Treasury Board Policies for Ministers' Offices
The Treasury Board Policy for Ministers' Offices, which is the overarching policy instrument for the Minister's Office.
This document consolidates the various financial, personnel, and administrative rules and regulations that govern expenses incurred by ministers and their exempt staff when they perform duties directly related to their responsibilities, which are therefore justifiably chargeable against the Parliament-approved budget of a particular department. Unless specifically exempted, ministers and exempt staff are subject to Treasury Board policies and regulations. The first source of help, information, or guidance on these matters is the Deputy Minister.
POLICIES FOR MINISTERS' OFFICES
A Basic Overview
The Policies for Ministers' Offices
- Given authority through approval by Treasury Board ministers
Your Role as Chief of Staff
- Ensure Policies are respected in day to day management of the minister's office
- Financial authorities and delegation
- Human resources management
- Travel and proactive disclosure
- Prepare quarterly expenditure and year-end forecast reports
Authorities and Delegation (4.5)*
All delegations of authority must be in writing and a copy must be provided to the department
- A minister has the authority for hiring, determining salaries and salary increases, and terminating employment of exempt staff
- This authority cannot be delegated
- A minister has authorities for expenditures related to their ministers' office budgets
- These authorities may be delegated to a Chief of Staff or other exempt staff member, but they cannot be sub-delegated
The Deputy Head is the accounting officer
- Exceptions to the Policies may be authorized in special circumstances with additional approvals from PMO, Treasury Board and the TB President
* Applicable section of the Policies for Ministers' Offices
Staff in a Minister's Office (3.2, 3.6)
- Political staff employed by the minister
- Serve at Pleasure
- Not Public Servants and are exempt from the provisions of the Public Service Employment Act
- Departmental staff assigned to the minister's office
- Employment governed by the PSEA, Official Languages Act and other statutes
- Provide non-political administrative or coordinator support
Security Requirements (2.1)
All individuals working in or for a minister's office must have Secret clearance prior to appointment regardless of work location.
Departmental Security Officer (DSO) provides security briefings for all individuals working in minister's office
- Exempt staff
- Departmental staff
- Persons on loan/assignment/secondment
- Other employees
A single senior contact person for security should be designated within each minister's office
Conflict of Interest (1.1)
Ministers' exempt staff subject to:
- Conflict of Interest Act
- Accountable Government: A guide for Ministers and Ministers of State
- Ethical Guidelines for Public Office Holders
Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner:
- Notified of all appointments and terminations of employment
- Communicates with each individual upon notification of appointment and upon termination
Staffing in a Minister's Office (3.2.1)
- Approved position titles are listed in Section 3.2.1 and Appendix A of the Policies for Ministers' Offices
- Each position has a salary maximum equivalent to a Public Service group and level
- First salary increase after appointment establishes anniversary date for further increases
- Only the minister has authority to award salary increases
Exempt Staff Typical Position Structure (Appendix A)
- Chief of Staff
- Press Secretary
- Senior Special Assistant
- Policy Advisor
- Private Secretary
- Support Staff
- Special Assistant
- Parliamentary Secretary's Assistant
Minister's Regional Office
- Regional Affairs Director
- Regional Press Secretary
- Regional Communications Advisor
- Special Assistant
Pension and Benefits (3.4)
Exempt staff members in a minister's office participate in the following plans:
- Public Service Superannuation Plan
- Public Service Health Care Plan
- Public Service Dental Care Plan
- Public Service Management Insurance Plan
- Supplementary Death Benefit (Part II of the Public Service Superannuation Act)
- Long-term Disability Insurance (Part of the Public Service Management Insurance Plan)
Leave Entitlements (3.5)
Leave for exempt staff in positions with EX salary max follows TBS Directive on Executive Compensation.
Leave for all other exempt staff follows collective agreement for the Program and Administrative (PA) Group.
Types of leave:
- Statutory leave
- Vacation leave
- Carry over
- Cash out
- Sick leave
- Election leave
- Management leave
Benefits at Termination (3.7)
- Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is informed of names and titles of all exempt staff whose employment has terminated or who have left the minister's office
Change in Cabinet (3.2.2)
Exempt staff employment ceases 30 calendar days after a minister ceases to be a minister, unless hired or rehired in another minister's office
- Outplacement assistance may be authorized up to $5000
Office Accommodation and Supplies (5.1-5.4)
Departmental HQ offices
- Furniture and furnishings provided by department
- Equipment or furnishings outside of departmental standards paid from the ministers' operating budget
Minister's regional offices (MROs)
- Furniture and furnishings provided by PWGSC
- Equipment or furnishings outside of standards paid from the minister's regional operating budget
Parliament Hill and Constituency offices
- Administered under House of Commons guidelines
- Completely separate from HQ offices and MROs
- Office equipment within departmental standards provided by department
- Supplies paid for from the ministers' operating budget
- Letterhead and stationery must adhere to Federal Identity Program (FIP)
Ministers' Office Budgets (4.4)
Ministers' office budgets are approved by the Treasury Board and communicated to ministers by TB decision letter.
Budget components can include:
- Operating costs budget
- Exempt staff salary budget
- Regional budgets
- Departmental staff budget
- Parliamentary Secretary's Assistant budgets
Ministers can not exceed their budgets
Funds can be transferred among exempt staff, departmental staff and operating budgets
MP versus Minister's office budgets
Ministers' office Expenditures (Appendix E)
- Appendix E of the Policies for Ministers' Offices identifies expenditures that should be charged to a minister's operating budget
Travel by Ministers and Exempt Staff (6.1-6.5)
- All travel outside NCR requires PMO authorization
- Ministers' offices should use Stared Travel Services when making travel arrangements
- Charged against minister's operating budget
- Include transportation costs, accommodation, meals, incidentals, etc.
- Provided to each minister for conduct of official business
- Operating and maintenance costs paid by department
- Ministers may make use of vehicle for personal use
- Exempt staff not authorized for personal use
Proactive Disclosure (10.2)
Ministers, Ministers of State, Parliamentary Secretaries, and all exempt staff members must disclose all expenses for the following:
- Contracts over $10K
Information Management (10.1)
There are four categories of records in a minister's office:
- Cabinet Documents
- Institutional Records
- Ministerial Records
- Personal and Political Records
Separate information systems must be maintained for each type.
- Policy on Information Management (TBS)
- Guidelines for Managing Recorded Information in a Minister's Office (LAC)
- Policy on the Security of Cabinet Confidences (PCO)
Use of Government Networks and Devices
Departmental assets must never be used for partisan purposes
- All users are expected to:
- Use networks in a responsible way
- Take precautions to protect the network and device passwords
- Inform security officials of any incidents
- Acceptable use:
- Official duties
- Professional activities
- Limited personal use
- Unacceptable use:
- Criminal offences
- Violation of federal or provincial statutes
- Impacts performance of network or device
- Impedes departmental operations
- Potential liability
- TBS Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use
- TBS Guidelines on Acceptable Network and Device Use
- Values and Ethics Code of the Public Sector
Use of Blackberries and Social Media
- Voice communications are not secure
- No transmission of classified information
- PIN to PIN is unencrypted
- Photos subject to ATIP
Official Language Guidelines apply to GoC social media accounts
Social media do's:
- Use good judgement
- Treat all posts as permanent
- Move work-related conversations to official channels
- Consult departmental experts when in doubt
Social media don'ts:
- Do not assume posts are private
- Do no disclose classified info
- Do not use corporate symbols inappropriately
- Do not register GoC email to a social media account unless explicitly for official purposes
Assistance and Information
Authorities, Codes of Conduct, Legislation, etc.
Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment
This policy applies to the core public administration, for which Treasury Board is the employer, as defined in section 11(1) of the Financial Administration Act, unless excluded through specific acts, regulations or Orders in Council.
Sections 6.2, Monitoring and Reporting, and 7.2, Consequences, do not apply with respect to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, and the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. The deputy heads of these organizations are solely responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with this policy within their organizations, as well as for responding to cases of non-compliance in accordance with any Treasury Board instruments that address the management of compliance.
Public servants contribute in a fundamental way to good government, democracy and Canadian society through the loyal, impartial, and non-partisan support they provide to the elected government and through the service they provide to Canadians. As dedicated professionals, they serve the public interest and uphold the public trust.
This policy elaborates on the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and is aligned with its content. It provides direction and measures to assist organizations and public servants in effectively dealing with real, potential and apparent conflict of interest situations which may arise during and after employment in the public service. Preventing, managing or resolving conflict of interest situations is one of the principal means of maintaining public trust and confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the public service.
This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the requirements for public servants in Appendix B of this policy form part of the conditions of employment for every public servant.
This policy is issued pursuant to sections 7 and 11.1(1) of the Financial Administration Act.
The objectives of this policy are to:
- ensure that, in situations of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest and situations where there is a conflict of duties, decisions are made in a manner which upholds the public interest;
- facilitate ethical decision-making within organizations and by public servants to resolve conflicts between private and public interests; and
- establish measures to help public servants prevent, manage and resolve conflict of interest and post-employment situations that could impair either the integrity of the public service or the public's perception of its integrity.
The expected results of this policy are that:
- organizations have the appropriate mechanisms in place to assist public servants to report and effectively manage real, apparent or potential conflict of interest situations when performing their duties and after employment; and
- public servants take appropriate action to avoid, reduce or manage situations of real, potential or apparent conflict of interest in the performance of their duties and after employment in the public service.
Deputy heads are responsible for:
- Education and oversight
- Ensuring that public servants in their organization, and anyone considering joining their organization, are informed that the requirements listed in Appendix B, are a condition of employment. This obligation is fulfilled by having individuals acknowledge these requirements in their initial acceptance of an offer of employment to the public service and on any subsequent appointment or deployment within the public service;
- Ensuring that public servants in their organization are informed on a regular basis of the requirements of this policy, and that public servants who have indicated an intention to leave their employment are reminded of the requirements of this policy;
- Ensuring that the operational risks of conflicts of interest related to their organization's specific mandate are identified and managed; and
- Ensuring that the delegation of the responsibilities and authorities for the implementation of this policy are clearly communicated to all public servants in their organization.
- Managing conflict of interest and post-employment situations:
- Ensuring that public servants have access to advice and assistance when they are unsure of whether they are in a conflict of interest, and when they are considering undertaking any political activity;
- Ensuring that procedures are in place in their organization for public servants to file a report of all situations, assets, liabilities or interests that might give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with respect to their official duties. These reports are to be administered in accordance with the Privacy Act;
- Ensuring that any conflict arising between the private interests and the official duties of a public servant is resolved in favour of the public interest, by considering the nature and risk of the conflict of interest in relation to the feasibility and practicality of the measures required to resolve the conflict, and communicating the decision and the reasons for the decision to the public servant. While a declaration of a possible conflict of interest to the deputy head may often be sufficient, additional requirements may be necessary, as outlined in Appendix B;
- Ensuring that benefits provided or offered to the organization by outside entities or individuals with whom the organization has past, present or potential official dealings are managed appropriately and that any resulting organizational conflict of interest is resolved in the public interest;
- Ensuring that concurrent outside appointments that are part of a public servant's official duties, such as to a board of directors, are managed appropriately and that any resulting conflicts of duties are resolved in the public interest;
- Without unduly restricting public servants' ability to seek other employment, reviewing their operations and organizational structure for post-employment situations:
- Determining which positions in their organizations may be at risk for post-employment concerns and designating them as subject to the requirements in Appendix B, section 3.2 (normally including all positions in the executive (EX) category); and
- When appropriate, reducing or waiving the one-year limitation period, in consideration of the criteria set out in section 3.3 of Appendix B.
- Ensuring that decisions taken to resolve conflicts of interest and post-employment situations are, where practicable, made in mutual agreement with the public servant in question, using fair and effective means to resolve disagreements regarding the decisions.
MONITORING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Deputy heads are responsible for monitoring the performance of their organization with respect to the application and administration of this policy as follows:
- assessing the organization's service delivery structure, resource allocation, human resources competencies, performance indicators, as well as the systems, processes and procedures to prevent and effectively manage real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest in favour of the public interest;
- informing the Treasury Board Secretariat (Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer) of any major concerns or problems regarding the administration of this policy in a timely manner; and
- providing the Treasury Board Secretariat (Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer) with information that is considered necessary for assessing compliance with this policy, its related directive and other policy instruments, as required.
The Treasury Board Secretariat (Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer) is responsible for assessing departmental performance with respect to the implementation of this policy, as well as compliance with its related directive, through such instruments as employee surveys, the Values and Ethics Component of the Management Accountability Framework or audits as required.
The Treasury Board Secretariat (Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer) will review this policy five years after the date of implementation.
A public servant who has not complied with the requirements in Appendix B may be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment.
Organizational consequences of non-compliance with this policy may include any measures allowed by the Financial Administration Act that the Treasury Board may determine appropriate.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
Treasury Board Secretariat
Treasury Board Secretariat (Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer) will promote this policy and provide guidance to support its implementation.
Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission is responsible for ensuring that appointments in the Public Service are made on the basis of merit and are free from political influence. The Public Service Commission is also responsible for administering the provisions of Part 7, Political Activities, of the Public Service Employment Act, including:
- Granting permission to an employee seeking nomination for or being a candidate in a federal, provincial, municipal or territorial election;
- Authorizing leave without pay to an employee who is a candidate in a federal, provincial, or territorial election; and
- Receiving and investigating allegations of inappropriate political activity as defined in the Act, and taking corrective action when the allegations are founded.
Code of Conduct for Procurement
The Code was announced during the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act in 2006. Through this act and its accompanying action plan, the government brought forward specific measures with an aim to strengthen accountability in government. The Code is one of these measures.
The goal of the Code is to help the Government of Canada fulfill its commitment to reform procurement, ensuring greater transparency, accountability and the highest standards of ethical conduct. It also aims to complement other measures such as the appointment of a procurement ombudsman and of an independent advisor on public opinion research practices to strengthen openness, transparency and integrity in government procurement. The Code of Conduct for Procurement applies to all transactions entered into by Public Works and Government Services Canada either for its own procurements or on behalf of a client department.
The Code of Conduct for Procurement consolidates the federal government's measures on conflict of interest and anti-corruption, as well as other legislative and policy requirements relating specifically to procurement. By providing a single point of reference to key responsibilities and obligations, the government was looking to make the measures easier to find and understand.
The Code aims to provide public servants and vendors with a clear statement of mutual expectations to ensure a common basic understanding among all participants in the procurement process and improves contracting by ensuring that public servants and vendors are working from the same concise statement of expectations and commitments that clearly outline what is acceptable conduct when contracting with the government. It reminds Public Servants of their responsibilities to uphold the democratic, professional, ethical and people values of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. It also aimed to put the responsibility on vendors to respond to the government's solicitations in an honest, fair and comprehensive manner, accurately reflect their capacity to satisfy the requirements stipulated in the bid/offer/arrangement or contract documents, and submit bids/offers/arrangements and enter into contracts only if they will fulfill all obligations of the contract.
One of the requirements under the Code is to incorporate integrity provisions in all contracts subject to the requirements of the Code and all solicitation and other documents relating to the formation of those contracts.
Consultation was conducted in the initial development of the Code. The Government of Canada sought input from key stakeholders including suppliers, industry associations, government procurement officers and members of the general public. As part of the consultation process, a number of respondents suggested modifications to increase the clarity of the document and these have been incorporated where appropriate. Also, the Code underwent further review to verify that it does not introduce any new obligations for vendors or public servants.
Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
While Public Works and Government Services Canada demonstrates an existing culture of personal and professional integrity and maintains a daily commitment to ethical behaviour in all its business practices, the departmental Code of Conduct has been developed in fulfillment of the legislative requirement under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. The departmental Code of Conduct incorporates our responsibilities under the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector,which defines the role of ministers as follows:
Ministers are also responsible for preserving public trust and confidence in the integrity of the public sector organizations and for upholding the tradition and practice of a professional non-partisan federal public sector. Furthermore, Ministers play a critical role in supporting public servants' responsibility to provide professional and frank advice. [The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector] reflects the duties and responsibilities set out in Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State, the Conflict of Interest Act, the Lobbying Act and the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
The Code of Conduct applies to all the employees of the Department, regardless of level, position or geographic location, and to those working on our behalf, as applicable.
The Department, a common service provider, works with over 100 federal departments, agencies and boards as our clients, as well as the Canadian public. Whether through purchasing, banking, real estate or any of our core activities, the commitment to our Client Service Strategy and sound stewardship is at the heart of our mandate. We must ensure the integrity of our processes and decisions and set standards for major initiatives.
Both Codes outline the values and expected behaviours that guide public servants in all activities related to their professional duties, which serve to strengthen the ethical culture of the public sector and contribute to public confidence in the integrity of all public institutions. The departmental Code also includes a Directive on Respect and Harassment Prevention in the Workplace, ensuring all employees of the Department are entitled to a respectful and harassment free workplace. As such, managers are responsible for fostering respect in the workplace and are obligated to take appropriate and immediate action when made aware of disrespectful behaviour.
Departmental specialists will be available to provide you and your staff with a briefing on the Codes at your convenience.
Conflict of Interest Rules for Ministerial Staff
Adherence to the rules of the Conflict of Interest Act is a condition of employment for ministerial staff. All advice and guidance in this respect is provided by the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, who has the sole jurisdiction on this matter.
The Conflict of Interest Act came into effect on July 9, 2007. The Act replaced the Conflict of Interest Code for Public Office Holders, creating, for the first time, a legislative regime to govern ethical conduct of public office holders, both during and after employment. Compliance with the Act is a condition of a person's appointment or employment as a public office holder—including ministerial staff.
The Act includes a definition of what constitutes a conflict of interest, provides for the imposition of administrative monetary penalties of up to $500 for a failure by reporting public office holders to meet certain deadlines and gives the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner the power to self-initiate examinations.
Ministerial staff can find further information on the Conflict of Interest Act and how it applies to their positions at the following addresses:
- Information for Public Office Holders
- Summary of Rules for Ministerial Staff (PDF-75 Kb, Help with alternative formats and plug-ins)
As Minister, you are encouraged to seek advice from the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
Delegation of Authorities
To conduct departmental mandate, when appointed, a minister has statutory authorities.
These authorities are delegated to departmental officials in writing via the Delegation of Authorities. It is an essential element in establishing leadership by clearly defining management accountabilities.
For Public Works and Government Services Canada, the authorities are as follows:
- Schedule 1—Department-Wide Authorities
- Schedule 2—Real Property Authorities
- Schedule 3—Common Service Acquisition Authorities
- Schedule 4—Receiver General for Canada Authorities
Sample forms for each of the above authorities are provided in an annex to this document.
In accordance with the Treasury Board Directive on Delegation of Financial Authorities for Disbursements, the appointment of a new minister does not automatically nullify existing authorities. However, a new Delegation of Authorities is to be prepared for approval by the Minister.
The current Delegation of Authorities was signed by the Minister on May 29, 2014.
While the document is in preparation, the Department continues its operations under the current delegation until you sign the new delegation, which will be brought to you for approval within 90 days of your appointment.
The Constitution of Canada, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act constitute the legal basis on which the Government of Canada's commitment to the country's bilingualism and the two official-language communities across the country rest. For this vision of the country to be realized, the Official Languages Act states the requirements and commitments for which each federal institution is responsible when implementing its various programs. The main obligations of Public Works and Government Services Canada in regard to the Official Languages Act are as follows:
- Services to the public: Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with and to receive available services from federal institutions in the official language of their choice.
- Language of work: Creating and maintaining a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages and accommodating the use of either official language by officers and employees.
- Equal participation: Public Works and Government Services Canada ensures that English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Canadians have equal opportunities to obtain employment and advancement. It must also ensure that the composition of the workforce tends to reflect the presence of both official-language communities in the population as a whole.
- Advancement of English and French: Public Works and Government Services Canada must enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities and foster the use of both English and French in Canadian society.
- Objectivity: The Official Languages Act provides that the language requirements for a position cannot be arbitrarily established when it comes to services to the public and language of work.
The Department's Official Languages Program addresses the main elements of the Official Languages Act. The Official Languages Guidebook provides explanations on the enforcement of the Act and relevant details concerning its understanding and enforcement within the Department. The Guidebook is available on the departmental intranet at http://intranet.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/rh-hr/milieutravail-workplace/gest-pe-manage/compendium-suite/guidelang-langguide-eng.html.
Departments traditionally delegate the implementation of the main duties to the department's public servants to facilitate conformity and reinforce the effective and uniform implementation of the legislation.
Furthermore, departments and their staff must take into account the provisions and requirements of the Official Languages Act listed above as well as the related policies from the Treasury Board.
Human resources and official languages specialists are available to meet with you and discuss this matter in further detail.
Minister's Responsibilities with Regard to Access to Information
As the head of the institution under the Access to Information Act, you are responsible for:
In addition, as Minister, you must publish, pursuant to section 72.1 of the Access to Information Act, an annual report of all expenses incurred by his or her office and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. This report is published in Volume III, Section 10 of the Public Accounts of Canada.
Minister's Responsibilities with Regard to Privacy Protection
As the head of the institution under the Privacy Act, you are responsible for:
Policy on the Allocation and Usage of Information Technology
The purpose of this policy is to ensure information technology is allocated and used in a consistent, transparent, cost efficient and effective manner and in support of departmental programs, services and activities. It provides clear direction on the usage of information technology in order to manage risk to the reputation and operations of the Department.
Information technology encompasses all computers (software and hardware including media), networks and telecommunication equipment used to store, process or transmit information. Clear direction on the usage of information technology in order to manage risk to the reputation and operations of the Department is imperative.
As a user of information technology within the Department, you are responsible for the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information and information technology assets in your custody from unauthorized disclosure, modification, removal or destruction.
For more information relating to the usage of information technology equipment within Public Works and Government Services Canada, please consult the following intranet pages:
- What to do and not to do when using your notebook
Users' files, Internet access and email files are monitored and can be reviewed with cause and violations are reported.
More information is contained in Public Works and Government Services Canada's Policy on the Allocation and Usage of Information Technology.
Policy on Information Technology Security
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the security of departmental digital information, information technology assets and related services. It establishes the safeguards required to ensure the confidentiality of information while stored, processed or transmitted, the integrity of information and processes, as well as the availability of the information and related systems and services. As well, safeguards applied to the assets used to gather, process, receive, display, transmit, reconfigure, scan, store or destroy information electronically are established and are considered under the realm of information technology security.
Users are responsible for:
- Their actions or inactions with respect to information technology security;
- Reading, understanding and complying with this departmental policy and the Departmental information technology Security Program to safeguard electronic information, information technology assets and related services to which they have access against unauthorized access, interruption or modification and against theft or damage;
- Maintaining information technology security measures, in accordance with the Departmental information technology Security Program, in their work environment;
- Reporting all actual or suspected information technology security anomalies and violations to their manager and information system security officer or regional security office. The information system security officer or the user must also contact the information technology Service Desk at 1-866-995-6030 as soon as possible.
For more information, consult the departmental policy instrument on Information Technology Security on the Department's intranet at (http://gcintranet.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ipm-dpi/politique-policy/p104-eng.html).
Information Management in a Minister's Office
Information is an essential component of effective management across all departments. The availability of high-quality, authoritative information to decision-makers supports the delivery of programs and services, thus enabling departments to be more responsive and accountable to Canadians. As such, all ministers are responsible for monitoring and ensuring that they are compliant with information management policy instruments within their office and responding to cases of non-compliance.
As indicated in the Treasury Board Secretariat web page pertaining to Information Management in a Minister's Office, all information resources in a minister's office must be managed in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Information Management. Even though the language in the Policy and its supporting instruments is directed at deputy heads and/or information management senior officials, ministers must review the requirements for each and develop processes and mechanisms to attain the expected results. These activities facilitate efficient and effective information management in supporting program and service delivery, foster informed decision making and facilitate accountability, transparency and collaboration.
It is important to note that under the Treasury Board Policy on Information Management, emails, text messages and pins must be managed in the same way as any other type of information resources. Further details on the management of email in a minister's offices can be found in the Standard on Email Management.
Policy on Information Management
The departmental Policy on Information Management was developed in support of the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Information Management and aims to ensure the efficient, effective and continuous management of information throughout its life cycle in support of Public Works and Government Services Canada's programs, services and activities. The importance of information management in support of informed decision making to manage risk to the reputation and operations of the Department cannot be underestimated to ensure that legal, privacy and security obligations are met.
Key responsibilities for all employees are:
- Applying and adhering to Government of Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada information management policy, directives, standards, procedures, guidelines, tools and best practices in an efficient and effective manner for all of the information they collect, create and use in the performance of their duties;
- Documenting business activities and decisions;
- Organizing, filing and storing information, ensuring that it is accessible and that privacy and security requirements are met;
- Sharing and re-using information to support collaboration and facilitate business operations while respecting all legal and policy requirements.
All mobile device information is recorded and stored in accordance with Treasury Board Secretariat policy. Blackberry emails are recorded on the Department's infrastructure in the same manner as desktop initiated emails. Using Blackberry PIN-to-PIN and short messaging services of mobile devices does not provide proper security measures to safeguard information. Accordingly, the use of PIN-to-PIN is limited to non-sensitive, transitory information exchanges.
Policy on Records Management and Information Holdings
Public Works and Government Services Canada protects, maintains and preserves records and information holdings and manages their accessibility and disposal.
This policy provides direction on the management of records and all information holdings under the Department's control, regardless of the medium in which they are received, created, collected and captured in the course of departmental business.
GCDOCS is the official records management solution within the Department. GCDOCS is authorized for storing information up to and including the level of protected B. Information resources of business value, e.g. emails and documents, should be stored in GCDOCS with the proper permissions applied.
The departmental Records Management and Information Holdings policy instrument is available on the intranet for your reference at http://gcintranet.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ipm-dpi/politique-policy/p044-eng.html.
Links to Reference Material
- Policies for Ministers' Offices
- Policy on Government Security
- Emergency Management Act
- Policy on Information Management
- Policy on Information Technology Security
- Code of Conduct for Procurement
- Information for Public Office Holders
- Summary of Rules for Ministerial Staff (PDF - 74.7 Kb Help with alternative formats and plug-ins)
- Frequently Asked Questions About Notebooks:
- Notebook Dos and Don'ts:
- Official Languages Guidebook:
- Policy on Official Languages
- Directive on Record keeping
- Standard on Email Management
- Guidelines on Managing Records in a Minister's Office (PDF - 188.27 Kb Help with alternative formats and plug-ins)
- Records Management and Information Holdings
- Access to Information Act
- Privacy Act
- Financial Administration Act
- Lobbying Act
- Conflict of Interest Act
- Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures
- Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
- Departmental Code of Conduct:
- Date modified: