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Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - 2014–15 Report on Plans and Priorities

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Preface: 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities

2014–15 Estimates

Part III – Departmental Expenditure Plans: Reports on Plans and Priorities


Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) are individual expenditure plans for each department and agency. These reports provide increased levels of detail over a three-year period on an organization’s main priorities by strategic outcome, program and planned/expected results, including links to related resource requirements presented in the Main Estimates. In conjunction with the Main Estimates, RPPs serve to inform members of Parliament on planned expenditures of departments and agencies, and support Parliament’s consideration of supply bills. The RPPs are typically tabled soon after the Main Estimates by the President of the Treasury Board.

Estimates documents

The Estimates are comprised of three parts:

Part I – Government Expenditure Plan: Provides an overview of the government’s requirements and changes in estimated expenditures from previous fiscal years.

Part II – Main Estimates: Supports the Appropriation Acts with detailed information on the estimated spending and authorities being sought by each federal organization requesting appropriations.

In accordance with Standing Orders of the House of Commons, Parts I and II must be tabled on or before March 1.

Part III – Departmental Expenditure Plans: Consists of two components:

  • Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP)
  • Departmental Performance Report (DPR)

DPRs are individual departmental and agency accounts of results achieved against planned performance expectations as set out in respective RPPs.

The DPRs for the most recently completed fiscal year are tabled in the fall by the President of the Treasury Board.

Supplementary Estimates support Appropriation Acts presented later in the fiscal year. Supplementary Estimates present information on spending requirements that 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. Supplementary Estimates also provide information on changes to expenditure forecasts of major statutory items as well as on such items as transfers of funds between votes, debt deletion, loan guarantees, and new or increased grants.

For more information on the Estimates, please consult the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

Links to the Estimates

As shown above, RPPs make up part of Part III of the Estimates documents. Whereas Part II emphasizes the financial aspect of the Estimates, Part III focuses on financial and non-financial performance information, both from a planning and priorities standpoint (RPP), and an achievements and results perspective (DPR).

The Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) establishes a structure for display of financial information in the Estimates and reporting to Parliament via RPPs and DPRs. When displaying planned spending, RPPs rely on the Estimates as a basic source of financial information.

Main Estimates expenditure figures are based on the Annual Reference Level Update, which is prepared in the fall. In comparison, planned spending found in RPPs includes the Estimates as well as any other amounts that have been approved through a Treasury Board submission up to February 1(see “Definitions” below). This readjusting of the financial figures allows for a more up-to-date portrait of planned spending by program.  

Changes to the presentation of the Report on Plans and Priorities

Several changes have been made to the presentation of the RPPs, partially to respond to a number of requests (from the House of Commons Standing Committees on Public Accounts (PAC – Report 15), in 2010, and on Government and Operations Estimates (OGGO – Report 7), in 2012) to provide more detailed financial and non-financial performance information about programs within RPPs and DPRs, thus improving the ease of their study to support appropriations approval.

  • In Section II, financial, human resources and performance information is now presented at the program and sub-program levels for more granularity.
  • The report’s general format and terminology have been reviewed for clarity and consistency purposes.
  • Other efforts aimed at making the report more intuitive and focused on Estimates information were made to strengthen alignment with the Main Estimates.
How to read this document

RPPs are divided into four sections:

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

This Organizational Expenditure Overview allows the reader to get a general view of the organization. It provides a description of the organization’s purpose, as well as basic financial and human resources information. This section opens with a new subsection, “Organizational Profile,” which displays general information about the department, including the names of the minister and the deputy head, the ministerial portfolio, the year the department was established, and the main legislative authorities. This subsection is followed by another new subsection entitled “Organizational Context,” which includes the headings Raison d’être, Responsibilities, Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture, Organizational Priorities and Risk Analysis. Section I ends with the subsections “Planned Expenditures,” “Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes,” “Estimates by Votes” and “Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.” It should be noted that this section does not display any non-financial performance information related to programs (please see Section II).

Section II: Analysis of Program(s) by Strategic Outcome(s)

This section provides detailed financial and non-financial performance information for strategic outcomes, programs and sub-programs. This section allows the reader to learn more about programs and sub-programs by reading their respective descriptions and narratives entitled “Planning Highlights.” These narratives speak to key services or initiatives that support the plans and priorities presented in Section I; they also describe how performance information supports the department’s strategic outcome(s) or parent program(s).

Section III: Supplementary Information

This section provides supporting information related to departmental plans and priorities. In this section, the reader will find a future-oriented statement of operations and a link to supplementary information tables regarding transfer payments, as well as information related to greening government operations, internal audits and evaluations, horizontal initiatives, user fees, major Crown and transformational projects, and up-front multi-year funding, where applicable to individual organizations. The reader will also find a link to the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication, produced annually by the Minister of Finance, which provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada.

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

In this last section, the reader will have access to organizational contact information.


Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary Vs. Non-Budgetary  Expenditures

Budgetary expenditures: Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Non-budgetary expenditures: Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

Expected Result

An outcome that a program is designed to achieve.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. FTEs are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada Outcomes

A set of high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole.

Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS)

A common approach and structure to the collection, management and reporting of financial and non-financial performance information.

An MRRS provides detailed information on all departmental programs (e.g., program costs, program expected results and their associated targets, how they align to the government’s priorities and intended outcomes) and establishes the same structure for both internal decision making and external accountability.

Planned Spending

For the purpose of the RPP, planned spending refers to those amounts for which a Treasury Board submission approval has been received by no later than February 1, 2014. This cut-off date differs from the Main Estimates process. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditure levels presented in the 2014–15 Main Estimates.


A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and achieve intended results, and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture

A structured inventory of a department’s programs, where programs are arranged in a hierarchical manner to depict the logical relationship between each program and the strategic outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Spending Areas

Government of Canada categories of expenditures. There are four spending areas (social affairs, economic affairs, international affairs and government affairs) each comprised of three to five Government of Canada outcomes.

Strategic Outcome

A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the department’s mandate, vision, and core functions.

Sunset Program

A time-limited program that does not have ongoing funding or policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made as to whether to continue the program. (In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.)

Whole-of-Government Framework

A map of the financial and non-financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations that aligns their programs to a set of high-level outcome areas defined for the government as a whole.

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