Quarterly Financial Report For the Quarter Ended December 31, 2014

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. It should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates, the previous quarterly financial report, as well as Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012 (Budget 2012). This quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

Mandate and programs

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) supports the Commissioner of Official Languages in fulfilling his mandate, which consists of taking all actions and measures within his authority to ensure recognition of the status of each of the official languages and compliance with the spirit and intent of the Official Languages Act in the administration of the affairs of federal institutions, including any of their activities relating to the advancement of English and French in Canadian society.

Further information about OCOL’s programs can be found in the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities and in the Main Estimates.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes OCOL’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and used by OCOL, consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This quarterly report has also 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.

OCOL uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual financial statements, which are part of the organization's performance reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament are prepared on an expenditure basis.

Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal Year to Date

This section presents a brief analysis of significant variances in relation to actual expenditures and planned expenditures that affected both the quarter and the year to date results, compared to the same periods of the preceding fiscal year.

Significant changes to authorities

As of December 31, 2014, total authorities available for the fiscal year decreased by $3.332 million compared to the previous fiscal year, mainly due to the following factors:

  • One-time funding of $2,790,420 was provided by Treasury Board in 2013-14 to pay for the costs of the head office’s move from 344 Slater, Ottawa, to 30 Victoria, Gatineau. This will be offset by future reductions to reference levels over a nine-year period;
  • The 2014-15 reference levels were reduced by $325,000 in order to start repaying the one time funding received in 2013-14 for the move as mentioned above;
  • The 2013-14 Authorities included a transfer of $173,715 from Treasury Board to cover eligible paylist expenditures.  There has not been any transfer so far this year for this purpose.

Significant changes to budgetary expenditures

OCOL has spent approximately 72% of its authorities as of December 31, 2014, of which 79% represents personnel costs.

Year to date expenditures have decreased by $36 thousand compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. We can observe the following particularities:

  • An increase in personnel costs of $336 thousand mainly because a larger number of employees received severance pay and other relevant payments this year;
  • An increase this year due to a one-time transition payment of $503 thousand for implementing salary payment in arrears by the Government of Canada;
  • These increases are offset by a decrease of $875 thousand in other operating costs, partly due to lower investments in IT infrastructure renewal. Additionally, spending was higher in the previous year because of non-recurrent costs associated with the head office’s move to Gatineau.

Risks and Uncertainties

Funding required for IM/IT

As discussed in the Budget 2012 Implementation section, OCOL is gradually implementing its strategic plan related to IM/IT. Budget 2012 reflected necessary information technology investments to address OCOL’s deteriorating applications. These investments shall continue over the next fiscal years.

Capacity to meet expectations

OCOL’s capacity to handle complaints and respond to requests for information from institutions, the public and parliamentarians, in addition to supporting the internal and legal services necessary to carry out these activities, might not meet these groups’ expectations. OCOL is also facing pressure from outside regarding expectations related to the reduction of backlogged complaint files, some of which result from public service budget restraint measures and the closure of a number of federal institutions’ regional offices.

Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs

There have been no significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs during the current quarter.

Budget 2012 Implementation

This section provides an overview of the savings measures announced in Budget 2012 that are being implemented in order to refocus government and programs: make it easier for Canadians and business to deal with their government; and, modernize and reduce the back office.

As announced in Budget 2012, OCOL is contributing to the Government’s expenditure restraint efforts by reallocating operating savings towards necessary information technology investments. As a result, the major pressure being faced by OCOL is the lack of supplemental funds for the IM/IT systems update. This removes any flexibility to absorb the cost of other initiatives.

In order to absorb the cost of its Integrated Enterprise Management Solution (IEMS), the organization has reduced and/or postponed certain activities. Most of the funding comes from budget reductions in programs. Once information technology investments have been completed, OCOL will reallocate its resources back to programs to ensure delivery on its mandate.

Approval by Senior Officials

The original version was approved and signed by:

Graham Fraser
Commissioner of Official Languages

Nancy Premdas, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer
Assistant Commissioner
Corporate Management

Ottawa, Canada
February 27, 2015

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (in thousands of dollars)
  Fiscal year 2014–15 Fiscal year 2013–14
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015Table note * Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter end Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2014Table note * Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter end
Vote 20 - Program expenditures 19,523 5,114 13,992 22,758 4,717 13,955
Budgetary statutory authorities 2,153 538 1,615 2,250 563 1,688
Total budgetary authorities 21,676 5,652 15,607 25,008 5,280 15,643

Table note

Table note *

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

Return to table note * referrer

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) (in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures: Fiscal year 2014–15 Fiscal year 2013–14
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2014 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter end
Personnel 15,231 4,467 12,377 15,411 3,882 12,041
Transportation and communications 897 160 373 1,406 201 494
Information 212 52 138 130 97 201
Professional and special services 4,209 634 1,624 4,215 746 2,229
Rentals 332 46 164 300 22 133
Repair and maintenance 293 16 65 800 2 37
Utilities, materials and supplies 137 17 73 150 39 85
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 357 255 290 1,689 63 195
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 0 0 0 0 228 228
Other subsidies and payments 8 5 503 907 0 0
Total gross budgetary expenditures 21,676 5,652 15,607 25,008 5,280 15,643