2019–20 Departmental Results Report

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Prime Minister’s message

Headshot of Justin Trudeau

I welcome the 2019-20 Departmental Results Report.

This past year, the Privy Council Office continued to play a crucial role in implementing the Government of Canada’s agenda to deliver real results for Canadians.

Together, we took quick action to respond to the urgent health, economic, and social impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, while relying on science and the advice of our public health experts. We introduced several major emergency programs and measures to give Canadians the help they need to stay safe, and help millions of families and businesses in every corner of the country bridge to better times. Over the past year, we have made meaningful progress supporting the economy, advancing gender equality, and tackling climate change. The organization’s hard work and expert advice have ensured the effective operation of Cabinet and the Public Service, as well as the advancement of the government’s priorities in incredibly challenging circumstances.

This past year was an election year, and the Privy Council Office played a key role in upholding the Public Service’s caretaker convention and protecting the integrity of the federal election. The Privy Council Office also helped advance policy to safeguard Canada’s democratic institutions, and advised on key priorities for new ministerial mandates.

At the beginning of 2020, Canadians were shocked and saddened by the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 tragedy. The Privy Council Office was instrumental in coordinating the interagency cooperation for Canada’s immediate response to this tragedy, which will help ensure families of the victims get the justice they deserve.

In the spirit of reconciliation and in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, we continue to make real progress toward closing gaps for Indigenous peoples in economic opportunities, education, infrastructure, housing, child and family services, and health care. We passed legislation to support the self-determination of Indigenous peoples, affirm the rights of Indigenous governments to exercise jurisdiction over child and family services, and support the reclamation, revitalization, and strengthening of Indigenous languages in Canada.

The Privy Council Office has also championed leadership and renewal through the Beyond2020 vision of an adaptable, inclusive, and equipped Public Service. The organization is at the heart of our country’s exemplary world-class Public Service and plays a critical role in supporting the government’s ambitious agenda.

None of this important work to support Canadians would have been possible without the incredible dedication, expertise, and commitment of every public servant. Together, we will continue to help build a Canada that is healthier and safer, cleaner and more competitive, and fairer and more inclusive for future generations.


The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada

Results at a glance and operating context

In 2019–20, the Privy Council Office (PCO) continued to support the development and implementation of the Government of Canada's policy and legislative agendas. PCO also coordinated responses to issues facing the Government and the country – in particular, as the global COVID-19 crisis emerged – and ensured the effective operation of Cabinet and government over the fiscal year and during this unprecedented time of challenge.

As 2019 was also a legislated election year, PCO continued its central role in support of the Caretaker Convention to ensure continuity of government from ministry to another.

As such, PCO continued to be the hub across government to coordinate and provide timely, comprehensive, expert analysis and advice in support of the full spectrum of policy, budget and legislative priorities of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, Cabinet and Cabinet committees. This included:

Providing non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, Cabinet and Cabinet committees on matters of national and international importance

PCO advised and supported national and international programs and policies in 2019–20, having:

Supporting the smooth functioning of the Cabinet decision-making process and facilitating the implementation of the Government’s agenda

PCO supports the efficient and effective functioning of Cabinet and its committees in order to enable Ministers and the Prime Minister to collectively make decisions on major new policies, programs or legislation. PCO does so by coordinating the Cabinet's decision-making system, performing a challenge function to departmental proposals to Cabinet, preparing briefing materials and accompanying policy analysis to facilitate Cabinet’s decision-making process, continuing to advance the Government's agenda across federal departments and agencies, and by providing advice to Cabinet and its committees on the Governor-in-Council process and Orders in Council. PCO also provided administrative services to the Prime Minister's Office, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Portfolio Ministers, and commissions of inquiry.

To that end, PCO played a critical challenge function in the development of 324 departmental Cabinet documents, including 143 Memoranda to Cabinet and 181 presentations and other documents, ensuring that these policy proposals supported evidence-based decision making and that submissions were consistent with the Government’s overall policy direction. These statistics also include numerous Cabinet documents in support of the newly established Cabinet Committee on the Federal Response to COVID-19, announced on March 4, 2020, to respond rapidly to the urgent health and economic impacts of the global pandemic.

To ensure transparency and openness, PCO continued to work with the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the status of mandate letter commitments, as part of the Government’s commitment to deliver real and meaningful results by making evidence-based decisions, monitoring delivery, addressing implementation challenges on key priorities, and reporting on progress to Canadians.

