Exhibit 1.2—Policy and financial approvals for the Economic Action Plan were accelerated—text version

2010 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada

Fall 2010 Report—Chapter 1

Exhibit 1.2—Policy and financial approvals for the Economic Action Plan were accelerated

Exhibit 1.2 contains two flow charts. The exhibit compares two processes: how the federal government normally handles policy and financial approvals, and how it accelerated policy and financial approvals for its Economic Action Plan, which was designed to stimulate the economy quickly.

The exhibit begins with two paragraphs of text, as follows:

The Privy Council Office (PCO) supports Cabinet committees in reviewing the contents of departmental draft memoranda to Cabinet. Policy analysis is prepared by departments and the PCO for discussion and approval by Cabinet committees. This process usually occurs before financial approval is sought from the Treasury Board.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provides a similar review of departmental draft submissions before their presentation to the Treasury Board for financial approval, which includes expenditure, program, and project authority.

The first flow chart shows the regular process used to approve the federal budget. Five boxes that are side by side are linked by arrows pointing to the right to show how the process progresses. The budget is usually presented in the form of Memoranda to Cabinet. It then proceeds to Policy approval by Cabinet committees, then to Treasury Board submission, then to Financial approval by Treasury Board, and finally to Program implementation.

The second flow chart shows the accelerated parallel process used for the Economic Action Plan. This chart is presented as a set of four boxes, two on top and two below, linked by arrows. The four boxes (which have the same titles as the boxes in the regular process) flow to the right to a fifth box, entitled Program implementation, which is the final box in the regular process as well.

In the case of the Economic Action Plan, the federal budget was presented as Memoranda to Cabinet and submitted to Treasury Board simultaneously. The Economic Action Plan then went through Policy approval by Cabinet committees and Financial approval by Treasury Board at the same time. This approach reduced the length of the approvals process from the usual six months to only two months.

Finally, the Economic Action Plan went from those two stages directly to Program implementation.