Detailed Guidance for Writers

Writing a Treasury Board Submission

Before you start drafting:

  1. Read How to Use this Guidance for information on general expectations, including the appropriate use of appendices.
  2. Save a copy of the Treasury Board Submission Form (TBC/CTC 300-1).
  3. Use this guidance to draft a TB submission consistent with the expectations articulated throughout.
  4. Consult the Treasury Board Submissions Overview if you are new to writing TB submissions. The overview provides background information on the TB submission process and describes the key roles and responsibilities, including the central role of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (Secretariat).

The guidance for writers is presented in the following sections:

Title and Synopsis

In plain language, avoiding acronyms, abbreviations or technical language, provide the following:

  1. In 20 words or less, a title that reflects the purpose of the submission. Note that for Supplementary Estimate requests, the title will be the name of the item in the Estimates.
  2. A synopsis of the submission, ideally in 100 words or less, summarizing the long-term result(s) associated with the proposal (i.e. the change that would result by approving this proposal). The synopsis should consider the authorities being sought, the total cost, level of risk and how the proposal would be implemented.

Authorities Sought From the Treasury Board

This section of the submission presents all of the authorities your organization is seeking from the Treasury Board:

  • It is best to begin the section with the words “It is proposed that Treasury Board:” followed by a numbered list of individual proposals.
  • Consult with the Secretariat on each proposal for the best wording to help achieve the outcome desired by your organization, and clarify any required follow-up.
  • Present the specific authorities or approvals that your organization is seeking and draft a paragraph for each decision sought.
  • Each paragraph should be clear, succinct and separately numbered.
  • Each paragraph’s English and French language text must correspond exactly.
  • Group proposals should be sent in joint submissions by the responsible organization.

Following are examples of the most frequently sought authorities (see Commonly Sought Authorities and Approvals or Key Considerations Tool - Authorities Sought From the Treasury Board):

  • Financial management authorities – Estimates votes and allotments;
  • Management, resources and results structures;
  • Transfer payments;
  • External user fees;
  • Procurement;
  • Investment planning;
  • Project approval;
  • Real property;
  • Crown corporation corporate plans;
  • Non-delegated organization and classification of executive (EX) positions; and
  • Governor in Council approvals.

Example of Authorities Sought from the Treasury Board

It is proposed that the Treasury Board:

  1. Provide authority to include an item in Supplementary Estimates and/or increase reference levels in the Department of Initiatives Vote 1 - Program Expenditures in the amounts of $2,772,456 in 2014-15; $1,057,517 in 2015-16; $928,296 in 2016-17; $930,764 in 2017-18; and $938,700 in 2018-19, including employee benefit plans and excluding Public Works and Government Services Canada accommodation charges to implement the Horizontal Connections Program.
  2. Provide authority to hold centrally in an earmarked reserve $88,145 in 2014-15; $70,068 in 2015-16; $70,494 in 2016-17; $71,352 in 2017-18; and $72,109 in 2018-19 to offset Public Works and Government Services Canada accommodation requirements.

Background

This section of the submission sets the context by providing factual background material on the proposal(s), including the following information:

  • Previous Cabinet decisions and other supporting authorities;
  • Alignment with the organization’s mandate and program structure;
  • For organizations that have transitioned to the TB Policy on Results, the following should be included:
    • Which Core Responsibility in the Departmental Results Framework the proposal relates to;
    • Which Departmental Result(s), from the Departmental Results Framework, the proposal relates to and whether that Departmental Result contributes to a Government-Wide Priority;
  • Connection to existing policies and programs, within or outside the organization; and
  • Historical information on the proposal, including the past results achieved.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Rationale

This section of the submission presents the rationale supporting each proposal and explains what you are trying to accomplish. You should demonstrate why the proposed course of action is needed (i.e. a change in direction or status quo) and how the proposed result(s) meet that need. Consideration should be given to:

  • gaps in the current programming that the proposal aims to address;
  • lessons learned from other jurisdictions / comparable initiatives; and/or
  • changes to the policy and/or operational context.

In demonstrating why the proposed course of action is needed, organizations are also expected to justify why the authorities being sought in the submission are required.

If your submission involves collaborative arrangements with other organizations, provide additional information on the organization, partner or individual you are engaging to help implement the proposal.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Expected Results

This section of the submission presents the expected results of the proposal and explains how the proposal intends to track progress towards, and ultimately achieve, expected results.

Overview

Expected results represent the difference an organization intends to make for Canadians or the contribution it intends to make to advance the Government of Canada’s interests and priorities. Organizations should provide a summary of the key results associated with the proposal, how they will be measured and what the key targets are. This summary is based on a completed Delivery and Expected Results: Deputy Head Commitment Appendix, which requires the articulation of short, medium and long term outcomes committed to by the Deputy Head. Organizations may be required to complete the Delivery and Expected Results: Performance Measurement Information Appendix to outline in further detail the organization’s data strategy. Consult your program analyst at the Secretariat for more information.

This section should also summarize how the proposal will lead to the expected results, including the role of the organization’s Chief Delivery Officer and/or Head of Performance Measurement in the monitoring, reporting and achievement of results.

Evidence (Audit, Evaluation, Reviews and Studies)

Organizations should articulate any evidence (such as audits, evaluations, reviews, or external studies) that support the expected results of the proposal. This section of the submission should also include any evidence that helps demonstrate why the initiative will be relevant, effective, and efficient.

For existing programs, this section should summarize the actual results to date, the quality and availability of past performance data, and a summary of relevant findings and conclusions from past audits, evaluations, and reviews of the program, including a comparison to established program targets, similar programs, benchmarks or best practices.

Organizations should also indicate their plans to gather further evidence, including planned evaluations for the proposal (timeframe), what will and will not be evaluated, and an associated rationale if an evaluation is not planned. For organizations that are not subject to the departmental evaluation plan requirements of the Policy on Results, the submission should include additional details about the timing, scope and source of funds of future evaluations, as required.

If no performance information was used in preparing the proposal, this should be indicated and justified.

Reporting

Organizations should indicate how they plan to report on the progress in a transparent and proactive manner. Where possible, organizations should indicate whether related performance information will be provided publicly.

Horizontal Initiatives

If the submission is part of a horizontal initiative (as defined by Guide to Departments on the Management and Reporting of Horizontal Initiatives), information on the roles and responsibilities for each organization related to the achievement of results should be included in the sections above. As required, organizations should also:

  • Indicate whether the other participating organizations have committed to a horizontal performance measurement strategy; and
  • If your organization is the lead and an evaluation is planned, briefly describe the governance, objectives and general approach of the evaluation; confirm that your evaluation schedule matches those of participating organizations; and explain how the evaluation will be funded.

In addition, all departments participating in a horizontal initiative should complete and include the Delivery and Expected Results for Horizontal Initiatives: Deputy Head Commitment Appendix which outlines the planned spending, expected results, performance indicators and targets for the horizontal initiative by Theme Area.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Design, Delivery and Implementation

This section of the submission presents the proposed implementation approach and should justify why the approach is best suited to achieve the expected results.

Information on how each proposal will be implemented, at what cost and over what period, should be considered against the following, as applicable:

Program/policy design:
discuss how the program/ policy design and delivery model are best suited to achieving expected results. Organizations must indicate which government-wide policy considerations influenced the program/policy design, including Official Languages and Gender-Based Analysis Plus considerations which require their own mandatory appendices. Where the submission was preceded by a Memorandum to Cabinet, organizations should discuss how policy considerations previously noted have been addressed in the design of the program, policy or initiative;
Innovation:
describe the extent to which the program/policy design and delivery model support the improvement or modernization of service delivery and operating practices, either through the use of existing techniques or new approaches. Discuss what role experimentation has in achieving this and whether the organization is devoting a fixed percentage of program funds to experiment with new approaches;
Stakeholder consultations:
summarize who was consulted, how they were consulted and what influence/impact the consultations had  on the proposed approach;
Governance structures:
discuss leadership, policies, relationships, control mechanisms and accountability measures;
Proposal implementation:
outline major tasks to be accomplished, key milestones/timelines, and a communications plan. If the submission was preceded by an MC, organizations should discuss any key developments (changes to assumptions, dependencies, circumstances, etc.) since the approval of the MC that will affect how the proposal will be implemented, if applicable.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Risks and Risk Responses

This section of the submission addresses the overall risk and describes the key risks or challenges associated with implementing each proposal. The Treasury Board should have assurance that a comprehensive range of risks have been considered and that key risks and adequate risk responses have been identified.

As a best practice, consider the guides and tools that are part of the organization’s integrated risk management approach, such as a risk management policy, framework or corporate risk profile. This will help to ensure alignment between the proposal’s risk assessment and the organization’s approach to managing risks and risk responses. If no such guidance is available, you can use the TBS’ risk management guides and tools.

Organizations should begin this section with a summary of the operating environment (i.e. environmental scan) in which the proposal will be implemented.

A summary of the top risks should also be provided, accompanied by the organization’s risk response strategies (avoid, mitigate, transfer, accept). This summary is based on a completed Appendix on Risk and Risk Responses, which requires that a risk analysis be undertaken based on an assessment of impact and likelihood (see Defining the Risk Management Process in the Guide to Integrated Risk Management). If your proposal relates to a project approval, provide the Project Complexity and Risk Assessment Rating.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds

This section of the submission provides ministers with a clear sense of the total cost of the program, project or initiative, by year and in total, the funding requirements; and the related source of funds to finance the proposal. Costing, funding requirements and source of funds are distinct components that provide unique but complementary information to support ministerial assessment of the approvals and authorities you are seeking.

In brief, you are expected to provide the following:

  • Total cost of the program, project or initiative under consideration (to the nearest dollar);
  • Cost information on a cash basis and, if applicable, on an accrual basis; and
  • Funding requirements; and
  • Source of funds.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Cost

For submissions with funding requirements, the total cost of the initiative must be provided on a cash basis. When the cash and accrual profiles are different, such as in the purchase of a capital asset, the total cost must also be provided on an accrual basis.

The cash basis provides ministers with a profile of the anticipated expenditures or the cash flow. The accrual information illustrates how a capital asset is consumed or a liability is liquidated over time, and provides the anticipated impact on the government’s overall Statement of Operations and Accumulated Deficit/Surplus.

It is recommended that you consult the Guidelines on Costing to complete this section of the submission.

Following are some costs that should be included in your calculation, as applicable:

  • Direct costs, including salaries, employee benefit plans (EBPs) and accommodation costs;
  • Program support costs, including supervisory, administrative, management and policy functions within the program branches involved in delivering the proposed initiative;
  • Indirect costs of internal services providing support to the initiative, including the following services:
    • Management and oversight, such as internal audit and evaluation;
    • Communications;
    • Legal;
    • Human resources management;
    • Financial management;
    • Risk management;
    • Information management;
    • Information technology;
    • Travel and other administrative services;
    • Real property;
    • Materiel; and
    • Acquisition;
  • Financing costs (e.g., revolving funds must pay interest on use of the drawdown authority);
  • Contingency provisions (intended to provide flexibility to accommodate unforeseen cost increases due to factors other than changes in the scope);
  • GST or HST, when costing projects, contracts or leases; and
  • Foregone revenues (e.g., interest on debt deletion).

Organizations generally have a framework or formula for estimating the costs of internal services in TB submissions. The methodology should be applied consistently to all submissions.

Organizations sometimes erroneously focus solely on new funding requirements and provide costs strictly related to their new funding requests. The costs presented to ministers should reflect the total cost of the initiative and should be considered independently of funding considerations.

If a submission does not have financial implications (e.g., a request for authority to amend contracting limits where the project cost does not change), the information should be stated in this section of the submission.

Funding requirements

You are expected to provide an analysis and explanation of the funding requirements, which should include:

  • Pre-existing funding priorities at the organizational level;
  • Relative priority of the proposal;
  • Reallocation of existing funds (or explain why the organization cannot implement the proposal within existing resources); and
  • Incremental funding requirement (separately identify the amount required for internal services).

If applicable, you should also provide any other relevant information, such as the impact of a significant reallocation or concerns about program integrity, as well as detailed information on existing and new FTE resources that will support the proposal (including their distribution across or outside Canada, staffing levels and what each will do).

Funding requirements are derived from cost estimates but are not typically identical to cost estimates. This section of the submission would be cross-referenced to the Existing Statutory and Policy Authorities section regarding previous decisions on the source of funds.

Source of funds

The source of funds to finance the costs of your initiative must be presented to ministers. The Treasury Board will not consider submissions that have funding implications without a confirmed source of funds. Your organization should determine the source of funds for the proposal and confirm it with the Secretariat program sector before presenting a submission to Treasury Board.

Following are some potential sources of funds:

Existing reference levels:
Planned voted expenditures approved by Parliament in the Estimates, and reallocations made either within a program related to the proposal and/or within your organization’s reference levels;
Funding earmarked in the fiscal framework:
Funds set aside for the proposal as a result of a federal budget or other Cabinet decision, as well as funding that will be cost-recovered and deposited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund as non-respendable revenue. For the latter, the source of funds should be described as “Funding earmarked in the fiscal framework to be fully offset by deposits to the Consolidated Revenue Fund;”
Transfer of funds:
Funds originating from another organization that will be transferred to your organization to help fund the proposal; and
Revenues.
 

Presenting cost, funding requirements and sources of funds

If your submission has financial implications, describe this in the submission’s Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds section. A Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds Table by Estimates Vote Structure (as shown below) must also be included in the financial appendices of the submission. More detailed cost information can also be provided in these appendices, or under separate cover directly to the program analyst at the Secretariat.

The descriptive text in this section should clearly indicate the funding requirements, source(s) of funds and the total cost.

Cash and accrual presentation of cost information should take the following into account:

  • The total cost of the initiative at the organizational level profiled by fiscal year must always be presented on a cash basis. If there are ongoing costs, provide the total annual costs until costs stabilize, and then indicate the ongoing amount.
  • If the accrual profile is the same as the cash profile, clearly indicate this in the text.
  • If the cash and accrual profiles are different, the total cost of the initiative at the organizational level, profiled by fiscal year, must also be presented on an accrual basis. The accrual profile should include:
    • A minimum of five years of accrual amounts, and should indicate the remainder of the expenses and the time frame over which the remainder will be incurred.
    • Additional details when procuring capital asset(s), as in the following example, “The expenditure of $100 million in 2011–12 will provide the organization with laboratory research equipment that has a useful life of 20 years and that will become productive in 2012–13.”
  • For liabilities, there can be a difference between the cash and accrual profiles. In some cases, the recognition of the expense on an accrual basis precedes the outflow of cash to settle the liability. In these cases, the submission should provide the cash profile of expenditures and state that the related expenses were charged to a previous fiscal year(s).

Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds Table by Estimates Vote Structure

The Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds Table by Estimates Vote Structure is the standard table required in any submission with cost impacts. If the submission proposes to acquire capital assets and/or land through new funding, a separate table is required to present the accrual information.

A sample table is provided in Extended Examples for TB Submissions for illustrative purposes.

Download

The Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds Table by Estimates Vote Structure is available in the required bilingual format.

The following accessible version of the table is provided to support the guidance.

Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds Table by Estimates Vote Structure
Fiscal Year – Dollars
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 Total Ongoing
New Funding (including adjustments to vote-netted revenue)
[Provide breakdown by organization, vote and input factor, as applicable.]
Vote [insert operating vote number] – Operating Expenditures and Employment Benefit Plans (EBPs)
Personnel              
Other operating costs              
EBPs @ 20%              
Total Vote [insert operating vote number] and EBPs              
Vote [insert capital vote number] – Capital Expenditures and EBPs
Personnel              
Other              
EBPs @ 20%              
Total Vote [insert capital vote number] and EBPs              
Vote [insert grants and contributions vote number] – Grants and Contributions
Grants              
Contributions              
Total Vote [insert grants and contributions vote number]              
Total Votes              
SSC core information technology services              
PWGSC accommodation premium @ 13%              
Other statutory items              
Adjustments to Vote-Netted Revenue
[Provide a breakdown by input factor as applicable]
Personnel              
Other operating costs              
EBPs @ 20%              
Vote-netted revenue (excluding EBPs)              
Total (equal to EBP amount, if any)              
Total New Funding              
Existing Funding
[Provide a breakdown by organization, vote and input factor, as applicable. Use the same format as the “New Funding” section.]
Total Existing Funding              
Transfers
Sending Organization [Provide breakdown by vote and input factor. Use same format as the “New Funding” section.]
Subtotal              
Receiving Organization [Provide breakdown by vote and input factor. Use same format as the “New Funding” section.]
Subtotal              
Total Transfers (must equal zero)              
Grand Total              

The Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds Table by Estimates Vote Structure presents total costs on a cash accounting basis. The numbers in the table should add up correctly and should be consistent with the costing information in the proposal(s) and with the financial information under Costing Due Diligence and Validation and in Detailed Financial Tables.

The total costs are at the organizational level broken out by vote, input factor, accommodation costs and other statutory items. The table is separated into three sections: “New Funding,” “Existing Funding” and “Transfers.”

Following are recommendations for completing the table:

  • If the submission is seeking new funding for an existing program, include the full initiative amount in the costing table. Including both new funding and existing funding provides ministers with a complete picture of the initiative’s cost.
  • EBPs and accommodation premiums are calculated as a percentage of personnel costs and rounded to the nearest dollar.
  • Provide a footnote if the accommodation premium is not 13 per cent of new personnel funding, explaining the difference (i.e., in cases where Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is not the custodian of the related buildings).
  • Provide a footnote on any amount you may be seeking from Treasury Board Vote 5 – Government Contingencies, indicating with an asterisk the figure(s) in the table to which the footnote relates.
  • Include vote-netted revenue if your organization is seeking an authority related to it.
  • The grand total represents the initiative’s total cost, except when adjustments to vote-netted revenue are included in the submission. In these cases, the grand total does not represent the total costs, since costs funded by revenues have been netted from the presentation (except for EBPs). In the text section, you should include these costs when presenting total initiative costs.
  • If more than one organization is involved, the grand total should be the sum of organization-specific costing tables.

Transfers between organizations or between votes within an organization

Include the amount to be transferred under the “New Funding” section or the “Existing Funding” section of the sending organization, as appropriate. Under the “Transfers” section of the table, indicate in the “Sending Organization” and “Receiving Organization” areas the transfer by organization, vote and input factor. The sending organization amount will show as a negative and the receiving organization amount will show as positive. The “Transfers” section should total to zero.

For current-year transfers of personnel, the increase in the personnel sub-allotment of the receiving organization should be offset by an identical reduction in the personnel sub-allotment of the sending organization. If there is no transfer of personnel, transfers to and/or from the operating budget allotment should be made entirely within the other operating costs sub-allotment.

For transfers between organizations, both organizations’ ministers may be required to sign the TB submission.

Costing Due Diligence and Validation

The Guideline on Chief Financial Officer Attestation for Cabinet Submissions provides useful guidance on the nature and purpose of cost information presented in a TB submission. This section of the submission should provide contextual information and describe the key aspects of the costing methodology, including for example:

  • Relevant historical costs;
  • Total cost of the proposal and a description of the methodology that was used to estimate the cost, including assumptions;
  • Consultations that were conducted during development of the cost estimate;
  • Cost of comparable initiatives in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, or alternative options not retained;
  • Uncertainties that could impact the cost estimate and mitigation strategies; and
  • Cost of the asset over its useful life, where required. If a third-party validation of the cost estimate is conducted, the findings should be disclosed;
  • Identification of the percentage of the total cost that will be spent on internal services and a rationale for why that allocation is appropriate;
  • Explain how costs will be contained; and
  • State whether or not the Guidelines on Costing were followed.

More detailed costing information may be required, such as the baseline cost of a program or the cost of a major capital asset acquisition.

For additional guidance in writing this section, consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission.

Contact

Include the name, title, email address and telephone number of the primary contact(s) in your organization for the submission. This information is required for the official Treasury Board record and for administrative purposes.

TB Submission Appendices:

  • Consult your program analyst at the Secretariat to determine which appendices are applicable to your submission.
  • Each appendix referenced in the submission should be included in this section as per the Ordering of Appendices. Also include a separate cover page here with a list of the appendices.
  • Except for information from third parties, appendices should be provided in both official languages, as they form part of the official TB submission.

Mandatory Appendices

Delivery and Expected Results: Deputy Head Commitment

Using Delivery and Expected Results: Deputy Head Commitment Appendix, organizations should provide a details on the short, medium and long term results associated with the proposal, how they will be measured and what the key targets are. Organizations are also asked to explain how performance information will be overseen to ensure that the intended results are being achieved, supported by key milestones.

If the submission is part of a horizontal initiative, the Delivery and Expected Results for Horizontal Initiatives: Deputy Head Commitment Appendix is required instead.

Risks and Risk Responses

Provide detailed information on the key risks associated with each proposal by filling out the Risks and Risk Responses template.

It includes a table that is meant to provide comprehensive information on each key risk. Specifically, for each key risk, the following is required:

Title/Description of the Risk
Each risk should be articulated using a risk statement (see the Guide to Risk Statements), with proper consideration of conditions or drivers that could cause the risk to occur (consult Appendix A of the Guide to Risk Taxonomies for additional guidance on identifying risk drivers).
Category
Identify which of the following five categories the key risk falls under: (1) proposal complexity, (2) legal risks, (3) capacity risks, (4) issue history; and (5) financial risks. Please consult the challenge questions in Key Considerations for Drafting a TB Submission for guidance on the kinds of risks that fall under each category.
Probability
Outline the probability of the risk occurring (low, medium, high).
Impact
Describe in detail the impact of the risk defined in terms of cost, scope, schedule and/or other factors (e.g., reputation).
Initial Risk Level Assessment
Determine the risk level based on the probability and the impact (low, medium, high).
Response
Outline the detailed proposed response to the risk (avoid, mitigate, transfer, accept).
Residual Risk Level Assessment
Determine the risk level, taking into account the proposed response (low, medium, high).

It is expected that, for most submissions, the number of key risks will not exceed six. However, for higher risk submissions, the number could be greater.

After filling out the table, please outline the following:

  1. The legal risk level of the submission (low, medium, high) and a justification for this rating. As a rule of thumb, this level should be based on the level of the highest ranked key legal risk, as identified in the table above (the Summary of Key Risks). If there are no material legal risks, a low rating can be indicated. Please note that it is good practice for your Legal Services to review all TB Submissions, but especially those submissions that can entail material legal risk.
  2. The overall risk level of the submission (low, medium, high) and a justification for this rating.

In both cases, the risk level should be based on residual risk (i.e., take into account the proposed responses).

Official Languages

Provide analysis of the implications of the proposal(s) for official languages as defined in the Official Languages Act. The main considerations are organizational bilingualism, the vitality and development of English and French minority communities in Canada, and the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

Complete the Official Languages Appendix and attach it.

Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+)

GBA+ is the process by which a proposal is examined for its impact on different groups of women and men, considering other intersecting factors, such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income. Its purpose is to recognize and respond to different gender-based situations and needs.

Organizations should determine the potential gender issues for the submission by completing the Gender-Based Analysis Plus Appendix. Should potential gender issues be identified, organizations should indicate in the body of the TB submission (Design, Delivery and Implementation) how these findings influenced the program/policy design.

As Applicable Appendices

Financial Appendices
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Attestation

The Guideline on Chief Financial Officer Attestation for Cabinet Submissions requires CFOs to perform a due diligence review of the financial management aspects of TB submissions and provide an attestation on his or her findings.

The CFO is to attest to the adequacy of financial information contained in organizations’ Cabinet submissions by:

  • Conducting robust analysis, at an appropriate level, to support decision making;
  • Challenging the assumptions and proposals made by program areas, noting that the CFO is not accountable for the non-financial (i.e., program) elements of submission;
  • Maintaining supporting documentation; and
  • Being involved early in the submission development.

A CFO attestation letter is to be attached to TB submissions involving funding requests. The letter is expected to contain six assertions and an overall conclusion. The CFO may flag observations or issues relating to the assertions in the attestation letter.

The three options for the overall conclusion in the attestation letter are:

  • Financial information is sufficient for decision making;
  • Unable to assess due to lack of time or information; and
  • Significant financial issues or risks.

Guideline on Chief Financial Officer Attestation for Cabinet Submissions contains a Sample Text of a CFO Attestation Letter.

Detailed Financial Tables

This appendix provides the detailed financial information to prepare Estimates, maintain a fiscal framework and manage allotments on a cash and accrual basis. It may also be used to provide additional cost information that complements information in the Cost, Funding Requirements and Source of Funds and Costing Due Diligence and Validation sections of the submission (e.g., detailed breakdown and explanation of the contingency component of a cost estimate).

Life Cycle Cost-Analysis Report

Guidance for this section is under development in the Secretariat’s Office of the Comptroller General.

Existing Statutory and Policy Authorities;

Briefly state the authority or authorities for the submission to come forward, e.g., legislation, regulation, policy, Cabinet decision, previous Treasury Board decision, Treasury Board policy and existing terms and conditions.

If a Cabinet decision or previous Treasury Board decision is referenced, provide only the subject, the relevant month and the year.

Delivery and Expected Results: Performance Measurement Information;

An organization’s Performance Measurement Strategy (PMS), or Performance Information Profile (PIP) for those who have transitioned to the TB Policy on Results, supports the ongoing monitoring of program performance and its evaluation. For submissions relating to a full Program within the organization’s Program Inventory, much of the relevant information can be drawn from the PMS/PIP. 

This section should:

  • Confirm that your organization’s head of evaluation and head of performance measurement have been consulted in developing the proposal’s performance measurement and whether it will be sufficient to effectively support evaluation;
  • Provide details to support your data strategy, including the logic model, program theory, or similar tool to explain how the proposal influences its results; baseline data (e.g. historical data or a comparison group); the organization, unit, and position responsible for data collection; and the data management system used.
  • Highlight any indicators that reflect standardized requirements as directed by the Treasury Board Secretariat;
  • Describe how the program design and/or delivery has taken into account the needs of performance measurement;
  • Outline factors related to the choice of indicators, including the degree to which the indicator correlates with the desired result, the reliability of the data, the ability of the federal government to impact the selected indicators, and attribution issues;
  • Briefly describe the steps the organization is taking to rectify any previous problems with collecting, analyzing and using performance information, if applicable; and
  • Provide the status of performance measures, including the expected or actual date of implementation.

This information may need to change over time as new data sources emerge or are developed.

Government-Wide Policy Considerations

While every submission is different, the impacts of cross-cutting or government-wide policies on proposals submitted for Treasury Board approval must be considered. Organizations are required to provide appendices related to two policy considerations in particular: official languages and gender-based analysis. The others remain case specific (consult your TBS program analyst for advice).

Indigenous issues

The legal duty to consult applies broadly to all Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Consequently, departments need to consider the legal duty to consult Aboriginal Peoples in all instances.  Modern treaties, however, describe federal obligations to specific Indigenous signatories and must be considered in the context of those agreements.

Duty to Consult Aboriginal Peoples

In the Haida and Taku River decisions in 2004, and the Mikisew Cree decision in 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the Crown has a duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate when the Crown contemplates conduct that might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights, as affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act , 1982. The Court explained that the duty stems from the Honour of the Crown and the Crown’s unique relationship with Aboriginal peoples.

Canada’s whole-of-government approach to address Aboriginal consultation and accommodation includes guidelines for federal officials. These guidelines focus on the increased need for coordination and collaboration; federal accountability; strengthening partnerships; and strategic and practical guidance, training, and support. They also include guiding principles and consultation directives that provide clearer direction on the government-wide responsibility to fulfill the duty to consult.

Federal organizations are responsible for integrating the guiding principles and consultation directives into their own day-to-day activities. Your TB submission should indicate whether you have addressed Aboriginal consultation and accommodation considerations. In bringing forward a TB submission, you should note whether Aboriginal consultations were required and, if so, whether any issues were raised. The guidelines also reference the Consultation Information Service and the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System and other tools developed by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to assist officials in determining the scope and nature of consultations.

For detailed information on federal real property, please consult the Guide to Real Property Management: Aboriginal Context.

Modern Treaty Implementation

Modern treaties promote strong and sustainable Indigenous communities, establish certainty around ownership and management of lands and resources, create a stable climate for investment, and promote broader economic and policy objectives to the benefit of all Canadians.  Modern treaties are entered into on behalf of the Crown as a whole. Therefore, it is important for every federal department and agency to be aware of, and to fulfill, modern treaty obligations of the Crown.

The Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation (2015) requires departments and agencies to consider the implications of modern treaties on their proposals to Cabinet, and to attest to the compliance of the proposals with the obligations contained in modern treaties. More specifically, departments and agencies are required to complete an assessment of modern treaty implications on proposals submitted to Cabinet for approval.

Departments are encouraged to consult their legal services units, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Modern Treaty Implementation Office for support and guidance on conducting the assessment. Ultimately departments and agencies are responsible for ensuring that they are aware of, understand and fulfill their obligations pursuant to all modern treaties. Further, departments and agencies are responsible for developing and delivering activities, programs, policies and legislation in a manner that respects and complies with modern treaty provisions.

Consequently, the TB submission itself must confirm that an assessment of modern treaty implications was completed (see Assessment of Modern Treaty Implications Appendix) and that, if applicable, the proposals have been developed in a manner that respects and complies with modern treaties and the rights therein. If there are related risks, departments and agencies should identify them in the Risk and Risk Responses section of the TB submission.

Communications

A communications plan with dedicated resources to achieve communications goals and objectives is required if your submission meets one of the following criteria:

  • The submission involves a significant investment of public funds;
  • It proposes a major new policy, program, service or initiative; or
  • It concerns a matter in which the media or public has or could express sensitivity or significant interest.

A communications plan is not required for a submission that is the subject of a previous Memorandum to Cabinet still in force. Nor is it required for the release of advertising funds from the Treasury Board acting on the basis of policy direction from the Cabinet or a designated Cabinet committee.

If a communications plan is included with your submission, your organization’s head of communications needs to approve it. You should consult a communications specialist to ensure that appropriate measures, adequate resources and budget information are included in the plan.

The format of your communications plan should follow the format of Memoranda to Cabinet.

Privacy

The Privacy Act and the Treasury Board Policy on Privacy Protection are based on the principle that federal organizations must protect all personal information under their control. The purpose of the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment is to ensure, through the conduct of Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs), sound management and decision making as well as careful consideration of privacy risks regarding the creation, collection and handling of personal information as part of government programs or activities.

For this reason, any time a program or activity that uses personal information is created or substantially modified, the lead institution is required to complete a PIA. In cases where multiple institutions are involved in a single PIA, the lead institution is responsible for filing a single multi-institutional PIA. Further, if a program or activity wishes to use the social insurance number for administrative purposes, the use must be approved by the Treasury Board, as detailed in Appendix B of the Directive on Social Insurance Number.

If a PIA is required, contact your organizational Access to Information and Privacy Office for instructions and guidance, and consult Appendix B of the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment for specific PIA requirements related to the preparation of TB submissions.

Following is sample proposal wording for programs or activities involving the collection, use or disclosure of personal information:

  • Note that a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) has been completed for this [insert “program” or “activity”] and that all relevant privacy issues and risks have been addressed to the satisfaction of [insert the name of the sponsoring organization]. The specific measures taken to address these issues and risks are described in [insert the name of the relevant section of the submission]; or
  • Note that a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) will be completed and all relevant privacy issues and risks will be addressed by [insert date], [insert “before implementation” or “before (insert the name of the sponsoring organization) begins to collect personal information to administer the (insert “program” or “activity”)].

Following is sample proposal wording for an extension or amendment to an existing program or activity involving the collection, use or disclosure of personal information:

  • Note that a PIA was previously conducted on this [insert “program” or “activity”] and that there are no substantial modifications to the [insert “program” or “activity”] that warrant the development of a new PIA or the modification of the existing PIA; or
  • Note that a previous PIA on this [insert “program” or “activity”] has been updated and that all relevant new privacy issues and risks have been addressed to the satisfaction of [insert the name of the sponsoring organization]. The specific measures taken to address these issues and risks are described in [insert the name of the relevant section of the submission]; or
  • Note that a previous PIA will be updated and that all relevant new privacy issues and risks will be addressed by [insert date], before implementation of this new phase of the [insert “program” or “activity”].

You may also wish to consult the following policy instruments:

Environmental and Sustainable Development Requirements

a) Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (1999) requires integration of environmental considerations into federal government decision making through the use of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Individual federal organizations are responsible for carrying out the Cabinet directive.

SEA is a key analytical tool to evaluate the environmental effects of a proposed policy, plan or program and its alternatives, which informs strategic decision making through a careful analysis of environmental risks and opportunities.

The Cabinet directive requires that strategic environmental assessment of a policy, plan or program proposal be conducted when the following two conditions are met:

  • The proposal is submitted to an individual minister or to the Cabinet for approval; and
  • Implementation of the proposal may result in important environmental effects, either positive or negative.

