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2018-19 Departmental plan

For a print copy of this publication, please contact:
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada

Tel: 613-957-2760
Fax: 613-957-3078
Email: questionslobbying@lobbycanada.gc.ca

This publication is also available online and in PDF format at http://lobbycanada.gc.ca

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Aussi offert en français sous le titre :
Plan ministériel, 2018-2019 - Commissariat au lobbying du Canada

Table of contents


Commissioner’s message

Photo of Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying

I am pleased to begin my mandate as Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada and take on the responsibility of administering the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct. The 2018–19 Departmental Plan provides parliamentarians and Canadians with information on what we do and the results we want to achieve during the upcoming year.

In July 2018, the Office will celebrate its tenth anniversary. This milestone will be an opportunity to highlight our achievements and renew our commitment to working with lobbyists, public office holders, and our provincial, municipal and international counterparts. This year, the Office will apply the lessons learned over its first decade to implement a new multi-year strategic plan. I will also rely on the Office’s experience to inform the recommendations I may be asked to provide when Parliament decides to launch the next statutory review of the Lobbying Act.

The Registry of Lobbyists continues to be the primary instrument to ensure transparency in lobbying at the federal level. I intend to seek the support of the Treasury Board to obtain stable funding for the necessary on-going investments to make the Registry a modern, secure, easy to access, and sustainable tool. In 2018–19, the Office will undertake an evaluation of its registration and client services as well as begin to implement recommendations from last year’s technical review of the Registry infrastructure. Work will focus on improving data integrity, enhancing the user experience, and mobile compatibility.

I am committed to increasing outreach and educational activities to foster understanding of the obligations stemming from the Act and the Code. In addition, efforts will be made to raise the profile of the Office with the public, as Canadians deserve to have a better understanding of the role that lobbying plays in our democratic society and of the rules that govern it. In 2018–19, the Office will begin to implement recommendations from the evaluation of the Outreach and Education program. We will update our website and outreach materials to ensure consistent and clear messaging regarding the requirements of the Act and the Code.

While education is important to ensure compliance, it must be accompanied by a strong enforcement program. In 2018–19, the Office will assess its investigative procedures and practices in order to identify opportunities for enhanced effectiveness while ensuring that investigations and decisions are fair and impartial, in accordance with the Act.

The lease for the Office’s current location expires in May 2019. In conjunction with Public Services and Procurement Canada, we have started the process of finding a new location and preparing for a move next year.

Finally, the success of my Office depends on the day-to-day dedication of its team of professionals. I will consult with my team and use the results from the Public Service Employee Survey and the Public Service Employee Annual Survey to inform our practices and ensure that the Office remains an employer of choice. I will continue to foster a workplace that values everyone’s contributions, respects its employees, and supports their health and well-being.

With the support of my staff, I am confident and enthusiastic to start this new position and I look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders.

Nancy Bélanger
Commissioner of Lobbying

Plans at a glance

All results for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying align with the government-wide priority of an Open and Transparent Government.

In 2018-19, the Office will apply the lessons learned over its first decade to implement its new multi-year strategic plan and improve the effectiveness of its services and functions.

The Office will undertake an evaluation of its registration and client services functions and start to implement recommendations from last year’s technical review of the Registry of Lobbyists. Development work will focus on the integrity of the data, enhancing the user experience, and mobile compatibility.

The Office will implement the recommendations from the evaluation of the Outreach and Education program to update outreach materials, ensure consistent messaging, and renew the website to improve accessibility and usability.

The Office will review its investigative procedures and practices in order to identify efficiencies in its various compliance activities and investigations.

The Office will prepare for a scheduled move to a new location in June 2019 while continuing to better integrate knowledge across the organization and improve business intelligence.

For more information on the Office of the report Commissioner of Lobbying’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core responsibility

Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision making

Description

The purpose of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct is to assure the Canadian public that lobbying is done transparently and with the highest ethical standards with a view to enhancing public confidence and trust in the integrity of government decision making. The mandate of the Commissioner of Lobbying is to establish and maintain the Registry of Lobbyists, develop and implement educational programs to foster awareness about the Act and the Code, and ensure compliance with the Act and the Code.

Planning highlights

All results for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying align with the government-wide priority of an Open and Transparent Government.

In 2018–19, the Office will apply the lessons learned over its first decade to implement a new multi-year strategic plan.

Use of the Registry has steadily increased over the last two years. In particular, there has been a significant increase in the number of monthly communication reports. In 2018–19, the Office will begin to implement recommendations from last year’s technical review of the Registry infrastructure. Development work will focus on improving data integrity, enhancing the user experience, and mobile compatibility.

In 2018–19, the Office will implement recommendations from the evaluation of the Outreach and Education program to better communicate the requirements of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct to lobbyists, their clients, and public office holders. The website and outreach materials will be updated to ensure consistent and clear messaging regarding the requirements of the Act and the Code.

