Glossary of Terms for TB Submissions

Allotment ( affectation)

A subdivision of a budget appropriation that identifies the maximum amount authorized to be expended within a specified time period.

Amortization ( amortissement)

The allocation of the historical cost of an asset (e.g., buildings, motor vehicles and major equipment) over the course of its useful life.

Appropriation ( crédit)

Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary transaction ( opération budgétaire)

A government expenditure that includes the cost of servicing the public debt, operating and capital costs, transfer payments and payments to Crown corporations.

Cabinet confidence ( document confidentiel du Cabinet)

A document that is part of the Cabinet papers system. It can be a record, or any information in a record, that describes the individual or collective decision- and policy-making process of ministers or Cabinet.

Capital budget ( budget d'immobilisations)

The portion of a budget, or a separate budget, devoted to proposed additions to capital assets and their financing.

Central agencies ( organismes centraux)

The Department of Finance Canada, the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. These three organizations work together to support Cabinet decision making and coordinate government initiatives.

Consolidated Revenue Fund ( Trésor)

The aggregate of all public monies that are on deposit at the credit of the Receiver General for Canada.

Contribution ( contribution)

A type of transfer payment by government that is conditional, subject to audit and with fewer restrictions than grants.

Directive ( directive)

A formal instruction that obliges departments to take (or avoid) specific action. A directive explains how deputy heads' officials must meet the policy objective. Its application is mandatory.

Employee benefits ( avantages sociaux)

These include employer contributions to employee benefit plans (EBPs) such as superannuation, the Canada Pension Plan, the Québec Pension Plan, severance pay, and unemployment insurance contributions paid by organizations. Employee benefits also include costs assumed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat for the disability insurance and dental plans and workers' compensation. Employee benefit costs are included in TB submissions when they are relevant.

Estimates ( budget des dépenses)

Documents presenting information on the government's spending requirements that are tabled in Parliament by the President of the Treasury Board. They support appropriation Acts, through which Parliament approves the expenditures of government. They consist of the Main Estimates, the Supplementary Estimates, the Government Expenditure Plan and departmental expenditure plans (i.e., Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports).

Fiscal year ( exercice)

An accounting period generally consisting of 12 consecutive months. The fiscal year of the Government of Canada runs from April 1 to March 31. However, some of its component organizations (e.g., Crown corporations) can have a different 12-month period.

Grant ( subvention)

A type of transfer payment by the government that is not subject to audit and that is restricted by Parliament as to amount, recipient and often purpose through the relevant Supply bill.

Governor in Council ( gouverneur en conseil)

The Governor General of Canada acting by and with the advice and consent of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (i.e., Cabinet).

Indicative cost estimate ( estimation indicative des coûts)

An order-of-magnitude estimate that is not sufficiently reliable to warrant Treasury Board approval as a cost objective. It provides a rough cost projection used for budget planning purposes in the early concept development stage of a project. It is usually based on an operational statement of requirement; a market assessment of products and technological availability that would meet the requirement; and other considerations such as implementation, life-cycle costs and operational savings. The estimate will improve as the organization:

  • Invests in further concept development and prepares the statement of requirement in greater detail;
  • Identifies levels of risk and the corresponding costs to reduce them;
  • Carries out a preliminary analysis of sources of supply;
  • Assesses technological and production readiness; and
  • Identifies and refines the activities within the project definition and implementation phases.
Memorandum to Cabinet ( mémoire au Cabinet)

A minister's vehicle for proposing and explaining a measure to the Cabinet and for obtaining its approval.

Non-budgetary transaction ( opération non-budgétaire)

A government expenditure consisting of a loan, investment or advance.

Operating budget ( budget de fonctionnement)

A budget that combines into one aggregate budget the expenditures for salaries and wages, operating costs and minor capital expenditures.

Order-in-council ( décret)

A legal instrument made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or, less frequently, to the royal prerogative. All orders-in-council are made on the recommendation of the responsible minister of the Crown. They take legal effect only when signed by the Governor General.

Performance parameters ( paramètres de rendement)

The actual approved quantity and technical and operational characteristics of the end item (e.g., equipment, facility), as well as any quality aspects it should reflect. It is a key project objective.

Policy ( politique)

A formal direction that imposes specific responsibilities on departments. A policy explains what deputy heads and their officials are expected to achieve. Its application is mandatory.

Program ( programme)

A group of related activities that are designed and managed to meet a specific public need and are often treated as a budgetary unit.

Project ( projet)

An activity or series of activities that has a beginning and an end. A project is required to produce defined outputs and realize specific outcomes in support of a public policy objective, within a clear schedule and resource plan. A project is undertaken within specific time, cost and performance parameters.

Project brief ( énoncé de projet)

A document that provides Treasury Board ministers or a department's approval authority with a clear understanding of a proposed initiative. Supported by a business case, project charter and project management plan, the brief provides a synopsis of these core project documents. It also describes the expected business outcomes, the significance of the project for achieving program and government objectives, the potential options, the performance indicators to be measured, and an evaluation strategy identifying critical milestones that ensure objectives are met and amended only when necessary and that value for money is achieved. It also identifies key decision points or opportunities for review during the life cycle of the project.

Revolving fund ( fonds renouvelable)

A continuing or non-lapsing authorization by Parliament to make payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for working capital, capital acquisitions and temporary financing of accumulated operating deficits.

Special purpose allotment ( affectation à fins particulières)

An allotment set up for a specific purpose to provide expenditure control.

Substantive cost estimate ( estimation fondée des coûts)

An estimate of high quality and reliability based on the following:

  • Detailed system and component design, design adaptation, and work plans and drawings for components, construction or assembly, and installation. It includes site acquisition, preparation and any special requirements estimates such as justified contingency funding requirements based on line-by-line risk assessments that would include market factors, industrial capability and labour considerations; and
  • All significant and identifiable deliverables, as well as the costs of the government's contribution to employee benefit plans for all salaries charged to the project.
Sunsetting program ( programme temporisé)

A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made as to whether to continue the program. (In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.)

Supply ( octroi des crédits)

The process by which the government submits its projected annual expenditures for parliamentary approval. The year is divided into three periods for the purpose of the consideration of supply.

Transfer payment ( paiement de transfer)

A transfer, usually of money, from a government to an individual, organization or other government for which the government making the transfer does not receive any goods or services directly in return, does not expect to be repaid in the future or expect any financial return. It includes grants, contributions and all other transfer payments made by government.

Treasury Board submission ( présentation au Conseil du Trésor)

An official document seeking specific authorities or approvals from the Treasury Board.

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