CPPM Policy Chapter 18: Administration

This Core Policy and Procedures Manual chapter contains various policies on general and administrative requirements to support government operations and the cost-effective use of public resources, including Accommodation, Business Meeting Expenses, Information and Communication, and Relocation.

18.1 Objectives

  • economic, efficient and effective use of public resources in service delivery
  • support the implementation of government policy and consistent practices across government

18.2 General

In general government objectives for administration are pursued through centralization and by ensuring that managers and staff adhere to government-wide policies. All central agencies and ministries have a shared responsibility and interest to ensure that programs are managed and administered in accordance with this policy.

18.3 Policy

18.3.1 Accommodation

a. Government Program Accommodation

The objectives for government accommodation are to:

  • implement workplace solutions that optimize program delivery capabilities;
  • ensure government accountability for the use of accommodation;
  • provide functional workplace requirements in a cost effective manner;
  • ensure the effective and efficient management of surplus and underutilized space.

Ministries and other publicly funded agencies (Clients) are responsible for:

  • identifying program delivery requirements;
  • making accommodation decisions, consistent with budgetary and service delivery constraints, taking into account advice on accommodation options provided by Shared Services BC (SSBC);
  • identifying and advising SSBC as soon as possible of any surplus and underutilized space.

SSBC is responsible for:

  • providing real property and accommodation infrastructure services to ministries and publicly funded agencies via specific agreements for services;
  • advising on real property and accommodation infrastructure policies, standards/guidelines and best practices workplace provisioning;
  • managing the supplier community in delivering workplace solutions;
  • providing estimates of accommodation charges to ministries and publicly funded agencies, as required; and
  • providing stewardship and management of the government's real property assets entrusted to SSBC.

The Accommodation Agreement (PDF) (available to Government of British Columbia intranet users only) describes the more technical and operational aspects of the business relationship between SSBC and its Clients with respect to accommodations and real estate provisioning. Additional guidance on accommodation requirements is outlined in section 18.4.1.

Policy is as follows:

  1. SSBC is the shared services provider of real property and accommodation infrastructure services for government. Clients are required to use SSBC services unless an exemption or modification is specifically provided in a Special Operating Agency framework agreement or approved by Treasury Board. SSBC Clients are listed at Customers.
  2. SSBC charges for accommodation and real estate services are based upon the government accommodation pricing model.
  3. In making accommodation decisions Clients should take into account accommodation options consistent with the policies and standards in the Government Office Space Standards (GOSS) and the SSBC Technical Manuals.
  4. Replacement, additional, or new accommodation is permitted only when a Client has operating and capital funding available in the fiscal year in which services are acquired from SSBC and/or its service providers, and the Client is in substantial compliance with Government Office Space Standards (GOSS).
  5. SSBC and Clients shall be guided by policies and guidelines issued from time to time by Treasury Board and/or the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG).
  6. Parking requirements will be provided in accordance with government parking policy (Public Service Agency directive 4.6, Appendix 2 (PDF) - government access only).

b. Warehouse Space - Consolidated Warehousing Services and Surplus Asset Disposal

Consolidated Warehousing Services

Asset Investment Recovery (AIR) partners with SSBC for the provision of warehouse space on behalf of ministries to achieve efficiencies and cost savings through consolidated warehousing.

  1. All ministry requirements for warehouse space must be directed to AIR.
  2. AIR is authorized to secure short-term warehouse space of up to 465.5 square metres for use by ministries. Warehouse space requirements greater than 465.5 square metres must be obtained by AIR through SSBC.

Surplus Asset Disposal

Provides for the redistribution of assets across ministries and the sale of surplus assets to the public, private sector and broader public sector agencies. This program is also the disposal agent for the Federal Government in British Columbia. Methods of sale include cash and carry, offers to purchase via sealed bids, public auctions and via the internet BC Auction.

c. Residential Accommodation

  1. Where there is an identified need, government may provide self-contained residential accommodation to an employee and their family. For detailed information, refer to TB Directive 1/12 (PDF). See the following printable documents for implementing TB Directive 1/12 - Residential Accommodation Policy:
  2. Ministries have two options for obtaining residential accommodation for employees:
    • lease the accommodation units from SSBC; or
    • acquire the accommodation units directly from other sources. In this case, ministries must advise SSBC of their intent.
  3. Employees that are provided with residential accommodation at less than fair market value are subject to income tax laws and requirements as administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

18.3.2 Agreements with Other Governments

  1. Treasury Board approval is required for any new agreements over $2 million, or where there is no set value, with other governments.

    For purposes of this policy, "other governments" include federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and regional governments, as well as other forms of local government such as hospital districts and school boards.

18.3.3 Appointments to Government Crown Agency Boards and Administrative Tribunals

Remuneration of appointees to Crown agency boards and administrative tribunals must be consistent with the applicable Treasury Board Directive, as follows:

  1. Remuneration for appointees to administrative tribunals must comply with TB Directive 1/20 (PDF);
  2. Remuneration for appointees to Crown agency boards must comply with TB Directive 2/20 (PDF).

18.3.4 Business Meeting and Protocol Event Expenses

  1. Ministries must set pre-approval limits for business meeting and protocol event expenses consistent with Expense Management policy CPPM 4.3.
  2. Supplier invoices and employee reimbursement claims require approval by the appropriate expense authority prior to payment. For approval of travel expense claims connected with a business meeting or protocol event, refer to CPPM 10.3.2.
  3. The expense authority must approve gratuities over 15%.
  4. Ministries must ensure that government-owned meeting rooms are utilized, where suitable, prior to seeking private meeting facilities.
  5. The selection of a meeting location must consider the total costs of a meeting, including participant accommodation and transportation, room rentals, meals and other costs. Group transportation alternatives such as group airfare rates, ride sharing, and government or rental vans or buses must be considered over individual travel to a meeting location.
  6. Best value for money must be negotiated with suppliers. Where the total costs excluding transportation are anticipated to exceed $1,000, a bid request must be issued to a minimum of three suppliers.
  7. The Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat must approve any provincially hosted protocol events, including ceremonial and diplomatic activities.
  8. Public funds must not be used to recognize public servants on job transfers. For detail on the permissible use of funds, refer to BCPSA Recognition Policy Summary.
  9. All ministry sponsored protocol events must be reported quarterly to the director of the Protocol and Events Office, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat.

Procedure Requirements - C.17

18.3.5 Financial Records

CPPM 12.3.3 Part III outlines government policies for records management. The Recorded Information Management (RIM) manual contains policy and procedures to ensure that the authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability of government records are preserved and protected.

The standards for the classification and scheduling of ministry records are documented in the Administrative Records Classification System (ARCS), the Operational Records Classification Systems (ORCS), ongoing records schedules and other approved records schedules (refer to Records Management).  Ministry financial, and non-financial, records include paper documents and information recorded or stored by electronic means, and are eligible for final disposition when applicable scheduled active and semi-active retention periods have expired.

ARCS Section 4 Financial Management covers financials records and ministry responsibilities for compliance with Treasury Board directives and CPPM policies, for both paper and electronic documentation. For example, sub-sections 925-20, 1050-09 and 1240-20 require ministries to retain invoices, payment requisitions, travel and expense claims, receipts and other support in office recordkeeping systems for up to 8 years (i.e. active FY+1 and semi-active 6Y).

The Redundant Source Records Special Schedule 206175 covers transformed/converted source records. The schedule provides for the replacement of an original paper record with an accurate and authentic reproduction (e.g. scanned or digital image), use of it as the official file copy, and destruction of the redundant original record (policy a.1).

a. Ministry Financial Records

  1. Ministries must ensure that financial records generated at the ministry level are kept in accordance with CPPM 12.3.3 Part III Managing Information policies and procedures. Use of the Redundant Source Records Special Schedule 206175 must be in accordance with the schedule and the requirements set out in the Guide part 3.
  2. Ministry chief financial officers have overall responsibility for financial records, under the functional control of the ministry records officer. The chief financial officer is accountable for the proper storage, preservation, access, retrieval and disposition of ministry financial records.
  3. The office of the chief financial officer must be the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for ministry financial records, unless this function is delegated and the OPR is designated to some other office(s) of the ministry.
  4. Ministries affected by a program transfer or split must identify the specific time at which responsibility for the retention of financial records of the program need to be transferred. The ministry formerly responsible for a program in general will continue to administer the records created prior to the transfer and provide the successor ministry with financial records upon request. The successor ministry must respond to inquiries under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

b. Storage

The custody and control of government records is outlined in RIM Policy 03-01.

Records Management Operations manages offsite storage services for ministries. Off-site records centre services include the transfer, storage, and retrieval of records; and their eventual disposition of either destruction or transfer to the custody of the government archives.

c. Access and Retrieval

Access and retrieval procedures for ministry records are outlined in RIM Policy 05-06-06.

Ministries need to inform Information Access Operations of staff authorized to access records held in records storage facilities.

d. Access to Information by the Office of the Auditor General

The Auditor General is an officer of the Legislature, independent from government, with authority to obtain information to carry out the mandate of the office. Section 16 of the Auditor General Act provides the authority for the Auditor General to access information. Any concern about access to personal information by the Auditor General needs to be directed to a ministry director/manager of Information and Privacy. The disclosure of personal information that may be contained in records requested by the Auditor General is authorized under sections 33.1(1) (c) and 33.2(f) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

  1. Information requested by the Auditor General to perform the mandate of the office must be promptly provided, except information that is subject to:
    • public interest immunity; or
    • solicitor-client privilege.
  2. If a ministry in possession of information requested by the Auditor General is unsure whether or not public interest immunity or solicitor-client privilege applies to that information, the ministry should consult with the Comptroller General and obtain legal advice from Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Justice on the question.
  3. If information requested by the Auditor General is subject to public interest immunity or solicitor-client privilege, refer to specific guidance in CPPM 18.4.2.

18.3.6 Forms

Proposals to create, eliminate or revise any government-wide financial form (government access only) must be submitted to the Financial Management Branch (FMB), Office of the Comptroller General, for review and approval. FMB will consult with chief financial officers and other government offices as necessary prior to final approval.

Ministry chief financial officers, through ministry forms officers, are responsible for the development, maintenance and use of financial forms specific to their ministry needs and must ensure that:

  • government-wide financial forms are used where feasible;
  • the proliferation of ministry forms is controlled;
  • unnecessary duplication of forms is minimized; and
  • ensure that any proposed ministry form undergoes an analysis of costs and benefits to support its production.

Policy regarding non-financial or general government forms is included in Information Management, Forms Management.

18.3.7 Honouraria

An honouraria is a nominal lump sum payment for a service or action in a voluntary capacity that is:

  • a goodwill gesture to acknowledge their service or action
  • not negotiated
  • not dependent on hours of service or action
  • not considered as compensation for service or action performed and
  • the nominal amount paid is below the real value of service or action 

Provision of a token gift rather than an honouraria payment is encouraged where appropriate.


BCPSA Human Resource 07. Policy Statement – Pay, Benefits and Leave (PDF) on honouraria states that employees are not eligible to receive honouraria from government. If the employer needs to compensate employees for work that is outside of their job duties (such as speaking engagements or making special presentations) and is not covered by their regular salary (see Standards of Conduct -  Outside Remunerative and Volunteer Work (PDF)), a contract should be established with them for the additional service or action.  Payment must be charged to an applicable operational STOB (do not use salaries and benefits STOBS).


Payments of honouraria to individuals who are non-employees are considered to be taxable income according to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations and must be reported on a T4A. To the extent that honouraria support program delivery and are within vote descriptions, payment must be charged to an applicable operational STOB.


A letter to the honouraria recipient must be used in support of the payment that includes:

  • The name and address of recipient;
  • Date and description of the event;
  • Reason for the honouraria that describes the service or action provided;
  • Amount and form of payment;
  • Signature of Expense Authority; and

Signature of honouraria recipient to acknowledge receipt of payment (where applicable).

18.3.8 Information and Communication

a. Communications and Advertising

Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE) provides centralized communication management for government. GCPE determines the roles and responsibilities relating to communications services, materials and paid advertising, and administers standing offers for advertising and marketing services that apply to all ministries. GCPE also maintains lists for pre-qualified suppliers for media training and writing services that are available to all ministries. See CPPM 22 - Communications and Public Engagement.

b. BC Mail Plus Mail Processing and Distribution, Mail Preparation, Variable Data Printing, Scanning, Identification Card Production and Employee Household Relocation

BC Mail Plus provides mail processing and distribution services to ministries and government funded agencies on a cost recovery basis. BC Mail Plus establishes standards and procedures for all government mail services and is available to assist ministries and government funded agencies in establishing economical and efficient processes. Ministries are advised of standards and procedures, mail rates and current issues, such as the handling of suspicious mail, through BC Mail Plus.

Ministries are responsible for managing their outgoing mail volumes and postal expenses within base budgets, including BC Mail Plus service costs. BC Mail Plus is available to recommend economic and efficient commercial couriers for items of an urgent nature. Ministries are encouraged to consult with BC Mail Plus prior to entering into a continuous courier contract.

BC Employee Relocation Services coordinates government employee relocations, including the relocation of government employees' personal effects throughout the province, across Canada and to and from international locations. The Employee Move Authorization form (FIN191, PDF) can be found at Ministry of Labour and Citizen's Services' BC Mail Plus.

Ministries must provide BC Mail Plus with general ledger account coding for each mailing location and BC Mail Plus must supply ministries with pre-printed mail tickets to automate the chargeback process.

Ministries must ensure that all government mail is prepared in accordance with BC Mail Plus standards (e.g., address accuracy) to maximize postal rate discounts.

Ministries must implement internal office mail processes consistent with postal service standards outlined in the BC Mail Plus Customer Guide.

Ministries must consult with BC Mail Plus when designing new forms and envelopes for automated mail processing to avoid non-standard mail charges.

Ministries must consult with BC Mail Plus before entering into contracts or purchasing any mailing equipment to perform mail preparation, large volume scanning or mailing tasks. BC Mail Plus provides bulk mail preparation services, through use of high speed mechanical processing equipment and private sector contractors. Services include folding, inserting, inkjet addressing, incentive rate preparation and self mailer applications. Related services include creating and maintaining customer mailing lists; data analysis services which provide address accuracy, postal code correction, standardized address formats and incentive rate sorting on an economic basis.

Ministries must ensure that articles are not sent through the mail system if they could harm postal employees, or could soil or damage other mail, postal equipment or property.

BC Mail Plus must not be used to deliver or receive personal mail and the Fax Messaging System must not be used to transmit personal material.

c. Printing, Publishing, Government Stationery and Protocol Giftware

The Queen's Printer (QP) provides printing and publishing services, government stationery, and protocol giftware to the Legislative Assembly and ministries as well as some government funded agencies and Crown corporations. The Queen's Printer operates on a full cost recovery basis. The Queen's Printer has purchasing authority for printing, publishing, government stationery, and Protocol giftware.

Printing Services

Requests for printing and related services must be submitted to the Queen's Printer. Products such as digital black and white and colour copying services, business cards, letterhead, memorandums and envelopes may be ordered electronically (see Electronic Supply). Emergency requests will be accepted by telephone (250 387-3309).

Ministries must consult with the Queen's Printer before entering into contracts or purchasing any equipment to perform Printing Services. Printing Services include:

  • Black and white digital printing/copying;
  • Colour digital printing and copying;
  • Wide format production;
  • Variable data printing;
  • Graphic design;
  • Desk top publishing/typesetting;
  • Electronic publishing;
  • Print on demand;
  • Document management;
  • Printing project management;
  • Digital disc and USB flash drive duplication; and
  • Print Brokerage Services-Contracting Printing from the private sector.

The Queen's Printer will provide estimates and/or quotations when requested to do so. Estimates are an approximate cost of the order (plus or minus 10%), based on a description of the work to be done. Quotations are a firm written commitment on the price of the job, based on an accurate written specification or printed sample from the customer.

Publishing Services

The Queen's Printer operates the BC Government Publications Index, which provides a common entry for the public to access government publications through the internet (Publications.gov.bc.ca).

This program manages the printing and distribution of publications for customers on a consolidated basis, including use of on-demand printing and electronic warehouse.

Queen's Printer produces the BC Gazette.

Current legislation is publicly available online at http://www.bclaws.ca/. Printed copies of legislation are made available through Crown Publications Inc.

Office Supplies and Stationery

Ministries must purchase their office supplies and generic stationery products from the Master Standing Agreement established by the Distribution Centre Victoria at http://www.pss.online.gov.bc.ca/.

Government stationery and office supplies must only be used for government business.

18.3.9 Relocation

Regular and eligible auxiliary employees, who have to move from one geographic location to another after winning a competition or at the request of their employer, are entitled to relocation expenses. For specific entitlement information, refer to:

Relocation of an employee's household must be handled by the BC Employee Household Relocation Services (BC Mail Plus).

Procedure Requirements - C.16

18.3.10 Shared Services

Common Business Services is a component of Solutions BC, Shared Services (Solutions BC). Solutions BC was formed to provide shared services in business areas such as:

  • payroll;
  • procurement (Queen's Printer, BC Mail Plus, Distribution Centre Victoria, Product Distribution Centre, Purchasing Services, IT Procurement Services, Asset Investment Recovery);
  • strategic acquisitions and intellectual property management;
  • information technology and archival of corporate information (CITS);
  • finance and administration; and
  • other common services across government.

The objective is to provide quality support services while ensuring that overall service delivery processes are streamlined and not duplicated. Depending on business needs, agreements on functions to be provided, service levels, costing and billing, performance and reporting requirements will be developed. For additional information, refer to the Shared Services (government access only) internet site.

Policy is as follows:

Shared services are exclusive and ministries must not outsource any shared service provided functions during the 36 month startup period, April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2006.

After March 31, 2006, any plans by ministries to outsource shared service provided functions must be approved by the Deputy Minister's Client Committee on Shared Services. Ministries seeking approval must prepare and submit a business-case analysis.

18.4 Information and References

18.4.1 Guidance on Accommodation

Government Accommodation Pricing Model

The pricing model has been endorsed by the ADMs of Corporate Services Committee and the Shared Services Board of Directors. It is consistent with and supports the guiding principles for pricing and charge backs for provincial shared services providers (i.e., client driven, value-added, fair and equitable, sustainable, flexible, accountable and transparent).

Pricing is based on a cost recovery funding model. The pricing approach for the main categories of services provided by ARES is as follows:

  • Space in market properties: Clients will be charged market comparable rent based on rentable area. Rental rates will be determined through appraisals and other standard market practices.
  • Space in special purpose and leased properties, and other services provided: Clients will be billed an amount covering: (i) amortization and improvements costs for space in special purpose buildings; (ii) all direct external costs for the provision of space and/or services by third parties; and, (iii) labour recovery costs on ARES additional services.
  • ARES operating costs: Any positive margin from market property rentals, as well as labour recovery on ARES additional services will be applied against these costs. The balance will be recovered through an infrastructure allocation fee.

Accommodation Agreement

The Accommodation Agreement (PDF)(available to Government of British Columbia intranet users only) provides the details of the current technical and operational aspects of the business relationship between ARES and its mandated Clients. The agreement builds on the foundation provided by the government accommodation pricing model.

Government Office Space Standards

ARES advises on the development of GOSS for accommodation. Accommodation should meet users' functional space requirements and be cost-effective. These standards are applicable to the upgrading, changing or new development of any government office accommodation. GOSS includes the approval for ministry specific or program space standards. These standards do not apply to non-office facilities such as warehouses or institutional properties.

18.4.2 Guidance for Auditor General Information Requests

  1. If information requested by the Auditor General is subject to public interest immunity or solicitor-client privilege, the government's options are to:
    1. Disclose the information unconditionally
      ​If the information is subject to public interest immunity, this option requires a decision not to assert the immunity. If the information is subject to solicitor-client privilege, a decision to waive the privilege is required. Part b below describes who can make those decisions.
    2. Disclose the information conditionally
      This option involves asserting the immunity or privilege and only disclosing the information to the Auditor General on the condition that the Auditor General agrees not to disclose the information outside the Office of the Auditor General without first giving enough notice to the government to take appropriate action. Part c describes how the terms for conditional disclosure are to be entered into and outlines sample language for conditional disclosure.
    3. Refuse to disclose the information
      This option may involve refusing to disclose entire documents (where the privilege or immunity applies to entire documents) or only portions of documents (where the privilege or immunity only applies to portions of documents that can be severed prior to disclosure).
  2. For information that is subject to public interest immunity, the decision on which option in Part a to choose is to be referred to the Cabinet Office. For information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, the ministry with possession of the information and Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General must jointly decide on which option in Part a to choose. If they cannot agree, the decision may be made by the Attorney General if litigation is involved or otherwise by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
  3. The terms for conditional disclosure must be entered into through Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General. Sample language for a letter setting such terms is a follows:
    • This letter is to confirm that it is the government's position that the documents you have requested are confidential and subject to [public interest immunity/solicitor-client privilege].
    • This letter is also to confirm the terms on which the government is providing the documents to your office and which reflect the usual arrangements for the provision of such documents to take into account your office's policy of circulating for comment draft versions of reports to interested parties.
    • These terms are as follows:
    1. Your office will notify us if it plans to disclose to anyone outside your office (including as part of your office's policy of circulating for comment draft versions of your reports to interested parties) any information in or about the documents not already in the public domain so that the government may consider whether it has any objection in the circumstances to the planned disclosure.
    2. Such notification will be provided sufficiently in advance of any planned disclosure of the information so that there will be time for meaningful consultation between your office and the government or for other actions as may be necessary in the circumstance.

Internal Audit < Previous | Next > Corporate Compliance & Controls Monitoring