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ARCHIVED - Treasury Board Real Property Management Framework Policy

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1. Effective date

This document contains the policy as revised June 15, 2000. It replaces the version dated November 15, 1993.

2. Policy objective

To establish the framework for managing federal real property.

Note: For interpretation of this policy in the Province of Quebec, "real property" means "immovable" within the meaning of civil law of the Province of Quebec and includes the rights of a lessee in respect of such an immovable.

3. Policy statement

It is government policy to acquire, manage, and retain real property only to support the delivery of government programs and to do so in a manner consistent with the principle of sustainable development. When managing real property, departments must

  • do so in a manner that will preserve the maximum long-term economic advantage to the Crown;
  • honour federal environmental objectives;
  • provide safe and adequate facilities; and
  • respect other relevant government policies.

4. Application

This policy applies to all departments within the meaning of section 2 of the Financial Administration Act unless specific acts or regulations override it.


The National Capital Act requires separate approval by the National Capital Commission for exterior alterations to buildings in the National Capital Region.

5. Policy requirements

5.1 Departments must define and implement a framework for managing real property in their custody and maintain the information needed to manage all of their responsibilities, based on Treasury Board Real Property policies.

5.2 Departments must develop, maintain, and apply suitable structures, policies, and practices as well as organizational authorities and the technical, administrative, and financial systems appropriate to managing real property in their custody. These departments are accountable for initiating all actions to acquire, use, and dispose of the real property they need to deliver their programs. They are responsible for the overall planning and management of design and construction projects; for capital and operational budgets; and for operating and maintenance costs, including lease costs and the costs of acquiring and administering leased real property.

5.3 Departments must obtain services related to real property in accordance with the Treasury Board Common Services Policy.

6. Responsibilities

6.1 Departments are responsible for monitoring their adherence to Treasury Board policies. The Treasury Board Guide to Monitoring Real Property Management provides guidance in this regard.

6.2 The Department of Justice Canada provides legal services to government departments and agencies, including legal advice and opinions on real property matters and transactions; prepares instruments, contracts, and other documents, including approval of their form and legal content; acts for the Crown in real property transactions of all types; searches, and formulates opinions on, real property titles; and operates a document depository.

6.3 Environment Canada develops federal environmental legislation and policies and provides advice on environmental matters.

6.4 The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency advises federal departments and agencies on their obligations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and provides administrative support for public reviews.

6.5 The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade provides common services for real property requirements outside Canada. Some of these services are mandatory; some are not.

6.6 The Parks Canada Agency establishes federal heritage building policies and provides advice on heritage matters.

6.7 Health Canada is responsible for public service health services. That responsibility includes monitoring health services and advising the Treasury Board on its occupational safety and health standards for public service workplaces.

6.8 Human Resources Development Canada, under the authority of the Canada Labour Code, develops and ensures compliance with the minimum standards for safety and health in federal workplaces. This includes fire safety standards.

6.9 The National Capital Commission, under the National Capital Act, has certain responsibilities for real property within the National Capital Region.

6.10 Natural Resources Canada promotes energy management in federal government facilities, surveys Canada Lands, and manages the Crown's mineral rights.

6.11 Public Works and Government Services Canada offers common services for the real property requirements of the federal government. Most of these services are optional; some, such as office accommodation, are mandatory.

6.12 The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, on request, reviews and advises on the physical security arrangements for real property that departments administer. It initiates related government-wide standards. It also inspects, tests, evaluates and, when necessary, designs physical security equipment and specifications.

6.13 The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat advises the Treasury Board on the real property plans and expenditures of departments and on individual real property projects and transactions; develops government real property policies; co-ordinates and maintains information on federal real property holdings in a central database; reviews the use of real property; develops proposals for strategic approaches to federal holdings on a regional basis; and assesses how well departments have followed government policies and carried out previously approved departmental plans.

6.14 The Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Real Property (TBAC/RP) consists of senior representatives from custodian, policy, and service departments. It advises the Treasury Board on policies and practices for managing real property. The Committee's mandate and a current list of member departments and subcommittees appear in the Appendix.

6.15 The Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Federal Accommodation in the National Capital Region  (TBAC/FANCR) consists of the Secretary of the Treasury Board, the Deputy Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, and the Chair of the National Capital Commission. It advises the President of the Treasury Board on real property issues and on investment strategies in the National Capital Region.

7. Monitoring

The Secretariat will determine how effective this policy is, find out how it is applied in departments, and decide whether it needs to be revised. It will do this through ongoing contact with departments, consulting with the Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Real Property, and noting audits and reviews conducted by departments or the Auditor General of Canada. The Treasury Board Guide to Monitoring Real Property Management provides information so that departments can monitor and assess policy implementation.

8. References

8.1 Authority

This policy is issued pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, subsections 7(1), 9(1.1), and 9(2).

8.2 Treasury Board publications

Treasury Board Guide to Monitoring Real Property Management

Treasury Board Real Property Glossary

Treasury Board Common Services Policy

9. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this policy to your departmental headquarters. For interpretation of this policy, departmental headquarters should contact:

Real Property and Materiel Policy Directorate
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
L'Esplanade Laurier
140 O'Connor Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0G5
Telephone: (613) 941-7173
Facsimile: (613) 957-2405


Appendix - Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Real Property  (TBAC/RP)

1. Objectives

The Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Real Property (TBAC/RP) advises the Treasury Board on federal government real property policies, practices, and expenditures. It also provides a forum for discussing real property issues.

2. Membership

The committee is composed of senior executives from each custodian department. Departments with separate custodian authorities may have more than one member. Organizations with special policy or service responsibilities are also members. See Annex for a membership list.

The chairperson is selected from the membership.

3. Administration

Staff of the Real Property and Materiel Policy Directorate (RPMPD) at TBS co-ordinate background documentation, organize regular meetings, and oversee the operations of the committee and its subcommittees.

4. Subcommittee structure

The legislative subcommittee is composed of officials from RPMPD and the Department of Justice Canada. This subcommittee reviews real property legislation and recommends changes.

The Real Property Information Management Subcommittee (RPIMS) is composed of officials from TBAC/RP member organizations. It provides advice on central information systems and the information needs for common or shared systems.

The Policy subcommittee is composed of officials from TBAC/RP member organizations. It meets on request to review policy initiatives and advise TBAC/RP.

Annex - TBAC/RP Membership

1. Custodian organizations

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Correctional Service Canada
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Environment Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Health Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Industry Canada
National Defence
National Research Council Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Parks Canada Agency
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Transport Canada

2. Policy and service organizations

Department of Justice Canada
Environment Canada
Human Resources Development Canada
National Capital Commission
Privy Council Office
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat