Travel Policy

Policy Statement

As part of their ongoing learning and development, Members of the Board of Health are encouraged to participate in conferences, meetings or other events that may, from time to time, be held outside the Ottawa area. The Ottawa Board of Health also recognizes that such events provide a valuable opportunity for networking and for advancing the work of Ottawa Public Health.

The purpose of this Policy is to establish parameters for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by Board Members related to approved travel outside of the Ottawa area on Board-related business. This Policy also outlines requirements for Board of Health Members to report back to the Board following their participation at conferences, meetings or other similar events.

General Guidelines

Following Board approval of a Board Member’s participation at a conference, meeting or event, the Member’s registration for that event will be processed through, and paid by, the Office of the Medical Officer of Health.

Accommodation and travel arrangements may be made by individual Board Members, based on the guidelines outlined in this policy. All associated original receipts are to be submitted to the Board Secretary following Board Members’ return from the conference, meeting or event. Reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses as well as per diem allowances will be based on the expense guidelines outlined in this policy.

Expense Guidelines

Board Members shall travel using the most practical and economical means possible while keeping in mind the purpose and urgency of the trip. The use of privately-owned vehicles is allowed, however reimbursement for mileage may not exceed the cost of economy airfare.

Eligible travel expenses include:

  • Transportation, including vehicle-for-hire expense(s) (gratuity not to exceed 15%). Only receipts from vehicles-for-hire, as defined in this Policy, will be reimbursed.
  • Accommodations (hotel, motel or other paid lodging, as defined in this Policy)
  • Meals (excluding alcoholic beverages), in accordance with the per diem allowance
  • Incidental expenses, in accordance with the per diem allowance
  • Foreign exchange costs and/or traveller’s cheques
  • Premiums for out of country health insurance (if applicable and if required)
  • Telephone calls made for work 


Mileage for authorized business travel is reimbursed in accordance with the City of Ottawa rate for Management & Professional Exempt (MPE) staff.

Per Diem Allowance

Daily per diem rates are as follows and are based on current City of Ottawa rates:

Breakfast $11
Lunch $11
Dinner $30
Incidentals (overnight stays only) $17
Daily maximum $69

A meal allowance is not paid to Board Members where that meal is provided by the travel provider (airline or rail agency) or where that meal is provided as part of the conference, meeting or event program.

Where a person leaves the day before the event or returns the following morning, the per diem allowance for each part date is based on actual departure/arrival times.

If a Board Member extends their out-of-town visit for personal reasons (i.e., leaves one or two days in advance or returns one or two days after the event), costs associated with additional days of travel / stay will be borne by the Board Member.

Foreign Exchange

All claims are to be submitted in Canadian funds. The cost of purchasing travellers’ cheques and currency conversion charges are allowable expenses provided original receipts are submitted to support the expense incurred, and provided the total dollars involved does not exceed the expense incurred in the foreign country, as evidenced by the travel claim.

Reporting Requirement

Board members attending a conference, meeting or event of 1 day or less will be required to provide a verbal report to the Board at the board meeting immediately following the conference, meeting or event.

Board Members attending a multi-day conference, meeting or event will be required to provide a written report to the Board at the meeting immediately following the conference, seminar or event. Such written report may be made through an Information Previously Distributed (IPD) memo. The Board of Health Secretary may assist with the preparation of the IPD memo.


Accommodations commercial lodging facilities such as hotels, motels, corporate residences or apartments.

City Business − attending an event as a representative of Ottawa Public Health and/or the Ottawa Board of Health.

Economy Airfare - the standard class of travel, including special discount fares (excludes first class, VIA 1 and business class or equivalent).

Receipt − an original document showing the name of the vendor, as well as the date, amount and description of expenditure paid by the Board Member.

Vehicle-for-Hire – in the context of this Policy, this term is defined as a licensed taxicab, a licensed private transportation company (PTC) or licensed limousine.

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