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Performance 2006: The Government of Canada's Contribution
Printable Version

Tabling of the 2005-2006 Departmental Performance Reports & Canada's Performance 2006

November 23, 2006

OTTAWA - The Honourable John Baird, President of the Treasury Board, today tabled performance reports for 88 federal departments and agencies, underscoring the determination of Canada's New Government to deliver more disciplined, accountable and results-oriented management of tax dollars.

"Canadians have a right to understand how the government spends their money," said Minister Baird of the 2005-2006 Departmental Performance Reports. "These publications are important to track the management of public funds, so that Canadians can assess whether government is spending effectively and achieving results."

Every year, federal departments and agencies publish Reports on Plans and Priorities, which state their strategic goals and the resources and activities required to achieve them.  At the end of the fiscal year, Departmental Performance Reports look back on the organizations' actual accomplishments and expenditures, to assess whether their goals were achieved.

Minister Baird also tabled Canada's Performance 2006, a companion document to the Departmental Performance Reports that provides a whole-of-government view of how individual departments and agencies contribute to broad outcomes in four areas: economic, social, international and government affairs.


For more information, contact:

Patrick Robert
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board
(613) 957-2666

Robert Makichuk
Chief, Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
(613) 957-2391

If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.

Backgrounder - 2005-2006 Departmental Performance Reports & Canada's Performance 2006

The President of the Treasury Board has tabled in Parliament performance reports for the 88 departments and agencies of the Government of Canada.[1] A Departmental Performance Report describes each organization's accomplishments and spending, vis à vis its plans and priorities as set out in their respective Reports on Plans and Priorities tabled in March 2005.

The Government has made changes to the 2005-2006 Departmental Performance Reports aimed at making them clearer, more consistent and easier to understand for parliamentarians and Canadians. Among other things, the reports now contain convenient summary tables and accrual-based financial statements. The reports also follow a standard approach of reporting on the long-term benefits to Canadians that departments are striving to achieve and the programs that contribute to their achievement.

The Treasury Board President also tabled Canada's Performance 2006, a companion document to the Departmental Performance Reports that provides an overview of the entire government's efforts to contribute to Canada's progress.

Canada's Performance 2006 also helps the reader understand how the work of individual departments and agencies help to achieve outcomes in four areas: economic, social, international and government affairs. The electronic version contains useful hyperlinks to details on departmental plans, resources and results.

The Estimates Process

The Government is committed to enhancing the transparency of federal government activities and its accountability for the expenditure of public funds. It is important for Canadians to understand what the government is doing, why it is doing it, how much each program or service costs and what results are achieved.

That is why the government tables in Parliament a variety of documents that describe its objectives for the future and evaluate its progress against those stated aims.

Known as the Estimates process, it begins with the annual federal budget, which outlines the Government's spending plans and priorities.  Based on the budget, the Government then develops its Estimates.

Estimates come in three parts. Part I, the Government Expense Plan, provides an overview of federal spending. Part II, the Main Estimates, directly supports the Appropriation Act and identifies the spending authorities (votes) and amounts to be included in the appropriation bills. Parliament will be asked to approve these votes to enable the government to proceed with its spending plans for the coming year. Part III is composed of two parts – Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports.

Reports on Plans and Priorities are spending plans for each department and agency (excluding Crown Corporations) that elaborate on, and supplement, the information contained in the Main Estimates. They describe priorities, expected results and related resource requirements for the coming fiscal year, plus two years out. In the fall, an organization prepares a Departmental Performance Report, which provides an account of actual spending and results against the objectives that were set out in the Report on Plans and Priorities for the fiscal year that has recently ended. A fiscal year covers the period 1 April to 31 March. Eighty-eight Departmental Performance Reports were tabled today.

For the past six years, the Government has also tabled Canada's Performance report in Parliament. It is a companion document to the Departmental Performance Reports. This publication, which was also tabled today, gives readers an overview of the federal government's contribution to Canada's performance as a nation in four areas:  economic, social, international and government affairs. The report is also a road map to departmental details, indicating which organizations work in related areas and providing hyperlinks to supporting information.

What's New?

In order to enhance accountability for the use of public funds, the Government continually seeks ways to improve the presentation of financial and non-financial planning and performance information to Parliament.

For example, this year the government introduced a clearer, more consistent reporting structure to help highlight the relationship between departmental budgets, the management of their activities and actual results. The Management, Resources and Results Structure policy underpins this standard federal planning, management and reporting approach. The consistent display of information, which can now be found in other Estimates documents and the Public Accounts, helps the reader better understand the purpose and amount of planned and actual spending throughout the parliamentary reporting cycle.

Also for the first time this year, all Departmental Performance Reports contain accrual-based financial statements in order to provide parliamentarians and other Canadians easy access to this important information. Departmental financial statements, which are a key element of effective accountability and control, are based on Treasury Board Accounting Standards. 

For its part, Canada's Performance 2006 has improved by providing a clearer overview of how the performance of individual departments and agencies contributes to broader, government-wide outcomes. The electronic version of the report serves as a road map to help parliamentarians navigate more easily through individual performance reports, other relevant government documents, such as Budget 2006, and useful databases.   

[1]  The 2004-2005 performance reports covered 90 departments. However, restructuring of the departments of Human Resources and Social Development and Foreign Affairs and International Trade has reduced this number by two.
  The President of the Treasury Board tables these reports in Parliament, but each minister is responsible for the information in his or her own department's report.
  Crown corporations do not prepare Departmental Performance Reports; they report to Parliament separately by way of annual reports.