Publication

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
President of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada
Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

ISSN: 2368-3317


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Table of Contents


Minister’s Message

The Honourable Dominic LeBlancAs President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, I am pleased to table the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s (CICS) 2017-18 Departmental Results Report.

Since its creation in May 1973, the Secretariat’s mandate has been to provide the administrative support services required for the planning and conduct of federal-provincial-territorial and provincial-territorial conferences of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers across Canada.

Improved intergovernmental partnerships are essential to deliver the real, positive change that our government promised Canadians, and to pursue our goals with a renewed sense of collaboration. The multilateral intergovernmental conference is a key instrument for open communication, consultation and collaboration among the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and CICS plays a key and pivotal role in the area of intergovernmental machinery in Canada by providing impartial conference administrative services to the 14 jurisdictions.

In fiscal year 2017-18, the Secretariat served 138 conferences which included 88 in-person conferences, 50 teleconferences, and a First Ministers’ Meeting held in October 2017.

In order to effectively and efficiently provide services to these meetings, CICS will continue to adapt and modernize its service delivery model so that it remains client-focused, innovative and responsive to the current environment.

_________________________________________

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

Results at a glance

What funds were used?

5,373,727

Actual Spending

Who was involved?

29

Actual FTEs

Results Highlights

  • CICS provided its services to 138 senior-level intergovernmental conferences. The number of in-person meetings decreased by 6%, going from 94 to 88 meetings year-over-year, while the number of teleconferences increased by 9% (from 46 to 50) continuing to indicate clients’ interest in virtual meeting formats as a viable, cost- and time-effective way for governments to confer.
  • Overall, client satisfaction levels continue to be very high. For conference delegates, client satisfaction reached 92.4%, an increase over the past 2 fiscal years, while for conference planners, the 90% target was exceeded again with a satisfaction rate of 93.3%. The words professional and efficient are most often used by planners and delegates alike to describe the quality of services provided by CICS in support of intergovernmental meetings, but many also mention our organization’s competence, expertise and responsiveness.
  • CICS continues to focus on innovation and delivering quality, cost-effective and -efficient conference services to federal, provincial and territorial governments. The relocation to a new workplace as part of the Government Workplace 2.0 initiative presented the opportunity to build a state of the art video- and teleconferencing studio which will increase cost-savings for the organization, as well as facilitate virtual conferencing for conference organizers and delegates across Canada.

For more information on the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada is responsible for this organization. The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS), established pursuant to an agreement reached at the May 1973 First Ministers’ Conference, is an agency of the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Its mandate is to provide administrative support and planning services for intergovernmental conferences of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

These intergovernmental conferences are a key instrument for consultation and negotiation among the different orders of government and assist in the development of national and/or provincial/territorial policies. They are a critical component of the workings of the Canadian federation and represent a core principle of our democratic society.

By skillfully executing the logistical planning and delivery of these meetings, CICS not only relieves governments of the administrative process burden but also allows them to greatly benefit from significant cost efficiencies and economies of scale.

Mandate and role

The mandate of the Secretariat is to support federal, provincial and territorial governments in the planning and conduct of senior level intergovernmental conferences held across Canada. The primary objective of CICS is to relieve client departments of the numerous technical and administrative tasks associated with the planning and conduct of multilateral conferences, thereby enabling participants to concentrate on substantive intergovernmental policy issues. CICS provides continuous, effective, impartial administrative services to these meetings.

Benefits for Canadians

The planning and conduct of multilateral meetings of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers is a critical component of the workings of the Canadian federation. By skillfully and professionally planning and delivering services at these meetings, CICS allows governments to discuss important issues without getting distracted by process. The risk of error and omission is significantly mitigated by tapping into the Secretariat’s experience and impartiality.

The interests of all Canadians are represented by their elected governments participating in these intergovernmental conferences.

As an institution dedicated to supporting events that give rise to, and support the spirit of cooperation and negotiation among governments, CICS seeks to execute its role to maximum effect, creating an environment conducive to productive discourse and optimal decision-making, to the benefit of all Canadians.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments greatly benefit from significant cost efficiencies and economies of scale through the use of CICS. This is particularly relevant in the current fiscal environment.

For more general information about the department, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report. For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.i

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

The fall 2015 federal election marked the beginning of a new era in intergovernmental relations. The new administration, sworn in on November 4, 2015, framed its priorities with an increased focus on federal-provincial-territorial relations. They also vowed to re-instate the annual First Ministers’ Meetings. These commitments have led to an increase in intergovernmental conferences of all types and we anticipate the trend to continue.

Security is a prevalent topic in the current environment. Whether physical or IT-related, the culture is one of hyper-awareness. Security is embedded into CICS policy frameworks, day-to-day operations and employee behaviours. The Secretariat will continue to ensure that security mechanisms and resources are planned, efficient and effective, as well as in line with government policies.

As new governments come to power and others are re-elected, it is important for CICS to strengthen its relationship with our clients and actively market the organization as a neutral intergovernmental agency. Communication efforts should be ongoing in order to sustain and even increase the number of intergovernmental conferences we serve.

This continues to be a time of fiscal restraint for all governments and these realities do have an impact on our organization. For instance, in 2017-18 we served 50 virtual conferences (teleconference- and videoconference), compared to 47 in 2016-17, and 42 in 2015-16. As with the federal government, provincial and territorial governments are modernizing, seeking efficiencies wherever possible, reducing travel and exploring the use of new technologies. CICS is proud to continue to offer a wide array of conference solutions that respond to these needs.

In the next few years, a significant number of the Secretariat’s federal public servants will be eligible to retire. These retirements along with the provincial-territorial employees’ rotations will challenge CICS’ ability to sustain a knowledgeable workforce with the appropriate competencies. Carrying out meaningful succession and transition plans which include conserving corporate memory will continue to be a critical strategic priority.

Retention of young, ambitious and motivated staff creates a unique challenge for a micro agency such as CICS due to employees’ limited upward mobility within such a small organization. The agency now makes use of the Federal Student Work Exchange Program across all divisions on a regular basis to encourage interest in the public service. Sustained efforts will be exerted to maintain and improve employee retention by creating an environment conducive to career development and job satisfaction.

Key risks

Risks Mitigating strategy and effectiveness Link to the department’s Programs Link to departmental priorities
Human Resource Management

There is a risk that the organization will be unable to sustain an adequate workforce with the appropriate competencies due to a large turnover of staff (retirements & departures, provincial-territorial secondment rotations, peak period staffing) and the outcome of current labour negotiations, resulting in potential errors, client dissatisfaction, and loss of confidence in the organization.

This risk was identified in the 2017-18 DP and continues to be a key risk because in a micro-agency, the departure of one employee has an impact on the organization.

In 2017-18, CICS successfully mitigated the Human Resource Management Risk through the implementation of its Human Resource Plan and Succession Plan for key positions.

Going forward, the same mitigation strategies identified in the 2017-18 DP will be used and greater importance will be placed on creating pools for key positions and having experienced personnel mentor new employees.

Conference Services;

Internal Services

Ensure relevant, responsive service delivery;

Cultivate a continuous learning environment.

Governance and strategic direction

There is a risk that the provincial-territorial stakeholders may not perceive CICS as being neutral which could negatively affect the number of requests for services being requested for provincial-territorial meetings.

This risk was identified in the 2017-18 DP because CICS must ensure that all 14 jurisdictions recognize its services as being equal, impartial and confidential to all clients.

In 2017-18, CICS successfully mitigated this risk by strengthening provincial/territorial partnerships, respecting the exemptions from the Federal Access to Information and Privacy Act and the Federal Identity Program. Discussions with key players around the impacts of other transformation initiatives will be ongoing.

As a result of these measures, the Governance and strategic direction Risk has been reduced to an acceptable level and is no longer ranked as a key risk in our Risk Management Plan.

Conference Services Enhance and expand strategic partnerships;

Ensure relevant, responsive service delivery.

Change Management

There is a risk that the government transformation agenda may impact employees, resulting in lost opportunities for staff engagement and commitment.

This risk was identified in the 2017-18 DP to be a key risk and was successfully mitigated through ongoing and timely communication to staff, advance payments to affected employees, and established internal committees involving staff in decision making, where appropriate.

As a result of these measures, this risk has been eliminated from the Risk Management Plan.

Conference Services;

Internal Services

Efficient and effective use of resources.

Results: what we achieved

Program: Conference Services

Description

Provision of expert, impartial support services for the planning and conduct of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers level federal-provincial-territorial and provincial-territorial conferences.

The CICS does not convene intergovernmental meetings. It is called upon to respond to decisions taken by governments to meet on key issues. Decisions concerning the location of such meetings, their number in a given fiscal year, their timing and duration, are all factors, beyond the control of the Secretariat. The level of CICS expenditures for each fiscal year is, however, directly affected by these factors.

Results

Priority: Enhance and expand strategic partnerships
Description: In order for CICS to successfully deliver its strategic outcome, the agency must be recognized among governments as the key conference service provider for senior level intergovernmental meetings. Through improved dialogue and greater collaboration with our partners and clients, this priority will help maintain our existing clientele and increase our visibility among potential partners.
Planned Initiatives:
  • Strengthen relationships with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders;
  • Promote the provision of videoconference and teleconference services with simultaneous interpretation

Results Obtained in Support of Planned Initiatives

  • The Knowledge Exchange Forum on FPT meeting logistics, last held by CICS in 2013 and 2014, did not take place in 2015 and 2016 due to record high conference activity and staffing challenges. Planned for the last quarter of 2017-18, this activity was merged with a May 2018 client focus group organized as part of the research phase of a modernization initiative that CICS embarked upon in early 2018. While being instrumental in this regard, the half-day event also reconfirmed the need for, and interest in a regularly-held forum to exchange valuable information, network with peers and share best practices surrounding the organization of senior level federal-provincial-territorial meetings including those held through teleconferencing. The next Forum is planned for the second half of 2018-2019.
  • The very high level of conference activity over the past three years has provided excellent and more sustained opportunities to interact and continue building effective relations with federal, provincial and territorial government meeting organizers. The information and ideas shared in this way have focused on the particular needs of individual sectors and meetings as well as higher-level issues such as meeting venues and formats (including Indigenous participation), constantly evolving technologies, and the benefits and ongoing challenges related to teleconferencing.
  • CICS continues to refine its strategies to ensure the effective marketing of its services available to federal, provincial and territorial governments. The re-designed CICS website, launched in January 2017, is a central element in the organization’s effort to reach out to conference planners and promote the agency’s services and how to access them. The updated and reconfigured section on conference services in particular enables CICS to refer clients to the website for all the current information required to plan and conduct senior level intergovernmental meetings.
  • Usage of videoconferencing services continues to progress as a cost-effective way to ensure the involvement of some presenters and delegates whose brief participation or observer status would otherwise make travel costs prohibitive. When a fully virtual meeting format is required, though, clients still prefer the ease, convenience as well as the cost- and time-efficiency of teleconferencing with 3-line simultaneous interpretation. The popularity of this meeting format is reflected in the ongoing increase in the number of calls at the Ministers’ and Deputy Ministers’ levels in 2017-18 (50, versus 46 the previous year). Improvements continue being made to sound quality and other aspects of teleconferences, to ensure optimal user experience for participants and interpreters alike.
  • In relation to its virtual conferencing support services, CICS now benefits from a permanent in-house video- and teleconferencing studio, which adds convenience and cost-effectiveness to this critical service while maintaining its high quality. This new installation also offers the possibility for delegates who are located in the National Capital Region and who do not have access to virtual conferencing facilities to participate in these CICS-supported meetings from the Secretariat’s office.
Priority: Ensure a relevant, responsive service delivery model
Description: This priority will ensure continuous improvement in the service delivery model by aligning people, processes and technologies to reflect the current environment, the demands of the future and the changing needs of clients.
Planned Initiatives:
  • Continue to integrate new technologies into service delivery processes and day-to-day operations;
  • Analyze program evaluation results to determine service improvements;
  • Strengthen internal post-conference evaluation tools

Results Obtained in Support of Planned Initiatives

  • The capabilities of the on-line registration portal and the secure document retrieval site continue to be popular services for meeting organizers and participants. On-line registration is useful to meeting planners in host governments to gauge interest in, and plan for delegates’ participation in the various components of more elaborate conference programs in particular.
  • CICS’ services and expertise provided in support of an ever growing number of teleconferences with remote simultaneous interpretation are greatly valued by conference planners as well as participants.  Great strides have been made to resolve challenges related to enabling technologies and interpretation.
  • The ongoing work of an internal Technology Committee, created in 2014-15, is a critical element in developing and reviewing new technologies that enable CICS to enhance services while creating greater efficiencies vis-à-vis time requirements (e.g. for meeting set-ups), costs and meeting space requirements, where appropriate.
    • The use of wireless connections between presentation laptops, projectors and TV monitors has greatly improved the efficiency of the set-up and tear-down process, as has the availability of power banks for use by delegates, the latter having replaced the need for power cords installed throughout the main meeting room.
    • The acquisition and implementation of a new accreditation and photo-ID system for media and delegates has also greatly simplified these processes in the context of large (First Ministers level) conferences. The system developed by CICS also enables direct coordination with the RCMP, for seamless and effective provision of these services.
    • The use of rear-projection and the replacement of 2 large screens, pipe and drape with smaller TV monitors installed within the hollow of the main meeting table are examples of ways in which CICS makes it possible to function with the growing trend towards smaller, less expensive main meeting rooms.
  • A delegate’s survey conducted on-site or online after meetings served by CICS continues to provide valuable and very timely feedback on all facets of the administrative and technical support provided. A similar survey is conducted annually by phone with conference planners, also yielding very useful feedback for the organization. The insight gained from both surveys informs the organization’s decisions meant to align services and approaches with clients’ evolving needs and priorities.
  • A process is underway to eliminate duplications and update the tools used by CICS, with respect to internal post-conference evaluations for follow-up and reference/continuity purposes.
  • As part of the same process, the external evaluation used with meeting planners was reviewed and its section on teleconferencing expanded to ensure that this valuable tool remains relevant and effective in gathering the type of information needed to gauge client satisfaction, especially in view of the ever-growing number of teleconferences.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Performance is assessed using internal data and documents as well as two surveys of clients; one an annual sampling of conference planners and the second of conference delegates who attend the events.

In 2017-18, CICS provided its services to 138 senior-level intergovernmental conferences, essentially unchanged when compared to the previous year’s total of 141. The number of in-person meetings decreased by 6%, going from 94 to 88 meetings year-over-year, while the number of teleconferences increased by 9% (from 46 to 50), continuing to indicate clients’ definite interest in this meeting format as a viable, cost- and time-effective way for governments to confer.

Overall, client satisfaction levels continue to be very high. For conference delegates, client satisfaction reached 92.4%, an increase over the past 2 fiscal years, while for conference planners, the 90% target was exceeded again with a satisfaction rate of 93.3% for in-person meetings, representing a very slight drop in this rate of satisfaction over the previous fiscal year. The overall satisfaction level of teleconference organizers reached 93.8% in 2018, up significantly from 78.8% in 2017 and a reflection of the time and effort invested by CICS to resolve challenges related to the technical and remote interpretation aspects of these virtual meetings.  While the words professional and efficientcontinue to be used most often by planners and delegates alike to describe the quality of services provided by CICS in support of intergovernmental meetings, many also mention our organization’s competence, expertise and responsiveness.

There continued to be increases in the degree of satisfaction of meeting planners regarding CICS’ flexibility and adaptability vis-à-vis their changing needs during planning, as well as our ability to identify protocol requirements and to recommend options to address these requirements. All respondents agreed or strongly agreed again in 2017-2018 about CICS’ planning services having resulted in an effectively and efficiently run conference that met operational expectations. Very high praise was obtained once again regarding CICS staff’s and contractors’ courteousness, knowledge and responsiveness to participants’ needs during conferences.

Flexibility and adaptability must continue to be a main focus for the organization, to ensure that we remain nimble and able to adjust quickly to changing client needs and requests during the planning and conduct of conferences. However, this must continue to be balanced with the need to deliver our services in the most cost effective way possible.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2015–16
Actual results
Professionally planned and supported conferences, including effectively addressing unforeseen challenges. Client satisfaction levels for the full range of CICS services provided in support of PT and FPT conferences. 90% or higher positive response rate. March 31, 2018 93.3% 94.4% 92.5%
Clients’ and conference participants’ conference needs identified and addressed accordingly. Client satisfaction levels for the full range of CICS services provided in support of PT and FPT conferences. 90% or higher positive response rate. March 31, 2018 92.4% 86.7% 90.4%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
4,504,460 4,442,435 4,685,532 4,084,661 (357,774)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
25 22 (3)

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Results

Priority: Effective and efficient use of resources
Description: CICS aims to be an agile department, where internal processes are continuously reviewed, improved and streamlined to be end-to-end, integrated and efficient.
Planned Initiatives:
  • Implement the new government-wide pay system;
  • Implement recommendations arising from the internal control framework review;
  • Update the Departmental Security Plan;
  • Conduct CICS policy suite review

Results Obtained in Support of Planned Initiatives:

The Internal Services program supports the agency in meeting its mandate through sound management and careful stewardship of assets, financial and human resources, and information technology services. CICS continued to integrate new technologies into service delivery processes and day-to-day operations to ensure a relevant, responsive service delivery model.

