The Government of Canada has introduced a new expenditure management system as part of an ongoing commitment to better manage government spending. The new system ensures value for money for all government spending. A key pillar of this system is the ongoing assessment of all direct program spending, known as strategic reviews.
Strategic reviews are assessments of all direct program spending to ensure programs are managed effectively and efficiently. These reviews support a more rigorous results-based approach to managing taxpayer dollars responsibly and delivering effective and efficient programs that can better meet the priorities of Canadians.
As part of the strategic review process, departments will review their direct program spending and the operating costs of their major statutory programs on a four-year cycle to assess how and whether these programs:
Through the strategic review process, departments will also determine whether there are any lower priority, lower performing programs for possible reallocation of funding to higher priority, higher performing programs within the department or government.
As a result of these reviews, departments are streamlining operations and realigning their activities to better deliver on the priorities of Canadians through increased effectiveness and efficiencies.
Strategic reviews look at spending within one department; horizontal reviews examine spending within a function, government priority or theme across two or more organisations. The goal is to ensurethe efficiency and effectiveness of the horizontal initiative.
Six central human resources organizations conducted a horizontal review of the central human resources (HR) management functions they deliver to support government departments and agencies. The organizations are:
All central HR activities in these organizations were reviewed with a view to ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of central human resources management and policy functions.
Through this exercise, over $250 million in funding dedicated to central human resources management functions was reviewed.
This horizontal review was undertaken to better align roles and responsibilities across the central human resource management agencies to ensure that investments in human resource management activities are effective and efficient and that Deputy Ministers have the flexibility and controls they need to better manage, attract and develop their employees.
The Deputy Minister Committee on Human Resources, chaired by National Security Advisor and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet provided external advice on the review, including on reallocation scenarios and the related reinvestment proposals, as well as deputies' enhanced HR management responsibilities.
The review provided an opportunity to significantly improve the management of human resources in the Public Service by better aligning and streamlining central human resources functions. Central to this effort was the empowerment of Deputy Ministers as the primary managers of human resources.
Roles and responsibilities have been clarified to eliminate overlap and duplication among central organizations and the central stewardship of human resources management has been streamlined.
These changes support the creation and maintenance of a renewed Public Service that has a knowledge-based workforce and a forward-looking and productive work environment to better deliver on the priorities of Canadians.