Eligible costs related to COVID-19 for International Development Assistance Program: April 1st 2021 to September 30, 2021
SituationRecommendation and explanation
Local office costs, such as rent and utilities, when the recipient organization must suspend project activities

Eligible project expense until further notice. Consideration should be given to not renewing leases for local offices, vehicles and other assets in situations where project activities are paused or suspended without a projected date of resumption.

The recipient organization and the respective GAC project management team are encouraged to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for each scenario to determine the least expensive alternative that minimizes negative impacts on the project results (cancelling versus continuing payments for a lease agreement).

Incremental telework costs of HQ and repatriated employees:

  • Teleconference service and subscriptions (example, Zoom Pro)
  • Internet security costs
  • New and updated software (example, Adobe)
  • Training for new software
Eligible project expenses. GAC project management team may pre-approve the incremental portion of remote costs on a case-by-case basis, with proper analysis and documentation of the decision and rationale.

Incremental telecommunication costs in local offices:

  • Initial purchasing of hardware (example, computers and peripherals)
  • Internet
  • Wi-Fi dongles
Eligible project expenses. GAC project management team may pre-approve the incremental portion of remote costs on a case-by-case basis, with proper analysis and documentation of the decision and rationale. Any tangible assets purchased should be disposed of at the end of the project in accordance with the asset disposal plan as per the signed contribution agreement.
Deadlines for project implementation plans (PIPs)GAC is extending the PIP submission deadlines by 120 days unless other direction has been provided by the GAC project management team.
REVISED Flexibility to reallocate between budget lines to meet the necessary changing activities and prioritiesThis flexibility may be used for all budget lines, regardless of existing clauses in a contribution agreement to this effect. However, subject to approval from GAC, no amendment document will be necessary since GAC’s approval will be duly documented and acknowledged by the recipient electronically. Note that for agreements with multiple amendments in which this COVID-19 flexibility has been applied, a formal amendment document may be required.
Recipient organization unable to continue meeting its cost sharing commitments such as cash or volunteer work

The recipient organization should explore options with the GAC project management team, depending on the nature of its cost-sharing contributions and based on its demonstrated difficulty in meeting its cost-sharing obligations, such as:

  • considering another type of eligible contribution of equivalent value, such as cash or in-kind (for example, e-volunteering), as applicable
  • deferring its cash contribution or postponing the volunteer activities to future years of the project

If the project is in its final year, the GAC project management team may waive the cost-sharing obligation, as long as the project is not extended, the amount to be waived is proportionate to that year’s cost share only and it can be demonstrated that the project expected results have been achieved. No contribution agreement amendment will be necessary if the approval is duly documented.

REVISED Reduction or release of holdback

GAC has implemented a new approach to holdback for all new IDA contribution agreements. All active IDA contribution agreements are automatically eligible for the new holdback approach.

Application of a fixed overhead rate of 12% on the deemed daily value (up to Can$200 per working day) provided to the recipient organization for:

  • National volunteers
  • South-South volunteers
  • Canadian volunteers working remotely

The provision of a fixed overhead rate on the deemed daily value of Canadian volunteers on travel status is extended, on an exceptional basis, to the deemed daily value of national and South-South volunteers, as well as Canadian volunteers working remotely due to COVID-19 reasons.

Allocation of up to Can$35 per working day to Canadian volunteers working remotely, to a maximum of Can$700 per month.

Canadian volunteers who are working remotely due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions are eligible for an allocation of up to Can$35 per working day, to a maximum of Can$700 per month, when working on project activities remotely.

Reimbursement of travel expenses deemed eligible under the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive for national volunteers on travel status.

National volunteers on travel status are eligible to be reimbursed for travel-related expenses as per the NJC Travel Directive, up to the maximum amounts determined by the organization’s internal travel policies. Where the organization does not have internal travel policies, the NJC Travel Directive amounts can be used as the maximum allowable for reimbursement.

Coverage of nominal costs incurred for transportation to and from the site of volunteering activities and daily meals during volunteering hours for national volunteers not on travel status.

National volunteers not on travel status are eligible to have costs covered for transportation to and from the site of volunteering activities, as well as for one meal per volunteer during volunteering hours. These costs must be consistent with the actual amount required to cover these costs, on an individual or group basis, and with the organization’s internal policies.

NEW Volunteers from countries not receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA)

The flexibilities for volunteers provided above could be used as a guideline and benchmark for volunteers from countries not eligible for ODA. The project management team will have to determine eligibility based on the nature of the programming.

NEW Travel costs (for example, transportation, accommodation, meals and incidentals)

Volunteers working from home are not considered on travel status and therefore cannot receive travel-related allocations.

Guidance for contracts for professional servicesGAC will follow advice and guidance provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada and apply a Government of Canada approach to managing contracts consistent with other departments and agencies, as well as internal GAC contracting teams.