branch, Office of the Comptroller General. An expense authority cannot approve the reimbursement of accounting membership dues unless the position in question is listed on the Reimbursement Matrix.

Reimbursement forms that are approved by the employee's expense authority require forwarding to the ministry Payroll Office for processing.

Reimbursement is for regular employees only. Refer to the applicable agreement/terms and conditions of employment for direction on the reimbursement of part-time employees.

Pro-rating will not occur for a partial year of service . For example, if a new employee starts in an eligible position in June, and they have completed their probationary period, the reimbursement will be made in full to the amount charged by the licensing body/association, up to the maximum allowed under the applicable Master Agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment.

Membership dues reimbursements may only be made once per calendar year and only for those memberships required as a condition of employment.

C.21.2 Medical/Dental Travel Expenses

Employees in areas where adequate medical and dental facilities are not available are entitled to the reimbursement of reasonable receipted expenses for accommodation and travel. For specific entitlement information, refer to:

BCPSA Terms and Conditions of Employment (250 387-0448); and

collective agreements.

The ministry may request that a certificate from a qualified medical or dental practitioner be provided, stating that the treatment could not be provided by facilities or services available at the employee's place of residence.

C.21.3 Boot Allowance (Safety Toe Footwear)

Reimbursement is made to eligible employees as specified in the applicable component agreement, who are required by the Workers' Compensation Board to wear caulk boots or safety-toed footwear. They are reimbursed once per calendar year, upon presentation of a receipt. Reimbursement entitlements are only for the purchase of new boots and do not apply to the repair of boots.

Refer to the applicable component agreements for the reimbursement rates and effective dates.