Increase transparency of Budget and other Department of Finance information - Commitment 10

Lead implementing department(s)
Finance
Pillars
Foundational
Reporting period

Mid-term (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017)

Commitment description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?

Each year, the Department of Finance Canada plans and prepares the federal government’s budget and analyzes economic and fiscal developments. This serves to provide policy advice on a wide range of economic issues of concern to the health of Canada’s economy. The datasets for federal budgets have been released publicly since 2015 but with a lag time of six to eight weeks given formatting, editing and translation requirements. As well, the list of briefing note titles prepared on a wide range of economic and other matters by Department of Finance officials has only been made available to specific requestors through access to information requests.

What is the commitment?

The Government of Canada will provide access to the datasets used in the Federal Budget each year in near real time and proactively disclose the list of briefing note titles prepared on economic and other matters.

How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?

There is an opportunity to accelerate the preparation of the datasets used in the Budget. This would allow their publication in near real-time following the release of the Budget to facilitate analysis by citizens and Parliamentarians. There is also an opportunity to broaden public access to the titles of briefing notes prepared by Department of Finance officials for the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary, and the Deputy Minister, in order to be transparent about the issues raised.

Relevance to OGP values

This commitment relates of the OGP values of transparency and public accountability.

Status update

Deliverables in Action Plan

  1. Starting with Budget 2017, make all data from Budget charts and tables available in near real time to facilitate analysis by citizens and Parliamentarians.
  2. Post publicly the list of briefing note titles prepared by Department of Finance officials on a regular basis, in order to be transparent about issues raised.
  3. Explore options to increase the transparency of the pre-budget consultation process.

Expected result

Canadians will have timely access to the data used in the annual federal Budget and other Department of Finance information.

Description of results

  1. Datasets for Budget 2017 were published on the open.canada.ca on March 20, 2017.
  2. Monthly public posting of briefing note titles prepared by Department of Finance officials for the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary and the Deputy Minister are available as of August 2016 on fin.gc.ca website.
  3. Starting with Budget 2016, the Department has posted summary reports of the results of the pre-budget consultations on fin.gc.ca (2016 and 2017).

    Awareness of the Budget 2017 consultation greatly exceeded that of previous years and resulted in 30,797 completed online survey submissions due to digital and social media promotion.

Next steps to June 2018

  1. Budget datasets will be published on the open.canada.ca portal one week following the release of the 2018 Federal Budget.
  2. The department will continue to publish the list of briefing note titles prepared by Department of Finance officials for the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary and the Deputy Minister on a monthly basis on fin.gc.ca website.
  3. The department will continue to explore ways to increase awareness and transparency of the pre-budget consultation process.

Completion level

  1. Completed
  2. Completed
  3. Substantial