Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2014

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

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This quarterly financial report has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) and in the form prescribed by the Treasury Board. The report should be read in conjunction with the 2014-15 Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates (B) as well as Canada’s Economic Action Plan (Budgets 2014, 2013 and 2012). The Department had no items in the 2014-2015 Supplementary Estimates (A) process. In addition, the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) has reviewed and commented on the report, but no external audit or review has been conducted.

The glossary (Section 8) contains definitions for key financial terms that are hyperlinked in the text.

1.1 Justice Mandate

The Department of Justice has the mandate to support the dual roles of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.

Under Canada’s federal system, the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal government and the provinces and territories. The Department supports the Minister of Justice in his responsibilities for 51 statutes and areas of federal law by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework, principally within the following domains: criminal justice (including youth criminal justice), family justice, access to justice, Aboriginal justice, public law, and private international law.

The Department also supports the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the Crown, both in terms of the ongoing operations of government and of the development of new policies, programs, and services for Canadians. The Department provides legal advice to the Government and federal government departments and agencies, represents the Crown in civil litigation and before administrative tribunals, and drafts legislation.

Further information on the mandate, roles, responsibilities and programs of the Department can be found in the Department of Justice 2014-15 Main Estimates, available at: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/me-bpd/20142015/me-bpd-eng.pdf#page=205

1.2 Basis of Presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting and a special purpose financial reporting framework designed to meet financial information needs with respect to the use of spending authorities. 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 2014-15 fiscal year.

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

1.3 Department of Justice Financial Structure

The Department of Justice financial structure is comprised of several budgetary authorities:

As the primary legal services provider to other government departments and agencies, the Department of Justice collects and spends revenue generated by these legal services as part of its Vote 1 authority. The Department of Justice also has the authority to spend revenues collected for providing internal administrative support services to other government departments. In departmental reporting, these revenues reduce total departmental authorities and expenditures. For the purposes of this report, these revenues are referenced as “Net Vote Authorities (NVA)” or “Revenues netted against expenditures (revenues)”.

2. Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal Year To Date (YTD) Results

This section highlights the significant items that contributed to the net decrease in resources available for the year and net changes in actual expenditures for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. Graph 1 outlines the Department’s gross and net budgetary authorities and expenditures.

Graph 1: Comparison of Budgetary Authorities and Expenditures as of December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2014
($Millions)

Graph 1: Comparison of Budgetary Authorities and Expenditures as of December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2014

Description

For the period ending December 31, authorities provided to the Department included Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates (B) and Treasury Board Centrally Managed Votes. The Department had no items in Supplementary Estimates (A) in either fiscal year.

2.1 Significant Changes to Authorities

(See also Statement of Authorities table in Section 6.)

When compared to the third quarter of the previous fiscal year, the total net budgetary

Authorities available for 2014-15 were reduced by $50.9 million[1], from $758.5 million to $707.6 million. This reduction comprises:

  • Decrease of $53.4[2] million in Vote 1 - Operating Expenditures:
    • Decrease of $46.7 million in fiscal year 2014-15 in Treasury Board reimbursements from Central Votes from the preceding fiscal year, primarily associated with severance payments following the ratification of various collective agreements (Paylist Requirements);
    • Decrease of $5.2 million associated with the implementation of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan as announced in Budget 2012;
    • Decrease of $1.4 million transfer of IT services to Shared Services Canada for the Procurement – Workplace Technology Device software;
    • Decrease of $1.0 million due to the reduced level of funding for the Families Experiencing Separation and Divorce initiative;
    • Decrease of $0.1 million for other adjustments, each under $0.1 million;
    • Increase of $0.4 million for other items, each under $0.1 million;
    • Increase of $0.5 million in the amount of the Operating Budget Carry Forward in the fiscal year 2014-15 from the preceding fiscal year when compared to the amount carried into the previous fiscal year;
  • Increase of $5.0 million in Vote 5—Grants and Contributions (G&C):
    • Increase of $1.4 million due to increased funding to enhance the Victims Fund to expand the reach of the Federal Victims Strategy;
    • Increase of $3.6 million due to funding under the new Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2013-2018 for Access to Justice in Both Official Languages.
  • Reduction of $2.5 million in budgetary statutory authorities:
    • Decrease of $1.6 million in Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) funding associated with changes in level of funding for various items in Vote 1 – Operating Expenditures;
    • Decrease of $0.9 million in EBP funding associated with the implementation of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan as announced in Budget 2012.

