Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2015

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. 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 2015-2016.

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 for the 2015-16 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 ResultsFootnote 1

This section highlights the changes in authorities provided and expenditures incurred as at June 30, 2015 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the ORSCC’s authorities increased by 1% while quarterly spending increased by less than 1% over the same quarter ending June 30, 2014. The overall proportion of authorities used (22%), is in line with that of the previous year (22%).

2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities

As at June 30, 2015, the total authorities provided to the ORSCC have increased by $374,149 compared to the same quarter of the prior year.  This net increase consists of:

  • A decrease in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($2,806); and
  • An increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($376,955).

The decrease in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($2,806) consists mainly of :

  • A permanent allocation from TB Vote 15 (Collective Agreements) in 2015-16 for EX and FI ($18,773); and
  • A permanent transfer of $21,560 to the Canada School of Public Service.

The increase in Budgetary Statutory authorities ($376,955) consists of:

  • An increase in personnel funding of $331,517 for Judges’ salaries and annuities for retired Judges;
  • An increase in the contributions to employee benefit plans (EBP) of $41,683 due to an increase in EBP rates from 16.5% in 2014-15 to 16.8% in 2015-16; and
  • An increase in the contributions to employee benefit plans (EBP) of $3,755 related to the allocation for Collective Agreements.

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. The authority increase of $374,149 noted above will be allocated to increased expenditures in salaries and employee benefits.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

As at June 30, 2015, total net budgetary expenditures increased by less than 1% ($28,628) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance comprises:

  • A decrease of 3% in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
  • An increase of 16% in Budgetary Statutory spending.

The above decrease of 3% ($188,867) 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 $485,792 due mainly to timing differences in the pay processing schedules between both fiscal years.
  • A non-salary decrease of $674,659 resulting from:
    • A one-time transition payment of $593,154 for implementing salary payments in arrears paid during the first quarter of 2014-15;
    • Timing differences;
    • Price variances;
    • Special projects; and
    • Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedules.

The increase of 16% ($217,495) 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 most of the first quarter of 2014-15, as well as an increase in relocation expenditures.

Figure 1: Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used

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

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, 2014 and 2015.

Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC planned to spend as at June 30, 2014 and 2015: $31,389,794 in 2014-15 and $31,763,943 in 2015-16.

Authorities used – Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $5,571,217 for the first quarter of 2014-15 and $5,382,350 for the first quarter of 2015-16.

Authorities used – Budgetary Statutory Authorities – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $1,383,124 for the first quarter of 2014-15 and $1,600,619 for the first quarter of 2015-16.

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 18, 2015.

The ORSCC is funded through voted parliamentary spending authorities (70%) and statutory authorities (30%) for operating and personnel expenditures.

The ORSCC’s operating budget has not been permanently increased for several years, other than for annual adjustments for collective bargaining increases. 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. In addition, mandatory contributions to Central Agency initiatives also create further financial pressures.

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 continues to reduce 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. Strategies aimed at prioritizing 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

On April 24, 2015, it was announced that the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein will retire August 30, 2015. There is no financial impact in relation to this announcement for the first quarter of 2015-16.

There were no other 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

August 12, 2015

 

Original signed by 

Catherine Laforce, Chief Financial Officer

 

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
(in dollars)

Fiscal year 2015-2016

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2016* Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2015 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 22,304,846 5,382,350 5,382,350
Budgetary statutory authorities 9,459,097 1,600,619 1,600,619
Total authorities 31,763,943 6,982,969 6,982,969

Fiscal year 2014-2015

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015* Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures 22,307,652 5,571,217 5,571,217
Budgetary statutory authorities 9,082,142 1,383,124 1,383,124
Total authorities 31,389,794 6,954,341 6,954,341

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

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

Fiscal year 2015-2016

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2016 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2015 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 23,071,582 6,062,781 6,062,781
Transportation and communications 1,769,654 246,464 246,464
Information 207,519 643 643
Professional and special services 2,201,490 258,662 258,662
Rentals 987,768 47,021 47,021
Repair and maintenance 320,356 10,051 10,051
Utilities, materials and supplies 2,169,123 242,204 242,204
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 1,000,763 100,041 100,041
Other subsidies and payments 35,688 15,102 15,102
Total net budgetary expenditures 31,763,943 6,982,969 6,982,969

Fiscal year 2014-2015

Expenditures Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 22,675,854 5,448,486 5,448,486
Transportation and communications 2,089,786 150,448 150,448
Information 212,765 3,067 3,067
Professional and special services 2,277,216 304,624 304,624
Rentals 902,514 125,698 125,698
Repair and maintenance 292,060 22,186 22,186
Utilities, materials and supplies 1,742,999 284,020 284,020
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 736,179 4,994 4,994
Other subsidies and payments 460,421 610,818 610,818
Total net budgetary expenditures 31,389,794 6,954,341 6,954,341

 

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