Government of Canada pledges creation of new central ‘results and delivery unit’
Canada’s federal government is creating a new unit within the Privy Council Office (PCO) to monitor results and delivery of government policies.
The new Results and Delivery Unit has been announced in this week’s budget, which also set out the establishment of a new Cabinet Committee on Agenda, Results and Communications, to be chaired by the prime minister.
Both initiatives should “ensure that the government delivers on its commitments” and drive a “new results and delivery approach”
By “focusing on outcomes for Canadians and making evidence-based decisions that are anchored in meaningful data and indicators, the government is moving to a culture of measurement and impact, and is putting in place the tools to deliver on priorities, align resources to programs and activities that deliver real value for Canadians, and provide meaningful information to Canadians and Parliament,” the budget document states.
The PCO will get up to $49m (US$36.8m) in 2016–17 and up to $50m in 2017–18, to “ensure that the department has the resources required to effectively support the government’s agenda, as well as to strengthen security and make required investments in lifecycle updates to systems and buildings.”
The government is also providing $75.2m (US$56.5m) over two years to support the replacement of departmental human resources management, financial management and information management platforms with government-wide systems. This “back office transformation initiative” will result in “significant” annual savings, according to the budget document.
Other pledges in the budget include a review in the coming year of the tax system “with a view to eliminating poorly targeted and inefficient tax measures”; a $383.8m (US$288.8m) cash injection into Shared Services Canada over the next two years aimed at supporting “the transformation of government IT systems, data centres and telecommunications networks” and a $23.3m (US$17.5m) investment over five years to increase the capacity at Status of Women Canada – the federal government agency tasked with promoting equality for women and their full participation in the economic, social and democratic life.
The funding will be used to “expand the agency’s regional presence across Canada to support local organisations working on women’s issues and gender equality” and should “ensure more consistent gender-based analysis across the federal government for more informed decision-making, and would support the creation of a dedicated research and evaluation unit within the agency to provide evidence-based, innovative research with respect to women’s issues,” the budget document says.
No new announcement regarding public service sick leave arrangements were made in this year’s budget, which was tabled on 22 March. The document merely highlighted actions the government has already taken including introducing “new legislation to repeal the legislative provisions that provided the government with the power to make unilateral changes to the disability and sick leave system”; and reversing “the previous government’s decision to book savings in respect of changes to the public service disability and sick leave system in advance of the completion of negotiations.”
The Public Service Alliance of Canada – Canada’s largest public service union, has said it welcomes the “new government’s move away from austerity and its commitment to invest to improve the lives of Canadians, at least in the immediate future.”
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