The application of the Cabinet directive involves a multi-step process:

  • A preliminary scan to identify the potential for important environmental effects;
  • SEA, if important environmental effects, either positive or negative, are identified through a scan of a proposed policy, plan or program and its alternatives; and
  • Reporting on results of SEA.

As a result of the Guidelines for Implementing the "Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals" (revised in 2010), organizations must take into account how policy, plan and program proposals subject to SEA are likely to affect the achievement of the goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS).

When an SEA has been conducted on a proposed policy, plan or program that has potential for important environmental effects, the analysis should be reflected in the TB submission, and a copy of the SEA should be provided to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (Secretariat).

SEA is not required in emergencies or other situations that shorten the normal process of Cabinet consideration. Furthermore, SEA is not required for issues that have previously been assessed for environmental impacts under an earlier proposal to Cabinet committee or assessed as a project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

There is no single best methodology for conducting SEA. Federal organizations are encouraged to develop their own sources of information and analytical tools, such as relevant literature; previous SEAs; expert advice from other branches within the organization and from other expert organizations; checklists; matrices and modelling; scenario building; and simulation analysis. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency provides guidance and training to improve the implementation of strategic environmental assessment.

For more information, consult the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website, which contains the Cabinet directive and implementation guidelines.

b) Green Procurement

The Policy on Green Procurement is a key tool established to advance the greening of government operations. The policy aims to integrate environmental performance in the procurement process, including planning, acquisition, use and disposal. It relates to achieving value for money by considering factors such as cost, performance, availability, quality and environmental performance.

Green procurement considerations require understanding the environmental aspects and potential impacts and costs in assessing the life cycle of goods and services being acquired.

c) Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In practical terms sustainable development means integrating economic, social and environmental considerations to support decision making.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act provides the legal framework for developing and implementing a federal sustainable development strategy that will make environmental decision making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.

The first cycle of the FSDS was tabled in Parliament in 2010, and the strategy is to be updated every three years. The FSDS includes the Government of Canada's environmental sustainability priorities and measures progress in achieving them. It presents a detailed description of federal government activities to achieve environmental sustainability.

The FSDS requires government-wide action on common goals and targets under four priority themes: addressing climate change and clean air; maintaining water quality and availability; protecting nature; and shrinking the environmental footprint – beginning with government (e.g., greening government operations).

For more information and guidance, you may wish to consult Environment Canada's website and your organization's sustainable development strategy. You can also consult the Office of Greening Government Operations on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.

Federal Identity Program

When developing a TB submission, you may need to consider how your proposal complies with the requirements of the Federal Identity Program (FIP). It is important to ensure that your submission explains how your organization and its programs, services, assets and activities are clearly and consistently identified to the public, both in Canada and abroad.

If your submission involves creating a federal institution, service, program, physical asset or initiative, you must emphasize in the Rationale section of the submission how your proposal will ensure clear public recognition consistent with the corporate identity of the Government of Canada and all requirements of the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity.

If your submission relates to establishing a collaborative or joint activity with other jurisdictions or private sector enterprises or involves federal grants, contributions or loans, you must demonstrate in the Rationale section of the submission your organization's commitment to ensuring that recipients and partners acknowledge the government's role or contribution in public communications, consistent with the requirements of the Directive on the Management of Communications. In addition, you should include information on terms and conditions of grants and contributions, as well as government visibility considerations of major significance.

If your submission involves intellectual property of a visual nature such as brand identifiers, heraldic emblems, symbols, logos, icons or marks of any kind, you must seek the required authority and address the subject in detail.

Key FIP Questions to Consider in Drafting a TB Submission

  • Have you consulted your organization's FIP coordinator or head of communications about corporate identity issues related to the initiative?
  • Has your organization consulted the Secretariat about the information necessary for a submission of this nature?
  • Is the proposal based on a compelling justification that addresses the public interest?

TB Submissions Seeking Special Authorities Under FIP

The following authorities and activities require the approval of the Treasury Board:

  • An exemption from the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity;
  • Exceptions to portions of the policy or standards;
  • The use or adoption of a special logo government-wide or by a single organization; and
  • Amendments to authorities or uses previously approved by the Treasury Board.

Requests for approval take the form of a TB submission and may be included as part of a submission seeking other authorities or approvals. Although the Communications and Federal Identity Policy Centre is involved in many stages of the submission process, your organization's principal contact is the Secretariat program analyst.

Secretariat analysts determine when a submission is sufficiently complete to proceed to the Treasury Board for decision. They also evaluate the proposal in preparing advice and recommendations for the Treasury Board. To assist Secretariat analysts in this work, your submission should include the following detailed information:

  • A clearly articulated proposal that specifies the authority or activity for which approval is being sought;
  • Compelling justification for the proposal, i.e., how it serves the public interest;
  • Impact on the Government of Canada's corporate identity;
  • Impact on service to the public;
  • Assessment of potential liability or legal risks;
  • How the proposal meets legislative and policy requirements related to official languages;
  • Costs of developing, testing and implementing the proposal, as well as projected annual costs related to management and oversight;
  • How the organization will monitor implementation and management of the proposal (in order to report to the Treasury Board and the Secretariat when required);
  • A comprehensive guide appended to the TB submission demonstrating all fields of corporate identity application; and
  • Any other information that may be requested, on a case-by-case basis, to support the proposal (e.g., research, comparative analysis of alternatives).
Government Security

The Treasury Board Policy on Government Security requires federal organizations to safeguard information, assets and services from compromise and to protect employees against workplace violence. Security intersects with most other functional areas including real property, materiel management, information management, information technology, finance, access to information, privacy, risk management and human resources.

The Directive on Departmental Security Management outlines requirements to help ensure that security is an identifiable and integral element of organizational governance, programs and services. Security is most effective when it is systematically woven into the business, programs and culture of an organization and the public service as a whole.

