Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter ended June 30, 2012

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). This quarterly report 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 Program Activities

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. In accordance with the Supreme Court Act, the Supreme Court of Canada consists of the Chief Justice and the eight puisne judges. The Supreme Court of Canada is an important national institution, positioned at the pinnacle of the judicial branch of government in Canada.

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 details on the Office's authority, mandate and program activities may be found in its Report on Plans and Priorities 2012-2013.

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 2012-13 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.

When Parliament is dissolved for the purposes of a general election, section 30 of the Financial Administration Act authorizes the Governor General, under certain conditions, to issue a special warrant authorizing the Government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. A special warrant is deemed to be an appropriation for the fiscal year in which it is issued.

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, 2012 compared to the same quarter of the prior year.  Overall, the Office's authorities increased by less than 1% while the quarterly spending decreased by 5% over the same quarter ending June 30, 2011. The overall proportion of authorities used (22%), is in line with that of the previous year (23%).

Changes to Granted Authorities

As at June 30, 2012, the total authorities provided to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada increased by $101,843, compared to the same quarter of the prior year.  This net increase consists of an increase in both:

  • Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($4,912); and
  • Budgetary Statutory authorities ($96,931).

The increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($4,912) consists of permanent allocations from TB Vote 15 (Collective Agreements) in 2012-13 for:

  • FI Agreement ($4,303); and
  • SV Agreement ($609).

The increase in the Budgetary Statutory authorities ($96,931) consists of:

  • An increase in personnel funding ($150,080) for the Judges' salaries and annuities; and
  • A decrease in the contributions to employee benefit plans ($53,149).

Changes to Planned Expenditures

The process for allocating planned expenditures in the Main Estimates is based on proportioning prior year actual expenditures against the total authorities available for use for the given year. For instance, if professional services represented 20% of the total operating expenditures of 2010-11, then the same ratio of 20% would be used to determine the planned expenditures for 2012-13.

A significant variance between planned expenditures in 2011-12 and 2012-13 was noted in "Other Subsidies and Payments" (total variance of $410,293). This is due to the fact that the standard object "Other Subsidies and Payments" had been entirely removed from the 2011-12 allocation of Main Estimates under the assumption that it included the depreciation expenses exclusively, which should not affect the Office's authorities available for use. The 2011-12 allocation of Main Estimates was therefore reallocated to other standard objects of expenditures, leaving the "Other Subsidies and Payments" nil. However, in 2012-13, the other expenditures related to this standard object (other than depreciation) were included in the allocation process of the Main Estimates, therefore causing an impact on other standard objects by decreasing their allocated proportion of total authorities available for use and thus generating the variance between both fiscal years.

Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at June 30, 2012, the total net budgetary expenditures decreased by 5% ($365,310) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance is comprised of:

  • An increase of 7% ($334,304) in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
  • A decrease of 32% ($699,614) in Budgetary Statutory spending.

The increase of 7% ($334,304) was noted in the total operating expenditures (Vote 50) in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year. The variance between both quarters is attributed to:

  • A net salary increase of $187,524; and
  • A non-salary increase of $146,780 resulting from:
    • Timing differences in informatics acquisitions between both quarters, among which the laptop replacement program represents 87% ($128,094) of the total variance, having been incurred in the second quarter of 2011-12 as opposed to the first quarter of 2012-13;
    • The expenditures incurred to relocate the new Executive Legal Officer (ELO) in the first quarter of 2012-13 representing 52% ($76,786) of the total variance. The appointment of the ELO is on a two-year term, explaining the variance between consecutive fiscal years; and
    • Timing and other various differences the settlement of acquired goods and services for the remaining variance (-$58,100 and -39% of total variance).

The decrease of 32% ($699,614) was noted in the total Budgetary Statutory expenditures:

  • As disclosed in previous year's quarterly financial report, system generated salary accruals ($756,764) were accrued in error in the first quarter of 2011-12. This mainly explains the variance in statutory personnel costs ($750,465) between both first quarters; and
  • The 2012-13 operating expenditures increased by $50,682 over the same quarter last year. This is mostly attributed to the relocation expenses ($47,655) incurred for the arrival of two new Justices, in accordance with the provisions of the Judges Act (Removal Allowance) Order.

Other expenditure categories (for both operating and statutory) have remained fairly 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 June 30, 2011 and 2012

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, 2011 and 2012.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the Office planned to spend as at June 30, 2011 and 2012: $29,715,015 in 2011-12 and $29,816,858 in 2012-13.

Authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the Office received: $4,602,069 for the first quarter of 2011-12 and $4,936,373 for the first quarter of 2012-13.

Authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the Office received: $2,188,528 for the first quarter of 2011-12 and $1,488,914 for the first quarter of 2012-13.

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 29, 2012.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada is funded through voted parliamentary spending authorities (73%) and statutory authorities (27%) for operating and personnel expenditures.

Although stable funding has enabled the Office to predict future resources, over the last five years, it has had to absorb increased operational costs and investments in strategic priorities within the existing reference levels. The Office has also been absorbing the wage and salary increases resulting from collective agreements by finding efficiencies within its operating vote. The financial impact of this government-wide initiative was $132,667 for 2011-12 and is estimated at $139,000 for 2012-13.

In order to respond to the need for operating more efficiently within existing reference levels and to address the changing needs of its various communities of stakeholders, the Office has identified Business Transformation as an operational priority for 2012-13 and beyond.  The Business Transformation initiative will require the implementation of changes to the Office's business processes to make its operations more efficient.  However, change has its challenges, including securing appropriate resources to effect these necessary changes.  As indicated above, in recent years, the Office has been able to work within its existing reference levels, but some sectors are seeing growing challenges in the quest to deliver current services while implementing change.  As a result, internal reallocation of resources may be required to allow necessary business changes, leading to risk of affecting some services, thereby creating an additional challenge and potential increase in operating costs. 

4. Significant Changes to Operations, Personnel and Programs

There were no 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, 2012

 

 Catherine Laforce, Chief Financial Officer

 

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(in dollars)

  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

 

  Fiscal year 2011-2012
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2012* Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2011 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 21,716,101 4,602,069 4,602,069
Budgetary statutory authorities 7,998,914 2,188,528 2,188,528
 
Total authorities 29,715,015 6,790,597 6,790,597

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

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

  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

 

  Fiscal year 2011-2012
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2012 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2011 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel 21,259,325 5,912,692 5,912,692
Transportation and communications 1,606,364 192,479 192,479
Information 237,890 1,041 1,041
Professional and special services 3,078,428 350,403 350,403
Rentals 293,410 35,631 35,631
Repair and maintenance 375,358 12,088 12,088
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,865,219 251,756 251,756
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 999,021 35,252 35,252
Other subsidies and payments - (745) (745)
 
Total net budgetary expenditures 29,715,015 6,790,597 6,790,597

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