Okay, thank you.
Good morning, Chair, and members of the committee. Thank you for inviting the Privy Council Office to review our 2017-18 supplementary estimates (B).
As you know, the mandate of the Privy Council Office is to provide professional, non-partisan advice and support to the Prime Minister and ministers within his portfolio, and to support the effective operation of cabinet.
As a central agency, PCO exerts a leadership role across government departments and agencies to ensure the coherence and coordination of policy development and delivery.
We sought $144.9 million via the main estimates 2017-18, which represents an increase of $24.2 million from the amount sought in our 2016-17 main estimates, which was $120.7 million. This increase was mainly due to additional funding to enhance our capacity to support the Prime Minister and the government in the delivery of their agenda as announced in budget 2016. Much of this increased funding was used as follows:
We have provided advice to the Prime Minister, as Minister of Youth, on engaging young Canadians in consultations on government initiatives, on establishing the Prime Minister's Youth Council, and we have supported two meetings between the Prime Minister and council members in 2016-17.
We have managed the open, transparent, and merit-based selection process for Government of Canada appointments which resulted in the processing of almost 12,000 applications and 123 appointments in 2016-17.
A website was developed and implemented to allow Canadians to apply directly for vacant Senate positions. More than 2,700 applications were received, which resulted in 20 appointments.
We have successfully played a policy challenge function to departments and provided high quality logistical support to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the cabinet committees' system; we supported the work of 166 cabinet and cabinet committee meetings, and almost 597 cabinet documents were issued.
The clerk was supported in his efforts to advance key renewal issues like mental health, diversity and inclusion, and discussion groups were created to seek feedback.
A number of information management and information technology projects, such as the modernization of PCO's internal email, upgrading to new mobile device services, and improvements to security and IT infrastructure were implemented.
We have enhanced engagement with provinces and territories, as well as municipalities and indigenous groups, serving the Prime Minister as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
We have increased our policy capacity to support the democratic institutions reform agenda and we have led the national dialogue on the future of Canada's democracy.
In addition to the $144.9 million received via estimates 2017-18, PCO also sought $34.4 million in supplementary estimates (A) for the operations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and PCO was given access to the 2016-17 carry-forward of $5.3 million to bring our overall total authorities to $184.6 million.
Today we are seeking an additional $34.3 million in 2017-18 supplementary estimates (B), bringing PCO's total 2017-18 authorities to $218.9 million. These additional resources will be used to pursue the information management and information technology project we started in 2016-17, which consists of replacement and upgrade of current IT infrastructure, the modernization of PCO systems, the introduction of new information sharing, business intelligence and reporting solutions, and transitioning to a top-secret network.
It will also lead the establishment of the national security and intelligence committee of parliamentarians, NSICOP, and its secretariat. PCO will receive funds to cover costs for NSI accommodation, security, information technology and salary costs until NSICOP receives its own appropriation in December 2017.
We will fund a study to assess the current state of innovation in the public sector and propose areas for action to reinforce capacity to innovate and thereby deliver better outcomes for citizens and the government.
This comprises the major needs and initiatives to be funded through PCO's proposed supplementary estimates (B).
Mr. Chair, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this context. I'd be pleased to answer any of your questions.