Budget Management Principles

This is an overview of the principles that guide budget management at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), and that serve as the foundation for the ISC Policy on Internal Reallocation of Social, Housing, Education and Health Program Funds. These principles are founded on financial management practices for public entities in Canada, and are informed by the Indigenous services context, specifically.

ISC works collaboratively with partners to improve access to high quality services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

ISC budget management decisions seek to:

The Deputy Minister of ISC is responsible for monitoring the financial management performance of the department and instituting risk-based internal controls to ensure accountability and results.

To support the Deputy Minister in meeting these responsibilities, ISC continually monitors and forecasts program demand to meet program funding needs and legal obligations. Budgets are determined based on anticipated needs, which are normally established through historical trends and forecasting. On occasion, the Deputy Minister may recommend to the Minister, through established government processes and authorities, to seek additional funding for the year to respond to unforeseen pressures or address increases in anticipated needs.

Unforeseen pressures normally fall into the following categories, by order of priority:

Throughout the year, initiatives and projects may be also delayed for a variety of reasons, such as weather, winter roads or contracting issues. To ensure that funding is still used to support communities, the department may ask the Treasury Board Secretary for the ability to spend that funding in future years, when it will be needed for the original project.

In line with accepted fiscal management principles, ISC programs may also use funding originally allocated to a delayed project to support other initiatives, with funds to be returned to the original program in a future fiscal year.

Consistent with government authorities, ISC programs may also temporarily reallocate funds within a fiscal year to address cash flow challenges (advancing initiatives that have been approved but for which dedicated funds have not yet been received). Funds are returned later in the year to the original source, once funding is received.

Consistent with government authorities, the ISC Policy on Internal Reallocation of Social, Housing, Education and Health Program Funds will provide guidance to assistant deputy ministers, program managers and regions, on what is allowed in the context of the implementation of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders.

The department is committed to transparency to Canadians on its results and expenditures through reporting to parliament through the Departmental Results Report and the Public Accounts of Canada.  ISC adheres to the Departmental Results Framework of the Government of Canada which defines the department's core responsibilities and explains how it achieves outcomes, with the provision of data and performance information.

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