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2009 Departmental Performance Report

Financial Statements for the Year Ended March 31, 2009

Management Responsibility for Financial Statements

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying Financial Statements for the year ended March 31, 2009 and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (the Office).

These Financial Statements have been prepared by management in accordance with Treasury Board accounting policies, which are consistent with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector. Some of the information in the Financial Statements is based on management's best estimates and judgements and gives due consideration to materiality. These statements should be read within the context of the significant accounting policies set out in the Notes.

Management maintains a system of financial management and internal controls designed to provide reasonable assurance that financial information is reliable, that assets are safeguarded, resources are managed economically and efficiently in the attainment of corporate objectives, and that transactions are in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and regulations, the Canada Elections Act, the Referendum Act, the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and the Constitution Acts.

Management is supported and assisted by a program of internal audit services. The Office also has an independent Audit Committee. The responsibilities of the committee are to provide the Chief Electoral Officer with independent and objective advice, guidance, and deliberation on the adequacy and effectiveness of Elections Canada's governance, risk management, control, audit and reporting practices.

The Auditor General of Canada, the independent auditor for the Government of Canada, has audited the transactions and the Financial Statements and issued the attached auditor's report.

(Original signed by)

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

(Original signed by)

Gisèle Côté, CGA
Chief Financial Officer and Internal Audit

Ottawa, Canada
July 17, 2009

 

Auditor's Report

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER
Statement of Financial Position
At March 31
(in thousands of dollars)

  2009 2008
ASSETS
Financial assets
Accountable advances
$2
$3
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
64,160
19,370
Receivables
- from external parties
1,979
512
- from government departments and agencies   1,020   1,028
Total financial assets
67,161
20,913
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses
1,619
590
Consumable supplies
7,746
7,549
Tangible capital assets (Note 4) 19,507 16,353
Total non-financial assets
28,872
24,492
Total
$96,033
$45,405
LIABILITIES
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities
- to external parties
$56,636
$16,775
- to government departments and agencies
5,040
1,907
Accrued employee salaries and benefits
3,132
1,674
Lease obligation for tangible capital assets (Note 5)
275
318
Provision for vacation leave
1,638
1,411
Deposits from political candidates
417
44
Employee severance benefits (Note 6)  5,661  4,429
Total liabilities
72,799
26,558
EQUITY OF CANADA
23,234
18,847
Total
$96,033
$45,405

Contractual Obligations (Note 7) and Contingencies (Note 8)
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these Financial Statements.

Approved by:

(Original signed by)

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

(Original signed by)

Gisèle Côté, CGA
Chief Financial Officer and Internal Audit

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER
Statement of Operations
For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars)

  2009 2008
Expenses (Note 9)
Salaries and benefits
$137,021
$40,583
Reimbursement of candidates' and parties' expenses
58,992
1,018
Professional services
36,694
24,725
Travel and communication
31,156
9,211
Political parties quarterly allowance
28,151
28,016
Rental of equipment and accommodation
27,483
8,720
Advertising, publishing and printing
25,440
7,448
Amortization of tangible capital assets
6,137
4,268
Small equipment
3,262
1,645
Repair and maintenance of equipment
3,008
1,833
Utilities, materials and supplies
2,078
803
Write-off of tangible capital assets
-
707
Interest and other charges   104    61
Total Expenses
359,526
129,038
Non-tax revenue
(5)
(70)
Net Cost of Operations
$359,521
$128,968

 The accompanying notes form an integral part of these Financial Statements.

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER
Statement of Equity of Canada
For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars)

  2009 2008
Equity of Canada, beginning of year
$18,847
$21,350
Net cost of operations
(359,521)
(128,968)
Change in Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
44,790
(4,222)
Net cash provided by Government
311,859
124,524
Services provided without charge (Note 10)
7,259
6,163
Equity of Canada, end of year
$23,234
 $18,847

 The accompanying notes form an integral part of these Financial Statements.

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER
Statement of Cash Flow
For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars)

  2009 2008
OPERATING ACTIVITIES
Net cost of operations
$359,521
$128,968
Non-Cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets
(6,137)
(4,268)
Write-off of tangible capital assets
-
(707)
Services provided without charge
(7,259)
(6,163)
Variation in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase (decrease) in accounts receivable and accountable advances
1,458
(127)
Increase (decrease) in prepaid expenses
1,029
(316)
Increase (decrease) in consumable supplies
197
(1,184)
(Increase) decrease in liabilities
(46,284)
 3,125
Cash used by operating activities
302,525
119,328
CAPITAL INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES
Acquisition of tangible capital assets (excluding capital leases)
9,241
5,126
Payment of capital lease obligations
   93
   70
Cash used by capital investment activities
9,334
5,196
NET CASH PROVIDED BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
$311,859
$124,524

 The accompanying notes form an integral part of these Financial Statements.

