Policy Framework for Financial Management

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1. Effective date

The Treasury Board Policy Framework for Financial Management takes effect on June 1, 2010.

2. Context

Canadians expect the federal government to be well managed and to be accountable for the prudent stewardship of public funds, the safeguarding of public assets, and the effective, efficient and economical use of public resources. They also expect reliable and transparent reporting on how the government spends public funds to achieve results for Canadians.

The Policy Framework for Financial Management (the Framework) presents the roles and responsibilities of key players in the area of financial management and outlines the key principles that are articulated in the following:

These core financial management policies are supported by directives, standards and guidelines (see appendix).

The Financial Administration Act (FAA) and Treasury Board policy instruments guide the work of public service employees and provide the cornerstone for effective financial management within the Government of Canada.

Along with the FAA and its regulations, this framework and its related policy instruments set out an integrated approach for the practice of public sector financial management. Together, they clarify the roles and responsibilities of deputy heads, the Comptroller General of Canada, Chief Financial Officers and senior departmental managers and also support other government personnel in their financial management duties.

3. Principles

Effective financial management is guided by the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service and the following fundamental principles:

Value for money
Public funds are managed with prudence and probity, assets are safeguarded and resources are used effectively, efficiently and economically to achieve departmental and governmental objectives.
Accountability:
There are clear accountabilities for financial management, which provide assurance to Parliament and Canadians regarding the effective use of public funds and the results achieved.
Transparency:
The Canadian public and Parliament are provided with pertinent, reliable and timely financial and related non-financial information and reports so they can be well informed of the use and management of public funds.
Risk management:
Effective and efficient systems of internal control are in place, and controls are proportionate to the risks they aim to mitigate, yet support innovation and results for Canadians.

4. Roles and responsibilities

Deputy heads:

As accounting officers, deputy heads are accountable to Parliament for their management responsibilities, including financial management. This includes accountability for allocating resources to deliver departmental programs in compliance with government policies and procedures, for maintaining effective systems of internal controls, for signing accounts in a manner that accurately reflects the financial position of the department, and for exercising any other duties prescribed by law or regulations relating to the administration of their department. In practice, accounting officers are also accountable for the parliamentary appropriations received.

Other key departmental players:

Chief Financial Officers
directly support deputy heads, as the lead departmental executives for financial management, providing key objective strategic advice on the overall stewardship of the financial management culture and its performance.
Senior departmental managers
are responsible for ensuring effective financial management for all the activities falling within their areas of responsibility.
Chief audit executives
provide objective assurance services for all areas of departmental responsibility. The departmental audit committees, where applicable, provide objective advice and recommendations regarding the sufficiency, quality and results of assurance on the adequacy and functioning of the department's risk management, control and governance frameworks and processes.

The Treasury Board, Treasury Board Secretariat and the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada:

Under the FAA, the Treasury Board is responsible for establishing policy on matters relating to accountability, ethics, and financial, personnel and administrative management and comptrollership within the public service. Moreover, it has authority for financial management matters and the prudent, effective and efficient use of public resources.

The role of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (Secretariat) is to provide advice and support to Treasury Board ministers in their role of ensuring value-for-money as well as in ensuring that government is well managed and accountable, that its resources are allocated to achieve results and that it demonstrates value for money. The Secretariat both influences and provides guidance on governance, accountability, the quality of federal public sector management, and the efficiency and effectiveness with which the government's programs and services are delivered.

Through the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada, the Secretariat works to strengthen financial management, including financial information and reporting, and internal audit capacities, including financial information and reporting across the federal public service. Under the leadership of the Comptroller General of Canada, the Office provides functional direction for financial management, including financial reporting, in collaboration with the Receiver General of Canada and other central agencies. The Office performs a sustainable community role by fostering best practices and ensuring that government financial management practices are aligned with the principles and supporting policy instruments set out in this framework.

The Secretariat also provides a central focus for the functions that support and strengthen the government's broader expenditure management system. This work covers the entire expenditure management cycle – including fiscal framework development, expenditure analysis, forecasting and expenditure management strategies, results-based management, evaluation and preparation of the Government's Estimates and Appropriation bills.

Other key players:

The Receiver General for Canada is responsible for making or accepting payments and for preparing the Public Accounts of Canada including the annual audited financial statements of the Government of Canada.

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada audits federal government operations and provides Parliament with independent information, advice, and assurance regarding the federal government's stewardship of public funds. This includes performance audits of federal departments and agencies, annual financial audits of the government's financial statements, and special examinations and annual financial audits of Crown corporations.

5. Monitoring, reporting and performance measurement

Financial management performance indicators, reporting requirements and compliance mechanisms with respect to financial management are identified in the individual policy instruments listed in the Appendix.

Updates on the state of financial management across government will be provided as needed to the Treasury Board by the Comptroller General of Canada.

6. Consequences

The Foundation Framework for Treasury Board Policies and the Framework for the Management of Compliance explain the role and application of consequences with respect to Treasury Board policies. Specific consequences of non-compliance are outlined in the individual policy instruments associated with this Framework.

7. Enquiries

The Office of the Comptroller General of Canada is responsible for the policy instruments supporting this framework

Please direct any enquiries to:

The Office of the Comptroller General of Canada
Treasury Board Secretariat
Ottawa ON K1A 0R5

Email: fin-www@tbs-sct.gc.ca
Phone: (613) 957-7233
Facsimile: (613) 952-9613


Appendix–Associated Legislative, Regulatory and Policy Instruments See footnote 1

Legislation:

Regulations issued pursuant to the Financial Administration Act:

Policy instruments:

Policies :

Directives :

 

Treasury Board Accounting Standards:

 

Guidelines:

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