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Performance Report – For the period ending March 31, 2013

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d'κtre

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, commonly known as Elections Canada, is an independent, non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament. Its mandate is to:

Responsibilities

In fulfilling its mandate, Elections Canada appoints, trains and supports returning officers and retains the services of 30 field liaison officers across Canada. It also maintains the National Register of Electors, which is used to prepare preliminary lists of electors at the start of electoral events, as well as electoral geography information, which provides the basis for maps and other geographic products used during electoral events.

The agency also:

In addition, the Chief Electoral Officer appoints the Commissioner of Canada Elections. The role of the Commissioner is to protect the integrity of the electoral process by ensuring that the Canada Elections Act and the Referendum Act are complied with and enforced. The Commissioner carries out his or her duties independent of any political or government interference and is assisted by investigators, lawyers and administrative personnel. In carrying out the mandate of the Commissioner's Office, the Commissioner is guided by the principles of independence, impartiality, fairness and good faith.

The Chief Electoral Officer also appoints the Broadcasting Arbitrator. The Broadcasting Arbitrator is responsible for allocating free and paid broadcasting time among political parties and for arbitrating disputes that may arise between parties and broadcasters.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

Elections Canada has a single strategic outcome, supported by the following Program Alignment Architecture (PAA):Footnote 1

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

Program Alignment Architecture – Text version

Organizational Priorities

Priority Type Program
Enable the electoral boundaries readjustment process Previously committed to Electoral Operations
Internal Services
Elections Canada enabled the electoral boundaries readjustment process by providing the 10 independent commissions with professional, financial and administrative support services. By the end of the fiscal year, the commissions had met all statutory deadlines: all preliminary electoral boundaries reports had been completed and submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons, and three final reports had been submitted. As of March 31, 2013, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs had completed its review of 6 of the 10 reports. The work of the commissions has been completed in September 2013 as planned.

Elections Canada has seven months to implement the statutory requirements following the proclamation of the new Representation Order in October 2013. In 2012–2013, Elections Canada completed the planning and preparatory work required to implement the new boundaries.


Priority Type Program
Improve services to electors and political entities (a multi-year priority) New Electoral Operations
Regulation of Electoral Activities
Electoral Engagement
Internal Services
Elections Canada progressed on its three-year plan to improve services to electors through various initiatives. These included modernizing the field voter registration system, reviewing the voter identification policy, re-engineering voting operations and renewing public enquiries services.

To improve engagement and reduce barriers, Elections Canada conducted and shared research on electoral participation, hosted a national roundtable on youth electoral engagement and shared research digests with national educators, youth and Aboriginal organizations to encourage civic engagement. The agency also developed plans to improve the accessibility of the electoral process for Canadians with disabilities.

To improve services to political entities, Elections Canada advanced its capabilities for electronic filing of financial returns, launched online forms and provided informational and training resources in electronic format.


Risk Analysis

Elections Canada's 2012–2013 Report on Plans and Priorities identified one main theme, which was managing the risks resulting from the cost-containment measures flowing from the March 2010 federal budget. The main risk for Elections Canada was the possibility of being unable to manage its indeterminate salary expenses within its annual appropriation until 2014 without additional funding.

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture Link to Organizational Priorities
Risks resulting from the cost-containment measures flowing from the March 2010 federal budget The agency completed a zero-based budgeting exercise in 2012–2013 and, as a result, reallocated some resources to its highest priorities.

To address budgetary pressures, we began implementing workforce adjustment measures to eliminate 32 encumbered indeterminate positions. These measures aim to ensure that Elections Canada can manage within its annual appropriation.
Electoral Operations

Regulation of Electoral Activities

Electoral Engagement

Internal Services
Elections Canada's overall statutory expenditures will be guided by the preparations required for the 2015 general election. The work flowing from the two recently published reports to strengthen the integrity of the electoral system and its administration will lead to additional expenditures. In this regard, an important driver will be the introduction of electoral reform by the government, which we expect will require Elections Canada to review its operating budget in future years.

Summary of Performance

Financial Resources – Total Departmental ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2012–13
Planned Spending
2012–13
Total Authorities
(Available for Use)
2012–13
Actual Spending
(Authorities Used)
2012–13
Difference* (Planned vs. Actual Spending)
144,158 136,223 122,662 119,580 16,643

*Refer to Total Performance Summary Table below for an explanation of the variance between planned and actual spending.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)
Planned
2012–13
Actual
2012–13
Difference
2012–13
497 486 11


Performance Summary Table for Strategic Outcome and Programs ($ thousands)

Strategic Outcome: An Accessible Electoral Framework That Canadians Trust and Use
Program Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates 2012–13) Planned Spending Total Authorities (Available for Use) 2012–13 Actual Spending*
(Authorities Used)
2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2012–13 2011–12 2010–11
Electoral Operations 41,528 41,528 36,641 35,246 38,090 37,009 202,833 52,086
Regulation of Electoral Activities 46,610 38,675 28,072 19,827 38,681 37,509 102,958 37,914
Electoral Engagement 10,310 10,310 8,939 9,063 8,106 7,861 7,893 9,809
Sub-Total 98,448 90,513 73,652 64,136 84,877 82,379 313,684 99,809

*Refer to Total Performance Summary Table below for an explanation of the variance between planned and actual spending.

Performance Summary Table for Internal Services ($ thousands)
Internal Services Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates 2012–13) Planned Spending Total Authorities (Available for Use)
2012–13
Actual Spending
(Authorities Used)
2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2012–13 2011–12 2010–11
Internal Services 45,710 45,710 42,202 32,979 37,785 37,201 35,668 47,209
Sub-Total 45,710 45,710 42,202 32,979 37,785 37,201 35,668 47,209


Total Performance Summary Table ($ thousands)
Strategic Outcome and Internal Services Total Budgetary Expenditures(Main Estimates 2012–13)

Planned Spending

Total Authorities (Available for Use)
2012–13
Actual Spending
(Authorities Used)
2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2012–13 2011–12 2010–11
144,158 136,223 115,854 97,115 122,662 119,580 349,352 147,018
Total 144,158 136,223 115,854 97,115 122,662 119,580 349,352 147,018

The table above shows the spending trend from 2010–2011 to 2014–2015. The significantly increased spending in 2011–2012 is due to conducting the 41st general election.

The variance of $16.6 million between planned spending ($136.2 million)Footnote 2 and actual spending ($119.6 million) for 2012–2013 is explained as follows:

Expenditure Profile

Elections Canada's Financial Framework

The agency's dual funding mechanism and planning practices reflect its unique mandate. Elections Canada is funded in part by an annual appropriation that covers the salaries of its permanent staff and is not affected by the electoral cycle. Given the unpredictability of electoral events, it also has a statutory authority that allows it to draw directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Elections Canada's statutory authority covers all of its other expenditures, including the agency's operating expenditures and the additional expenditures incurred in preparing and conducting elections, reimbursing election expenses to eligible candidates and parties, and enforcing the Canada Elections Act. The election expenditures are not included in its planned spending until an election is called.

Agency Spending Trend

Agency Spending Trend

Agency Spending Trend – Text version

The chart above shows the spending trend from 2009–2010 to 2015–2016. The significantly increased spending in 2011–2012 is due to conducting the 41st general election. The gradual reduction in spending from 2012–2013 to 2015–2016 is explained as follows:

Estimates by Vote

For information on Elections Canada’s organizational votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the Public Accounts of Canada 2013 (Volume II). An electronic version of the Public Accounts 2013 is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.Footnote 3