Rescinded [2009-10-01] - Policy on Control of Receiver General Cheques

To ensure effective control of the issue and delivery of the Receiver General cheques.
Date modified: 1994-10-01

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Policy Objective

To ensure effective control of the issue and delivery of the Receiver General cheques.

Note: The controls pertaining to Receiver General cheques apply also to Unemployment Insurance warrants, departmental bank account cheques and travellers cheques.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the government to control cheques issued by the Receiver General for Canada by reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring, to the extent practicable, that such cheques reach the intended payees.


This policy applies to all agencies designated as departments under the Financial Administration Act.

For purposes of this chapter, "payments to employees" cover payments to all persons employed under the Public Service Employment Act and members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Policy Requirements

  1. Receiver General cheques must be mailed directly to the payee except for the classes of payments that are listed in Appendix A. Those payments may be returned to the department for other delivery to the payee.
  2. For the classes of payments listed in Appendix A the deputy head may designate officers who can request that cheques be sent to other agents of the department.
  3. Payments for supplies and services, including consultants fees and personal service contracts or other similar arrangements, but excluding those requiring a contract release, and, payments representing refunds of revenues and receipts, may not be returned to departments for handling.
  4. Departments must establish appropriate policies and procedures to ensure sound internal control over cheques returned to the department for distribution, including:
    1. a cheque must never be placed in the hands of a person who has participated in either spending or payment authority with respect to that payment;
    2. the distribution of cheques to employees must not be performed by officers engaged in any part of the staffing, classification, salary and wage assessment function or in the preparation and signing of reports of staffing transactions and pay input documents.
  5. Sufficient information must accompany each cheque so that the person distributing cheques can correctly identify each payee.
  6. When the payee for the cheque is an individual, the cheque requisition must contain at least the following information:
    • pay cheque: the surname, initials and social insurance number of the payee or some other form of identification; and
    • other cheques: the surname of the payee and at least one given name and one initial. An exception to this rule can be made when there is to be an official presentation of the cheque to the payee by a member of Parliament. However, no cheques are to be sent to a member of Parliament without the prior approval of the minister responsible for the program under which the cheque is issued. Such approval may be granted for an individual payment or for a category of payments, such as grants or contributions associated with a specific program.
  7. All systems for the production of payment requisitions and payment instruments, other than payroll systems, must have the capacity for recording and printing on the payment instrument a surname and at least one given name and initial. Payroll systems must provide for the printing on the payment instrument of the payee's name and initials and for the printing on the attachment or stub of the payee's social insurance number or other such unique identifier.
  8. The identification of the payee on a cheque or money order must be complete to avoid errors such as endorsement by some person other than the payee. Consequently, initials are not sufficient.
  9. The traditional method of representing numbers (period as the decimal marker; commas to separate triads of numbers; and the dollar sign on the left) must be used for recording an amount in dollars on payment instruments and other settlement instruments as well as on all other documents related to a payment or receipt that could be falsified.
  10. Once the minister's approval has been obtained, cheques to be presented by members of Parliament must be sent to the senior financial officer of the program, who in turn must send them directly to the members of Parliament concerned. No cheques are to be delivered or sent to an officer who has requested the payment or who has participated in some manner in the payment approval process.


The internal audit unit of the department will verify the control of Receiver General cheques.



This chapter cancels chapter 3-17 of the "Financial Management" volume dated April 1, 1992; and

this policy replaces Chapter 9.6 of the Treasury Board Guide on Financial Administration dealing with the control of Receiver General cheques.


Inquiries concerning this policy should be directed to your departmental headquarters. For interpretation of this policy, departmental headquarters should contact:

Comptroller Sector
Program Branch
Treasury Board Secretary
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R5

Telephone: (613) 957-7233
Facsimile: (613) 952-9613

Appendix A

Classes of Payments for Which Deputy Heads may Authorize the Forwarding of Receiver General Cheques to Their Departments

Eligible classes

  1. payments to employees


    • salaries and wages
    • allowances
    • travel, relocation, and other reimbursable expenses
    • advances relative to the above
    • foreign-service loans
  2. payments involving legal transactions (This class does NOT include payments against Crown debts that have been assigned or are subject to a power of attorney)


    • real estate acquisitions
    • contract releases
    • damage claim releases
  3. payments involving special banking transactions


    • contributions and subsidies to be deposited for rapid transfer
    • funds to be transferred abroad
  4. payments to be transmitted by diplomatic courier
  5. payments requiring classified security handling
  6. payments to other governments and Crown corporations


    • loan payments to be exchanged for promissory notes
    • large payments to be transmitted under special arrangements
  7. payments requiring formal presentation (This class does NOT include payments to contractors, consultants, etc.)


    • grants to be presented personally by ministers, Members of Parliament or deputy heads
    • honoraria and expenses to be paid to visiting lecturers and seminar speakers
    • suggestion and merit awards
    • per diem fees paid to board and commission members
  8. cash required for immediate service


    • postage meter charging and other postal charges
    • customs clearance
    • vehicle licences
    • bus and toll tickets
    • sheriffs' fees
    • petty cash advances and replenishment
  9. recurring payments requiring administration


    • transportation contracts
    • administered pensions and allowances
    • payments to native peoples
    • social welfare-special payments
  10. loan payments to individuals to be exchanged for promissory notes
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