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2020-21 Departmental plan

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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
as represented by the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, 2020

Catalogue No. Lo2-4E-PDF
ISSN 2292-5341

Aussi offert en français sous le titre :
Plan ministériel 2020-2021 - Commissariat au lobbying du Canada

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Table of contents


Message from the Commissioner of Lobbying

I am pleased to present the 2020-21 Departmental Plan for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.

Photo of Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying

The year 2020-21 is the last of the multiyear strategic plan developed by the Office when I started my mandate as Commissioner of Lobbying in 2018. Based on this plan, the Office’s work supports and ensures a modern lobbyist registration system, effective compliance and enforcement activities, enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians, and an exceptional workplace that promotes engagement and excellence.

This means that the Office will:

  • continue to implement recommendations from the evaluation of client services and the lobbyist registration system in order to enhance the user experience of registrants and citizens using the Registry of Lobbyists;
  • carry on activities planned in the communications and outreach strategy, including modernizing the website and increasing our visual content (e.g. videos, infographics) across various platforms;
  • continue to streamline and strengthen investigation practices and procedures;
  • continue to support the mental health strategy and look for ways to provide career development opportunities for employees;
  • build on the positive results of the 2019 Public Service Employee Survey to ensure the Office continues to be an exceptional workplace.

Following my assessment of costs related to the maintenance and ongoing development of the Registry of Lobbyists and considering the enhanced complexity of our work, a budget request was presented to the Government. Should this request receive a positive response in 2020-21, I will take the appropriate steps to improve our service to Canadians.

The Lobbying Act requires a parliamentary review every five years. If this review is launched in 2020-21, I will support the work of parliamentarians and provide advice and recommendations informed by the Office's more than ten years’ 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 ongoing engagement of my staff, I look forward to delivering on these commitments in 2020-21 and develop our next multiyear strategic plan.

Nancy Bélanger
Commissioner of Lobbying

Plans at a glance

As in previous years, our plans for 2020-21 support the priority of openness and transparency in government.

Our work will further strengthen the regulation of lobbying by ensuring a modern lobbying registry, effective compliance and enforcement, and enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians.

2020-21 key initiatives and activities that support transparent and ethical lobbying

  • enhance the Registry of Lobbyists user experience
  • improve client services
  • streamline and strengthen investigative practices and procedures
  • further implement our communications and outreach strategy
  • modernize our website
  • create new visual content

We also remain committed to fostering an exceptional workplace that promotes engagement and excellence. In 2020-21, we will continue to support our mental health strategy and look for ways to provide career development opportunities for employees. Our next multi-year strategic plan will be developed to guide our work.

Our plans will be realized with an allocation of $4.5 million and 28 full-time equivalents.

Core responsibility: planned results and resources

Regulation of lobbying

Description

The purpose of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct is to provide a regime for the transparent and ethical lobbying of public office holders. This regime contributes to public confidence in the integrity of decision making by public office holders. 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 about the Act and the Code.

Planning highlights

Taking effect in 2020-21, our reporting framework has been updated to make it easier for the public to understand what we aim to achieve with our resources and how we measure results. Despite shortening the name of our core responsibility, the function remains the same as in previous years.

Our activities support the outcome of transparent and ethical lobbying.

A resource allocation of $3.7 million and 24 full-time equivalents supports the work of a newly unified Registry Services and Compliance program. This new program combines the functions of three previous programs focused on the Registry of Lobbyists, education and outreach, and compliance and enforcement.

That lobbyists register and report their lobbying activities in compliance with requirements

We will continue to maintain the Registry of Lobbyists and provide support to lobbyists. Through monitoring and verification, we provide information to lobbyists that encourages appropriate use of the Registry. Where necessary to ensure compliance with lobbying requirements, suspected offences of the Act are investigated and referred to appropriate authorities. Findings of Code contraventions at the conclusion of an investigation are reported to Parliament.

In particular, registration and compliance will be enhanced in 2020-21 by:

  • improving the Registry of Lobbyists user experience by implementing recommendations from a 2018-19 program evaluation of client services and the Registry
  • improving client services by implementing recommendations from a 2018-19 program evaluation of client services and the Registry
  • continued streamlining and strengthening of investigative practices and procedures
That stakeholders understand federal lobbying requirements

We will continue to develop and disseminate information about legal requirements under the Lobbying Act and adherence with the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct. This includes sharing information with key stakeholders (lobbyists, their clients, and public office holders) and the public through media, academia, and civil society groups.

