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Compliance 101 for development initiatives


Once an agreement is signed between Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and a partner organization for a development grant or contribution, the recipient organization must adhere to several financial clauses and administrative requirements.


Since financial documentation contained in these agreements is often long and complex, GAC's Financial Compliance Unit (FCU) has come up with a simple way to convey the information and its underlying intent.

Below you will find links to animated YouTube videos that will help you understand certain requirements in your grant or contribution agreement. These videos are intended to:


  1. Direct costs vs. indirect costs
    Determine the differences between a direct and an indirect cost.
  2. Allocation of shared costs
    Select proper methodologies for allocating shared and administrative costs.
  3. Foreign exchange
    Comply with financial requirements when receiving or making advance payments.
  4. Salary increases
    Learn the principles around remuneration.
  5. Airfare
    Understand airfare principles for travel arrangements.
  6. Requirements regarding travel costs
    Understand requirements concerning authorized travel costs and expectations related to supporting documentation.
    • More information


      Ineligible travel costs

      • Travel insurance and related custom fees
      • Vaccinations, medications, medical exams or tests
      • Hospitality or gifts
      • Emergency health Insurance
      • Transportation tickets purchased with airmiles
      • Covid related costs, except if specifically approved by GAC
      • 1st class / business class ticket
      • Passport costs
      • Remuneration related to waiting or travel time to obtain visas
        Travellers going abroad for a long duration must determine whether the Foreign Assignment Directive applies to their situation and comply with it.


      Key supporting documents and considerations - Airfaire

      • The organizaion’s pre-approval form that authorizes the travel
      • Airline ticket and invoice supporting the cost claimed and indicating the fare paid
      • Travel expense report and other documents (eg. boarding passes, original hotel invoice) corroborating that the trip was taken
      • Procurement records evidencing that the lowest economy-class fare was chosen

      Key supporting documents and considerations - Other Travel Expenses

      • All exchange rates used for costs incurred in a foreign currency must be disclosed
      • Receipts and invoices for accommodation and other expenditures must match the expense report and corroborate the dates and number of days claimed for the meals and incidental allowances
      • Travellers on long term assignment must follow the Foreign Asssignment Directive
      • Standard expense report must indicate the traveller, purpose and location of the trip, and detail the rates for meals and incidentals, mileage claimed for private vehicles, accommodation, etc
  7. Foreign Assignment Directive
    Understand the underlying principles and eligible costs of the Directive

About the Financial Compliance Unit

In addition to managing auditing and compliance for grant and contribution agreements, the FCU is also responsible for financial capacity-building activities (FCBA). We provide several value-added services to partner organizations:

Contact us

Submit your suggestions for future video topics you would like to see on this page by emailing the FCU at

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