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Elections Canada Quarterly Financial Report 2018–2019
For the quarter ended September 30, 2018

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 financial report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates. This quarterly financial 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:

  • be prepared to conduct a federal general election, by-election or referendum
  • administer the political financing provisions of the Canada Elections Act
  • monitor compliance with electoral legislation
  • conduct public information campaigns on voter registration, voting and becoming a candidate
  • conduct education programs for students on the electoral process
  • provide support to the independent commissions in charge of adjusting the boundaries of federal electoral districts following each decennial census
  • carry out studies on alternative voting methods and, with the approval of parliamentarians, test alternative voting processes for future use during electoral events
  • provide assistance and co-operation in electoral matters to electoral agencies in other countries or to international organizations

A summary description of the agency's programs can be found at www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=rep/rpp/dp2018&document=p2&lang=e

Basis of presentation

This quarterly financial 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 2018–2019 fiscal year. This quarterly financial 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 financial statements that are part of the departmental results 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 first two quarters of 2018–2019, Elections Canada continued the preparatory activities for the 2019 general election and its process for asset renewal and electoral services modernization.

First two quarters year-over-year variance

In the first two quarters of 2018–2019, budgetary expenditures totalled $70.0 million compared to $55.8 million in the same period of 2017–2018. The net increase of $14.2 million is explained by:

  • a net increase of $15.5 million in electoral expenditures and employee benefit plans (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by a $8.4 million increase in expenditures for preparatory activities for the 2019 general election, a $9.7 million increase in investment in asset renewal and modernization of electoral services, a $1.3 million reduction due to a timing difference in the payment of office rent, a decrease of $1.3 million resulting from conducting only one by-election (instead of five during the same period in 2017–2018); and
  • a decrease of $1.3 million in program expenditures (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by the payment of retroactive salary to indeterminate employees following the signing of collective agreements during the second quarter of 2017–2018.

Second quarter year-over-year variance

In the second quarter of 2018–2019, budgetary expenditures totalled $40.9 million compared to $31.6 million in the same period of 2017–2018. The net increase of $9.3 million is explained by:

  • a net increase of $10.8 million in electoral expenditures and employee benefit plans (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by a $4.4 million increase in expenditures for preparatory activities for the 2019 general election, a $7.9 million increase in investment in asset renewal and modernization of electoral services, a $1.5 million reduction due to a timing difference in the payment of office rent; and
  • a decrease of $1.5 million in program expenditures (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by the payment of retroactive salary to indeterminate employees following the signing of collective agreements during the second quarter of 2017–2018.

Figure 1 – First Two Quarters Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities (Appropriation and Statutory Authority)

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

Textual description of Figure 1 – First and Second Quarter Expenditures
Compared to Annual Authorities (Appropriation and Statutory Authority)

*Annual authorities for statutory funds reflect expenditures only for the first and second quarters, since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred. Please refer to Tables A.1 and A.2 for details.

Risks and uncertainties

Elections Canada's expenditures are influenced by the frequency, length 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.

For 2018–2019, Elections Canada has identified two corporate risks that could impede on its ability to deliver on committed results, or affect its reputation with regards to the integrity of the 2019 general election:

  • There is a risk that the regulatory framework for the 2019 general election is not finalized within expected timelines, requiring changes to be implemented over a much shorter period than planned.
  • There is a risk that electoral integrity issues compromise Elections Canada's reputation, the privacy of Canadians, and their trust and ability to participate in the electoral process.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

No significant changes in relation to operations, personnel or programs occurred during the second quarter of 2018-2019.

Approval by senior officials

Stéphane Perrault
Chief Electoral Officer

Gatineau, Canada
November 29, 2018

Hughes St-Pierre, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer


Table A.1
Elections Canada
Quarterly financial report
For the quarter ended September 30, 2018

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2017–2018 (in thousands of dollars)
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2018Footnote 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2017 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 Program expendituresFootnote 2 30,714 8,849 16,127
Statutory authorities
Electoral expendituresFootnote 3 36,294 21,007 36,294
Contributions to employee benefit plans 3,393 1,697 3,393
Salary of the Chief Electoral Officer - - -
Collection agency fees under section 17.1 of the Financial Administration Act - - -
Total statutory authorities 39,687 22,704 39,687
Total authorities 70,401 31,553 55,814

Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (continued)

Fiscal year 2018–2019 (in thousands of dollars)
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2019Footnote 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30,  2018 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 – Program expendituresFootnote 2 31,951 7,351 14,814
Statutory authorities      
Electoral expendituresFootnote 3 50,743 31,240 50,743
Contributions to employee benefit plans 4,291 2,146 4,291
Salary of the Chief Electoral Officer 181 126 181
Collection agency fees under section 17.1 of the Financial Administration Act 1 - 1
Total statutory authorities 55,216 33,512 55,216
Total authorities 87,167 40,863 70,030

More information is available in Table A.2

Footnote 1 Budgetary statutory authorities amounts in the "Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 201x" columns reflect first two quarters 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 indeterminate employees.

Footnote 3 Under the Statutory authority, Electoral expenditures funds the operating expenditures of the agency and those 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 September 30, 2018

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2017–2018 (in thousands of dollars)
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2018Footnote 1 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2017 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:
PersonnelFootnote 2 46,639 16,862 32,052
Transportation and communications 2,106 1,255 2,106
Information 1,017 543 1,017
Professional and special services 11,427 7,443 11,427
Rentals 6,148 2,914 6,148
Repair and maintenance 65 (86) 65
Utilities, materials and supplies 636 24 636
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 4 - 4
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 594 335 594
Transfer payments 1,728 2,249 1,728
Public debt charges - - -
Other subsidies and payments 37 14 37
Total gross budgetary expenditures 70,401 31,553 55,814
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues - - -
Total revenues netted against expenditures: - - -
Total net budgetary expenditures 70,401 31,553 55,814


Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) (continued)

Fiscal year 20182019 (in thousands of dollars)
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2019Footnote 1 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2018 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:
PersonnelFootnote 2 51,638 17,692 34,501
Transportation and communications 2,762 1,415 2,762
Information 1,240 795 1,240
Professional and special services 23,325 17,294 23,325
Rentals 5,581 2,304 5,581
Repair and maintenance 267 14 267
Utilities, materials and supplies 531 310 531
Acquisition of land, buildings and works - - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 832 664 832
Transfer payments 970 366 970
Public debt charges - - -
Other subsidies and payments 21 9 21
Total gross budgetary expenditures 87,167 40,863 70,030
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues - - -
Total revenues netted against expenditures: - - -
Total net budgetary expenditures 87,167 40,863 70,030

Footnote 1 Statutory expenditures in the "Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 201x" columns reflect first two quarters expenditures only, since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

Footnote 2 Personnel expenditures include both Vote 1 Program expenditures and budgetary statutory authorities; all other categories of expenditures are solely budgetary statutory.