Inside Harper's PMO: some numbers
You may be wondering: what the heck do they do over there in the Privy Council Office?
Well, managing Stephen Harper's business is a mammoth task, according to the spending estimates just tabled today in the Commons.
And if you look in particular at the departmental estimates for the PCO, you can learn some interesting things. If nothing else, it may explain why Yann Martel had trouble getting the Prime Minister to read the books he was sending -- they were among more than 2.5 million (!) bits of correspondence sent to Harper last year. Have a look at some of the other factoids, lifted directly from the estimates.
A total of 204 meetings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees were organized in 2009-10. As well, there were 71 Deputy Minister meetings, of which two were day-long sessions.
From April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010, the Government introduced 55 Bills in Parliament, and 32 Bills received Royal Assent. In 2009-10, PCO managed a total of approximately 2,300 Parliamentary Returns, including the preparation of responses and tabling of answers to 799 Order Paper Questions posed to the government by MPs and the coordination and tabling the response to 1498 petitions to the Government.
Whether it’s a letter from US President Obama or a drawing sent by a child, all of the non-partisan mail addressed to the Prime Minister is processed by PCO. In 2009-10, PCO received 2,475,573 pieces of correspondence.
During 2009-10, the total number of requests received under the Access to Information Act was 492. The total number of requests completed during the reporting year was 545 (include the requests that were active / incomplete as of April 1, 2009)
In 2009-10, the Prime Minister participated in 10 international summits, and conducted 7 incoming visits and 12 outgoing visits.