Expenditure Management System
The Expenditure Management System is designed to ensure that all programs are focused on results, provide value for taxpayers' money and are aligned with the government's priorities and responsibilities.
Within this framework, all existing government programs and all new program proposals go through a systematic examination to ensure that they meet the needs of Canadians, focus on federal responsibilities, produce results and provide value for money.
The approach is built on three pillars:
- Managing for results: Evaluating our programs and demonstrating results for Canadians;
- Upfront discipline: All new proposals for government spending require clear measures of success and better information about how the new proposals fit among existing programs; and
- Ongoing assessment: Reviewing all direct program spending to ensure that programs are efficient, effective, and aligned with the priorities of Canadians and with federal responsibilities.
Managing for Results
Federal departments have put in place a results-based management approach for all spending, ensuring that programs are linked to the priorities of Canadians and that they provide value for money. Results-based management uses a life-cycle approach by integrating planning, monitoring and reporting to improve decision making. It encompasses both the Management Accountability Framework and the Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures. These help identify management strengths and weaknesses across government and assist employees in planning and managing resources, expenditures and results. Each department defines expected results for all of its spending, measures performance against these anticipated results and sets a standard of performance against best practices. Regular program evaluation is an integral component of this approach.
The government has also adopted a disciplined approach up front in the planning stages of new program spending by anchoring new spending in the priorities of Canadians, developing rigorous spending proposals and linking new spending with existing spending. This process ensures that the government can make informed decisions on the use of funds, such as ensuring that funding goes to those programs that are high priority for Canadians and produce results.
Through strategic reviews, government organizations review 100 per cent of their direct spending and the operating costs of major statutory programs every four years to assess how and whether these programs:
- Are effective and efficient;
- Meet the priorities of Canadians; and
- Are aligned with federal responsibilities.
Learn about the reporting cycle for government expenditures.
History of estimates
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