Annual Report to Parliament 2014-2015
Appendix D: Definitions
Appropriation: Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Budgetary expenditures: Include operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations, or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Departmental performance report: A report on an appropriated organization’s accomplishments against the plans, priorities, and expected results set out in the corresponding report on plans and priorities. The report is tabled in Parliament in the fall.
Full-time equivalent: Is 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 of Canada outcomes: A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the Government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs, and government affairs.
Management, resources, and results structure: A comprehensive 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 to which they contribute. A management, resources and results structure is developed from the program alignment architecture.
Non-budgetary expenditures: Include net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments, and advances, which 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 gauging the performance of 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 reports on plans and priorities and departmental performance reports, planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 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 presented in their reports on plans and priorities and departmental performance reports.
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 up 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 support the achievement of the desired strategic outcomes.
Program: A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program alignment architecture: A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the strategic outcomes to which they contribute.
Report on plans and priorities: Provides information on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated organization over a three-year period. This report is tabled in Parliament each spring.
Results: An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of one 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 under which they may be made.
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. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
Voted expenditures: Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Whole-of-government framework: Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.
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