Governor In Council (GIC) Submissions

Orders-in-Council

A minister may require a TB submission as well as an order-in-council to implement an initiative. An order-in-council is a legal instrument made by the Governor in Council, i.e., the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet.

An order-in-council is usually required pursuant to a statutory authority and is made on the recommendation of the responsible minister. The Treasury Board may also have to recommend the order-in-council, and the Board can directly advise the Governor General if the order concerns a regulation or other management matters. Since an order-in-council takes legal effect only when it is signed by the Governor General, the Secretariat liaises closely with the Privy Council Office’s (PCO’s) Orders in Council Division to ensure that orders-in-council involving the Treasury Board are processed appropriately.

As explained under Submissions Requiring Governor in Council Approval, orders-in-council relating to a TB submission concerning management matters are sent along with the submission to the Secretariat’s Treasury Board Submission Centre, which receives and processes all submissions and presentations to the Treasury Board.

If an organization wishes to bring forward another type of order-in-council (i.e., for matters not described under certain management policies) whether or not it is related to a Treasury Board submission, it is important to consult the organization’s Regulatory Affairs analyst at the Secretariat. In these cases, the order-in-council package is sent to PCO’s Orders in Council Division. Any related TB submission, if required, is sent to the Treasury Board Submission Centre.

Authority to Approve Orders-in-Council Under Certain Management Policies

The Prime Minister has assigned the Treasury Board authority to advise the Governor General for the approval of orders-in-council for certain matters falling within its management board responsibilities. This authority applies when a minister is seeking Treasury Board approval of funding or program authorities, as well as related Governor in Council approval of an order for the following management matters:

  • Federal-provincial-territorial agreements, federal-territorial agreements, or federal–First Nations agreements;
  • Assets or real property management;
  • Corporate plans and other transactions for a Crown corporation; and
  • Pension plan benefits for federal employees (which can include regulations).

Organizations must consult both the program sector and Regulatory Affairs analysts at the Secretariat to confirm if a proposal qualifies as one of the above cases. Once confirmed, organizations work with the program sector analyst to prepare a TB submission, including the necessary order-in-council documentation.

The specific document requirements are outlined under Delivering Signed Submissions to the Secretariat and Submitting Orders-in-Council to the Secretariat. Arrangements should then be made to send the order-in-council package and TB submission documents to the Secretariat’s Treasury Board Submission Centre, which coordinates Treasury Board approval and processing with PCO’s Order in Council Division to obtain the signature of the Governor General.

Treasury Board Approval of Orders-in-Council Under Certain Management Policies provides sample text for Treasury Board proposals and sample orders-in-council for some of these cases.

Treasury Board Recommendation of Orders-in-Council

If legislation enabling an order-in-council requires the recommendation of the Treasury Board to the Governor in Council for a matter that does not fall within one of the management policies explained under Treasury Board Approval of Orders-in-Council Under Certain Management Policies, then a TB submission and an order-in-council package (i.e., a GIC submission) must both be prepared. The TB submission may also seek Treasury Board approval of related program authorities or approvals, such as the approval of funding or terms and conditions.

For proposals requiring Treasury Board recommendation of an order-in-council to the Governor in Council (as well as Governor in Council approval of the order-in-council), the following should be considered:

  • An explicit proposal in the TB submission that the Treasury Board recommend the order-in-council to the Governor in Council;
  • Related program or funding authorities to be sought in the TB submission; and
  • Approval of regulations and/or an order-in-council to be sought in the GIC submission.

The following are examples of requests for which there should be two separate sets of documents (i.e., both a TB submission and a GIC submission):

  • Regulations (except pension plan benefits for federal employees);
  • Cost-recovery initiatives or user charges;
  • Remission orders;
  • Revisions to the Work Force Adjustment Directive (Secretariat only); and
  • Parliamentary matters such as Main Estimates and recovery of overpayments made to a former member of Parliament (Secretariat only).

In these cases, the organization’s program sector and Regulatory Affairs analysts at the Secretariat work together to provide advice on the exact requirements and process for approval of the TB submission and the GIC submission, respectively. The TB submission is sent to the Secretariat’s Treasury Board Submission Centre, and the GIC submission is sent to PCO’s Order in Council Division.

Treasury Board Recommendation of Orders-in-Council provides sample text for TB submission proposals and orders-in-council where a Treasury Board recommendation to the Governor in Council is required under the legislation enabling the order.

Governor in Council Approval of Regulations

The Prime Minister designated the Treasury Board as the Cabinet committee advising the Governor General on most orders-in-council and regulations.

If a regulation that needs Governor in Council approval is required to implement an initiative, the necessary GIC submission must be prepared in accordance with the Guide to the Federal Regulatory Development Process (for regulations) and with the Process Guide for Governor in Council Submissions (Other than Regulations) (for most orders-in-council). This is done on the advice of the Secretariat Regulatory Affairs analyst assigned to the organization. The required documentation is sent to PCO’s Order in Council Division.

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