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The Supplementary Estimates (B) outlines $4.3 billion in additional budgetary spending. The estimates request $3.9 billion in “voted” authorities and an additional $0.4 billion in “statutory” authorities.
$1.7 billion (44%) of the voted authorities in these Estimates are related to approximately 50 measures announced in Budget 2016, including an additional:
- $249 million for the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). Funding for federal capital spending at post-secondary institutions is projected to increase sharply in 2016-17, and would surpass spending during in the years immediately following the 2009 economic downturn.
- $283 million for the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Education program. In Budget 2016, the Government committed to spend $2.6 billion over five years on primary and secondary education on reserve, starting in 2016-17.
The balance of funding generally relates to measures announced in previous budgets (that is, Budget 2015 and earlier), changes in the estimated cost of legislated programs (for which statutory authority to spend money is already in place) and funding that lapsed in the previous fiscal year that the Government is seeking permission to spend this year.
Roughly $9.7 billion of total authorities were lapsed in 2015-16, or 11.6% (shown as the ratio of unspent authorities to total authorities). Lapse rates have increased steadily since 2001-02. As noted in earlier PBO reports, lapsing funding is a normal outcome of the government’s financial management system. In general, it neither reflects poor management or misfeance on the part of departments and agencies.
Parliamentarians may wish to confirm that the additional spending proposed in these supplementary estimates has corresponding performance targets. As PBO and the Auditor General have noted in previous reports, the performance measurement framework for some aspects of federal spending has been uneven.