Service Fees Remission Policy

1. Effective date

  1. 1.1 This Service Fees Remission Policy came into effect on April 1, 2021 and was last reviewed on April 1, 2024.

2. Authorities

  1. 2.1 This Remission Policy is issued pursuant to the authority of section 7 of the Service Fees Act (SFA).

3. Objectives and expected results

  1. 3.1 This Remission Policy ensures compliance with the SFA and associated Treasury Board policy instruments, notably the Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities in sections 4.2.4 and 6.2.2.
  2. 3.2 This Policy serves to set out ways to determine whether a service standard is not met and what amount is to be remitted for a fee that is subject to sections 4 to 7 of the SFA.
  3. 3.3 This Remission Policy establishes a principles-based approach to enable effective management of service fee remissions within and across ISED programs that are subject to remissions per the SFA:
    1. 3.3.1 Fairness and transparency: Remission Policy processes and procedures are to be applied fairly and transparently within the program and are in accordance with departmental requirements.
    2. 3.3.2 Minimizing burden on fee-payers: Remission Policy processes and procedures will seek to serve the client's interest in the management of remissions.
  4. 3.4 ISED has multiple programs with diversified mandates. In order to reflect the unique nature of each program's remission processes and procedures, detailed Annexes for each individual program accompany this Remission Policy.

4. Requirements

  1. 4.1 ISED programs are to establish remission processes and procedures in accordance with the following:
    1. 4.1.1 Compliance: Remissions are issued in accordance with the requirements set out in legislation, Treasury Board policies, departmental policies and the accompanying Program Annexes;
    2. 4.1.2 Transparency: Consultations related to fee proposals, the Remission Policy, Program Annexes, Service and Performance Standards are available to the public in both official languages in accordance with Treasury Board and departmental policies.
  2. 4.2 Methodology: Remissions made under section 7 of the SFA to be granted to a fee-payer in the form of a refund or other manner set out in the relevant Program Annexes.
  3. 4.3 Interest Charges: No payment of interest will be made on remissions made under section 7 of the SFA.
  4. 4.4 Considerations: For determining whether a service standard is not met and what amount is to be remitted, Programs are to establish appropriate considerations, including but not limited to the following:
    1. 4.4.1 The proportion by which the standard is not met;
    2. 4.4.2 The impact on the fee-payer of the standard not being met;
    3. 4.4.3 Any circumstances beyond the Department's control that may impact its ability to meet the standard;
    4. 4.4.4 Any role that the fee-payer may play in the standard not being met.
  5. 4.5 Refusals: The program's procedures regarding remissions may include policies and procedures for a fee-payer to refuse a remission; and
  6. 4.6 Contact information: Program Annexes should include contact details for those seeking further information.

5. Roles and responsibilities

Individual sectors and the Corporate Management Sector (CMS) each have distinct roles and responsibilities related to service fee remissions.

  1. 5.1 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for:
    1. 5.1.1 Ensuring that a departmental Policy and procedures for granting remissions to fee-payers under section 7 of the SFA are established and adhered to in accordance with relevant Treasury Board policies and directives.
    2. 5.1.2 Ensuring that the portion of a fee to be remitted is proportional to the degree to which the performance standard was not met; and
    3. 5.1.3 Making this Policy and procedures available to the public.
  2. 5.2 Corporate Management Sector (CMS) is responsible for:
    1. 5.2.1 Revising and updating this Remission Policy as required;
    2. 5.2.2 Revising and maintaining methodologies supporting the granting of remissions in accordance with Treasury Board policies and directives;
    3. 5.2.3 Establishing service standards and establishing an accounting approach for remission processes at ISED;
    4. 5.2.4 Exercising delegated authority to approve all fee remissions at ISED in accordance with section 33 of the Financial Administration Act;
    5. 5.2.5 Ensuring that fees are remitted, as submitted by each program, by July 1st of the following fiscal year in which the performance standard was not met;
    6. 5.2.6 Reporting on fees remitted by the Department each fiscal year in accordance with Treasury Board reporting requirements; and
    7. 5.2.7 Coordination and preparation of the annual Departmental Fees Report and the departmental view of the annual President of the Treasury Board's Fees Report to Parliament.
  3. 5.3 Sectors are responsible for:
    1. 5.3.1 Completing the Program Annexes and communicating them to stakeholders and fee-payers;
    2. 5.3.2 Establishing service standards and monitoring service performance on a regular basis and taking actions to improve performance where necessary;
    3. 5.3.3 Ensuring that applicable service standards are referenced in the Program Annexes;
    4. 5.3.4 Initiating internal requests for remissions to fee-payers as required;
    5. 5.3.5 Confirming to CMS Accounts Receivable the amount of remissions issued each fiscal year by March 31 in accordance with Treasury Board reporting requirements; and
    6. 5.3.6 Securing a source of funds for the cost of the remissions; Programs that have a Vote Netted Revenue (VNR) authority are entitled to re-spend the fees they collect, and can therefore use the collected revenues to cover the remissions. Programs which are not entitled to re-spend the fees they collect (e.g., where fees are directed to the Consolidated Revenue Fund), are required to establish a separate cost centre for tracking remissions issued from their regular operating budget.

6. Other Government Departments (OGDs)

  1. 6.1 Fees charged only to federal entities, those organizations listed in schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, are not subject to remissions and therefore not subject to this policy.

7. Monitoring and reporting

  1. 7.1 The Remission Policy will be reviewed a minimum every five years subject to priority ranking of all areas of risk or significance within ISED. A review could happen sooner depending on changes to legislation and/or policy. Sectors will have the ability to update their respective Program Annexes regularly as their business process evolves and/or to adapt to changes in legislation and policy.
  2. 7.2 All departmental remissions will be reported annually and made public within the ISED Departmental Fees Report, the President of Treasury Board's Annual Fees Report, and on the annual Departmental Results Report in accordance with TBS Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities, section 4.2.8.

8. References

Legislation and regulations

Related policy instruments

9. Inquiries

  • General Inquiries on this Service Fees Remission Policy should be addressed to
  • Inquiries regarding Program specific-information, including remissions eligibility criteria, amounts, service standards, etc. are to be directed to the program-specific organizations, as found in the Program Annexes in section 10 below.

10. Specific information on program annexes

Program Annexes of individual ISED programs provide greater details regarding the remission processes and procedures in the application of this Service Fees Remission Policy.

ISED has the following Programs with service fees:

Each Program annex sets out:

  • The considerations under which a remission will or will not be issued for each fee subject to SFA sections 4-7. This includes the criteria to determine the proportion of the fee to be remitted;
  • The process(es) used to issue a remission;
  • Conditions that affect when or how remissions will be issued. This means programs may stipulate instances when remissions will not be issued; and
  • Contact information for those seeking further information.