Transparency in Government Contracts in Canada

The Canadian government is committed to increasing transparency with regard to its open contracts and spending as to help citizens understand funding decisions and get a better grasp of spending processes, procurement, and federal budgets.


The main goal is to ensure that spending and budget information is publicly available and easy to understand by the general public. To this, the government is committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to access and view open data related to procurement. The implementation of common contracting data standards will also help increase transparency and accessibility. Lead departments tasked with implementing the guiding principles include the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Public Services and Procurement Canada, and Department of Finance Canada.

Gender-Based Analysis Plus

This is an analytical tool used by the Canadian government to understand how men, women, and gender-diverse individuals perceive different initiatives, programs, and policies. Gender-Based Plus acknowledges that different factors play a role, including physical and mental disability, age, religion, ethnicity, and race.

Guidelines on the Reporting of Grants and Contributions

The government of Canada has published Guidelines on the Reporting of Grants and Contributions to help functional specialists and managers collect and publish information on contributions and grants. Relevant legislation that informs the guidelines includes the Indian Act, Financial Administration Act, Access to Information Act, and Privacy Act. Under the guidelines, mandatory fields for reporting contributions and grants include fiscal year, department identifier, department name, agreement type, and reference number. Recipient information includes details such as recipient legal name and type and recipient territory or province. Optional details are federal riding number and name and research organization. The guidelines also include mandatory fields for project information such as project agreement end date, agreement value in CAD, and description.

There are different categories of recipients that are eligible to receive money, among which sole or individual proprietorships, international, government, and aboriginal recipients. Other eligible groups are also public and academia institutions, charities and non-for-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations. Public and academia institutions include entities that are involved in creating educational tools and materials and those that provide education. The category of government recipients is used when financing is transferred outside of Canada or to another level of government, including Crown corporations and municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

Other details that recipients are asked to provide include agreement title, foreign currency value and type, and intended outcome or expected results. For example, if the recipient receives money in a currency other than CAD, they have to indicate the type of currency, whether British pound, Australian dollar, or US dollar. Finally, recipients may provide additional information that is not included in other fields. These can be details regarding repayability, termination, novation agreements, and belated reporting. Other information to include can be partners and collaborators, research fields, funding through a third party, and additional funding departments.