Publication

Honourable Maryam Monsef
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
Minister of Democratic Institutions

Table of Contents


Minister’s Message

Photo of the Honourable Maryam Monsef As president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, I am pleased to table the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s (CICS) Report on Plans and Priorities for the fiscal year 2016-17.

The Secretariat’s mandate is 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.

The multilateral intergovernmental conference is a key component of Canadian federalism. It is an instrument for open communication, consultation and collaboration among federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Along with the added benefits of confidentiality, impartiality and expertise in service delivery, CICS offers governments increasingly important cost efficiencies when organizing these intergovernmental meetings.

During fiscal year 2016-17, the agency will continue to enhance and expand strategic partnerships, improve its service delivery model, use resources effectively and efficiently and cultivate a continuous learning environment for its employees.

This 2016-17 Report on Plans and Priorities of the Secretariat provides information on how the department will support the Government on achieving our agenda in the coming year and I am fully confident that the Secretariat is prepared to successfully support me and work with our partners inside and outside government to deliver for Canadians. However, given our commitment to more effective reporting, this year’s report will be the final submission using the existing reporting framework.

The Prime Minister and the President of the Treasury Board are working to develop new, simplified and more effective reporting processes that will better allow Parliament and Canadians to monitor our Government’s progress on delivering real change to Canadians. In the future, the Secretariat’s reports to Parliament will focus more transparently on how we are using our resources to fulfill our commitments and achieve results for Canadians.

These new reporting mechanisms will allow Canadians to more easily follow our Department’s progress towards delivering on our priorities, which were outlined in the Prime Minister’s mandate letteri to me.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
Minister of Democratic Institutions

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Appropriate Minister: Honourable Maryam Monsef

Institutional Head: André M. McArdle, Secretary

Ministerial Portfolio: President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada; Minister of Democratic Institutions

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

Organizational Context

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 governments 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.

Responsibilities

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, producing an environment conducive to rational 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.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

CICS is a micro agency with a single program mandate. Its Program Activity Architecture is presented below.

1. Strategic Outcome: Senior-level intergovernmental conference services are professionally and successfully delivered.

1.1 Program: Conference Services

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

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.

Priority Type

Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Strengthen relationships with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders. April
2016
March 2017 1.1 Conference Services
Promote the provision of videoconference and teleconference services with simultaneous interpretation. April
2016
March 2017 1.1 Conference Services

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.

Priority Type

Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Continue to integrate new technologies into service delivery processes and day-to-day operations. April 2016 March 2017 1.1 Conference Services
Internal Services
Analyze program evaluation results to determine service improvements. April 2016 March 2017 1.1 Conference Services
Strengthen internal post-conference evaluation tools. April 2016 March 2017 1.1 Conference Services

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.

Priority Type

Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Implement the new government-wide pay system. April 2016 December 2016 Internal Services
Implement recommendations arising from the internal control framework review. April 2016 March 2017 Internal Services
Update the Departmental Security Plan. April 2016 March 2017 Internal Services
Conduct CICS policy suite review. April 2016 March 2017 Internal Services

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.

Priority Type

Newly committed to

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Continue to promote employee recognition. April 2016 March 2017 1.1 Conference Services

Internal Services

Create awareness and encouragement of learning opportunities. April 2016 March 2017 Internal Services
Continue to create opportunities for employee input. April 2016 March 2017 1.1 Conference Services
Internal Services

For more information on organizational priorities, see the Minister’s mandate letter on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website.ii

Risk Analysis

The current challenges facing the Secretariat consist of managing a number of key personnel departures, maintaining an appropriate arm’s length relationship with Central Agencies and managing financial resources effectively in order to uphold quality service levels.

The Secretariat’s program and service delivery model continues to evolve to meet stakeholder needs and expectations. Even though intergovernmental meetings are on the rise, it continues to be a time of fiscal restraint for our federal, provincial and territorial partners. The integration of new technologies and the expansion of services has allowed for increased collaboration and offered more flexibility to clients.

