Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2013

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada

1. 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 (TB). It should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates. It has not been subject to an external audit or review.

1.1 Authority, Mandate and Programs

Created by an Act of Parliament in 1875, the Supreme Court of Canada is Canada’s final court of appeal. It serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance, thereby contributing to the development of all branches of law applicable within Canada. The independence of the Court, the quality of its work and the esteem in which it is held both in Canada and abroad contribute significantly as foundations for a secure, strong and democratic country founded on the Rule of Law. The Supreme Court of Canada is an important national institution, positioned at the pinnacle of the judicial branch of government in Canada, separate from and independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Office) provides all necessary services and support for the Court to process, hear and decide cases.  It also serves as the interface between litigants and the Court.

Further information on the Office’s authority, mandate and programs may be found in its Report on Plans and Priorities 2013-2014.

1.2 Basis of Presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the Office’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the Office, consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2013-14 fiscal year. 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 Office 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 ResultsFootnote 1

This section highlights the changes in authorities provided and expenditures incurred as at June 30, 2013 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the Office’s authorities increased by 3% while quarterly spending increased by 2% over the same quarter ending June 30, 2012. The overall proportion of authorities used (21%), is in line with that of the previous year (22%).

2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities

As at June 30, 2013, the total authorities provided to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada have increased by $839,353, compared to the same quarter of the prior year.  This net increase consists of:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($181,723); and
  • An increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($657,630).

The increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($181,723) consists of permanent allocations from TB Vote 15 (Collective Agreements) in 2013-14 for:

  • EC Agreement ($95,345);
  • EB-PSAC Agreement ($9,023);
  • PA-PSAC Agreement ($71,385);
  • PE Agreement ($4,047); and
  • SV-PSAC Agreement ($1,923).

The increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($657,630) consists of:

  • An increase in personnel funding ($453,027) for the Judges’ salaries and annuities;
  • An increase in operating funding ($200,000) for the Judges’ allowances; and
  • An increase in the contributions to employee benefit plans ($4,603).

2.2 Changes to Planned Expenditures

The allocation of planned expenditures between both fiscal years has remained fairly stable as there are no significant changes to the Office’s programs. An authority increase of $839,353 (as noted above) will be allocated to increased expenditures in salaries and employee benefits ($639,353) and an expected increase in transportation costs ($200,000) for the relocation expenditures related to the  departure of one judge and the arrival of his successor, in accordance with the provisions of the Judges Act (Removal Allowance) Order.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at June 30, 2013, total net budgetary expenditures increased by 2% ($137,118) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance comprises:

  • An increase of 3% in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
  • A decrease of 2% in Budgetary Statutory spending.

The increase of 3% ($160,741) was noted in total operating expenditures (Vote 50) in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year. The variance between the two quarters is attributed to:

  • A net salary increase of $452,789 due mainly to:
    • An increase of $392,954 in severance expenditures; and
    • Other various salary increases.
  • A non-salary decrease of $292,048 resulting from:
    • Timing differences;
    • Price variances;
    • Special projects;  
    • Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedule; and
    • Overall decrease in both travel and relocation costs.

The decrease of 2% ($23,623) was noted in total Budgetary Statutory expenditures in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year. The variance between the two quarters is essentially attributed to a decrease in relocation expenses ($48,355), partially offset by salary increases ($21,005) as well as other general timing differences between both quarters ($3,727).

Figure 1: Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used

Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used as of June 30, 2012 and 2013

Description of image

Comparison of First Quarter Authorities Granted and Used – The diagram illustrates the variation in thousands of dollars for the Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted, the authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures and the authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities as at June 30, 2012 and 2013.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the Office planned to spend as at June 30, 2012 and 2013: $29,816,858 in 2012-13 and $30,656,211 in 2013-14.

Authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the Office received: $4,936,373 for the first quarter of 2012-13 and $5,097,114 for the first quarter of 2013-14.

Authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the Office received: $1,488,914 for the first quarter of 2012-13 and $1,465,291 for the first quarter of 2013-14.

3. Risks and Uncertainties

This departmental quarterly financial report reflects the results of the current fiscal period in relation to the Main Estimates for which full supply was released on June 20, 2013.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada is funded through voted parliamentary spending authorities (71%) and statutory authorities (29%) for operating and personnel expenditures.

The Office continues to operate within its existing reference levels, which have remained constant for several years. This remains a serious challenge as the Court must continue to evolve from a technical standpoint as well as respond to an increase in the complexity of cases being heard.  The lack of new funding and the focus on addressing gaps and deficiencies at the operating level has limited the Office’s ability to make investments in new strategic priorities. The Office is facing aging legacy IT systems and infrastructure, IT security (cyber threats), an aging building, as well as a need to strengthen physical security in light of the changing nature of cases coming before the Court. The growing influence of privacy, national security and human rights continues to increase the complexity and sensitivity of cases and results in a need for more robust security measures. The Office has been trying to respond to these challenges by reallocating internal resources and identifying efficiencies, however, this is proving to be more and more difficult and options to acquire additional funding are being explored.

With this said, in contrast to prior years, the Office will no longer need to absorb salary increases resulting from collective agreements, since the cost containment measures set-forth by the Government expired in 2012-13. This will undoubtedly help in alleviating some of the financial pressures that the Office has had to contend with over the last few years.

Furthermore, through its Business Transformation Initiative, the Office is continuing to explore various ways to leverage the recent investments in technology by adapting work processes to the new technological environment. As the Office continues to strive towards more efficient and effective processes, it must balance the need to respond to gaps and deficiencies at the operational level (IT Infrastructure, IT Security, Physical Security, etc.) while trying to undertake transformational activities. Given its limited resources, the Office must continue to be strategic in its approach to prioritization and resource allocation.

4. Significant Changes to Operations, Personnel and Programs

On April 22, 2013, it was announced that the Honourable Mr. Justice Fish will retire August 31, 2013. There is no financial impact in relation to this announcement for the first quarter of 2013-14.  

There were no other significant changes in the Office’s operations, personnel and programs over this reporting period.

Approval by Senior Officials

Approved by:

 

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C., Registrar
Ottawa, Ontario
August 29, 2013

 

Catherine Laforce, Chief Financial Officer

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(in dollars)

  Fiscal year 2013-2014
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2014* Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 21,902,736 5,097,114 5,097,114
Budgetary statutory authorities 8,753,475 1,465,291 1,465,291
Total authorities 30,656,211 6,562,405 6,562,405
  Fiscal year 2012-2013
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013* Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2012 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 21,721,013 4,936,373 4,936,373
Budgetary statutory authorities 8,095,845 1,488,914 1,488,914
Total authorities 29,816,858 6,425,287 6,425,287

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

Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
(in dollars)

  Fiscal year 2013-2014
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel 22,000,521 5,823,545 5,823,545
Transportation and communications 1,967,482 116,154 116,154
Information 260,297 202 202
Professional and special services 3,056,514 228,119 228,119
Rentals 178,562 111,152 111,152
Repair and maintenance 168,784 8,296 8,296
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,745,656 255,132 255,132
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 858,663 19,804 19,804
Other subsidies and payments 419,732 1 1
Total net budgetary expenditures 30,656,211 6,562,405 6,562,405
  Fiscal year 2012-2013
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2012 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel 21,361,168 5,349,751 5,349,751
Transportation and communications 1,584,325 352,545 352,545
Information 206,875 11,659 11,659
Professional and special services 3,159,009 209,227 209,227
Rentals 262,343 82,125 82,125
Repair and maintenance 205,240 39,806 39,806
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,679,734 224,248 224,248
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 947,871 155,926 155,926
Other subsidies and payments 410,293 - -
Total net budgetary expenditures 29,816,858 6,425,287 6,425,287

Footnotes

Footnote 1

As the year to date results are equivalent to the first quarter results, the year to date comparison will not be referred to in the present report.

Return to footnote 1 referrer