The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is the central agency that acts as the administrative arm of the Treasury Board.
The Treasury Board is a committee of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada:
- acts as the government’s management board
- provides oversight of the government’s financial management and spending, as well as oversight of human resources issues
- is the employer for the public service
- establishes policies and common standards for administrative, personnel, financial and organizational practices across government
- fulfills the role of the Committee of Council in approving regulatory policies and regulations, and most orders-in-council
- is responsible for reporting to Parliament
In 2016, the Secretariat made it mandatory for departments and agencies to include a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) appendix in all submissions seeking Treasury Board approval for new spending proposals or authorities. As part of its due diligence review of each submission, the Secretariat identifies relevant gender issues and recommends adjustments to ensure that the outcomes of new government policies, programs and initiatives will meet the needs of the diverse groups of men, women and gender-diverse individuals who make up Canada today. Based on this review, the Secretariat advises Treasury Board ministers of the gender implications of approving each proposal.
The Secretariat has designated a GBA+ champion at the assistant deputy minister level. The champion promotes the value of GBA+ in informing Cabinet decision-making, provides guidance to the Secretariat’s senior managers on their responsibilities with respect to GBA+, and arranges training for Secretariat analysts so that they can effectively integrate GBA+ into the Secretariat’s challenge function. The champion also promotes the value of GBA+ through, for example, GBA+ Awareness Week, speaking engagements, and presentations to internal and external management committees.
The Secretariat’s GBA+ champion also works with the GBA+ champions from the Privy Council Office, the Department of Finance Canada, Status of Women Canada and Statistics Canada to ensure that there is a coherent and consistent approach to GBA+ across government and to stress the importance of GBA+ in memoranda to Cabinet and in Treasury Board submissions.
In recent years, the Secretariat has:
- supported the Treasury Board in adopting and implementing the Directive on Results, which requires departments and agencies to integrate GBA+ into the development of Departmental Results Frameworks, Program Inventories and Performance Information Profiles to ensure that no Canadian is missing out on a government benefit because of their gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, income level, and so on
- introduced a requirement for departments and agencies to include in their Departmental Plan a supplementary information table that outlines, for Parliamentarians and Canadians, how they are fulfilling the government’s commitment to fully implement GBA+
- taken action to meet all of the commitments it made in the Government of Canada Action Plan in response to the fall 2015 report of the Auditor General on implementing GBA. These commitments included:
- tracking relevant data in Treasury Board submissions to identify and address barriers to the effective use of GBA+ to achieve better program, policy and service outcomes, as well as to develop and share lessons learned to strengthen the Secretariat’s challenge function in the future
- reviewing Treasury Board submissions that were submitted between September 2016 and June 2017 to assess the quality of the GBA+ appendix and to then inform Treasury Board ministers of the gender implications of implementing new spending proposals
- updated the competency profile of evaluators in the federal public service to add inclusion of GBA+ considerations as an example of effective behaviour when conducting program evaluations
In 2018–19, the Secretariat will build on its work to date by:
- developing a guidance tool to help the evaluation community integrate GBA+ into evaluations. The Secretariat plans to post this tool on GCconnex by summer 2018.
- developing guidance for departments and agencies to integrate GBA+ into regulatory analysis. This guidance, which will be finalized by spring 2018 and implemented by fall 2018, will cover how to include GBA+ in the initial analysis of regulatory proposals and in regulatory impact analysis statements and will describe how the Secretariat will monitor and report on compliance with GBA+ requirements.
- taking an open, transparent and inclusive approach to interdepartmental consultations by using Government of Canada collaboration tools such as GCconnex. Every draft policy instrument is now being made available to departments and agencies for review and feedback, including to Status of Women Canada, whose feedback focuses on the potential gender implications of implementing the new policy instrument government-wide.