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2019-20 Departmental plan

This publication is available online and in PDF format at www.lobbycanada.gc.ca.

Accessible formats are available on request by contacting questionslobbying@lobbycanada.gc.ca.

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Except as otherwise specifically noted, the information in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the information reproduced; that the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada is identified as the source institution; and, that the reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
as represented by the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, 2019

Catalogue No. Lo2-3/2019E-PDF
ISSN 2292-5341

Aussi offert en français sous le titre :
Plan ministériel 2019-2020 - Commissariat au lobbying du Canada

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Table of contents


Message from the Commissioner of Lobbying

Photo of Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying

I am pleased to present the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying 2019-20 Departmental Plan. This plan provides information about the specific results we aim to achieve for Canadians, and about the action we will take to advance our objectives in the coming year.

The Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct recognize that lobbying is a legitimate activity and their purpose is to ensure that lobbying is transparent and conducted within the highest ethical standards. This contributes to enhancing the public confidence in the integrity of government decision-making. The mandate of the Commissioner of Lobbying is to establish and maintain the Registry of Lobbyists, ensure compliance with the Act and the Code, and develop and implement educational programs to foster awareness of the Act and the Code.

In 2019-20, the Office will focus on priorities identified in our strategic plan: continuing modernization of the lobbyists' registration system; supporting compliance with the Act and the Code through effective enforcement activities; enhancing outreach and communication that ensures lobbyists, their clients, and public office holders know their responsibilities and obligations; and creating an exceptional workplace that promotes engagement and excellence.

In addition to these important tasks, the Office will move to a new location before the end of May. The new work environment will create opportunities for us to adopt new ways of working and collaborating. We are ready for this transition.

Faced with increases in the volume and complexity of our work, I will assess the need to obtain further funding to ensure ongoing investments that sustain and improve our service to Canadians.

As required by the legislation, a parliamentary review of the Lobbying Act is expected soon. I will support the work of parliamentarians and will welcome an invitation to provide advice and recommendations informed by the Office's more than ten years of experience administering the Act.

Transparency, fairness, impartiality, and independence are our core values. I will ensure these values continue to guide how we interact with lobbyists, their clients, public office holders and all Canadians. With the support of my staff, I look forward to delivering on these commitments in 2019-20 and beyond.

Nancy Bélanger
Commissioner of Lobbying

Plans at a glance and operating context

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying contributes to the government-wide priority of an Open and Transparent Government by ensuring compliance with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct and by providing Canadians with information about federal lobbying activities through the Registry of Lobbyists.

In 2019-20, the Office will focus on the priorities identified in the multi-year strategic plan.

The Office will implement recommendations from the evaluation of the registration and client services program to increase client satisfaction and compliance. Development work on the Registry of Lobbyists will continue to enhance the user experience, accessibility and usability.

The Office will implement changes to the investigation, exemption review, and compliance verification processes in order to strengthen and streamline those processes. This will allow the Office to more expeditiously address allegations of non-compliance, and publish the results as appropriate.

Drawing on recommendations from the evaluation of the outreach and education program, the Office will implement the outreach strategy developed in 2018-19. The focus will be to develop a broader range of communication products and tools based on analysis of stakeholders' needs.

The Office will explore opportunities for a career development program to ensure that the Office remains an employer of choice. It will also continue to implement its Mental Health Strategy.

A statutory review of the Lobbying Act by Parliament is anticipated. The Office will participate in the review as required. The review and subsequent implementation of changes to the Act may require additional resources in future years.

For more information on the Office of the 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 the 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 of the Act and the Code, and ensure compliance with the Act and the Code.

Planning highlights

Over the next three years, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying will focus on the priorities identified in the multi-year strategic plan: a modern lobbyists registration system; effective compliance and enforcement activities; and enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians.

A modern lobbyists' registration system

The Registry of Lobbyists is an important vehicle to provide Canadians with information about federal lobbying activities. An effective registry assists lobbyists in complying with the registration and reporting requirements of the Act, and supports transparency by giving Canadians access to information about federal lobbying activities. In 2019-20, the Office will:

  • Change the user-facing side of the Registry of Lobbyists to be more accessible, usable, interoperable, and mobile friendly.
  • Continue development work that improves data integrity as recommended in the 2017-18 technical review of the Registry infrastructure.
  • Implement the recommendations made with regard to the Registry of Lobbyists from the evaluation of the registration and client services program. These improvements will support users during registration, reducing the number of registrations that require correction and thereby ensuring the information is made public more quickly.
Effective compliance and enforcement activities

Public confidence in the integrity of government decision-making is enhanced when Canadians see that lobbyists abide by the requirements of the Act and behave ethically, and that those who do not are held accountable for their actions. In 2019-20, the Office will:

  • Streamline and strengthen investigation, exemption review and compliance verification processes to address allegations of non-compliance more expeditiously.

With respect to applications for exemptions from the five-year prohibition, the Office is developing an online application for former designated public office holders, which will ensure applications have complete information from the outset, and therefore improve the ability to process applications in a timely manner.

Enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians

When lobbyists, their clients, and public office holders know their responsibilities and obligations under the Act and the Code, they are more likely to comply with those requirements. Giving Canadians greater access to information on federal lobbying activities and their legitimate role in democracy increases confidence in the integrity of public decision-making. To support these objectives in 2019-20, the Office will:

  • Renew the website to make it easier for visitors to complete their intended tasks. This renewal will use modern tools and best practices that improve the usability of the site, accessibility of the content, and that support continuous improvement.
  • Analyse inquiry data to identify trends in key audiences' information needs. Develop targeted communication products and tools to address identified needs and issues.

