Document 9



Approved By City Council


Approval Date: March 28, 2001



Section Corporate Services


Effective Date: March 28, 2001


Subsection City Clerk’s Branch


Revision Date: August 28, 2002

                          January 10, 2006

                          December 6, 2006

                           December 8, 2010


Policy Statement

The Participation Expense Policy is a City of Ottawa policy regarding reimbursement of expenses incurred by voting members and reserve members of Advisory Committees.



The purpose of the Advisory Committee Participation Expense policy is to clearly define what expenses shall be reimbursed, under what conditions, to whom, and what if any minimum or maximum amounts apply to ensure all members clearly understand what is or is not considered a legitimate expense.




This policy applies to Council appointed Advisory Committee Voting Members and *Reserve Members.  In certain circumstances and outlined within the policy *Reserve Members and **Subcommittee Members are covered. 


*Reserve Member means a citizen who has been pre-approved but not appointed as an Advisory Committee Member and is covered only when his or her attendance at an event, meeting or conference has been specifically requested by the City Clerk (See Also: “Definition” section for full definition).


**Subcommittee Member means a citizen who is not an Advisory Committee Member, but who has been invited by an Advisory Committee to participate on a Sub-Committee for his or her unique skills and knowledge on a specific subject matter.  These Sub-Committee Members may be eligible for “Disabled Person’s Expense” (See Also: “Definition” section for full definition).


Policy Requirements




Upon submission of an original receipt, all voting members deemed present in the approved *minutes of the meeting are authorized to receive reimbursement based on the following:



1.1.   Parking expenses incurred to attend official meetings are eligible.  The preferred method of payment for parking expenses at City facilities is via a parking stamp.


1.2.   Dependant Care expenses incurred to attend official meetings will be eligible on the following basis: up to a maximum of $7.50/hour. The amount payable will be calculated by the official start and end time of the meeting PLUS up to a maximum of one hour for traveling time. Reimbursement for dependant care on a per person basis will not be eligible.


1.3.   Specialized Dependant care expenses (for persons with exceptional needs) incurred to attend official meetings will be eligible on the following basis: up to a maximum of $15.00/hour. The amount payable will be calculated by the official start and end time of the meeting PLUS up to a maximum of one hour for traveling time.


1.4.   Bus Fare / Para Transpo Fare to and from official meetings will be eligible. A bus transfer or receipt must be provided as proof of payment for conventional bus transit.   Upon receipt of such a proof of payment, the City of Ottawa shall reimburse the member with the appropriate number of bus tickets for a return trip by the same mode of transportation (2 tickets per trip – 4 tickets for a return trip).  


For a Para receipt the Committee member must submit a request to the respective Committee Coordinator (request must include first and last name, Para client number, pick up and drop off locations (i.e. work, home or other), date and time (approximate) of travel each way, method of payment (i.e. tickets, cash or a combination of pass and tickets/cash).  This should be provided in writing, though in some circumstances, the Committee Coordinator may accept the information verbally and make note of it.  City Clerk’s staff will send a confirmation request to Para Customer Service via email. Para Customer Service will provide City Clerk’s staff with a receipt (proof of payment for the purposes of the Participation Expense Policy) and mail a copy of this receipt to the client (this is the Advisory Committee member’s confirmation of the amount to be reimbursed).  The Committee Coordinator will reimburse the Advisory Committee member, at their subsequent meeting, based on the amount of the receipt provided by Para Customer Service.


Note:  The Participation Expense Policy does not reimburse Advisory Committee members for monthly bus passes, therefore the amounts reimbursed will be solely for any tickets and/or cash paid as “top up” when using Para Transpo for eligible trip(s).


1.5.   Mileage for members using a personal vehicle to attend official meetings will be eligible at the rate of $0.350.50/km.


1.6.   Reimbursement for meals or refreshments or other out of pocket expenses such as taxis will not be eligible.


1.7.   Reimbursement for meetings with Community Groups, Members of Council, staff, citizens or otherwise are not eligible for reimbursement under this policy.  Some form of reimbursement may be available from the meeting’s host.  Some exceptions will be made for the Chairs.


1.8.   Reimbursement for expenses incurred to perform the duties of the members will not be eligible, including, but not limited to, reimbursement for office supplies, technology or telephone expenses etc.


(*For Subcommittee meetings the Minutes need only contain the date, start time and duration, location, a list of attendees and topics discussed a list of attendees and topics discussed is acceptable)




2.1.   The staff of City Clerk's Branch reserve the right to review and/or refuse any expenses submitted by a voting or reserve citizen member for reimbursement, with reasonable cause and justification.


2.2.   If it can be proven that a member is submitting fraudulent claims for participation expenses the City of Ottawa, City Clerk's Branch, reserves the right to either:


2.2.1.      Refuse to reimburse the specific individual; and/or


2.2.2.      Refer the incident to Corporate Security or the appropriate authorities.




Advisory Committee Members must provide an original receipt before he/she will be reimbursed.


All Committee Coordinators are responsible for enforcing the policy and for ensuring each Advisory Committee member including Reserve Members are fully aware of the policy.


In the event of a dispute, the Manager of Council & Committee Services shall review the request and advise the requesting member of his/her final decision.



