Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2015
The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada
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 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 and approved allotment transfers from Treasury Board Central Votes 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 Results
This section highlights the changes in authorities provided and expenditures incurred as at September 30, 2015 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Overall, the ORSCC’s authorities increased by 2% while quarterly spending decreased by 6.4% over the same quarter ending September 30, 2014. The overall proportion of authorities used on a year-to-date basis (43%), is in line with that of the previous year (45%).
2.1 Changes to Granted Authorities
As at September 30, 2015, the total authorities provided to the ORSCC have increased by $636,034 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).
- An increase in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($261,885) in the second quarter of 2015-16 which consists of:
- An allocation from TB Vote 25 (Operating Budget Carry Forward) of $1,115,383 received in the second quarter of 2015-16; whereas the allocation for that item received in the second quarter of 2014-15 amounted to $824,517; offset by
- A transfer for Back-Office Transformation ($29,000).
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. Additional authorities of $1,115,383 received for the Operating Budget Carry Forward will be distributed within non-salary categories in proportion to the standard object distribution within the 2015-16 Main estimates.
2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures
As at September 30, 2015, total net budgetary expenditures decreased by 3.2% ($458,320) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This variance comprises:
- A decrease in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures ($188,867); and
- An increase in Budgetary Statutory expenditures ($217,495).
- A decrease of 6.4% ($486,948) in net budgetary expenditures explained by:
- A decrease of 12.3% in Vote 50 – Net Operating Expenditures; and
- An increase of 8.1% in Budgetary Statutory expenditures.
The above decrease of 12.3% ($665,199) 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 $750,153 due mainly to timing differences in the pay processing schedules between both fiscal years; offset by
- A non-salary increase of $84,954 resulting from:
- Timing differences;
- Price variances;
- Special projects; and
- Fluctuating replacement or maintenance schedules.
The net increase of 8.1% ($178,251) 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 as well as an increase in relocation expenditures. Other expenditures have remained stable in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year.
Figure 1: Comparison of Authorities Granted and Used
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 Authority as at September 30, 2014 and 2015.
Annual Net Budgetary Authorities Granted – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC planned to spend as at September 30, 2014 and 2015: $32,214,292 in 2014-15 and $32,850,326 in 2015-16.
Year to Date Used – Figures present the cumulative amounts the ORSCC spent as at September 30, 2014 and 2015 respectively: $14,568,265 and $14,109,945.
Authorities used During the Second Quarter - Vote 50 - Net Operating Expenditures – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $5,407,960 for the second quarter of 2014-15 and $4,742,761 for the second quarter of 2015-16.
Authorities used During the Second Quarter– Budgetary Statutory Authority – Figures showing the amounts the ORSCC spent: $2,205,964 for the second quarter of 2014-15 and $2,384,215 for the second 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 (71%) and statutory authorities (29%) 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
The Honourable Mr. Justice Russell S. Brown has been appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada effective August 31, 2015; and the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein retired on August 30, 2015.
Mr. Gib van Ert has been appointed to the position of Executive Legal Officer of the Supreme Court of Canada effective August 24, 2015, replacing Mr. Owen M. Rees who left on September 30, 2015.
The financial impacts of the above nominations were minimal in the second 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
Roger Bilodeau, Q.C., Registrar
November 20, 2015
Catherine Laforce, Chief Financial Officer
Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
Fiscal year 2015-2016
|Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2016*||Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2015||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures||23,391,229||4,742,761||10,125,112|
|Budgetary statutory authorities||9,459,097||2,384,215||3,984,833|
Fiscal year 2014-2015
|Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015*||Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2014||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Vote 50 - Net Operating expenditures||23,132,150||5,407,960||10,979,177|
|Budgetary statutory authorities||9,082,142||2,205,964||3,589,088|
* Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end.
Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
Fiscal year 2015-2016
|Expenditures||Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2016||Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2015||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Transportation and communications||1,944,955||415,557||662,021|
|Professional and special services||2,493,473||290,104||548,766|
|Repair and maintenance||362,845||26,099||36,150|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||2,449,739||271,838||514,042|
|Acquisition of machinery and equipment||1,133,494||106,653||206,694|
|Other subsidies and payments||40,421||(9,695)||5,407|
|Total net budgetary expenditures||32,850,326||7,126,976||14,109,945|
Fiscal year 2014-2015
|Expenditures||Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015||Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2014||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Transportation and communications||2,254,539||272,000||422,448|
|Professional and special services||2,505,838||402,030||706,654|
|Repair and maintenance||321,382||37,642||59,828|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||1,912,717||249,317||533,337|
|Acquisition of machinery and equipment||810,088||65,895||70,889|
|Other subsidies and payments||506,626||2,646||613,464|
|Total net budgetary expenditures||32,214,292||7,613,924||14,568,265|
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