The agency’s mandate and sole program is to manage senior level intergovernmental conference activities undertaken by federal, provincial and territorial governments and their respective departmental organizations. The Secretariat serves all 14 jurisdictions equally and thus, must ensure that its services remain pertinent, confidential and impartial to all clients.

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
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.

CICS plans to continue mitigating this risk through the implementation of its Human Resources Plan and Succession Plan for key positions.

In order to ensure knowledge transfer, training materials will be updated and experienced personnel will continue to mentor new employees.

Conference Services, Internal Services
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.

CICS plans to mitigate this risk by enhancing communication with our provincial/territorial partners to increase the organization’s visibility and strengthen stakeholders’ loyalty. CICS is exempt 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. Conference Services, Internal Services
Financial Management

There is a risk that sufficient resources may not be available to maintain quality service levels for client groups because of rising operational costs, fiscal restraints and increased stakeholder expectations.

CICS plans to mitigate this risk through rigorous forecasting, effective budgeting and stronger internal controls. Efficiencies in business processes will continue to be identified and evaluated. Conference Services, Internal Services

Planned Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
5,974,970 5,855,021 5,855,021 5,855,021
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
32 32 32
Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome and Programs (dollars)
Strategic Outcome, Program and Internal Services 2013–14
Expenditures
2014–15
Expenditures
2015–16
Forecast Spending
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
Strategic Outcome: Senior-level intergovernmental conference services are professionally and successfully delivered
1.1 Conference Services 3,800,944 3,508,894 3,729,687 4,163,437 4,056,344 4,056,344 4,056,344
Internal Services 2,063,937 1,660,593 1,686,022 1,811,533 1,798,677 1,798,677 1,798,677
Total 5,864,881 5,169,487 5,415,709 5,974,970 5,855,021 5,855,021 5,855,021

The expenditures for 2015-16 are anticipated to be some $315 thousand higher than in 2014-15. The primary reason being the increased number of conferences expected in the last quarter resulting from the change in government, including a First Ministers’ Meeting scheduled for March 2016.

As of January 31, 2016, during the 2015-16 fiscal period, CICS provided its services to 95 conferences (75 events), 29 of which were teleconferences. The forecast from February 1 to March 31, 2016 shows 12 additional conferences, which includes 4 teleconferences, 1 virtual conference and a First Ministers’ Meeting.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2016-17 Planned Spending With the Whole-of-Government Frameworkiii (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2016-17
Planned Spending
Senior-level inter-governmental conference services are professionally and successfully delivered 1.1 Conference Services Government Affairs Well-managed and efficient government operations 4,056,344

Departmental Spending Trend

Please note that actual expenditures from Public Accounts were used for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15. The remaining years are forecast amounts.

It is important to note that CICS does not convene intergovernmental meetings. It is called upon to respond to decisions taken by governments to meet on key national or specific 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. The Secretariat is funded at a level sufficient to finance 100 in person conferences (or 70 events) annually. An event can consist of one or two conferences and it is used to plan the budget for each of the conferences in terms of transportation and communication, rentals, translation and interpretation services. This is the reason why our planned spending is higher than the actual spending.

The decreased spending in 2014-15 is mainly due to a decrease in the number of in person conferences (84 in person conferences in 2013-14 versus 75 in 2014-15). In addition, there were fewer conferences held in remote locations, resulting in lower transportation and rental costs.

The new government has committed to a renewed sense of collaboration and improved partnerships with provincial and territorial governments to bring about positive change for Canadians. As such, the Secretariat is anticipating a significant increase in the number of intergovernmental meetings for the 2016-17 fiscal period.

Estimates by Vote

For information on Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2016–17 Main Estimates.iv

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: Senior-level intergovernmental conference services are professionally and successfully delivered

Program 1.1: 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.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
4,163,437 4,056,344 4,056,344 4,056,344
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
23 23 23
Performance Measurement
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to Be Achieved
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, 2017
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, 2017

Planning Highlights

The Conference Services program delivers the Agency’s core mandate and consequently, is responsible for the professional and successful delivery of its services to senior-level intergovernmental meetings. With the new government’s commitment to a renewed sense of collaboration and improved partnerships with provincial and territorial governments to bring about positive change for Canadians, the number of intergovernmental meetings is expected to increase significantly. This new reality offers an excellent opportunity for CICS to strengthen its relationships with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders. The challenge, on the other hand, will be to ensure its capacity to respond to the increasing demand for its services as well as to ensure its services remain relevant, of the highest quality and responsive to the evolving needs.

Therefore, initiatives are planned to proactively connect with new intergovernmental stakeholders and to encourage the use of new technologies in conference service delivery. Considerable effort will also be expended to review our suite of services and to engage clients in the choice and development of future initiatives. Finally, a greater emphasis will be placed on the use of internal committees and employee input for program decision-making.

All of these initiatives are aligned with the four organizational priorities of the Secretariat:

  1. Enhance and expand strategic partnerships;
  2. Ensure a relevant, responsive service delivery model;
  3. Effective and efficient use of resources;
  4. Cultivate a continuous learning environment.

In 2016-17, client surveys of both planners and conference delegates will continue to be carried out with a target satisfaction rate set at 90%. These program evaluation results, along with strengthened internal post-conference evaluation tools, will be used to determine service improvements and future priorities.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities 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.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
1,811,533 1,798,677 1,798,677 1,798,677
Human Resources (FTEs)
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
9 9 9

Planning Highlights

The Internal Services program is expected to support CICS in meeting its mandate through sound management and careful stewardship of assets, financial and human resources and information technology services.

In 2016-17, Internal Services will focus on reviewing and improving internal processes in accordance with government policy requirements, specifically by developing an internal control framework and monitoring and updating the Departmental Security Plan.

In order to evaluate its performance, the Secretariat will continue to analyze and report on audit results and reviews in relation to the identified targets.

Approximately 1 million dollars of internal services planned spending is for salaries. The balance of the spending will be reviewed to ensure proper activity allocation but is expected to remain stable.

Section III: Supplementary Information

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of CICS’ operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Report on Plans and Priorities are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future-Oriented Statement of Operationsv and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the CICS website.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
For the Year Ended March 31, 2016
(dollars)
Financial
Information
2015–16
Forecast Results
2016–17
Planned Results
Difference (2016–17 Planned Results minus 2015–16 Forecast Results)
Total expenses 5,931,280 6,420,233 488,953
Total revenues
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 5,931,280 6,420,233 488,953

The Secretariat is anticipating an increased demand for conference services, including First Ministers’ Meetings. The planned expenditures for 2016-17 also include planned increases in salaries as per collective agreements and strategic investments in technology.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2016–17 Report on Plans and Priorities are available on the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat’s website:

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

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 Tax Expenditures and Evaluationsviii publication. The tax measures presented in that publication are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

Mailing Address 

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

Location
222 Queen St., 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5V9

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

Appendix: Definitions

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

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

Departmental Performance Report: Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

full‑time equivalent: 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.

Government of Canada outcomes: A set of 16 high‑level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.

Management, Resources and Results Structure: 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: Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance: 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: 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: The process of communicating evidence‑based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending: For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), 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 RPPs and DPRs.

plans: 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.

priorities: Plans or projects 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).

program: 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: A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Report on Plans and Priorities: Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three‑year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

results: 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: 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: A long‑term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset program: 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: 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: Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

whole‑of‑government framework: Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government‑wide, high‑level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.

Endnotes

i Mandate

ii Prime Minister of Canada’s website

iii Whole-of-government framework

iv 2016–17 Main Estimates

v Future-Oriented Statement of Operations 2016-2017

vi Upcoming Internal Audits and Evaluations Over The Next Three Fiscal Years 2016-2017

vii Greening Government Operations (GGO) 2016-2017

viii Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication