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Policies for Ministers' Offices - January 2011

Part 5 — Office Accommodation and Supplies

5.1 Office accommodation

5.1.1 Introduction

Ministers have offices on Parliament Hill, as well as constituency offices that are both administered under the House of Commons guidelines and budgets and are completely separate from departmental headquarters offices and ministers' regional offices; these are outlined below.

The entitlements related to being a member of Parliament are explained in detail in the Members' Allowances and Services Manual published by the House of Commons, and questions related to these entitlements should be referred to the Comptroller's office, House of Commons.

5.1.2 Departmental headquarters offices

Office requirements of the minister in the department's headquarters are normally accommodated within the space allocated to the department. The minister's requirements are normally co‑ordinated by the deputy minister.

Public Works and Government Services Canada, in consultation with the departmental facilities management group, is responsible for initial fit-up of this space based on the functional and operational requirements and applicable cost guidelines. Changes to existing offices (during a minister's tenure or on appointment of a new minister) are funded by the department.

5.1.3 Ministers' regional offices

Ministers' regional offices (MRO) have been established for the use of all local and visiting ministers and their officials in conducting government business in regions. These offices are not intended to duplicate the functions of the constituency offices and other support provided by the House of Commons.

Public Works and Government Services Canada is responsible for the establishment and operation of ministers' regional offices, including common operating costs, construction, rent, fit-up, parking, etc.

There are ministers' regional offices in Iqaluit, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Kitchener, Montréal, Quebec City, Halifax, Moncton, and St. John's. New MROs are to be opened in Fredericton, Charlottetown, Whitehorse, and Yellowknife in 2011. The establishment of an individual ministerial office outside the headquarters area requires specific approval from the Treasury Board prior to project initiation.

Ministers are responsible for funding the direct cost over and above the common costs (such as added costs for regional exempt staff, resident exempt staff, hospitality, additional services, and accommodation) of their use of the MROs.

5.2 Office furniture and furnishings

5.2.1 Departmental headquarters offices

All office furniture and furnishings for a minister's departmental headquarters office are subject to the Treasury Board Policy on Management of Materiel (2006). Further guidance on the application of this policy can be found in the Treasury Board Secretariat's Guide to Management of Materiel.

The Department of Public Works and Government Services Act gives the Minister of Public Works and Government Services the mandate to acquire materiel for departments and thus the Act's provisions apply, regardless of who uses the furniture and furnishings.

A minister's department funds the acquisition of office furniture, fixtures and equipment, and their operation and maintenance costs.

5.2.2 Ministers' regional offices

These offices are subject to the provisions of the Policy on Management of Materiel governing office furniture and furnishings. As a rule, all furniture and furnishings purchases are considered overhead or common costs.

5.3 Office equipment and supplies

The Treasury Board Policy on Management of Materiel applies to general office equipment and supplies for ministers' departmental offices. Letterhead and stationery is covered by the Federal Identity Program.

Ministers' staff should refer to the House of Commons Members' Allowance and Services Manual, which outlines in detail the equipment standards and services required to facilitate House of Commons operations.

5.4 Stationery and printed media

5.4.1 Federal Identity Program

The Federal Identity Program (FIP) is the Government of Canada's corporate identity program. The government has an obligation to make evident to Canadians, wherever they reside, how their taxes are used to provide programs, services, and infrastructure. The government must project a consistent and coherent presence and identity to ensure that Canadians recognize, at a glance, their government at work for them. The FIP establishes standards and requirements for managing the government's corporate identity. In 1998, Treasury Board ministers established nine additional FIP requirements aimed at strengthening the presence and visibility of the Government of Canada in all of its activities.

Each institution is responsible for managing its own corporate identity, in compliance with the FIP policy, and related Treasury Board decisions. This information and the FIP design standards are available at Federal Identity Program Policy.

Ministers are required to write to the President of the Treasury Board on all matters related to establishing titles of institutions. Institutions must adopt an approved title (referred to as the "applied title") for their corporate signature and use this title consistently when identifying the institution, except when there is a specific requirement for the legal title. Ministers must also write to the President regarding government‑wide use of special symbols, decisions on FIP symbols (flag symbol or Coat of Arms) in corporate signatures, and for exemptions from the FIP policy.

5.4.2 Stationery

The design of stationery for the offices of ministers is subject to FIP policy and design standards. The present design consists of a 40% screened black Coat of Arms, black text, and a black "Canada" wordmark with a red flag printed on white, recycled permanent paper. Further information is available at Stationery: Ministers, parliamentary secretaries and their offices.

5.4.3 News releases and kit folders

Institutions must use the standard news release form and information kit folder. The Government of Canada's "no‑frills" publishing guidelines call for streamlined government publishing and a common look for various communications products.

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