Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

February 28, 2012 12:02 ET

Minister Clement Tables the Supplementary Estimates (C) 2011-12 and the 2012-13 Main Estimates

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2012) - The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor, today tabled the Government's Supplementary Estimates (C) 2011-12 and the 2012-13 Main Estimates in the House of Commons.

"As we work to achieve balanced budgets in the medium term, the Government provides information to Parliament to approve spending plans," said Minister Clement. "In this way, the Government can continue to deliver programs and services to Canadians."

The Supplementary Estimates (C) 2011-12 support a request for Parliament's approval of $1.2 billion in planned spending for 54 federal organizations, including expenditures that were set out in Budget 2011.

The 2012-13 Main Estimates support the Government's request for the authority to spend $251.9 billion in planned budgetary expenditures for more than 130 federal organizations. The purpose of the Main Estimates is to provide information to Parliament in its deliberations on the Government's planned spending levels.

"This Government's responsible approach to spending is key to achieving a sustainable recovery and preserving our Canadian economic advantage, now and in the future," Minister Clement added.

Supplementary Estimates and Main Estimates, as well as related documents are posted on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

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Backgrounders:

SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES

Highlights

The Government prepares Supplementary Estimates to support a request for parliamentary authority to spend public funds. They are part of the normal parliamentary approval process to ensure planned government initiatives receive the necessary funding to move forward. The amounts included in Supplementary Estimates are in addition to those included in the Main Estimates and within the spending plans set out in Budget 2011 and previous budgets.

The Government typically tables Supplementary Estimates three times a year, in May/June, in November and toward the end of the fiscal year in February.

Estimates provides information on two different types of expenditures: voted and statutory. Voted expenditures require annual approval by Parliament. This approval is sought through an appropriation act and the Supplementary Estimates are used to support that request.

Statutory expenditures are payments made under legislation, such as Employment Insurance. Forecasts of statutory expenditures are included in these estimates to provide a complete picture of total estimated expenditures.

Together, Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates represent the fiscal year's total expenditure plan presented to Parliament for approval.

Related Information

The Financial Administration Act stipulates that no payment from public funds can be made without the authority of Parliament.

The Government provides Parliament with information on annual expenditures through two processes:

  • The Budget identifies the broad spending priorities of the Government and details how the Government plans to collect and spend taxpayers' money
  • The Estimates (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates A, B and C) provide information on the planned spending levels for each department and agency.

The Budget and the Estimates, in conjunction with the Economic and Fiscal Update, reflect the Government's annual resource planning and allocation priorities.

The subsequent reporting of financial results and actual amounts spent, in the Public Accounts of Canada, allow Parliament to hold the Government of Canada to account for the management of public funds.

2012-13 MAIN ESTIMATES

Main Estimates

The Main Estimates, along with the Budget, reflect the Government's annual budget planning and resource-allocation priorities for the fiscal year.

Every year, the close proximity of the tabling of the Budget to the Main Estimates means the Estimates do not reflect new Budget initiatives and priorities. Funding for new Budget initiatives must undergo approval processes through Cabinet committees and the Treasury Board before they are presented to Parliament in supplementary estimates over the fiscal year.

Expenditures included in the 2012-13 Main Estimates are in line with decisions from Budget 2011 and previous budgets.

Main Estimates include two different types of expenditures: voted and statutory. Voted expenditures require annual approval from Parliament, which is sought through an appropriation bill. Statutory expenditures represent forecasts of payments to be made under legislation previously approved by Parliament. They are included in Main Estimates for information purposes to provide a more complete picture of total estimated expenditures.

With the passing of an Appropriation Act, Government organizations receive the funding required to deliver programs and services to Canadians. Expected results to be achieved with these resources are detailed in each organization's Report on Plans and Priorities

2012-13 Main Estimates

The 2012-13 Main Estimates include details about $251.9 billion in planned budgetary expenditures for the fiscal year and $1.9 billion in net recoveries of loans and investments, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: 2012-13 Main Estimates

($ billions) Budgetary Non-Budgetary
Voted 91.9 0.1
Statutory 160.0 (2.0 )
Total Main Estimates 251.9 (1.9 )

Budgetary expenditures include the cost of servicing the public debt; operating and capital expenditures; grants and contributions; and payments to Crown corporations.

Non-budgetary expenditures (loans, investments and advances) represent changes in the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada. Non-budgetary main estimates include voted and statutory expenditures. A negative number indicates that recoveries of loans, investments and advances will exceed outlays. This year, recoveries will exceed outlays for new loans, investments and advances by $1.9 billion.

The Estimates Process

The Budget identifies the broad fiscal and economic priorities of the Government and details how the Government plans to collect and invest taxpayers' money.

The Government seeks parliamentary approval for annual expenditures through the Estimates. The Estimates (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates A, B and C) provide information on the planned spending levels for each department and agency.

To support the Main Estimates and the Appropriation Act, federal departments and agencies each prepare a Report on Plans and Priorities.

These reports provide increased levels of detail over a three-year period on a given organization's main priorities and expected results for its programs. They explain the funding requirements outlined in the Main Estimates.

It is normal practice for the Treasury Board Secretariat, the department that manages the Estimates process, to issue instructions to federal organizations on how they should complete the reports. This is done to ensure Parliament receives accurate information on the Main Estimates.

Given the uncertainty of Budget timing, Main Estimates do not contain new initiatives and priorities. Since Reports on Plans and Priorities reflect Main Estimates, they do not usually capture budget measures either.

The Budget and the Estimates, in conjunction with the Economic and Fiscal Update, reflect the Government's annual resource planning and allocation priorities.

The subsequent reporting of financial results in the Public Accounts of Canada helps Parliament and Canadians hold the Government of Canada to account for the allocation and management of tax dollars.

For more information on the reporting cycle, please visit the TBS Tools and Resources site.

Contact Information

  • Sean Osmar
    Press Secretary
    Office of the President of the Treasury
    Board and Minister responsible for FedNor
    613-957-2666

    Media Relations
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
    613-957-2640