Overview

This policy is effective April 1, 2020 and replaces the former International travel policy.

To view expenses related to travel, accommodation, meals and hospitality incurred while on government business visit travel and expense disclosure.

Download PDF version: Travel policy for elected official missions

Criteria

  1. Missions should be planned appropriately and align with fiscal prudency principles as outlined in the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.
  2. Missions must support Alberta’s current international, domestic and intergovernmental objectives, priorities, and ministry business plans.
  3. Determine whether mission objectives can best be achieved by the Premier, Minister, other elected official, or whether senior officials or staff from the Premier’s Office could achieve the same objectives. Examples of missions that may require elected official participation include, but are not limited to:
    • promoting Alberta as an attractive destination for investment, jobs, and economic progress;
    • representing Alberta at intergovernmental meetings;
    • engagement with other senior government officials and high-level stakeholders to advocate and advance priorities that support, develop and shape Alberta’s future;
    • meeting with international organizations such as United Nations and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development;
    • speaking opportunities that promote Alberta to influential stakeholders;
    • development of regulatory frameworks, trade negotiations and execution of national and international agreements;
    • building strategic relationships within priority markets and sectors, and facilitating international cooperation; and
    • attending major international events that will be produced in Alberta in future years to gain comprehension on event elements.
  4. Ensure travel does not conflict with legislative responsibilities/house duties. Where the timing of Premier/Ministerial/MLA travel is discretionary, any conflict with the legislative session or other domestic ministerial responsibilities should be avoided.
  5. Premier/Ministers/MLAs are encouraged to plan travel into regions to avoid a high frequency of travel, manage expenditures and coordinate mission plans to avoid overlapping international travel, unless there is a strategic reason for doing so.

Approval process

  1. Requests for Premier’s formal approval should be submitted to the office of the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation for processing with an aim to maximize the amount of planning time to coordinate the missions. Ideally, allow 6 weeks prior to the departure date for international travel, and three weeks prior to departure for domestic out-of-province travel for approval and planning of missions.
  2. A completed Proposed Out-of-Province Travel form, including the mission objectives and key initiatives, and a detailed draft itinerary must be submitted to Jobs, Economy and Innovation. Requests will be reviewed and forwarded to the Premier’s Chief of Staff for final approval. For Premier’s travel, travel requests are to be submitted to the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance for approval and should include the same documents as required for Ministers and MLAs.
  3. Premier/Ministers/MLAs must include any personal time that may be taken in conjunction with an international or domestic out-of-province mission on the travel form. Personal time expenses must be borne personally by the Premier/Minister/MLA.
  4. If spouses wish to travel with the Premier or a Minister/MLA for business or personal reasons, prior approval must be received from the Office of the Premier. In the case of the Premier, prior approval must be received from the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance. All expenses related to spousal participation on a trip will be borne personally by the Premier/Minister/ MLA unless the travel is approved as official government business. The Premier/Minister/MLA must indicate on the travel form that their spouse will be accompanying.
  5. If, for any reason, the approved mission travel dates, destinations and/or participants change, the Premier/Minister/MLA must submit an amended travel form to Jobs, Economy and Innovation by checking the box marked 'amendment'. The amended travel form will be reviewed and forwarded to the Premier’s Chief of Staff for final approval. The changes must be highlighted on the new form. For Premier travel amendments, a new travel form must be submitted to the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.
  6. The Premier/Minister/MLA must work in conjunction with Jobs, Economy and Innovation to ensure co-ordination of Alberta’s presence in the region for missions to the same region or repeat missions. Part of the co-ordination is to also discuss any possible health, security or political issues relating to their travel. This may include situations concerning both human and animal health threats, such as Coronavirus, H1N1, SARS, BSE, foot and mouth disease or avian flu. It may also concern travel to areas subject to potential terrorist threats, regions of instability or civil war, or countries that are subject to international sanctions for human rights violations.

News releases

  1. News releases

    1.1  Information on international travel for elected officials must be released to the public in the form of a news release no later than 24 hours prior to any travel outside of Canada unless there are security reasons not to do so. The news release must include:

    • dates and objectives of the travel
    • basic itinerary
    • list of delegation, including the Premier, Minister, or MLA as well as:
      • Premier’s office staff
      • Minister’s office staff
      • all Government of Alberta (GoA) staff. However, GoA International Office staff accompanying the Premier/Minister/MLA on missions within their designated territory or GoA staff participating in trade shows, conferences or events that are part of their core business are not considered to be part of the delegation.
      • advance mission staff
    • information about events (for example, conference or meeting programs) to be attended by elected officials (included as background if available)

    1.2  News releases are to be co-ordinated with the Premier’s Communications Office.