The Alberta formal
decision making process is not an exclusive executive function.
While Cabinet is the final decision-making body, the Standing Policy
Committees, comprised of members from the governing party, play a
key role. Standing Policy Committees are created by Ministerial
Order signed by the Premier. They are an integral part of the
executive decision-making process and act as gatekeepers to Cabinet
policy decisions: all Ministers' requests for new or amended policy
and programs must be recommended by the Standing Policy Committees
to Cabinet for approval.
of the Standing Policy Committees is chaired by a Private Government
Member, each with the authority to hear public and private
submissions. Ministers are appointed as vice-chairs of these
committees. These chairpersons sit at the Cabinet Table to represent
their Committee's views. The unique membership of these Committees
flows directly from the Premier's commitment to provide government
backbenchers with a greater say in the decision-making process.
policy and legislation all flow as a natural progression from the
government three-year business planning process. This is a cyclical
process that begins in the summer of each year with Standing Policy
Committee input on the Government of Alberta three-year business
plan to caucus and Cabinet. Cabinet identifies the priorities for
the Government of Alberta three-year business plan with Treasury
Board then setting the three-year ministry budget targets.
Departments are then provided with the fiscal framework within which
their business plans must be developed. In August and September,
each department presents to the appropriate Standing Policy
Committee a draft of its annual report that outlines the
department's actual performance of the prior year in relation to its
goals and performance measures for that year. This review sets the
stage for the October review by the appropriate Standing Policy
Committee of the department's revised three-year business plan.
Standing Policy Committees will report the results of their review
to Cabinet, either confirming their support for the business plans
or highlighting where necessary any plans that may have strayed from
the overall fiscal framework established by the Treasury
reports, along with any other issues raised by the Finance
department, form the basis for the Treasury Board's budget
deliberations during the months of November and December.
decisions and recommendations of Treasury Board are reviewed with
Cabinet and caucus; the final directions from Treasury Board are
formalized into three-year budget targets and fiscal departmental
business plans, culminating in the Budget and the tabling of the
business plans in the legislature.
Departments submit their three-year legislation plans and overviews of
individual legislation to the Agenda and Priorities Committee in the
late summer. The Agenda and Priorities Committee recommends a fall
and spring legislation list to Cabinet for approval. Once approved,
detailed draft legislation is reviewed by the appropriate Standing
Policy Committee. This occurs through September to December, in
preparation for the fall and spring sitting of the
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