Key Security Questions to Consider in Drafting a TB Submission

  • Have you determined the sensitivity of the information associated with the program or project, to help identify security requirements?
  • Have you conducted a Business Impact Analysis, to help identify business continuity requirements?
  • Have you consulted the departmental security officer (DSO) to help identify the security requirements of the program, project, system, service or facility for which you are preparing the TB submission?
  • For new programs or projects, have you planned or conducted a security risk assessment to identify relevant security risks and related mitigation strategies?
  • For existing programs or projects, have you consulted the DSO to determine whether an update to the security risk assessment may be necessary, in light of changes to the program, project or activity?
  • Have you sought expert advice on assessing security risks and possible tools or approaches that may be useful for identifying and addressing security concerns, including cost considerations related to implemented security requirements?
  • If the submission relates to a project, does the project involve:
    • A major Crown project;
    • Information management or information technology;
    • Changes to the structure, size, location or accommodation of a government organization;
    • Common, shared or out-sourced services;
    • Critical services or operations, including services to Canadians and emergency response functions; or
    • Priorities identified in the Departmental Security Plan.

These projects and most large programs and initiatives will invariably have security implications or some level of security requirements. These should be identified early in the planning stage and addressed in the TB submission.

Sample Proposal Wording for Programs, Projects or Initiatives with Security Implications

1) Sample Proposal Wording for New Programs, Projects or Initiatives

  1. Note that a security risk assessment has been completed and that all relevant security issues and risks have been addressed to the satisfaction of the [insert name of sponsoring organization]. The specific measures taken to address these issues and risks are described in [insert name of the relevant section of the submission];

Or

  1. Note that a security risk assessment will be completed and that all relevant security issues and risks will be addressed by [insert date], before [insert “program” or “project”] implementation.

2) Sample proposal wording for an extension or amendment to an existing program, project or initiative

  1. Note that a security risk assessment was previously conducted on this [insert “program” or “project”]. There are no significant changes to the [insert “program” or “project”] that warrant the development of a new risk assessment or the modification of the existing assessment.

Or

  1. Note that a previous security risk assessment on this [insert “program” or “project”] has been updated and that all relevant new security issues and risks have been addressed to the satisfaction of the [insert name of sponsoring organization]. The specific measures taken to address these issues and risks are described in [insert name of the relevant section of the submission].

Or

  1. Note that a previous security risk assessment will be updated and that all relevant new security issues and risks will be addressed by [insert date] before implementation of this new phase of the [insert “program” or “project”].

You may also wish to consult the following standards:

Human Resources Policies

Submissions requesting significant resources for new salaries must address the capacity of the organization's human resources (HR) groups to fulfill their responsibilities for recruitment, secondment, employment equity, training, staff relations, pay and benefits, security, classification, staffing and HR planning.

From a costing perspective, in addition to the 20-per-cent employee benefit premium and the 13-per-cent accommodation premium usually applied to all new salary dollars, organizations should allocate adequate resources for goods and services to support new staff, such as equipment, training and travel. As inadequate assessment of the latter concerns can have a significant impact on program delivery, the appropriate HR group in the organization should be consulted early in the preparation of a TB submission.

Submissions that propose the creation of new delivery mechanisms (e.g., separate employers and special operating agencies), the transfer of federal functions to other levels of government or the wind-up of programs often result in more significant HR issues. Managing the transition processes involved includes transferring, redeploying, relocating, and terminating staff, as well as acquiring new technologies. All such activities must be carried out in accordance with the appropriate authorities, including collective agreements and the Work Force Adjustment Directive.

The Secretariat's Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer may need to be consulted on the impacts of certain HR policies.

Information Management

Under the Treasury Board Policy on Information Management and the related information management (IM) policy instruments, organizations must ensure that information of business value is captured, managed and maintained to support business requirements and information sharing and preservation. When applicable, TB submissions and supporting documentation should indicate how information resources will be managed by the project, program or initiative.

Information resources include materials in all formats, regardless of medium or form, including all structured data, records and documents, web content and published materials.

Key IM Questions to Consider in Drafting a TB Submission

Programs, initiatives, and projects producing or managing significant amounts of information must address the following concerns:

  • How will decisions and decision-making processes be documented (e.g., key documentation for a project, documentation of key business processes)?
  • How will information that supports the operation of the project, program or service be managed, from creation to disposition? Describe specific tools and solutions involved (e.g., Electronic Document and Records Management System).
  • How will information that supports the program or service be protected and stored securely?
  • How will information be shared within an organization or across organizations?

You may also wish to consult the following tools:

Information Technology

The Treasury Board Policy on Management of Information Technology seeks to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology (IT) to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity and to enhance services to the public. In support of these horizontal policy objectives, submissions should indicate how IT is being used to enable the efficient and effective delivery of an existing or new service.

Key IT Questions to Consider in Drafting a TB Submission

Does the submission address good service management practices, such as the following:

  • Establishing and communicating service standards to clients, including e-service channel standards?
  • Measuring performance and client satisfaction, including the use of supporting technologies to capture data for analysis?
  • Mapping business processes and identifying a process owner for accountability management?
  • Pursuing collaborative arrangements including the use of shared services where appropriate?
  • Using service transformation strategies such as common or shared IT services and solutions and electronic self-service access channels to deliver services?

If public-facing information and services are being published or revised online, do they comply with the web standards for the Government of Canada: the Standard on Web Accessibility, the Standard on Web Usability, and the Standard on Web Interoperability, and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices.

For additional information, you may also wish to consult the Assessment Methodology for the Government of Canada web standards.

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