Guide to Debt Deletion

The purpose of this guide is to provide departments with information on the deletion of debts owing to the Crown, in accordance with the Financial Administration Act (FAA).
Date modified: 2021-03-30

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accountable advance (avance comptable)

Refers to:

  1. A sum of money advanced to a person from an appropriation; and
  2. A sum of money advanced to a person from the sum of money described in paragraph a) for which the person is accountable and includes imprest funds and working capital advances administered under an imprest system. [Accountable Advances Regulations, section 2]
change fund (fonds d'appoint)
The cash provided to a cashier or other individual for the purpose of making change. [Accountable Advances Regulations, section 2]
class of recipient (catégorie de bénéficiaires)
Includes persons, organizations, or both (e.g., corporations, other governments) that meet the established eligibility criteria of an approved program.
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.
financial authorities (pouvoirs financiers)


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.
forgiveness (renonciation)
The deletion of a debt related to a non-budgetary expenditure that extinguishes the debt, waives the right of Her Majesty to reinstate the debt, and permits both the Crown and the debtor to remove the debt from their accounts.
holder or custodian (détenteur ou dépositaire)
The individual to whom an accountable advance has been issued or who is responsible for the advance.
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.
loan (prêt)
A financial asset of the government represented by a promise by a borrower to repay a specific amount, at a specified time or times, or on demand, usually with interest.
loan guarantee (garantie d'emprunt)
A promise that the government will repay a lender (e.g., a bank or other financial institution providing credit or funding to another party) the amount guaranteed, subject to the terms and conditions of an agreement, if the borrower defaults. The guarantee will reduce the lender's risk and should enable the borrower to obtain a loan at a lower interest rate or obtain a loan that might not otherwise have been obtainable.
petty cash fund (petite caisse)
Cash kept on hand under an imprest system for the purpose of making small payments in cash. [Accountable Advances Regulations, section 2]
public money (fonds publics)

All money belonging to Canada received and collected by the Receiver General or any other public officer in his or her official capacity or any person authorized to receive or collect such money. Public money includes the following:

  • Duties and revenues of Canada;
  • Money borrowed by Canada or received through the issue or sale of securities;
  • Money received or collected for or on behalf of Canada; and
  • All money that is paid to or received or collected by a public officer under or pursuant to any act, trust, treaty, undertaking or contract, and is to be disbursed for a purpose specified in or pursuant to that act, trust, treaty, undertaking or contract. [Financial Administration Act, section 2]
public property (biens publics)
All property (including data), other than money, belonging to Her Majesty in right of Canada. [Financial Administration Act, section 2]
receivables (comptes débiteurs)
Financial claims incurred through the tax system or arising from accrued revenues transactions, expenses overpayments and other recoverable payments that will result in a future inflow of cash.
remission (remise)
The deletion of a debt related to a budgetary expenditure that involves the cancellation of or release from an otherwise enforceable debt, tax, fee or penalty.
security deposit (dépôt de garantie)


  • A bill of exchange that is payable to the Receiver General and certified by an approved financial institution or drawn by an approved financial institution on itself;
  • A government guaranteed bond; or
  • Such other security as may be deemed appropriate by the contracting authority and approved by the Treasury Board. [Government Contracts Regulations, section 2]
self-sustaining corporation (société financièrement autonome)
A Crown corporation that is judged to be able to finance its operations and capital programs from internally generated funds and from funds that it could raise in the capital markets on its own credit.
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.
set-off (compensation)
The reduction of a claim by deducting the amount of a valid compensating claim. A set-off by the federal government may be enacted by a specific statute or regulation or under the authority of section 155 of the Financial Administration Act.
standing advance (avance permanente)
An accountable advance issued in a specified amount for an indeterminate period and replenished to that specific amount each time an accounting for expenditures is made. [Accountable Advances Regulations, section 2]
waiver (dispense)
A form of debt deletion involving only the interest and/or administrative charges related to a debt and done in accordance with sections 9 and 12 of the Interest and Administrative Charges Regulations.
write-off (radiation)
An accounting action that reduces the amount of accounts receivable of a department or agency regarding a debt, or a part of a debt, that has been determined to be uncollectible. It does not forgive the debt or release the debtor from the obligation to pay; neither does it affect the right of the Crown to enforce collection in the future.
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