Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada Quarterly Financial Report For the quarter ended September 30, 2012

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

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 the quarterly financial report for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 . 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 the Office’s 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities and Strategic Plan.

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 2012-2013 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.

As part of the Parliamentary business of supply, the Main Estimates must be tabled in Parliament on or before March 1 preceding the new fiscal year. Budget 2012 was tabled in Parliament on March 29, after the tabling of the Main Estimates on February 28, 2012. As a result the measures announced in the Budget 2012 could not be reflected in the 2012-13 Main Estimates.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, frozen allotments will be established by Treasury Board authority in departmental votes to prohibit the spending of funds already identified as savings measures in Budget 2012. In future years, the changes to departmental authorities will be implemented through the Annual Reference Level Update, as approved by Treasury Board, and reflected in the subsequent Main Estimates tabled in Parliament.

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.

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

Significant variances of the quarterly expenditures are in line with year to date expenditures. The Statement of Authorities below shows that the OIC spent approximately 46% of its authorities in the first half of 2012–2013. Because personnel expenses represent 78% of planned expenditures, the spending is spread out equally over the year.

As Table 1 indicates, the OIC’s total budgetary expenditures have decreased by $551,000 when comparing the first half of 2012−2013 to the same period in 2011−2012. The variance in expenditures is primarily attributable to the following areas:

  1. A significant decrease in personnel expenditure of $516,000 resulting mainly from the requirement to make immediate payments for civilian severance pay and termination benefits due to revisions to specified collective agreements during the second quarter of 2011-2012.
  2. An increase in professional and special services of $144,000 mainly due to the agreement signed with Public Works and Government Services Canada – Shared Human Resource (SHRS) Services in April 2012. As per the agreement, the Office is outsourcing all its human resources activities to SHRS. The agreement should allow the Office to gain efficiencies and obtain a high quality of service.
  3. Acquisition of information technology equipment eased off as the OIC enters into the 4th year of a five-year Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) renewal strategy. This resulted in a decrease of $146,000 in acquisition of machinery during the first two quarters of 2012-2013. By the close of 2011-2012, IT had completed one of the major projects identified in the strategy and commenced other renewal projects, including a newly identified IM requirement. The IM/IT renewal strategy is on schedule and should be completed before the end of 2013-2014.

Risks and Uncertainties

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

Since 2009-10 the OIC has been implementing program delivery and efficiency improvements in order to ensure that it can continue to perform its mandate within the resources provided.

Included in this has been the 2010-11 salary strategy aimed at ensuring the OIC will have sufficient Operating and Maintenance (O&M) funding over the next 3-5 years to sustain its operations and program delivery. This strategy addresses the chronic shortfall in our salary budget which has historically been subsidized with operating funding, and the pressures created by the government –wide cost containment measures imposed in 2010-11. If the decision is made to extend the cost containment measures beyond 2012-13, the OIC would have to absorb an additional $200K, representing approximately 2% of the total appropriations, which will jeopardize the financial sustainability of the Office.

Notwithstanding this, the OIC is vulnerable to unexpected spikes in workload triggered by events outside of its control such as an influx of complaints or unexpected court cases. The OIC does not have flexibility within its funding envelope to respond to increases in its workload or any other unexpected situation.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

On 6 July 2012, the OIC appointed its Chief Financial Officer and Director General, Corporate Services and on a permanent basis.

Budget 2012 implementation

The OIC plans to achieve its assigned budget reduction of $500,000 by 2014-15 through efficiency measures and reductions that further aligns resources to its core mandate. Since the OIC is already a streamlined Office, the decision to cut senior level positions to keep the Program intact has added additional stress to the OIC. The OIC is aiming to complete most of its Budget 2012 implementation plan by the end of the current fiscal year.

The OIC has been able to achieve optimal program results and demonstrate fiscal responsibility over the years. However, with the current financial situation, the Office remains at risk. For example, the Corporate Services function in relation to the Program is at a mere 23%, which is less than a typical small organization.

Approved by:


Suzanne Legault
Information Commissioner of Canada


Layla Michaud, CPA, CMA, MBA
Director General, CFO Corporate Services

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2012-2013 Fiscal year 2011-2012
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013 * Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 Year to date used at quarter end Total available for us for the year ending March 31, 2012 * Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 Year to date used at quarter end
Vote 40 - Program expenditures 10,804 2,367 4,877 10,850 3,089 5,412
Budgetary statutory authorities – Contributions to employee benefit plans 1,359 339 679 1,390 348 695
TOTAL BUDGETARY AUTHORITIES 12,163 2,706 5,556 12,240 3,437 6,107

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

View text version of this table

Statement of Authorities

Vote 40 – Program expenditures:

The total authorities available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $10,804 thousand. The total authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $2,367 thousand. The year to date authorities used at quarter-end was $4,877 thousand.

The total authorities available for use for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $10,850 thousand. The total authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $3,089 thousand. The year to date authorities used at quarter-end was $5,412 thousand.

Budgetary statutory authorities – Contributions to employee benefit plans:

The total authorities available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $1,359 thousand. The total authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $339 thousand. The year to date authorities used at quarter-end was $679 thousand.

The total authorities available for use for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $1,390 thousand. The total authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $348 thousand. The year to date authorities used at quarter-end was $695 thousand.

Total budgetary authorities:

The total authorities available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $12,163 thousand. The total authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $2,706 thousand. The year to date authorities used at quarter-end was $5,556 thousand.

The total authorities available for use for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $12,240 thousand. The total authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $3,437 thousand. The year to date authorities used at quarter-end was $6,107 thousand

Table 1: Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2012-2013 Fiscal year 2011-2012
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 Year to date used at quarter end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2011 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 Year to date used at quarter end
Personnel 9,535 2,295 4,838 9,109 2,949 5,354
Transportation and communications 196 36 61 216 56 91
Information 127 23 36 194 32 34
Professional and special services 1,781 291 541 1,994 249 397
Rentals 91 37 45 82 25 43
Repair and maintenance 88 3 5 106 2 10
Utilities, materials and supplies 58 12 21 83 10 17
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 287 9 9 456 108 155
Other subsidies and payments - - - - 6 6
TOTAL BUDGETARY EXPENDITURES 12,163 2,706 5,556 12,240 3,437 6,107
View text version of this table

Table 1 - Departmental budgetary expenditures by standard object

Personnel:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $9,535 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $2,295 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $4,838 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $9,109 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $2,949 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $5,354 thousand.

Transportation and communications:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $196 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $36 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $61 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $216 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $56 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $91 thousand.

Information:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $127 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $23 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $36 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $194 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $32 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $34 thousand.

Professional and special services:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $1,781 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $291 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $541 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $1,994 thousand.  The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $249 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $397 thousand.

Rental:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $91 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $37 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $45 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $82 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $25 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $43 thousand.

Repair and maintenance:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $88 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $3 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $5 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $106 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $2 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $10 thousand.

Utilities, materials and supplies:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $58 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $12 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $21 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $83 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $10 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $17 thousand.

Acquisition of machinery and equipment:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $287 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $9 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $9 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $456 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $108 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $155 thousand.

Other subsidies and payments:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $0 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $0 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $0 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $0 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $6 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $6 thousand.

Total budgetary expenditures:

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 was $12,163 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $2,706 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $5,556 thousand.

The total planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 was $12,240 thousand. The total expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $3,437 thousand. The year to date used at quarter-end was $6,107 thousand.