The next statutory review of the Lobbying Act by Parliament is expected. 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 review and subsequent implementation of changes to the Act may require additional resources in future years.

Planned results
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2015–16 Actual result 2016–17 Actual result 2017–18 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, 2020 8,494 8,653 9,084
Number of registration activities during the fiscal year 22,000 March 31, 2020 20,857 33,045 35,075
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, 2020 739,075 806,925 858,469
Outreach and education lead to new registrations Number of new registrations during the fiscal year 1,200 March 31, 2020 1,279 2,088 2,052
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, 2020 95% 93% 93%
Percentage of monthly communication reports that are filed in a timely manner 90% March 31, 2020 92% 94% 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, 2020 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 95% March 31, 2020 100% 100% 100%
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to verification that are found to be compliant with the Act 90% March 31, 2020 98% 97% 93%
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, 2020 93% 100% 100%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
3,372,902 3,371,802 3,371,802 3,371,802
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 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 services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Management Services; Materiel Management Services; and Acquisition Management Services.

Given the mandate of the Office 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.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
1,481,514 1,482,614 1,132,164 1,132,164
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
6 6 6

Planning highlights

The Office will review and update its planning and reporting instruments such as the Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan; Information Management/Information Technology Strategic Plan with a vision of establishing a digital environment; and review its Departmental Security Plan.

The Office will update the Departmental Results Framework so it better reflects the strategic goals established in the Strategic plan and emerging best practices under the Policy on Results.

An exceptional workplace that promotes engagement and excellence

Management will explore opportunities to implement a career development program to ensure that the Office remains an employer of choice. The Office will continue to implement its Mental Health Strategy.

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Figure 1: Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental spending trend graph

Figure 1 - Text version
Data for departmental spending trend graph
2016–17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Voted 4,101 4,772 5,253 4,406 4,056 4,056
Statutory 436 333 395 448 448 448
Total 4,537 5,105 5,648 4,854 4,504 4,504
Budgetary planning summary for core responsibility and internal services (dollars)
Core responsibility and internal services 2016–17 Expenditures 2017–18 Expenditures 2018–19 Forecast spending 2019–20 Main estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 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 2,996,518 3,266,388 3,357,115 3,372,902 3,371,802 3,371,802 3,371,802
Subtotal 2,996,518 3,266,388 3,357,115 3,372,902 3,371,802 3,371,802 3,371,802
Internal services 1,540,060 1,505,557 2,291,523 1,481,514 1,482,614 1,132,164 1,132,164
Total 4,536,578 4,771,945 5,648,638 4,854,416 4,854,416 4,504,416 4,504,416

The planned spending for 2019–20 reflects currently approved resources, which include costs of $350K related to the Office's scheduled relocation in spring 2019. Aside from the approved funding for the relocation, the approved authorities of $4.5 million will remain constant for the subsequent years.

Over the years, the OCL's reference levels have remained stable, except for 5% reduction in 2012-13. The other adjustments made throughout the years mostly related to compensation for signed collective agreements and corresponding adjustments to the Employee Benefits Plan.

The increase in expenditures when comparing 2018–19 Forecast Spending and 2017–18 Expenditures is due primarily to costs linked to the office relocation ($879K).

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibility and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core responsibility and internal services 2016–17
Actual
2017–18
Actual
2018–19
Forecast
2019–20 Planned 2020–21 Planned 2021–22 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 2019-20 and future years reflect the currently approved resources.

Estimates by vote

Information on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's organizational appropriations is available in the 2019–20 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. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, 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's website.

Future Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ending March 31, 2020 (dollars)
Financial Information 2018–19
Forecast results
2019–20
Planned results
Difference
(2019–20 Planned results
minus
2018–19 Forecast results)
Total expenses 5,512,329 5,645,504 133,175
Total revenues - - -
Net cost of operations
before government
funding and transfers
5,512,329 5,645,504 133,175

The increase ($133K) from the 2018–19 estimated results to the 2019–20 planned results represents 2% of the total expenses. A special purpose allotment for the Office's relocation is available for fiscal years 2018–19 ($1,400K) and 2019–20 ($350K) but it is not a permanent increase to the Office's budget. The 2018-19 forecast results include costs ($879K) associated with the office relocation. These additional costs have been drawn from a special purpose allotment (Relocation) as required. The 2019–20 planned results include costs for the office relocation ($671K) covered through the special purpose allotment.

There is an increase of $125K linked to the amortization of capital assets, an increase in personnel cost ($300K) offset by a decrease in professional services of $166K.

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: who we are and what we do

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

Reporting framework

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019-20
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
Results: Indicators:
Lobbyists register and report their lobbying activities in accordance with the Lobbying Act Number of lobbyists active during the fiscal year
Number of registration activities during the fiscal year
Canadians access information about lobbying activities through the Registry of Lobbyists Number of times Registry information is accessed during the fiscal year
Outreach and education lead to new registrations Number of new registrations during the fiscal year
Lobbyists are aware of the requirement to file accurate monthly communication reports in a timely manner Percentage of monthly communication reports that are accurate
Percentage of monthly communication reports that are filed in a timely manner
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
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to compliance measures that remained in compliance or demonstrated improved compliance in the subsequent 12-month period
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to verification that are found to be compliant with the Act
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
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 tables are available on the Office's website.

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, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. 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
410 Laurier Avenue West, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B7

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 an appropriated department over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change 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.
evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision-making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
experimentation (expérimentation)
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+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
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. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 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 where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
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 Information Profile (profil de l'information sur le rendement)
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.
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.
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.

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)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's Core Responsibilities and Results.
result (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.
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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