Governor In Council (GIC) Submissions

Orders-in-council

A minister may require a Treasury Board submission and an order-in-council to implement an initiative. An order-in-council is a legal instrument made by the Governor in Council. The Governor in Council is the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet.

An order-in-council is:

  • usually required pursuant to a statutory authority
  • made on the recommendation of the responsible minister

The Treasury Board:

  • may also be required to recommend the order-in-council
  • 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 Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) 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 in the “Submissions requiring Governor in Council approval” section of Delivering Signed Submissions, orders-in-council relating to a Treasury Board submission concerning management matters are sent along with the submission to the 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 (that is, for matters not considered to be part of certain management matters) regardless of whether the other order-in-council is related to a Treasury Board submission, it is important to consult the organization’s regulatory affairs analyst at TBS. In these cases, the order-in-council package is sent to PCO’s Orders in Council Division. Any related Treasury Board 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 with the authority to advise the Governor General when the Governor General must approve orders-in-council for certain matters falling within the management responsibilities of the Treasury Board. This Treasury Board authority applies when a minister is seeking Treasury Board approval of funding or program authorities, and related Governor in Council approval of an order related to the following management matters:

  • agreements between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, the federal and territorial governments or between First Nations and the federal government
  • assets or real property management
  • some Crown corporation corporate transactions
  • pension plan benefits for federal employees, including associated regulations

Organizations must consult both their program sector analysts and their regulatory affairs analysts at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) to confirm if a proposal is considered one of the previously stated management matters. Once organizations have received confirmation that the proposal falls under one of the four management matters, they can work with the program sector analyst to prepare a Treasury Board submission, including the necessary order-in-council documentation.

The specific requirements are outlined in Delivering Signed Submissions. Arrangements should be made to send the order-in-council package and Treasury Board submission documents to the Treasury Board Submission Centre, which coordinates Treasury Board approval and processing with the Privy Council Office’s Order in Council Division to obtain the Governor General’s signature.

The “Treasury Board approval of orders-in-council under certain management policies” section of Commonly Sought Authorities provides templates for the wording to use in some Treasury Board proposals and orders-in-council.

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 matters set out in the “Treasury Board approval of orders-in-council under certain management policies” section of Commonly Sought Authorities, then a Treasury Board submission and an order-in-council package (that is, a Governor in Council submission) must be prepared. The Treasury Board submission may also seek Treasury Board approval of related program authorities or approvals, such as the approval of funding or terms and conditions.

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), could involve:

  • an explicit proposal in the Treasury Board 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 Treasury Board submission
  • approval of regulations or an order-in-council to be sought in the Governor in Council submission

The following are examples of requests that require both a Treasury Board submission and a Governor in Council submission:

  • regulations (except regulations related to pension plan benefits for federal employees)
  • cost-recovery initiatives or user charges
  • remission orders
  • revisions to the Work Force Adjustment Directive (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) only)
  • parliamentary matters, such as Main Estimates and recovery of overpayments made to a former member of Parliament (TBS only)

In these cases, an organization’s program sector analysts and regulatory affairs analysts at TBS work together to provide advice on the exact requirements and process for approval of the Treasury Board submission and the Governor in Council submission respectively. The Treasury Board submission is sent to the Treasury Board Submission Centre, and the Governor in Council submission is sent to the Privy Council Office’s Order in Council Division.

The “Treasury Board recommendation of orders-in-council” section in Commonly Sought Authorities provides templates for wording to use in Treasury Board 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, contact your regulatory affairs analyst for assistance.

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