Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2017

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, Supplementary 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 2017-18 Main Estimates.

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, Supplementary Estimates and approved allotment transfers from Treasury Board Central Votes for the 2017-18 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 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 ORSCC uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual departmental financial statements that are part of the departmental results reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

2. Highlights of the fiscal quarter and the fiscal year-to-date (YTD) results

This section highlights the changes in authorities provided and expenditures incurred as at September 30, 2017 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the ORSCC’s authorities increased by 2% while quarterly spending increased by 5% over the same quarter ending September 30, 2016. The overall proportion of authorities used on a year-to-date basis (45%) is comparable to the previous year (43%).

2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities

As at September 30, 2017, the total authorities provided to the ORSCC have increased by $665,333 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. This net increase consists of:

Previously reported:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($576,688); and
  • An increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($75,752).

Current quarter:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($12,893) which consists of:
    • An allotment transfer from TB Vote 25 (Operating Budget Carry Forward) of $1,168,135 received in the second quarter of 2017-18; funding for this item increased by $52,893 compared to the amount of $1,115,242 received in the same quarter last fiscal year; offset by
    • A contribution of $40,000 to the Comptroller General of Canada’s initiative on Enabling Functions Transformation (formerly known as Back Office Transformation).

2.2 Changes to Planned Expenditures

The allocation of planned expenditures between both fiscal years slightly increased due to funding received to enhance security at the Supreme Court of Canada. Additional authorities of $1,168,135 received for the Operating Budget Carry Forward will be distributed within non-salary categories in proportion to the standard object distribution in the 2017-18 Main estimates.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at September 30, 2017, total net budgetary expenditures increased by 6% ($868,755) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance comprises:

Previously reported:

  • An increase of 6% ($390,133) in net budgetary expenditures explained by:
    • An increase of 8% ($370,484) in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
    • An increase of 1% ($19,649) in Budgetary Statutory expenditures.

Current quarter:

  • An increase of 5% ($478,622) in net budgetary expenditures explained by:
    • An increase of 7% ($404,452) in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
    • An increase of 3% ($74,170) in Budgetary Statutory expenditures.

The above increase of 7 % ($404,452) 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 increase of $597,500 due to retroactive salary payments arising from the settlement of certain collective agreements and general increases in salary expenditures; offset by
  • A non-salary decrease of $193,048 resulting from:
    • Timing differences;
    • Price variances;
    • Special projects; and
    • Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedules.

The net increase of 3% ($74,170) in Budgetary Statutory Expenditures in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year is essentially attributed to increases in statutory pension expenditures. 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, 2015 and 2016

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 during the Second Quarter – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures and the authorities used during the Second Quarter – Budgetary Statutory Authorities as at September 30, 2016 and 2017.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC planned to spend as at September 30, 2016 and 2017: $35,345,724 in 2016-17 and $36,011,057 in 2017-18.

Year to Date Used – Figures present the cumulative amounts the ORSCC spent as at September 30, 2016 and 2017 respectively: $15,177,514 and $16,046,269.

Authorities used during the Second Quarter – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $6,182,031 for the second quarter of 2016-17 and $6,586,483 for the second quarter of 2017-18.

Authorities used during the Second Quarter – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $2,552,986 for the second quarter of 2016-17 and $2,627,156 for the second quarter of 2017-18.

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 23, 2017.

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

With the exception of new funding received for enhancing security beginning in 2016-17, the ORSCC’s operating budget has remained fairly stable for several years. The fiscal restraint on its operations continues to pose a serious challenge as the organization must continue to absorb rising operating costs which in turn, results in limited funding available for investments in its aging asset base and strategic priorities.

The ORSCC continues to mitigate its financial risks by dedicating time and effort to ensure that all resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Opportunities aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing costs remain a priority for the organization. Greater financial controls and improved resource planning, forecasting and investment prioritization are also helping to mitigate these risks. Despite these strategies, gaps and deficiencies 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:

 

Original signed by

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

November 21, 2017

 

Original signed by 

Catherine Laforce, Chief Financial Officer

 

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(in dollars)

Fiscal year 2017-2018

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2018* Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2017 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 26,044,568 6,586,483 11,862,410
Budgetary statutory authorities 9,966,489 2,627,156 4,183,859
Total authorities 36,011,057 9,123,639 16,046,269

 

Fiscal year 2016-2017

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2017* Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2016 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 25,454,987 6,182,031 11,087,474
Budgetary statutory authorities 9,890,737 2,552,986 4,090,040
Total authorities 35,345,724 8,735,017 15,177,514

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

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

Fiscal year 2017-2018

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2018 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2017 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 23,867,193 7,277,206 12,999,812
Transportation and communications 1,853,344 539,767 789,312
Information 150,191 1,755 1,970
Professional and special services 3,765,984 482,810 897,907
Rentals 1,209,170 226,710 364,070
Repair and maintenance 309,937 119,619 141,877
Utilities, materials and supplies 2,421,834 241,853 467,057
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 2,210,128 188,920 246,991
Other subsidies and payments 223,276 134,999 137,273
Total net budgetary expenditures 36,011,057 9,213,639 16,046,269

 

Fiscal year 2016-2017

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2017 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2016 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 23,675,602 6,621,133 12,115,696
Transportation and communications 1,689,510 470,284 613,149
Information 172,941 5,150 5,674
Professional and special services 4,163,813 500,825 878,821
Rentals 1,093,956 193,327 339,475
Repair and maintenance 324,287 28,388 37,421
Utilities, materials and supplies 2,235,867 290,134 499,759
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 1,881,197 631,310 665,241
Other subsidies and payments 108,551 (5,534) 22,278
Total net budgetary expenditures 35,345,724 8,735,017 15,177,514