Statistics Canada Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2011

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Statistics Canada
Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, personnel and program

A) Introduction

Statistics Canada's Mandate

Statistics Canada is a member of the Industry Portfolio.

Statistics Canada’s role is to ensure that Canadians have access to a trusted source of statistics on Canada that meet their highest priority needs.

The agency’s mandate derives primarily from the Statistics Act. The act requires that Statistics Canada collect, compile, analyse and publish statistical information on the economic, social and general conditions of the country and its people. It also requires that Statistics Canada conduct a census of population and a census of agriculture every fifth year and protect the confidentiality of the information with which it is entrusted.

Statistics Canada is also mandated to co-ordinate and lead the national statistical system. The agency is considered a leader among statistical agencies around the world in co-ordinating statistical activities to reduce duplication and reporting burden.

Further information on Statistics Canada’s mandate, roles, responsibilities and programs can be found in the Statistics Canada 2011-2012 Main Estimates, available online at

The quarterly financial report

  • should be read in conjunction with the 2011-2012 Main Estimates
  • 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
  • has not been subject to an external audit or review.

Statistics Canada has the authority to collect and spend revenue from other government departments and agencies, as well as external clients, for statistical services and products.

Basis of Presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the department's spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the department consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2011-2012 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. 

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 agency 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.

B) Highlights of fiscal quarter and fiscal year to date results

This section highlights the significant items that contributed to the net increase in resources available for the year and actual expenditures for the quarter ended June 30.

Description: Comparaison of Net Budgetary Authorities and Expenditures as of Decemeber 31, 2009 and December 31, 2010

Chart 1 outlines the gross budgetary authorities, which represent the resources available, for use for the year as of June 30.

Significant Changes to Authorities

Total authorities available for the year have increased by $178.9 million, or 26.2%, from the previous year, from $682.7 million to $861.6 million. This net increase is mostly owing to the 2011 Census of Population and National Household Survey ($162.1 million) and the Census of Agriculture ($8.5 million). The current fiscal year is the peak year for census-related activities.

The primary census-related activities for 2011-12 are

  • finishing development and testing of census collection and processing systems
  • completing recruitment and training of field staff
  • collecting and processing (such as implementing the communications program, mailing out questionnaires, receiving and capturing responses by mail and internet, following up missing questionnaires by telephone and enumerator)
  • editing, imputing and validating data
  • conducting a coverage-evaluation study
  • reconciling the Farm Register (for the Census of Agriculture only)
  • closing regional and local census offices and processing facilities
  • analysing tax data as part of the feasibility study to explore the possibility of replacing detailed expense questions with tax data in the future
  • developing and testing census dissemination and data quality systems and processes
  • releasing population and dwelling counts and other major data outputs
  • starting data-quality studies
  • conducting evaluation studies of the 2011 Census Program to identify lessons learned and making recommendations for the future.

In addition to the appropriations allocated to the agency through the Main Estimates, Statistics Canada also has vote net authority within Vote 105, which entitles the agency to spend revenues collected from other government departments, agencies and external clients, for providing statistical services. The planned revenue is stable for 2010‑11 and 2011-12 at $120 million.

Significant Changes to Expenditures

Total expenditures recorded for the first quarter, ending June 30, 2011, increased by $140.1 million, or 104.1%, from the same quarter of the previous year, from $134.7 million to $274.8 million, according to the Table of Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object.

Most of the increase in spending is due to census-related activities. Also, Statistics Canada has spent approximately 32% of its authorities at the end of the first quarter, compared with 20% in the previous year (Chart 1). Given that the Census Day was May 10, 2011, a significant amount of effort was incurred during the first quarter of the fiscal year.

Table A Departmental Expenditures by Standard Object
Departmental Expenditures by Standard Object Year-to-year change,
Q1 2010-11 to Q1 2011-12
$000 % change
Note: For variances of more than 1 million, an explanation is provided
01 - Personnel 28,772 23.5
02 - Transportation and Communications 25,749 715.3
03 - Information 5,809 3,030.5
04 - Professional and Special Services 79,328 2,166.4
05 - Rentals 19 1.6
06 - Repairs and Maintenance 401 15.3
07 - Utilities, Materials and Supplies 157 43.3
08 - Acquisition of Land, Buildings and Works - -
09 - Acquisition of Machinery and Equipment -84 -14.7
10 - Transfer Payment - -
11 - Other Subsidies and Payments 9 231.9
Total gross budgetary expenditures 140,161 104.1
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues -3,364 -31.9
Total net budgetary expenditures 143,525 115.6

Standard Object 01, Personnel, shows a cost increase that is mainly due to additional public servants hired to conduct census-related activities.

Standard Object 02, Transportation and Communication, includes the cost of the delivery and return of census questionnaires for over 15 million dwellings, resulting in higher postage and transportation costs for the agency.

Standard Object 03, Information, is related to the census communications program implemented to support census collection activities, which increased advertising costs for the agency.

Standard Object 04, Professional and Special Services, saw increased costs because of census collection activities: approximately 35,000 field staff were recruited and trained to follow up with non-responding dwellings across the country.

Reductions in Revenues are primarily due to the timing differences between the two quarters for invoicing and project schedules for key deliverables.

C) Risks and Uncertainties

2011 Census of Population and National Household Survey

The financial risks associated with the Census of Population Program have lessened during the reporting period.

Throughout the first quarter, the Censuses of Population and of Agriculture were proceeding, as planned, to achieve targeted response rates, on schedule and on budget.

Initial results for the National Household Survey were much better than planned, despite the postal strike, which impeded operation. Collection of the National Household Survey will continue through July and into August.

Cost Recovery Activities

Statistics Canada has the authority to spend its revenues received during the year, representing, on average, 20% of the department’s funding. Of these revenues, approximately 80% come from other federal departments. However, other federal departments are faced with implementing budget restrictions such as cost containment and the strategic review. Consequently, there is a risk that other federal departments may reduce their purchases of statistical services and products: this would impact Statistics Canada’s available funding.

To mitigate this risk, Statistics Canada is monitoring planned revenue levels on a quarterly basis, and is communicating with key federal departments to assess the impact of budget pressures on their need for statistical services and products.

Budget 2010

Budget 2010 announced that the operating budgets of departments would be frozen at their 2010-11 levels for the fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13. Statistics Canada adjusted funding allocations to meet this challenge and the impact on departmental activities is being managed through the following actions and mitigation strategies for the fiscal year 2011-12:

  • reductions to the research and analytical program
  • cancellation of two completed pilot projects on environment statistics
  • cancellation of the National Population Health Survey
  • conversion to a cost recovery funding model for the Survey on Financing of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

D) Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

In contrast with last year, Statistics Canada is undertaking major activities this fiscal year that are critical to the success of the 2011 Census of Population and the National Household Survey. These activities include finalizing the equipping of field offices, hiring field staff, collecting data, follow-up with respondents, processing of returns, closing local census offices and processing facilities, developing and testing dissemination systems and processes, and starting data quality and evaluation studies. These activities culminate in the first of the census data releases, the Population and Dwelling Counts, in February 2012.

Early enumeration of remote and northern communities started in February 2011, and was successfully completed in April 2011.

The infrastructure required to conduct field operations was finalized, equipping and staffing five Regional Census Centers and 37 local census offices. Approximately 5,000 crew leaders and assistants were hired to recruit, train and supervise approximately 30,000 census enumerators who were hired for the period from May through mid-August.

The Data Operation Center was opened and began processing returned paper and Internet questionnaires, with a total staff complement of approximately 1,200 employees.

In areas with mail service, census letters or questionnaires were mailed in early May. The letters encouraged respondents to complete their census online, instead of using the traditional paper questionnaire.

Reminder letters were produced and mailed to non-respondents.

Door-to-door follow-up by enumerators started in May 2011 for the census and in June for the National Household Survey. More than 4 million follow-up cases are expected to be completed for the census by the end of July 2011.

Approval by Senior Officials

The original version was signed by
Wayne R. Smith, Chief Satistician
Monia Lahaie for Michel Cloutier, Chief Financial Officer
Ottawa, Ontario
Date signed August 29, 2011

Statement of authorities (unaudited)
  Fiscal year 2011-2012 Fiscal year 2010-2011
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2012 * Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2011 Year to date used at quarter -end Total available for use for the year ended March 31, 2011 * Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2010 Year to date used at quarter -end
in thousands of dollars
More information is available in the attached table.
* Includes only authorities available for use and granted by Parliement at quarter-end.
Vote 105 – Net Operating expenditures 661,448 247,613 247,613 491,001 106,183 106,183
Budgetary statutory authorities 80,113 20,028 20,028 71,732 17,933 17,933
Total Budgetary authorities 741,561 267,641 267,641 562,733 124,116 124,116
Non-budgetary authorities - - - - - -
Total authorities 741,561 267,641 267,641 562,733 124,116 124,116
Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
  Fiscal year 2011-2012 Fiscal year 2010-2011
Planned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2012
Expended during the quarter ended
June 30, 2011
Year to date used at quarter -end Planned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2011
Expended during the quarter ended
June 30, 2010
Year to date used at quarter -end
in thousands of dollars
Personnel 525,184 151,243 151,243 493,685 122,471 122,471
Transportation and Communications 76,957 29,349 29,349 40,909 3,600 3,600
Information 23,769 6,001 6,001 18,500 192 192
Professional and Special Services 159,874 82,989 82,989 46,891 3,662 3,662
Rentals 10,169 1,193 1,193 8,232 1,174 1,174
Repairs and Maintenance 21,258 3,021 3,021 19,849 2,620 2,620
Utilities, Materials and Supplies 19,204 521 521 17,205 363 363
Acquisition of Land, Building and works - - - - - -
Acquisition of Machinery and Equipment 24,444 486 486 37,462 569 569
Transfer Payment 561 - - - - -
Other Subsidies and Payments 141 12 12 - 4 4
Total gross budgetary expenditures 861,561 274,816 274,816 682,733 134,655 134,655
Less Revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues 120,000 7,175 7,175 120,000 10,539 10,539
Total revenues netted against expenditure 120,000 7,175 7,175 120,000 10,539 10,539
Total net budgetary expenditures 741,561 267,641 267,641 562,733 124,116 124,116
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