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House of Commons Procedure and Practice

Second Edition, 2009

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*   Basic Components of Financial Operations

The basic components of parliamentary financial procedure may be succinctly described as follows:

Consolidated Revenue Fund: the account into which the government deposits taxes, tariffs, excises and other revenues, once collected, and from which it withdraws the money it requires to cover its expenditures.[7]

Royal Recommendation: a message from the Governor General required for any vote, resolution, address or bill for the appropriation of public revenue.[8] Only a Minister can obtain such a recommendation.

Supply: the process by which the government submits its projected annual expenditures (the estimates) for parliamentary approval.

Borrowing authority: the authorization that may be granted to the Minister of Finance by the Governor in Council to make up any shortfall between revenues and expenditures.

Ways and means: the process by which the government sets out its economic policy (the budget) and obtains the necessary resources to meet its expenses.

Public Accounts: the annual statement and review of the government’s financial transactions.

[7] Constitution Act, 1867, R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 5, s. 103.

[8] Constitution Act, 1867, R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 5, s. 54.

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