Leading an agile, inclusive and equipped Public Service

With Beyond2020, a framework to make the Public Service more agile, inclusive and better equipped, PCO continued to engage with employees across the Public Service to support their efforts in adopting innovative practices.

PCO worked with other federal departments, central agencies, functional and horizontal communities, and partners outside of government to advance the vision of a world-class public service equipped to serve Canada and Canadians now and into the future.

Some accomplishments of public servants can be found in the Twenty-Seventh Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada.

Actual net spending: $185,349,690
Actual full-time equivalents: 1,130

For more information on PCO’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core responsibility

Serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Description:

To deliver analysis, advice and support to the Prime Minister and Ministers of the Portfolio including non-partisan advice and information from across the Public Service resulting from consultations and collaboration with international and domestic sources inside and outside government.

To act as secretariat to the Cabinet and its committees including managing the Cabinet's decision-making system, coordinate departmental policy proposals to Cabinet, schedule and provide support services for meetings of Cabinet and Cabinet committees, advance the Government's agenda across federal departments and agencies, and provide administrative services to the Prime Minister's Office, Portfolio Ministers, and Commissions of Inquiry.

To lead and renew the Public Service in order to advise the Government, implement its agenda, and deliver services and results to Canadians.

Results:

Throughout 2019–20, PCO was responsible for providing public service support to the Prime Minister to advance the Government’s economic and social priorities as well as operational issues on a daily basis. PCO accomplished this by:

Helping the Government achieve its priorities through the delivery of high-quality information, expert analysis and advice

After the 2019 general election, PCO advised the Prime Minister on key considerations for the Government in delivering on its priorities for the new mandate in each ministerial portfolio and across the whole of government. This advice was designed to support the Prime Minister in determining priorities and responsibilities for each of his ministers. Through the transition briefing and other efforts, PCO also supported the Prime Minister in setting out the Government’s priorities for the new mandate in the Speech from the Throne of December 5, 2019, thereby helping the Government deliver on its platform commitments and policy priorities, as well as swearing in the new government.

PCO’s information, expert analysis and advice entailed a broad range of domestic and international efforts in critical areas of Canada’s economy including on investments in innovation and science, the commercialization of research and ideas, and helping Canadian businesses grow.

From agriculture to manufacturing and natural resources to clean technologies and broadband, PCO supported the Prime Minister, his Portfolio Ministers and the Cabinet across the entire spectrum of policy challenges and opportunities facing the nation. In doing so, PCO’s efforts facilitated coordinated action across federal departments and agencies and ensured policy coherence.

PCO also provided secretariat support to the Cabinet in its Governor in Council (GIC) role regarding appointments, machinery of government and security and intelligence matters. Furthermore, PCO supported Treasury Board Ministers in their role in the GIC process and the Clerk of the Privy Council on a range of activities relating to the use and management of Orders in Council, regulations and other statutory instruments.

PCO supported the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in their bilateral and multilateral engagements with provinces and territories. This helped to maintain open and collaborative relationships with every jurisdiction and working with the provinces and territories to continue to eliminate barriers to trade within Canada.

PCO supported the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and other federal Ministers at the March 2020 Atlantic Growth Strategy leadership committee with Atlantic Premiers and the First Ministers' Meeting. However, the latter was ultimately scaled back to a teleconference as a result of COVID-19 concerns and the declaration by the World Health Organization of a global pandemic.

PCO supported the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons in advancing the Government’s legislative agenda: 18 government bills were introduced and 29 bills received Royal Assent during this period, including the first of several pieces legislation in response to COVID-19.

PCO worked with Environment and Climate Change Canada and other key stakeholders to advance the renewal of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, as well as to move forward with the Chemical Management Plan update. PCO also continued to play a key role in implementing the Government's agenda concerning climate change and the environment by developing strategies and approaches to implement the Species at Risk Act in the most cost-effective way.

PCO supported work to promote economic interests and to foster the growth of the middle class. It did so through international activities, implementing Canada free trade agreements, addressing international trade disputes, issues and challenges, increasing global investment in Canada, and promoting Canadian businesses abroad.

On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was downed minutes after taking off from Tehran. Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed in this tragedy. PCO was instrumental in coordinating the interagency cooperation for Canada’s response following the downing of Flight PS752, and chairs the related Deputy Minister-level task force. PCO continues to provide support to the Prime Minister’s special advisor, the honourable Ralph Goodale, as well as for ongoing work, including with international partners to ensure transparency, accountability, and justice for the families of the victims of this tragedy.

