Delivering Signed Submissions

This page provides information about:

  • the requirements for approval of Treasury Board submissions;
  • how to submit a Treasury Board submission or order-in-council;
  • how Treasury Board submissions are processed;
  • how to handle various situations, such as an urgent submission or a change in minister.

Table of contents

Signature requirements

The appropriate minister or ministers for a government organization approve the Treasury Board submission by signing the first page of the submission. A definition of “appropriate minister” is provided in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act. The submission could also be signed by another minister authorized by order-in-council to act on behalf of an absent minister.

The organization for which the minister is signing should be clearly identified, especially for ministers who have multiple responsibilities and organizations that have more than one minister. Only organizations listed in the submission will receive a copy of the Treasury Board decision.

Joint and omnibus submissions

If more than one minister is involved, co-signatures may be required. All signatures must be received before the deadline in order for the submission to be presented at the scheduled Treasury Board meeting.

The lead organization is responsible for delivering the entire submission (including copies) to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). The other participating organizations provide a signed first page, either directly to TBS or through the lead organization. In exceptional circumstances, the Secretary of the Treasury Board can consider an alternative process to obtain formal approvals.

Official language requirements for Treasury Board submissions

All materials submitted for Treasury Board approval, including appendices, must be presented in both official languages.

An exception applies to supporting information from third parties (for example, a consultant’s report, a letter from a third party), which may be in either official language.

Submitting signed submissions to the Secretariat

Please note the Deadline Schedule for Signed Departmental Submissions.

Once your minister has signed a submission that is classified as PROTECTED B, please send the final version and any attachments to the Treasury Board Submission Centre (TBSC) by email to TBSC-CPCT@tbs-sct.gc.ca. Before sending your email, please ensure that the email is marked with the PROTECTED B classification, has the Cabinet Confidences caveat and is encrypted.

The submission and attachments are to be sent electronically in Microsoft Word or PDF format as well as a scanned PDF document of the first page signed by the responsible Minister(s).

The e-version of the TB submission package consists of the following original documents:

  • One (1) unsigned Microsoft Word or PDF version of the final submission, including appendices, approved by the responsible Minister(s), in English;
  • One (1) unsigned Microsoft Word or PDF version of the final submission, including appendices, approved by the responsible Minister(s), in French;
  • One (1) bilingual cover page of the final submission signed by the responsible Minister(s) in PDF format.

Note that the combined documents including email should not exceed 20 MB.

For submissions classified as SECRET or TOP SECRET, please contact TBSC-CPCT@tbs-sct.gc.ca for procedures.

Treasury Board submissions that require Governor in Council approval

There are four types of Governor in Council authorities that may be sought through a Treasury Board submission. All authorities sought from the Governor in Council are formally outlined in an order-in-council. The four categories of orders are:

  • orders dealing with federal–provincial agreements, federal–territorial agreements or federal–First Nations agreements;
  • orders dealing with assets or real property management;
  • orders dealing with corporate transactions;
  • orders or regulations dealing with pension plan benefits for federal employees.

Before May 2018, corporate plan approvals also required an order-in-council. However, pursuant to subsection 7(3) of the Financial Administration Act and Order in Council P.C. 2018-0536, the Treasury Board approves a Crown corporation’s corporate plan, along with their capital and operating budgets.

The Treasury Board Submission Centre is responsible for notifying the Privy Council Office’s Orders in Council Division (PCO-OIC) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Regulatory Affairs Sector (TBS-RAS) when a Treasury Board submission that includes an order-in-council has been received. TBSC provides PCO-OIC and TBS-RAS officials with the submission documents before the Treasury Board considers the documents. Following approval of the submission, PCO-OIC officials coordinate Governor General signature of all orders-in-council considered through a Treasury Board submission to complete the Governor in Council approval process.

When an order-in-council is included in a Treasury Board submission, the following documents must accompany it (in electronic form and hard copy):

Type of document Format on a USB key or CD Hard copy requirements Language requirements
Treasury Board submission PDF file One hard copy Bilingual
A date-stamped order-in-council PDF file The original and one copy Bilingual, both languages on one page
Appendices and agreements (where applicable) Microsoft Word file One hard copy each of the English and French versions Bilingual, separate English and French versions

An explanatory note should not be included as an appendix to the Treasury Board submission. Instead, the Governor in Council authorities sought through the order-in-council must form part of the analysis in the body of the Treasury Board submission.

Any questions about the required documentation should be directed to the Treasury Board Submission Centre at TBSC-CPCT@tbs-sct.gc.ca. For approval of any type of order-in-council that does not fall within the categories outlined above, contact the Governor in Council Operations Directorate within TBS-RAS.

Late or urgent Treasury Board submissions

Submissions received after the deadline for a planned Treasury Board meeting will be rescheduled to a subsequent meeting. In order to have a late submission considered for inclusion on a Treasury Board agenda, the minister responsible for the organization must seek support for including the submission by signing and sending a late letter addressed to the President of the Treasury Board. With respect to joint submissions (that is, submissions requiring two or more ministerial signatures), the minister responsible for the lead organization is responsible for signing and submitting the late letter on behalf of all organizations involved.

Late or urgent submissions will only be considered for inclusion on the Treasury Board agenda in exceptional circumstances, notably:

  • if urgent action is required to meet government priorities or protect the health and safety of Canadians
  • if not considering the submission will lead to immediate consequences, such as significant financial implications

Late or urgent submissions will be scheduled for consideration by the Treasury Board solely at the President’s discretion. If your organization anticipates submitting such a request, advise your TBS analyst as soon as possible.

Refer to the late letter guidance and sample for additional information.

Change of minister or government

When a new minister is appointed or a minister is reassigned, pending submissions signed by the outgoing minister will be cancelled unless affirmed by the incoming minister. To affirm a submission, the incoming minister must provide a letter to the President of the Treasury Board noting the exact title of the submission and their continued approval. A Treasury Board submission that is not affirmed will be cancelled; the original will be retained by the Treasury Board Submission Centre, and the copies will be returned to the organization.

Refer to the concurrence letter guidance and sample for additional information.

If the government changes, all copies of pending submissions signed by the former minister or ministers are returned to the organization, along with instructions on how to resubmit them. The Treasury Board Submission Centre retains the originals.

Other changes

A new submission may be required if circumstances or conditions change significantly while a submission is pending. Always consult with TBS officials for advice on how to proceed.

Withdrawal of a Treasury Board submission

The minister or deputy head may request the withdrawal of a pending, signed submission by sending:

  • an official letter or email to the President or the Secretary of the Treasury Board
  • a copy of the letter or email to the Treasury Board Submission Centre at TBSC-CPCT@tbs-sct.gc.ca

The same applies for joint submissions, in which case such a letter or email would come from the minister or deputy head of the lead organization.

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