Notice to Cooperants and Executing Agencies with Advisors Regarding Amendments to the Technical Assistance Handbook

Due to recent legislation changes, the Technical Assistance Handbook for cooperants and advisors has been amended accordingly. These changes are effective April 1, 2009 unless otherwise noted.

This is an amendment to the Technical Assistance Handbook for DFATD Cooperants and Executing Agencies and precedes an upcoming full review of the Handbook. This amendment forms part of the cooperant’s contract and may apply to an advisor if the executing agency's contract with DFATD stipulates the application of the provisions of the Handbook to its personnel assigned overseas.

This amendment describes only additions, changes or deletions to the Handbook. Unless an addition, change or deletion is mentioned herein, the Handbook remains in effect.

Amendments to the Technical Assistance Handbook

Chapter 4: Travel -Relocation

4.2 Relocation Transportation Costs

New

The Relocation Travel Allowance (RTA) now includes a New Local Transportation Allowance for relocations to and from Canada of $75.00. Other local transportation costs incurred in Canada will not be reimbursed.

4.3.2 Temporary living expenses upon arrival in country of assignment, Residence not ready

Changes to Meal and incidental allowances

Day 1 – 4

  • Meal and incidental allowances are included in the RTA (2 days at the contract address before departure from Canada plus first 2 days in country of assignment).

Day 5 – 30

  • Commercial accommodation: 100% of daily meal allowance for the cooperant/advisor and each accompanying dependant and 100% of incidental allowance for cooperant/advisor
  • Self contained or private accommodation: 75% of daily meal allowance for the cooperant/advisor and each accompanying dependant and 75% of incidental allowance for cooperant/advisor.

From 31st – 35th day

  • Self contained or private accommodation only. No meal or incidental allowances.

Chapter 5: Travel

5.4 Vacation Travel Allowance

New
  • May 1st airfare quotes will be used to calculate VTA from June 1st to the next May 31st. The Administrative Officer shall establish this quote by choosing the most economical airfare from two different independent sources
  • May 1st exchange rates shall be used to convert airfare quotes
  • VTA can be used for multiple trips
  • Each trip described on the New VTA Appendix 5 form must be taken outside the city of assignment
  • VTA will be issued once per VTA period based on VTA form submitted
  • VTA for the entire period will apply to accompanying dependants at the time of submitting the VTA form. i.e. VTA will not be adjusted should a dependant join the cooperant/advisor at the post after the VTA has been submitted. If any New VTA is earned during the period of assignment, the New dependant will then be eligible for that next period’s VTA request
  • Cooperant/advisor and accompanying dependants do not have to travel at the same time
  • New Appendix 12 Vacation Travel Allowance Certification form
  • New Appendix 11 Travel Allowance Certification form will continue to be used for Family Reunion Travel, Education Travel and Compassionate Travel.
Changes
  • Cooperant/advisor does not have to take 10 consecutive days leave
  • Cooperant/advisor must account for 75% of VTA in travel and travel related expenses for each individual traveling
  • No minimum percent of the VTA is required for transportation (previously 50%).

Chapter 9: Overseas Allowances

9.2 Post Living Allowance (PLA)

Changes

Treasury Board has reminded Departments that the nominal salary which is used to calculate this allowance should have been capped at $100,000, as a result of the 2001 cyclical review. Effective April 1, 2009, the nominal salary is capped at $100,000.

  • Example:
    • A fee/salary of $120,350 falls into the fee range of $100,000 to $100,000 plus, of which the Mid-point/Nominal fee is $100,000. The associated percentage of adjustment if .422. For a DFATD index of 130, the formula is:
    • Annual PLA = (100,000 X .422 X (130- 100)/100
    • Annual PLA = $12,660
  • Effective June 1, 2009 there is a methodology change to reflect annual inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for the previous calendar year. Also, the percentage used to calculate the PLA will be based on income level and will Change as needed when income levels Change
  • The April 1, 2009 and the June 1, 2009 tables will be published in the Schedules to the Technical Assistance Handbook.

