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The multilateral intergovernmental conference is a key component of Canadian federalism. It is a critical instrument for consultation, coordination, negotiation and agreement among federal, provincial and territorial governments.
The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) was created by the First Ministers of Canada in 1973. It is an agency of both the federal and provincial governments that provides administrative services for the planning and conduct of senior level federal-provincial-territorial and provincial-territorial conferences held throughout Canada.
In addition to the increasingly important cost efficiencies and the economies of scale which governments can achieve through the utilization of CICS, the Secretariat also offers the clear advantages of confidentiality, continuity, neutrality and expertise in the planning and organization of senior level intergovernmental meetings in Canada. The requests for the agency’s services have increased significantly in recent years and we have averaged over 100 conferences served annually in the last five years.
In 2007-2008, the Secretariat will continue providing expert and cost-effective services to governments. These services are provided by experienced, well-trained and highly professional staff consisting of employees from federal, provincial and territorial governments. CICS will continue to develop innovative and flexible policies and procedures which include making use of the latest technological developments in order to provide our clients with the highest standard of services.
André M. McArdle
I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS).
This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports.
André M. McArdle
The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) was established pursuant to an agreement reached at the May 1973 First Ministers’ Conference and designated a department of the federal government by an Order-in-Council dated November 29, 1973. Its one program and one activity mandate is to provide administrative services for the planning and conduct of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers level federal-provincial-territorial and provincial-territorial conferences.
The CICS is an agency of both the federal and provincial governments and, as such, acts as a neutral intergovernmental body. Its budget is supported by both orders of government and its staff includes both federal, provincial and territorial public servants. The Secretary reports to all governments annually. The operations are reviewed by federal and provincial senior officials designated by their respective First Ministers. The CICS reports to Parliament through the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
|Plan, conduct, and serve intergovernmental conferences at the most senior levels in response to requests by governments||Ongoing||6.5||6.5||6.5|
|Multilateral intergovernmental meetings of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers are planned and conducted flawlessly.||6.5||6.5||6.5|
The mandate of the CICS is to serve federal, provincial and territorial governments and Canadians in the planning, conduct, and the serving of senior level intergovernmental conferences. Its primary objective is to relieve client departments in virtually every major sector of governmental activity of the numerous, technical and administrative tasks associated with the planning and conduct of such conferences, thereby enabling them to concentrate on the substantive issues.
To provide continuous, effective, impartial administrative services to senior level federal-provincial-territorial and provincial-territorial conferences on key intergovernmental issues encompassing numerous sectors of intergovernmental activity.
One strategic outcome has been identified by CICS, which is discussed in this document:
CICS is structured as a one-activity program:
CICS’ key priority for 2007-2008 is to plan, conduct and serve intergovernmental conferences at the most senior level in response to requests by governments. The Secretariat is funded at a level sufficient to finance a level of conference activity in the 110-120 range.
Measuring our Progress
CICS’ performance in achieving its commitments over the years 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010 will be assessed by several performance indicators:
CICS' priorities depend in large part on federal, provincial and territorial governments priorities and are subject to a variety of internal and external influences, which are outlined below.Request for our Services
CICS does not convene intergovernmental meetings. It is called upon to respond to decisions taken by governments to meet on key national or specific issues. Decisions concerning the location of such meetings, their number in a given fiscal year, their timing and duration, are all factors beyond the control of the Secretariat. The level of CICS expenditures for each fiscal year is, however, directly affected by these factors.Maintaining the Credibility of CICS as a Neutral Conference Service Provider
Given that CICS reports to fourteen governments, the Secretariat must be careful to ensure that its service remains impartial, confidential and equitable to all our clients.Maintaining Continuity of CICS' Conference Capability
The CICS has an ongoing program of secondments with the provinces and territories. Half of the staff of the Conference Services' sector (eight personnel) are seconded from provinces and territories for a period of 3 to 4 years.
All Conference Services staff receive up-to-date training on the latest computer technology and communication tools.
Additional staff from other sectors of CICS (Information Services and Corporate Services) are also trained and mobilized to serve conferences at peak times (i.e. September of each year).Maintaining Technology Up-To-Date Equipment
In order to serve our clients well, CICS needs to be at the foremost of technology. A program is in place to constantly review the equipment best required to fulfill the ever increasing needs of our clients.