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Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - Government of Canada

Improved Reporting to Parliament Project,


Objectives

The objectives of the Improved Reporting to Parliament Project are:

 

Revised Part III of the Estimates

In consultation with members of Parliament, the Improved Reporting to Parliament Project team worked with six departments to revise their Part III Estimates documents. They divided information on planning, performance and supplementary information into separate chapters. In March 1996, the President of the Treasury Board tabled the revised Part III documents along with the 1996-97 Main Estimates.

An evaluation of the pilot documents indicated broad support for replacing the existing Part III publications with separate planning and performance reports, to be tabled at different times in the year. In June 1996, the House of Commons unanimously adopted a report recommending that the effort to improve expenditure management information be continued, and that Departmental Performance Reports be tabled on a pilot basis in October 1996.

On April 24, 1997, the House of Commons passed a motion dividing what was known as the Part III of the Estimates document for each department or agency into two documents, a Report on Plans and Priorities and a Departmental Performance Report. It also required all departments and agencies to table these reports on a pilot basis.

 

Departmental Performance Reports

Sixteen departments agreed to report on the results they achieved for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1996, as a pilot project. Their individual Performance Reports provided information on results actually obtained in serving Canadians, and on the cost of serving them. These reports presented information on past performance, and were intended to help parliamentarians assess departmental plans and priorities for upcoming fiscal years.

Providing separate reports on performance increases the visibility of this information, encourages reporting of results, and improves accountability. Linking these to the President's annual report, creates a single window for accountability information, both across government and within departments. This kind of information is particularly valuable, too, in a results-oriented management environment - for making decisions, improving services to clients, and ensuring that the right kinds of programs are being delivered.

The President of the Treasury Board tabled the annual report and the individual performance reports in the House of Commons at the end of October 1996.

Overall, the key stakeholders were very supportive of performance reports. They recognized that improvements are possible, but felt that the way to encourage this initiative was to continue to table the reports separately but earlier, and to promote their use by Parliament, central agencies, and departments themselves.

On November 6, 1997, the President of Treasury Board tabled all 78 departmental performance reports and his annual report on government review, Accounting for Results.

On October 29, 1998, the President of the Treasury Board tabled 80 departmental performance reports and his annual report, Managing for Results.

 

In Year Update

As part of the effort to modernize the vote and control framework, the departments participating in the pilot project also produced an In Year Update, which highlighted: adjustments to program priorities and expectations; significant resource shifts between votes, business lines, or programs; and changes to planned spending as set out in the Part III documents tabled at the time of the Main Estimates.

The President of the Treasury Board tabled the In Year Update in the House of Commons on November 21, 1996.

Further developmental work in this area will be undertaken.

 

Reports on Plans and Priorities

The same sixteen departments involved in the preparation of the Performance Reports tabled pilot Report on Plans and Priorities for 1997/98 on February 20, 1997. These documents replaced their former Part IIIs.

These reports reflected lessons learned from pilot Part III documents that were tested with Parliament in March 1996 and from the performance reports piloted in October 1996. The key improvements introduced to date as part of the Report on Plans are:

On March 25, 1998, the President of the Treasury Board tabled 80 Reports on Plans and Priorities.

On March 25, 1999 the President of the Treasury Board will table approximately 82 Reports on Plans and Priorities. However, as part of the ongoing effort to improve the quality of these documents, several departments will be presented in a streamlined format with an increased emphasis on results management. 

Date Modified: 2001-01-19
Government of Canada