ARCHIVED - Section I: Organization Overview

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Raison d'être

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) plays an important role in the daily operations of the Government of Canada. The Department is its principal banker, accountant, central purchasing agent, linguistic authority, and real property manager. The department's vision is to excel in government operations, and its mission is to deliver high-quality services and programs that meet the needs of federal organizations and ensure sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians.


The Department, founded in 1841, was instrumental in the building of our nation's canals, roads and bridges, the Houses of Parliament, post offices and federal buildings across the country.

Today, we have evolved into a sophisticated operational arm of government that employs approximately 12,200 people working in locations across Canada and Headquartered in the National Capital Area.

The Department of Public Works and Government Services Act, passed in 1996, established the Department and set out the legal authorities for PWGSC's services. The Act established PWGSC as a common service organization providing government departments, boards and agencies with support services for their programs, including:

  • Procurement;
  • Office accommodation and facilities;
  • Architectural and engineering services;
  • Construction, maintenance and repair of public works and federal real property;
  • Linguistic authority; and
  • Industrial security screening.

The Minister of PWGSC serves as the Receiver General for Canada and is responsible for maintaining the Accounts of Canada and producing the Public Accounts. The Minister also has the authority for the administration of services related to benefits, superannuation, pension plans, and the disbursement of pay to federal employees.

Our goal is to manage our business in a way that demonstrates accountability, transparency, and adds value for our clients. In doing so, PWGSC:

  • Injects more than $14 billion annually into the Canadian economy through government procurement;
  • Handles over $2 trillion in cash flow transactions through the Receiver General function;
  • Issues more than 14.2 million federal pay and pension payments;
  • Provides accommodation to parliamentarians and more than 270,455 public servants in 1,796 locations across Canada;
  • Provides translation and interpretation services, annually, for more than 1,700 parliamentary sittings and parliamentary committee meetings, and translates more than one million pages of text on behalf of other federal organizations; and
  • Processes and images more than 20 million pages, annually, for federal government departments and agencies.

The portfolio of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services includes two Crown Corporations: Canada Lands Company Limited; and Defence Construction Canada. It also includes Shared Services Canada, which reports separately. The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) also reports to the Minister and operates independently; details of its operations are provided in a separate annual report that is tabled in Parliament by the Minister.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

PWGSC's Program Alignment Architecture (PAA), as approved by the Treasury Board, supports our strategic outcome to deliver high-quality, central programs and services that ensure sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians and meet the program needs of federal institutions. The following table lists the programs that comprise PWGSC's PAA.

Strategic Outcome

High quality, central programs and services that ensure sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians and meet the program needs of federal institutions


  • Acquisitions
  • Accommodation and Real Property ServicesThis symbol represents the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint.
  • Receiver General for Canada
  • Linguistic Management and Services
  • Information Technology Infrastructure ServicesFootnote *
  • Federal Pay and Pension Administration
  • Specialized Programs and ServicesThis symbol represents the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint.
  • Internal ServicesThis symbol represents the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint.
  • Procurement OmbudsmanFootnote **


Footnote *

The creation of Shared Services Canada was announced in August, 2011. That organization now carries out those activities which were previously the responsibility of PWGSC.

Return to footnote * Referrer

Footnote **

Although it is a program activity of Public Works and Government Services, the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman is required to operate in an impartial and independent manner. The details of its operations and performance results are provided in the Procurement Ombudsman's annual report, which is tabled in each House of Parliament by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services following the fiscal year in accordance with legislative requirements.

Return to footnote ** Referrer

Note: The visual identifier This symbol represents the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint.denotes areas of contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS).

Contribution of Priorities to Strategic Outcome

PWGSC's strategic outcome is to deliver ‘high quality, central programs and services that ensure sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians and meet the program needs of federal institutions'. Our work in support of this goal includes three organizational priorities: Delivering Efficient and Effective Services; Transforming Critical Infrastructure; Ensuring Sound Stewardship and Management Excellence. These are described in the table below, and are also reflected in the program planning highlights in Section II of this report.

PWGSC's Client Service Strategy

Both the “quality services” and “sound stewardship” aspects of PWGSC's Strategic Outcome are supported by the Department's Client Service Strategy, now in its third year of implementation. This department-wide initiative consists of six elements:

  • Service Agreements,
  • Service Standards,
  • Innovative Service Offerings,
  • Client Satisfaction,
  • Client Engagement, and
  • Service Culture.

The objective is to build a consistent, department-wide approach to client service management, that will bring greater clarity to service priorities and expectations, improve client satisfaction measurement, facilitate better client engagement, and introduce a more systematic approach to the ongoing development of a client service culture at PWGSC.

Building on the progress made over the past two years, each element of this strategy will be further implemented and consolidated in 2013-14 through all business branches, and further supported by those specific tools and processes they need to address their unique requirements. This includes easily accessible, timely, cost-effective solutions that help federal organizations, including small departments and agencies, fulfill their mandates.

Organizational Priorities

Organizational Priority: Delivering Efficient and Effective Services



Strategic Outcome and/or Program:

  • Acquisitions
  • Accommodation and Real Property Services
  • Federal Pay and Pension Administration
  • Receiver General for Canada
  • Linguistic Management and Services
  • Specialized Programs and Services


Working within and across programs to continuously improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery to PWGSC's clients inside and outside government.

Why this is a priority?

With a mission to deliver high-quality services and programs, PWGSC focuses on improving service delivery to meet the current and future needs of our clients, increase their satisfaction with the services they receive, and ensure they and Canadian taxpayers receive value for money.

Plans for meeting the priority

For 2013-14, the Department will:

  • Make further progress in “Smart Procurement” by further simplifying and streamlining the procurement process. The Department will continue to strengthen relations with suppliers, making it simpler for them to do business with the Government of Canada, thereby ensuring our clients a continuing supply of high quality goods and services at competitive market rates.
  • Continue the implementation of strategic government-wide initiatives, such as the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat (NFPS) and the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).
  • Sustain a best practice organization by improving the management and performance of our real property portfolio. This will include ongoing adoption of Workplace 2.0 standards to create healthy, innovative and supportive work environments for the public service, as well as continuing to advance the renewal of Real Property Service Management contracts (previously known as Alternate Forms of Delivery contracts).
  • Implement the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative, replacing the outdated pay system, streamlining business processes and consolidating pay services. This will ensure the long-term sustainability of the Government of Canada pay administration, increase efficiency, and generate $78 million in annual savings to the government starting in 2016-17.
  • Pursue implementation and promotion of the use of direct deposit. The transition to direct deposit is scheduled to occur gradually over the next four years.
  • Implement the administration of pensions for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Forces in the new pension systems infrastructure and business processes for the Public Service Pension Plan.
  • Expand Document Imaging Services to support federal government departments and agencies in their transformation initiatives by reducing the need to store large volumes of paper documents and allowing departments to improve client service and reduce operational costs.
  • Explore government-wide opportunities for efficiencies in media sources offered through PWGSC's Electronic Media Monitoring program to help federal institutions track emerging public issues and trends reported in the media.
  • Enable federal clients using Government of Canada common financial, human resources and materiel management systems to leverage economies of scale through the sharing of common functionality, expertise and resources through Shared Services Integration program.
  • Modernize and transform the Industrial Security Program's operations with the goal of reducing red tape and increasing the efficiency of the security clearances process.
  • Pursue implementation of Translation Bureau's transformation to modernize the organization and put it on a solid footing for the future to ensure an efficient delivery of linguistic services to the Government of Canada.

Organizational Priority: Transforming Critical Infrastructure



Strategic Outcome and/or Program

Accommodation and Real Property Services


Implementing major initiatives to transform the management of the Department's physical assets and support sound stewardship objectives.

Why this is a priority?

PWGSC must use its available resources to effectively maintain up-to-date infrastructure, introduce efficiencies in meeting the infrastructure needs of our clients, and exercise sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians.

Plans for meeting the priority

In 2013-14, the Department will:

  • Continue to protect the architectural integrity of the buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct through the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP): in order to allow Government to operate effectively now and for future generations. The first priority of the LTVP continues to be the rehabilitation of the heritage buildings on Parliament Hill (West, East and Centre Blocks). Major restoration work will continue on the West Block, 180 Wellington (Wellington Building) and the Sir John A. Macdonald (144 Wellington) buildings.
  • Ensure strategic management of our real property portfolio, by meeting accommodation needs through the prudent management of taxpayer dollars and by delivering a substantial program of work for our engineering assets (bridges, dams, wharves, the portions of the Alaska Highway under PWGSC custodianship and the Esquimalt Graving Dock). Through the implementation of a state of the art information technology system our reporting effectiveness will be improved.
  • Lead the Workplace 2.0 initiative for the Government of Canada, updating workspaces and enabling new technologies that create a more efficient workplace and realize savings.

Organizational Priority: Ensuring Sound Stewardship and Management Excellence



Strategic Outcome and/or Program

All Programs


Strengthening departmental practices and processes in the delivery of internal services and the management of financial and human resources in support of PWGSC's agenda, and supporting excellence in the greening of government operations.

Why this is a priority?

PWGSC is committed to building an enabling, productive workplace, to improving internal processes, and to promoting environmental sustainability government-wide. The activities related to this priority will also ensure that PWGSC conducts its operations with a high level openness, fairness, and transparency, and in a way that reflects our values.

Plans for meeting the priority

In 2013-14, the Department will:

  • Exercise financial leadership and oversight at PWGSC while ensuring value for money in delivering program priorities.
  • Continue to pursue measures to further enhance the integrity framework which renders companies and individuals convicted under PWGSC's list of offences ineligible to do business with PWGSC. The Department will also look at other mechanisms that could be put in place to improve its due diligence, reduce opportunities for potential fraud, and strengthen our ability to manage risks.
  • Continue to engage independent third-party fairness monitors to provide independent assurance that specific departmental activities are conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner.
  • Continue preparations for electronic-only publications of the Canada Gazette (Part I, II and III); and electronic-only access to Government of Canada publications from the Depository Services Program. Both initiatives will be effective in 2014.
  • Continue to seek efficiencies, improve service delivery and identify opportunities for additional savings.
  • Maintain an integrated approach to workforce planning and management while fostering a healthy, sustainable workplace and a skilled, diverse workforce. Our human resources infrastructure will be streamlined and modernized through the implementation of the Common Human Resources Business Process and the adoption of the Government of Canada Human Resources Management System (PeopleSoft).
  • Continue to strengthen PWGSC's Information Management (IM) practices to support effective decision-making and facilitate the delivery of programs and services in accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Recordkeeping Directive. To achieve this, the Department is continuing its work towards implementing a new directive in accordance with Library and Archives Canada's Disposition and Recordkeeping Program, and addressing related retention and disposition requirements.
  • In the context of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, work closely with other government departments on strategies to improve the environmental performance of the federal government's operations in the areas of green buildings, greenhouse gas emissions from federal operations, electronic waste, printing units, paper consumption, green meetings and green procurement. In addition, the Department is committed to reducing its own environmental footprint through the implementation of PWGSC's Sustainable Development Strategy 2011-14.

Risk Analysis

PWGSC integrates risk management principles into business planning, decision-making and organizational processes to minimize negative impacts and maximize opportunities across our diverse range of services and operations. Risk management is carried out through PWGSC in accordance with the TBS Framework for the Management of Risk, PWGSC Policy on Integrated Risk Management, the International Standards Organization's (ISO) 31000 and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Implementation guide to CAN/CSA-ISO 31000, Risk Management—Principles and Guidelines.

The PWGSC Corporate Risk Profile (CRP) provides a high level overview of PWGSC's strategic risks and risk environment. The CRP will be reported on in the Departmental Performance Report for 2012-13, and includes the following risks:

  • Financial Risk – PWGSC's reliance on cost recovery poses risks in an environment of reduced expenditures on the part of client departments. It is important for us to be able to adjust to reduced operational demands while maintaining the quality of our services.
  • There are always risks associated with major complex, transformational or interdepartmental projects. PWGSC's risk management approach includes: implementation of disciplined investment and project management processes; service agreements and service standards with clear identification of responsibilities; sound contract management; early engagement with client departments and other stakeholders; and the Department's Integrated Investment Plan (IIP).
  • Human Resource Strategy – There is a risk associated with the need to attract and retain skilled human resources, failure of which may negatively affect the department's performance. The Department has developed the PWGSC People Management Philosophy and its related commitments, and has implemented various HR strategies such as leadership development, talent management, and knowledge transfer strategies, to address any future human resources concerns.

Planning Summary

Table Summary The following table summarizes PWGSC's total planned spending for the next three fiscal years (2013-16).

(in millions of dollars)

Financial Resources (Planned Spending)
  Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates) 2013-14 Planned Spending
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Gross Expenditures 5,896.2 6,078.9 5,626.9 5,245.2
Less Respendable Revenues (3,278.2) (3,278.2) (3,071.4) (3,088.7)
Net Expenditures 2,618.0 2,800.7 2,555.5 2,156.5

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Table Summary The following table provides PWGSC's total human resources Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) for the next three fiscal years (2013-16).
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent—FTE)
  2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) 12,498 12,524 12,261

Planning Summary Table

Table Summary Federal departments and agencies are supported by PWGSC's strategic outcome and programs. PWGSC's strategic outcome is aligned with the Government Affairs spending area of the Government of Canada's whole-of-government reporting framework, and therefore helps all departments and agencies to deliver on their mandates and serve Canadians.

(in millions of dollars)

Planning Summary Table
Strategic Outcome Program Actual Spending 2010-11 Actual Spending 2011-12 Forecast Spending 2012-13 Planned Spending Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
High quality, central programs and services that ensure sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians and meet the program needs of federal institutions Acquisitions 147.7 157.8 159.7 133.9 130.2 130.2 Well-managed and efficient government operations.
Accommodation and Real Property Assets Management 2,259.4 1,963.6 2,073.1 2,117.1 1,903.8 1,527.3
Receiver General for Canada 119.8 123.1 118.1 116.9 99.8 100.0
Information Technology Infrastructure Services 33.7 7.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Federal Pay and Pension Administration 46.9 67.7 80.3 104.1 114.1 105.7
Linguistic Management and Services 74.3 74.1 81.5 70.4 57.9 45.3
Specialized Programs and Services (Note) 58.1 57.3 48.5 43.9 40.0 40.0
Procurement Ombudsman 3.6 3.7 4.3 4.3 4.1 4.1 A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government.
Subtotal 2,743.5 2,455.0 2,565.6 2,590.6 2,349.8 1,952.6  

Note:  In 2011-12, expenditures for the Ministers' Regional Offices ($3.6 million) have been moved from Internal Services to align the expenditures with the related authorities reported under Specialized Programs and Services

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

(in millions of dollars)

Planning Summary Table for Internal Services
Program Actual Spending 2010-11 Actual Spending 2011-12 Forecast Spending 2012-13 Planned Spending
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Internal Services 337.0 338.5 266.0 210.1 205.7 203.9

(in millions of dollars)

Planning Summary Total
Strategic Outcome, Programs and Internal Services Actual Spending 2010-11 Actual Spending 2011-12 Forecast Spending 2012-13 Planned Spending
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Grand Total 3,080.5 2,793.5 2,831.6 2,800.7 2,555.5 2,156.5

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Expenditure Profile

In the last few Federal Budgets, the Government introduced several measures as part of its ongoing commitment to eliminate the federal deficit and to return to a balanced budget. Those measures were designed to reduce the costs of government operations and restrain the growth of government expenditures.

PWGSC has successfully implemented the measures announced in past Budgets by assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of its programs and services in light of their contribution to the Department's mandate and the Government's priorities.

As a common service provider to other government departments, PWGSC is a key enabler of government-wide savings. One of the primary costs savings (Budget 2012) measures relates to the provision of office accommodation to other departments. Consistent with leading business practices, PWGSC has developed new office standards and will work with departments to recapture real property office space in response to reduced accommodation needs. PWGSC will also modernize its IT business applications to reduce maintenance and operating costs. It will also switch to making payments via direct deposit with resulting savings in paper reduction as well as in print services.

Sound financial management remains a priority for PWGSC. The Department will continue to focus on this crucial aspect including control of its travel, hospitality and conference expenditures to ensure optimal spending of its available resources. PWGSC is heavily dependent on revenues from federal departments and agencies and therefore will continue to closely monitor the effects of other departments' savings efforts on PWGSC's service lines.

PWGSC Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend - Text version below the graph

Text Version

This line graph shows PWGSC's Net Spending trend over the 7-year-period from fiscal year 2009-10 to fiscal year 2015-16, both with and without the Economic Action Plan's Accelerated Infrastructure Program (AIP).

The Net Spending trend excluding the AIP in this chart is represented by the green line, while the dashed red line denotes Net Spending including the AIP. The vertical axis represents the amount of PWGSC spending (in millions of dollars), while a timeline with each of the seven fiscal years occupies the horizontal axis.

This Net Spending timeline is further broken down into three parts: Net Actual Spending, Net Forecasted Spending, and Net Planned Spending. Net Actual Spending represents spending that have already occurred in the three previous fiscal years (from 2009-10 to 2011-12). Net Forecasted Spending is what will be spent in the current year, 2012-13. Finally, Net Planned Spending represents the planned expenditure amounts for the next three years (or from 2013-14 to 2015-16).

Only the Net Actual Spending part of the graph contains both the red dashed line and the green line, with the red line appearing above the green line, as it includes the AIP expenditures. In 2009-10, the green line was at 2,429.9 millions of dollars while the red line was at 2,667.2 millions of dollars. In 2010-11, the green line was at 2,887.6 millions of dollars while the red line was at 3,080.5 millions of dollars. In 2011-12, both the red and the green line converged at millions of dollars 2,793.5 millions of dollars, as the AIP was terminated in that year and there was no longer any associated spending.

In the current year, 2012-13, the amount of Net Forecasted Spending is 2,831.6 millions of dollars. Finally, the next 3 years of Net Planned Spending are 2,800.7 millions of dollars in 2013-14, 2,555.5 millions of dollars in 2014-15, and 2,156.5 millions of dollars in 2015-16.

The year over year variances in the table above are explained as follows:

  • There is only a slight decrease between the Forecast spending for 2012-13 and the planned spending for 2013-14. The 2013-14 planned spending includes new funding for Engineering Assets projects and for the purchase of Les Terrasses de la Chaudière. However, this additional funding is offset primarily by 2011 and 2012 budget saving measures.
  • Planned spending decrease from 2013-14 to 2014-15 is primarily due to the completion of the Sydney Tar Ponds site remediation project, the implementation of fiscal restraint measures and the conclusion of the purchase of Les Terrasses de la Chaudière.
  • Planned spending decrease from 2014-15 to 2015-16 is mainly attributable to the completion of the current phase for the Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct rehabilitation and the continued implementation of fiscal restraint measures.

Estimates by Vote

For information on our organizational appropriations, please see the 2013-14 Main Estimates publication.

Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) outlines the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the transparency of environmental decision-making by articulating its key strategic environmental goals and targets. The government will be consulting the public in 2013-14 regarding the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013-16). The 2013-16 FSDS will be finalized in 2013-14. It will be presented as part of year end performance reporting for 2013-14.

PWGSC ensures that consideration of these outcomes is an integral part of its decision-making processes. In particular, through the Federal Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, any policy, plan, or program initiative includes an analysis of its impact on attaining the FSDS goals and targets. The results of SEAs are made public when an initiative is announced, demonstrating the Department's commitment to achieving the FSDS goals and targets.

PWGSC contributes to Theme IV – Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government as denoted by the visual identifier below.

This symbol represents the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government.

These contributions fall under the following Programs and are further explained in Section II:

  • Accommodation and Real Property Services
  • Specialized Programs and Services
  • Internal Services

For additional details on PWGSC's activities to support sustainable development please see Section II of this RPP and PWGSC's Sustainable Development Strategy webpage.
For complete details on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy please see the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy website.

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