In addition to the appropriations allocated to the Department through Main Estimates, the Department also has Net Vote Authority (NVA). This authority allows the Department, in a fiscal year, to expend revenues and offset expenditures related to the provision of internal support services, as well as mandatory legal services to government departments and agencies. For both respective quarters ended December 31 of 2013-14 and 2014-15, the Department’s NVA remained unchanged at $296.2 million.

2.2 Significant Changes to Revenues Collected

(See also Statement of Authorities table in Section 6.)

Compared to the previous year, revenues collected in the third quarter ending December 31, 2014 increased from $71.7 million to $78.0 million. This increase of $6.3 million can be explained by fluctuations in legal services demand and second quarter billings recognized in the third quarter.

2.3 Significant Changes to Budgetary Expenditures

(See also Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object table in Section 7.)

Third quarter gross budgetary expenditures decreased from $230.9 million in 2013-14 to $158.6 million in 2014-15. This decrease of $72.3[3] million in gross expenditures consists primarily of variances associated with the following standard objects:

  • Personnel: a reduction of $14.9[4] million mainly related to:
    • a reduction of $8.6 million in previous year severance payments largely associated with the ratification of various collective agreements which includes increases in compensation and severance pay, and a cash payout based on employees’ length of service and received in lieu of severance pay on retirement, according to changes to the terms and conditions of the collective agreement;
    • a reduction of $5.2 million in salary expenditures due to a decrease in workforce size;
    • a reduction of $0.9 million in Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) related to the reduction of EBP rates from 17.4 percent to 16.5 percent, prescribed by Treasury Board Secretariat; and
    • a decrease of $0.2 million in miscellaneous items each under $0.1 million.
  • Acquisition of machinery and equipment: a decrease of $1.1 million during the current quarter is largely attributed to expenditures in the previous year third quarter purchases of the office furnishings required for new spaces in order to comply with the new government Workplace 2.0 policy, an outcome of the Government of Canada  initiative aimed at creating healthier, more engaging and productive workplace to better serve Canadians;
  • Transfer payments: a decrease of $57.9 million due to timing differences in issuing interim payments and a multi-year agreement that has yet to be ratified by recipients.
  • An offsetting increase of $1.5 million for the remaining expenditure types, each under $1.0 million.

As mentioned in Section 2.2, the Department experienced an $6.3 million increase in revenues collected for legal services, from $71.7 million in 2013-14 to $78.0 million during the current quarter. Consequently, when revenues collected are netted against gross budgetary expenditures, net budgetary expenditures decreased by $78.6 million from $159.2 million in 2013-14 to $80.6 million in the corresponding period of 2014-15.  

3. Risks and Uncertainties

In its role as a service provider to federal departments and agencies, the Department must maintain appropriate delivery capacity to meet legal needs. This capacity is largely contingent on the recovery of costs from clients. Risk may be created as clients adjust priorities, particularly if there are unanticipated changes in the volume or nature of their legal service requests.

To address this risk, the Department continued to focus on improvements to its cost recovery and forecasting practices. The Department also focused on client engagement, including sharing information on the effective management of legal risks, the triggers and costs of litigation, and the appropriate role of legal counsel. The Department continued joint planning with clients to ensure that legal resources are properly aligned with government priorities. Finally, as part of the Government’s commitment to better and more effectively manage resources on an ongoing basis, a horizontal review of legal services was undertaken in 2013-14 to improve the delivery of legal services government-wide, with a view to managing the demand for legal services and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of those services in the long term. The Department is working to refine its service delivery model over the next three years, based on the findings of this review.

4. Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs

No changes have occurred that would have significantly impacted departmental operations, personnel or programs in the recent quarter.

5. Budget 2012 Implementation

This section provides an overview of the savings measures announced in Budget 2012 that have been implemented in order to refocus government activities and programs; make it easier for Canadians and businesses to deal with their government; and, modernize, reduce and stream-line back office operations. 

Over the budget’s three-year implementation period, which includes the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years, the Department of Justice committed to achieving overall financial savings of $67.5 million.

