Explained: How the Harper government put spending on ice – Macleans.ca

Department  Authorities for 2014-15 ($millions) Year-to-date (first six months) spending at September 30, 2014 ($millions) % of authorities spent
Agriculture and Agri-food $365 $48 13.2%
Employment and Social Development $1,702 $680 40.0%
Environment $107 $29 27.1%
Fisheries and Oceans $58 $25 43.1%
Health $1,683 $1,047 62.2%
Natural Resources $444 $99 22.3%
Transport $758 $42 5.5%
Veterans’ Affairs $2.7 $1.3 48.1%

Good piece by Jennifer Robson on the various ways to reduce spending:

So, if you’re in government and want to restrain your own spending, another way to do it is to just make it harder to move money out the door.  There are a lot of small but incrementally effective ways to do this.  Some of us use tricks to stop ourselves from spending.  For example, when my mother grew alarmed by her credit card bill, she would put her card in a block of ice in the kitchen freezer.  Really.  I’m not making this up.

The ways:

  1. Increase complexity of Treasury Board processes and requirements;
  2. Limit “March Madness” spending;
  3. Tie executive bonuses to managing spending (good discipline in any case);
  4. Make staffing processes more lengthy and complex;
  5. Increase administrative burden on grants and contributions.

Even at the time when I left government in 2011, some of this was apparent and being implemented.

Explained: How the Harper government put spending on ice – Macleans.ca.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: