Guidance on Eligible Costs for Development Initiatives
The information on this page does not apply to bids under Request for Proposals processes, nor proposals submitted to the International Humanitarian Assistance Program which have specific requirements and instructions related to cost elements and budgets.
Please use the reference from the contribution agreement template below as guidance when completing the budget information in an application for funding.
The eligible cost annex describes the most common eligible direct cost elements, such as salary costs and travel, used for the budget template. Please keep in mind, however, that eligible direct costs depend on the exact nature of the project. Any of the cost elements described in the annex might be legitimate for one project, however in another project, some expenses could be deemed non-essential to obtain expected results and would therefore be ineligible for reimbursement.
You will see a list of ineligible cost elements at the end of the annex. Specific calls for proposals may further qualify eligible and ineligible cost elements.
When you are drafting the budget for your initiative, link each activity of the project with its eligible direct cost elements and then transfer the totals of direct cost elements to the template.
Should funding be approved for the initiative, budget details and eligible costs will be finalized in the funding agreement.
- that “[insert…]” in the text below identifies items that will be subject to negotiation or to determination of local practice in the country(ies) where project activities will take place, should funding be approved.
- that the contribution agreement is a legal document. Global Affairs Canada is still referred to by the name of Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development within the contribution agreement at this time.
Eligible cost annex from the funding agreement template:
1. Eligible Direct Cost Elements
As a general rule, to be eligible for reimbursement, costs must be reasonable, directly and clearly related to the Project and agreed to in the agreement’s budget.
1.1 Remuneration - Organization's Employees
- 1.1.1 Daily rates actually paid by the Organization to its Employees (excluding Local Employees) for time actually worked on the implementation of the Project. Unless otherwise previously approved in writing by the Department, the time chargeable shall be based on a work day of [Insert number of hours – written] (Insert number of hours -numeric) hours with a maximum of [Insert number of days - written] [Insert number of days - numeric] days per week in [Insert country where Organization has its head office], and a normal working day of [Insert number of hours] hours with a maximum of six (6) days per week abroad, according to local practice, and shall be justified by time sheets and payroll register. Timesheets shall be signed by the employee and the employee’s supervisor (if an electronic time keeping system is not available). Timesheets shall also indicate the Project, the name of the employee, the date, location, nature of the work, number of hours worked per day specifically on the Project as well as the total number of hours worked per week on all projects. If the Organization wishes, the time sheet (Form F) available on the Department's internet site can be used as a sample.
- The daily rate per Employee shall be calculated as follows:
- [(Annual direct salary plus Annual paid benefits)] divided by [(260 days minus Annual allowable time off benefits)]
- Rates include the following costs:
- direct salaries: actual and justifiable sums paid by the Organization to Employees in accordance with the Organization's pay scales as regular salary excluding overtime pay and bonuses.
- fringe benefits: in accordance with the Organization's policies, not to exceed:
- time-off benefits: allowable number of days to be paid by the Organization for the following payable absences: statutory holidays, annual vacation and sick leave; and
- paid benefits: actual sums paid by the Organization for paid benefits: the Organization's contribution to employment insurance and workers' compensation plans (where applicable), health and medical insurance, group life insurance, pension plans, or other mandatory government benefits;
- 1.1.2 The rates for working days of less than [Insert number of hours] hours/day for Employees in [Canada / Insert country] and of less than [Insert number of hours] hours/day for Employees abroad shall be prorated based on hours actually worked.
1.2 Remuneration - Local Employees
- 1.2.1 Actual and justifiable salaries and fringe benefits for Local Employees as defined in the General Terms and Conditions working on the implementation of the Project. The salary rates and fringe benefits for these individuals shall be in accordance with local laws and practices including local market rate of remuneration and in accordance with the Organization's established salary scales and personnel policies.
- 1.2.2 Unless otherwise previously approved in writing by the Department, the time chargeable for Local Employees shall be based on a normal working day in the country of [Insert number of hours] in accordance with local practice, with a maximum of six (6) days per week, and shall be justified by time sheets and payroll register. The rates for partial working days shall be prorated based on hours actually worked
1.3 Annual Direct Salary Increases
The salaries paid by the Organization to its Employees and Local Employees may be increased in accordance with the the Department Policy on Annual Fee and Salary Increases Under Multi-Year Service Contracts and Contribution Agreements for the Delivery of International Development Assistance. The Organization shall notify the Department of expected salary increases, if any, by providing the details of such increases in its Annual Work Plan or other written document. The Department shall approve in writing any salary increase prior to their reimbursement.
