Our File: OCG 4810-23


To: Senior Full-Time Financial Officers

SUBJECT: Remissions

As you may recall, both the Auditor general and parlementarians raised concerns a few years ago about the lack of information on remissions that was being presented to Parliament and to the public.

The OCG and the Department of Finance thus made a joint study which resulted in the 1991 amendments to the Financial Administration Act that, amongst other things, expanded the scope of remissions and streamlined the process for tax remissions.The study also resulted in an agreement and committment to improved disclosure.

In accordance with these committments:

  1. All remission orders must be published in the Canada Gazette. (For this purpose, you must thus include a "Request for Insertion in the Canada Gazette" form with your submission to the Treasury Board or the Governor in Council, as the case may be.)
  2. The "executive" part of the order must clearly state which statutory criterion is being used (i.e. "public interest" or "collection or enforcement would be unreasonable or unjust").
  3. The order must be accompanied by a RAIS* or an expanded explanatory note that:
  • states the actual or estimated amount that will be remitted over the life of the order;
  • whether the criterion used is "public interest", explains what public objective is being served and how or why remission is in the public interest; and
  • whether the criterion used is "unreasonable or unjust", explains why colection or enforcement is considered unreasonable or unjust.

Signed by

J.Q. McCrindell

Deputy Comptroller General

* Principally for "class duty" or tax remissions, which should include full details on who was consulted and the estimated impact on both the beneficiaries of the order and their competitors.

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