Secondary menu

Performance Report – For the period ending March 31, 2013

Financial Statements
Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
For the year ended March 31, 2013

Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2013 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 using the government's accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Management is responsible for the integrity and objectivity of the information in these financial statements. Some of the information in the financial statements is based on management's best estimates and judgements and gives due consideration to materiality. To fulfill its accounting and reporting responsibilities, management maintains a set of accounts that provides a centralized record of the Office's financial transactions. Financial information submitted in the preparation of the Public Accounts of Canada, and included in the Office's Departmental Performance Report, is consistent with these financial statements.

Management is also responsible for maintaining an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) designed to provide reasonable assurance that financial information is reliable, that assets are safeguarded and that transactions are properly authorized and recorded 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 seeks to ensure the objectivity and integrity of data in its financial statements through careful selection, training and development of qualified staff; through organizational arrangements that provide appropriate divisions of responsibility; through communication programs aimed at ensuring that regulations, policies, standards and managerial authorities are understood throughout the Office; and through conducting an annual risk-based assessment of the effectiveness of the system of ICFR. 

An assessment for the year ended March 31, 2013 was completed in accordance with the Policy on Internal Control and the results and action plans are summarized in the annex. The system of ICFR is designed to mitigate risks to a reasonable level based on an on-going process to identify key risks, to assess effectiveness of associated key controls and to make any necessary adjustments.

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 the Office's governance, risk management, control, audit and reporting practices.

The Office of the Auditor General, the independent auditor for the Government of Canada, has expressed an opinion on the fair presentation of the financial statements of the Office which does not include an audit opinion on the annual assessment of the effectiveness of the Office's internal controls over financial reporting.


Original signed by
Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

Original signed by
Hughes St-Pierre, MA, CMA
Acting Chief Financial Officer



Ottawa, Canada
August 21, 2013



Independent Auditor's Report

To the Speaker of the House of Commons

Report on the Financial Statements

I have audited the accompanying financial statements of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, which comprise the statement of financial position as at 31 March 2013, and the statement of operations and net financial position, statement of change in net debt and statement of cash flow for the year then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Management's Responsibility for the Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Auditor's Responsibility

My responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on my audit. I conducted my audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that I comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor's judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity's preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity's internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.

I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my audit opinion.

Opinion

In my opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer as at 31 March 2013, and the results of its operations, changes in its net debt, and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements

In my opinion, the transactions of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer that have come to my notice during my audit of the financial statements have, in all significant respects, been in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and regulations, the Canada Elections Act, the Referendum Act, and the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

Original signed by
Sylvain Ricard, CPA, CA
Assistant Auditor General
for the Auditor General of Canada

21 August 2013
Ottawa, Canada



Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Statement of Financial Position
As at March 31
(in thousands of dollars)
  2013 2012
Liabilities
Due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund
$541
$765
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (Note 4)
11,634
23,431
Accrued employee salaries and benefits
1,662
1,126
Provision for vacation leave
1,591
1,770
Lease obligation for tangible capital assets (Note 5)
8
35
Deposits from political candidates (Note 6)
110
129
Employee severance benefits (Note 7b)
4,074
4,951
Total net liabilities
19,620
32,207
Financial assets
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
13,406
24,686
Accounts receivable and advances (Note 8)
1,021
3,657
Total gross financial assets
14,427
28,343
Financial assets held on behalf of Government
Accounts receivable - from external parties
(47)
(132)
Total financial assets held on behalf of Government
(47)
(132)
Total net financial assets
14,380
28,211
Net debt
5,240
3,996
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses
516
542
Consumable supplies
4,559
5,764
Tangible capital assets (Note 9)
15,520
15,198
Total non-financial assets
20,595
21,504
Net financial position
$15,355
$17,508

Contractual obligations (Note 10) and Contingent liabilities (Note 11)
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
Hughes St-Pierre, MA, CMA
Acting Chief Financial Officer



Ottawa, Canada
August 21, 2013

 

Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position
For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars)
  2013
Planned
Results
(Note 2a)
2013 2012
Expenses
Electoral Operations
$44,473
$41,849
$208,718
Regulation of Electoral Activities
39,732
38,355
102,272
Electoral Engagement
10,700
8,179
8,128
Internal Services
55,621
40,105
44,613
Total expenses
150,526
128,488
363,731
Revenues
Excess contributions and donations
25
106
146
Fines and court awards
-
-
137
Miscellaneous revenues
5
29
13
Revenues earned on behalf of government
(30)
(135)
(296)
Total revenues
-
-
-
Net cost of operations before government funding
150,526
128,488
363,731
Government funding and transfers
Net cash provided by Government
137,462
128,375
354,150
Change in Due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund
-
224
455
Change in Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
(1,150)
(11,280)
(3,479)
Services provided without charge by other government departments (Note 12)
8,822
9,016
9,369
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers
5,392
2,153
3,236
Net financial position Beginning of year
13,100
17,508
20,744
Net financial position End of year
$7,708
$15,355
$17,508

