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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.
Opportunities for improvement:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.