PAA - Program Activity Architecture
Management, Resources and Results Structure including the Program Activity Architecture
The Treasury Board Secretariat’s Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) Policy requires departments to define how they plan and manage diverse programs and related activities, allocate resources and achieve and report on results. As outlined in the MRRS Policy statement, last updated December 20, 2008, a departmental MRRS is to have three elements: clearly defined and measurable Strategic Outcomes; a Program Activity Architecture (PAA); and a description of the current Governance Structure, which outlines the decision-making mechanisms, responsibilities and accountabilities of the department.
The Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces (DND/CF) MRRS consists of three elements:
1. A set of four Strategic Outcomes:
- Resources are acquired to meet Government Defence Expectations;
- National Defence is ready to meet Government Defence Expectations;
- Defence operations will improve peace, stability and security wherever deployed, and;
- Care and Support to the Canadian Forces and Contribution to Canadian Society.
2. A PAA with seventeen program activities:
- Resources are acquired to meet Government Defence Expectations:
- Defence Science & Technology
- Recruiting and Initial Training of Personnel
- Equipment Acquisition and Disposal
- Real Property and Informatics Infrastructure Acquisition and Disposal
- National Defence is ready to meet Government Defence Expectations:
- Maritime Readiness
- Land Readiness
- Aerospace Readiness
- Joint and Common Readiness
- Defence operations will improve peace, stability and security wherever deployed:
- Situational Awareness
- Canadian Peace, Stability and Security
- Continental Peace, Stability and Security
- International Peace, Stability and Security
- Care and Support to the Canadian Forces and Contribution to Canadian Society:
- Defence Team Personnel Support
- Canadian Identity
- Environment Protection and Stewardship
- Non-Security Support
- Internal Services
Note: Internal Services, such as policy development, business planning and communications, provide the pan-departmental support to enable the delivery of the four strategic outcomes. Other examples are human resources management; information technology; travel and other administrative services; real property services; and material services. Internal Services is defined by Treasury Board Secretariat, and is structured the same for all Government of Canada departments.
Each program activity profiles up to three levels of activity (program activity, sub-activity and sub-sub activity). These activities are causally linked to produce a predominant expected result for the program. Each program activity contributes to/leads to the achievement of a Strategic Outcome. Each level of the PAA has one or more performance indicators assigned to it, which are managed through a comprehensive Performance Measurement Framework (PMF). The PMF enables DND/CF to monitor the achievement of the expected results of the PAA.
The PAA structure sits above and is separate from the organizational and financial structure as represented by the level one organizations, their organizational identifiers (org IDs) and the associated financial tracking system consisting of fund centers and cost centers linked to each level one organization, plus the separately tracked Work Breakdown System (WBS accounts). An interface links the org IDs/fund centers/cost centers with the PAA at the sub-sub activity level.
Please note that this PAA structure is effective April 1, 2010 and replaces the previous PAA for the Department.
3. A Governance Structure outlining the decision-making mechanisms, responsibilities and accountabilities of the department. It consists of:
- A corporate governance structure which operates department-wide at the highest level to provides strategic, resource and management direction, decision making and accountability for the whole institution and its programs. The PAA structure and corresponding PMF support the activities of this governance structure through regular reporting of performance information with an aim to inform decision-making.
DND/CF tracks budgetary allocations and expenditures through a central system known as FMAS (Financial and Managerial Accounting System) administered by ADM (Finance & Corporate Services). Implementation of the PAA requires that the department plan, budget, track and report expenditures against the PAA structure. This means the FMAS accounts must be affiliated to the PAA structure so the costs of program activities can be tracked and reported. Since the FMAS structure consists of several hundred Fund Centers (FCs), containing several thousand Cost Centers (CCs) and several thousand WBS accounts (Work Breakdown Structure for all project expenditures), these have all been allocated against the PAA structure.
The MRRS/PAA will be used in Defence to underpin departmental planning, business planning, resource planning and management, and performance monitoring and reporting, both internally and externally. These are described below:
- Planning: the PAA will provide the high level structure of programs, activities and expected results, against which Business Planning, and the Report on Plans and Priorities (and the Estimates) will be framed on an annual basis. The Defence Tasks, Corporate Priorities and Change Initiatives will be aligned to the PAA, using a defence business model based on the PAA. Risk analysis of the business model will help identify areas of focus to ensure business effectiveness. This provides the framework within which those responsible for activities at each level can commit to the results they intend to achieve.
- Business Planning: once the approved Business Plans are launched in a fiscal period, senior management will be able to assess progress against the Plans, by following progress on outputs and expected results associated with activities as defined in the PAA. Regular reporting on performance information relating to the PAA outputs and expected results will allow adjustments in focus and effort as needed to advance the plans.
- Resource planning and management: With the financial information provided through the MRRS/PAA model (via the FMAS accounts tracking all costs by the PAA), Defence will have a better understanding of the true cost of key activities and processes at all three levels of the department’s programs, as well as the aggregate costs of the programs. With this knowledge, DND/CF can link resource allocations to planned activities. As well, Defence can enhance its plans and choices of investment and divestment across capabilities and major contributing processes. Defence will be better positioned to identify areas of under resourcing, or force development needing greater financial support, and thereby present the case more credibly to the government of Canada.
- Performance monitoring and reporting: With performance indicators defined for each activity type and its expected result, DND/CF will have a strong database of performance information to inform planning, performance tracking and reporting. While the PAA performance indicator pool is relatively comprehensive, selected subsets will be chosen for various corporate purposes, viz:
- a small selection of high level, strategic indicators will be used to monitor progress against the Defence Priorities identified in the Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP);
- other PAA performance indicators can be utilized to inform progress on the mitigation of Corporate Risks;
- indicators at the Program Activity level will inform the department’s annual Departmental Performance Report (DPR) reporting on the results of the RPP;
- overall, the Performance Management Framework provides the structure within which those responsible for activities at each level can commit to the results they intend to achieve with the resources they have been allocated and against which they can render accountability and report inside and outside the department.