Segmented information (Note 13)

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Statement of Change in Net Debt
For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars)
  2013
Planned
Results
(Note 2a)
2013 2012
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers
$5,392
$2,153
$3,236
Change due to tangible capital assets
Acquisition of tangible capital assets
-
6,393
4,027
Amortization of tangible capital assets
(5,388)
(5,525)
(4,118)
Write off of tangible capital assets
    -
(546)
(1,393)
Total change due to tangible capital assets
(5,388)
322
(1,484)
Change due to consumable supplies
Acquisition of consumable supplies
-
37
214
Usage of consumable supplies
    -
(1,242)
(4,256)
Total change due to consumable supplies
-
(1,205)
(4,042)
Change due to prepaid expenses
Additions to prepaid
-
766
935
Usage of prepaid
    -
(792)
(2,267)
Total change due to prepaid expenses
-
(26)
(1,332)
Net (decrease) increase in net debt
4
1,244
(3,622)
Net debt – Beginning of year
6,195
3,996
7,618
Net debt – End of year
$6,199
$5,240
$3,996

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)
  2013 2012
OPERATING ACTIVITIES
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers
$128,488
$363,731
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets
(5,525)
(4,118)
Write off of tangible capital assets
(546)
(1,393)
Services provided without charge by other government departments (Note 12)
(9,016)
(9,369)
Variations in Statement of Financial Position:
(Decrease) increase in accounts receivable and accountable advances
(2,551)
1,284
(Decrease) in prepaid expenses
(26)
(1,332)
(Decrease) in consumable supplies
(1,205)
(4,042)
Decrease (increase) in deposits from political candidates
19
(32)
Decrease in employee severance benefits
877
1,761
Decrease in provision for vacation leave
179
67
Decrease in accounts payable and accrued liabilities
11,261
3,511
Cash used in operating activities
121,955
350,068
CAPITAL INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES
Acquisition of tangible capital assets (excluding capital leases)
6,393
4,027
Cash used in capital investment activities
6,393
4,027
FINANCING ACTIVITIES
Payment of capital lease obligations
27
55
Cash used in financing activities
27
55
Net cash provided by Government of Canada
$128,375
$354,150

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, 2013

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 authorities contained in the Canada Elections Act, the Referendum Act and the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. These statutory authorities provide 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.

The Office's Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) contains three programs and Internal Services. The programs are:

Electoral Operations

This program allows Elections Canada to deliver fair and efficient electoral events whenever they may be required so that Canadians are able to exercise their democratic right to vote during a federal general election, by-election or referendum by providing an accessible and constantly improved electoral process responsive to the needs of electors.

Regulation of Electoral Activities

This program provides Canadians with an electoral process that is fair, transparent and in compliance with the Canada Elections Act. Within this program, Elections Canada is responsible for administering the political financing provisions of the Act. This includes monitoring compliance, disclosure and reporting of financial activities, and enforcing electoral legislation.

Electoral Engagement

This program promotes and sustains the Canadian electoral process. It provides Canadians with electoral education and information programs so that they can make informed decisions about their engagement in the electoral process. It also aims to improve the electoral framework by consulting and sharing electoral practices with other stakeholders.

Internal Services

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the Office in fulfilling its mandate. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services (Executive services); Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Procurement and Contracting Services; Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across the organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

These financial statements have been prepared using the Government's accounting policies stated below, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. The presentation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant differences from Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Significant accounting policies are as follows:

  1. Parliamentary authorities – The Office operates under two funding authorities: an annual appropriation and statutory authorities. Financial reporting of authorities provided to the Office do not parallel financial reporting according to generally accepted accounting principles since authorities are primarily based on cash flow requirements. Consequently, items recognized in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position and in the Statement of Financial Position are not necessarily the same as those provided through authorities from Parliament. Note 3 provides reconciliation between the bases of reporting. The planned results amounts in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position are the amounts reported in the future-oriented financial statements included in the 2012–2013 Report on Plans and Priorities and excludes the provision for the costs of conducting a general election.

    Liquidity risk is the risk that the Office will encounter difficulty in meeting its obligations associated with financial liabilities. The Office's objective for managing liquidity risk is to manage operations and cash expenditures within the appropriation authorized by Parliament or allotment limits approved by the Treasury Board.

    Each year the Office presents information on planned expenditures to Parliament through the tabling of Estimates publications. These estimates result in the introduction of supply bills (which, once passed into legislation, become appropriation acts) in accordance with the reporting cycle for government expenditures. The Office exercises expenditure initiation processes such that unencumbered balances of budget allotments and appropriations are monitored and reported on a regular basis to help ensure sufficient authority remains for the entire period and appropriations are not exceeded.

    Consistent with Section 32 of the Financial Administration Act, the Office's policy to manage liquidity risk is that no contract or other arrangement providing for a payment shall be entered into with respect to any program for which there is an appropriation by Parliament or an item included in estimates then before the House of Commons to which the payment will be charged unless there is a sufficient unencumbered balance available out of the appropriation or item to discharge any debt that, under the contract or other arrangement, will be incurred during the fiscal year in which the contract or other arrangement is entered into.

    The Office's risk exposure and its objectives, policies and processes to manage and measure this risk did not change significantly from the prior year.
  2. Net cash provided by Government – 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. The net cash provided by Government is the difference between all cash receipts and all cash disbursements including transactions between departments of the Government.
  3. Due from or to the Consolidated Revenue Fund – Amounts due from or to the CRF are the result of timing differences at year-end between when a transaction affects authorities and when it is processed through the CRF. Amounts due from the CRF represent the amount of cash that the Office is entitled to draw from the CRF without further appropriations in order to discharge its liabilities. This amount is not considered to be a financial instrument.
  4. Revenues – Revenues from regulatory fees are recognized in the accounts based on the services provided in the year.

    Other revenues are accounted for in the period in which the underlying transaction or event that gave rise to the revenue takes place.

    Revenues that are non-respendable are not available to discharge the Office's liabilities. While the Chief Electoral Officer is expected to maintain accounting control, he or she has no authority regarding the disposition of non-respendable revenues. As a result, non-respendable revenues are considered to be earned on behalf of the Government of Canada and are therefore presented as a reduction of the entity's gross revenues.
  5. Expenses – Expenses are recorded on the accrual basis.

    Transfer payments are recorded as expenses when authorization for the payment exists and the recipient has met the eligibility criteria or the entitlements established in the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act. Transfer payments that become repayable as a result of conditions specified in the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act that have come into being are recorded as a reduction to transfer payment expense and as a receivable.

    Vacation pay and compensatory leave are accrued as the benefits are earned by employees under their respective terms of employment.
  6. 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. The allowance is being phased out over three fiscal years starting in 2012–2013, as set out in An Act to implement certain provisions of the 2011 budget as updated on June 6, 2011 and other measures.
  7. 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 and Net Financial Position.
  8. Employee future benefits

    1) Pension benefits – Eligible employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, a multiemployer pension 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. 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.

    2) Severance benefits – Employees entitled to severance benefits under labour contracts or conditions of employment earn these benefits as services necessary to earn them are rendered. The obligation relating 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. Accounts receivable – Receivables are stated at the lower of cost and net recoverable value. A valuation allowance is recorded for accounts receivable where recovery is considered uncertain.

    Credit risk is the risk that one party to a financial instrument will cause a financial loss for the other party by failing to discharge an obligation. The Office is not exposed to significant credit risk. The Office provides services to other government departments and agencies and to external parties in the normal course of business. Accounts receivables are due on demand. The majority of accounts receivable are due from other government of Canada departments and agencies where there is minimal potential risk of loss. The maximum exposure the entity has to credit risk equal to the carrying value of its accounts receivables.
  10. Contingent liabilities – Contingent liabilities are potential liabilities that 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 and Net Financial Position. The Office does not capitalize intangibles. 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 Lesser of the remaining term of the lease or estimated useful life


  13. Measurement uncertainty – The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses reported in the financial statements.

    At the time of preparation of these statements, management believes the estimates and assumptions to be reasonable. The most significant items where estimates are 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 Authorities

The Office receives most of its funding through annual parliamentary authorities and the statutory authorities contained in the electoral legislation. Items recognized in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position and the Statement of Financial Position in one year may be funded through parliamentary authorities 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:

  1. Reconciliation of net cost of operations to current year authorities used

    (in thousands of dollars)   
      2013 2012
    Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers
    $128,488
    $363,731
    Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations
    but not affecting authorities
    Add (less):
    Amortization of tangible capital assets
    (5,525)
    (4,118)
    Write off of tangible capital assets
    (546)
    (1,393)
    Services provided without charge by other government departments
    (9,016)
    (9,369)
    Decrease in provision for vacation leave
    179
    67
    Decrease in employee severance benefits liability
    877
    1,761
    Bad debt expense
    (73)
    (52)
    Prepaid expenses
    (792)
    (2,267)
    Consumable supplies
    (1,205)
    (4,042)
    Adjustment of previous year salary accrual
        7
       17
    Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities
    (16,094)
    (19,396)
    Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations
    but affecting authorities
    Add (less):
    Acquisition of tangible capital assets
    6,393
    4,027
    Payment of capital lease obligations
    27
    55
    Prepaid expenses
      766
      935
    Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities
    7,186
    5,017
    Current year authorities used
    $119,580
    $349,352


  2. Reconciliation of parliamentary authorities provided to current year authorities used

    (in thousands of dollars)   
      2013 2012
    Authorities provided:
    Program expenditures (Vote 15)
    $33,385
    $33,620
    Statutory contributions to employee benefit plans
    6,480
    7,530
    Other statutory expenditures
    82,797
    310,988
    122,662
    352,138
    Less:
    Lapsed authorities Program expenditures (Vote 15)
    (3,082)
    (2,786)
    Current year authorities used
    $119,580
    $349,352


4. Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities

Accounts payables and accrued liabilities are measured at cost, the majority of which are due within six months of year-end.

The following table presents details of the Office's accounts payable and accrued liabilities:

(in thousands of dollars)   
  2013 2012
Accounts payable Other government departments and agencies
$1,615
$2,770
Accounts payable External parties
    -
2,441
Total accounts payable
1,615
5,211
Accrued liabilities
10,019
18,220
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities
$11,634
$23,431


5. Lease Obligation for Tangible Capital Assets

The Office has entered into agreements to lease certain equipment under capital lease with a cost of $94,746 and accumulated amortization of $87,175 as at March 31, 2013 ($241,135 and $207,882 respectively as at March 31, 2012). The obligations related to the upcoming years include the following:

(in thousands of dollars)   
Maturing year 2013 2012
2013
$ -
$28
2014
5
5
2015
2
2
2016 and thereafter
  1
  1
Total future minimum lease payments
8
36
Less: imputed interest (2.15% to 3.44%)
-
(1)
Lease obligation for tangible capital assets
$8
$35


6. Deposits from Political Candidates

The Deposits from political candidates represent the Office's outstanding liability in relation to nomination deposits. Once the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the candidates have filed a complete electoral campaign return and that the unused receipts valid for income tax purposes supplied by the returning officer have been returned within one month after polling day, these deposits are refunded.

7. Employee Future Benefits

  1. Pension benefits

    The Office's employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, which is sponsored and administered by the Government. 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.

    Both the employees and the Office contribute to the cost of the Plan. The 2012–2013 expense amounts to $4,626,982 ($5,414,404 in 2011–2012) which represents approximately 1.7 times (1.8 times in 2011–2012) 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.

  2. Employee severance benefits

    As part of collective agreement negotiations with certain employee groups, and changes to conditions of employment for executives and certain non-represented employees, the accumulation of severance benefits under the employee severance pay program ceased for these employees commencing in 2012. Employees subject to these changes have been given the option to be immediately paid the full or partial value of benefits earned to date or collect the full or remaining value of benefits on termination from the public service. These changes have been reflected in the calculation of the outstanding severance benefit obligation.

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

    (in thousands of dollars)   
      2013 2012
    Accrued benefit obligation, beginning of year
    $4,951
    $6,712
    Expense for the year
    1,079
    536
    Benefits paid during the year
    (1,956)
    (2,297)
    Accrued benefit obligation, end of year
    $4,074
    $4,951


8. Accounts Receivable and Advances

The following table presents details of the Office's accounts receivable and advance balances:

(in thousands of dollars)   
  2013 2012
Receivables Other government departments and agencies
$541
$765
Receivables External parties
607
2,951
Employee advances
    2
    4
Subtotal
1,150
3,720
Allowance for doubtful accounts on receivables from external parties
(129)
(63)
Gross accounts receivable and advances
1,021
3,657
Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government
(47)
(132)
Net accounts receivable and advances
$974
$3,525


9. Tangible Capital Assets

(in thousands of dollars)   
Cost
Capital Asset Class Opening
balance
Acquisitions Transfers Disposals and write-off Closing balance 2013
Net
book
value
2012
Net
book
value
Office equipment (including capital leases) $1,397 $119 - $(428) $1,088 $505 $585
Informatics equipment 11,803 650 - (260) 12,193 1,091 937
Software 37,496 619 $1,455 - 39,570 7,398 9,197
Software under development 2,250 - (1,455) (438) 357 357 2,250
Furniture and fixtures 1,986 1,053 - - 3,039 1,494 557
Vehicles and motorized equipment 190 24 - (24) 190 72 72
Leasehold improvements 5,716 3,928 - (838) 8,806 4,603 1,600
Total $60,838 $6,393 $ - $(1,988) $65,243 $15,520 $15,198