The Office will assess its investigative procedures and practices in order to identify opportunities for enhanced effectiveness while ensuring that investigations and decisions are fair and impartial, in accordance with the Act.

The next statutory review of the Lobbying Act will be launched at Parliament’s discretion. The Office will use its experience in administering the Act and the Code to inform the recommendations the Commissioner may be asked to provide.

The Office will experiment with new approaches such as electronic user agreements to speed up the interval between account creation and registration for new users of the Registry.

Planned results
Departmental Result Departmental Result Indicator Target Date to achieve target 2014–15 Actual result 2015–16 Actual result 2016–17 Actual result
Lobbyists register and report their lobbying activities in accordance with the Lobbying Act. Number of lobbyists active during the fiscal year 8,400 March 31, 2019 8,425 8,494 8,653
Number of registration activities during the fiscal year 22,000 March 31, 2019 22,579 20,857 33,045
Canadians access information about lobbying activities through the Registry of Lobbyists. Number of times Registry information is accessed during the fiscal year 700,000 March 31, 2019 720,502 739,075 806,925
Outreach and education lead to new registrations Number of new registrations during the fiscal year 1,200 March 31, 2019 1,229 1,279 2,088
Lobbyists are aware of the requirement to file accurate monthly communication reports in a timely manner Percentage of monthly communication reports that are accurate 90% March 31, 2019 97% 95% 93%
Percentage of monthly communication reports that are filed in a timely manner 90% March 31, 2019 91% 92% 94%
Individuals, corporations and organizations engaged in lobbying activity comply with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct Percentage of allegations of non-compliance that are assessed 100% March 31, 2019 100% 100% 100%
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to compliance measures that remained in compliance or demonstrated improved compliance in the subsequent 12-month period 98% March 31, 2019 100% 100% 100%
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to verification that are found to be compliant with the Act 90% March 31, 2019 98% 98% 97%
Former designated public office holders who request exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying receive timely decisions in order to facilitate compliance with the Lobbying Act Percentage of exemption reviews for which the letter of intent is completed within 60 days 100% March 31, 2019 100% 93% 100%
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2018–19
Main Estimates
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents
22 22 22

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Given the mandate of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying to develop and implement educational programs to foster public awareness of the requirements of the Lobbying Act, Communications Services are not included in Internal Services, but rather form part of the Outreach and Education program.

Planning highlights

In July 2018, the Office will celebrate its tenth anniversary. Following the development of a multi-year strategic plan in early 2018, the Office will review and update its planning and reporting instruments such as: logic model; performance measurement framework; Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan; Information Management/Information Technology Strategic Plan; Corporate Risk Profile; and security and business continuity plans. The Office will also undertake an evaluation of its registration and client services.

The lease for the Office’s current location expires in May 2019 and cannot be extended. In conjunction with Public Services and Procurement Canada, we have started the process of finding a new location and are preparing for a move in the spring of 2019.

Management will consult with staff and use the results of the Public Service Employee Survey and the Public Service Employee Annual Survey to ensure that the Office remains an employer of choice by maintaining a workplace that values everyone’s contributions, respects its employees, and fosters health and well-being.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned spending 2018–19 Planned spending 2019–20 Planned spending
1,412,128 1,412,128 1,412,128 1,412,128
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents
6 6 6

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Organization spending trend graph

Organizational spending trend graph

Description of figure
Data for organizational spending trend graph
2015–16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Voted 4,026 4,026 4,026 4,086 4,086 4,086
Statutory 426 436 398 395 395 395
Total 4,452 4,462 4,424 4,481 4,481 4,481
Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibility and Internal Services 2015–16 Expenditures 2016–17 Expenditures 2017–18 Forecast Spending 2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned Spending 2019–20 Planned Spending 2020–21 Planned Spending
Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision making 2,800,843 2,996,518 3,061,393 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808
Subtotal 2,800,843 2,996,518 3,432,131 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808
Internal Services 1,576,614 1,540,060 1,608,572 1,412,128 1,412,128 1,412,128 1,412,128
Total 4,377,457 4,536,578 5,040,703 4,480,936 4,480,936 4,480,936 4,480,936

The planned spending for 2018–19 and future years reflects currently approved resources which have remained constant. It does not include costs related to the Office’s scheduled move in spring 2019 nor needed upgrades to the Lobbyists’ Registration System.

Over the years, the OCL’s reference levels have remained stable. The adjustments made throughout the years were mostly related to compensation for signed collective agreements and corresponding adjustments to the Employee Benefits Plan.

In 2017–18, the OCL’s actual spending was greater than its planned spending due to a court challenge.

The increase in expenditures when comparing 2017–18 Actual Spending and 2016–17 Actual Spending is due primarily to increases in costs of IT projects ($150K), legal fees linked to a court challenge, audit and evaluation services as well as services provided by other government departments ($350K).

