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Over the past year, Canada's New Government has delivered change by getting things done for families and taxpayers. It has taken many steps, including putting forward Advantage Canada, a long-term plan that will create the right conditions and opportunities for families and businesses to succeed, and introducing measures to tackle crime. The Government will continue to deliver tangible results for Canadians. As it begins its second year in office, the Government will pursue a focused and active agenda that includes:
This agenda will build on our successes to date to make Canada a stronger, safer and better country for all of us.
To help us implement this agenda and to respond to issues as they arise, our Government relies on the competence, expertise and non-partisan advice it receives from the dedicated public servants who make up the Privy Council Office. The plans outlined in this report will, when fully implemented, greatly assist our Government in achieving its goals for Canadians. I am pleased to present the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities for the Privy Council Office.
I am also pleased to present the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities for the recently established Public Appointments Commission Secretariat as an attached document.
I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Privy Council Office.
This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:
Kevin G. Lynch
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
|Mandate - The mandate of the Privy Council Office (PCO) is to serve Canada and Canadians by providing the best non-partisan advice and support to the Prime Minister, ministers within the Prime Minister's portfolio and Cabinet. PCO supports the development of the Government's policy agenda; coordinates responses to issues facing the Government and the country; and supports the effective operation of Cabinet. As the head of the Public Service, the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet serves as the principle link between the Prime Minister and the Public Service.|
Financial Resources (thousands of dollars)
|Support the Prime Minister in exercising his overall leadership responsibility||Ongoing|
|Improve the management and accountability of government||Ongoing|
|Focus on key policy areas and strengthen medium-term policy planning||Ongoing|
|Strengthen PCO's internal management practices||Ongoing|
Program Activities by Strategic Outcome
|Strategic Outcome – Towards effective government policies and operations, the Privy Council Office ensures that decision making by the Prime Minister and Cabinet is well supported and the institutions of executive government are well supported and maintained.|
|Planned Spending (thousands of dollars)|
|A.1 Support for Cabinet decision making and the legislative agenda||1||Cabinet decision making and legislative agenda are supported||5,661||5,658||5,658|
|A.2 Advice to the Prime Minister and ministers on issues, policies, machinery and appointments||1,2
|The Prime Minister and ministers receive informed and sound advice in support of decision making||55,869||55,828||55,828|
|A.3 Provide Cabinet with sound advice on the development, coordination and implementation of the policy agenda||3||Cabinet receives informed and sound advice on the development and implementation of the policy agenda||23,738||23,725||23,725|
|A.4 As its head, the Clerk leads the Public Service in effectively supporting Cabinet and serving Canadians||2||The overall development of the Public Service is fostered||9,218||9,215||9,215|
|A.5 Provide the Prime Minister's Office and the offices of the portfolio ministers with financial and administrative support||4||The Prime Minister's Office and the offices of the portfolio ministers receive appropriate financial and administrative support||27,873||27,850||27,850|
|A.6 Provide commissions of inquiry with appropriate administrative support||4||Commissions of inquiry receive appropriate support||5,708||0||0|
PCO's priorities depend in large part on the Government's agenda and are subject to a variety of internal and external influences. Significant ones are outlined below.
Focus on government-wide priorities
Over the past year, the Government has delivered on a focused set of priorities, instituted an emphasis on managerial rigour, made some changes to the Ministry, and introduced a new Cabinet committee on the environment and energy security. The Government has pursued a focused agenda that includes presentation of the 2006 budget that controlled spending, lowered taxes, and made strategic investments; crime and safety; accountability and democratic reform; international leadership; and the environment. PCO needs to ensure government-wide focus on these key priorities.
Public expectations for increased government accountability
Canadians expect their government to provide more, better and faster services without increasing their taxes. At the same time, they expect their government to make sound decisions, to be transparent and to account for the use of their taxes.
With the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act and associated Action Plan, the Government began a major transformation of its accountability to Canadians. The implementation of the Act over the coming year will bring increased discipline to government operations and lead to strengthened confidence of Canadians in their government. In this context, PCO as a central agency and as the Prime Minister's department has a special duty to lead by example by demonstrating an efficient and effective use of public resources, with excellence being the benchmark.
Complexity of issues
Although the priorities of the Government are clear and focused, the business of government in a modern society is inevitably complex. There is increased interdependence among governments and a convergence of sectors that are changing relationships and policy design. Decision makers are faced with challenges and opportunities that are influenced by varying pressures, international circumstances, budget limits and changing expectations. In addition, the Government faces a minority situation in both the House of Commons and the Senate. To deal with this level of complexity, PCO must support integration within the federal government community, and encourage teamwork within and across departments and agencies. As well, strong and effective networks involving the federal government, other orders of government and stakeholders are key success factors. PCO must also ensure that it is able to attract and engage people with a high level of policy expertise and analytical capability.
Societal and demographic changes
The face of Canada is being reshaped by societal and demographic changes. The population of Canada is aging, with 4.1 million Canadians 65 years of age and older in 2003. The number of older Canadians is expected to reach 6.4 million in 2020 - nearly one in five Canadians. According to 2001 Census data, the median age of the labour force was also up from 37 in 1991, to 39 in 2001. In addition, immigrants who landed in Canada during the 1990s and who were in the labour force in 2001 represented almost 70 percent of the net growth of the Canadian labour force over the decade. With the baby boomers aging and fewer young people entering the working age population, the potential exists for shortages in certain occupations.
The federal public service is also impacted by these important demographic and societal trends. For example, a large number of employees in the executive cadre category will be retiring within 10 years. Public service renewal will require a new focus on recruitment, retention and leadership development in the Public Service of Canada. An excellent public service is marked by a diversity of linguistic, geographical and cultural views. It is also enhanced by knowledge of the demographic changes that are occurring in Canadian society. PCO will support the public service renewal priority both across government and within PCO itself.
Accelerating technological shifts
With technological shifts and advances comes the availability of new tools that not only increase the expectations of Canadians for information and services but also help the Public Service to deliver on the Government's commitments and to be held accountable through a number of control and reporting mechanisms. These changes will require a public service that is flexible, agile, innovative and focused on excellence.
During this fiscal year, support will continue to focus on the priorities articulated by the Government in its Speech from the Throne, and the agenda identified by the Government at the beginning of its second year in office. This agenda includes:
Ongoing support will be directed to key enablers of the Government's agenda as outlined in Advantage Canada. This will entail action on the following advantages: fiscal, knowledge, infrastructure, entrepreneurial and tax.
The Government's priorities set the priorities of PCO:
PCO's strategic outcome and program activities (outlined in detail in Section II) are aligned with all Government of Canada outcomes: economic, social and international. PCO provides support to government departments and agencies, and contributes to strengthening and modernizing public sector management.
Priority: Support the Prime Minister in exercising his overall leadership responsibility
PCO will continue to support the Prime Minister in one of his key leadership roles: to create and sustain the unity of the Ministry, which is essential in order to maintain the confidence of Parliament.
Priority: Improve management and accountability of government
PCO will continue to play a central role in assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet in enhancing the overall management, transparency and accountability of government while ensuring that the objectives of improved efficiency and efficacy are met. Additionally, it will concentrate its efforts to support the Government in meeting its commitment to implement the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan and other key measures aimed at ensuring integrity, accountability, responsibility and excellence in public administration, while developing strategies to enhance the effectiveness of the overall Cabinet decision-making process. It will also assist the government in increasing the effectiveness and accountability of Canada's democratic institutions and practices.
Priority: Focus on key policy areas and strengthen medium-term policy planning
PCO will provide advice and support the development and implementation of the Government's focused agenda in the fields of social, economic and international policy, as set out in the Speech from the Throne that opened the Thirty-Ninth Parliament and the agenda identified by the Prime Minister at the beginning of the Government's second year in office. It will also identify emerging issues to inform Cabinet's deliberations and, through long-term strategic thinking, provide advice for the Government's forward-looking agenda.
Priority: Strengthen PCO's internal management practices
Achieving excellence in management requires ongoing strengthening of PCO's internal management practices, consistent with the standards of management outlined in the Management Accountability Framework (MAF). PCO will continue its efforts to integrate human resources planning with the business planning process of the department.