Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2014

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 and approved allotment transfers from Treasury Board Central Votes. 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 (ORSCC) 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 ORSCC’s authority, mandate and programs may be found in its Report on Plans and Priorities 2014-2015.

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 ORSCC’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the ORSCC, consistent with the Main Estimates and approved allotment transfers from Treasury Board Central Votes for the 2014-15 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 ORSCC 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 Results

This section highlights the changes in authorities provided and expenditures incurred as at      September 30, 2014 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the ORSCC’s authorities increased by 4% while quarterly spending increased by 1% over the same quarter ending September 30, 2013. The overall proportion of authorities used on a year-to-date basis (45%), is identical to the previous year (45%).

2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities

As at September 30, 2014, the total authorities provided to the ORSCC have increased by $1,099,123 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. This net increase consists of:

Previously reported:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($404,916); and
  • An increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($328,667).

Current quarter:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($365,540) in the second quarter of 2014-15 which consists of timing differences due to:
    • An allocation from TB Vote 25 (Operating Budget Carry Forward) of $824,517 received in the second quarter of 2014-15; offset by
    • An allocation from TB Vote 30 (Paylist Requirements) of $458,958 received in the second quarter of 2013-14.

2.2 Changes to Planned Expenditures

The allocation of planned expenditures between both fiscal years has remained stable as there are no significant changes to the ORSCC’s programs. Additional authorities of $824,517 received for the Operating Budget Carry Forward will be distributed within non-salary categories in proportion to the standard object distribution within the 2014-15 Main estimates.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at September 30, 2014, total net budgetary expenditures increased by 3% ($468,970) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance comprises:

Previously reported:

  • An increase in net budgetary spending ($391,936).

Current quarter:

  • An increase of 1% ($77,034) in net budgetary expenditures explained by:
    • A decrease of less than 1% in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
    • An increase of 4% in Budgetary Statutory spending.

The above decrease of less than 1% ($4,327) was noted in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year. The variance between the two quarters is attributed to:

  • A net salary decrease of $63,541.
  • A non-salary increase of $59,214 resulting from:
    • Timing differences;
    • Price variances;
    • Special projects; and
    • Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedules.

The net increase of 4% ($81,361) 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 an increase in salary expenditures resulting from a vacancy in the second quarter of 2013-14, and an increase in statutory pension expenditures in 2014-15. Other expenditures have remained stable in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year.

Figure 1: Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used

Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used as of September 30, 2013 and 2014

Description of image

Comparison of Second Quarter Authorities Granted and Used – The diagram illustrates the variation in thousands of dollars for the Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted, the year to date used, the authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures and the authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities as at September 30, 2013 and 2014.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC planned to spend as at September 30, 2013 and 2014: $31,115,169 in 2013-14 and $32,214,292 in 2014-15.

Year to Date Used – Figures present the cumulative amounts the ORSCC spent as at September 30, 2013 and 2014 respectively: $14,099,295 and $14,568,265.

Authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $5,412,287 for the second quarter of 2013-14 and $5,407,960 for the second quarter of 2014-15.

Authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $2,124,603 for the second quarter of 2013-14 and $2,205,964 for the second quarter of 2014-15.

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, 2014.

The ORSCC is funded through voted parliamentary spending authorities (72%) and statutory authorities (28%) for operating and personnel expenditures.

The ORSCC’s Reference Levels have remained constant for several years. This continues to pose a serious challenge as the organization must continue to absorb rising operating costs which results in limited funding available for investments in its current asset base and strategic priorities. Following the 2013 Speech from the Throne, the ORSCC, like other government departments, must also contend with an operating budget freeze for fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16.  Funding for wage and salary increases resulting from collective agreement settlements taking effect during this period will not be received. Depending on when these collective agreements are ratified, the effect of this budget freeze will likely be felt beyond the freeze period.

The ORSCC is reducing its financial risks by dedicating time and effort in the short to medium term to ensure that all resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Opportunities aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing costs are being analyzed. Strategies to prioritize new investments while postponing others that are less critical to the operations are utilized. Greater financial controls and improved resource planning and forecasting are also helping to mitigate these risks. Despite these strategies, gaps still exist and the ORSCC must be strategic in its approach to prioritization and resource allocation.

4. Significant Changes to Operations, Personnel and Programs

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

Approval by Senior Officials

Approved by:

 

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C., Registrar
Ottawa, Ontario

November 26, 2014

 

 

Catherine Laforce, Chief Financial Officer

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(in dollars)

Fiscal year 2014-2015

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015* Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 23,132,150 5,407,960 10,979,177
Budgetary statutory authorities 9,082,142 2,205,964 3,589,088
Total authorities 32,214,292 7,613,924 14,568,265

Fiscal year 2013-2014

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2014* Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 22,361,694 5,412,287 10,509,401
Budgetary statutory authorities 8,753,475 2,124,603 3,589,894
Total authorities 31,115,169 7,536,890 14,099,295

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

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

Fiscal year 2014-2015

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 22,675,854 6,422,486 11,870,972
Transportation and communications 2,254,539 272,000 422,448
Information 234,125 13,871 16,938
Professional and special services 2,505,838 402,030 706,654
Rentals 993,123 148,037 273,735
Repair and maintenance 321,382 37,642 59,828
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,912,717 249,317 533,337
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 810,088 65,895 70,889
Other subsidies and payments 506,626 2,646 613,464
Total net budgetary expenditures 32,214,292 7,613,924 14,568,265

Fiscal year 2013-2014

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 22,459,479 6,397,848 12,221,393
Transportation and communications 1,967,482 328,616 444,770
Information 260,297 29,966 30,168
Professional and special services 3,056,514 349,783 577,902
Rentals 178,562 95,284 206,436
Repair and maintenance 168,784 22,017 30,313
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,745,656 237,289 492,421
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 858,663 74,083 93,887
Other subsidies and payments 419,732 2,004 2,005
Total net budgetary expenditures 31,115,169 7,536,890 14,099,295