Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended December 31, 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). This quarterly report 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 (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 and approved allotment transfers from Treasury Board Central Votes 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 Results

This section highlights changes in authorities provided and expenditures incurred as at December 31, 2013 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the Office’s authorities increased by 4% while the quarterly spending increased by 2% over the same quarter ending December 31, 2012. The overall proportion of authorities used on a year-to-date basis (67%), is in line with that of the previous year (68%).

2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities

As at December 31, 2013, the total authorities provided to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada have increased by $1,233,097 compared to the same quarter in the prior year.  This net increase consists of:

Previously reported:

  • A decrease in Vote 50 - Net Operating Expenditures ($292,576); and
  • An increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($657,630).

Current quarter:

  • An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($868,043) in the third quarter of 2013-14 which is due to:
    • An allocation from TB Vote 25 (Operating Budget Carry Forward) of $554,732 received in the third quarter of 2013-14;
    • An allocation from TB Vote 15 (Collective Agreements) of $290,533 received in the third quarter of 2013-14;
    • An allocation from Supplementary Estimates (B) of $118,613 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, whereas the allocation for that item in the third quarter of 2012-13 amounted to $346,685.

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 Office’s programs. Additional authorities received for Paylist Requirements and Collective Agreements in the third quarter of 2013-14 will be used to offset related salary increases, thus increasing the planned Personnel expenditures. Authorities received for the Operating Budget Carry Forward will be distributed within non-salary categories in proportion to the standard object distribution within the 2013-14 Main Estimates. As for authorities received for Supplementary Estimates (B), they will be allocated to Rentals to offset parking rental expenditures paid to Public Works and Government Services Canada.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at December 31, 2013, total net budgetary expenditures increased by 2% ($376,482) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance is comprised of:

Previously reported:

  • An increase in net budgetary expenditures ($245,362).

Current quarter:

  • An increase of 2% ($131,120) in net budgetary expenditures explained by:
    • An increase (1%) in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
    • An increase (4%) in Budgetary Statutory spending.

An increase of $53,737 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 $175,254 mainly due to:
    • Adjustments due to collective agreement settlements in the third quarter of 2013-14; and
    • Other various salary increases.
  • A non-salary decrease of $121,517 resulting from:
    • Timing differences;
    • Price variances;
    • Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedule; and
    • Overall decrease in operating expenditures.

A net increase of $77,383 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 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 December 31, 2012 and 2013

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, 2012 and 2013.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the Office planned to spend as at December 31, 2012 and 2013: $31,096,800 in 2012-13 and $32,329,897 in 2013-14.

Year to Date Used – Figures present the cumulative amounts the Office received as at December 31, 2012 and 2013 respectively: $21,280,022 and $21,656,504.

Authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the Office received: $5,356,338 for the third quarter of 2012-13 and $5,410,075 for the third quarter of 2013-14.

Authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the Office received: $2,069,751 for the third quarter of 2012-13 and $2,147,134 for the third 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 (73%) and statutory authorities (27%) 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 issues 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.

Through its Business Transformation Initiative, the Office is continuing to explore various ways to leverage 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

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
February 25, 2014

 

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 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

 

  Fiscal year 2012-2013
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2013* Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2012 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 23,000,955 5,356,338 15,730,019
Budgetary statutory authorities 8,095,845 2,069,751 5,550,003
Total authorities 31,096,800 7,426,089 21,280,022

* 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 December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
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

 

  Fiscal year 2012-2013
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2013 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2012 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel 21,707,853 6,189,640 17,608,617
Transportation and communications 1,741,861 234,418 900,601
Information 230,383 22,190 64,548
Professional and special services 3,517,986 380,647 1,032,551
Rentals 292,155 90,335 318,143
Repair and maintenance 228,563 34,752 104,392
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,865,499 336,974 839,990
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 1,055,583 112,178 386,211
Other subsidies and payments 456,917 24,955 24,969
Total net budgetary expenditures 31,096,800 7,426,089 21,280,022