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President's Message

A photograph of the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury BoardI am pleased to present the 2010–11 Report on Plans and Priorities of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (the Secretariat). This report outlines the priorities of the Secretariat in the coming year to support the government in providing essential services to Canadians.

This year, we will launch the fourth strategic review of direct program spending. To date, the reviews have identified ongoing savings totalling $1.3 billion per year. $340 million of this amount was reinvested in higher priority areas, thus consistently improving how tax dollars are spent. These reviews are a key element of the fiscal restraint that will boost economic growth.

My department continues to support the renewal and modernization of the public service. Our goal is to ensure that it is well managed and ready to meet the technological and demographic challenges of the 21st century. I also look forward to continued work on the Web of Rules initiative as we further improve how departments balance risk, innovation, and control.

The Secretariat also enables deputy heads to exercise their accountabilities by strengthening the leadership role we play by sharing information, fostering best practices, and assessing performance.

I invite all Canadians to take a closer look at what the Secretariat plans to do in 2010–11 by reading this report and visiting

The original was signed by

The Honourable Stockwell Day, P.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board

Section I: Departmental Overview

Raison d'Être

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (the Secretariat) is the administrative arm of the Treasury Board. It supports Treasury Board ministers and strengthens the way government is managed to better serve Canadians and ensure value for money in government spending.


The Secretariat, together with the Canada School of Public Service, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, and Public Sector Integrity Canada, forms the portfolio of organizations of the President of the Treasury Board.

The Treasury Board is a Cabinet committee of ministers invested with a broad range of responsibilities for management excellence, policy development, and budget oversight. As "general manager" of the public service, the Treasury Board's three main roles are as follows:

  • It is the government's management board, responsible for promoting the improvement of management performance, developing policies and priorities to manage government assets and resources, and overseeing the government's regulatory function.
  • It is the government's budget office, responsible for examining and approving the proposed spending plans of government departments and for financial management and reporting.
  • It is responsible for human resources management and is the employer of the core public administration.

The Secretariat makes recommendations and supports the Treasury Board in each of its roles by providing advice on policies, directives, regulations, and program spending that promote sound management of government resources. The Secretariat also provides leadership and guidance to management functions within departments,1 while respecting the primary responsibility of deputy heads for the management of their departments and their roles as accounting officers. Through the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada, the Secretariat is responsible for government-wide direction, leadership, and capacity building for financial management and internal audit. The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer supports people management across the public service, including the management of labour relations, compensation, and pension and benefits policies and programs. The Chief Information Officer Branch provides strategic direction and leadership for the government-wide pursuit of excellence in information management (IM) and information technology (IT).

The Secretariat plays three central roles in relation to federal departments, agencies, and Crown corporations:

  • An enabling role to help departments improve management performance;
  • An oversight role that includes setting policy and standards and reporting on the government's overall management and budgetary performance; and
  • A leadership role in driving and modelling excellence in public sector management.

Triangular Relation Diagram


While Secretariat functions have a direct impact on the capacity and quality of federal public service management and on how efficiently and effectively government programs and services are delivered, through legislation, including the Federal Accountability Act, and changes to Treasury Board policies, deputy heads now have clear accountability for departmental resources. As they implement these new management responsibilities, the role of the Secretariat is evolving to enable deputy heads to take advantage of their management flexibilities in a way that optimizes performance. This is in addition to the Secretariat's core leadership, challenge, and oversight responsibilities.

In 2009–10, the size of the Secretariat increased significantly due to organizational and machinery changes. These include adjustments to corporate services functions, which integrated employees who previously reported to the Department of Finance Canada and are now part of the Secretariat, and incorporation of the former Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA) to create the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer. As a result, about 1,000 people were transferred to the Secretariat, with a corresponding addition to its financial allocations. These changes are reflected in the Main Estimates and in the financial tables included in this report.

Strategic outcome and program activity architecture

The diagram below illustrates the Secretariat's program activity architecture (PAA) and provides its strategic outcome and program activities. The PAA encompasses the core programs that contribute to achieving the Secretariat's strategic outcome. The third column demonstrates how program activities reflect the Secretariat's support for the Treasury Board's three main roles.

Program Activity Architecture


Program activity architecture crosswalk

The Secretariat revised its 2010–11 PAA to reflect the machinery of government changes related to human resources (HR) management. As of March 2, 2009, the people management functions of the former CPSA were consolidated with the Secretariat's pensions and benefits, labour relations, and compensation functions. The revised PAA structure better reflects the Secretariat's programs and results.

The new Management Frameworks program activity captures the foundational work that supports management excellence, including IT, security, regulation, and other management priorities of the Secretariat. A dedicated program activity for People Management functions was added to reflect the comprehensive role now played by the Secretariat in this domain. The former Expenditure Management and Financial Oversight program activity was split into two to describe more transparently these different activities: Expenditure Management includes the estimates process, and Financial Management captures work related to financial and audit policy instruments.

The diagram below demonstrates the relationship between the four program activities of the Secretariat's 2009–10 PAA and the six program activities of the 2010–11 PAA. The strategic outcome remains unchanged. The program activities are further described in Section II.

Program Activity Architecture Cross-Walk Diagram


The table below shows the redistribution of financial resources from the 2009–10 PAA to the new PAA for 2010–11.


  2009–10 Program Activities  
  ($ thousands) Management Policy
Development and
Management and
Financial Oversight
Funds and Public
Service Employer Payments
Internal Services Total
2010–11 Program Activities Management Frameworks 60,412 60,412
People Management 57,056 57,056
Expenditure Management 30,426 30,426
Financial Management 28,247 28,247
Funds and Public
Service Employer
2,223,814 2,223,814
Internal Services 90,120 90,120
  Total 117,468 58,673 2,223,814 90,120 2,490,075

Planning summary

Financial resources

The following table presents the total financial resources (total planned spending) of the Secretariat for the next three fiscal years. This does not include centrally managed funds used to supplement other appropriations that are displayed in the Main Estimates (see Voted and statutory items table). The resources displayed below reflect increases to Public Service Employer Payments for benefits and insurance programs. The Secretariat's operating budget is not increasing.

Financial Resources
($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
2,490,075 2,627,569 2,812,092

Amounts may vary due to rounding.

Human resources

The following table presents a summary of the total planned human resources for the Secretariat for the next three fiscal years. Human resources are presented as the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs).

Human Resources (FTEs)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
2,113 2,100 2,043

Planning Summary Table

Strategic outcome: Government is well managed and accountable, and resources are allocated to achieve results.
Performance Indicator Target
Canada's ranking in the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators—indicator three, "Government Effectiveness." Top 10 in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Program Activity2 Forecast Spending
Planned Spending
($ thousands)
Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2010-11 2012-12 2012-13
Management Frameworks 65,666 60,412 59,874 57,706 Government affairs
People Management 62,194 57,056 53,375 50,808
Expenditure Management 32,977 30,426 31,780 30,587
Financial Management 30,374 28,247 27,237 24,244
Government-wide Funds and Public Service Employer Payments 2,164,322 2,223,814 2,365,171 2,561,138
Internal Services 98,065 90,120 90,132 87,609  
Total Planned Spending 2,453,598 2,490,075 2,627,569 2,812,092

The 2009–10 forecast spending figures have been readjusted to reflect the new PAA structure for comparison purposes.

Contribution of priorities to the strategic outcome

The Secretariat recognizes that it will take time to achieve its strategic outcome. It therefore established three longer-term operational priorities in 2009–10, which the Secretariat will continue to advance in 2010–11. It also identified two management priorities that focus on how the Secretariat carries out its business. Both operational and management priorities are aligned with the Secretariat's PAA. This section describes the priorities and the strategic initiatives on which the Secretariat will focus in 2010–11.

Operational priorities 3

Operational Priority 1 Link to PAA Description
Management regime operates effectively, provides opportunities for risk-based decision-making, and enables innovation (ongoing priority). Management Frameworks program activity The Secretariat plays a critical role in leading, challenging, and enhancing management performance across government. The Secretariat will focus on improving the government's effectiveness by streamlining the rules, reporting requirements, and administrative processes that support management, thereby freeing resources to be focussed on serving Canadians.

Web of Rules initiative, including Policy Suite Renewal

Government is being made more efficient as a result of streamlined rules and modernization of internal management practices. In support of this priority, the Web of Rules initiative4 simplifies the set of rules, reporting requirements, and administrative processes. For example, the Policy Suite Renewal initiative5 is reducing the number of Treasury Board policies by 50 per cent, simplifying rules, and clarifying responsibilities. These initiatives are leading the shift from a more rigid, rules-based management regime to one that is principles-based, risk‑sensitive, and results-focussed.

Untangling the "web of rules" will free up resources, reduce delays, and help instill a risk‑management culture.

To support operational priority 1, the Secretariat will undertake the following activities:

  • Work with large departments to identify a second round of opportunities to further simplify rules as part of the Web of Rules Action Plan; and
  • Review the methodology for the Management Accountability Framework 6 to increase the quality and transparency of the assessment process.
Risk management

The Secretariat continues to provide leadership and advice to departments on establishing and implementing tailored approaches to managing risk. Putting risk-management principles into practice will assist federal organizations in shifting limited resources to government priorities and organizational mandates—ultimately resulting in increased value for money and improved service to Canadians.

The Centre of Excellence on Risk Management provides leadership, advice, and support for integrated risk management in the Government of Canada. It develops learning resources, shares best practices, and enables dialogue on horizontal risk‑management issues.

To support operational priority 1, the Secretariat will undertake the following activities:

  • Develop a model for risk management in the federal government7 and a government-wide risk taxonomy;8
  • Develop and strengthen mechanisms, such as "communities of practice," that facilitate interdepartmental sharing of information and good practices in risk management; and
  • Develop a risk assessment guide to support development of regulatory proposals.
Enterprise-wide governance for core business processes and systems

Government depends on its "back-office" functions (HR, Finance, IT, IM, etc.) to enable departments to provide programs and services to Canadians. The back office of the Government of Canada is a mosaic of differing delivery models, business processes, and systems. Modernizing how it approaches the delivery of these functions could reduce overall investment and operating costs and better support government decision-making.

To support operational priority 1, the Secretariat will undertake the following activity:

  • Explore opportunities for integrated and coordinated alignment of back-office functions, with a particular focus on common human resources and financial information business processes.

Operational Priority 2 Links to PAA Description
Program spending is focussed on results, provides value for taxpayers' money, and is aligned with the government's priorities and responsibilities (ongoing priority). Expenditure Management and Financial Management program activities. This priority focusses on strengthening the framework that supports developing and implementing the government's spending plans within the fiscal limits established by the Budget. Overall spending must be managed in a manner that ensures all government programs are effective and efficient, are focussed on results, and provide value for taxpayers' money.

Enhanced departmental financial reporting

The government is committed to more timely and transparent financial reporting and to greater oversight and accountability. The Policy on Financial Resource Management, Information, and Reporting is intended to ensure that the management of public funds is supported by effective planning, budgeting, and reporting. This includes sound analysis based on timely and reliable information.

To support operational priority 2, the Secretariat plans to implement the Policy on Financial Resource Management, Information, and Reporting across government, including:

  • Supporting departments in the transition to quarterly financial reporting, which will take effect on April 1, 2011. Quarterly financial statements will increase the quality and frequency of financial reporting, enhance transparency and accountability, and facilitate timely oversight by Parliamentarians of government expenditures; and
  • Supporting departments to sustain a controls-based audit of their financial statements and in implementing relevant Treasury Board Accounting Standards in support of the new policy.
Strategic reviews—Round IV

Strategic reviews9 assess all direct program spending in the Government of Canada to ensure efficient and effective program management. They support a rigorous, results-based approach to managing government spending responsibly and delivering programs that meet government priorities.

To support operational priority 2, the Secretariat will undertake the following activities:

  • Continue to lead the strategic reviews of organizations' direct program spending, supporting the reallocation of funds and the improvement of operations; and
  • Report the results of these reviews by Treasury Board as part of the government's budget planning process.

Operational Priority 3 Link to PAA Description
A dynamic public service that is well equipped to address, in a fiscally responsible manner, challenges raised by a complex and unpredictable environment (ongoing priority). People Management and Expenditure Management program activities. People management transformation in the federal public service is rooted in the Public Service Modernization Act and guided by the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service and the Chief Human Resources Officer. The Secretariat is working to ensure that the increased responsibility and accountability of deputy heads for people management is complemented by effective and efficient governance, policy instruments, measurement, and reporting. A focus on leadership, enabling infrastructure, workforce, and workplace, including compensation, is central to people management excellence.

New people management policy framework and governance structure

The 2008 Human Resource Agencies Horizontal Strategic Review mandated improvements to people management in the public service of Canada. Deputy heads' responsibility for people management in their organizations will be supported by a new Policy Framework for People Management and a revised governance structure. The model supports an integrated and comprehensive approach to decision-making.