CICS constantly strives to stay at the forefront of technology and continues to innovate in areas where technology has permitted. Focusing on excellence in their day-to-day operations, the IM/IT group has reinforced its ability to detect, monitor and quickly and effectively respond to risks that may negatively impact the business. Over and above its everyday activities CICS has invested in a video- and teleconferencing studio to offer its clients the highest possible quality of services in the conference field.

In the continuous effort to safeguard and preserve its vast collection of conference documents stored in both digital and paper based formats, CICS is undertaking a vast digitization project to have all of the Archives preserved in a digitally accessible format.

CICS reviewed, improved and streamlined internal processes to be end-to-end, integrated and efficient. In 2017-2018, the Shared Travel Services solution was fully implemented in order to accelerate processing time, reduce the risk of errors, improve CICS’ reporting function and generate efficiencies. In addition, CICS monitored and reported on its internal control framework. Treasury Board Policy Suite renewal instruments were reviewed and CICS’ instruments were updated accordingly. Shared services agreements that were negotiated in previous years with other organizations for integrated service delivery were reviewed, updated and maintained, in order to stay in line with the government’s policy on internal service agreements, to minimize cost and ensure high quality services. These initiatives allowed CICS to deliver a high number of conferences without increasing overall operating costs. Another accomplishment for CICS in 2017-2018 was the successful relocation to a new workplace as part of the Government Workplace 2.0 initiative. Costs were minimized for CICS and the moving process was smooth with minimal impact on Conference Services delivery.

Priority: Cultivate a continuous learning environment
Description: The agency’s greatest asset remains its employees. This priority will seek ways to engage employees and recognize their efforts in order to foster a culture of continual improvement and innovation.
Planned Initiatives:
  • Continue to promote employee recognition;
  • Create awareness and encouragement of learning opportunities;
  • Continue to create opportunities for employee input.

Results Obtained in Support of Planned Initiatives:

CICS is committed to cultivating a continuous learning environment and values employees’ input. All recognition awards, including the Secretary’s Award of Excellence and the Employees Choice Award, were presented at all staff events. A Learning Center was also developed to facilitate the planning, delivery and tracking of learning activities. CICS managers and employees have been provided with learning maps and learning plan templates for completion. The results were reported quarterly to the Executive Committee. Several lunch and learns and other learning activities were held with an emphasis on mental health and wellness. CICS’ Policy on Mental Health was also reviewed and shared with managers and employees. Most CICS employees are on travel status on a regular basis, which can be challenging for training and all staff activities; however, CICS is committed to use new technology, creativity and flexibility to ensure all employees are part of our continuous learning environment solution. Finally, as a proactive measure, a staffing and succession plan was put in place and is now reviewed on a regular basis, in order to reduce reaction time when facing unplanned departures and retirements.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
1,420,199 1,402,874 1,489,174 1,289,066 (113,808)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
7 7 0

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental spending trend graph

Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)

Programs and Internal Services 2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Actual spending (authorities used)
Conference Services 4,504,460 4,442,435 4,442,435 4,442,435 4,685,532 4,084,661 3,580,015 3,561,128
Internal Services 1,420,199 1,402,874 1,402,874 1,402,874 1,831,462 1,289,066 1,661,923 1,709,423
Total 5,924,659 5,845,309 5,845,309 5,845,309 6,101,145 5,373,727 5,241,938 5,270,551

It is important to note that CICS does not convene intergovernmental meetings. The Secretariat responds to decisions taken by governments to meet on key national or specific issues. The location, number, timing and duration of meeting are factors that are beyond the control of the Secretariat. CICS does exercise due care and probity in the expenditure of its funds to meet its mandate.

The Secretariat is funded at a level sufficient to finance 100 in-person conferences annually. An event can consist of one or more conferences and is used to plan the budget for each of the conferences in terms of transportation and communication, rentals, translation and interpretation services. Over the past few years, there has been a gradual increase in conference activity which has been stable for the last two years (2017-2018: 138 conferences and 2016-2017: 141 conferences).

CICS spending has been stable for the last three years ($5.2 million) with a slight increase of $0.1 million in 2017-2018 mostly due to an increase in salary charges. This increase is explained by retroactive payments to employees resulting from collective agreements renewal.

