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2015–16 – Report on Plans and Priorities

Future-Oriented Statement of Operations (Unaudited)
Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
For the year ended March 31, 2016



Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Future-Oriented Statement of Operations (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars)

  Estimated Results 2015 Planned Results 2016
Expenses
Electoral Operations
$87,690
$283,427
Regulation of Electoral Activities
21,811
80,013
Electoral Engagement
9,380
8,478
Internal Services
40,114
40,760
Total expenses
158,995
412,678
Revenues
Excess contributions and donations
21
78
Fines and court awards
6
Miscellaneous revenues
18
15
Revenues earned on behalf of government
   (45)
   (93)
Total revenues
Net cost of operations
$158,995
$412,678

The accompanying notes form an integral part of the future-oriented statement of operations.



Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Notes to Future-Oriented Statement of Operations (Unaudited)
For the year ended March 31, 2016

1. Methodology and Assumptions

The future-oriented statement of operations has been prepared on the basis of the Office’s plans as described in the Report on Plans and Priorities.

The information in the estimated results for fiscal year 2014–15 is based on actual results as at September 30, 2014 and on forecasts for the remainder of the fiscal year. Forecasts have been made for the planned results for the 2015–16 fiscal year.

The main assumptions are as follows:

  1. Assumptions are made according to the requirements of Treasury Board accounting policies, which are based on Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for the public sector;
  2. Expenses and revenues, including the determination of amounts internal and external to the government, are based on the historical trend. The general historical pattern is expected to continue taking into account the electoral cycle. Planned results for 2015–16 include the delivery of the 42nd general election as it is scheduled to take place on October 19, 2015 in accordance with the fixed date elections. These estimates are based on detailed forecasts and assumptions. These include but are not limited to the following: the actual duration of the campaign (the Act sets a minimum of 36 days); the level of spending by political entities, which impacts reimbursements; adjustments to election worker fees and allowances; market forces for expenses such as the media buy, local office rents, furniture and equipment; outstanding procurement processes; and the actual level of staffing in the field to meet requirements.

These assumptions are adopted as at September 30, 2014.

2. Variations and Changes to the Forecast Financial Information

While every attempt has been made to forecast the final results for the remainder of 2014–15 and for 2015–16, actual results achieved for both years are likely to vary from the forecast information presented, and this variation could be material.

In preparing this future-oriented statement of operations, the Office has made estimates and assumptions concerning the future. These estimates and assumptions may differ from the subsequent actual results. Estimates and assumptions are continually evaluated and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances.

Factors that could lead to material differences between the future-oriented statement of operations and the historical financial statement of operations include the following:

  1. The timing and amounts of acquisitions and disposals of tangible capital assets, which may affect gains, losses and amortization expenses;
  2. The timing and costs of by-elections, a general election and event readiness;
  3. The implementation of new collective agreements;
  4. Further changes to the operating budget through additional new initiatives or technical adjustments later in the year.

Once the Report on Plans and Priorities is presented, the Office will not be updating the forecasts for any changes in financial resources made in ensuing supplementary estimates. Variances will be explained in the Departmental Performance Report.

3. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

The future-oriented statement of operations has been prepared using government accounting policies that came into effect for the 2014–15 fiscal year, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. The presentation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant differences from Canadian public sector accounting standards.

  1. Expenses – Expenses are recorded on an accrual basis.

    Expenses include services provided without charge by other government departments for accommodation, the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans, audit services and legal services. They are recorded as operating expenses, at their estimated cost, in the statement of operations.

    Vacation pay, compensatory leave and severance benefits are accrued, and expenses are recorded as the benefits are earned by employees under their respective terms of employment.

    Transfer payments are recorded as expenses when authorization for the payment exists and the recipient has met the eligibility criteria or the entitlements established in the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act. Transfer payments that become repayable as a result of conditions specified in the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act that have come into being are recorded as a reduction to the transfer payment expense and as a receivable.

    Expenses include provisions to reflect changes in the value of assets, such as provisions for bad debt on accounts receivable, inventory obsolescence or liabilities. The latter includes contingent liabilities to the extent that the future event is likely to occur and a reasonable estimate can be made. Expenses also include amortization of tangible capital assets, which are capitalized at their acquisition cost. Amortization of tangible capital assets is done on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the asset.
  2. Revenues – Revenues from regulatory fees are recognized in the accounts based on the services provided in the year.

    Other revenues are accounted for in the period in which the underlying transaction or event that gave rise to the revenue takes place.

    Revenues that are non-respendable are not available to discharge the Office's liabilities. While the Chief Electoral Officer is expected to maintain accounting control, he has no authority regarding the disposition of non-respendable revenues. As a result, non-respendable revenues are considered to be earned on behalf of the Government of Canada and are therefore presented as a reduction of the entity's gross revenues.

4. Parliamentary Authorities

The Office receives its funding through an annual parliamentary authority and the statutory authorities contained in the electoral legislation. Items recognized in the future-oriented statement of operations in one year may be funded through parliamentary authorities in prior, current or future years. Accordingly, the Office has different net results of operations for the year on a government funding basis than on an accrual accounting basis. The differences are reconciled in the following tables:

  1. Reconciliation of net cost of operations to requested authorities

    (in thousands of dollars)   
      Estimated Results 2015 Planned Results 2016
    Net cost of operations
    $158,995
    $412,678
    Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities
    Add (less):
    Amortization of tangible capital assets
    (4,613)
    (4,585)
    Services provided without charge by other government departments
    (10,091)
    (9,822)
    Change in employee severance benefits liability
    585
    114
    Change in provision for vacation leave and other benefits
    (124)
    8
    Consumable supplies
    4,760
    (2,949)
    Prepaid expenses
        (922)
        (922)
    Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities
    148,590
    394,522
    Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities
    Add (less):
    Acquisition of tangible capital assets (excluding capital leases)
    7,586
    600
    Prepaid expenses
       838
       838
    Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities
    8,424
    1,438
    Requested authorities
    $157,014
    $395,960

  2. Authorities requested

    (in thousands of dollars)   
      Estimated Results 2015 Planned Results 2016
    Authorities requested
    Program expenditures – Vote 15
    $31,484
    $29,205
    Electoral and other statutory expenditures
    120,260
    359,040
    Statutory contributions to employee benefit plans
       6,417
       7,715
     
    158,161
    395,960
    Less:
    Forecasted current year lapse – Program expenditures
    (1,147)
    Requested authorities
    $157,014
    $395,960