2022-2023 Quarterly Financial Report - ended December 31, 2022

Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, 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 a manner prescribed by the Treasury Board. This report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates. It has not been subject to an external audit or review.

The Information Commissioner is the first level of independent review of government decisions relating to requests for access to information under the control of government institutions. The Access to Information Act requires the Commissioner to investigate complaints she receives. The second level of independent review is performed by the Federal Court. The Access to Information Act is the legislative authority for the oversight activities of the Information Commissioner which are: to investigate complaints from requestors; to review the performance of government institutions; to report the results of investigations/reviews and recommendations to complainants, government institutions, and Parliament; to pursue judicial enforcement; and to provide advice to Parliament on access to information matters. The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada (OIC) supports the Commissioner in carrying out these activities.
Further information on the OIC’s mandate, responsibilities and program activities can be found in the OIC’s 2022-23 Departmental Plan.

1.1 Basis of Presentation

This report has been prepared by management using an expenditures 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 year ending March 31, 2023.

The authority of Parliament is required before money 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 financial statements, which are part of the departmental results reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

2. Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Year-to-Date Results

At the third quarter, the Statement of Authorities below shows that the OIC spent 70.3% of its available authorities for the current fiscal year 2022-2023. This statement also indicates a decrease in the Total Authorities of $1,149,000 or 6.3% when compared to the same period in 2021-2022. The decrease is due to the reduction in temporary funding resulting from a request for reprofiles of funds made in previous years.

As Table 1 indicates, the OIC’s total budgetary expenditures as of December 31, 2022, decreased by an amount of $919,000 or 7.1% when compared to the expenditures reported for the same period in 2021-2022. It is explained by a decrease in temporary help services contracts.

3. Risks and Uncertainties

An important strategic priority for the Commissioner is to ensure that the OIC remains relevant. This means both investigating matters of significant public interest, and finding a balance between old and new files. It also means that the OIC continues to provide informed advice to Parliament and others on matters concerning access to information.

Doing these tasks also requires the prompt completion of investigations. The OIC will be reviewing and adjusting its file management approach. It will also be updating systems and processes, templates, guidance and training materials—within both the investigations and enabling functions, such as Human Resources—to ensure they are effective and efficient.

However, the OIC is also aware that by increasing its efficiency and investigative capacity, it risks overwhelming institutions, to the detriment of the OIC’s work and to an institutions ability to respond to access requests. To mitigate this risk, the OIC engages institutions’ cooperation through ongoing communications with officials at various levels and considers institutional workload when assigning files.

The OIC received a record number of complaints in 2021-2022 and the volume is still increasing in 2022-23. Canadians are asking for more information and there is no sign that this will stop in the foreseeable future. To maintain its credibility, the OIC will need additional resources to address these new complaints and clear a backlog of existing complaints.  This will ensure that the Access to Information Act is upheld and that Canadians get timely resolutions to their requests.

Finally, the OIC’s project to migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud began before the pandemic started in 2020. The successful conclusion of this project is essential to the OIC being able to operate effectively in the post-pandemic work environment. The OIC will seek to mitigate the security risks associated with carrying out all its business electronically——by reviewing and updating its security threat and risk assessments and taking any necessary corrective measures.

4. Significant changes in Operations, Personnel and Program

No other significant changes related to operations, personnel or program in the third quarter of 2022-23.

Approved by:

Caroline Maynard
Information Commissioner of Canada

France Labine, M.P.A., CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Gatineau, Canada
February 1, 2023

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2022-2023 Fiscal year 2021-2022
Total available for use for the year ending
March 31, 2023 Footnote *
Used during the quarter ended
December 31, 2022
Year to date used at quarter end Total available for use for the year ending
March 31, 2022
Used during the quarter ended
December 31, 2021
Year to date used at quarter end
Program expenditures 15,315 3,241 10,688 16,455 4,123 11,534
Budgetary statutory authority - Employee benefit plan 1,785 446 1,338 1,794 470 1,411
TOTAL AUTHORITIES 17,100 3,687 12,026 18,249 4,593 12,945

Table 1: Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2022-2023 Fiscal year 2021-2022
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2023 Footnote * Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2022 Year to date used at quarter end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2022 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2021 Year to date used at quarter end
Personnel 14,136 3,415 10,788 14,264 3,688 10,244
Transportation and communications 73 25 54 262 17 62
Information 88 5 17 150 4 10
Professional and special services 2,008 198 838 2,443 658 2,079
Rentals 301 63 240 663 46 242
Repair and maintenance 25 1 5 46 5
Utilities, materials and supplies 49 - 1 100 11 21
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 86 - - 147
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 333 34 91 154 155 235
Other subsidies and payments 1 (54) (8) 20 14 47
TOTAL BUDGETARY EXPENDITURES 17,100 3,687 12,026 18,249 4,593 12,945
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