CICS continues to ensure a relevant, responsive service delivery model while ensuring an effective and efficient use of resources. As a result, savings were generated from an increased number of teleconferences and virtual conferences. Because jurisdictions participate remotely by video or telephone, these types of meetings significantly reduce costs for CICS.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)

Programs and Internal Services 2015–16
Actual full-time equivalents
2016–17
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
Conference Services 22 23 25 22 25 25
Internal Services 9 8 7 7 7 7
Total 31 31 32 29 32 32

CICS human resources have decreased in 2017-2018 due to retirement and unplanned departures. As a proactive measure, the Secretariat has put in place a succession plan to address potential departures, such as retirements. It is expected that all vacancies will be staffed by the end of the first semester of 2018-2019. With the gradual increase in conference activity, CICS must maintain a strong and qualified workforce in place.

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017ii.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBaseiii.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018, are available on the departmental websiteiv.

Financial statements highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information 2017–18
Planned results
2017–18
Actual
results
2015–16
Actual
results
Difference
(2017–18 Actual results minus
2017–18 Planned results)
Difference
(2017–18 Actual results minus
2016–17 Actual results)
Total expenses 6,424,713 5,654,251 5,735,273 (770,462) (81,022)
Total revenues
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 6,424,713 5,654,251 5,735,273 (770,462) (81,022)

Total expenses were approximately $5.6 million, $80 thousand less than the previous year’s expenses. Savings were generated from an increased number of teleconferences and virtual conferences. In addition, only one First Ministers’ Meeting took place in Ottawa this year when we usually budget for two annually. This also explains the $770 thousand variance with the planned results. CICS does not convene intergovernmental meetings and responds to decisions taken by governments to meet on key national or specific issues.  It should be noted that expenses are recorded on an accrual basis in the Financial Statements and include charges paid on our behalf by other government departments.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information 2017–18 2016-17 Difference
(2017–18 minus
2016–17)
Total net liabilities 846,346 782,993 63,353
Total net financial assets 771,037 583,618 187,419
Departmental net debt 75,309 199,375 (124,066)
Total non-financial assets 227,538 118,293 109,245
Departmental net financial position 152,229 (81,082) 233,311

Total liabilities were approximately $846 thousand, an increase of some $63 thousand (8%) over the previous year. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities make up the largest component representing 79% of total liabilities. The increase is mainly due to an increase in accounts payable to support normal operations including accrued salary and wages. The liabilities consist of accounts payable to internal and external parties ($666 thousand), vacation pay and compensatory leave ($92 thousand) as well as employee future benefits ($88 thousand).

Total net financial assets were approximately $771 thousand as at March 31, 2018, an increase of some $187 thousand (32%) over the previous year. The increase is mainly due to an increase in the amount due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund by some $160 thousand and an increase in receivables for contributions due from provincial governments. Amounts due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund represent a charge against departmental authorities and are available for use to the organization without further authorities.

Total non-financial assets were approximately $227 thousand as at March 31, 2018, an increase of some $109 thousand (92%) over the previous year. The increase is mainly due to the acquisition of a video- and teleconferencing studio. Non-financial assets are comprised entirely of tangible capital assets.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc

Institutional head: André M. McArdle

Ministerial portfolio: President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada; Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

Enabling instrument: The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat was established pursuant to an agreement reached at the May 1973 First Ministers’ Conference and was designated a department of the federal government by an Order-in-Council dated November 29, 1973.

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1973

Reporting framework

The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2017–18 are shown below.

  1. Strategic Outcome: Senior-level intergovernmental conference services are professionally and successfully delivered1.1 Program: Conference Services
    Internal Services

The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2017-18 are shown below.

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.v This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 488, Station ‘A’
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 8V5

Location
222 Queen St., 12th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5V9

General Inquiries: 613-995-2341
Fax: 613-996-6091
E-mail: Info@scics.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on an appropriated department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.

experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical approach used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that the gender-based analysis goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. Examples of GBA+ processes include using data disaggregated by sex, gender and other intersecting identity factors in performance analysis, and identifying any impacts of the program on diverse groups of people, with a view to adjusting these initiatives to make them more inclusive.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.

horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

Management, Resources and Results Structure (structure de gestion, des ressources et des résultats)
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s) or Departmental Results.

program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset 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 whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.


Endnotes

i. The Minister’s mandate letter, http://pm.gc.ca/eng/mandate-letters

ii. Public Accounts of Canada 2017, http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/index-eng.html

iii. GC InfoBase, https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/edb-bdd/index-eng.html

iv. Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s website, http://www.scics.ca/en/

v. Report on Federal Tax Expenditures, http://www.fin.gc.ca/purl/taxexp-eng.asp