Justice’s initiatives to achieve these savings include:

  • Streamlining internal services by consolidating the delivery of Communications, Human Resources, Finance and other administrative and management services. New organizational structures have been created and are being implemented. New work processes have been developed in each of the functional areas with a view to maximizing efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Streamlining the delivery of legal services to government departments through the implementation of various innovative measures to enhance efficiency and manage the demand for legal services. These measures include the establishment of performance indicators and benchmarks as well as the enhanced screening and prioritization of client demands for legal advisory services. This initiative has resulted in finding and putting in place greater efficiencies which have resulted in greater savings;
  • Partnering with other government departments to achieve mutually satisfactory organizational redesign and a focus on streamlining legal services delivery;
  • Creating centres of legal expertise in some areas of law to increase efficiency, and implementing cost effective legal services processes and practices;
  • Modernizing operations by moving to electronic information sources and expanding the use of electronic information services;
  • Reducing travel, hospitality and conference spending through the increased use of teleconferencing/video conferencing in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and services delivery in today’s fast-paced communication environment.

The Department successfully met its Budget 2012 financial and human resource reduction commitments in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. As of December 31, 2014, the Department is on target to meet its overall financial and human resource commitments as well as its key transformation commitments by March 31, 2015.

Approval by Senior Officials

Approved by:

Original signed by Pierre Legault
February 26, 2015




Pierre Legault
Deputy Minister of Justice and
Deputy Attorney General of Canada (Acting)

Original signed by Marie-Josée Thivierge
February 26, 2015




Marie-Josée Thivierge
Assistant Deputy Minister Management Sector,
and Chief Financial Officer


Ottawa, Canada

6. Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Department of Justice
For the quarter ended December 31, 2014
Statement of Authorities
(unaudited)
(In thousands of dollars)
  Fiscal year 2014-2015 Fiscal year 2013-2014
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015* 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, 2014** Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 Year to date used at quarter end
Vote 1 - Operating expenditures 569,892 130,464 410,328 623,244 144,000 442,018
Less: Revenues netted against expenditures (296,200) (78,021) (195,109) (296,200) (71,696) (185,936)
Net Vote 1 operating expenditures 273,692 52,443 215,219 327,044 72,304 256,082
Vote 5 - Grants and contributions 356,435 9,073 54,172 351,435 66,943 92,446
Contributions to employee benefit plans 77,422 19,040 57,121 79,924 19,945 59,833
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada - Salary and motor car allowance 80 20 60 79 19 59
Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets 3 0 0 3 0 0
Refunds of amounts credited to revenues in previous years 0 2 6 0 5 29
Budgetary statutory authorities 77,505 19,062 57,187 80,006 19,969 59,921
TOTAL AUTHORITIES 707,632 80,578 326,578 758,485 159,216 408,449
  • * Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter end.
  • ** Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter end.

7. Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Department of Justice
For the quarter ended December 31, 2014
Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object
(unaudited)
(In thousands of dollars)
  Fiscal year 2014-2015 Fiscal year 2013-2014
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
Expenditures
Personnel
545,808 134,056 412,724 604,706 148,927 466,269
Transportation and communications
14,335 1,917 4,534 16,018 1,925 4,830
Information
3,697 708 1,649 5,806 875 2,022
Professional and special services
47,800 7,476 18,864 44,119 7,864 18,605
Rentals
6,748 1,096 3,696 4,794 1,144 3,565
Repair and maintenance
8,958 1,380 2,622 9,300 512 1,533
Utilities, materials and supplies
5,745 1,260 2,756 5,288 866 2,304
Acquisition of land, buildings and works
0 0 0 0 0 0
Acquisition of machinery and equipment
12,160 509 1,229 9,871 1,597 2,325
Transfer payments
356,435 9,072 54,172 351,435 66,943 92,446
Other subsidies and payments
2,146 1,125 19,441 3,348 259 486
Total gross budgetary expenditures 1,003,832 158,599 521,687 1,054,685 230,912 594,385
Less revenues netted against expenditures
(Revenues)
(296,200) (78,021) (195,109) (296,200) (71,696) (185,936)
Total revenues netted against expenditures (296,200) (78,021) (195,109) (296,200) (71,696) (185,936)
TOTAL NET BUDGETARY EXPENDITURES 707,632 80,578 326,578 758,485 159,216 408,449

8. Glossary

Authorities

Spending authorities are approvals from Parliament for individual government organizations to spend up to specific amounts. Expenditure authority is provided in two ways:

  1. Annual Appropriation Acts that specify the amounts and broad purposes for which funds can be spent; and
  2. Other specific statutes that authorize payments and set out the amounts and time periods for those payments.
Bijural

Relates to the coexistence and interaction of two legal systems or legal traditions in a given legal framework. In Canada, this relates to Quebec civil law and Canadian common law, taking into account other sources of federal law, including aboriginal rules and customs.

