2016–17 Pilot Project on a Program-based Vote Structure
The Department of Transport is the subject of a pilot project to assess the impact of a program-based vote structure for grants and contributions.
Specifically, this means that Parliamentary control of voted grants and contributions will be brought down to the program level. In the 2015–16 Estimates, the department had only one vote in the appropriation acts for all their grants and contributions. In the 2016–17 Estimates, the department has three separate votes for grants and contributions, according to the distribution of these planned expenditures in the Program Alignment Architecture.
This annex provides additional detail on Transport’s Main Estimates by presenting grant and contribution authorities under a program- based vote structure.
|2014–15 Expenditures||2015–16 Main Estimates||2016–17 Main Estimates|
|Gateways and corridors|
|Gateways and Border Crossings Fund||336,389,054||484,147,493||221,635,643|
|Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund||95,145,022||40,249,710||36,718,786|
|Grant to the Province of British Columbia in respect of the provision of ferry and coastal freight and passenger services||28,355,115||29,238,376||29,446,554|
|Port Asset Transfer Program||0||0||150,000|
|Airports Capital Assistance Program||27,326,438||38,000,000||37,850,000|
|Ferry Services Contribution Program||32,616,292||34,569,754||16,720,000|
|Remote Passenger Rail Program||13,360,273||11,200,000||11,200,000|
|Contributions to provinces toward highway improvements to enhance overall efficiency and promote safety while encouraging industrial development and tourism from a regional economic perspective: Outaouais Road Development Agreement||9,366,718||950,000||4,350,000|
|Airports Operations and Maintenance Subsidy Program||1,226,343||1,600,000||1,600,000|
|Labrador Coastal Airstrips Restoration Program||1,600,620||1,000,000||1,000,000|
|Allowances to former employees of Newfoundland Railways, Steamships and Telecommunications Services transferred to Canadian National Railways||316,630||484,000||484,000|
|Transportation Association of Canada||445,911||419,000||419,000|
|Community Participation Funding Program||0||800,000||1,600,000|
|Grant to close grade crossings||95,000||300,000||300,000|
|Grant to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Program (COSCAP)||130,000||130,000||130,000|
|Payments in support of crossing improvements approved under the Railway Safety Act||8,402,976||10,945,000||10,945,000|
|Contribution to Support Clean Transportation Initiatives||5,890,807||11,217,704||9,460,380|
|Smart Oceans Contribution Program||4,200,000||7,400,000||8,400,000|
|Road Safety Transfer Payment Program||4,442,483||4,442,681||4,442,681|
|Contribution Program for the Centre of Excellence for Marine Transportation of Oil and Liquefied Natural Gas||0||3,700,000||1,360,416|
|Contribution in Support of Boating Safety||930,663||1,000,000||1,000,000|
|Contributions to the Railway Association of Canada for Operation Lifesaver||300,000||300,000||300,000|
|Payments to other governments or international agencies for the operation and maintenance of airports, air navigation and airways facilities||47,967||100,000||100,000|
|Canadian Transportation Research Forumʼs Scholarship program||24,000||24,000||24,000|
The government can only spend money for purposes authorized by Parliament. In the appropriation acts, these spending authorities are separate “votes” for each organization. Votes are currently based on the type of expenditure to be made – such as operating expenditures, capital expenditures, and grants and contributions.
The Estimates also report spending authorities on the basis of standard objects of expenditure, as well as strategic outcomes and programs. However, Parliamentary control of appropriated authorities is based strictly on the vote structure.
In 2012, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates recommended that Parliamentary control of appropriations be based on the purpose rather than the type of expenditure. Moving the appropriation acts and Estimates to a primarily program-based structure was expected to facilitate Parliament’s study of the Estimates and scrutiny of government expenditures overall.
This pilot project with Transport is intended to assess the impact of a program-based vote structure for grants and contributions, on both the usability of information provided to Parliament as well as the financial management practices of the department.
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