 

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER
Notes to Financial Statements
For the year ended March 31, 2009

1. Authority and Objectives

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (the Office), commonly known as Elections Canada, is headed by the Chief Electoral Officer who is appointed by resolution of the House of Commons and reports directly to Parliament.  The Chief Electoral Officer is completely independent of the federal government and political parties. The Office is named in Schedule I.1 of the Financial Administration Act.

The Office's objectives are to enable the Canadian electorate to elect members to the House of Commons in accordance with the Canada Elections Act; to ensure compliance with and enforcement of all provisions of the Canada Elections Act; to calculate the number of members of the House of Commons to be assigned to each province pursuant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution Acts; and to provide the necessary technical, administrative and financial support to the ten electoral boundaries commissions, one for each province, in accordance with the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

The Office is funded by an annual appropriation (which provides for the salaries of permanent, full-time staff) and the statutory authority contained in the Canada Elections Act, the Referendum Act and the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. The statutory authority provides for all other expenditures, including the costs of electoral events, maintenance of the National Register of Electors, quarterly allowances to eligible political parties, redistribution of electoral boundaries and continuing public education programs.

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

  1. Basis of presentation These Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with Treasury Board accounting policies, which are consistent with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector.

  2. Parliamentary appropriations – The Office operates under two funding authorities: an annual appropriation and the statutory authority. Appropriations provided to the Office do not parallel financial reporting according to Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector. They are based in a large part on cash flow requirements. Consequently, items recognized in the Statement of Operations and the Statement of Financial Position are not necessarily the same as those provided through appropriations from Parliament.

    Note 3 to these Financial Statements provides information regarding the source and disposition of these authorities and provides a high-level reconciliation between the two bases of reporting.

  3. Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund – The Office operates within the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) which is administered by the Receiver General for Canada. All cash received by the Office is deposited to the CRF and all cash disbursements made by the Office are paid from the CRF. Due from the CRF represents the amount of cash that the Office is entitled to draw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund without further appropriations in order to discharge its liabilities.

    Net cash provided by Government is the difference between all cash receipts and all cash disbursements including transactions between departments of the federal government.

  4. Receivables – Receivables are stated at amounts expected to be ultimately realized. A provision is made for receivables where recovery is considered uncertain.

  5. Consumable supplies – Consumable supplies consist mainly of forms and publications used to administer election events and documents distributed to political entities. These supplies are recorded at weighted average cost. The cost is charged to operations in the period in which the items are consumed. If they no longer have service potential, they are valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value.

  6. Tangible capital assets – Tangible capital assets are recorded at historical cost less accumulated amortization. The Office records as tangible capital assets all expenses providing multi-year benefits and leasehold improvements having an initial cost of $5,000 or more. Similar items less than $5,000 are expensed in the Statement of Operations under small equipment. Capital assets acquired for software under development are amortized once that software is put into production.

    Amortization is calculated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the tangible capital assets as follows:

    Asset Class
    Useful Life
    Office equipment
    3 to 10 years
    Informatics equipment
    3 years
    Software
    3 to 5 years
    Furniture and fixtures
    10 years
    Vehicles
    5 years
    Motorized equipment
    10 years
    Leasehold improvements and capital leases
    Term of lease
  7. Salaries and benefits, and vacation leave – Salaries and benefits, and vacation leave are expensed as the salary or benefits accrue to the employees under their respective terms of employment. The employee salaries and benefits liability is calculated based on the respective terms of employment using the employees' salary levels at year end, and the number of days remaining unpaid at the end of the year. The liability for vacation leave is calculated at the salary levels in effect at the end of the year for all unused vacation leave benefits accruing to employees.

  8. Employee future benefits

    1) Pension benefits – Eligible employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, a multiemployer plan administered by the Government of Canada. The Office's contributions to the Plan are charged to expenses in the year incurred and represent the total of the Office's obligation to the Plan. Current legislation does not require the Office to make contributions for any actuarial deficiencies of the Plan.

    2) Severance benefits – Employees are entitled to severance benefits under labour contracts or conditions of employment. These benefits are accrued as employees render the services necessary to earn them. The obligation related to the benefits earned by employees is calculated using information derived from the results of the actuarially determined liability for employee severance benefits for the Government as a whole.

  9. Contingent liabilities – Contingent liabilities are potential liabilities, which may become actual liabilities when one or more future events occur or fail to occur. To the extent that the future event is likely to occur or fail to occur, and a reasonable estimate of the loss can be made, an estimated liability is accrued and an expense recorded. If the likelihood is not determinable or an amount cannot be reasonably estimated, the contingency is disclosed in the notes to the Financial Statements.