Cost at March 31, 2013 includes Tangible Capital Assets under construction as follows
    Software under development $357
    Leasehold Improvements $8,806

(in thousands of dollars)   
Accumulated Amortization
Capital Asset Class Opening
balance
Amortization Disposals and write-off Closing balance
Office equipment (including capital leases)
$812
$91
$(320)
$583
Informatics equipment
10,866
496
(260)
11,102
Software
28,299
3,873
-
32,172
Furniture and fixtures
1,429
116
-
1,545
Vehicles and motorized equipment
118
24
(24)
118
Leasehold improvements
4,116
925
(838)
4,203
Total
$45,640
$5,525
$(1,442)
$49,723


10. 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/goods are received. Significant contractual obligations that can be reasonably estimated are summarized as follows:

(in thousands of dollars)
2014
$34,660
2015
2,751
2016
3,059
2017
2,719
2018 and thereafter
175
Total
$43,364


11. Contingent Liabilities

Claims have been made against the Office in the normal course of operations. Legal proceedings for claims totalling $1,100,000 ($1,200,759 in 2012) were still pending at March 31, 2013. 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.

No amount was recognized in the Office's financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 ($0 in 2012).

12. Related Party Transactions

The Office is related as a result of common ownership to all government 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 received common services which were obtained without charge from other government departments as disclosed below.

  1. Common services provided without charge by other government departments

    During the year, the Office received services without charge from certain common services organizations, related to accommodation, legal services, the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans and workers' compensation coverage. These services provided without charge have been recorded in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position as follows:

    (in thousands of dollars)   
    2013 2012
    Accommodation
    $5,436
    $5,431
    Employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans
    3,436
    3,769
    Audit services
    140
    165
    Workers' compensation
    4
    4
    Total
    $9,016
    $9,369


    The Government has centralized some of its administrative activities for efficiency, cost-effectiveness purposes and economic delivery of programs to the public. As a result, the Government uses central agencies and common service organizations so that one department performs services for all other departments and agencies without charge. The costs of these services, such as the payroll and cheque issuance services provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada are not included in the Office's Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position.

  2. Other transactions with related parties

    (in thousands of dollars)   
    2013 2012
    Accounts receivable – Other government departments and agencies
    $541
    $765
    Accounts payable – Other government departments and agencies
    1,615
    2,770
    Expenses – Other government departments and agencies
    19,489
    35,990


    Expenses disclosed in (b) exclude common services provided without charge, which are already disclosed in (a)

13. Segmented Information

Presentation by segment is based on the Office program alignment architecture. The presentation by segment is based on the same accounting policies as described in the Summary of significant accounting policies in note 2. The following table presents the expenses incurred and revenues generated for the main programs, by major object of expenses and by major type or revenues. The segmented results for the period are as follows:

(in thousands of dollars)   
  2013 2012
Electoral Operations Regulation of Electoral Activities Electoral Engagement Internal Services Total Total
Transfer Payments
Political parties quarterly allowances $22,329 $22,329 $29,286
Reimbursement (adjustment) of candidates' and parties' expenses 1,992 1,992 60,504
Total Transfer Payments 24,321 24,321 89,790
Operating Expenses
Salaries and benefits $21,799 7,911 $6,092 $15,975 51,777 148,293
Professional services 8,390 4,499 1,359 9,755 24,003 33,215
Rental of equipment and accommodation 1,300 207 17 8,048 9,572 28,342
Amortization of tangible capital assets 2,166 510 - 2,849 5,525 4,118
Advertising, publishing and printing 4,245 97 381 129 4,852 22,175
Travel and communication 1,881 402 229 1,204 3,716 28,960
Repair and maintenance of equipment 1,293 324 7 1,795 3,419 4,960
Write off of tangible capital asset 437 - - 109 546 1,393
Small equipment 154 46 39 101 340 1,332
Utilities, materials and supplies 111 38 55 135 339 1,066
Interest and other charges 73    -    - 5 78 87
Total Operating Expenses 41,849 38,355 8,179 40,105 128,488 363,731
Revenues
Excess contributions and donations - 106 - - 106 146
Fines and court awards - - - - - 137
Miscellaneous revenues - - - 29 29 13
Revenues earned on behalf of government    - (106)    - (29) (135) (296)
Total revenues - - - - - -
Net cost of operations before government funding $41,849 $38,355 $8,179 $40,105 $128,488 $363,731