From our perspective, I think it speaks to the importance of the collective initiatives. The dollar amounts aren't significant if you compare them with transfer payments—the scale of the Canadian operation is about a billion dollars overall—but the objectives are really important.
We're talking about Canada-U.S. border security, enhancing security there. Three of the four themes Mr. Malcolm Brown spoke to on Monday highlighted the importance of security. Facilitating travel and trade are important things. Ultimately, what we really want is for the government to explain, with the spending of the money, what we are achieving. Are we enhancing security?
The complexity Mr. Pagan speaks of is very real. Horizontal issues are not easy to manage, especially with our Westminster model and the accountability relationship—the vertical, the ministerial, and so on. But this is all the more reason for people to get together and help explain that. How would you expect an oversight body like this one to figure out what's actually going on, or for the public to ask for public scrutiny on money that's being spent? That's the nub of the issue.
Mr. Pagan is explaining that he's helping by offering guidance on how these horizontal initiatives can be discussed so that people know what's actually happening. Part of it is accountability, and part of it is monitoring and managing. Do we have the right information to say, “Here are the initiatives, here's the commitment, and we'll continue the same way”? There should be a checkpoint where we can say that maybe it's not going so well and ask what we really know and whether it is serving a real purpose.
We're seeing that some of the details and some of the initiatives are not working all that well. Are we learning from that? As to the additional money that we still want to spend—at this point in the audit I think we are still looking at $500 million being on the table as an expense—we should determine whether we are using it in the most effective way to help move those agendas we talked about to support those objectives. That's really the nub of the question.
Part of the guidance is looking for more specificity to help people understand how they need to step up. What does being a lead department mean? Some of the things we see is that the partner departments are providing—