  10. Services provided without charge Services provided without charge by other government departments for accommodation, the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans, audit services and legal services are recorded as operating expenses, at their estimated cost, in the Statement of Operations. A corresponding amount is reported directly in the Statement of Equity of Canada.

  11. Political parties quarterly allowance – The Canada Elections Act allows for the payment from public funds of quarterly allowances to qualifying registered parties. The quarterly allowance is calculated based on the results of the most recent general election preceding the quarter. This allowance is expensed in each quarter of the calendar year as directed by the Act.

  12. Measurement uncertainty – The preparation of Financial Statements in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the Financial Statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting year.

    At the time of preparation of these statements, management believes the estimates and assumptions to be reasonable. The most significant estimates used are contingent liabilities, the liability for employee severance benefits, the useful life of tangible capital assets and candidate and party reimbursement of eligible election expenses. Actual results could significantly differ from those estimated. Management's estimates are reviewed periodically and, as adjustments become necessary, they are recorded in the Financial Statements in the year they become known.

3. Parliamentary Appropriations

The Office receives its funding through an annual Parliamentary appropriation and the statutory authority contained in the electoral legislation. Items recognized in the Statement of Operations and the Statement of Financial Position in one year may be funded through Parliamentary appropriations in prior, current or future years. Accordingly, the Office has different net results of operations for the year on a government funding basis than on an accrual accounting basis. The differences are reconciled in the following tables:

a) Reconciliation of net cost of operations to current year appropriations used

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008
Net cost of operations
$359,521
$128,968
Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting appropriations
Add (deduct):
Amortization of tangible capital assets
(6,137)
(4,268)
Consumable supplies
197
(1,184)
Services provided without charge
(7,259)
(6,163)
Change in employee severance benefits liability
(1,232)
(774)
Change in provision for vacation leave
(227)
(117)
Write-off of tangible capital assets
-
(707)
Other
   (62)
  109
 
344,801
115,864
Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting appropriations
Add (deduct):
Acquisition of tangible capital assets (excluding capital leases)
9,241
5,126
Payment of capital lease obligations
93
70
Prepaid expenses
1,029
(316)
Other
-
(4)
Current year appropriations used
$355,164
$120,740

b) Reconciliation of Parliamentary appropriations provided to current year appropriations used

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008
Appropriations Provided:
Program expenditures (Vote 25)
$27,098
$22,072
Statutory contributions to employee benefit plans
5,816
4,693
Other statutory expenditures
325,609
95,420
 
358,523
122,185
Less:
Lapsed appropriation – Program expenditures (Vote 25)
(3,359)
(1,445)
Current year appropriations used
$355,164
$120,740

c) Reconciliation of net cash provided by Government to current year appropriations used

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008
Net cash provided by Government
$311,859
$124,524
Variation in accounts receivable and accountable advances
(1,458)
127
Variation in accounts payable and accrued liabilities
42,994
(3,401)
Variation in deposits from political candidates
373
(27)
Variation in accrued employee salaries and benefits
1,458
(532)
Other adjustments
(67)
(21)
Non-tax revenue
5
70
Current year appropriations used
$355,164
$120,740

4. Tangible Capital Assets

(in thousands of dollars)  
Cost
  Opening balance Acquisitions Transfers Disposals and write-off Closing balance 2009
Net
book
value
2008
Net
book
value
Office equipment (including capital leases)
$1,186
$104
-
$34
$1,256
$682
$734
Informatics equipment
8,246
1,708
-
-
9,954
1,995
747
Software
20,522
1,902
2,787
-
25,211
8,221
8,382
Software under development
4,373
4,598
(2,787)
-
6,184
6,184
4,373
Furniture and fixtures
1,643
-
-
-
1,643
620
743
Vehicles and motorized equipment
184
-
-
-
184
92
111
Leasehold improvements
2,503
979
-
-
3,482
1,713
1,263
Total
$38,657
$9,291
$ -
$34
$47,914
$19,507
$16,353

 

(in thousands of dollars)  
Accumulated Amortization
  Opening balance Amortization Disposals and write-off Closing balance
Office equipment (including capital leases)
$452
$156
$34
$574
Informatics equipment
7,499
460
-
7,959
Software
12,140
4,850
-
16,990
Furniture and fixtures
900
123
-
1,023
Vehicles and motorized equipment
73
19
-
92
Leasehold improvements
1,240
529
-
1,769
Total
$22,304
$6,137
$34
$28,407

5. Lease Obligation for Tangible Capital Assets

The Office has entered into agreements to rent office equipment under capital lease with a cost of $482,221 and accumulated amortization of $215,424 as at March 31, 2009 ($465,627 and $155,103 respectively as at March 31, 2008). The obligations for the upcoming years include the following:

(in thousands of dollars)  
Maturing year  
2010
$108
2011
98
2012
59
2013
25
2014 and thereafter
   2
Total future minimum lease payments
292
Less: imputed interest (3.29% to 4.76%)
(17)
Lease obligation for tangible capital assets
$275

6. Employee Future Benefits

(a) Pension benefits

The Office's employees contribute to the Public Service Pension Plan, which is sponsored and administered by the Government of Canada. Pension benefits accrue up to a maximum period of 35 years at a rate of 2 percent per year of pensionable service, times the average of the best five consecutive years of earnings. The benefits are integrated with Canada/Québec Pension plans benefits and they are indexed to inflation.

The Office's and employees' contributions to the Public Service Pension Plan for the year were as follows:

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008
Office's contributions
$4,199
$3,424
Employees' contributions
$1,596
$1,306

The 2008-09 expense amount represents approximately 2.6 times the contributions by employees.

The Office's responsibility with regard to the Plan is limited to its contributions. Actuarial surpluses or deficiencies are recognized in the Financial Statements of the Government of Canada, as the Plan's sponsor.

(b) Employee severance benefits

The Office provides severance benefits to its employees based on eligibility, years of service and final salary. These severance benefits are not pre-funded. Benefits will be paid from future appropriations. Information about the severance benefits, measured as at March 31 is as follows:

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008

 

 

 

Accrued benefit obligation, beginning of year

   $4,429

   $3,655

Expense for the year

      1,549

       994

Benefits paid during the year

        (317)

       (220)

 

 

 

Accrued benefit obligation, end of year

     $5,661

     $4,429

7. Contractual Obligations

The nature of the Office's activities can result in some large multi-year contracts and obligations whereby the Office will be obligated to make future payments when the services will be rendered or goods received. Significant contractual obligations that can be reasonably estimated are summarized as follows:

(in thousands of dollars)  
2010
$41,774
2011
18,548
2012  
15,987
2013
431
2014 and thereafter
312
Total
$77,052

8. Contingencies

Claims have been made against the Office in the normal course of operations. Legal proceedings for claims totalling approximately $1,019,317 ($1,019,317 in 2008) were still pending at March 31, 2009.  Some of these potential liabilities may become actual liabilities when one or more future events occur or fail to occur.  To the extent that the future event is likely to occur or fail to occur, and a reasonable estimate of the loss can be made, an estimated liability is accrued and an expense recorded in the Financial Statements.

An amount of $45,000 was recognized in the Office's Financial Statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 ($ 0 in 2008).

9. Expenses by Event

In 2008-09, four by-elections were cancelled and a general election was held on October 14th, 2008. The resulting variance in the cost of operations is due to these by-elections and the general election.

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008
Expenses Electoral Event Delivery1 Other2 Electoral Event Delivery1 Other2
Salaries and benefits
$96,351
$40,670
$3,194
$37,389
Reimbursement of candidates' and parties' expenses
58,166
826
214
804
Professional services
15,548
21,146
3,763
20,962
Travel and communication
24,047
7,109
497
8,714
Political parties quarterly allowance
-
28,151
-
28,016
Rental of equipment and accommodation
18,641
8,842
607
8,113
Advertising, publishing and printing
22,999
2,441
4,632
2,816
Amortization of tangible capital assets
-
6,137
-
4,268
Small equipment
830
2,432
-
1,645
Repair and maintenance of equipment
389
2,619
-
1,833
Utilities, materials and supplies
989
1,089
32
771
Write-off of tangible capital assets
-
-
-
707
Interest and other charges
4
100
-
61
Total Expenses
$237,964
$121,562
$12,939
$116,099

1 Expenses incurred for general elections, by-elections and redistribution of electoral boundaries.
2 Salary of permanent staff, other statutory expenses incurred under the Canada Elections Act, including expenses related to election readiness activities, quarterly allowances to political parties and ongoing expenses.

10.  Related Party Transactions

The Office is related in terms of common ownership to all Government of Canada departments, agencies and Crown corporations. 

The Office enters into transactions with these entities in the normal course of business and on normal trade terms.  During the year, the Office expensed $48,182,536 from transactions in the normal course of business with other government departments and agencies.  These expenses include services provided without charge from other government departments worth $7,259,492 as presented below.
 
Services provided without charge:

During the year, the Office received services that were obtained without charge from other government departments and agencies. These services without charge have been recognized in the Office's Statement of Operations as follows:

(in thousands of dollars)  
  2009 2008
Public Works and Government Services Canada – accommodation
$5,316
$4,565
Treasury Board Secretariat – employer's share of insurance premiums
1,785
1,461
Office of the Auditor General of Canada – audit services
154
130
Human Resources and Social Development Canada – employer's portion of Worker's compensation payments
4
7
Total Services provided without charge
$7,259
$6,163

11.  Comparative Figures

Certain comparative figures have been reclassified to conform with the presentation adopted in the current year.