Policy on Evaluation - Fact Sheet

Did You Know?

The Treasury Board has introduced the new Policy on Evaluation

This Policy on Evaluation and its standard and directive has been renewed as part of Policy Suite Renewal, an important component of the Federal Accountability Action Plan and the government's Management Agenda. The renewal of the government's management policies clarifies the management responsibilities and accountabilities of Ministers and Deputy Heads. By strengthening and streamlining how government works, the renewed policies make government more effective and accountable.

Why is this policy important?

The new policy directly supports the Expenditure Management System (EMS) of the Government of Canada by ensuring comprehensive and systematic information on program relevance and performance is available to support decision making. It also supports a requirement of the Financial Administration Act (as amended by the Federal Accountability Act) to evaluate all ongoing grants and contribution programs every five years.

The new Policy on Evaluation and its supporting directive and standard will strengthen and ensure the neutrality of the evaluation function in departments and agencies. The policy will also ensure that a comprehensive and reliable base of evaluation evidence is created and used to support policy and expenditure management decisions, as well as program improvement. The policy introduces a number of changes that will improve neutrality, timeliness and quality of evaluations; focus evaluations on core issues of value for money (i.e. program relevance and performance); and expand evaluation coverage to include all program spending.

What has changed with this renewed policy?

The new policy introduces a number of changes for the evaluation function across government. The changes include:

  • Focusing evaluations on value-for-money and establishing clear standards to strengthen quality;
  • Expanding evaluation coverage to include all direct program spending every five years;
  • Establishing competency requirements for heads of evaluation, to improve evaluation quality and neutrality;
  • Strengthening TBS' capacity to lead, monitor and use evaluation information.

How will the policy be implemented?

The policy applies to departments as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act, with the exception of the Office of the Governor-General's Secretary, and the staffs of the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, Office of the Senate Ethics Officer and Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Some departments will need time to address implementation issues and build evaluation capacity. Consequently, there will be a four-year phase-in period (April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2013) to provide time for departments and agencies to prepare for comprehensive coverage.

Application of the policy to small departments and agencies is deferred until otherwise directed by the President of the Treasury Board, with the exception of section 6.2 of the policy, which applies to all small departments and agencies as of April 1, 2009. Notably, small departments and agencies are required to evaluate all ongoing grants and contributions every five years, as required by the Financial Administration Act.

Guidelines will be available to support heads of evaluation and program managers in implementing the policy requirements.

The following policy instruments have been rescinded or replaced:

Evaluation Policy (2001)

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