A mandate review is an examination of a public sector organization’s purpose and operations. The government may review all or part of an organization’s mandate.
The government performs a full mandate review when a public sector organization is established and then does periodic reviews after it begins operations. Some other circumstances that may trigger a mandate review are:
- Government or public dissatisfaction with the performance or operation of an organization
- New or changed government policies that would affect the functions of an organization
- Ongoing or significant financial issues (losses, revenues less than budgeted, large unanticipated fluctuations)
- The need for the service is reduced or eliminated
A mandate review isn’t an audit. However, an audit may be one of the recommendations at the end of a review.
Why Do a Mandate Review?
A mandate review ensures an organization continues to:
- Serve a public interest
- Align with government priorities and objectives
- Represent value to taxpayers
- Provide the program, service or activity in the most appropriate service delivery model
A program or service is serving public interest if the organization:
- Delivers a program or service that is essential to meeting the current and future needs of B.C. citizens
- The organization is the best entity to provide this program or service because of:
- Market imperfections or market failure
- Equity or social justice considerations
- Public or economic security and safety
- Financial or contractual obligations with other governments or entities
An organization’s priorities and policy objectives may no longer be aligned with the government’s if:
- The circumstances that led to the creation of the organization have significantly changed
- The scope of the organization’s mandate has changed (programs or services added or eliminated)
- Clients and other key stakeholders are dissatisfied with the organization or its programs or services
Delivery of programs and services represent the efficient use of public funds if:
- The programs, activities and business units are affordable and sustainable
- Their contribution to the public outweighs the costs
- Processes are streamlined for efficiency and cost-savings
- Planning and reporting documents demonstrate a well-run organization
An organization is using the most appropriate service delivery model if:
- The program, service or activity reflects the appropriate level of government control
- There would be no benefit or savings for the government to change the service delivery model
- It continues to meet changing government priorities, customer requirements or expectations
- There are no other organizations, levels of government or government entities with similar programs or services
What Happens During a Mandate Review?
Once Cabinet or the responsible minister initiates a review, the minister consults with the board chair to discuss the scope of the review and to determine how much the organization needs to be involved.
The ministry conducts the analysis, and the organization may be asked to provide information to support the review.
Other organizations, levels of government or government entities with similar programs, services or activities may also be consulted during the review.
Contact the Crown Agencies Resource Office for advice and support during the review process.
What Happens After a Mandate Review?
Once the review is complete, any significant recommendations go to Cabinet for approval. If there are any fiscal issues, Treasury Board must also give approval.
Once approved, the minister:
- Communicates the government’s direction to the board
- Ensures the mandate letter is revised accordingly
Minor changes resulting from a mandate review may be communicated through directive letters or annual mandate letters.