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Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Quarterly Financial Report 2021–2022
For the quarter ended September 30, 2021

Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, personnel and programs

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. This quarterly financial report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates. This quarterly financial report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

This quarterly report addresses the financial reporting requirements of both Elections Canada (EC) and the Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE), referred to hereafter as the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (OCEO) or the agency.

A summary description of the agency's programs.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly financial report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities (see Table A.1 below) includes the agency's spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the agency that are consistent with the Main Estimates for the 20212022 fiscal year. This quarterly financial 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 monies 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. With respect to the OCEO, the Canada Elections Act, the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and the Referendum Act provide for all expenditures, with the exception of salaries of indeterminate employees, which are funded through an annual appropriation. The budgetary statutory authorities amounts presented in the tables below reflect only year-to-date expenditures, since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

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 OCEO uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual financial statements that are part of the departmental results reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

Highlights of fiscal quarter and fiscal year-to-date results

During the second quarter of 20212022, the agency conducted the 44th general election, which was called on August 15, and continued the preparations for the decennial electoral boundaries redistribution exercise.

First two quarters' year-over-year variance

In the first two quarters of 20212022, budgetary expenditures totalled $232.3 million compared to $68.1 million in the same period of 20202021. The increase of $164.2 million is explained by:

  • an increase of $160.4 million in Electoral expenditures and an increase of $1.0 million in Contributions to employee benefit plans (see Table A.1), which are largely explained by the delivery of the 44th general election;
  • an increase of $0.6 million in Expenditures under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (see Table A.1), which is explained by activities related to the decennial electoral boundaries redistribution exercise; and
  • an increase of $2.2 million in Program expenditures (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by salaries of employees who filled vacant indeterminate positions.

Second quarter year-over-year variance

In the second quarter of 20212022, budgetary expenditures totalled $186.5 million compared to $39.5 million in the same period of 20202021. The net increase of $147.0 million is mainly explained by:

  • an increase of $148.5 million in Electoral expenditures (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by the delivery of the 44th general election;
  • a decrease of $2.1 million in Contributions to employee benefit plans (see Table A.1), due mostly to a temporary expenditure from 20202021 that has been reversed;
  • an increase of $0.4 million in Expenditures under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (see Table A.1), which is explained by activities related to the decennial electoral boundaries redistribution exercise; and
  • a net increase of $0.2 million in Program expenditures (see Table A.1), which is largely explained by $0.9 million in the salaries of employees who filled vacant indeterminate positions but also includes a temporary $0.7 million expenditure from the previous quarter in retroactive payments from 20202021 that has been reversed.
Figure 1 – Second Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities (Appropriation and Statutory Authority)

Figure 1 – Second Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities (Appropriation and Statutory Authority)

[Text version of] "Figure 1 – Second Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities (Appropriation and Statutory Authority)"

Figure 1 – Second Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities (Appropriation and Statutory Authority)

The bar graph shows a comparison of annual authorities and the first two quarter expenditures for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 (in thousands of dollars).

  • 2020-2021: annual authorities $83,543 thousands; first quarter expenditures $28,538 thousands, second quarter expenditures of $39,546 thousands for a total of $68,084 thousands.
  • 2021-2022: annual authorities $258,777 thousands; first quarter expenditures $45,699 thousands, second quarter expenditures of $186,556 thousands for a total of $232,255 thousands.

*Annual authorities for statutory funds reflect expenditures only for the first and second quarters, since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred. Please refer to Tables A.1 and A.2 for details.

Risks and uncertainties

The OCEO's expenditures are influenced by the frequency, length and number of electoral events (general elections and by-elections) and by infrequent exercises such as referendums and the electoral district boundaries readjustment. Any of these events can significantly change expenditures from one fiscal year to the next.

The agency is continually updating its corporate risk framework and monitoring the risk environment and has identified the following risks:

  • Security: There is a risk that serious security and cybersecurity issues compromise EC's services, the privacy of Canadians and their trust and ability to participate in the electoral process.
  • Disinformation: There is a risk that inaccurate information will compromise electors' ability to vote and/or their trust in the electoral process or the correctness of results.
  • Long-term strategy: There is a risk that the preparation demands related to a minority government context hinder the agency's ability to deliver on longer term strategies thereby limiting the agency's ability to meet the needs of Canadians.
  • COVID-19 Outbreak: There is a risk that an outbreak of COVID-19 among staff at Elections Canada headquarters during an election could result in delays in election delivery activities and increased fear and uncertainty around election services.
  • COVID-19 Election: There is a risk that an election be called under pandemic circumstances, possibly complicating the administration of the election.
  • Employee expectations: There is a risk that the new Telework Model will not meet the expectations of employees leading to decreases in productivity and morale.

The agency has undertaken actions to mitigate these risks, including closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. As part of its readiness planning, the agency has a new operational approach to deliver an election in a pandemic and post-pandemic context.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

There were the following appointments during the second quarter of 20212022:

  • Effective July 13, 2021, Georges Langlois was appointed Senior Director, Digital Services Delivery.

Approval by senior officials

Stéphane Perrault
Chief Electoral Officer

Marc Limoges
Chief Financial Officer


Gatineau, Canada
November 29, 2021

Table A.1
Office of the chief electoral officer
Quarterly financial report
For the quarter ended September 30, 2021

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2020–2021 (in thousands of dollars)
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2021 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 – Program expenditures 2 38,130 11,791 22,671
Statutory authorities
Electoral expenditures 3 40,302 25,187 40,302
Contributions to employee benefit plans 4,954 2,477 4,954
Expenditures under Electoral Boundaries Reajustment Act - - -
Salary of the Chief Electoral Officer 157 91 157
Total statutory authorities 45,413 27,755 45,413
Total authorities 83,543 39,546 68,084

Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (continued)

Fiscal year 2021–2022 (in thousands of dollars)
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2022 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2021 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 – Program expenditures 2 51,352 12,047 24,830
Statutory authorities
Electoral expenditures 3 200,651 173,690 200,651
Contributions to employee benefit plans 5,961 347 5,961
Expenditures under Electoral Boundaries Reajustment Act 632 381 632
Salary of the Chief Electoral Officer 181 91 181
Total statutory authorities 207,425 174,509 207,425
Total authorities 258,777 186,556 232,255

More information is available in Table A.2.

Footnotes

1 Budgetary statutory authorities amounts in the "Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 20xx" columns reflect first and second quarters expenditures only, since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

2 Program expenditures is an annual appropriation that funds the salaries of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer's indeterminate employees.

3 Under the statutory authority, Electoral expenditures funds the operating expenditures of the agency and those incurred in preparing for and conducting elections, reimbursing election expenses to eligible candidates and parties, monitoring compliance with and enforcing the Canada Elections Act.

Table A.2
Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
Quarterly financial report
For the quarter ended September 30, 2021

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2020–2021 (in thousands of dollars)
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2021 1 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:
Personnel 2 57,833 21,804 42,374
Transportation and communications (50) 911 (50) 3
Information 1,718 831 1,718
Professional and special services 11,569 7,521 11,569
Rentals 8,603 4,997 8,603
Repair and maintenance 212 135 212
Utilities, materials and supplies 634 468 634
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 144 144 144
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 2,678 2,574 2,678
Transfer payments 139 125 139
Public debt charges - - -
Other subsidies and payments 63 36 63
Total gross budgetary expenditures 83,543 39,546 68,084
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues - - -
Total revenues netted against expenditures: - - -
Total net budgetary expenditures 83,543 39,546 68,084

Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) (continued)

Fiscal year 2021–2022 (in thousands of dollars)
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2022 1 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2021 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:
Personnel 2 174,943 114,436 148,421
Transportation and communications 27,820 27,521 27,820
Information 4,037 2,012 4,037
Professional and special services 14,722 10,299 14,722
Rentals 31,384 27,181 31,384
Repair and maintenance 267 211 267
Utilities, materials and supplies 3,924 3,289 3,924
Acquisition of land, buildings and works - - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 43 43 43
Transfer payments 1,213 300 1,213
Public debt charges - - -
Other subsidies and payments 424 1,264 424
Total gross budgetary expenditures 258,777 186,556 232,255
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues - - -
Total revenues netted against expenditures: - - -
Total net budgetary expenditures 258,777 186,556 232,255

Footnotes

1 Statutory expenditures in the "Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 20xx" columns reflect first and second quarters expenditures only, since statutory authorities are granted as expenditures are incurred.

2 Personnel expenditures include both Vote 1 – Program expenditures and Budgetary statutory authorities; all other categories of expenditures are solely budgetary statutory.

3 Transportation and communications, in fiscal year 2020–2021, includes a $1.3 million credit.