Review of Memorandum to Cabinet - Expenditure Management System (EMS) - SFO sign-off - Information Notice

Date:

To: All Senior Financial Officers (SFOs)
and Senior Full-Time Financial Officers
(SFFOs)

This note is to clarify and adjust requirements for SFO sign-off on all Memoranda to Cabinet (MC). (This bulletin supercedes the TBS Information Bulletin issued- .), see Appendix A attached.

It is important to re-emphasize that the SFO sign-off has been implemented within the context of the overall accountability of the SFO to his/her Deputy Head. As such, the SFO sign-off is a declaration from the SFO to the Deputy Head that the MC has been thoroughly reviewed from a resource perspective and that resource requirements have been fairly presented. This review, along with other changes to the Expenditure Management System (EMS), will help ensure that new policies or programs are sustainable and that proposals presented to Ministers take into account government-wide implications.

The sign-off mechanism has been adjusted to better reflect the accountability of the SFO to the Deputy Head. The SFO sign-off will no longer be in the MC itself, but will be a separate declaration provided directly by the SFO to the Deputy Head (see template at Appendix AB attached). The template will include the following statement:

"I have reviewed the resource requirements for all the options set out in this Memorandum to Cabinet. I am satisfied that the requirements for this department are presented fairly based on the information available at the time of the preparation of this MC."

Signed: Senior Financial Officer

In addition, a short statement will be added at the end of the options section of the analysis of the MC to indicate that the SFO sign-off to the Deputy Heads has been completed. (see template at Appendix BC).

In cases where more than one department sponsors an MC, the SFO of each department will be required to provide the above attestation to their Deputy Heads, as well as inform the SFO of the lead department that this has been completed. The lead department's SFO is responsible for confirming with his/her colleagues that the attestation has been provided.

The following key considerations are proposed to assist you and your staff to discharge this responsibility:

  1. Are all resource requirements presented?
  2. Does this include both human and financial resources?
  3. Do the requirements include systems, accommodation, regional and other related costs? 
  4. Have any needed additional financial authorities been identified?
  5. Have you reviewed these requirements independently and are you satisfied as to their fair presentation? (eg. Are they comprehensive, multiple year and fully inclusive, to the extent possible, based on the information at hand?)
  6. Have you played an appropriate challenge function?

This is part of a series of changes being introduced to enhance and strengthen the government's Expenditure Management System. Fundamental to a well functioning EMS are MCs that reflect the necessary resource requirements for sustainable implementation of new policies and programs.

A joint TBS/PCO workshop was held for SFFOs on as well as a meeting with SFOs on We received valuable comments which have been incorporated in this revised process.

Should you have any questions, please contact John Morgan, A/Assistant Comptroller General, A/Assistant Secretary, Financial Management Policy and Analysis Sector at (613) 957-9659, or by e-mail at Morgan.John@tbs-sct.gc.ca, or myself at (613) 957-7820

Richard J. Neville, F.C.A.
Deputy Comptroller General


Appendix A

Senior Financial Officer Attestation
for Memorandum to Cabinet

Lead Department/Agency:
Senior Financial Officer:

Memorandum to Cabinet Title:
Date of the Memorandum to Cabinet:

Other Departments/Agencies:

Attestation
I have reviewed the resource requirements for all the options set out in this Memorandum to Cabinet. I am satisfied that the requirements for this department are presented fairly based on the information available at the time of the preparation of this MC.

Signature:

Date:


Appendix B

The following statement will be inserted at the end of the options section of the Memorandum to Cabinet:

The Senior Financial Officer(s) for the sponsoring department(s) has (have) reviewed this Memorandum to Cabinet and has (have) provided an attestation to his/her Deputy Minister certifying that the resource requirements are fairly stated based on information available at the time of the preparation of this MC.

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