1.4 Fees - Subcontractors with an Arm’s Length Relationship with the Organization
- 1.4.1 The actual and justifiable cost of Subcontractors’ fees under a Sub-contract concluded with the Organization in accordance with Article 11 of the General Terms and Conditions and where the Organization and the Subcontractor have an Arm’s Length Relationship as defined in the General Terms and Conditions. Individual rates or amounts negotiated shall not exceed the fair market value that applies to the specific type of service in the regular place of work of the Subcontractor or for similar work and shall exclude any increased rate for overtime.
- 1.4.2 The total subcontracting shall not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the total value of the Department's Contribution.
- 1.4.3 Unless otherwise previously authorized in writing by GAC, the per diem fees shall be paid for each day spent directly on the performance of the services based on a workday of seven and one-half (7.5) hours with a maximum of five (5) days per week in Canada, and a normal working day of [Insert number of hours – written] ([insert number of hours – numeric]) hours with a maximum of six (6) days per week abroad, according to local practice. The rates for working days of less than seven and one-half (7.5) hours/day in Canada and of less than [Insert number of hours – written] ([insert number of hours – numeric]) hours/day abroad shall be prorated based on hours actually worked.
1.5 Allocated Travel Time
- 1.5.1 Travel days shall be reimbursed by the Department on the basis of the daily remuneration/fee established in accordance with paragraphs 1.1, 1.2, or 1.4 above. When the point of origin or destination is Canada, the maximum number of travel days and overnight stopovers eligible for travelling one way is determined as follows:
- Africa: two (2) days, one (1) night stopover.
- Asia: two (2) days, one (1) night stopover.
- Caribbean: one (1) day, no night stopover. If meals are required, the National Joint Council Travel Directive (“the Directive”) Canadian meal allowance shall apply. A one (1) night stopover may be approved when, through no fault of the Organization, connecting flights are not available to complete the trip in one day.
- Central and Eastern Europe: two (2) days, one (1) night stopover.
- Central America: two (2) days, one (1) night stopover.
- Pacific Islands: two (2) days, one (1) night stopover. If the fare quote indicates that connecting flights are such that two (2) nights stopover are necessary, the allowance will be adjusted accordingly.
- South America: two (2) days, one (1) night stopover.
- 1.5.2 The number of eligible days for travelling between countries other than Canada shall be determined on the basis of the points of origin and destination and shall have received the Department's prior written approval.
1.6 Reimbursable Costs
The actual and reasonable costs directly related to the implementation of the Project, such as:
- 1.6.1 Travel Costs - The following travel costs incurred by the Organization in accordance with the provisions of the Directive and the Special Travel Authorities of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in force at the time of the travel. The Special Travel Authorities take precedence over the Directive:
- The cost of commercial transportation based on the lowest available fares, using the most direct routing. The Organization shall endeavour to obtain the lowest possible airfare, such as by booking the reservation as early as possible. The standard for air travel is economy class, including APEX, charters and other reduced or discounted fares. The Department will reimburse the Organization the lowest airfare available at the time of reservation, but never more than the maximum of a full-fare economy airfare. The Department will limit the reimbursement of plane tickets to the lowest fare available at the time of reservation even when the Organization chooses not to use this fare. The Organization must be able to demonstrate with proper supporting documentation deemed satisfactory to the Department, the lowest fare available at the time of reservation. The cost of necessary changes or cancellations to flights is considered a legitimate reimbursable expense of the Project and the circumstances surrounding these changes shall be documented in the Organization's Project file;
- The cost of meals, incidentals and private vehicle usage, in accordance with the meal, incidental, and private vehicle allowances specified in Appendices B, C and D of the Directive;
- The cost of registration, photographs, and courier services related to obtaining a visa;
- The actual and reasonable cost of a single room in commercial accommodation or, when private non-commercial accommodation is used, the rate for such accommodation, in accordance with the provisions of clause 7.8 of the Special Travel Authorities and Appendix D of the Directive;
- All other actual and reasonable costs deemed legitimate Project expenses, in accordance with the provisions of the Directive referring to “travellers” rather than to “employees”.
- 1.6.2 Personnel on long-term overseas assignment and on short-term relocation - Benefits and allowable expenses for Personnel on long-term overseas assignment and Personnel on short-term relocation, excluding volunteers, in accordance with the Organization’s policies but not exceeding those stipulated in the Technical Assistance Handbook.
- 1.6.3 Students and Trainees Training Costs - Actual and reasonable costs paid to students and trainees, in accordance with the Management of Students and Trainees in Canada - Manual for Executing Agencies.
- 1.6.4 Other Training Costs - Actual and reasonable costs related to training sessions, development of courses, consultations such as off-campus classroom space rentals, computer and networking, books, manuals, course materials, translation of courses and materials, meeting costs and any other expenses required to implement these activities, which are not included in the above categories but have received the Department's prior written approval.
- 1.6.5 Recipient Country Government Employees - Costs (such as local transportation costs and living expenses while travelling) incurred by Government Employees of the Recipient Country who have been identified by the Recipient Country to either receive training or work with Project Personnel for the purpose of the Project. (The Contribution shall not be used to reimburse fees or salaries of Government Employees of the Recipient Country).
- 1.6.6 Goods, Assets and Supplies - Actual and Eligible Costs arising from the purchase, rental, maintenance and transportation of goods, assets and supplies (excluding office supplies), as well as related insurance, in accordance with Article 11 - Procurement of the General Terms and Conditions, provided that such costs do not exceed the fair market value that applies to the specific type of goods, assets and supplies.
- 1.6.7 Project Administration costs directly related to the Project
- Long distance communication, by means of telecommunications (Internet, fax), mail and courier costs;
- Translation and word processing costs, printing and production costs associated with Project reporting and production of reading material;
- Overseas costs such as rent, leasehold improvements, utilities, office expenses and supplies, office computer and general maintenance, subject to the Department's prior written approval;
- Meeting/conference costs;
- Seminars and workshops not related to training activities;
- Bank transfer fees.
- 1.6.8 Any other direct Project costs required to implement the Project, which are not included in the above categories, that have received the Department’s prior written approval, either through the Work Plan or any other document.
1.7 Allowance for Indirect/Overhead Costs
As compensation for the Organization's indirect/overhead costs of the Project, an allowance may be provided for the period covered in accordance with the Overhead Compensation Policy for the International Development Assistance Program’s Contribution Agreements with Canadian Organizations. For non-Canadian organizations, the overhead compensation rate(s) will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
1.8 Project Costs not Eligible for the Overhead
- 1.8.1 Flow-through funds as defined in the General Terms and Conditions and large capital expenditures where each item costs $100,000 or more are not eligible for the overhead allowance, in accordance with the Overhead Compensation Policy for the International Development Assistance Program’s Contribution Agreements with Canadian Organizations.
1.9 Exclusion of Organization's Profit
The Organization shall not include profit, directly or indirectly, in the calculation of remuneration or fees or in any other of the costs detailed in the Project Budget, except, but subject to sub-Article 1.4 of this Part, when the profit is included in a Sub-agreement or Subcontract deemed acceptable by the Department with Subcontractor(s) that are a for-profit entity into which the Organization does not hold any direct or indirect interest, and the Organization and the Subcontractor(s) have an Arm's Length Relationship as defined in the General Terms and Conditions.
1.10 Applicable Taxes
The Organization shall ensure that all costs for the implementation of the Project include, where applicable, all taxes that the Organization shall pay on all goods and services, less any credits or reimbursements to which the Organization is entitled.
2. Ineligible Cost Elements
Costs that are considered as ineligible under the Project include, but are not limited to the following:
- Entertainment expenses;
- Costs incurred before the effective date of the Agreement;
- Travel insurance (health, cancellation, baggage, etc.), except emergency health travel insurance for volunteers or as previously approved by the Department;
- Carrying charges;
- Membership fees;
- Immunizations or medications, except vaccines for volunteers, or unless allowed under the Technical Assistance Handbook;
- Interest expenses
- Costs related to non-authorized accompanying family members.
- Date Modified: