Archived – Preface to All Departmental Reports on Plans and Priorities

Archived information

Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.


Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP) are individual expenditure plans for each department and agency. These reports provide increased levels of detail over a three-year period on an organization's main priorities by strategic outcome, program and planned/expected results; they also include links to related resource requirements presented in the Main Estimates. In conjunction with the Main Estimates, RPPs serve to inform members of Parliament on planned expenditures of departments and agencies and support Parliament's consideration of supply bills. The RPPs are typically tabled soon after the Main Estimates by the President of the Treasury Board.

Estimates Documents

The Estimates comprise three parts:

Part 1 — Government Expenditure Plan — provides an overview of the Government's requirements and changes in estimated expenditures from previous fiscal years.

Part 2 — Main Estimates — supports the appropriation acts with detailed information on the estimated spending and authorities being sought by each federal organization requesting appropriations.

In accordance with Standing Orders of the House of Commons, Parts 1 and 2 must be tabled on or before March 1.

Part 3 — Departmental Expenditure Plans — consists of two components:

  • Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP)
  • Departmental Performance Report (DPR)

DPRs are individual department and agency accounts of results achieved against planned performance expectations as set out in respective RPPs.

The DPRs for the most recently completed fiscal year are tabled in the fall by the President of the Treasury Board.

Supplementary Estimates support Appropriation Acts presented later in the fiscal year. Supplementary Estimates present information on spending requirements that were either not sufficiently developed in time for inclusion in the Main Estimates or have subsequently been refined to account for developments in particular programs and services. Supplementary Estimates also provide information on changes to expenditure forecasts of major statutory items as well as on such items as transfers of funds between votes, debt deletion, loan guarantees, and new or increased grants.

For more information on the Estimates, please consult the Treasury Board Secretariat website.Footnote 1

Links to the Estimates

As shown above, RPPs make up part of the Part 3 of the Estimates documents. Whereas Part 2 emphasizes the financial aspect of the Estimates, Part 3 focuses on financial and non-financial performance information, both from a planning and priorities standpoint (RPP) and from an achievements and results perspective (DPR).

The Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) establishes a structure for display of financial information in the Estimates and for reporting to Parliament via RPPs and DPRs. When displaying planned spending, RPPs rely on the Estimates as a basic source of financial information.

Main Estimates expenditure figures are based on the Annual Reference Level Update which is prepared in the fall. In comparison, planned spending found in RPPs includes the Estimates as well as any other amounts that have been approved through a Treasury Board submission up to February 1 (See Definitions section). This readjusting of the financial figures allows for a more up-to-date portrait of planned spending by program.

Changes to the presentation of the Report on Plans and Priorities

Several changes have been made to the presentation of the RPP, partly in response to a number of requests — from the House of Commons Standing Committees on Public Accounts (PAC — Report 15Footnote 2 ) in 2010; and on Government and Operations Estimates (OGGO — Report 7Footnote 3 ) in 2012. These requests were for more detailed financial and non-financial performance information about programs within RPPs and DPRs, which make them easier to study to support appropriations approval.

  • In Section 2, financial, human resources and performance information is now presented at the Program and Sub-program levels for more granularity.
  • The report's general format and terminology have been reviewed for clarity and consistency purposes.
  • Other efforts aimed at making the report more intuitive and focused on Estimates information were made to strengthen alignment with the Main Estimates.

How to read this document

RPPs are divided into four sections:

Section 1: Organizational Expenditure Overview

This Organizational Expenditure Overview provides a general glance at the organization. It provides a description of the organization's purpose, as well as basic financial and human resources information. This section opens with the new Organizational Profile, which displays general information about the department, including the names of the minister and the deputy head, the ministerial portfolio, the year the department was established, and the main legislative authorities. This subsection is followed by a new subsection entitled Organizational Context, which includes the Raison d'être, the Responsibilities, Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture, the Organizational Priorities and Risk Analysis. This section ends with Planned Expenditures, the Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes, Estimates by Votes and the Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. This section does not show non-financial performance information related to programs: please see Section 2.

Section 2: Analysis of Program(s) by Strategic Outcome(s)

This section provides detailed financial and non-financial performance information for strategic outcomes, programs and sub-programs. It also contains information on programs, their respective descriptions and 'Planning highlights'. This section allows the reader to learn more about programs by reading their respective description and narrative entitled 'Planning Highlights'. These highlights describe key services or initiatives that support the plans and priorities presented in Section 1; they also describe how performance information supports the department's strategic outcome or parent program.

Section 3: Supplementary Information

This section provides supporting information related to departmental plans and priorities. It offers a future-oriented statement of operations and a link to supplementary information tables on transfer payments, as well as information related to greening government operations, internal audits and evaluations, horizontal initiatives, user fees, major Crown and transformational projects, and up-front multi-year funding, where applicable to individual organizations. It also contains a link to the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations, produced annually by the Minister of Finance, which provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada.

Section 4: Organizational Contact Information

This section presents organizational contact information.


Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary versus non-budgetary expenditures
Budgetary expenditures — operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to crown corporations.
Non-budgetary expenditures — net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

Expected result
An outcome that a program is designed to achieve.

Full-time equivalent (FTE)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. FTEs are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada Outcomes
A set of high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole.

Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS)
A common approach and structure for the collection, management and reporting of financial and non-financial performance information. An MRRS provides detailed information on all departmental programs (e.g., program costs, program expected results and their associated targets, how they align to the government's priorities and intended outcomes) and establishes the same structure for both internal decision making and external accountability.

Planned spending
For the purpose of the RPP, planned spending refers to amounts for which a Treasury Board submission approval has been received by no later than February 1, 2014. This cut-off date differs from the Main Estimates process. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditure levels presented in the 2014/2015 Main Estimates.

A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and achieve intended results, and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture
A structured inventory of a department's programs, where programs are arranged in a hierarchical manner to depict the logical relationship between each program and the Strategic Outcomes to which they contribute.

Spending areas
Government of Canada categories of expenditures. There are four spending areasFootnote 4 —social affairs, economic affairs, international affairs and government affairs — each comprising three to five Government of Canada outcomes.

Strategic outcome
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the department's mandate, vision and core functions.

Sunset program
A time-limited program that does not have ongoing funding or policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made as to whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

Whole-of-Government Framework
A map of the financial and non-financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations that aligns their programs to a set of high level outcome areas defined for the government as a whole.