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Service Fees Remission Policy

1. Effective Date

  1. 1.1 This Service Fees Remission (Remission Policy) takes effect on April 1, 2021.

2. Authorities

  1. 2.1 This Remission Policy is issued pursuant to the authority of sections 7 of the Service Fees Act (SFA).
  2. 2.2 A requirement of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities states that Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are responsible for:
    1. 2.2.1 Ensuring that a departmental policy and procedures for granting remissions to fee-payers under section 7 of the Service Fees Act are established and adhered to.

3. Objectives and expected results

  1. 3.1 This Remission Policy ensures compliance with the SFA and associated Treasury Board policy instruments, notably the Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities.
  2. 3.2 This Remission Policy establishes a principles-based approach to enable effective management of service fee remissions within and across ISED programs that are subject to remissions per the SFA:
    1. 3.2.1 Fairness and transparency: Remission Policy processes and procedures are to be applied fairly and transparently within the program and are in accordance with departmental requirements.
    2. 3.2.2 Minimizing burden on fee-payers: Remission Policy processes and procedures will seek to serve the client’s interest in the management of remissions.
  3. 3.3 ISED has multiple programs with diversified mandates. In order to reflect the unique nature of each program’s remission processes and procedures, detailed Annexes for each individual program accompany this Remission Policy.

4. Requirements

  1. 4.1 ISED programs are to establish remission processes and procedures in accordance with the following:
    1. 4.1.1 Compliance: Remissions are issued in accordance with the requirements set out in legislation, Treasury Board policies, departmental policies and the accompanying Program Annexes;
    2. 4.1.2 Transparency: Remission Policy, Program Annexes, Service and Performance Standards are available to the public in both official languages in accordance with Treasury Board and departmental policies.
  2. 4.2 Methodology: Remissions made under section 7 of the Service Fees Act to be granted to a fee-payer in the form of a refund or other manner set out in the relevant Program Annexes.
  3. 4.3 Interest Charges: No payment of interest will be made on remissions made under section 7 of the Service Fees Act.
  4. 4.4 Considerations: For determining whether a service standard is not met and whether a remission is warranted, Programs are to establish appropriate considerations, including but not limited to the following:
    1. 4.4.1 The proportion by which the standard is not met;
    2. 4.4.2 The impact on the fee-payer of the standard not being met;
    3. 4.4.3 Any circumstances beyond the Department's control that may impact its ability to meet the standard; and
    4. 4.4.4 Any role that the fee-payer may play in the standard not being met.
  5. 4.5 Refusals: The program's procedures regarding remissions may include policies and procedures for a fee-payer to refuse a remission.
  6. 4.6 Contact information: Program Annexes should include contact details for those seeking further information.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

Individual sectors and the Corporate Management Sector (CMS) each have distinct roles and responsibilities related to service fee remissions.

  1. 5.1 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for:
    1. 5.1.1 Ensuring that a departmental policy and procedures for granting remissions to fee-payers under section 7 of the Service Fees Act are established and adhered to in accordance with relevant Treasury Board policies or directives.
  2. 5.2 Corporate Management Sector (CMS) is responsible for:
    1. 5.2.1 Revising and updating this Remission Policy as required;
    2. 5.2.2 Establishing service standards and Establishing an accounting approach for remission processes at ISED;
    3. 5.2.3 Exercising delegated authority to approve all fee remissions at ISED in accordance with section 33 of the Financial Administration Act;
    4. 5.2.4 Ensuring that fees are remitted, as submitted by each program, by July 1st of the following fiscal year in which the performance standard was not met; and
    5. 5.2.5 Reporting on fees remitted by the Department each fiscal year in accordance with Treasury Board reporting requirements.
  3. 5.3 Sectors are responsible for:
    1. 5.3.1 Completing the Program Annexes and communicating them to stakeholders;
    2. 5.3.2 Establishing service standards and monitoring service performance on a regular basis and taking actions to improve performance where necessary;
    3. 5.3.3 Initiating internal requests for remissions to fee-payers as required; and
    4. 5.3.4 Confirming the amount of remissions issued each fiscal year in accordance with Treasury Board reporting requirements.  

6. Other Government Departments (OGDs)

  1. 6.1 This Remission Policy does not apply to fee-payers, that are organizations or persons listed under schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act.

7. Monitoring and Reporting

  1. 7.1 The Remission Policy will be reviewed a minimum every five years subject to priority ranking of all areas of risk or significance within ISED. A review could happen sooner depending on changes to legislation and/or policy. The Sectors will have the ability to update their respective Program Annexes regularly as their business process evolves and/or to adapt to changes in legislation and policy.
  2. 7.2 Reporting on service fee remissions will be completed annually, in accordance with Treasury Board policy and direction.

8. References

  1. 8.1 Legislation: Service Fees Act
  2. 8.2 Legislation: Financial Administration Act
  3. 8.3 Regulation: Low-materiality Fees Regulations
  4. 8.4 Treasury Board: Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities

9. Inquiries

  1. 9.1 For interpretation, clarification, inquiries, or complaints regarding this Remission Policy, please contact:

    Manager, Financial Policy, Corporate Management Sector
    Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
    Email Financial Policy:

10. General Information on the Program Annexes

Program Annexes – Program Annexes of individual ISED programs provide greater details regarding the remission processes and procedures in the application of this Remission Policy.

A Program Annex is in place for each program subject to the Remission Policy. At a minimum, each annex sets out:

Program Annexes

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