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ARCHIVED - Audit of the Management of Treasury Board Vote 35

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Appendix 1: Secretariat's Criteria for Assessing TB Vote 35 Requests

A letter, dated February 27, 2009, from the Assistant Secretary, Expenditure Management Sector, was sent to senior financial officers of departments detailing the Secretariat's assessment criteria. Below are the criteria as stated in this letter.

  1. Allocations from Vote 35, Budget Implementation Initiatives, should be considered as bridge funding for Budget 2009 items that will be included in subsequent Supplementary Estimates in support of Canada's Economic Action Plan (initiatives included in Chapter Three of the Budget). If the entire amount sought for an item must be paid prior to the next eligible Supply period, the item will not be included in subsequent Supplementary Estimates except as an allocation from the central Vote.
  2. Subject to Treasury Board approval, allocations from the Budget Implementation Vote can only be made from April 1 to June 30, 2009. A department, agency or Crown corporation must support any request with a valid cash flow analysis that demonstrates the specific cash requirements for the Budget 2009 initiative before the next eligible Supply period.
  3. A valid and compelling reason exists, particularly as it relates to the payment of grants, as to why the cash payment must be made before the next Supply period. If this is not the case, the payment should be deferred until funds are provided through Supplementary Estimates. For grants, the Transfer Payment Policy must be adhered to.

Appendix 2: Audit Sub-Criteria

Criterion 1: Clear and well-defined assessment criteria are documented and applied consistently (Source: OAG's examples of criteria for Canada's Economic Action Plan).

Audit Criteria Audit Sub-criteria

Assessment criteria are clear, well-defined, and documented.

  • Assessment criteria were approved by the senior executive responsible for the administration of TB Vote 35 in the Secretariat.
  • Assessment criteria were documented and clearly outlined what was expected of departments.
  • The Secretariat ensures that assessment criteria were communicated to all organizations eligible to access the vote.
  • Secretariat officials held a common understanding of the criteria (e.g., interpretation of "valid and compelling reason").

Secretariat assessment criteria for TB Vote 35 are consistently applied.

  • Information is provided to identify request as being in support of Canada's Economic Action Plan.
  • Departmental requests were formally approved by the requesting organization's SFO or higher level authority (e.g., associate deputy head or deputy head).
  • Specific funding amounts are outlined by month within the relevant Supply period.
  • Sufficient and appropriate information is provided in the rationale to reasonably conclude that a need exists to access TB Vote 35 prior to the next Supply period.

Criterion 2: Allocation transfers are fully and accurately recorded and reported (Source: Core Management Controls, ST-10 and ST-20).

Audit Criteria Audit Sub-criteria

Allocation transfers are fully and accurately recorded.

  • Approved transactions are complete and accurately recorded.
  • The Secretariat ensures that transactions are in accordance to vote wording.

Allocation transfers are fully and accurately reported.

  • Approved transactions are complete and reported accurately in the Supplementary Estimates A.

Appendix 3: Treasury Board Vote 35 Wording

The following is the wording of TB Vote 35 as presented in the 2009–10 Main Estimates under the section, "Items for inclusion in the Proposed Schedule 1 to the Appropriation Bill (for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010)."

"Budget Implementation Initiatives – Subject to the approval of the Treasury Board and between the period commencing April 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2009, to supplement other appropriations and to provide any appropriate Ministers with appropriations for initiatives announced in the Budget of January 27, 2009, including new grants and the increase of the amounts of grants listed in the Estimates, where the amounts of the expenditures are not otherwise provided for and where the expenditures are within the legal mandates of the government organizations."

Glossary of Terms

Allocation—Is the general term used in this report to describe an amount approved from TB Vote 35.

Appropriation act—Is an act passed by Parliament providing authorization for voted appropriations. An appropriation bill (before it is passed as an act) typically provides: a list of vote numbers by department; specific vote wording that governs the purpose and conditions under which expenditures can be made; and the funds being proposed for approval.14 It is sometimes referred to as a Supply bill.

Business of Supply—Is the process by which the government asks Parliament to appropriate funds required to meet its financial obligations and to implement programs already approved by Parliament. There are three periods in a year (March, June, and December) for consideration of the business of Supply.15

Central vote—See "Centrally financed vote."