All reimbursement claims are submitted on a form, which must be authorized for payment by the Manager, Council & Committee Services.


The City Clerk’s Office also reserves the right to monitor and audit claims on an ad-hoc basis to ensure the policy is being applied consistently and to assist in ensuring reimbursement requests are not fraudulent in nature.


Any suspected fraudulent claims shall be referred to the City’s Corporate Security office – and/or other appropriate authority(ies).


Failure to comply with this reimbursement criteria (original receipts, etc.) may deem the claim void.




legislative & administrative authorities

o             “Proposed Advisory and Quasi-Judicial Committee and Task Force Structure” (ACS2001-CRS-SEC-0016) City Council 28 March 2001

o             “Status of External Boards, Commissions and Authorities”  (ACS2001-CRS-SEC-0015) City Council 28 March 2001

o             “Status of External Boards, Commissions and Authorities – Update”  (ACS2002-CRS-SEC-0015) City Council 10 April 2002

o             “Annual Review of Advisory Committees – Structure, Policies and Process”  (ACS2002-CRS-SEC-0061) City Council 28 August 2002

o             “Council Governance Review – 2003-2006 Council” (ACS2003-CRS-SEC-0059) City Council 3 December 2003 and 10 December 2003.

o             Advisory Committee Procedure By-law, Appointment Policy and Participation Expense Policy Mid-Term Review – (ACS2006-CRS-SEC-0005) Council 25 January 2006.

o             2006-2010 Council Governance Review – (ACS2006-CMO-OCM-0012) Council 6 December 2006




1.1.   Official Meeting: is defined as one of the following:

1.1.1.      the one meeting per month of the Advisory Committee as established by the Committee,

1.1.2.      any official subcommittee meeting as approved by the advisory committee,

1.1.3.      a meeting of any Advisory Committee to which a member has been appointed as a liaison member;

1.1.4.      a meeting where a motion and/or minutes exist(s) that show the member was specifically requested to attend on behalf of the Committee on a day and time outside of a regularly scheduled Advisory Committee meeting.

1.1.5.      a Standing Committee meeting where an official designate of the Advisory Committee makes presentation to said standing committee; or

1.1.6.      where any one member has been officially appointed by the Committee to represent the views of the Committee at a conference, speaking engagement, etc.


1.2.   Attendance: A Citizen voting member shall be deemed present if the accepted minutes of the meeting so indicate.  Where the request for reimbursement is for a subcommittee meeting at which there is no Committee Coordinator present, one voting member of the Committee shall be deemed responsible to record the time, date, topics discussed and attendance at the meeting and forward the information to the Committee Coordinator.


1.3.   Dependant care with exceptional needs:  A dependant is deemed to have exceptional needs if the member provides a certificate signed by a doctor which states that the dependant requires specialized care during the member’s absence from the home.  This clause allows for the reimbursement of dependant care expenses in excess of the normally permitted $7.50 per hour maximum.   This exception is available for people caring for children or adults requiring special care,(e.g. a partner, parent or adult child).


1.4.   Disabled persons’ expense: is defined as an expense, which must be incurred in order to provide a service without which the Member cannot participate in the meeting, (e.g. intervenors, interpreters, real-time captioning or Braille text) because of the Member's disability.


1.5.   Bus Fare/Para-Transpo Fare: Reimbursement shall be provided for any extra bus fare incurred by a member to attend the meeting.  Bus transfer or receipt is deemed as acceptable proof of payment.


1.6.   Mileage: Mileage shall be calculated by the member the Committee Coordinator on the basis of the SHORTEST distance to and from the meeting from work, home, or the next closest destination of the member.


1.7.   Parking: Any long or short-term placement of a personal vehicle in a monitored or unmonitored area. Because a receipt is necessary for any reimbursement, parking meters are not eligible for reimbursement, nor will parking tickets incurred as a result of meeting attendance be reimbursed.


1.8.   Reserve Member: means a citizen who has been pre-approved but not appointed as an Advisory Committee member during the selection process and placed on a list of reserve members who may be called upon should there be a mid-term vacancy on the committee for which they are on the reserve list.  Although a Reserve Member may ask and be granted permission by an Advisory Committee to participate in a meeting, that reserve member does not have the authority or powers of a sitting citizen member in that he or she cannot vote at meetings, is not an official representative of a committee however and is not eligible for coverage under the City's Expense Policy (Participation in Advisory Committee meetings is purely voluntary and one’s choice to not attend meetings does not disqualify him or her from being called upon to replace a vacancy nor does it adversely affect one’s application to become a sitting citizen member at a later date).


1.9.   Sub-Committee Member: is a citizen who is not an Advisory Committee Member, but who has been invited by the Committee to participate on an Advisory Committee Sub-committee for his or her unique set of skills or expertise, which otherwise do not exist within the current Committee’s complement. These members are eligible for reimbursement of “disabled person’s expense.”


Key Word Search

Expense Policy                                                                                 Advisory Committees

Reimbursement Policy                                                                     Bus Fare

Travel Expenses




Manager, Council & Committee Services

City Clerk’s Branch

City of Ottawa

110 Laurier Avenue, West

Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1

(613) 580- 2424 – Ext. 26836