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibility and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core Responsibility and Internal Services 2015–16
Actual
2016–17
Actual
2017–18
Forecast
2018–19 Planned 2019–20 Planned 2020–21 Planned
Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision making 22 22 22 22 22 22
Subtotal 22 22 22 22 22 22
Internal Services 6 6 6 6 6 6
Total 28 28 28 28 28 28

The Office’s staffing level has remained constant at 28 employees for the last few years. The human resources for 2018–19 and future years reflect the currently approved resources which have remained constant. The staffing level may change based on needed upgrades to the Lobbyists’ Registration System and the outcome of the new multi-year strategic plan.

Commissioner Bélanger’s seven-year mandate began on December 30, 2017. The Deputy Commissioner retired in April 2017. The position was not filled in order to provide the new Commissioner with the flexibility to staff the Office according to her priorities.

Estimates by vote

For information on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2018–19 Main Estimates.

Future oriented condensed statement of operations

The Future Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the Future Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s website.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations For the Year Ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial Information 2017–18
Forecast results
2018–19
Planned results
Difference
(2018–19 Planned results minus 2017–18 Forecast results)
Total expenses 5,261,084 4,936,005 (325,079)
Total revenues - - -
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 5,261,084 4,936,005 (325,079)

The decrease from the 2017–18 forecast results to the 2018–19 planned results represents 6.2% of the total expenses. The 2017-18 forecast results include unplanned legal costs ($290K) due to a court action against the Office. These additional costs have been paid through access to a special purpose allotment of up to $400K to draw from, as necessary, for litigation. The special purpose allotment is available for fiscal years 2017–18 and 2018–19 but it is not a permanent increase to the Office’s budget. The 2018–19 planned results do not include any extraordinary legal costs that may be covered through the special purpose allotment. The remaining difference is explained by a one-time expense ($65K) in 2017–18 due to the ratification of the collective agreements.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Deputy Head: Nancy Bélanger

Enabling Instrument: Lobbying Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.)

Year of Incorporation: 2006

Other: The Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada is the independent Agent of Parliament responsible for the administration of the Lobbying Act. The Commissioner reports to the House of Commons and the Senate.

The Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct let Canadians see who is lobbying at the federal level. This helps to increase transparency and promote ethical standards in lobbying.

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying supports the Commissioner in administering the Act and regulating lobbyists by:

  • maintaining the Registry of Lobbyists, which makes public information about lobbying at the federal level;
  • engaging in education and outreach to foster awareness of the requirements of the Act and the Code; and,
  • ensuring compliance with the Act and the Code by undertaking investigations and verification activities.

For administrative purposes, the President of the Treasury Board tables the Office's Departmental Plan and Departmental Results Report in Parliament.

Raison d’être, mandate and role

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Office’s website.

Operating context and key risks

Information on operating context and key risks is available on the Office’s website.

Reporting framework

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2018–19 are shown below:

Departmental Results Framework Core Responsibility: Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision making Internal Services
Departmental Result: Lobbyists register and report their lobbying activities in accordance with the Lobbying Act. Indicator: Number of lobbyists active during the fiscal year
Indicator: Number of registration activities during the fiscal year
Departmental Result: Canadians access information about lobbying activities through the Registry of Lobbyists. Indicator: Number of times Registry information is accessed during the fiscal year
Departmental Result: Outreach and education lead to new registrations Indicator: Number of new registrations during the fiscal year
Departmental Result: Lobbyists are aware of the requirement to file accurate monthly communication reports in a timely manner Indicator: Percentage of monthly communication reports that are accurate
Indicator: Percentage of monthly communication reports that are filed in a timely manner
Departmental Result: Individuals, corporations and organizations engaged in lobbying activity comply with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct Indicator: Percentage of allegations of non-compliance that are assessed
Indicator: Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to compliance measures that remained in compliance or demonstrated improved compliance in the subsequent 12-month period
Indicator: Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to verification that are found to be compliant with the Act
Departmental Result: Former designated public office holders who request exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying receive timely decisions in order to facilitate compliance with the Lobbying Act Indicator: Percentage of exemption reviews for which the letter of intent is completed within 60 days
Program Inventory Registry of Lobbyists
Outreach and Education
Compliance and Enforcement

Supporting information on the program inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s website.

  • Planned evaluation coverage over the next five fiscal years
  • Upcoming internal audits for the coming fiscal year

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
Tel: 613-957-2760
Fax: 613-957-3078
Email: questionslobbying@lobbycanada.gc.ca
Website: http://lobbycanada.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
The department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents 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.
Gender-based Analysis Plus ( GBA+)
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences to consider multiple identity factors that intersect to make people who they are (such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability).
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2018–19 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (by Cabinet, a central agency, etc.) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
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