Mr. Speaker, in response to (a),the 2010 budget operating freeze called for general containment of expenditures through key restricting measures.
One of the key measures impacting Public Safety Canada, PS, is the one calling for increases in wages and salaries resulting from collective agreements negotiated in the period from the 2010-11 to 2012-13 fiscal years, to be funded within the PS’ existing appropriations. As such, no additional funding was provided in 2010-11 to fund the 1.5 per cent increase in annual wages for the federal public administration, and PS is required to reallocate from its existing operating budget to fund these increases. Based on PS’ existing workforce for 2010-11, this measure translates into an increase in our salary expenditures of $845,000, including 17 per cent employee benefits plans, which PS is required to absorb. PS will also be required to fund the cost of economic increases resulting from collective agreements negotiated in 2011-12 and 2012-13 through reallocations from its existing reference levels.
PS has put in place rigorous financial planning and reporting practices that better support timely and informed decisions on the allocation of resources to ensure the efficient and effective management of objectives and priorities. This process has enabled PS to closely monitor the financial situation in 2010-11 and to exercise informed decisions in the reallocation of any departmental flexibility to support operating requirements. This has in turn provided the necessary latitude to realign resources to meet priorities and manage the added cost of negotiated economic increases within PS’ operating budget.
Through its integrated business and human resources plan, PS has been successful in articulating a strategic approach in support of an effective deployment of its resources to support the achievement of priorities and key initiatives. This tool will prove instrumental in guiding the department through its management of expenditure containment measures over the next two fiscal years.
PS has also successfully managed to maintain its use of overtime over the past three years and is currently in the process of evaluating additional control measures to better support the impact of future years’ unfunded wage increases.
In budget 2009, the government announced that spending on travel, hospitality and conferences would be capped at 2008-09 levels for 2009-10 and 2010-11. Budget 2010 reaffirmed the commitment to maintain the cap on spending at the 2008-09 levels of departmental spending in these areas. Through prudent management, PS has successfully reduced its spending on travel, hospitality and conferences over the last two fiscal years. This has resulted in savings of more than $1 million in 2009-10 and further savings of approximately $210,000 in 2010-11.
The Government of Canada introduced a new expenditure management system in 2007 as part of an on-going commitment to better manage government spending. A key pillar of this system is the ongoing assessment of all direct program spending, or strategic reviews. Budget 2010 held this commitment with the intent to maximize savings in future strategic reviews. PS’ contribution in respect of the 2009 round of strategic reviews resulted in total savings of $7.3 million to its 2010-11 reference levels; $1.1 million of which is in operating expenditures. In this respect, PS will achieve more sizeable savings in 2011-12 of $13.4 million to its reference levels, $3.1 million of which are in operating expenditures.
In response to (b), PS’ departure rate for 2010-11 was 14.1 per cent, an improvement from last fiscal year’s 16.6 per cent. For the 2010-11 fiscal year, figures compiled on the nature of terminations show that of the 157 terminations that occurred during this period, 119 employees or over 75 per cent of the departures are attributed to employees that have transferred out of PS to other federal government organisations, with the remaining portion mostly being distributed between retirements, 17 employees or over 10 per cent; and end of specified period,8 term employees or 5 per cent.
In response to (c), no full-time or part-time employees were laid off in 2010-11 as a result of the impacts of the 2010 operating budget freeze measures.
In response to (d), during 2010-11, 117 full-time employees and three part-time employees were hired.
In response to (e), the projected departures rates for the next five years can only be estimated based on past trends of departures. On the basis of the calculated yearly average rate of departures over the three fiscal years, including PS’ estimated rate for this year, the average departure rate for PS is estimated to be around 15 per cent over the next five fiscal years. Based on the same methodology of calculation, 81 per cent of the departure rate is forecasted to be attributable to employees transferring out of PS, while 11 per cent will likely be linked to retirements. The future years’ impact of the 2010 budget operating freeze has not been factored in this extrapolation and could impact the future years’ forecasted departure rate.