To support operational priority 3, the Secretariat will undertake the following activity:

  • Create the new Policy Framework for People Management and review the current suite of people management policies, including adopting and rescinding policies, as appropriate.
HR legislative requirements

The Secretariat is responsible for a number of legislated activities, including monitoring, reporting, direction setting, policy frameworks, and fiscal responsibility. The President of the Treasury Board monitors departmental progress and reports to Parliament on the state of people management in the public service.

To support operational priority 3, the Secretariat will undertake the following activities:

  • Prepare reports for the President to be tabled in Parliament on the legislatively required review of the Public Service Modernization Act, which includes the Public Service Labour Relations Act10 (PSLRA) and the Public Service Employment Act11 (PSEA) and in so doing coordinate the efforts of stakeholders, including institutions, deputy heads, bargaining agents, and others involved in the legislative review of the PSLRA and PSEA; and
  • Develop the components required for the implementation of the Public Service Equitable Compensation Act (PSECA.)12

Management priorities

The Secretariat established two management priorities for 2010–11 that will guide the Secretariat's activities in achieving its operational priorities.

Management Priority 1 Link to PAA Description
Embed the role of enabler into the Secretariat's business (ongoing). Contributes to the strategic outcome. A management regime that fosters flexibility and innovation and that focusses on results will improve the way the Government of Canada delivers services to Canadians. Deputy heads are now vested with greater accountabilities and management flexibilities. The Secretariat is adapting to this new management regime by providing greater support to deputy heads to enable the use of these flexibilities.

To support management priority 1, the Secretariat will undertake the following activities:

Departments are using project planning and management tools developed by the Secretariat to increase the success of large IT projects. The development of these tools, such as project dashboards and independent reviews, is based on industry-leading practices.
  • Strengthen engagement with departments through outreach activities;
  • Identify new opportunities to support departments in meeting their management objectives;
  • Share best practices; and
  • Ensure that in-house training and orientation sessions for Secretariat employees focus on the enabling role of the Secretariat.

Management Priority 2 Link to PAA Description
Strengthen risk-management capacity and adopt risk-based approaches in daily business (ongoing). Contributes to the strategic outcome. Sound risk management is fundamental to effective public administration because it can lead to more effective, results-based, and high-performance governance. By embedding risk information into decision-making and incorporating risk-based approaches across its business lines, the Secretariat is able to focus resources on priorities and core activities. This will result in strengthened integrated risk-management practices.

To support management priority 2, the Secretariat will undertake the following activities:

  • Align risk-management practices across the Secretariat to ensure an integrated approach;
  • Communicate risk-management approaches to Secretariat employees; and
  • Use a risk-based business continuity planning approach to bolster the Secretariat's capacity to support delivery of critical government services.

Risk analysis

The federal public service is a large and diverse national institution that:
  • Consists of over 175 departments, agencies, and organizations; and
  • Maintains a presence around the world with federal offices in about 180 countries and 17 missions abroad involving the Canadian Forces.

Rapid global economic change, new technologies, and a significant demographic shift pose numerous and complex challenges to the management of the public service. An uncertain economy will continue to affect all sectors. Government will continue to monitor a fragile recovery while also setting out a roadmap to balanced budgets. Citizen expectations for responsive, service-oriented, efficient and effective government programs are on the rise. New approaches and dynamic solutions are required.

At the same time, accountability, fiscal responsibility, and transparency remain paramount. Effectively managed government means having the right people, processes, systems, and technology to enable government to operate efficiently and generate innovative ideas and approaches. The Secretariat has a key role to play and is continually improving the tools and processes it uses to manage its work, resources, and risks.

The Corporate Risk Profile for the Secretariat provides an overview of risks that could affect the achievement of the Secretariat's strategic outcome, given this operating environment. Key departmental risks identified for 2010–11 include achieving a cohesive organizational culture following the machinery changes of last year, and sustaining the right human resources skills and capacity to meet operational requirements. To address these risks, the Secretariat has engaged employees in an initiative to articulate a new departmental vision. It is also implementing strategies to improve retention through training and talent management. These mitigation strategies are also embedded in the Secretariat's commitments under the Public Service Renewal Action Plan.

In addition, the Secretariat has identified a risk concerning the shift to deputy head accountability and its corresponding evolution. These changes require the Secretariat to be adaptable and innovative in its enabling role and in embedding risk-based approaches in all areas of business.

Expenditure profile

For fiscal year 2010–11, the Secretariat's total available funding in the Main Estimates is $4.9 billion. This includes centrally managed funds, in the amount of $2.4 billion, used to supplement other appropriations of departments, which include votes 5, 10, 25, and 30 (see Voted and statutory items). The Secretariat's planned spending, not including centrally managed funds, is $2.5 billion.

As the pie chart below indicates, 89 per cent of the planned spending ($2.2 billion) is related to the Secretariat's role as employer of the core public administration. These funds are used for the following:

  • The public service pension, benefits, and insurance, including payment of the employer's share of health, income maintenance, and life insurance premiums;
  • Payments to or in respect of provincial health insurance;
  • Payment of provincial payroll taxes and Quebec sales tax on insurance premiums;
  • Costs associated with the pension, benefit, and insurance plans for employees engaged locally outside Canada; and
  • The return to certain employees of their share of the employment insurance premium reduction.

The remaining $0.3 billion is directly related to the operations of the Secretariat and its five other program activities: Management Frameworks, People Management, Expenditure Management, Financial Management, and Internal Services.

Expenditure Profile Pie Chart


Canada's Economic Action Plan

The Government is investing an additional $20 million over two years (2009–10 and 2010–11) to enhance youth employment in the federal public service, through Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. The Secretariat is responsible for coordinating this investment, which involves distributing $10 million per year to 44 federal departments to increase the number of student jobs in the federal public service. Additional details are included in Section II.

Departmental spending trend

The figure below illustrates the Secretariat's spending trend from 2006–07 to 2012–13 for its operations (consisting of all program activities, excluding program activity 5, as noted above. Program Activity 5, which is outside of TBS' operating budget and includes Public Service Employer Payments for benefits and insurance programs, is the only area of expenditure growth in the Treasury Board Secretariat post 2009-10). These operations reflect the people and organizations that support the Secretariat's strategic outcome of ensuring that government is well managed and accountable and that resources are allocated to achieve results.

Expenditure Profile Spending Trend (Vote 1)


The Secretariat's spending increased in 2009–10 due to the following:

  • Amalgamating the CPSA in 2009–10 with the Secretariat, following the strategic review of human resources agencies;
  • Funding to support preparatory work for the redesign and renegotiation of public service health and dental benefit plans, and for more effective disability management practices in departments and agencies;
  • Funding to implement the Internal Audit Human Resource Management Framework to strengthen public sector accountability, risk management, resources stewardship, and good governance;
  • Funding to support the implementation and ongoing management of the Treasury Board's employer obligations under the PSECA; and
  • Funding to compensate for increases to payroll costs resulting from new collective agreements.

Expenditure Profile Spending Trade (Vote 20)


Expenditures in public service insurance include the payment of the employer's share of insurance plans, unemployment insurance, and other related expenses. Public service employer payments have increased because of growth in the government-wide wage envelope, introduction of electronic claims processing for drug benefits, increases in provincial payroll taxes, and medical costs. Planned spending in Vote 20 is increasing to support plan modifications to fully cover costs of disabilities caused by military service. As well, costs are increasing due to premium increases for the Canadian Forces Service Income Security Insurance Plan's long-term disability plans. Actual spending will likely fall below planned spending because the planned figure represents the maximum cost that benefit plans could incur.

Voted and statutory items

Voted and Statutory Items displayed in the Main Estimates
($ thousands)
Vote # or Statutory Item (S) Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording 2009-10
Main Estimates
Main Estimates
1 Program expenditures1 175,374 236, 591
5 Government contingencies 750,000 750,000
10 Government-wide initiatives 6,636 6,215
20 Public service insurance 2,103,044 2,223,794
25 Operating budget carry forward 1,200,000 1,200,000
30 Paylist requirements 500,000 500,000
35 Budget implementation initiatives2 3,000,000
55 Program expenditures—CPSA 61,127
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans 22,024 29,592
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans—CPSA 7,731
(S) President of the Treasury Board—salary and motor car allowance 78 79
(S) Payments under the Public Service Pension Adjustment Act 20 20
Total3 7,826,034 4,946,291
Note: Amounts may vary due to rounding.
  1. Main Estimates for 2010–11 include funding for the former CPSA, which was transferred during fiscal year 2009–10 as part of the recommendations of the 2008 Human Resource Agencies Horizontal Strategic Review.
  2. Vote 35, Budget Implementation Initiatives, was created in 2009–10 for implementing certain programs included in the January 27, 2009, budget to ensure that sufficient funding was available to departments for implementing budget stimulus initiatives.
  3. For presentation purposes, the 2009–10 Main Estimates for the former CPSA have been included as part of the total amount.