Ensuring all Canadians are secure and have the opportunity to attain full social and economic participation

PCO supported the development of policies to foster innovation, skills and education, as well as to improve income support for lower-income Canadians and to help reduce poverty. PCO worked with departments and other central agencies to support the Prime Minister and Cabinet decision-making on measures to help Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included advancing modifications to student loan repayment terms as well as temporary changes to employment insurance (EI) that waive the one-week wait period and the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

PCO worked closely with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to support advice and the eventual tabling of the 2020–22 Immigration Levels Plan, which increased targets for permanent resident admissions for the economic and refugee immigration classes over the previous levels plan.

PCO engaged on collaborative federal-provincial-territorial work to study the feasibility of direct-to-consumer alcohol sales, and provided advice on ongoing negotiations for elements of the Canada Free Trade Agreement, including potential conflicts.

PCO provided policy oversight in modernizing Canada’s regulatory framework to be more efficient and agile for business and reduce red tape by way of the first Annual Regulatory Modernization Bill and targeted regulatory reviews.

PCO supported the participation of the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs/Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in meetings of the Committee of Internal Trade in May 2019 and December 2019.

PCO continued to coordinate and facilitate policies and operations related to emergency management, Canadian Extremist Travellers, violent extremism, aviation security, economic-based threats to national security, elections security, foreign interference, cyber security, as well as national security review and accountability. PCO also remained vigilant to new and emerging issues to ensure whole-of-government cohesion and awareness.

PCO continued to lead the development of a knowledgeable, resilient, and integrated security community across the Government of Canada; providing 75 departments and agencies with over 600 pieces of expert security advice, including:

Supporting Cabinet decision-making processes that are effective, of high quality, and consistent with the Government’s priorities

PCO sought to ensure that proposal and advice presented to Cabinet ministers took into account the full range of departmental and public service-wide perspectives, gender-based analysis and issues related to implementation, such as communications, parliamentary affairs, intergovernmental relations and fiscal impacts.

PCO mobilized quickly to set up the new Cabinet Committee on the Federal Response to COVID-19. In addition to secretariat support, PCO provided strategic and urgent advice on the public health, societal and economic impacts of the evolving COVID-19 crisis to the Deputy Prime Minister and Committee members in order to carry out their mandate.

PCO also supported the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons with the opening of Parliament, including having provided advice and support to the Government on legislation, private members’ business, parliamentary returns and parliamentary practices and procedure.

PCO provided timely, comprehensive, and expert analysis in support of numerous proposals and initiatives, such as: the National Housing Strategy Act, which created the National Housing Council and Federal Housing Advocate, and the introduction of legislation to create a review and complaints body for the Canada Border Services Agency.

Ensuring a transparent, democratic and secure Government

During 2019–20, PCO implemented key components of Canada’s plan for defending democracy during the 2019 election, including:

PCO supported the Minister of Democratic Institutions, along with the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Justice, to enhance the openness and transparency of government by making the most significant amendments to the Access to Information Act since its introduction in 1983, including the requirement to make key information available proactively.

PCO formally updated the Mandate Letter Tracker three times. Though the last formal update occurred in July 2019, the tracker continued to be updated on an ad-hoc basis to reflect significant progress made on commitments throughout the summer 2019, and prior to the federal election in October. This allowed Canadians to learn more about the ministerial mandate letter commitments that matter the most to them and to check on the Government’s progress.

PCO continued to support the Government’s commitment to an open, transparent, and merit-based approach to Governor in Council and Senate appointments that reflect Canada’s diversity. Between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, 339 Governor in Council appointments were made following open, transparent, and merit-based selection processes. Of those appointees, around 52% identify as women, around 10% as visible minorities, over 7% as Indigenous peoples, and over 3% as Canadians with disabilities.

Also during this reporting period, PCO supported the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments in the achievement of its mandate, as well as the appointment of three Senators.

Championing Public Service leadership and renewal

The actions public servants have taken over the years to help renew the Public Service have helped modernize approaches to how we work. We have seen this come to life in many ways, including greater diversity and inclusion, increased awareness of the importance of mental health, and advancement of workplace accessibility.