9.3 Post Differential Allowance

New

Special rates recognizing hostilities and natural disasters may be added to this allowance for a particular city. If a special rate applies for a particular location, it will be listed in the Schedules to the Technical Assistance Handbook for Chapter 9.3.

Change

The family configuration component for this allowance has increased to a maximum of 4 or more accompanying dependants (previous maximum was 2). Refer to the April 1, 2009 Schedules to the Technical Assistance Handbook Chapter 9.3 for the New rates for increased family configuration.

9.4 Overseas Service Premium

Change

The family configuration component for this allowance has increased to a maximum of 4 accompanying dependants or more (previous maximum was 2). Refer to the April 1, 2009 Schedules to the Technical Assistance Handbook Chapter 9.4 for the New rates for increased family configuration.

Chapter 10: Short-Term Assignment and Short-Term Relocation

10.2 Short-Term Relocation

10.2.2 Assignment overseas

New

10.2.2 a) The Overseas Service Premium shall now apply to short-term relocations in accordance with Chapter 9.4.

Reimbursement of actual costs for laundry for cooperants/ advisors who occupy accommodation that is not provided with laundry facilities, upon presentation of original receipts. (Laundry facilities consist of a washer, dryer).

When the Administrative Officer is satisfied that dry cleaning costs in the city of assignment significantly exceed those at the cooperant/advisor’s contract address, reimbursement of 50% of the actual cost for dry cleaning shall be reimbursed, upon presentation of original receipts.

Replace

10.2.2 b) Meal Cost Assistance

Upon arrival in the city of assignment, the applicable Treasury Board Travel Directive (see Chapter 1.10 for the Internet address) daily location meal allowance shall be payable for the first 30 days. No incidentals are payable.

From the 31st day to the 120th consecutive day,

  • i) in self-contained accommodation, the cooperant/advisor receives, for the duration of the assignment, a daily meal allowance equivalent to seventy-five percent (75%) of the daily meal allowance for that location. No incidentals are payable.
  • ii) in commercial accommodation, only if meal-preparation facilities are not available and if self-contained accommodation is not obtainable, the cooperant/advisor receives a daily meal allowance equivalent to seventy-five percent (75%) of the daily meal allowance for that location. No incidentals are payable.

From the 121st day to the end of short-term relocation,

  • iii) In self-contained or private accommodation, fifty percent (50%) of the daily meal allowance. No incidentals are payable.

    Special circumstances

    Where, due to special circumstances such as difficulty in finding food and private accommodation, or if restaurant facilities are limited, and the Project Manager deems the meal allowance outlined above as inadequate, a meal allowance considered reasonable may be authorized by the Administrative Officer, not to exceed the daily meal allowance for that location. No incidentals are payable.
Delete

10.2.2 a): Post Living Allowance no longer applies

Chapter 12: Non-Accountable Travel Allowances Verification and Reporting

Use of Allowances

Replace

The different allowances have varying reporting requirements. For example, the Vacation Travel Allowance (VTA) is an allowance that must be spent on travel and travel-related expenses and may be spent on multiple trips. Cooperants/ advisors are expected to be able to demonstrate to the Administrative Officer that at least seventy-five (75%) of the allowance for each eligible person was spent on travel and travel-related expenses, including transportation, accommodation, meals and incidental travel expenses such as tours, entry fees, etc.

Supporting documentation must demonstrate that expenditures were incurred outside the city of assignment for each trip.

Verification of Allowances

Change

b) c) and d) Change “Appendix 11” to “Appendix 11 or 12”
c) Replace “advisor” with “executing agency”
c) Remove: “see example #2 below”
e.) Except as otherwise specified in this section, the cooperant/advisor should provide evidence of travel

  • i) Within 30 days of completion of all trips or
  • ii) At the end of the contract
    Whichever comes first.
Remove

VTA Example 1 and 2