Quarterly Financial Report for the quarter ended September 30, 2020

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

A) Introduction

Statistics Canada's mandate

Statistics Canada ("the agency") is a member of the Innovation, Science and Industry portfolio.

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

The agency’s mandate derives primarily from the Statistics Act. The Act requires that the agency collects, compiles, analyzes and publishes statistical information on the economic, social, and general conditions of the country and its people. It also requires that Statistics Canada conduct the census of population and the census of agriculture every fifth year, and protects the confidentiality of the information with which it is entrusted.

Statistics Canada also has a mandate 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.

More information on Statistics Canada’s mandate, roles, responsibilities and programs can be found in the 2020–2021 Main Estimates and in the Statistics Canada 2020–2021 Departmental Plan.

The Quarterly Financial Report:

  • should be read in conjunction with the 2020–2021 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 Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat;
  • has not been subject to an external audit or review.

Statistics Canada has the authority to collect and spend revenue from other federal government departments and agencies, as well as from 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 agency’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the agency consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2020–2021 fiscal year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic (the pandemic) and limited sessions in the spring for Parliament to study supply, the Standing Orders of the House of Commons were amended to extend the study period into the fall. The agency is expected to receive the remainder of the full supply for the 2020-21 Main Estimates in December 2020. 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 agency uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual departmental financial statements that are part of the departmental results 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, as well as actual expenditures for the quarter ended September 30. The pandemic has significantly affected the department’s supply in the current fiscal year given that Main Estimates has not yet been approved by Parliament. Therefore the authorities available for use is not comparable to previous fiscal years.

Comparison of gross budgetary authorities and expenditures as of September 30, 2019, and September 30, 2020, in thousands of dollars
Description for Chart 1: Comparison of gross budgetary authorities and expenditures as of September 30, 2019, and September 30, 2020, in thousands of dollars

This bar graph shows Statistics Canada's budgetary authorities and expenditures, in thousands of dollars, as of September 30, 2019 and 2019:

  • As at September 30, 2019
    • Net budgetary authorities: $524,960
    • Vote netting authority: $120,000
    • Total authority: $644,960
    • Net expenditures for the period ending September 30: $280,632
    • Year-to-date revenues spent from vote netting authority for the period ending September 30: $32,079
    • Total expenditures: $312,711
  • As at September 30, 2020
    • Net budgetary authorities: $591,289
    • Vote netting authority: $120,000
    • Total authority: $711,289
    • Net expenditures for the period ending September 30: $320,562
    • Year-to-date revenues spent from vote netting authority for the period ending September 30: $12,727
    • Total expenditures: $333,289

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

Significant changes to authorities

Total authorities available for 2020–2021 have increased by $66.3 million, or 10.3%, from the previous year, from $645.0 million to $711.3 million (Chart 1). An additional $44.9 million in authorities available for use to make up the full supply is expected to be received in December 2020. Based on the full supply, this net increase is mostly the result of the following:

  • An increase of $80.5 million for the 2021 Census of Population program for new cyclical funding received to cover planning and developmental activities;
  • An increase of $22.2 million for the ratification of collective agreements;
  • An increase of $13.8 million for Enabling Vision for Data-Driven Economy and Society, an initiative approved in 2018–2019 which will change the way the federal government collects, uses and shares data while ensuring the privacy of Canadians remains protected;
  • A decrease of $2.1 million for the Survey of Financial Security and Annual Household wealth.

The variance is also explained by the reception of authorities at different quarters throughout the year.

In addition to the appropriations allocated to the agency through the Main Estimates, Statistics Canada also has vote net authority within Vote 1, which entitles the agency to spend revenues collected from other federal government departments, agencies, and external clients to provide statistical services. The vote netting authority is stable at $120 million when comparing the second quarter of fiscal years 2019–2020 and 2020–2021.

Significant changes to expenditures

Year-to-date net expenditures recorded to the end of the second quarter increased by $40 million, or 14.3% from the previous year, from $280.6 million to $320.6 million (see Table A: Variation in Departmental Expenditures by Standard Object).

Statistics Canada spent approximately 54.2% of its authorities by the end of the second quarter, compared with 53.5% in the same quarter of 2019–2020.

Table A: Variation in Departmental Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
Table summary: This table displays the variance of departmental expenditures by standard object between fiscal 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. The variance is calculated for year to date expenditures as at the end of the second quarter. The row headers provide information by standard object. The column headers provide information in thousands of dollars and percentage variance for the year to date variation.
Departmental Expenditures Variation by Standard Object: Q2 year-to-date variation between fiscal year 2019–2020 and 2020–2021
$'000 %
Note: Explanations are provided for variances of more than $1 million.
(01) Personnel  18,582  6.7
(02) Transportation and communications -5,335 -77.4
(03) Information -722 -18.0
(04) Professional and special services -1,024 -7.9
(05) Rentals  6,557  58.4
(06) Repair and maintenance  437  182.9
(07) Utilities, materials and supplies -51 -17.2
(08) Acquisition of land, buildings and works  90  3000.0
(09) Acquisition of machinery and equipment  1,773  153.4
(10) Transfer payments - N/A
(12) Other subsidies and payments 271 97.1
Total gross budgetary expenditures  20,578  6.6
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues -19,352 -60.3
Total net budgetary expenditures  39,930 14.2

Personnel: The increase is mainly due to the ratification of collective agreements and an overall increase in the agency’s activities, partially offset by the reduction of seasonal, term and contract employees and students resulting from the pandemic.

Transportation and communications: The decrease is mainly due to postage costs of the 2019 Census Test that occurred last fiscal year, as well as travel being significantly reduced this fiscal year due to the pandemic.

Professional and special services: The decrease is mainly due to some surveys being delayed to the next fiscal year.

Rentals: The increase is mainly due to the cost of software licence maintenance being higher than last fiscal year, and to additional costs for logistical requirements for the Census 2021.

Acquisition of machinery and equipment: The increase is mainly due to the purchase of equipment, such as monitors and fingerprint scanners for the Census program, and to the acquisition cost of new software licences.

Revenues: The decrease is mainly due to timing differences in the receipt of funds for scheduled key deliverables and a decrease in cost recovery work and payments from clients due to the pandemic.

C) Risks and uncertainties

Statistics Canada is currently expending significant effort in modernizing its business processes and tools, in order to maintain its relevance and maximize the value it provides to Canadians. As a foundation piece for some of these efforts, the agency is working in collaboration with Shared Services Canada and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Office of the Chief Information Officer, to ensure the agency has access to adequate information technology services and support to attain its modernization objectives and successfully transition its infrastructure and applications to the cloud. Activities and related costs are projected based on various assumptions that can change, depending on the nature and degree of work required to accomplish the initiatives. 

Statistics Canada is facing fiscal pressures due to the sudden impact of the global pandemic. The agency faced significant reductions in its cost recovery activities in the first half of the year as well as increased operational costs associated with the delivery of the 2021 Census Program under a pandemic environment. Risks and uncertainties are being mitigated by the agency's proactive planning assumptions review, mitigation strategies and engagement with central agencies and partners.

D) Significant changes to operations, personnel and programs

The agency is planning changes in operations and program activities with financial implications including:

  • The Census program is ramping down operations from the 2016 Census of Population while ramping up for the 2021 Census which is in the advanced planning stage. As such, expenditures for this program are increasing. The program is also facing unanticipated financial pressures as it will be incurring additional expenditures due to new strategies adapted for the pandemic and economic increases that have materialized higher than planned;
  • New efforts and collaboration to provide data and insights related to the impact of the pandemic on the society and economy;
  • Reductions in the agency’s cost recovery activities as a result of the pandemic. The revenue levels for 2020–2021 will be lower than 2019–2020.

Approval by senior officials

Approved by:

Anil Arora, Chief Statistician
Monia Lahaie, Chief Financial Officer
Ottawa, Ontario
Signed on: November 23, 2020

Appendix

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
Table summary: This table displays the departmental authorities for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. The row headers provide information by type of authority, Vote 105 – Net operating expenditures, Statutory authority and Total Budgetary authorities. The column headers provide information in thousands of dollars for Total available for use for the year ending March 31; used during the quarter ended September 30; and year to date used at quarter-end of both fiscal years.
  Fiscal year 2020–2021 Fiscal year 2019–2020
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2021Tablenote 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2020Tablenote 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2019 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
in thousands of dollars
Tablenote 1

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

Return to tablenote 1 referrer

Vote 1 — Net operating expenditures  515,210   144,146   282,522   453,408   123,280   244,902 
Statutory authority — Contribution to employee benefit plans  76,079   19,020   38,040  71,552 17,865  35,730 
Total budgetary authorities  591,289   163,166   320,562   524,960   141,145   280,632 
Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
Table summary: This table displays the departmental expenditures by standard object for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. The row headers provide information by standard object for expenditures and revenues. The column headers provide information in thousands of dollars for planned expenditures for the year ending March 31; expended during the quarter ended September 30; and year to date used at quarter-end of both fiscal years.
  Fiscal year 2020–2021 Fiscal year 2019–2020
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2021 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2020 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2019 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
in thousands of dollars
Expenditures:
(01) Personnel  571,289   150,469   294,126   547,364   138,125   275,544 
(02) Transportation and communications  22,460   1,375   1,562   18,654   3,579   6,897 
(03) Information  24,913   2,063   3,296   9,151   2,827   4,018 
(04) Professional and special services  57,029   6,568   12,022   39,089   7,507   13,046 
(05) Rentals  13,357   8,550   17,790   12,903   5,890   11,233 
(06) Repair and maintenance  881   29   676   678   142   239 
(07) Utilities, materials and supplies  2,119   157   245   2,238   162   296 
(08) Acquisition of land, buildings and works  671   84   93   625  3  3
(09) Acquisition of machinery and equipment  18,429   748   2,929   14,086   359   1,156 
(10) Transfer payments 100 - -  100  - -
(12) Other subsidies and payments 41  166   550  72 7  279 
Total gross budgetary expenditures  711,289   170,209   333,289   644,960   158,601   312,711 
Less revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues 120,000  7,043   12,727  120,000  17,456   32,079 
Total revenues netted against expenditures 120,000  7,043   12,727  120,000  17,456   32,079 
Total net budgetary expenditures  591,289   163,166   320,562   524,960  141,145  280,632