Departmental Plan 2017-18

Appendix B: Definitions

Appropriation: Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary expenditures: Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Core responsibility: An enduring function or role of 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: Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over three years. Departmental plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental result: A departmental result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A departmental result is often outside department's immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

Departmental result indicator: A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.

Departmental results framework: Consists of the department's core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.

Departmental results report: Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding departmental plan.

Full-time equivalent: A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government-wide priorities: For the purpose of the 2017-18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refer to the high-level themes outlining the Government's agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely, Growth for the Middle Class, Open and Transparent Government, A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy, Diversity is Canada's Strength, and Security and Opportunity.

Horizontal initiatives: A horizontal initiative is one in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work to achieve clearly defined shared outcomes, and that has been designated (e.g., by Cabinet or a central agency) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.

Management, resources and results structure: A framework that consists of an organization's inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the strategic outcomes they contribute to. The management, resources and results structure is developed from the program alignment architecture.

Non-budgetary expenditures: Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances that change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

Performance: 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: A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of finding out how well an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

Performance reporting: The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

Planned spending: For departmental plans and departmental results reports, planned spending refers to amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the 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 in their departmental plans and departmental results reports.

Plans: The way strategic choices are presented, which gives 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 focus on actions that lead to the expected result.

Priorities: Plans or projects that an organization 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 achieve the desired strategic outcomes.

Program: A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program alignment architecture: A structured inventory of an organization's programs that shows the hierarchical relationship between programs and the strategic outcomes to which they contribute to.

Results: An external 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: 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 for making them.

Strategic outcome: A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization's mandate, vision and core functions.

Sunset program: A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

Target: 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: Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The wording of the vote sets the conditions that these expenditures may be made under.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: