Financial Delegation

Background

  • The Financial Administration Act (FAA) designates deputy heads (DHs) as accounting officers for their organizations, within the framework of ministerial accountability. In this role, DHs are vested with various authorities, such as financial and resource management, human resources, contracting, transfer payments and others. DHs are accountable before Parliament for the management responsibilities of the department in support of the Minister’s direction.
  • Delegation of authority:
    • Allows for Ministers and DHs to share their workload with subordinate managers, to facilitate the achievement of their organization’s mandate and program objectives.
    • Responsible and risk-based delegation is an essential element of effective management.
  • Guide to delegations:
    • The Minister delegates financial authority, transfer payments, contracting, real property, project management, access to information, privacy and human resources to the DH.
    • Formal delegation documents are reviewed and signed by the Minister and the DH to officially confirm the delegation of authorities.
    • Once the delegation documents are signed, the DH delegates the various authorities to the different position levels and titles within the organization.
  • Delegation design:
    • The delegation chart should consider the following in the context of the organization: legislation, mandate and program priorities, organization complexity, and operational capacity.
    • The chart is accompanied by supporting notes, a specimen signature document, electronic authorization rules and other instruments.
  • Approval:
    • Departments are required to update the delegation chart and seek the signature of the Minister when:
      • There are significant changes that impact the management of spending and financial authorities (e.g. changes to legislation or Treasury Board policy).
      • A change in Minister occurs, at which time the revised delegation chart is to be submitted for the Minister’s signature within 90 calendar days of his or her appointment date (the existing delegation instrument continues to remain in effect until the updated one is approved).

Consideration

  • Segregation of duties is critical in the design of the delegation chart:
    • No person can exercise both spending and payment authority for a payment.
    • No person can exercise spending authority for a payment from which he or she can benefit personally, nor should a person be involved in any of the processing steps with respect to his or her own pay and benefits.
  • Delegation charts and associated documents should be regularly reviewed to ensure that they reflect the department’s operating risks and structure.
  • LAC’s administrative tool supporting the financial delegation and its appendix currently in effect were approved on May 24, 2018. We are currently awaiting the Minister’s approval of the latest version of the departmental delegation chart that was reviewed earlier this year.

Key messages

  • LAC’s financial delegation chart promotes operational flexibility and empowers public servants while maintaining key risk mitigation controls. It also allows leaders of the organization to maintain a strategic focus on more urgent matters through an appropriate distribution of responsibilities and workload.

Contact:

Éric Désautels, Manager of Financial Operations
Email: eric.desautels@canada.ca
Tel.: 613-415-9614

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