Through a continued focus on diversity and inclusion, we are seeing more and more departments and agencies convening diversity and inclusion networks that have broad representation, including women, Indigenous Peoples, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQ2 community. By including a range of voices and experiences, these groups are fostering a deeper collective understanding and appreciation of areas where change is sought.

Under the themes of “agile, inclusive, and equipped”, over 10,000 in-person participants attended 17 innovation fairs organized by PCO and Regional Federal Councils across Canada in 2019. The fairs connect individuals across organizations to share leading practices and experiments in progress, and to challenge ourselves to think differently. This represents excellent growth from the highly successful 2018 Innovation Fairs, which attracted over 7,200 participants across 16 cities.

PCO also organized a Beyond2020 Symposium on April 26, 2019 that attracted over 100 participants from across departments, agencies, and communities. The Symposium was an opportunity for attendees to learn more about emerging research on mindsets and behaviours, along with sharing practices across organizations.

Additionally, PCO employees undertook over 200 engagements with a wide variety of stakeholders to raise awareness of and better understand how organizations and communities are using Beyond2020 to help advance their work. In addition to regular meetings with departmental Beyond2020 Champions across the Public Service, examples include Human Resource forums in Nova Scotia, regular visits with all Regional Federal Councils, joint union-management committees, employment equity committees, the young professionals and middle managers communities, regulators, official languages community, real property forums, and executive development programs.

Throughout the past fiscal year, PCO has assisted departments in implementing the recommendations of the Data Strategy Roadmap for the Federal Public Service, and established our own customized data strategies. A survey conducted by PCO in April 2019 found that 48% of organizations had formally defined roles and responsibilities for data functions, and 70% had established or repurposed governance to position data as a strategic asset within their organizations. Today, 42 organizations across government have data strategies in place.

In February 2019, the PCO met with the First Nations Information Governance Centre to discuss their work toward a First Nations Data Governance Strategy and establishment of First Nations Regional Data Centres.

The Data Strategy has also inspired approaches across the public service to improve data literacy among senior leaders. These include a digital bootcamp for senior leaders (held in October 2019), a digital academy and work toward data literacy assessments.

Experimentation

PCO continues to play a leadership role in advancing innovation and experimentation across the federal government through its flagship initiative, Impact Canada. Under the banner of outcomes-based funding approaches, several new announcements were made in 2019-20, the most notable being $300 million for the Housing Supply Challenge with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and $20 million for a Food Waste Reduction Challenge with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

In addition, a number of active innovation challenges made significant progress over 2019-20, including:

2019-2020 also saw the development and publication of a number of knowledge products, such as Measuring Impact by Design – a Guide to Methods for Impact Measurement. These products are being used by governments and leading organizations around the world, which is resulting in international acknowledgement of PCO’s contribution to the public sector innovation ecosystem.

Finally, the practice of incorporating behavioural science into government policy and programming advanced significantly in 2019–20, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated. PCO integrated behavioural science into the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19 in close partnership with Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, and Global Affairs Canada. The insights from COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO Canada) are informing policy, program and communication responses to the pandemic.

Results achieved

To implement the Policy on Results, PCO adopted the Departmental Results Framework (DRF) for planning and reporting in 2018–19. Therefore, results from previous years are not available. For information on results achieved in previous years, please see the 2017–18 Departmental Results Report.

The methodology used for the calculation of the departmental results indicators in the table below is available on GC InfoBase. PCO monitors and reports on four departmental results categories, consisting of eleven departmental performance indicators. They are as follows:

