Quarterly Financial Report For the Quarter Ended December 31, 2013 - Revised

Erratum

Date: March 18, 2014
Location: Statement of Authorities (unaudited), Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2014, Vote 20 - Program expenditures
Revision:Vote 20 - Program expenditures $22,758 thousands” replaces “Vote 20 - Program expenditures $27,758 thousands”.
Rational for the revision: Original amount reported was not correct.

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. It should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates, the previous quarterly financial report, as well as Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012 (Budget 2012). This quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

Mandate and programs

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) supports the Commissioner of Official Languages in fulfilling his mandate, which consists of taking all actions and measures within his authority to ensure recognition of the status of each of the official languages and compliance with the spirit and intent of the Official Languages Act in the administration of the affairs of federal institutions, including any of their activities relating to the advancement of English and French in Canadian society.

Further information about OCOL’s programs can be found in the 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities and in the Main Estimates.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes OCOL’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and used by OCOL, consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2013-14 fiscal year. This quarterly report has also 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.

OCOL uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual financial statements, which are part of the organization's performance reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament are prepared on an expenditure basis.

Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal Year to Date

This section presents a brief analysis of significant variances in relation to actual expenditures and planned expenditures that affected both the quarter and the year to date results, compared to the same periods of the preceding fiscal year.

Significant changes to authorities

As of December 31, 2013, total authorities available for the fiscal year increased by $3.4 million compared to the previous fiscal year, mainly due to the following factors:

  • One-time funding of $2.8 million to pay for the costs of the head office’s move from 344 Slater, Ottawa, to 30 Victoria, Gatineau. This increase will be offset by future reductions to reference levels over a nine-year period;
  • A transfer of $0.3 million from Public Works and Government Services Canada for the reduction of space of the new offices;
  • The remaining is increased funding related to the operating budget carry-forward, eligible paylist expenditures and collective agreement settlements ($0.3 million).

Significant changes to budgetary expenditures

OCOL has spent approximately 63% of its authorities as of December 31, 2013, of which 77% represents personnel costs.

Year-to-date expenditures have increased by $1.0 million or 6.5% compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year, $0.4 million or 3% in personnel costs and $0.6 million or 20% in other operating costs. The increase is in part due to:

  • Increased level of spending in programs ($1.0 million) associated with:
    • the conduct of several studies and activities to promote linguistic duality and protect language rights;
    • the staffing of liaison officers in the regions consistent with the new regional model in response to the A-Base Review conducted in 2010-11;
    • Increased personnel costs and professional services fees in legal services due to increased number of complex cases.
  • Work in progress related to the head office’s move ($0.45 million).

Offset by:

  • Lower costs in some internal services functions ($0.21 million);
  • Lower severance pay expenditures ($0.15 million).

OCOL is expecting a significant increase in its expenditures in the last quarter of 2013-14 due to the head office’s move to Gatineau.

Risks and Uncertainties

Funding required for IM/IT

As discussed in the Budget 2012 Implementation section, OCOL is gradually implementing its strategic plan related to IM/IT. Budget 2012 reflected necessary information technology investments to address OCOL’s deteriorating applications. The level of investment is stable and shall continue over the next fiscal years.

Capacity to meet expectations

OCOL’s capacity to handle complaints and respond to requests for information from institutions, the public and parliamentarians, in addition to supporting the internal and legal services necessary to carry out these activities, might not meet these groups’ expectations. OCOL is also facing pressure from outside regarding expectations related to the reduction of backlogged complaint files, some of which result from public service budget restraint measures and the closure of a number of federal institutions’ regional offices.

Headquarters’ move

It is expected that OCOL will be moving its office to Gatineau by March 14, 2014. Most of the relocation project relies on estimated costs from other parties, creating some uncertainty in the forecast and the specific moment when it will be spent. Any delay could result in having to absorb costs next fiscal year although funding was approved only for the current fiscal year.

Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs

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

Budget 2012 Implementation

As announced in Budget 2012, OCOL is contributing to the Government’s expenditure restraint efforts by reallocating operating savings towards necessary information technology investments. As a result, the major pressure being faced by OCOL is the lack of supplemental funds for the IM/IT systems update. This removes any flexibility to absorb the cost of other initiatives.

In order to absorb the cost of its Integrated Enterprise Management Solution (IEMS), the organization has reduced and/or postponed certain activities. Most of the funding comes from budget reductions in programs. Once information technology investments have been completed, OCOL will reallocate its resources back to programs to ensure delivery on its mandate.

Approval by Senior Officials

The original version was approved and signed by:

Graham Fraser
Commissioner of Official Languages

Nancy Premdas, CMA
Chief Financial Officer
Assistant Commissioner
Corporate Management

Ottawa, Canada
February 24, 2014

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (in thousands of dollars)
  Fiscal year 2013–14 Fiscal year 2012–13
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2014* Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter end Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013* Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2012 Year to date used at quarter end
Table note *Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter end.
Vote 20 - Program expenditures 22,758 4,717 13,955 19,348 4,777 12,994
Budgetary statutory authorities 2,250 563 1,688 2,250 563 1,688
Total budgetary authorities 25,008 5,280 15,643 21,598 5,340 14,682

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) (in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures: Fiscal year 2013–14 Fiscal year 2012–13
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2012 Year to date used at quarter end
Personnel 15,411 3,882 12,041 15,161 4,062 11,684
Transportation and communications 1,406 201 494 958 219 479
Information 130 97 201 208 68 108
Professional and special services 4,215 746 2,229 4,384 786 1,830
Rentals 300 22 133 109 53 252
Repair and maintenance 800 2 37 261 38 65
Utilities, materials and supplies 150 39 85 161 36 81
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 1,689 63 195 350 78 183
Acquisition of land, buildings and works - 228 228 - - -
Other subsidies and payments 907 - - 6 - -
Total gross budgetary expenditures 25,008 5,280 15,643 21,598 5,340 14,682