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Elections Canada Quarterly Financial Report 2014–2015 – For the quarter ended December 31, 2014

Statement outlining results, risks and significant
changes in operations, personnel and programs

Introduction

This quarterly financial report has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act and in the form and manner prescribed by the Treasury Board. This quarterly report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates. This quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

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:

A summary description of the agency's programs can be found at www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=rep/rpp/rpp2014&document=p2&lang=e#p2_00.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities (see Table A.1 below) includes the agency's spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the agency that are consistent with the Main Estimates for the 20142015 fiscal year. This quarterly report has been prepared using a special purpose financial reporting framework designed to meet financial information needs with respect to the use of spending authorities.

The authority of Parliament is required before monies can be spent by the government. Approvals are given in the form of annually approved limits through appropriation acts or through legislation, in the form of statutory spending authority for specific purposes. With respect to Elections Canada, the Canada Elections Act, the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and the Referendum Act provide for all expenditures, with the exception of salaries of indeterminate employees, which are funded through an annual appropriation. The budgetary statutory authorities amounts presented in the tables below reflect only year-to-date expenditures since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

When Parliament is dissolved for the purposes of a general election, section 30 of the Financial Administration Act authorizes the Governor General, under certain conditions, to issue a special warrant authorizing the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. A special warrant is deemed to be an appropriation for the fiscal year in which it is issued.

Elections Canada uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual audited financial statements, which are part of the departmental performance reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

Highlights of fiscal quarter and fiscal year-to-date (YTD) results

During the third quarter of 20142015, Elections Canada continued its readiness activities for 2015, implemented changes required by Bill C-23 (the Fair Elections Act), and it continued its efforts to improve services to electors, such as modernizing the voter registration system, renewing the Electoral Reminder Program and improving accessibility for electors with disabilities.

First three quarters year-over-year variance

In the first three quarters of 20142015, budgetary expenditures totalled $86.0 million compared to $77.2 million in the same period of 20132014. (See Figure 1.) The net increase of $8.8 million is largely explained by the following:

20142015 second and third quarter variance

The 20142015 third-quarter expenditures of $33.1 million were $3.4 million higher than the $29.7 million spent in the second quarter. This variance is largely due to an increase in expenditures (part of "Electoral expenditures" in Table A.1), mainly resulting from electoral readiness activities for the 42nd general election, including implementing the Fair Elections Act.

Figure 1 First, Second and Third Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities(Appropriation and Statutory Authority)*

Figure 1

*Annual authorities for statutory funds reflect expenditures only for the first three quarters since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

Textual description of Figure 1

Risks and uncertainties

Elections Canada's overall statutory expenditures are guided by the preparations required for the 2015 general election. The work to strengthen the integrity of the electoral system and its administration will lead to additional expenditures. In this regard, an important driver is the government's recent enactment of electoral reform, which impacts the budget for the next general election. Furthermore, at the time of preparing this report, Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act, was before Parliament. Elections Canada is reviewing the new legislation and its impacts on its operations and expenditures.

Elections Canada's expenditures are influenced by the frequency and number of electoral events (general elections and by-elections) and by infrequent exercises such as referendums and the electoral district boundaries readjustment process. Any of these events can significantly change expenditures from one fiscal year to the next.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

Bill C-23, which received royal assent on June 19, 2014, will bring significant changes to Elections Canada's mandate and operations. Notably, effective October 1, 2014, the Commissioner of Canada Elections, the independent officer whose duty is to ensure that the Canada Elections Act and the Referendum Act are complied with and enforced, has been transferred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). Appropriated funds were transferred to the ODPP for the salary of the Commissioner's indeterminate staff.

Budget 2012 implementation

This section provides an overview of the savings measures announced in Budget 2012 that are being implemented in order to refocus government and programs, to make it easier for Canadians and business to deal with their government and to modernize and reduce the back office.

Elections Canada has responded to the spirit of the federal government's Deficit Reduction Action Plan. The agency has reduced its annual operating budget by $7.5 million, or 8 percent, starting in 20122013. In making these reductions, the agency has not included expenditures that fall outside its annual operating budget namely, those related to transfer payments required by statute, the delivery of electoral events, the readjustment of electoral boundaries and the relocation of Elections Canada's offices to Gatineau. As the reductions are applied only to the agency's operating budget, reductions in authorities and expenditures are not readily apparent when compared year over year as a result of fluctuations in non-operating expenditures, timing differences and expenditure trends related to the four-year election cycle.

