Project charter template (Projects funded by other government departments)

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Project objective
  3. Project management plan
  4. Roles and responsibilities
  5. Financial liability
  6. Issues resolution
  7. Endorsement

1.0 Introduction

This Project Charter is a high level agreement between the client department and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) that is intended to establish a framework for the implementation of a real property project. At this stage of project development, the intent is to document client identified key parameters (scope, time and cost) for validation by PSPC once the Project Management Plan is developed, and to confirm client commitment to provide funds in support of the resources required to deliver the defined project. The terms and conditions and the services required to deliver the project will be explicitly described in the Project Management Plan and will be organized according to the knowledge areas defined by the National Project Management System (NPMS). The Project Management Plan provides the details on project scope, schedule, finances, risk, and other management strategies necessary to define and deliver the project and will form an integral part of this Project Charter.

Both the Project Charter and Project Management Plan will be amended in accordance with Treasury Board (TB) policy whenever changes outside of the approved scope, schedule, finances, or other significant changes to the project occur.

The Project Charter is to be used in conjunction with the Specific Service Agreement (SSA).

2.0 Project objective

This Project Charter authorizes PSPC to develop a project to produce [should be a summary statement identifying the expected end result, its location, its total project cost, and an in-service/completion date].

3.0 Project management plan

Upon agreement of this Project Charter and the provision of funding through a Specific Service Agreement (SSA), PSPC will proceed with development of the Project Management Plan [optional: to be completed by (insert date) for a cost of (insert cost)].

4.0 Roles and responsibilities

4.1 Client department role

The Client representative, through the normal chain of command to his/her deputy minister, is accountable for:

  • interfaces with the senior management of their department, TB (if applicable) and participating departments; and serving as the spokesperson for the project;
  • notifying other federal government departments or agencies who may be affected by this project and inviting them to participate in an active or co-ordination role as appropriate;
  • ensuring that this project is managed in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on the Management of Projects, and if required, consulting as early as possible with the Treasury Board Secretariat, particularly for larger projects of higher risk and complexity;
  • providing a detailed project definition which enables the project manager to perform adequate project planning to address the size, scope, complexity, risk, visibility and administrative needs of the project;
  • establishing the context and defining fully the scope for the project including the wider interests of the government;
  • all external aspects including continuous interpretation of operational needs and wider government objectives, and the validation of planned end-product in that context;
  • all internal aspects including general supervision of the project management framework to ensure that Project Manager will meet all objectives approved for the project;
  • preparing project approval documents;
  • identifying any potential risks associated with the project;
  • determining if the project requires an environmental screening as identified under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. If required, ensure completion of the screening prior to tendering the construction contract;
  • establishing resource allocations of the project;
  • making all relevant project submissions to the appropriate authorities for approvals and modifications, and for reporting progress;
  • ensuring that approvals have been obtained prior to initiating any part of the project, and prior to making significant changes beyond the parameters established in the original or amended approvals;
  • vetting proposals to amend objectives due to changed external or internal factors;

4.2 Public Services and Procurement Canada Role

PSPC is responsible for carrying out the more detailed day-to-day management of project activities. These responsibilities include:

  • establishing an appropriate organizational structure based on an agreed-upon scope for the project;
  • managing the project and assigning and detailing roles and responsibilities identified in pertinent internal and interdepartmental agreements;
  • negotiating and obtaining written agreements with participating departments when project-specific resource commitments or activities need to be documented in the interests of effective management of the project;
  • utilizing the PSPC National Project Management System (NPMS) in the management of the project;
  • organizing the project using planning and analytical tools for work breakdown, responsibility assignment, and schedule preparation;
  • developing the Project Plan in consultation with the Client;
  • estimating the benefits and costs for project alternatives;
  • assessing and monitoring risk and planning for risk mitigation by systematically applying the PSPC Risk Management approach and common methodology;
  • planning to phase the project where necessary or appropriate;
  • entering the project in the PSPC current corporate business management system (SIGMA);
  • monitoring the project progress to ensure conformance to the Project Plan and updating the Plan as necessary;
  • reporting progress to internal management (and to Treasury Board if required);
  • providing input to briefing notes,TB submissions and other documentation as required to support the Project Leader;
  • identifying specific performance milestones in the Project Plan where withdrawal from, or termination of the project would be practical, should the project cease to be viable during execution;
  • informing Client department of any proposed changes in scope, and ensuring that approvals have been obtained from the Client prior to initiating and to making significant changes beyond the parameters established in the original or amended approvals

5.0 Financial liability

[Note: This section is not to be modified]

PSPC provides services to Other Government Departments under Service Level Agreements as a Common Service Organization (CSO) and as such client department retains financial responsibility for any liabilities arising from their contracting activity or contracting done through a common service agency (TB Policy: Decision Making in Limiting Contractor Liability in Crown Procurement Contracts, September 2003). The presence of PSPC in such a process does not remove the financial responsibilities of the client department, i.e. the client department, and not PSPC, is responsible for the funding of any cost associated with the project. Treasury Board policy states that liabilities arising from contracting activities are the financial responsibility of the originating client department.

Should consultant errors or omissions occur then PSPC will act as the Client’s agent and seek compensation from the consultant for those errors and/or omissions in accordance with the consultant contract. Where PSPC acts as the Client’s agent, the Client will be responsible to fund PSPC related fees and legal costs along with any settlements that arise in the settling of all claims.

Where errors and/or omissions are made by RPB staff in the delivery of Architectural & Engineering Design Services to clients, which result in expenditures that do not add value to the Crown nor to the project, it is PSPC policy to ensure that clients do not unfairly bear the cost of rectifying such errors or omissions.

6.0 Issues resolution

Issues arising between the Client and PSPC will be resolved between the two parties where possible. Issues that cannot be resolved at this level within [insert time frame] will be simultaneously elevated to the next management level in their respective organizations.

The resolution mechanisms for all other issues that arise within the project team will be identified in the Project Plan.

7.0 Endorsement

The undersigned hereby agree to undertake this project in accordance with this Project Charter and any subsequent revisions appended to this document.


Approved by: (Authorized Client Representative(s) with Financial Signing Authority)

Please print:
Name, Title (role of Project Leader) and date


Approved by: (PSPC - Person accountable for delivering the project)

Prepared by:

Please print:
Name, Title (role of Project Leader) and date

c.c. (if needed, ex. Director, Client Services Unit, Senior Project Manager, etc.)