In particular, public awareness will be expanded in 2020-21 by:

  • carrying out activities identified in our communications and outreach strategy
  • modernizing our website
  • creating new visual content (videos, infographics, etc.)

Gender-based analysis plus

Beginning in 2020-21, stakeholders providing feedback on our outreach services will be invited to provide GBA+ information on an entirely voluntary basis. Collected GBA+ information will be anonymized, disaggregated and separately maintained. Analysis of this data is expected to result in changes that improve the inclusiveness and accessibility of our services and information resources.

United Nations’ 2030 agenda for sustainable development

We are aligned with United Nations’ goal on peace, justice and strong institutions (Goal 16). We are committed to sharing our expertise in lobbying regulation with provincial and international counterparts to help foster effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Common goals of transparency and accountability in the principles of lobbying registration and compliance support the development of open standards that can strengthen democratic systems.

Experimentation

As a micro-organization operating with a limited budget since 2008, we do not have the flexibility to devote a fixed percentage of program funds to rigorous experimentation in program design and delivery. Despite this budgetary constraint, we are committed to undertake small-scale, simple experiments when resources permit. Lessons learned from experiments will help us innovate and find new ways to improve program delivery. Any experimentation undertaken in 2020-21 is likely to relate to our information resources and interactions with stakeholders.

Planned results (Regulation of Lobbying)
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 actual result 2017–18 actual result 2018–19 actual result
Lobbyists and public office holders understand the requirements of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct Change in stakeholders’
level of understanding
of federal lobbying requirements *
To be determined To be determined - - -
Lobbyists register and report their lobbying activities in compliance with the Lobbying Act Percentage of
registrations by lobbyists
not requiring correction *
At least 75% March 31, 2021 - - -
Percentage of verified
monthly communication reports
by lobbyists not requiring correction
At least 90% March 31, 2021 93% 93% 93%
Percentage of on-time
new registrations by lobbyists *
To be determined To be determined - - -
Percentage of on-time
monthly communication
reports by lobbyists
At least 90% March 31, 2021 94% 94% 94%

* Indicates a new indicator. Where not provided, target information will be set after examining a full year of results.

Planned budgetary financial resources (Regulation of lobbying)
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in
Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2020–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
3,743,769 3,743,769 3,707,495 3,709,074
Planned human resources (Regulation of lobbying)
2020–21 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents
24 24 24

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s program inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseFootnote 1.

Internal services: planned results

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:

  • acquisition management
  • communications
  • financial management
  • human resources management
  • information management
  • information technology
  • legal
  • materiel management
  • management and oversight
  • real property management

Given our responsibilities under the Lobbying Act to maintain the Registry of Lobbyists, provide education to stakeholders, and verify that lobbyists are compliant with lobbying requirements, communications, information technology, and legal services are integrated into our Registry Services and Compliance program.

Planning highlights

In 2020-21, we will develop our next multi-year strategic plan. This will build on what we accomplished under our previous strategic plan (2018-2021).

We also remain committed to fostering an exceptional workplace that promotes engagement and excellence. In 2020-21, we will continue to support our mental health strategy and look for ways to provide career development opportunities for employees.

Planned budgetary financial resources (internal services)
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in
Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
813,151 813,151 813,151 813,151
Planned human resources (internal services)
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–21
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
4 4 4

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of our planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Figure 1 - Departmental spending 2017-18 to 2022-23

Figure 1 - Text version
Data for departmental spending 2017-18 to 2022-23
The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.
2017–18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
Postes législatifs 398,225 378,876 447,783 441,754 437,128 437,332
Crédits votés 4,373,720 4,930,738 4,416,294 4,115,166 4,083,518 4,084,893
Total 4,771,945 5,309,614 4,864,077 4,556,920 4,520,646 4,522,225

Over the years, our core planned spending levels have remained stable. Adjustments made throughout the years mostly related to compensation for signed collective agreements and corresponding adjustments to the Employee Benefits Plan. In 2017-18, a special fund was used to pay for legal costs ($230 thousand). In 2018-19 ($870 thousand) and 2019-20 ($350 thousand), a special fund was used for expenditures linked to the relocation of our office.

Planned spending for 2020–21 reflects currently approved resources. The approved authorities of $4.5 million should remain constant for subsequent years.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibility and internal services
Core responsibility and internal services 2017–18 expenditures 2018–19 expenditures 2019–20 forecast spending 2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicates in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending
Regulation of lobbying 3,266,388 3,281,717 2,965,167 3,743,769 3,743,769 3,707,495 3,709,074
Internal services 1,505,577 2,027,897 1,898,910 813,151 813,151 813,151 813,151
Total 4,771,945 5,309,614 4,864,077 4,556,920 4,556,920 4,520,646 4,522,225

In 2017-18, a special fund was used to pay for legal costs ($230 thousand). In 2018-19 ($870 thousand) and 2019-20 ($350 thousand), a special fund was also used for expenditures linked to the relocation of our office. Relocation costs are reflected in the internal services expenditures.

Beginning in 2020-21, we are refocusing a portion of internal services expenditures to delivering on our core responsibility. This change aligns with updates to our reporting framework taking effect in 2020-21.

Planned spending for 2020–21 reflects currently approved resources. The approved authorities of $4.5 million should remain constant for subsequent years.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the core responsibility in our departmental results framework and for internal services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for core responsibility and internal services
Core responsibility and internal services 2017–18
actual
2018–19
actual
2019–20
forecast
2020–21 planned 2021–22 planned 2022–23 planned
Regulation of lobbying 22 22 22 24 24 24
Internal services 6 6 6 4 4 4
Total 28 28 28 28 28 28

Our staffing level has remained constant at 28 employees for the last few years. The human resources for 2020-21 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 2020–21 Main Estimates Footnote 1.

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future oriented statement of operations provides an overview of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying’s operations for 2019–20 to 2020–21.

The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the departmental plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore 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 our websiteFootnote 3.

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2021
Financial Information 2019–20
forecast results
2020–21
planned results
Difference
(2020–21 planned results
minus
2019–20 forecast results)
Total expenses 5,389,810 5,475,443 85,633
Total revenues - - -
Net cost of operations
before government
funding and transfers
5,389,810 5,475,443 85,633

In 2019-20, we incurred office relocation and other costs that were capitalized and partially amortized in that year. In 2020-21, a portion of the remaining costs will be amortized over the full year, which represents the difference of $85,633.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Institutional head

Nancy Bélanger

Enabling instrument

Lobbying Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.)Footnote 4

Year of incorporation

2006

Ministerial portfolio

Treasury Board

Other

For administrative purposes, the President of the Treasury Board tables our departmental plans and departmental results reports in Parliament.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

The Commissioner of Lobbying is an independent Agent of Parliament responsible for regulating federal lobbying activities.

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying ensures transparent and ethical lobbying by administering the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct. Responsibilities of the Office include maintaining a searchable registry of information reported by lobbyists, providing education to stakeholders about lobbying requirements, and verifying that lobbyists are compliant.

More information about who we are and what we do is available on our website.Footnote 3

Operating context

Information on our operating context is available on our website.Footnote 3

Reporting framework

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2020-21
Core responsibility:
Regulation of lobbying
Internal Services
Results: Indicators:
Lobbyists and public office holders understand the requirements of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct Change in stakeholders’ level of understanding of federal lobbying requirements
Lobbyists register and report their lobbying activities in compliance with the Lobbying Act Percentage of registrations by lobbyists not requiring correction
Percentage of verified monthly communication reports by lobbyists not requiring correction
Percentage of on-time new registrations by lobbyists
Percentage of on-time monthly communication reports by lobbyists
Program inventory:
Percentage of on-time monthly communication reports by lobbyists

Changes to the reporting framework since 2019–20

Our reporting framework has been updated to make it easier for the public to understand what we aim to achieve with our resources and how we measure results. By placing greater emphasis on results rather than outputs, this update aligns with Treasury Board’s 2016 Policy on Results.

Changes to the reporting framework since 2019–20
Structure 2020-21 2019-20 Change Reason for change
Core responsibility Regulation of lobbying Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision making Title change Alignment with the 2016 TBS Policy on Results
Program Registration Services and Compliance Registry of Lobbyists Unified program amalgamating 3 existing programs Alignment with the 2016 TBS Policy on Results
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.Footnote 1

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on our website.Footnote 3

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Gender-based analysis plus

Federal tax expenditures

This departmental plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to our planned results for 2020–21.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.Footnote 5 This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background 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 solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
410 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 810
Ottawa ON K1R 1B7

Tel: 613-957-2760
Fax: 613-957-3078

Email: info@lobbycanada.gc.ca
Website: lobbycanada.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
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 a department over a 3 year period. Departmental plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. 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 (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
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 assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2020–21 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.
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.
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.
strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
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.

Endnotes

1 - GC InfoBase

2 - 2020–21 Main Estimates

3 - Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada website

4 - Justice Canada – Lobbying Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.)

5 - Report on Federal Tax Expenditures

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