Centrally financed vote—Is a vote to support the Treasury Board in performing its statutory responsibilities for managing the government's financial, human, and materiel resources.16 It is sometimes referred to as a "central vote."

Main Estimates—Provide information on the total projected spending requirements of departments, agencies, and appropriation-dependent Crown corporations for the upcoming fiscal year. The purpose of these Estimates is to present to Parliament information in support of spending authorities that will be sought through appropriation bills.17

Supplementary Estimates—Present to Parliament information on the Government of Canada's spending requirements which were either not sufficiently developed in time for inclusion in the Main Estimates or have subsequently been refined to account for developments in particular programs and services.18

Supply—See "Business of Supply."

Summary table—Is the general term used in this report to describe the list of TB Vote 35 allocations prepared by the Secretariat in the section, "Allocations to Treasury Board Central Votes," of the 2009–10 Supplementary Estimates A.

Supply bill—See "Appropriation act."

Treasury Board—Is a Cabinet committee of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada invested with a broad range of responsibilities for management excellence, policy development, and budget oversight. As the general manager of the public service, Treasury Board has three key roles; it is the government's management board, the government's budget office, and employer of the core public administration.19

Treasury Board submission—Is an official document submitted by a sponsoring minister on behalf of a federal organization seeking approval or authority from the Treasury Board for an initiative that the organization would not otherwise be able to undertake or that is outside its delegated authorities.20

Voted appropriations—See "Voted authorities."

Voted authorities—Are authorities for which the government must seek Parliament's approval through an appropriation act. They are sometimes referred to as "voted appropriations."


  1. The Supplementary Estimates typically include items announced in the preceding Budget.
  2. The term "departments" in this document refers to departments, agencies, and Crown corporations.
  3. A centrally financed vote is used to support the Treasury Board in performing its statutory responsibilities for managing the government's financial, human, and materiel resources (2009–10 Main Estimates, p. 1–51).
  4. An allotment control system is an information system used in the Expenditure Management Sector to track approved TB Vote 35 allocations to government departments.
  5. Although the audit focussed on the Expenditure Management Sector during audit testing, the audit team also consulted, when necessary, with Program Sector analysts and Legal Services to obtain further clarification on TB Vote 35 allocations.
  6. TB Vote 35 allocations will also be reported in the 2010 Public Accounts of Canada and in the 2009–10 Supplementary Estimates B. However, these two reports will not be issued until the fall of 2009 and 2010 respectively. Therefore, the audit was not able to assess this aspect of reporting.
  7. The source document is a letter from the Auditor General of Canada to the Secretary of the Treasury Board on March 5, 2009.
  8. Secretariat criteria are outlined in the February 27, 2009, letter to senior financial officers. See Appendix 1.
  9. "Summary table" is the general term used in this report to describe the list of TB Vote 35 allocations prepared by the Secretariat in the section, "Allocations to Treasury Board Central Votes," of the 2009–10 Supplementary Estimates A.
  10. Unlike the Secretariat's assessment criteria, the vote wording is broad and does not specify a particular chapter. TB Vote 35's wording only stipulates "initiatives announced in the Budget of January 27, 2009."
  11. This section of the vote wording requires that allocations not be included in other votes.
  12. The President of the Treasury Board was delegated authority from Treasury Board to approve TB Vote 35 allocations for Budget 2009 initiatives that have already received Treasury Board approval.
  13. The summary table is reported to include TB Vote 35 allocations approved on or before April 30, 2009, which is a Secretariat-imposed deadline. However, one allocation reported in this table was approved on May 15, 2009. The allocation was not significant—$3.1 million of the $1.8 billion reported. The detailed information provided about this allocation was accurately reported.
  14. 2009–10 Main Estimates, p. 1–2.
  15. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit, 2000.
  16. 2009–10 Main Estimates, p. 1–51.
  17. 2009–10 Main Estimates, p. 1–2 and p. 1–50.
  18. Supplementary Estimates A, 2009–10, p. 7.
  19. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 2008–09 Departmental Performance Report.
  20. A Guide to Preparing Treasury Board Submissions, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, 2007.
  21. 2009–10 Main Estimates, p. 1–50.