Employee Benefit Plan (EBP)

A statutory item that includes employer costs for the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the Canada and the Quebec Pension Plans, Death Benefits, and the Employment Insurance accounts. Expressed as a percentage of salary, the EBP rate is changed every year as directed by the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Expenditure basis

Costs are reported when liabilities are incurred or cash is paid out. Revenues are reported when cash is received.

Full accrual method of accounting

Costs are reported based on their consumption. Revenues are reported when earned.

Main Estimates

Each year, the government prepares estimates in support of its request to Parliament for authority to spend public funds. This request is formalized through the introduction of appropriation bills in Parliament. In support of the Appropriation Act, the Main Estimates identify the spending authorities (Votes) and amounts to be included in subsequent appropriation bills. Parliament is asked to approve these Votes to enable the government to proceed with its spending plans.

Net Vote Authority

The authority by which the Department of Justice has permission to collect and spend revenue earned from the provision of legal and internal services within government.

Operating Budget Carry Forward

Treasury Board centrally managed vote that permits departments to bring forward eligible lapsing funds from one fiscal year to the next in an amount up to five percent of the operating budgets contained in their Main Estimates. (See also Voted and statutory appropriations.)

Paylist Requirements vote

Treasury Board centrally managed vote, that supplements other appropriations for requirements related to parental and maternity allowances, entitlements on cessation of service or employment and adjustments made to terms and conditions of service or employment in the public service.

Reference level

The amount of funding that the Treasury Board has approved for departments and agencies to carry out policies and programs for each year of the planning period.

Special purpose financial reporting framework

The Quarterly Financial Report requirements and structure as defined in the Treasury Board Accounting Standard 1.3.

Standard objects

A system in accounting that classifies and summarizes records by categories, such as type of good or service acquired, for monitoring and reporting.

Sunsetting

The end of temporary funding.

Supplementary Estimates

The President of the Treasury Board tables three Supplementary Estimates usually in late spring, late fall and early spring to obtain the authority of Parliament to adjust the government's expenditure plan set out in the estimates for that fiscal year. Supplementary Estimates serve two purposes. First, they seek authority for revised spending levels that Parliament will be asked to approve in an Appropriation Act. Second, they provide Parliament with information on changes in the estimated expenditures to be made under the authority of statutes previously passed by Parliament. Each Supplementary Estimates document is identified alphabetically A, B, C, etc.

Treasury Board Centrally Managed Votes

Special authorities that enable Treasury Board to perform its statutory responsibilities for managing the government’s financial, human and materiel resources.

Voted and statutory appropriations

Expenditures made by government require the authority of Parliament. That authority is provided in two ways: annual Appropriation Acts or Supply Bills specify the amounts and broad purposes for which funds can be spent; and other specific statutes authorize payments and set out the amounts and time periods for those payments. The amounts approved in appropriation acts are referred to as voted amounts, and the expenditure authorities provided through other statutes are called statutory authorities.

Vote 1—Operating Expenditures

A vote that covers most day-to-day expenses, such as salaries and utilities. It is used when there is a requirement for either a “capital expenditures” vote or a “grants and contributions” vote or both; that is, when expenditures of either type equal or exceeds $5 million. Where they do not, the appropriate expenditures are included in the “program expenditures” vote.

Vote 5—Grants and Contributions

A vote used when grants and/or contributions expenditures equal or exceed $5 million.

Workplace 2.0:

A government-wide strategy introduced and championed by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to support the Clerk of the Privy Council's commitment to workplace renewal. Its purpose is to modernize how the public service works. The objective is to create a modern workplace that will attract, retain and enable public servants to work smarter, greener and healthier to better serve Canadians. Workplace 2.0 will accomplish this by modernizing the physical aspects of the workspace, updating policies, processes and systems that support public servants in their work, and providing new technologies that allow them to connect, collaborate and communicate across government and with Canadians.


  • [1] Differences may arise due to rounding.
  • [2] Differences may arise due to rounding.
  • [3] Differences may arise due to rounding.
  • [4] Differences may arise due to rounding.
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