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2017–18 Departmental Plan

Spending and Human Resources

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.

Planned Spending

Agency Spending Trend

Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Agency Spending Trend – Text version

Budgetary Planning Summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Expenditures
2015–16
Expenditures
2016–17
Forecast Spending
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
2019–20
Planned Spending
Electoral Operations 90,292,796 331,586,802 48,566,302 53,556,884 53,556,884 39,431,253 36,663,769
Regulation of Electoral Activities 18,101,587 116,777,324 13,901,273 11,219,651 11,219,651 9,248,769 9,244,062
Electoral Engagement 8,261,985 8,244,303 8,723,030 9,279,980 9,279,980 8,941,792 8,653,721
Subtotal 116,656,368 456,608,429 71,190,605 74,056,515 74,056,515 57,621,814 54,561,552
Internal Services 34,110,007 29,797,925 35,806,083 38,151,475 38,151,475 35,448,730 35,731,739
Total 150,766,375 486,406,354 106,996,688 112,207,990 112,207,990 93,070,544 90,293,291

The agency spending fluctuation is dictated mostly by election dates. As the 42nd general election was held on October 19, 2015, the peak of expenditures required for its conduct was in 2015–16, and there were 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. This pattern is a result of the election cycle and is typical for the agency. In 2016–17, Elections Canada initiated a process for asset renewal and electoral services modernization; the bulk of the expenditures will be incurred in 2017–18, and expenditures will then diminish until 2019–20. These variations affect only the statutory portion of the funding.

Planned Human Resources

Human Resources Planning Summary for Programs and Internal Services
(full-time equivalents [FTE])
Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Full-Time Equivalents
2015–16
Full-Time Equivalents
2016–17
Forecast
Full-Time Equivalents
2017–18
Planned
Full-Time Equivalents
2018–19
Planned
Full-Time Equivalents
2019–20
Planned
Full-Time Equivalents
Electoral Operations 309 444 273 257 229 220
Regulation of Electoral Activities 70 81 87 75 71 71
Electoral Engagement 57 68 71 67 67 67
Subtotal 436 593 431 399 367 358
Internal Services 120 131 153 152 148 152
Total 556 724 584 551 515 510

The FTE fluctuation, like the agency's spending, is dictated mostly by election dates. During 2016–17 most post-election activities took place, including reporting, evaluation, and the audit of candidate election returns. Also in 2016–17, Elections Canada initiated a process for asset renewal and electoral services modernization, with the majority of FTEs being planned for 2017–18.

Estimates by Vote

For information on Elections Canada's organizational appropriations, consult the 2017–18 Main Estimates.Footnote xiii

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of Elections Canada's operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, can be found on Elections Canada's website.Footnote xiv

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
For the Year Ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial Information 2016–17
Forecast Results
2017–18
Planned Results
Difference
(2017–18 Planned Results Minus 2016–17 Forecast Results)
Total expenses 116,387,828 116,744,369 356,541
Total revenues - - -
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 116,387,828 116,744,369 356,541

Elections Canada estimates about the same level of expenses for both 2016–17 and 2017–18.