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2018–19
Actual results
2019–20
Actual results
Government’s priorities are achieved Percentage of Mandate Letter commitments achieved 70% or more October 2019 N/A 51% By the end of the mandate (October 2019) the results were 82%.
Percentage of Mandate Letter commitments underway 30% or less October 2019 N/A 47% By the end of the mandate (October 2019) the results were 16%.
Percentage of Prime Minister’s priorities achieved 75% or more October 2019 N/A 54%1 By the end of the mandate (October 2019) the results were 80%.
Percentage of Prime Minister’s priorities underway 25% or less October 2019 N/A 46%2 By the end of the mandate (October 2019) the results were 20%.
Cabinet receives high quality advice Percentage of Cabinet ministers satisfied with service and advice from the Privy Council Office Achieve a minimum of 70% March 2020 N/A 75% N/A3
Percentage of Cabinet documents distributed to Ministers that meet the Privy Council Office’s guidance on drafting Cabinet documents 50% of Cabinet documents March 2020 N/A 93% 99%
Cabinet and its committees focus on priorities Percentage of Cabinet items devoted to mandated Government priorities 50% of Cabinet items October 2019 N/A 50% By the end of the mandate (October 2019) the results were 50%.
Percentage of Cabinet items devoted to Prime Minister’s priorities To be determined after first year of reporting October 2019 N/A 31% By the end of the mandate (October 2019) the results were 31%.
Public Service priorities are achieved4 Percentage of employees who describe their workplace as being psychologically healthy Increase year-over-year March 2020 56% 59% 61%
Percentage of employees who are encouraged to be innovative or take initiative in their work Increase year-over-year March 2020 67% 66% 68%
Percentage of employees who get the training they need to do their job Increase year-over-year March 2020 66% 70% 69%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities available for use
2019–20
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2019–20
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
90,755,672 90,755,672 101,075,193 92,809,670 2,053,998
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
573 570 (3)

PCO’s actual spending for its Core responsibility “Serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet” in fiscal year 2019-20 was $2.1 million higher than its planned spending, due mainly to the increased spending to support the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Financial, human resources and performance information for PCO’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Internal services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities available for use
2019–20
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2019–20
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
88,637,796 88,637,796 92,576,911 92,540,020 3,902,224
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
579 560 (19)

PCO’s actual spending for Internal Services in fiscal year 2019–20 was $92.5 million, approximately $3.9 million higher than planned spending. Some key internal services initiatives during the fiscal year are as follows:

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time.

Departmental spending trend graph
Text version
(in dollars)
Fiscal year Total Voted Statutory
2017–18 202,940,898 187,449,564 15,491,334
2018–19 214,277,265 197,679,186 16,598,079
2019–20 185,349,690 168,470,636 16,879,054
2020–21 166,122,913 148,367,516 17,755,397
2021–22 161,158,585 143,616,398 17,542,187
2022–23 161,307,281 143,745,924 17,561,357

The departmental spending trend graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over a six-year period (2017–18 to 2022–23).

Fiscal years 2017–18 to 2019–20 show actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts while 2020–21 to 2022–23 presents planned spending.

The 2018–19 spending of $214.3 million increased by $11.3 million (6%), compared to 2017–18. The increase is mainly due to increased spending to support the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Spending decreased by $28.9 million (14%) in 2019–20, primarily due to the decrease in spending for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Planned spending in 2020–21 is lower than 2019–20 spending by $19.2 million (10%), mainly due to the sun-setting of funding for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which ceased operating in June 2019.

Spending will decrease by $4.9 million (3%) in 2021–22 mainly due to lower funding for PCO's Governor in Council appointments system and the Workplace 2.0 accommodations fit-up initiative. Planned spending in 2022-23 is expected to remain similar when compared to 2021-22.

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
2019–20
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
2018–19
Actual spending (authorities used)
2019–20
Actual spending (authorities used)
Serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet 90,755,672 90,755,672 77,069,965 75,829,859 101,075,193 91,286,880 122,134,560 92,809,670
Subtotal 90,755,672 90,755,672 77,069,965 75,829,859 101,075,193 91,286,880 122,134,560 92,809,670
Internal Services 88,637,796 88,637,796 89,052,948 85,328,726 92,576,911 111,654,018 92,142,705 92,576,911
Total 179,393,468 179,393,468 166,122,913 161,158,585 193,652,104 202,940,898 214,277,265 185,349,690

2019–20 Budgetary actual gross spending summary (dollars)

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20
Actual gross spending
2019–20
Actual gross spending for specified purpose accounts
2019–20
Actual revenues netted against expenditures
2019–20
Actual net spending (authorities used)
Serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet 93,685,553 - (875,883) 92,809,670
Subtotal 93,685,553 - (875,883) 92,809,670
Internal Services 93,758,614 - (1,218,594) 92,540,020
Total 187,444,167 - (2,094,477) 185,349,690

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services
Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Actual full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Actual full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
Serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet 568 636 573 570 539 514
Subtotal 568 636 573 570 539 514
Internal Services 543 544 579 560 566 566
Total 1,111 1,180 1,152 1,130 1,105 1,080

Expenditures by vote

For information on PCO’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–2020.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of PCO’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

PCO’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statement highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20
Planned results
2019–20
Actual results
2018–19
Actual results
Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus
2019–20 Planned results)
Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus
2018–19 Actual results)
Total expenses 197,913,818 204,130,487 233,343,863 6,216,669 (29,213,376)
Total revenues 1,800,835 2,109,516 (973,875) 308,681 3,083,391
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 196,112,983 202,020,971 232,369,988 5,907,988 (30,349,017)
Difference between 2018–19 actual results and 2019–20 actual results:

The department’s actual net cost of operations before government funding and transfer for 2019–20, as compared to 2018­­–19 decreased by $29,213,376 primarily as a result of the close out of the MMIWG in June 2019.

