Guide to Delegating and Applying Spending and Financial Authorities

This guide provides departments with information on how, when, what and to whom to delegate spending and financial authorities in addition to the tools to do so. The document details spending and financial authorities and the account verification implications for departmental consideration.
Date modified: 2021-01-18

Supporting tools


More information




Print-friendly XML


appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. (Financial Administration Act, section 2)
certification authority (pouvoir d'attestation)
The authority, according to section 34 of the Financial Administration Act, to certify contract performance and price, entitlement or eligibility of the payment.
commitment authority (pouvoir d'engager des fonds)
The authority, according to section 32 of the Financial Administration Act, to ensure that there is a sufficient unencumbered balance available before entering into a contract or other arrangement.
critical financial risk (risque financier majeur)
An event with reasonable probability that a significant unfunded financial obligation may arise, the department may be unable to fulfill its mandate, or that the event may cause significant damage to the reputation of the Government of Canada. The identification of a critical financial risk depends on the department's operating environment and management's professional judgment.
delegate (also delegated or delegation) (déléguer (aussi délégué ou délégation))
An action by which a person (i.e., delegator), vested with specific statutory or delegated authorities, assigns a specific power or function to another individual.
delegation of spending and financial authorities (délégation des pouvoirs de dépenser et des pouvoirs financiers)
A mechanism in which spending and financial authorities are formally delegated through documents and controls such as delegation charts and supporting notes, specimen signature documents, electronic authorization charts, and validation and authentication processes.
deputy of a minister (délégué d'un ministre)
The deputy of a minister referred to in paragraph 24(2)(c) of the Interpretation Act.
expenditure initiation authority (pouvoir d'engagement des dépenses)
The authority to incur an expenditure (to spend funds) or to make an obligation to obtain goods or services that will result in the eventual expenditure of funds.
financial authorities (pouvoirs financiers)


  • Certification Authority (Financial Administration Act, section 34)
  • Payment Authority (Financial Administration Act, section 33)
financial management (gestion financière)
A continuum of finance-related activities undertaken to ensure sound and prudent use of public funds in an effective, efficient and economical manner.
financial management system (FMS) (système de gestion financière (SGF))
Any combination of business processes (end-to-end, automated and manual), procedures, controls, data and software applications, all of which are categorized as either program systems or central systems, that produces financial information and related non-financial information.
financial plan (plan financier ministériel)
A multi-year plan providing the basis for identifying the elements of the work and priorities to be delivered to achieve a department's mandate and programs. A financial plan supports the development of the in-year departmental budget and related allocations of resources.
financial reporting (rapport financier)
Internal and external financial reports and disclosures. Internal financial reporting can include financial information that supports decision making, risk assessment, planning, budgeting, resource allocations, accounting, performance assessments and reports. External reporting includes all financial statements, reports or disclosures, including those prepared for Parliament or designed to be made public.
full authority (pleins pouvoirs)
The authority that extends to the limit of the associated budget allocated to the position.
interdepartmental settlement (IS) (règlement interministériel (RI))
A mechanism used to transfer funds between any two departments or agencies that operate within the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
internal control over financial management (contrôle interne en matière de gestion financière)
A set of measures and activities that provide reasonable assurance of the effectiveness and efficiency of the financial management activities of the department.
internal control over financial reporting (contrôle interne en matière de rapports financiers)
A subset of the system of internal control over financial management. Internal control over financial reporting is a set of measures and activities that allow senior management and users of financial statements to have reasonable assurance of the accuracy and completeness of the department's financial statements.
payment authority (pouvoir de payer)
The authority to requisition payments according to section 33 of the Financial Administration Act.
restricted authority (pouvoirs restreints)
Spending or financial authorities limited by applicable legislation, policies and directives. Such authorities are also limited by specific departmental restrictions included in the delegation of spending and financial authorities documents.
senior departmental managers (cadres supérieurs du ministère)
For the purposes of the Policy on Financial Management, senior departmental managers are typically departmental managers who report directly to a deputy head and are accountable for effective financial management within their areas of responsibility.
spending authorities (pouvoir de dépenser)

Consist of three elements:

  • Expenditure initiation authority
  • Commitment authority (FAA, section 32)
  • Transaction authority
transaction authority (pouvoir d'exécuter une opération)
The authority to enter into contracts, including acquisition card purchases, or sign off on legal entitlements (e.g., employment insurance payments).
Date modified: