Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended December 31, 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      December 31, 2014 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the ORSCC's authorities increased by less than 1% while quarterly spending decreased by 3% over the same quarter ending December 31, 2013. The overall proportion of authorities used on a year-to-date basis (68%), is in line with that of the previous year (67%).

2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities

As at December 31, 2014, the total authorities provided to the ORSCC have increased by $10,688 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. This net increase consists of:

Previously reported:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($770,456); and
  • An increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($328,667).

Current quarter:

  • A decrease in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($1,088,435) in the third quarter of 2014-15 which consists of:
    • An allocation from TB Vote 15 (Collective Agreements) of $18,773 received in the third quarter of 2014-15, whereas the allocation for that item in the third quarter of 2013-14 amounted to $290,533;
    • A permanent transfer to the Canada School of Public Service ($10,780);
    • An allocation from Supplementary Estimates (B) of $118,300 received in the third quarter of 2014-15, whereas the allocation for that item in the third quarter of 2013-14 amounted to $118,613;
  • and of timing differences due to:
    • An allocation from TB Vote 25 (Operating Budget Carry Forward) of $554,732 received in the third quarter of 2013-14; and
    • An allocation from TB Vote 30 (Paylist Requirements) of $250,850 received in the third 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.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at December 31, 2014, total net budgetary expenditures increased by 1% ($265,388) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance comprises:

Previously reported:

  • An increase in net budgetary spending ($468,970).

Current quarter:

  • A decrease of 3% ($203,583) in net budgetary expenditures explained by:
    • A decrease of 5% in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
    • An increase of 2% in Budgetary Statutory spending.

The above decrease of  5% ($255,045) 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 $116,250.
  • A non-salary decrease of $138,795 resulting from:
    • Timing differences;
    • Price variances;
    • Special projects; and
    • Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedules.

A net increase of 2% ($51,462) was noted in total Budgetary Statutory Expenditures in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year. There were no significant variances to report.

Figure 1: Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used

Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used as of December 31, 2013 and 2014

Description of image

Comparison of Third 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 December 31, 2013 and 2014.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC planned to spend as at December 31, 2013 and 2014: $32,329,897 in 2013-14 and $32,340,585 in 2014-15.

Year to Date Used – Figures present the cumulative amounts the ORSCC spent as at December 31, 2013 and 2014 respectively: $21,656,504 and $21,921,892.

Authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $5,410,075 for the third quarter of 2013-14 and $5,155,030 for the third quarter of 2014-15.

Authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $2,147,134 for the third quarter of 2013-14 and $2,198,596 for the third 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

The Honourable Madam Justice Suzanne Côté has been appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada effective December 1, 2014; and the Honourable Mr. Justice Louis LeBel retired on November 30, 2014.

Mr. David Power has been appointed Deputy Registrar effective November 3, 2014.

The financial impacts of the above nominations were minimal in the third quarter of 2014-15.

There were no other 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

February 12, 2015

 

 

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 December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 23,258,443 5,155,030 16,134,207
Budgetary statutory authorities 9,082,142 2,198,596 5,787,685
Total authorities 32,340,585 7,353,626 21,921,892

Fiscal year 2013-2014

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
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 23,576,422 5,410,075 15,919,476
Budgetary statutory authorities 8,753,475 2,147,134 5,737,028
Total authorities 32,329,897 7,557,209 21,656,504

* 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 December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 22,694,627 6,364,860 18,235,832
Transportation and communications 2,254,539 234,369 656,817
Information 234,126 19,081 36,019
Professional and special services 2,495,058 272,675 979,329
Rentals 1,111,422 80,720 354,454
Repair and maintenance 321,382 15,114 74,943
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,912,717 316,875 850,212
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 810,088 64,442 135,331
Other subsidies and payments 506,626 (14,510) 598,955
Total net budgetary expenditures 32,340,585 7,353,626 21,921,892

Fiscal year 2013-2014

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 23,000,862 6,456,338 18,677,731
Transportation and communications 2,073,494 199,279 644,049
Information 277,879 34,041 64,209
Professional and special services 3,262,968 331,127 909,029
Rentals 309,236 43,541 249,977
Repair and maintenance 180,185 47,577 77,890
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,860,528 355,263 847,684
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 916,662 82,034 175,921
Other subsidies and payments 448,083 8,009 10,014
Total net budgetary expenditures 32,329,897 7,557,209 21,656,504