Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I am pleased to be here today to talk about my two departments' main estimates and reports on plans and priorities for the 2015-16 fiscal year. With me from Public Works and Government Services Canada are the deputy minister, George Da Pont, and the chief financial officer, Alex Lakroni.
From Shared Services Canada I'm joined by the president, Liseanne Forand, and Elizabeth Tromp, the acting senior ADM, corporate services, and chief financial officer.
Both PWGSC and SSC provide essential services to other departments and support our government commitment to creating jobs, growth and economic prosperity.
For the 2015-16 main estimates, Public Works' net spending is expected to increase by $30.6 million over the previous year. This is primarily due to the transfer of responsibilities to Public Works from the former Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, as well as to the rehabilitation of the Parliament Buildings, including interim accommodation for the Senate.
For Shared Services Canada, the 2015-16 main estimates represent a total of $1.444 billion and show a net decrease of $127.8 million compared to the previous year. This is due mainly to savings achieved across various key transformation initiatives and a $63.4 million reduction in funding for partners' projects and initiatives.
Over the next year, PWGSC is looking forward to reaching several milestones.
Last week my colleague Tilly O'Neill-Gordon, member of Parliament for Miramichi, officially kicked off the construction of the new public service pay centre, showing just how far we've come on the transformation of pay administration initiative. The construction of this building will create an estimated 200 jobs in addition to the 550 employees currently working in the interim pay centre. In fact, by the end of the year, over 140,000 pay accounts will be administered at this new centre.
By consolidating pay services into a single building, we will generate approximately $70 million in savings each year starting in 2016-17. Obviously that's good news for taxpayers, and it's good news for the people of Miramichi.
Another great Public Works initiative with which you might be familiar is the build in Canada innovation program, or as we fondly refer to it, BCIP. Through this program our government is kick-starting Canadian businesses by helping them get their innovative products and services from the lab to the marketplace.
One of the biggest hurdles that companies face with new products is making that first sale. As you all know, it can be tough to get someone to take a chance on an untested product or service.
I've heard the story from business owners a hundred times that when Canadian companies try to sell their products internationally, the first question they're asked is if the Canadian government is one of their customers. Let me tell you, it is a pretty tough sell when the answer to that question is no. It's through this program the federal government acts as a first buyer of new technology. I'd like to stress that this is not a subsidy or a grant. Companies and their innovation are matched with government departments that could use their innovation to fulfill a business need.
But, the government departments are not just customers. After test-driving the innovation, they provide real-world evaluation and feedback to suppliers who can then make refinements. We hear all the time that companies find this feedback very useful.
Having made a sale to the Government of Canada, businesses can demonstrate the value of their products and services to potential customers in Canada and indeed right around the world. With 100 contracts issued since 2010, this program is a great boost to innovative Canadian companies.
We're also looking forward to making further progress under our national shipbuilding procurement strategy. Over the next month, Vancouver Shipyards will begin construction on the Canadian Coast Guard offshore fisheries science vessel. Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax will cut steel on the Arctic offshore patrol ship for National Defence.
The two shipyards are employing hundreds of highly skilled workers, while some 256 companies across Canada have already been engaged in contracts valued at $900 million. This is all thanks to our national shipbuilding procurement strategy, which is helping rebuild a strong Canadian shipbuilding industry and a marine industry that will create an estimated 15,000 jobs over the next 30 years.
This long-term approach to building ships will ensure strong jobs and economic growth, stability for the industry, and vital equipment for our men and women in the Royal Canadian Navy and in the Canadian Coast Guard. We are also looking forward to making further progress on our government's new defence procurement strategy.
This strategy marks the most significant shift in the federal government's purchasing of military equipment in 30 years.
It aims to achieve three important objectives: deliver the right equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces in a timely manner; leverage these purchases to create jobs and growth; and streamline our procurement processes. While we've made progress on the implementation of this strategy, I am looking forward to taking further steps to its implementation. Value propositions are beginning to be applied to procurements and will continue to be applied on a systematic basis going forward.
If I may, I would now like to turn to Shared Services Canada. SSC continues to modernize and consolidate our government's IT infrastructure.
Our data centre consolidation will also continue over the course of the fiscal year, as aging data centres are closed and replaced by a small number of modern, secure and highly efficient ones.
Fewer data centres will eliminate duplication, will standardize processes, and perhaps most importantly, will tighten security. We have established three enterprise data centres already and closed 57 data centres over the past two years. Savings of $14.5 million have been achieved already through consolidation and renegotiation of data centre contracts under economic action plan 2012.
In the course of executing this part of the plan, SSC has identified over 200 additional existing data centres, the vast majority of which are small rooms within office buildings. While we initially planned for 485 aging facilities to be replaced by no more than seven modern, secure, reliable centres, opportunities that include better-than-expected pricing and the use of cloud computing will allow Shared Services Canada to now consolidate over 700 data centres to no more than four or five by 2020.
SSC is also helping to modernize our telephone system by moving away from conventional, and quite frankly costly, desktop phones to cellular service or voice-over-Internet protocol phones where possible. Believe it or not, this has already generated ongoing savings of approximately $28.8 million a year.
The safety and security of Canadians continues to be one of the government's top priorities. Shared Services Canada is building a secure, centralized communications infrastructure that directly supports Canada's Cyber Security Strategy. SSC works closely with government security partners to protect government systems from cyber threats and intrusions.
As new products are brought forward, Shared Services will work with industry experts to identify best practices and approaches by providing secure, cost effective, and robust IT architecture.
SSC is making it possible to partner departments to achieve their priorities and better deliver services and programs to Canadians. The total amount the government has saved since SSC's creation is now $209 million each year. That's $150 million for the consolidation of existing services and the reduction of overhead, $50 million through email transformation, and $9 million through the consolidated procurement of hardware and software for workplace technology devices.
Mr. Chair, PWGSC and SSC are tasked with very broad and complex responsibilities. While difficulties can and do arise, overall I am pleased with the progress that has been made by both departments over the last fiscal year.
I anticipate another year of steady progress in achieving cost savings, better services, and greater security for the Government of Canada and for the citizens that it serves.
Thank you very much. We now look forward to your questions.