Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
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ARCHIVED - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - 2012–13 Departmental Performance Report

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Raison d’être

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (Secretariat) is the administrative arm of the Treasury Board, and the President of the Treasury Board is the Minister responsible for the Secretariat. This organization supports the Treasury Board by making recommendations and providing advice on program spending, regulations and management policies and directives, while respecting the primary responsibility of deputy heads in managing their organizations and their roles as accounting officers before Parliament. In this way, the Secretariat strengthens the way government is managed and helps to ensure value for money in government spending and results for Canadians.


The Secretariat makes recommendations and supports the Treasury Board in each of its roles (see text box “Treasury Board Roles”).

Within the Secretariat, the Comptroller General of Canada provides government-wide leadership, direction, oversight and capacity building for financial management, internal audit and the management of assets and acquired services.

The Chief Human Resources Officer leads people management across the core public administration by developing workplace and workforce policies and programs; by centrally managing labour relations, compensation, and pension and benefit plans; and by developing executive leadership.

The Chief Information Officer provides government-wide leadership, direction, oversight and capacity building for information management, information technology, government security (including identity management), access to information, privacy, and internal and external service delivery.

The Treasury Board Portfolio consists of the Secretariat and the Canada School of Public Service. The Public Service Pension Investment Board, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada and the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada are arm's-length organizations that report to Parliament through the President of the Treasury Board.

When working with federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations, the Secretariat plays three central agency roles:

  • A leadership role in driving and modelling excellence in public sector management;
  • A challenge and oversight role that includes reporting on the government's management and budgetary performance and developing government-wide management policies and standards; and
  • A community enabling role to help organizations improve management performance.

Treasury Board Roles

The Treasury Board is a Cabinet committee of ministers established in 1867. It oversees the government's financial, human resources and administrative responsibilities and establishes policies that govern each of these areas. In addition, the Prime Minister has designated the Treasury Board to act as the committee of the Queen's Privy Council for the consideration and approval of regulations and most orders-in-council. The Treasury Board, as the Management Board for the government, has three principal roles:

  • It acts as the government's Management Office by promoting improved management performance. It also approves policies to support the prudent and effective management of the government's assets and financial, information and technology resources.
  • It acts as the government's Budget Office by examining and approving the proposed spending plans of government departments and by reviewing the development of approved programs.
  • It acts as the human resources office and the employer or People Management Office by managing compensation and labour relations for the core public administration. It also sets people management policies (including determining the terms and conditions of employment) to ensure coherence and consistency, where needed.