Cabinet papers on proposed overseas travel and reports on travel are submitted directly to Cabinet, but do not require prior approval from the Chair of Cabinet to go direct to Cabinet as other submissions do.
A paper seeking approval for overseas travel should:
- confirm that the Prime Minister has been consulted;
- state the countries and cities to be visited, and the duration of the absence from New Zealand;
- explain the reason for, and the value to New Zealand of the visit (e.g. specific conferences to be attended, or lists of those with whom discussions will be held, and for what reason);
- set out the composition of the party and whether the Minister is to be accompanied by a spouse or partner, Ministerial staff and/or departmental officials (for officials other than Ministerial staff, details should be given of their designations, departments, the cost of their travel, and the Votes to which the expenditure would be a charge);
- seek approval, as appropriate, for the inclusion of members of Parliament in the official delegation or of any non-official representatives (and, in the case of non-official representatives, stating that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has approved their inclusion) (see Cabinet Office circular CO (00) 14 Procedures for Including Non-Official Representatives on Official Delegations to International Meetings);
- provide information on the total estimated cost and the Votes to which it will be charged (information should be provided on the main components of the overall cost);
- confirm the Acting Minister(s) who will administer the Minister’s portfolios in their absence (there is usually no need to arrange an Acting Minister for Associate Minister responsibilities);
- confirm that the Minister has secured leave from Parliament from the Party Whip if the House of Representatives will be sitting in the relevant period.
Every effort should be made to ensure that the proposed travel costs are as accurate as possible. The Department of Internal Affairs keeps accounting records of all Ministerial travel. When the actual cost of overseas travel is greater than that estimated and approved by Cabinet, further authority is required. All cases of over-expenditure need to be submitted to the Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services for authorisation or approval. All over-expenditure must be fully justified.
Where travel is proposed for Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, the relevant portfolio Minister should make the submission.
Format for recommendations in the Cabinet paper:
The Minister of/for x recommends that Cabinet:
1 authorise [subject to leave from Parliament being secured - if the House is sitting in the period] his/her absence from New Zealand from [leaving date] to
[returning date] to travel to [cities/countries] to [state purpose of visit];
2 agree that the Minister be accompanied by [spouse/partner/office staff];
3 approve the expenditure of [$ amount] for the travel expenses of the Ministerial party as a charge to Vote Internal Affairs: Members of the Executive –
Travel [when the actual cost of overseas travel is greater than that estimated and approved by Cabinet, further authority is required. All are to be submitted
to the Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services for authority or approval;
4 note that the Minister will be accompanied by [name/senior officials] of/from the Department/Ministry of/for [x], whose costs will be a charge to Vote [x];
5 approve the inclusion in the official delegation of [names of members of Parliament accompanying Minister, if appropriate];
6 agree that in his/her absence the Hon [x] act as Minister of/for [x] [ensure that all portfolios are covered, except Associate portfolios];
7 note that the House of Representatives is not sitting in his/her absence/leave from Parliament has been secured from the Party Whip.
Authorised for lodgement
Hon John Jones
Minister for X