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The Department of Finance is the primary advisor to the Government of Nunavut (GN) on all financial and budgetary matters. The Department ensures that public funds are used to support government priorities in an ethical manner that is open and accountable to the public. The Department is a central agency that works within a structure that assists all other departments and agencies within the GN, offering them guidance so that they may access the resources needed in order to carry out their programs and services.
The fundamental roles of the Department of Finance are set out by the Financial Administration Act (FAA). This Act assigns to the Minister of Finance specific powers and responsibilities. The Act also sets out the responsibility of the Department towards the Financial Management Board (FMB), as well as the responsibilities of both the Deputy Minister and the Comptroller General.
The department plays a lead role in determining the annual financial needs of the GN, and provides guidance and oversight to ensure that the government as a whole lives within its means. Overall, the department is responsible for the preparation of both annual financial plans and long-range strategies that support the development and management of a stable financial foundation for the territory. Key departmental responsibilities include:
- coordinating the budget development process for the GN;
- reporting on government revenue and spending;
- providing financial advice to the FMB and Cabinet;
- providing a framework to ensure that both government and public agencies are accountable, including the payroll and other financial systems; and
- developing policy directions in terms of financial management and the financial dimensions of human resource management.
As most of the territory’s revenue comes from the Territorial Financing Formula and other strategic funding agreements, the department works closely with the federal government. This is to ensure that the unique needs and circumstances of our territory are accurately represented within the existing frameworks that are responsible for deciding upon levels of funding in accordance with federal and territorial funding arrangements.
Understanding the larger picture in which the Department of Finance works requires not only a recognition of this working relationship with the federal government, but also the identification and recognition of other partners and groups who have a stake in what the Department does. These partners and stakeholders include the provinces and other territories, designated Inuit organizations, our communities, GN departments and agencies and most importantly, Nunavummiut.