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2016–17 Departmental Results Report

Analysis of Trends in Spending and Human Resources

Actual Expenditures

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 reflects 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, particularly during a minority government. 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

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Text version of "Agency Spending Trend"


Budgetary Performance Summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 201617
Main Estimates
201617
Planned Spending
201718
Planned Spending
201819
Planned Spending
201617
Total Authorities Available for Use
201617
Actual Spending (authorities used)
201516
Actual Spending (authorities used)
201415
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Electoral Operations 45,743,386 45,743,386 53,556,884 39,431,253 48,145,526 47,152,229 331,586,802 90,292,796
Regulation of Electoral Activities 11,656,805 11,656,805 11,219,651 9,248,769 13,113,810 12,698,073 116,777,324 18,101,587
Electoral Engagement 9,059,837 9,059,837 9,279,980 8,941,792 9,103,120 8,835,883 8,244,303 8,261,985
Subtotal 66,460,028 66,460,028 74,056,515 57,621,814 70,362,456 68,686,185 456,608,429 116,656,368
Internal Services 32,075,233 32,075,233 38,151,475 35,448,730 34,495,323 33,745,539 29,797,925 34,110,007
Total 98,535,261 98,535,261 112,207,990 93,070,544 104,857,779 102,431,724 486,406,354 150,766,375

The agency's spending pattern is a result of the election cycle and is typical for the agency. In the years following an election (e.g. 201617), expenditures drop sharply, returning to their usual level as election activities wind down. The peak of expenditures for the conduct of the 42nd general election was in 201516. There were higher expenditures in 201415 than in other non-election years because of activities required to achieve operational readiness. In 201617, Elections Canada initiated a process for asset renewal and electoral services modernization; the bulk of the expenditures will be incurred in 201718, and expenditures will then diminish until 201920. These variations affect only the statutory portion of the funding.

Due to the election cycle, the annual percentage of Internal Services over total expenditures varies significantly. Over the last four years, it fluctuated between 6% and 33%, with an average of 16%.


Actual Human Resources

Human Resources Summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services 201415
Actual
201516
Actual
201617
Planned
201617
Actual
201718
Planned
201819
Planned
Electoral Operations 309 444 216 262 257 229
Regulation of Electoral Activities 70 81 82 87 75 71
Electoral Engagement 57 68 67 71 67 67
Subtotal 436 593 365 420 399 367
Internal Services 120 131 122 143 152 148
Total 556 724 487 563 551 515

The fluctuation in full-time equivalents is a result of the election cycle, largely explained by the same reasons stated in the Budgetary Performance Summary.


Expenditures by Vote

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


Alignment of Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2016-17 Actual Spending with the Whole-of-Government FrameworkFootnote xxvi (dollars)
Program Spending Area Government of Canada Activity 201617 Actual Spending
Electoral Operations Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 47,152,229
Regulation of Electoral Activities Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 12,698,073
Electoral Engagement Government affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 8,835,883


Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic affairs
Social affairs
International affairs
Government affairs 66,460,028 68,686,185

Financial Statements and Financial Statements Highlights

Financial Statements

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.

The audited financial statements for the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer for the year that ended on March 31, 2017, are available on Elections Canada's website.Footnote xxvii They include the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting as well as the annex for fiscal year 201617.

Financial Statements Highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2017 (dollars)
Financial Information 201617
Planned
Results
201617
Actual
201516
Actual
Difference (201617 actual minus 201617 planned) Difference (201617 actual minus 201516 actual)
Total expenses 112,906,000 115,875,000 503,703,000 2,969,000 (387,828,000)
Total revenues
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 112,906,000 115,875,000 503,703,000 2,969,000 (387,828,000)

The decrease of $387.8 million in total expenses in 201617 over 201516 mainly results from the 42nd general election held in October 2015, for which a significant proportion of expenses were incurred in 201516. Conversely, the additional expenditures of $3 million over the 201617 planned expenditures mainly result from the October 2016 and April 2017 by-elections. Since the frequency and timing of by-elections are unknown, they are not included in the agency's planned results.


Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2017 (dollars)
Financial Information 201617 201516 Difference
(201617 minus
201516)
Total net liabilities 20,833,000 76,750,000 (55,917,000)
Total net financial assets 20,832,000 82,562,000 (61,730,000)
Agency net debt (1,000) 5,812,000 (5,813,000)
Total non-financial assets 26,357,000 26,221,000 136,000
Agency net financial position 26,356,000 32,033,000 (5,677,000)

Total net liabilities for 201617 are at $20.8 million, a decrease of $55.9 million (73%) from 201516. This reduction is largely explained by the liabilities established in 201516 for reimbursements to political parties and candidates for the 2015 general election. The statutory deadline for submission of election returns by political entities was after the 201516 year-end.

The year-over-year decrease in total net financial assets of $61.7 million is primarily the result of a decrease in accounts receivable and advances and in the amounts due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund,Footnote xxviii reflecting changes in accounts payable and accrued liabilities. These changes are mostly due to the reimbursements to political parties and candidates for the 2015 general election.