The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements outlines the commitments, practices and tools that TBS will apply so that the public and regulated communities can understand:

  • regulations associated with TBS and the obligations they establish
  • how TBS responds to enquiries about regulations
  • how the public and regulated entities will be engaged when TBS reviews or plans to change regulations

Departmental context

TBS provides advice and makes recommendations to the Treasury Board committee of ministers on how the government spends money on programs and services, how it regulates, and how it is managed.
As part of its mandate, TBS is responsible for developing and implementing 81 sets of regulations regarding how certain activities in the public service are managed. These activities fall within the 4 areas of TBS’ mandate:  

  • Spending oversight
  • Administrative leadership
  • Employer
  • Regulatory oversight

For example, as the employer for the federal public service, TBS is responsible for regulations related to public service pension plans and official languages. In its administrative leadership role, TBS is responsible for regulations related to contracting and access to information and privacy.

This policy applies only to TBS and does not apply to its portfolio organizations.

Building awareness of regulatory requirements

TBS is committed to communicating with the public and regulated entities to improve their awareness of regulatory requirements. It does this by publishing information on key regulations on the Canada.ca website. Depending on the nature of the regulations, this information can include general information, frequently asked questions, reports and news releases.

TBS also builds awareness of regulatory requirements as part of engaging with its stakeholders, as described in the section on stakeholder engagement.

Responding to enquiries

Enquiries about regulations may be addressed to:

Public enquiries
Strategic Communications and Ministerial Affairs
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Government of Canada
questions@tbs-sct.gc.ca
Tel: 613-369-3200
TTY: 613-369-9371

TBS acknowledges receipt of enquiries and assigns them to appropriate TBS officials for review. TBS aims to respond to enquiries within 10 business days in the official language and in the verbal or written form that enquiries are submitted, unless requested otherwise. TBS will inform the requestor if more time will be required to respond to an enquiry, depending on:

  • the complexity and completeness of a question
  • the need for consultations

When responding to an enquiry, TBS will also inform the requestor whether the response is binding.

TBS publishes the contact information of TBS officials in its regulatory plans. Enquiries about initiatives identified in these plans may be addressed to these officials.

TBS monitors trends in the questions it receives about regulations. It uses these trends to develop and update information on its website on key regulations.

Commitment to professional service

TBS is committed to responding to enquiries in a comprehensive, timely and respectful manner.

To fulfill this commitment, TBS directs the enquiries it receives to the officials who have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide a professional service and accurate information.

Stakeholder engagement

TBS is committed to engaging with the public and regulated entities where appropriate and using their feedback in reviewing, creating, amending, repealing and implementing regulations and related guidelines or services.

TBS uses various approaches to obtain stakeholder feedback, as appropriate, including:

  • web consultations
  • round-table discussions
  • advisory committees
  • outreach events
  • responses to enquiries (telephone and email)

To support meaningful consultations with stakeholders, TBS publishes:

  • a Regulatory Stock Review Plan that identifies the regulations TBS is planning to review
  • a Forward Regulatory Plan that identifies regulatory changes that TBS is planning to make in the next 2 years
  • information on its public consultations on the Open Dialogue website

Should a stakeholder wish to challenge the validity or legality of a set of regulations associated with TBS, they should submit an application for a judicial review to the Federal Court.

Frequency of updates

TBS will update this policy, as required, to improve how it builds awareness of regulatory requirements, responds to enquiries and engages stakeholders.

Date of last revision

For more information

Consult Treasury Board of Canada’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by TBS
  • further information on TBS’ implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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