How should LAC meet budget cuts?

Canadian Press reports that Treasury Board President Anita Anand is tasking federal cabinet ministers with finding $15.4 billion in government spending cuts by a deadline of Oct. 2.

The focus would be reducing discretionary spending on government consulting, professional services and travel by 15 per cent or $7.1 billion over five years. That’s 3% per year.

How would you cut Library and Archives Canada’s expenditure by three per cent?

LAC’s planned expenditure for 2023/24 is $196,091,519, so in round figures, three per cent is a six million dollar cut.

According to the figures in the Departmental Plan, that reduction is more than half the increase in LAC’s budget over the previous year, mainly due to the following increases:

– an increase of $10.6 million for the access to information and litigation support function;
– an increase of $5.5 million for the implementation of the federal framework to address the legacy of residential schools, announced in Budget 2022;
– an increase of $1.3 million for the implementation of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, announced in Budget 2021; and
– an increase of $3.3 million mainly related to anticipated changes in non-budgetary expenditures, such as the value of services provided without charge by other government departments and amortization of tangible capital assets, as well as statutory adjustments.

Would you protect those clearly high-priority areas when the Estimates were approved?

If they were protected, the six million dollars is a 3.5 per cent cut for the rest.

In 2023/24, the split in expenditure between the budget lines was: Acquiring and preserving documentary heritage (39%), Providing access to documentary heritage (38%), and Internal services (23%). In previous years, while the absolute amount increased, the per cent spent on Acquiring and preserving documentary heritage was substantially greater.

Will every section be consulted on where cuts could be made to meet the target within their area? Given the emphasis on “consulting, professional services and travel,” Internal services would be an obvious place to scrutinize closely.

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