Good morning, Mr. Chair and members of the committee.
Thank you for inviting the Privy Council Office, PCO, to review our 2017-18 Supplementary Estimates (C) and our 2018-19 Interim Estimates.
My name is Matthew Shea, and I have been the new Chief Financial Officer of PCO since December 2017.
I'm accompanied today by Ms. Marian Campbell Jarvis, assistant secretary to the cabinet for social development policy, and Ms. Sylvie Godin, executive director of finance in the planning directorate of the corporate services branch at PCO.
As you know, the mandate of PCO is to serve Canada and Canadians by providing professional, non-partisan advice and support to the Prime Minister and ministers within his portfolio and to provide effective operation of cabinet.
PCO supports the development of Government of Canada policy, legislative, and government administration agendas, coordinates responses to issues facing the government and the country, and supports the effective operation of the cabinet.
PCO is led by the Clerk of the Privy Council, who acts as the secretary to the cabinet and the head of the public service.
PCO has three main roles.
First, we provide non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, cabinet and cabinet committees on matters of national and international importance.
This includes providing advice and support on the full spectrum of policy, legislative, and government administration issues faced by the government.
Second, PCO is the secretariat to the Cabinet in all of its committees except the Treasury Board, which is supported by the Treasury Board Secretariat.
And third, PCO fosters a high-performing and accountable public service.
I would also add that, like the Department of Finance and TBS, PCO is a central agency, and as such exercises a leadership role across government departments and agencies to provide advice to the Prime Minister and cabinet and to ensure coherence and coordination of policy development and delivery.
Now I will begin by providing you with an overview of PCO's 2017-18 authorities to date, and will continue with some remarks about the 2017-18 supplementary estimates (C).
In addition to the $144.9 million received via the main estimates for 2017-18, PCO sought an additional $34.4 million in 2017-18 supplementary estimates (A) for the operations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and was given access to a carry-forward of $5.3 million, as well as collective bargaining funding of $2.3 million, to bring our total authorities to $186.9 million.
PCO also sought an additional $34.3 million in 2017-18 supplementary Estimates (B), bringing the total 2017-18 authorities to $221.2 million. The additional resources were used to
continue one of our Budget 2016-17 initiatives, which is the information management and information technology project, that consists of the replacement and upgrade of the current IT infrastructure, the modernization of PCO systems, the introduction of new information sharing, business intelligence and reporting solutions, and transitioning its top secret Canadian network.
Also, we got money to lead the establishment of NSICOP and its secretariat. PCO received funds to cover costs for NSICOP's accommodation, security, IT, and salary until NSICOP received its own appropriation in December 2017.
We also received funding to fund a study led by OECD to assess the current state of innovation in the public sector and propose areas of action to reinforce capacity to innovate and thereby deliver better outcomes for citizens and government. We're now seeking an additional $1.6 million in supplementary estimates (C), bringing the total authorities to $222.8 million for the year.
The additional resources will be used as follows: $1.4 million for the implementation of the centre for expertise for the Impact Canada initiative within PCO to lead and provide support to partner departments in the use of challenges and other outcomes-based funding approaches to improve results for citizens.
This funding has been earmarked for the establishment of the Impact Canada centre of expertise, which will work with departments and agencies to design high-impact, outcomes-based initiatives; measure impact; and share what works.
Under this approach, the Government of Canada will open up the problem-solving process to innovators who can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas, through the use of prizes and challenges, and will pay for success instruments, such as social impact bonds, behavioural insights, and impact-measurement methodologies.
Work under the Impact Canada initiative is already under way. Infrastructure Canada launched the Smart Cities Challenge in November 2017, and communities across Canada are currently developing proposals to win some of the $75 million in prize funding available.
Other key areas of focus for future outcomes-based initiatives are being developed by Natural Resources Canada around clean technology.
We are also requesting $1 million for the establishment of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirited—LGBTQ2—secretariat within PCO to support the work of the special adviser on LGBTQ2 issues and the development and coordination of the government's LGBTQ2 agenda.
A priority for the Government of Canada is to strengthen diversity and inclusion to ensure all Canadians have the opportunity for full economic and social participation in society. This includes the promotion of equality for LGBTQ2 Canadians, protection of their rights, and responses to discrimination against them, both historical and current.
To this end, the Prime Minister appointed Mr. Randy Boissonnault as the special adviser on LGBTQ2 issues, the first such role. And the LGBTQ2 secretariat, the government's first team fully dedicated to LGBTQ2 issues, supports his mandate.
On November 28, 2017, the Prime Minister issued an apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians, which made clear to everyone that discrimination against them was wrong then and is wrong now, and that the Government of Canada will not let it happen again.
However, there is much work left to do to give LGBTQ2 Canadians the true meaning of equality embodied in the apology, the Human Rights Act, and the charter.
An amount of $800,000 will be used to create a secretariat within PCO to support the Working Group of Ministers on the Review of Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous Peoples.
The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed nation-to-nation, Inuit-to-crown, and government-to-government relationship with first nations, Inuit, and Métis people, based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.
On February 22, 2017, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a working group of ministers responsible for reviewing relevant federal policies, laws, and operational practices to help further a nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous peoples.
One year into its mandate, the working group has engaged with a number of national and regional indigenous leaders and experts, and has sent letters to over 600 indigenous groups and organizations, in order to identify priority laws, policies, and operational practices for the review. The working group will continue to engage indigenous leaders, youth, and experts based on these priorities as it assesses and recommends changes to laws and policies that will meet Canada's commitments to advance reconciliation.
This new funding is partially offset by a transfer of $2.1 million to NSICOP. As previously indicated, PCO has received funding in the supplementary estimates (B) for the establishment of NSICOP. As at December 13, 2017, when NSICOP received its own appropriation, PCO had expended $200,000 of the $2.3 million received, resulting in an unspent balance of $2.1 million being transferred to NSICOP to be used for their appropriations.
This comprises the major needs and initiatives to be funded through PCO's proposed supplementary estimates (C).
The 2018-19 interim estimates were tabled the same day as the supplementary estimates (C).
PCO is requesting $37.6 million in their 2018-19 interim estimates, which represents one-third of the 2018-19 main estimates' program expenditures of $150.3 million. This funding will support PCO financial requirements for the first three months of the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Mr. Chair, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this context.
We would be pleased to answer your questions.