Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments

The policy sets the direction for the planning and management of assets and acquired services to ensure that these activities provide value for money and demonstrate sound stewardship in program delivery.
Date modified: 2019-04-11

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While the requirements in the Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments, including the mandatory procedures and appendices, take effect on , with the exception of the requirements of 1.3 and 1.4, departments have six months to fully transition to the new policy.

With respect to requirement 1.4, projects approved under the Policy on the Management of Projects or the rescinded Project Approval Policy prior to , have until , to transition to the Policy on Planning and Management of Investments.

1. Effective date

  • 1.1This policy takes effect on .
  • 1.2This policy replaces the following Treasury Board policy instruments:
  • 1.3Departments will have six months to transition to the new policy. With the following exceptions, requirements will come into full effect on :
    • 1.3.1Effective immediately:
      • Requirement 4.1.8 including subsections
      • Appendix C: Mandatory Procedures for Concept Case for Digital Projects
    • 1.3.2Effective one year from the effective date in section 1.1:
      • Requirement 4.1.6
  • 1.4In-flight projects, with final authorities in place as of the effective date in section 1.1 and that are scheduled to close within one year from the effective date, will be exempt from transitioning to the policy.

2. Authorities

3. Objectives and expected results

  • 3.1The objective of this policy is that:
    • 3.1.1The Government of Canada has the necessary assets and services in place to support program delivery to Canadians;
  • 3.2The expected results are that:
    • 3.2.1Assets and services are well managed;
    • 3.2.2Decisions are based on an assessment of full life-cycle costs and demonstrate value for money and sound stewardship;
    • 3.2.3Governance and oversight are effective;
    • 3.2.4Integrated and collaborative practices are in place; and
    • 3.2.5The workforce has the requisite knowledge, experience and skills.

4. Requirements

  • 4.1Deputy heads are responsible for the following:
    • 4.1.1Designating senior officials (official) who are (is) responsible for supporting the deputy head's accountability for all requirements under the policy, including the capacity, competency and knowledge of the department's workforce in project and programme management, procurement, real property, and materiel management.
    • 4.1.2Ensuring that the department's processes, systems and controls for the planning and management of investments:
      • 4.1.2.1.Are commensurate with the level of risk and complexity of the investment decisions;
      • 4.1.2.2.Enable effective life-cycle management;
      • 4.1.2.3.Integrate input and include an effective internal challenge function from the department's project and programme management, procurement, real property, materiel management, information technology, finance, human resource, and legal functions; and
      • 4.1.2.4.Are fair, open and transparent;
    • 4.1.3Ensuring that investment decisions:
      • 4.1.3.1.Are aligned with results as set out in the Departmental Results Framework;
      • 4.1.3.2.Consider areas of greatest risk in achieving departmental objectives;
      • 4.1.3.3.Are documented and communicated across the department;
      • 4.1.3.4.Are informed by timely and accurate performance information;
      • 4.1.3.5.Demonstrate value for money and sound stewardship, taking into account the life-cycle costs of assets and services;
      • 4.1.3.6.Uphold the obligations of the Crown with respect to Indigenous peoples;
      • 4.1.3.7.Demonstrate strategic consideration of market conditions and alternative and innovative approaches to procurement;
      • 4.1.3.8.Consider the inputs from project management, procurement, real property, and materiel management and other applicable internal and external stakeholders;
      • 4.1.3.9.Consider opportunities to advance government socio-economic and environmental objectives, such as accessibility and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and
      • 4.1.3.10.Leverage opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration, including government-wide portfolio solutions;
    • 4.1.4Ensuring that information is available to:
      • 4.1.4.1.Enable performance measurement and reporting, both within the department and government-wide, related to the state and management of investments; and
      • 4.1.4.2.Support planning, budgeting and accounting for resource allocation;
    • 4.1.5Approve an Investment Plan that:
      • 4.1.5.1.Documents the department's priorities, investment strategies, and the planned investments for the upcoming five-year period, including a list of planned and approved projects and programmes of $2.5 million or greater, and the associated procurement strategies or options for each;
      • 4.1.5.2.Meets the operational requirements of the department within existing reference levels, considering all sources of funds; and
      • 4.1.5.3.Is submitted every three years to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) in accordance with the Mandatory Procedures for Investment Plans listed in Appendix B;
    • 4.1.6Submitting to TBS on an annual basis an updated list of planned projects and programmes for the upcoming five years, with the associated procurement strategies or options for each, and the criteria used for prioritizing the projects and programmes included in the list; and
    • 4.1.7Submitting concept cases for digital investments in keeping with Appendix C: Mandatory Procedures for Concept Cases;

    Approval authorities

    • 4.1.8Ensuring that no action is taken with respect to planned investments without the requisite authorities in place. This includes:
      • 4.1.8.1.Projects and programmes, and related expenditures, when the assessed level of complexity and risk exceeds the assessed department capacity class of the sponsoring minister as illustrated in Appendix C of the Directive on the Management of Projects and Programmes;
      • 4.1.8.2.Crown procurement contracts that exceed limits in Appendix C of the Treasury Board Contracting Policy; and
      • 4.1.8.3.Real property transactions that exceed limits in the Transaction Approval Limits and Conditions for the Acquisition or Disposition of Real Property;

    Function-specific requirements

    Project and programme management

    Project and programme approval authority limits

    • 4.1.9Ensuring where a departmental project approval authority limit above $2.5 million is sought that:
      • 4.1.9.1.The department's capacity to manage projects and programmes is accurately assessed using the Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment (OPMCA) Tool; and
      • 4.1.9.2.The resulting capacity class is submitted for consideration of the Treasury Board at least once every three years, normally as part of the consideration of the department's investment plan;

    Project and programme governance

    • 4.1.10Ensuring that the governance of projects and programmes:
      • 4.1.10.1.Is proportionate to the materiality, needs, complexity, risk and scope;
      • 4.1.10.2.Provides for effective and timely decision-making, communication, control and oversight;
      • 4.1.10.3.Is supported by appropriate structures and processes such as committees, quality assurance, and the use of independent reviews;
      • 4.1.10.4.Includes processes to ensure governance decisions:
        • 4.1.10.4.1.Take into account the interests of all key stakeholders;
        • 4.1.10.4.2.Reflect, where appropriate, input from functional experts, particularly procurement expertise;
        • 4.1.10.4.3.Focus on the achievement of the business outcomes and project benefits; and
        • 4.1.10.4.4.Are documented and communicated to all key stakeholders;
    • 4.1.11For all enterprise projects and programmes:
      • 4.1.11.1.Ensuring all key stakeholders are provided with an opportunity to participate in the governance;
      • 4.1.11.2.Establishing a governance committee structure that includes a Senior Project Board consisting of participating deputy heads; an Assistant Deputy Minister or equivalent committee; and a Director General committee; and
      • 4.1.11.3.Ensuring deputy heads that are members of the Senior Project Board sign off on the project sponsor appointment letter;

    Project and programme sponsors

    • 4.1.12Ensuring that all projects and programmes have a sponsor who is:
      • 4.1.12.1.Designated at the outset of the planning phase;
      • 4.1.12.2.The single point of accountability; and
      • 4.1.12.3.At the appropriate management level to be accountable for successful implementation of the project;
    • 4.1.13Appointing an Assistant Deputy Minister, or equivalent, as the sponsor for:
      • 4.1.13.1.All projects with a Project Complexity and Risk Assessment level of 4;
      • 4.1.13.2.All digital projects with Project Complexity and Risk Assessment level of 3 and 4; and
      • 4.1.13.3.All programmes;
    • 4.1.14In the case of all projects with a Project Complexity and Risk Assessment of 4, and projects over $100 million with a Project Complexity and Risk Assessment 3, or programmes, signing appointment letters that document the responsibilities and authorities of the sponsor; and
    • 4.1.15Ensuring that the sponsor for all digital projects or programmes with Project Complexity and Risk Assessment level of 3 and 4 is either the business owner or a delegated representative of the business owner;

    Procurement

    • 4.1.16Ensuring that government-wide policies and programs leveraging procurement to achieve socio-economic and environmental policy objectives obtain Treasury Board approval prior to implementation; and
    • 4.1.17Measuring performance of Treasury Board–approved government-wide policies and programs that leverage procurement for socio-economic and environmental policy objectives.
  • 4.2The Secretary of the Treasury Board is responsible for the following:
    • 4.2.1Establishing and documenting processes for TBS review of investment plans.
  • 4.3The Comptroller General of Canada is responsible for the following:
    • 4.3.1Providing government-wide leadership and supporting professional development of the project management, procurement, real property and materiel management communities;
    • 4.3.2Monitoring, providing guidance and recommending corrective action regarding the following:
      • 4.3.2.1.Compliance with this policy and its supporting instruments;
      • 4.3.2.2.Performance of the investment planning and management functions within departments; and
      • 4.3.2.3.The investment planning and management functions across government; and
    • 4.3.3Ensuring opportunities for review and alignment of Treasury Board–approved programs that leverage procurement for socio-economic and environmental policy objectives.
  • 4.4The Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada is responsible for:
    • 4.4.1Reviewing and endorsing concept cases for digital investments, submitted as per Appendix C: Mandatory Procedures for Concept Cases for Digital Projects.

5. Roles of other government departments

  • 5.1Roles of other departments related to procurement, real property and materiel management are identified in the existing policies and supporting directives.

6. Application

  • 6.1This policy and its supporting instruments apply to all departments and agencies, including departmental corporations and branches designated as departments for purposes of the Financial Administration Act except those included within the meaning of paragraph (c) of the definition "department" found in section 2 of the act unless otherwise excluded by other acts, regulations or orders-in-council.
  • 6.2This policy does not apply to projects or programmes funded by the Government of Canada through transfer payments. The Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments and its supporting directives provide direction on the management and approval of projects and programmes funded through transfer payments.
  • 6.3Agents of Parliament:
    • 6.3.1The following organizations are considered agents of Parliament for the purposes of the policy:
      • Office of the Auditor General
      • Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
      • Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
      • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
      • Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
      • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
      • Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
    • 6.3.2Agents of Parliament are solely responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the policy within their organizations, as well as for responding to cases of non-compliance in accordance with any Treasury Board instruments that address the management of compliance.
    • 6.3.3For greater certainty, the definition of a project does not include the performance of audits, investigations or other statutory mandate activities of the agents of Parliament.
    • 6.3.4With regard to agents of Parliament, the following section and subsections do not apply:
      • subsection 4.1.7;
      • subsection 4.1.8, including 4.1.8.1, 4.1.8.2 and 4.1.8.3;
      • subsection 4.19, including 4.1.9.1 and 4.1.9.2;
      • subsection 4.1.16;
      • subsection 4.3.2, including 4.3.2.1, 4.3.2.2 and 4.3.2.3;
      • section 7, including subsection 7.1;
      • Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Investment Plans subsections B.2.2.7 and B.2.3, including B.2.3.1, B.2.3.2 and B.2.3.3; and
      • Appendix C: Mandatory Procedures for Concept Case for Digital Projects subsections C.2.4, including C.2.4.1 and C2.4.1.1.
  • 6.4Subsections 4.1.5.3 and 4.1.6 of this policy do not apply to small departments and agencies.

    Small departments and agencies

    • 6.4.1For the purposes of this policy, small departments and agencies are defined as organizations that have reference levels including revenues credited to the vote of less than $300 million per year or that have been, for the purposes of this policy, designated as small departments or agencies by the President of the Treasury Board upon recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury Board; and
    • 6.4.2Organizations whose reference levels change so as to bring them above or below the $300 million threshold will not be redefined as large or small departments or agencies unless their reference levels remain above or below the threshold for three consecutive years, to allow for stability and transition, unless otherwise determined by the President of the Treasury Board upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury Board.
  • 6.5Subsection 4.1.9 and its related subsections apply to departments seeking a project approval authority limit greater than $2.5 million.
  • 6.6For interpretation of this policy and the related directive, mandatory procedures and standards in the province of Quebec, "real property" means "immovable" within the meaning of civil law of the province of Quebec and includes the rights of a lessee in respect of such an immovable.

7. Consequences of non-compliance

8. References

9. Enquiries


Appendix A: Definitions

assets (actifs)
Tangible and intangible items of value that have a future life beyond one year, whether they are Crown-owned, leased or accessed through other arrangements.
appointment letter (lettre de nomination)
The appointment letter sets out responsibilities of the project or programme sponsor, including:
  • Delivering an output that respects the identified and agreed to capabilities of the project or programme;
  • Making decisions so as not to disadvantage the realization of intended outcomes and benefits of the project or programme;
  • Exercising effective governance including fulsome engagement of stakeholders, timely decisions, and appropriate escalation of issues; and
  • Honest and transparent reporting of project status, issues and risks.
benefit (avantage)
A benefit is a measurable improvement which contributes to departmental (including strategic) objectives.
business owner (propriétaire fonctionnel)
The business owner is the executive who is responsible for the business or program area for which the project or programme has been established. The business owner is responsible for defining the required capabilities, intended business outcomes and benefits of a project or programme at its outset and for the achievement of the business outcomes and benefits following implementation of the project.
concept case (cas conceptuel)
A concept case is an examination of a business problem or opportunity for which a digital project may be established and includes a description of the conceptual future state and intended outcome(s) that are expected to result from the investment.
Crown procurement contract or contract (marché ou marché d'approvisionnement de l'État)
A binding agreement entered into by a contracting authority and a contractor to acquire or obtain a good, service or construction service.
digital project (projet numérique)
A digital project is a set of business change activities that result in the transformation of business processes and/or new or revised models of operation or service, and for which the use of information or digital technologies is critical to the obtainment of the business outcome.
enterprise project/programme (projet et programme organisationnels)
A project or programme where the output is a common solution that is to be adopted by multiple departments.
governance (gouvernance)
The way in which departments and agencies organize themselves to collaboratively conduct and implement a policy, project, programme, framework or horizontal initiative, including the development and implementation of process and control structures for decision-making, reporting and evaluation.
fair (équitable)
In real or potential transactions, treating all parties without discrimination or favouritism while conforming to established rules.
investment (investissement)
The use of resources with the expectation of a future return, such as an increase in output, income or assets, or the acquisition of knowledge, or capacity.
investment planning (planification des investissements)
The process of allocating and reallocating resources, from all sources available to a department, to both existing and new investments, in a diligent and rational manner to support program outcomes and government priorities.
joint project/programme (projet et programme conjoint)
A project or programme sponsored by one department, the output of which is for the use of a second department, or a project or programme undertaken by a group of departments, the output(s) of which is for the use of the one or more of the partner departments.
life-cycle costs
The total cost of ownership over the life of an asset or service.
life-cycle management (gestion du cycle de vie)
The effective and efficient management of investments along the entire continuum, from the identification of a requirement to the disposal and replacement of the asset acquired to meet the requirement. The phases of life-cycle management include planning, acquisition, use and maintenance, and disposal/close-out.
materiel (matériel)
All movable assets (excluding money, records, and seized assets) acquired by Her Majesty in right of Canada.
open (ouvert)
Providing all parties with opportunities for their input into a real or potential transaction.
procurement (approvisionnement)
The process related to obtaining goods, services or construction services, from the initial concept of a requirement to the completion of post-contracting actions.
project (projet)
An activity or series of activities that has a beginning and an end. A project is required to produce defined outputs and realize specific outcomes in support of a public policy objective, within a clear schedule and resource plan. A project is undertaken within specific time, cost and performance parameters.
project management (gestion de projet)
The systematic planning, organizing and control of allocated resources to accomplish identified project objectives and outcomes. Project management is normally reserved for focused, non-repetitive, time-limited activities with some degree of risk, and for activities beyond the usual scope of program (operational) activities.
project or programme sponsor (promoteur)
An executive who is responsible for the successful planning, definition, implementation, transition, and close-out of the project or programme and represents the interests of the business owner.
program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
programme (programme)
A group of related projects and change management activities that together achieve beneficial change for a department.
programme management (gestion des programmes)
Programme management is the coordinated management of projects and change management activities to achieve beneficial change.
real property (biens immobiliers)
Any right, interest or benefit in land, which includes mines, minerals and improvements on, above or below the surface of the land. Federal real property is any real property belonging to Her Majesty, including any real property of which Her Majesty has the power to dispose.
real property transaction (transaction liée à des biens immobiliers)
A real property transaction can be an acquisition or disposition of real property by purchase, lease, licence, exchange, gift, easement, expropriation, transfer or acceptance of administration, or transfer or acceptance of administration and control.
risk (risque)
The uncertainty that can create exposure to undesired future events and outcomes. It is the expression of the likelihood and impact of an event with the potential to affect the achievement of a department's objectives.
service (service)
Services obtained through formal arrangements such as contracts, memoranda of understanding, and letters of agreement, to support achieve specific outcomes.
senior designated official (cadre supérieur désigné)
A senior designated official is the person responsible for assisting the deputy head in fulfilling his/her function-specific policy requirements.
sound stewardship (intendance judicieuse)
The demonstration of due diligence in managing and controlling the administration of public funds to achieve value for money. Due diligence is demonstrated through the following:
  • management processes that are clearly defined, transparent, regularly tested and validated;
  • financial and non-financial performance measurement parameters; and
  • reporting at transaction and business process levels.
transparent (transparent)
Information provided openly and in a timely manner that facilitates decision-making and scrutiny.
value for money (optimisation des ressources)
Value for money is the extent to which an investment demonstrates relevance and performance. Relevance is achieved by addressing a demonstrable need and performance is achieved by the efficient and effective use of resources in the realization of outcomes.

Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Investment Plans

B.1 Effective date

  • B.1.1These procedures take effect on April 11, 2019.
  • B.1.2These procedures replace the following Treasury Board policy instruments:
    • Policy on Investment Planning – Assets and Acquired Services ()

B.2 Procedures

  • B.2.1These procedures provide details on the requirements set out in section 4.1.5 of the Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments.
  • B.2.2The department's investment plan must:
    • B.2.2.1Demonstrate the existence of a strong investment management framework to direct the prioritization, planning, acquisition, use and maintenance of real property, materiel and information technology assets and services;
    • B.2.2.2Be consistent with strategic government-wide initiatives; align with departmental strategic planning, including the departmental results framework established pursuant to the Policy on Results; and be responsive to current and future program requirements;
    • B.2.2.3Include procurement information that demonstrates consideration of market conditions, supplier feedback, duration/renewals of contracts, recommended procurement approach, any potential for single compliant bidders or serial incumbents, any key risks and any additional socio-economic and environmental public procurement priorities;
    • B.2.2.4Provide a summary of the department's capacity for project and programme management, procurement, and for managing real property, materiel and information technology; including identification of specific capacity issues;
    • B.2.2.5Provide an assessment of previously planned investments against intended results, including an overview of lessons learned, challenges to and opportunities for improving elements of the investment planning framework and organizational planning and resourcing capacity;
    • B.2.2.6Describe the departmental investment priorities, prioritization criteria, and planned spending on real property, materiel, and information technology assets and services for the upcoming five-year period;
    • B.2.2.7Include sufficient information on planned projects and procurements to support an informed decision by the Treasury Board as to which projects and procurements would warrant their consideration; and
    • B.2.2.8Include performance and risk management plans to assess the effectiveness of the planning function, identify and address areas of greatest risk in achieving departmental results, and significant gaps in investment performance.
  • B.2.3As part of the development of the investment plan:
    • B.2.3.1TBS is consulted in determining the investments to highlight in the departmental investment plan.
    • B.2.3.2TBS is advised, in a timely manner, of any significant deviations from the departmental investment plan. Following consultations with TBS, if requested, the departmental investment plan is to be revised and submitted to TBS.
    • B.2.3.3If requested by TBS, it is to be submitted to Treasury Board ministers for approval. TBS's decision will be based on the consideration of a number of factors including the significance and risk of a department's planned investments, the department's management performance established through appropriate management accountability mechanisms and other monitoring activities, and the magnitude of changes in planned investments or capacity to deliver.

Appendix C: Mandatory Procedures for Concept Case for Digital Projects

C.1 Effective date

  • C.1.1 These mandatory procedures take effect on April 11, 2019.

C.2 Procedures

  • C.2.1These procedures provide details on the requirements set out in section 4.1.7 of the Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments.
  • C.2.2These procedures apply to all potential investments in Government of Canada digital projects for which the department or agency is willing to invest a minimum of the following amounts in order to address the problem or take advantage of the opportunity:
    • $2.5 million for departments without an approved Organizational Project Management Capacity Class or with an approved Organizational Project Management Capacity Class of 1;
    • $5 million for departments with an approved Organizational Project Management Capacity Class of 2;
    • $10 million for departments with an approved Organizational Project Management Capacity Class of 3;
    • $15 million for National Defence; and
    • $25 million for departments with an approved Organizational Project Management Capacity Class of 4.

Preparing and submitting the concept case

  • C.2.3Ensure that a concept case is prepared in accordance with the Concept Case Template and approved by the business owner (Assistant Deputy Minister level or above).
  • C.2.4The business owner is responsible for:
    • C.2.4.1Approving and submitting the concept case to TBS for review by the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada.
      • C.2.4.1.1For concept cases that may result in a joint or enterprise digital project, the initiative lead is designated as the business owner and as such, is responsible for providing the concept case on behalf of all implicated departments.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2019,
ISBN: 978-0-660-31060-2

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