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ARCHIVED - Evaluation of the Treasury Board Submission Process

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7. Conclusion

The current Treasury Board submission process is relevant, appears to be effective, and has key strengths; however, some important opportunities exist to improve and enhance its effectiveness and efficiency, which should be addressed through a combination of action and further investigation.


  1. The submission process is relevant to the government's good public management needs. Determining whether there are other effective and efficient alternatives to accomplish the same outcomes was outside the scope of the evaluation.
  2. There is widespread belief among stakeholders that the submission process is successful at ensuring that federal organizations present submissions that comply with legislative authorities and Treasury Board policies.
  3. There is widespread belief among stakeholders that the submission process is successful at ensuring that federal organizations put forth appropriate submissions.
  4. Treasury Board decisions appear to reflect the advice of the Secretariat to a high degree, which is indicative of Treasury Board's confidence in the quality of that advice.

Opportunities for improvement:

  1. There is a need to finalize the logic model for the Treasury Board submission process to support performance measurement, clear communication of the process's ultimate outcome, and further study.

    As noted earlier in the report, the evaluation team developed a proposed ultimate outcome to be used for the purposes of the evaluation. Finalizing and validating a logic model that includes a clear ultimate outcome would provide a solid basis for enhanced performance measurement activities and further study and research.

  2. A majority of federal organizations are satisfied with the support and advice they receive from the Secretariat's program analysts; however, there are specific areas of concern:

    • the turnover rate among program analysts affects the depth of analysts' knowledge about federal organizations and makes it necessary for many federal organizations to constantly rebuild their relationship with the Secretariat; and
    • more than 60% of federal organization survey respondents favourably rated the usefulness and accuracy of the advice received, though they were less positive about its consistency and timeliness.
  3. The evidence regarding the quality of draft Treasury Board submissions is mixed.

    While final submissions presented to Treasury Board are considered to be of high quality, evidence regarding the quality of federal organizations' submissions at the beginning of the process is mixed. MAF ratings related to Treasury Board submissions improved in MAF Round V (with the exception of the timeliness of consultations with the Secretariat); however, fewer than 40% of the program analysts surveyed found that the overall quality of draft submissions had improved. A significant number of Secretariat analysts surveyed (in excess of 40% for most factors47) felt that draft submissions do not meet minimum quality standards.

  4. The Secretariat does not account for the costs of the submission process.

    This evaluation could not draw conclusions on the efficiency of the submission process given the absence of costing information. However, data show that approximately 40% of Secretariat analysts believe the process to be either somewhat or very efficient. The results were very similar among federal organization representatives.

  5. The Secretariat's efforts to educate federal organizations and its own staff about the details of the submission process appear to be falling short of their intended results.

    Of the program analysts surveyed, 48.3% agreed that federal organizations have, over the years, demonstrated an improved understanding of the policies and processes related to Treasury Board submissions. As for training tools provided by the Secretariat, federal organizations consider the Guide to be useful. According to the interviews conducted and review of the documentation on program sector boot camps, it was found that the boot camps are not offered often enough and their duration (two days) does not allow for sufficient coverage of the Treasury Board submission process. Half of the COE analysts surveyed indicated that program analysts have developed a strong understanding of the submission process over the years.

  6. Rather than a shared, centralized system, analysts at the Secretariat use their own private filing systems to manage documentation related to Treasury Board submissions.

    This practice, compounded by turnover among Secretariat analysts, represents a gap in the management of Treasury Board submissions. Specifically, the Secretariat's ability to efficiently and effectively track workload changes, undertake higher level thematic analysis, forecast future demand, and access archived information when needed is impeded. There is also an increased risk of information loss. Although ensuring the security of the information would present its challenges, improvements to managing information related to Treasury Board submissions would enhance oversight and monitoring as well as the service provided to client departments.