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Government of Canada to Act on Parliamentary Recommendations to Improve Financial Reporting

For immediate release

October 22, 2012

Ottawa, Ontario — The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, signaled the Government of Canada's support for Parliamentary recommendations that call for increased transparency and accountability to financial reporting in the House of Commons and aim to strengthen parliamentarians' ability to make informed decisions when voting on government spending.

In its Response to the Seventh Report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates: Strengthening Parliamentary Scrutiny of Estimates and Supply, tabled on October 18, 2012, the Government outlines its commitment to moving forward on recommendations to develop a new structure so that estimates align with specific strategic outcomes and program activity spending. Such a change will require considerable efforts on a number of fronts. The Government will develop a model and provide a timeline for implementation by March 31, 2013, and will engage in consultations with the public and stakeholders to determine how best to proceed ".

The Government agrees that Parliament requires improved information and linkages between appropriations and planned spending at a program activity level," said Minister Clement. "Taxpayers and parliamentarians deserve a clear, discernible and traceable line between spending and results."

The bi-partisan Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates tabled its report on June 20, 2012, after a four-month study into the format and content of all Estimates documents and the supply process. The goal of the study was to ensure that "any Member of Parliament can have a good understanding and a common reference point to better study the government's spending plans".

The Government also agreed with recommendations to develop a searchable online database of departmental spending by type and by program, and to provide financial information by program activity for three previous fiscal years and for three future years.

"We thank the Committee for its excellent work, and support its intention to further improve accountability and transparency in government," Minister Clement said. "Our response will build on continued efforts to support Parliamentary understanding and oversight of government expenditures."

For more information on the Government's Response, please visit www.parl.gc.ca.

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Beverly Young
Acting Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor
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