Statistics Canada Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 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 five years and protect the confidentiality of the information with which it is entrusted.

Statistics Canada is also mandated to coordinate and lead the national statistical system. The agency is considered a leader among statistical agencies around the world in coordinating 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 and in the Statistics Canada 2011-2012 Report on Plans and Priorities.

The quarterly financial report

Statistics Canada has the authority to collect and spend revenue from other government departments and agencies and 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 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.

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 September 30.

Description: Chart 1 Comparison of gross budgetary authorities and expenditures as of September 30, 2010 and September 30, 2011, in thousands of dollars

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

During the second quarter, Statistics Canada authorities increased by $30.6 million. This is related to the 2010-2011 carry-forward of funds to fiscal year 2011-2012. Parliament gave its authorization for the funds to be used in 2011-2012 in the second quarter whereas last fiscal year the carry-forward was approved in the third quarter.

Total authorities available for the year have increased by $209.4 million, or 31%, from the previous year, from $682.7 million to $892.1 million. This net increase is mostly owing to the 2011 Census of Population and National Household Survey ($162.1 million), the Census of Agriculture ($8.5 million) and the carry-forward of funds ($30.6 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 2011 and 2011-2012 at $120 million.

Significant Changes to Expenditures

Total expenditures recorded for the second quarter (ended September 30, 2011) increased by $99.0 million, or 66%, from the same quarter of the previous year, from $149.2 million to $248.2 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 59% of its authorities at the end of the second quarter, compared with 42% in the previous year (Chart 1).

Table A Departmental Expenditures by Standard Object
Departmental Expenditures by Standard Object Year-to-year variation,
Q2 2010-2011 to Q2 2011-2012
Cumulative year-to-date variation
$000 % $000 %
Note: For variances of more than $1 million, an explanation is provided below.
(01) Personnel 34,675 27.0 63,447 25.3
(02) Transportation and communications 1,046 11.8 26,796 214.3
(03) Information 2,836 1,082.9 8,645 1,906.0
(04) Professional and special services 57,268 1,325.5 136,596 1,711.2
(05) Rentals 1,893 62.1 1,912 45.3
(06) Repairs and maintenance 65 3.1 466 9.9
(07) Utilities, materials and supplies 373 57.4 531 52.4
(08) Acquisition of land, buildings and works 0 0.0 0 0.0
(09) Acquisition of machinery and equipment 677 52.0 594 31.7
(10) Transfer payments 134 134.0 134 134.0
(12) Other subsidies and payments -2 -29.3 7 71.4
Total gross budgetary expenditures 98,966 66.3 239,127 84.2
Less revenues netted against expenditures
Revenues -308 -2.7 -3,672 -16.8
Total net budgetary expenditures 99,274 72.0 242,799 92.7

(01) Personnel shows a cost increase resulting from the additional public servants that were hired to conduct census-related activities (67% of the increase). Also, payments were issued related to the change with the severance pay within the new Collective Agreement between the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (Program and Administrative Services group). With this agreement, the employer will stop accumulating employees’ severance pay. Employees were given the option to receive full or partial payment immediately for accumulated severance pay or retain it until their retirement.

(02) Transportation and communications includes the cost of data collection activities for the census program. Additional travel costs were incurred compared with the same period last fiscal year as well as telecommunications costs for the Census of Population Data Operations Centre and for the regional and local census offices.

(03) Information is related to the ongoing census communications program to support census collection activities, which increased advertising costs for the agency to raise awareness of the census and increase self-response. Reminder letters were printed for the 2011 Census of Population and the National Household Survey.

(04) Professional and special services saw increased costs as a result of data collection activities. Field staff followed-up on missing questionnaires to meet the anticipated response rates for the 2011 Census of Population and the National Household Survey.

(05) Rentals saw increased costs mainly because building space was rented for the regional census offices during data collection activities.

C) Risks and Uncertainties

2011 Census of Population and National Household Survey

The financial risks associated with the Census of Population program (including the census and the National Household Survey) have lessened during the reporting period.

Statistics Canada has now completed its collection operations for the Census of Population and the National Household Survey and has achieved the targeted response rates. The collection response rates for the Census of Population are 98.1% and for National Household Survey, 69.3%. The collection operations for the Census of Agriculture are scheduled to end in the third quarter.

Throughout the second quarter, the Census of Population program and the Census of Agriculture have proceeded on schedule and within budget.

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 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. 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 2011-2012:

  • 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 the final fit up of local census offices, recruiting and training field staff, collecting data, following-up with respondents, processing returns, closing local census offices, developing and testing dissemination systems and processes, and beginning data quality and evaluation studies. These activities culminate in the first of the Census of Population data releases, the Population and Dwelling Counts, in February 2012.

Collection operations for the Census of Population and the National Household Survey were successfully completed in July and August respectively. Enumerators concluded door-to-door follow-up. The Census and Survey Help Lines and the Internet response option were discontinued. Dismantling the field infrastructure continued during this quarter, which included closing local census offices and disposing of equipment.

The Data Operations Centre continued to receive and process questionnaires through September.

Shared Services Canada

The administrative services review is a comprehensive review of government administrative services that seeks efficiencies and ways to improve the effectiveness of external and internal service operations, business processes and administration through consolidation and greater standardization.

On August 4, 2011, the Government of Canada announced measures to streamline and identify savings in information technology through Shared Services Canada. Resources associated with email delivery and with data centre and network services are being transferred to this new entity. Statistics Canada is one of 44 departments and agencies selected for this new initiative.

Approval by Senior Officials

The original version was signed by
Wayne R. Smith, Chief Satistician
Michel Cloutier, Chief Financial Officer
Ottawa, Ontario
Date signed November 25, 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 September 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 September 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.
Totals may differ because of rounding.
Vote 105 – Net Operating expenditures 691,998 217,081 464,694 491,001 119,902 226,085
Budgetary statutory authorities 80,113 20,028 40,056 71,732 17,933 35,866
Total Budgetary authorities 772,111 237,109 504,750 562,733 137,835 261,951
Non-budgetary authorities - - - - - -
Total authorities 772,111 237,109 504,750 562,733 137,835 261,951
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
September 30, 2011
Year to date used at quarter -end Planned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2011
Expended during the quarter ended
September 30, 2010
Year to date used at quarter -end
in thousands of dollars
Totals may differ because of rounding.
(01) Personnel 525,184 163,277 314,520 493,685 128,602 251,074
(02) Transportation and communications 84,955 9,950 39,299 40,909 8,903 12,503
(03) Information 24,499 3,097 9,099 18,500 262 454
(04) Professional and special services 166,680 61,589 144,578 46,891 4,321 7,982
(05) Rentals 12,335 4,943 6,136 8,232 3,050 4,224
(06) Repairs and maintenance 25,898 2,155 5,175 19,849 2,089 4,709
(07) Utilities, materials and supplies 21,676 1,024 1,545 17,205 650 1,013
(08) Acquisition of land, building and works - - - - - -
(09) Acquisition of machinery and equipment 30,154 1,979 2,465 37,462 1,302 1,871
(10) Transfer payment 561 134 134 - - -
(12) Other subsidies and payments 169 4 17 - 6 10
Total gross budgetary expenditures 892,111 248,151 522,967 682,733 149,185 283,840
Less Revenues netted against expenditures:
Revenues 120,000 11,043 18,217 120,000 11,351 21,889
Total revenues netted against expenditure 120,000 11,043 18,217 120,000 11,351 21,889
Total net budgetary expenditures 772,111 237,109 504,750 562,733 137,835 261,951
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