Policy on Transfer Payments

Explains the roles and responsibilities for the delivery and management of transfer payment programs.
Date modified: 2015-07-08

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Glossary

applicant (demandeur)
Is an individual or entity that has applied for a transfer payment.
contribution (contribution)
Is a transfer payment subject to performance conditions specified in a funding agreement. A contribution is to be accounted for and is subject to audit.
deputy head (administrateur général)
Is the deputy minister, the chief executive officer or any other officer having this level of responsibility. However, in respect of a departmental corporation, when the responsibility for making a decision that this policy attributes to the deputy head lawfully remains with its Board of Directors or equivalent body or person, the term "deputy head" is to be read as standing for "Board of Directors or equivalent."
evaluation (évaluation)
Is, in the Government of Canada, the systematic collection and analysis of information about the outcomes of programs. The information is used to make judgments about a program's relevance, its results and cost-effectiveness as well as find alternative ways to deliver the program or to achieve the same results. Section 42.1 of the Financial Administration Act requires that every department conduct, every five years, a review of the relevance and effectiveness of each ongoing non-statutory program of grants and contributions. This review is a form of evaluation which would be conducted in a manner that would be appropriate for the risk, complexity and materiality of the program.
funding agreement (entente de financement)
Is a written agreement or documentation constituting an agreement between the Government of Canada and an applicant or a recipient setting out the obligations or understandings of both with respect to one or more transfer payments.
grant (subvention)
Is a transfer payment subject to pre-established eligibility and other entitlement criteria. A grant is not subject to being accounted for by a recipient nor normally subject to audit by the department. The recipient may be required to report on results achieved.
harmonization of transfer payment programs (harmonisation des programmes de paiements de transfert)
Is the alignment and/or integration of two or more transfer payment programs that contribute to similar objectives or serve the same recipients.
minister (ministre)
Is the highest lawful authority for a department (minister, deputy head or governing body, e.g., Board of Directors) with respect to a decision to be made under the policy. For instance, in the case of a department listed under Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act, the minister is the actual minister, whereas in the case of some departmental corporations (listed under Schedule II, e.g., the Canadian Polar Commission), the minister may be its Board of Directors.
minor amendments (modifications mineures)
Are amendments to terms and conditions of a transfer payment program:
  • other than amendments to any of the elements listed below:
    1. The program objectives
    2. The eligible activities, initiatives or projects
    3. The class of eligible recipients
    4. The maximum amount payable to a recipient
    5. The repayment of a repayable contribution
    6. The stacking limit
    7. Up-front multi-year funding
  • that are, in respect of any of the elements listed above, of a technical nature made solely for the purpose of correcting errors of wording or adding clarity to such element.
other transfer payment (autre paiement de transfert)
Is a transfer payment, other than a grant or contribution, based on legislation or other arrangement, that may be determined by a formula. Examples of other transfer payments are transfers to other orders of government such as Equalization payments as well as Canada Health and Canada Social Transfer payments.
performance measurement strategy (stratégie de mesure de la performance)
Is the selection, development and ongoing use of performance measures for program management or decision-making.
program (programme)
Is a group of related activities that are designed and managed to meet a specific public need and are often treated as a budgetary unit.
recipient (bénéficiaire)
Is an individual or entity that either has been authorized to receive a transfer payment or that has received that transfer payment.
responsible minister (ministre responsable)
Is the minister who is required, for the department, to sign submissions to the Treasury Board and Memoranda to Cabinet.
stacking limit (limite sur le cumul de l'aide)
Is the maximum level of total Canadian government funding authorized by the terms and conditions for a transfer payment program for any one activity, initiative or project of a recipient.
standardization (uniformité)
Is the establishment of common processes, systems or procedures for the management and delivery of transfer payments.
strategic reviews (examens stratégiques)
Are comprehensive reviews of government spending designed to ensure that all programs are effective and efficient, are focused on results, provide value for taxpayers' money and are aligned with government priorities. They examine each organization's programs as reflected in its Program Alignment Architecture over a cycle approved by Cabinet. Strategic reviews identify areas where adjustments are needed to improve the performance of programs, which could include approvals to continue, amend or terminate terms and conditions for transfer payment programs, and they identify proposals to reallocate resources from the lowest-priority, lowest-performing programs to other priorities within the organization or to meet other government priorities.
terms and conditions (modalités)
s a document, approved by Treasury Board or a minister, which sets out the parameters under which transfer payments may be made for a given program. In relation to terms and conditions:
continuation (continuation)
Means a decision to continue using terms and conditions with or without minor amendment.
amendment (modification)
Means a decision to amend or modify terms and conditions.
termination (résiliation)
Means a decision to terminate terms and conditions so that no further funding agreements will be entered into for that transfer payment program.
total Canadian government funding (total de l'aide financière gouvernementale canadienne)
Is the total funding available to a recipient from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for any one activity, initiative or project of that recipient.
transfer payment (paiement de transfert)
Is a monetary payment, or a transfer of goods, services or assets made, on the basis of an appropriation, to a third party, including a Crown corporation, that does not result in the acquisition by the Government of Canada of any goods, services or assets. Transfer payments are categorized as grants, contributions and other transfer payments. Transfer payments do not include investments, loans or loan guarantees.
transfer payment program (programme de paiements de transfert)
Is a program or a component of a program supported by transfer payments.
up-front multi-year funding (financement pluriannuel initial)
Is funding approved and payable to a recipient to meet expenditures for more than one year when an appropriation for the full amount has been obtained.
value for money (optimization des resources)
Is the extent to which a program demonstrates relevance and performance. Relevance is achieved by addressing a demonstrable need that is appropriate for the federal government and is responsive to the needs of Canadians. Performance is achieved by using taxpayer resources well, producing program outputs in an affordable manner, and achieving outcomes consistent with program objectives.
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