Frequently asked questions
This note is intended to clarify the application of section 125 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), which requires that after a corporate plan, operating budget or capital budget is approved, the Crown corporation shall submit a summary of the plan or budget to the appropriate Minister for approval and tabling in each House of Parliament.
Questions and Answers
Q. Can one summary be prepared to cover the approved corporate plan and capital and operating budgets?
A. Each approved plan, budget, amended plan, or amended budget normally requires a separate summary, although they may be presented as a package to each House of Parliament.
Q. How is the summary of a corporate plan or budget affected when the Governor in Council approves the plan or budget with conditions?
A.The purpose of the corporate plans and budgets summaries tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate is to communicate information from the executive branch of government to the legislative branch of government. The summaries, when tabled in Parliament, must reflect all final executive decisions. Therefore, a summary of a corporate plan is more than just a summary of the original corporate plan submission from the Crown corporation. The summaries tabled in Parliament should reflect any terms and conditions attached to the corporate plan and budgets by the Treasury Board and Governor in Council when they approve them.
In a case where the terms and conditions of approval require a further subsequent approval that is not made by the due date on which the summary must be tabled, judgment will have to be exercised on what information should be contained in the summary, particularly for the first year of a corporate plan.
Q. Can a summary of an amended corporate plan or budget consist of a summary of only the amendments made to the original plan or budget?
A. For amended plans and budgets, the summaries must summarize the entire amended plan or budget, and not just the specific amendments.
Q. What should be contained in a summary?
A. See the Guidelines for the Preparation of Summaries of Corporate Plans and Capital and Operating Budgets.
Section 125 of the FAA requires that after a corporate plan, operating budget or capital budget is approved, the Crown corporation shall submit a summary of the plan and budget to the appropriate Minister for approval and tabling in each House of Parliament. Any summary that is laid before Parliament is referred to such committee of Parliament as may be designated or established to review matters relating to the businesses and activities of the corporation submitting the summary.
The Treasury Board, under authority of section 126 of the FAA, has issued regulations, which require that the summaries be tabled within 30 sitting days after approval of the corporate plan or budget. As well, in accordance with section 152 of the FAA, the President of the Treasury Board's Annual Report to Parliament on Crown Corporations contains a table, audited by the Auditor General of Canada that reports on the compliance with the tabling requirements for summaries and annual reports.
In order to avoid unnecessary work, the Treasury Board normally does not ask that an amended corporate plan or budget be submitted to reflect any terms and conditions that are imposed on the original corporate plan or budget.
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