Difference between 2019–20 actual results and 2019–20 planned results:

The department’s actual net cost of operations from continuing activities was $5,907,988 higher than the planned results for the fiscal year following the realignment of funding and resulting expenditures in the first quarter of the year for the MMIWG.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial information 2019–20 2018–19 Difference
(2019–20 minus
2018–19)
Total net liabilities 41,136,337 62,682,538 (21,546,201)
Total net financial assets 28,579,741 50,824,959 (22,245,218)
Departmental net debt 12,556,596 11,857,579 699,017
Total non-financial assets 22,926,887 19,855,748 3,071,139
Departmental net financial position 10,370,291 7,998,169 2,372,122

In 2019–20, the department’s net liabilities decreased by $21,546,201. This decrease is primarily attributable to a decrease in accounts payable and accrued liabilities arising from the MMIWG, and other departmental procurement contracts.

Total net financial and non-financial assets were $51,506,628, a decrease $19,174,079 from 2018–19. This variance is attributable to a decrease in amounts due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which represents authorities available to discharge remaining accounts payable and accrued liabilities.

Organizational profile

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

The Privy Council Office:

PCO is led by the Clerk of the Privy Council, who also serves as Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service.

Mandate and role

PCO serves Canada and Canadians by providing advice and support to the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, and Cabinet.

PCO’s three main roles are to:

  1. Provide professional non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, Cabinet and Cabinet committees on matters of national and international importance.
  2. Ensure that the Cabinet decision-making process runs smoothly and help implement the Government’s agenda.
  3. Foster a high-performing and accountable Public Service.

Our “Raison d’être” is available on PCO’s website.

For more information on the Department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the mandate letters website.

Reporting framework

PCO Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record
Text version

PCO’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2019-20 consist of the following:

  • One core responsibility: Serve the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Four Departmental Results, each of which has two or more indicators:
    • Departmental Result 1: Government’s priorities are achieved
      • Indicator: Percentage of Mandate Letter commitments achieved.
      • Indicator: Percentage of Mandate Letter commitments underway.
      • Indicator: Percentage of Prime Minister’s priorities achieved.
      • Indicator: Percentage of Prime Minister’s priorities underway.
    • Departmental Result 2: Cabinet receives high quality advice
      • Indicator: Percentage of Cabinet ministers satisfied with service and advice from the Privy Council Office
      • Indicator: Percentage of Cabinet documents distributed to Ministers that meet the Privy Council Office’s guidance on drafting Cabinet documents
    • Departmental Results 3: Cabinet and its committees focus on priorities
      • Indicator: Percentage of Cabinet items devoted to mandated Government priorities.
      • Indicator: Percentage of Cabinet items devoted to Prime Minister’s priorities.
    • Departmental Result 4: Public Service priorities are achieved
      • Indicator: Percentage of employees who describe their workplace as being psychologically healthy
      • Indicator: Percentage of employees who are encouraged to be innovative or take initiatives in their work
      • Indicator: Percentage of employees who get the training they need to do their job
  • Eight Programs:
    • International Affairs and National Security
    • Intergovernmental Affairs
    • Social and Economic Policy
    • Results, Delivery, Impact and Innovation
    • Legislative and Parliamentary Governance
    • Planning and Operations of Cabinet
    • Senior Personnel and Public Service Renewal
    • Commissions of Inquiry

Supporting information on the program inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for PCO’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on PCO’s website:

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

General enquiries

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3 year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and Positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
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.
program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.
result (résultat)
A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

© Privy Council Office, 2020

All rights reserved. 
All requests for permission to reproduce this document or any part thereof shall be addressed to the Privy Council Office.

ISSN : 2560-9599

Cette publication est également disponible en français : Rapport sur les résultats ministériels 2019-2020

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