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2015–16 Departmental Performance Report

Section II: Expenditure Overview

Actual Expenditures

The total differences between actual and planned spending/human resources are summarized in the following tables. They show the year-over-year variation in the agency's resources, which results from the cyclical activity that supports election programs. Spending typically peaks in the fiscal year in which a general election is conducted. During a majority government, a typical cycle covers four years.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference
(actual minus planned)
395,959,817 395,959,817 488,324,747 486,406,354 90,446,537*

*The additional expenditures of $90M for 2015–16 are mainly a result of the impact of the 42nd general election's longer election calendar on Elections Canada's operations and reimbursements to candidates and parties, as well as the impact of the increased voter turnout at the advance polls.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16 Difference
(actual minus planned)
554 724 170*

*The difference of 170 FTEs mainly results from additional temporary employees for the 42nd general election.

Budgetary Performance Summary

Budgetary Performance Summary for Program(s) and Internal Services (dollars)
Program(s) and Internal Services 2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014–15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Electoral Operations 277,113,580 277,113,580 45,743,386 42,310,793 332,356,077 331,586,802 90,292,796 45,326,885
Regulation of Electoral Activities 79,015,382 79,015,382 11,656,805 9,963,715 117,101,533 116,777,324 18,101,587 27,960,704
Electoral Engagement 8,060,043 8,060,043 9,059,837 9,059,837 8,445,734 8,244,303 8,261,985 7,974,120
Internal Services 31,770,812 31,770,812 32,075,233 32,075,233 30,421,403 29,797,925 34,110,007 38,966,040
Total 395,959,817 395,959,817 98,535,261 93,409,578 488,324,747 486,406,354 150,766,375 120,227,749

Elections Canada's Financial Framework

Elections Canada's unique dual funding mechanism and planning practices are a function of its mandate. The agency is funded in part by an annual appropriation that covers the salaries of its indeterminate positions and is not affected by the electoral cycle. The agency also has a statutory authority that allows it to draw directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for all other expenses. The statutory authority serves to recognize Elections Canada's independence from the government. It also ensures that Elections Canada has access to the funds required for elections that may occur at any time.

Under Canada's parliamentary system, general elections are scheduled to take place on fixed dates but can still be called in advance. This is particularly the case in a minority government situation. By-elections, which take place whenever seats in the House of Commons become vacant, are also unpredictable. For these reasons, Elections Canada does not normally forecast election readiness and delivery activities.

Agency Spending Trend

Agency Spending Trend
Text version of "Agency Spending Trend"

*Totals may not add up due to rounding.

The agency spending fluctuation is dictated mostly by election dates. As the 42nd general election was held on October 19, 2015, the effects are reflected by the peak of expenditures forecasted for its conduct in 2015–16, as well as higher expenditures in 2014–15, when activities required to achieve operational readiness took place. In the years following an election, expenditures drop sharply, returning to their usual level as election activities wind down. These planned expenditures are lower than actuals from before the election (2013–14), mainly due to the legislated phasing out of the quarterly allowances to political parties and the one-time expenditures paid in 2013–14 for the relocation of Elections Canada's headquarters to Gatineau, Quebec.

Expenditures by Vote

For information on Elections Canada's organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2016.Footnote 7

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015-16 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government FrameworkFootnote 8
(dollars)
Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015–16 Actual Spending
Electoral operations Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 331,586,802
Regulation of electoral activities Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 116,777,324
Electoral engagement Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 8,244,303


Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic affairs
Social affairs
International affairs
Government affairs 364,189,005 456,608,429

Financial Statements and Financial Statements Highlights

The financial highlights presented in this section are drawn from Elections Canada's financial statements. These financial statements have been prepared using Government of Canada accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. This method of accounting, known as the accrual basis of accounting, differs from the method used to present the figures in the previous sections; those figures are based on authorities voted by Parliament on a modified cash basis.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the Year Ended March 31, 2016
(dollars)
Financial Information 2015–16
Planned
Results
2015–16
Actual
2014–15
Actual
Difference (2015–16 actual minus 2015–16 planned) Difference (2015–16 actual minus 2014–15 actual)
Total expenses 412,678,000 503,703,000 147,871,000 91,025,000 355,832,000
Total revenues
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 412,678,000 503,703,000 147,871,000 91,025,000 355,832,000
Agency net financial position 33,296,000 32,033,000 32,606,000 (1,263,000) (573,000)

The increase of $355.8 million in total expenses in 2015–16 over 2014–15 mainly results from the conduct of the 42nd general election. The additional expenditures of $91.0 million (22%) over the 2015–16 planned expenditures also mainly results from the 42nd general election, due to the impact of the longer election calendar on Elections Canada's operations and reimbursements to candidates and parties, as well as the impact of the increased voter turnout at the advance polls.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2016
(dollars)
Financial Information 2015–16 2014–15 Difference
(2015–16 minus
2014–15)
Total net liabilities 76,750,000 31,223,000 45,427,000
Total net financial assets 82,562,000 26,825,000 55,737,000
Agency net debt 5,812,000 (4,398,000) 10,210,000
Total non-financial assets 26,221,000 37,004,000 (10,783,000)
Agency net financial position 32,033,000 32,606,000 (573,000)

Total net liabilities for 2015–16 are at $76.7 million, an increase of $45.4 million (145%) from 2014–15. This change is largely explained by the liabilities for the reimbursements to political parties and candidates for the 42nd general election.

Financial Statements

The audited financial statements for the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer for the year ended March 31, 2016, are available on the Elections Canada website.Footnote 9 They include the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting as well as the annex for fiscal year 2015–16.