Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am pleased to be here to discuss the supplementary estimates (B) 2011-12 for the government and for the Treasury Board Secretariat as well.
With me today from the Treasury Board of Canada are Michelle d'Auray, Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, and Bill Matthews, Assistant Secretary, Expenditure Management. That is all for the moment.
We are here to respond to your questions on these estimates.
Before doing that I would like to go over the basics of the supply process, if I may. The supplementary estimates support the request for Parliament's approval for expenditures that were already planned for in the budget but for which the necessary approval had not been obtained in time to be included in the main estimates.
Typically, the government tables supplementary estimates three times a year, in May or June, in October or November, and toward the end of the fiscal year in February or March. An equally important part of the supply process is the departmental performance reports and the reports on plans and priorities. Last Thursday, I tabled the DPRs, or departmental performance reports, for 2010-11. These reports are the primary means by which departments and agencies report their performance against the plans and expected results set out in their reports on plans and priorities.
I'm pleased to say that this year the departmental performance reports are primarily being made available to parliamentarians and Canadians electronically on the TBS website rather than in volumes of thousands of pages. By doing this we're delivering on our commitments to Canadians to be more cost-effective, sustainable, and modern. Indeed, we save the printing costs of three million pages in so doing. We have also taken other efforts to improve the accessibility and accountability of information about government spending. On November 30 departments and agencies' second quarterly financial reports will be posted on their websites. This quarterly financial reporting ensures that parliamentarians and Canadians have access to information on government spending on a timely basis.
Let me now focus on the highlights of supplementary estimates (B) for the government as a whole. The supplementary estimates (B) 2011-12 present $4.3 billion of expenditures in 68 organizations for which Parliament's authority will be sought through a supply bill. This is similar to amounts in previous supplementary estimates (B), the $4.4 billion in voted appropriations in 2010-11, and the $4.9 billion in 2009-10.
These supplementary estimates (B) set out the government's request for funding to continue investing in the Canadian economy, so that it can continue to grow and create jobs, while keeping taxes low. They also reflect the government's commitment to responsible spending. Let me just mention a few of the highlights.
The estimates include the economic action plan funds that have been reprofiled from previous years to complete infrastructure projects already approved and under way. These include $709 million for the infrastructure stimulus fund, $163 million for the Building Canada fund communities component top-up, and $35 million for recreational infrastructure. And Natural Resources Canada is seeking $470 million to strengthen Canada's economy and improve its environmental performance. Part of this is for grants to homeowners to implement energy efficiency improvements.
Let me also comment on the supplementary estimates (B) for the Treasury Board Secretariat. My department is presenting additional requirements of $39.2 million, as well as a transfer of $70.8 million to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and to the Department of National Defence.
The request for an increase in operational spending includes $15.5 million for the engagement of external experts to provide an independent view and perspective on the strategic and operating review initiative. A compensation adjustment of $11.5 million is required for the employees of the federal public administration, due to the signing of collective agreements for public servants and members of the RCMP. These payments are government-wide and the increases are consistent with the Budget 2010 cost containment measures. There's also funding for the Red Tape Reduction Commission, a Budget 2010 and 2011 priority, and the financial interoperability and stewardship initiative to improve the exchange and integration of financial systems and data.
There is the $70.8 million transfer to Foreign Affairs and International Trade and to National Defence for the cost of management of pension insurance and social security programs for locally engaged staff abroad. This will ensure that the roles and responsibilities for human resource management are properly aligned.
In total, the items presented in the supplementary estimates (B) represent a net reduction of $31.6 million in 2011-12 planned expenditures for the Treasury Board Secretariat.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my preliminary remarks.
Certainly I'd be available now, and my colleagues I work with, to address any questions the committee may have on these estimates.