I apologize to the translators. It's been said that I speak French with a Nova Scotian accent, but that's only fair, because I speak English with a Nova Scotian accent as well.
The main estimates provide information to support the government's request to Parliament to approve $257.9 billion in spending to deliver programs and services in the fiscal year starting April 1, 2017. This includes $102.1 billion in planned voted expenditures and $155.8 billion in statutory expenditures. The voted expenditures include funding for the priorities outlined in budget 2016, including more than $7 billion in new funding for infrastructure. Through these main estimates, the government continues to make important investments in the priorities of Canadians—jobs, growth, innovation, infrastructure, communities, and post-secondary education. These are part of our plan to grow and strengthen Canada's middle class.
Just a word though on the process, as you know, the main estimates reflect spending proposals that are already planned and represent “up to” amounts. They are required, under the House of Commons Standing Orders, to be tabled by March 1 each year. They usually precede the Minister of Finance's budget for the same year. In fact, if you go back to 1995, 75% of the time the main budget appeared in the February-March period. Therefore, new initiatives announced in budget 2017 are included in future estimates.
Let me add that we appreciate that oversight of government spending is one of the most important roles of parliamentarians. To do that, they need access to accurate and timely information, which is what the government's vision for estimates reform is all about.
Just to recap, Madam Chair, our four-pillar plan to modernize, improve, and strengthen the budget estimates process includes changing the timing of the main estimates; addressing the differences in scope and accounting methods between the budget and the estimates in terms of cash and accrual accounting and reconciliation; making it easier for MPs to connect the money we vote for with the program it's being used for in terms of program-based budgeting; and improving how government reports on the resources it uses and the results it achieves—results-based reporting.
To that end, we have taken another step towards improving the reporting process with the tabling of the 2017-18 departmental plans, which replace the previous reports on plans and priorities. Departmental plans provide details on an organization's mandate, commitments, and priorities and provide links to related resource requirements in the main estimates. They form the baseline against which organizations track and report on their year-end performance through the departmental results reports, which were previously known as departmental performance reports.
Fiscal year 2017-18 is a year of transition in how organizations set out their performance goals for the coming year, and the financial and human resources required to achieve them. Next year, the departmental plans will provide even more pertinent information on planned spending, expected outcomes, and the actual results achieved.
At the same time, we're increasing and enhancing information available on TBS InfoBase. That's the searchable online database that provides financial and human resources information on government operations. While improvements take time, I'm pleased to say that we're already providing an unprecedented level of financial information and planned results on it at this point, and we plan to improve the searchability of information going forward by introducing new features.
This speaks to our government's and Treasury Board's commitment to evidence-based decision-making and consistent and regular measurement of results. Continued development of simplified and effective reporting processes will better allow Parliament and Canadians to monitor the government's plans and progress on delivering real change to Canadians.
Madam Chair, when it comes to departmental plans, as you know, we introduced a new Treasury Board policy on results to improve how government reports on the resources it uses and the results it achieves.
Given that TBS has three reporting structures over the 2014-15 to 2019-20 reporting period, it's difficult to make direct comparisons on a year-to-year basis, so we have developed a reconciliation, a crosswalk, which was provided to the committee, and that helps enable parliamentarians to understand changes year over year. It does this by reviewing previous years' performance against our new departmental results framework. This provides better year-to-year comparisons, ultimately improving transparency to Parliament.
I'd like to now turn to the portion of the main estimates that applies to my department—or our department—specifically.
Treasury Board Secretariat is seeking Parliament's authority for $6.5 billion in planned spending. That's a decrease of $28.9 million from the previous main estimates.
Most of this roughly $6 billion is for supporting government-wide expenditures for which we're responsible as the government's expenditure manager and the employer of the public service. To put it in context, for 2017-18, TBS is forecasting expenditures up to the following amounts: $222.9 million for our own programs; $2.4 billion for public service insurance; $3.6 billion in government-wide votes that support departments and agencies across government; and $367.2 million in statutory appropriations.
Madam Chair, the Government of Canada is delivering on its commitments to Canadians in a way that is open, transparent, and accountable. We will continue to strengthen the culture of results, measurement, evaluation, and innovation as we push forward to achieve greater transparency, openness, and accountability, and while we also push forward with our plan to invest in Canadians and in communities to grow the economy and support the middle class.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I look forward to engaging with the committee members.