The Planning Cycle - Mandate Objectives

Mandate Objectives are specific, achievable, and measurable goals that the Chief and Council wish to accomplish during their current tenure as political leaders in the community. Mandate Objectives are established to fulfill election promises, to address priority concerns and to set new directions. Mandate Objectives provide direction to the Band Manager and the Program Directors to take into consideration in developing their Preliminary Program Budgets.

The Chief and Council's Mandate Objectives help to frame the decisions made throughout their tenure. The Mandate Objectives, which are consistent with the community's Mission and Vision, provide a template for decisions being made by Chief and Council and a measure against which to judge the success of Program Directors in reaching these objectives.

It is important that Mandate Objectives be specific and measurable so that staff have clear direction when preparing and implementing Preliminary Program Budgets. As well, measurable objectives make it easier for Chief and Council to see how well they are achieving their goals.

To establish Mandate Objectives, organizations will build on their vision and mission statements. The Mandate Objectives are statements about where the Council wants to go during its tenure as political leaders in the community.

  1. Establishment of Mandate Objectives is the responsibility of Band Council and will normally be an agenda item early in its mandate.

  2. Mandate Objectives can be related to such things as improving the employment rate of community members, decreasing social assistance dependency, increasing the proportion of high school graduates, improving community infrastructure, or decreasing the incidence of substance abuse. The Chief and Councillors should agree on 5-8 Mandate Objectives giving due consideration to all programs.

  3. The Mandate Objectives should then be reviewed by the Band Manager and Program Directors to determine if they can realistically be achieved. For example, Chief and Council may want to eliminate the housing backlog, but if that means the construction of 100 homes for which funding is not available, then it is clearly not realistic.

  4. A joint meeting between Council and the Band Manager (and Program Directors if appropriate) should be held to consider the feedback from Program Directors and to finalize the Mandate Objectives. (see Sample Mandate Objectives)

  5. The Mandate Objectives are then distributed to Program Directors and staff for input to their Preliminary Program Budgets. Many First Nations make these objectives known to the community through communication channels like a community newsletter.

Roles and Responsibilities:
Chief and Council are responsible for establishing their Mandate Objectives with the technical assistance of Band staff or outside consultants.

Mandate Objectives are one of the first things to be determined in the fiscal planning cycle and should be discussed and set early in the 4th quarter (beginning of January). However, the timing of elections doesn't always coincide with the planning cycle and regardless of when an election is held, the setting of Mandate Objectives is an important task to undertake as soon after the election as possible.