Operational Bulletin 506 - March 13, 2013

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Settlement Program Expenditure Control Policy for Support Services


The Support Services Expenditure Control Policy promotes efficient and consistent spending nationally on Settlement Program support services that include:

  • care for newcomer children,
  • transportation support,
  • provisions for disabilities,
  • translation and interpretation, and
  • crisis counselling.

Some clients need these services in order to access Settlement Program activities such as needs assessments, information sessions and language classes. Costs for support services are not to exceed 20 percent of the total contribution agreement (CA) value per fiscal year.


A review of Settlement Program expenditures identified the need for guidance through a consistent, national approach on how support services spending is defined, approved and tracked.


The Support Services Expenditure Control Policy responds to the 2009–2010 evaluation of the Language Instruction for Newcomer Canadian (LINC) program, which noted a dramatic rise in expenditures for childminding and transportation support over a five-year period. The policy facilitates provision of the same services across regions while limiting overall expenditures. Support services such as transportation assistance, and care for newcomer children (formerly termed ‘childminding’) are available for all direct settlement services funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). However, the policy limits the amount that can be spent on support services.

Costs for support services, including salaries, are generally not to exceed 20 percent of the CA value per year. In exceptional cases, support services costs may be authorized to exceed 20 percent where written justification is provided by the recipient, recommended by the officer and approved by the supervisor following consultation with Integration Program Management Branch. In such situations, exceptions will be documented on the files. Exceptional circumstances could include LINC providers with high numbers of clients who have children needing care, or recipients serving a high number of vulnerable clients with children who need care while their parents are benefitting from settlement services.

In situations where a recipient has two or more CIC agreements for direct services, the 20 percent threshold is applied to the sum of all these agreements.

Monitoring of spending on support services is included as part of claim-review activities to ensure costs do not exceed agreed-upon amounts. Note that support services are a cohesive set of services and should be considered in whole when tracking costs.

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