Elections Canada has applied the budget reductions as follows:

Approval by senior officials

Marc Mayrand
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

Hughes St-Pierre, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial and Planning Officer


Gatineau, Canada
February 27, 2015




Table A.1
Elections Canada
Quarterly financial report
For the quarter ended December 31, 2014

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2013–2014 (in thousands of dollars)
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2014 Footnote 1 Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 15 Program expenditures Footnote 2 31,556 7,491 22,735
Statutory authorities      
Electoral expenditures Footnote 3 48,290 24,306 48,290
Contributions to employee benefit plans 4,969 1,656 4,969
Expenditures under Electoral Boundaries Reajustment Act 981 239 981
Spending of Amounts Equivalent to Proceeds from Disposal of Surplus Moveable Crown Assets 4 2 4
Salary of Chief Electoral Officer 224 76 224
Total statutory authorities 54,468 26,279 54,468
Total authorities 86,024 33,770 77,203

Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (continued)

Fiscal year 2014–2015 (in thousands of dollars)
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015 Footnote 1 Used during the quarter ended
December 31, 2014
Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 15 Program expenditures Footnote 2 31,484 6,772 21,757
Statutory authorities      
Electoral expenditures Footnote 3 59,181 24,684 59,181
Contributions to employee benefit plans 4,813 1,605 4,813
Expenses under Electoral Boundaries Reajustment Act - - -
Spending of Amounts Equivalent to Proceeds from Disposal of Surplus Moveable Crown Assets 1 - 1
Salary of Chief Electoral Officer 235 75 235
Total statutory authorities 64,230 26,364 64,230
Total authorities 95,714 33,136 85,987

More information is available in Table A.2

Due to rounding, figures may not add to the totals shown.

Footnote 1 Budgetary statutory authorities amounts in the "Total available for use for the year ending March 31" columns reflect the first three quarter expenditures only since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

Footnote 2 Program expenditures is an annual appropriation that funds the salaries of Elections Canada's permanent staff.

Footnote 3 Electoral expenditures under the statutory authority funds the operating expenditures of the agency and the additional expenditures incurred in preparing and conducting elections, reimbursing election expenses to eligible candidates and parties, and monitoring compliance with the Canada Elections Act.



Table A.2
Elections Canada
Quarterly financial report
For the quarter ended December 31, 2014

Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2013–2014 (in thousands of dollars)
  Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014 Footnote 1 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel Footnote 2 45,995 13,493 37,174
Transportation and communications 2,037 1,054 2,037
Information 1,846 1,234 1,846
Professional and special services 15,563 6,388 15,563
Rentals 4,649 3,198 4,649
Repair and maintenance 5,838 3,171 5,838
Utilities, materials and supplies 271 152 271
Acquisition of land, buildings and works - - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 701 390 701
Transfer payments 8,369 3,940 8,369
Public debt charges - - -
Other subsidies and payments Footnote 3 755 750 755
Total gross budgetary expenditures 86,024 33,770 77,203
Less Revenues netted against expenditures
Revenues -   -   -  
Total Revenues netted against expenditures: -   -   -  
Total net budgetary expenditures 86,024 33,770 77,203


Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) (continued)

Fiscal year 2014–2015 (in thousands of dollars)
  Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015 Footnote 1 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel Footnote 2 51,484 14,987 41,757
Transportation and communications 3,648 1,447 3,648
Information 4,156 2,718 4,156
Professional and special services 21,235 9,015 21,235
Rentals 6,506 1,768 6,506
Repair and maintenance 394 169 394
Utilities, materials and supplies 789 413 789
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 40 40 40
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 1,418 569 1,418
Transfer payments 4,694 1,990 4,694
Public debt charges - - -
Other subsidies and payments Footnote 3 1,350 20 1,350
Total gross budgetary expenditures 95,714 33,136 85,987
Less Revenues netted against expenditures
Revenues -   -   -  
Total Revenues netted against expenditures: -   -   -  
Total net budgetary expenditures 95,714 33,136 85,987

Due to rounding, figures may not add to the totals shown

Footnote 1 Statutory expenditures in the "Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31" columns reflect expenditures for the first three quarters only since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

Footnote 2 Personnel expenditures include both Vote 15 Program expenditures and Budgetary statutory authorities; all other categories of expenditures are solely Budgetary statutory.

Footnote 3 2014–2015 Year to date used at quarter and includes a one-time transition payment of $1.3M to implement the government's policy on salary payment in arrears.