Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada Quarterly
Financial Report
For the quarter ended December 31, 2011

Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operation, personnel and program

1. Introduction

This quarterly 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 and previous quarterly financial reports for the current year. This quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada (OIC) conducts efficient, fair and confidential investigations into complaints about federal institutions’ handling of access to information requests. The goal is to maximize compliance with the Access to Information Act while fostering disclosure of public sector information using the full range of tools, activities and powers at the Commissioner’s disposal, from information and mediation to persuasion and litigation, where required.

The OIC also supports the Commissioner in her advisory role to Parliament and parliamentary committees on all access to information matters. In delivering its mandate, the OIC promotes information rights and advocates a pro-disclosure culture to ensure government transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.

Further information on the mandate, responsibilities and program activities can be found in Part II of the Main Estimates.

1.1 Basis of Presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the OIC's spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the OIC, consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2011-2012 fiscal years. 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 moneys 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.

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

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

The Statement of Authorities table below shows that the OIC spent approximately 25% of its authorities in the third quarter of 2011–2012 for a total of 71% at third-quarter year. Because Personnel expenses represent 75% of planned expenditures, the spending is spread out equally over the year.  In this quarter, the OIC received additional authorities for an amount of $906,030 due to a Treasury Board Central Vote (30) transfer – Paylist requirements, and an amount of $1,489 due to a Treasury Board Central Vote (15) transfer – Collective agreements.  Consistent with the presentation in the Volume II of the Public accounts, these authorities are included in the Vote 40 – Program expenditures on the Statement of Authorities. Both vote transfers are reflected in the planned expenditures for personnel on Table 2.

As Table 2 indicates, the OIC’s total budgetary expenditures have increased by $436,000 when comparing the third quarter of 2011−2012 to the same period in 2010−2011. The significant variance in expenditures can be attributed mainly to an increase in personnel of $350,000 or 14.6%.  Ratified changes to severance pay entitlements have resulted in the discontinuance of the accumulation of severance pay for some bargaining units. Eligible employees could opt for immediate payout of their accumulated severance pay. As explained above, those severance payments were funded via Treasury Board central vote 30 - Paylist requirements. Significant variances in YTD expenditures are in line with the variances for this quarter. Other variances in YTD expenditures for professional services, transport and communications, information, as well as utilities, materials and supplies are consistent with decreases discussed in the previous quarterly financial reports.

3. Risks and Uncertainties

The OIC is funded through annual appropriations.  Consequently, its operations are impacted by any changes in funding approved by Parliament.

As discussed in the previous quarterly financial report, the OIC is working on finding efficiencies within its vote 40 (program expenditures) to fund the cost containment measures introduced by the Government of Canada Budget 2010.  There have been no newly identified risks during the quarter.

4. Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

There have been no significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs in the last quarter.

Approved by:


Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada


Original signed by


Suzanne Legault

Layla Michaud, Acting Director General, Corporate services

Original signed by


Layla Michaud, DPF

 

 

 

 

Ottawa, Canada
February 29, 2012


Table 1: Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2011-2012 Fiscal year 2010-2011
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2012 * Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2011 Year to date used at quarter end Total available for us for the year ending March 31, 2011 * Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2010 Year to date used at quarter end
Vote 40 - Program expenditures 11,758 2,928 8,340 10,952 2,511 7,818
Statutory authorities - Contributions to employee benefit plans 1,390 347 1,042 1,312 328 984
Total budgetary authorities 13,148 3,275 9,382 12,264 2,839 8,802

*Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end.

Table 1: Statement of Authorities (unaudited) - Text Version

Table 2: Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2011-2012 Fiscal year 2010-2011
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2011 Year to date used at quarter end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2011 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2010 Year to date used at quarter end
 
Personnel 10,017 2,743 8,097 9,030 2,393 6,968
Transportation and communications 216 39 130 1,143 47 145
Information 194 12 46 120 19 124
Professional and special services 1,994 380 777 1,081 338 1,265
Rentals 82 16 59 99 37 64
Repair and maintenance 106 9 19 111 (11) 20
Utilities, materials and supplies 83 10 27 92 7 46
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 456 66 221 588 9 165
Other subsidies and payments - - 6 - - 5
TOTAL BUDGETARY EXPENDITURES 13,148 3,275 9,382 12,264 2,839 8,802

The negative expenditure for Repair and Maintenance in 2011 represent corrections of transactions from the previous quarter.

Table 2: Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) - Text Version