Quarterly Financial Report: For the quarter ended December 31, 2019
Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, personnel and programs
This quarterly 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 Directive on Accounting Standards: GC 4400 Departmental Quarterly Financial Report. This quarterly financial report should be read in conjunction with the 2019-20 Main Estimates. This quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.
Established by Order in Council P.C. 2018-1322, the Leaders' Debates Commission ("Commission") is mandated to:
- Select and establish a seven-member Advisory Board;
- Enter into a contract for the production of the debates;
- Ensure the debates are broadcast and distributed widely and free of charge;
- Ensure the debates reach as many Canadians as possible, including those living in remote areas, those living in official language minority communities and those living with disabilities;
- Engage with political parties and ensure that the criteria for participation of political parties in the debates be applied fairly and in full transparency;
- Engage with Canadians to raise awareness about debates;
- Ensure the debates are conducted under high journalistic standards; and
- Following the 2019 general election (and no later than March 31, 2020), provide a report to Parliament outlining findings, lessons learned, and recommendations to inform the potential creation in statute of a "built to last" Debates Commission
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 2019-20 Main Estimates. This quarterly report has been prepared using a special purpose financial reporting framework (cash basis) 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 Commission 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.
Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal Year to Date Results
Given that this is the first full year of existence of the Commission, no trend comparisons are available for actual expenditures nor for planned expenditures when compared to the same period in the preceding fiscal year.
The Commission spent approximately 23% of its authorities by the end of the third quarter, mainly on salary and wages and professional and special services mostly related to administrative support. Over the third quarter, the Commission has been paving the way for the delivery of its mandate, with the majority of its anticipated spending to occur in the last quarter. Please refer to Annex B for a breakdown of spending by Standard Object.
Risks and Uncertainties
The key risks for the Commission arise because it is a new entity that is delivering its mandate for the first time. These key risks are:
- Implementation – the Commission may be challenged to execute its work in the time available prior to the 2019 election. The Commission has responded to this risk by working with existing departments for the provision of back office support (e.g., administration, finance, legal, procurement, security, and information technology) to allow the Commission to benefit from the targeted expertise of an existing department for specific services.
- Fund management and fiduciary oversight – poor management and oversight of funds could lead to the misuse of taxpayer dollars. The Commission has responded to this risk by ensuring that financial capacity for debate production is assessed, by benefiting from the expertise of an existing department for financial management, and by ensuring that principle of cost-effectiveness is applied to all Commission decisions on the fulfilment of its mandate.
Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs
As this is the first year of operation of the Commission, there are no changes to report in relation to Operation, Personnel and Programs. The Commission has established its organizational and governance structure to support the delivery of its mandate.
Approval by Senior Officials:
(Original signed by)
Date: February 28, 2020
(Original signed by)
Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer
Date: February 28, 2020
Annex A – Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (see notes)
|(in dollars)||Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2020||Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2019||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Vote 1 – Net Operating expenditures||4,520,775||644,587||994,936|
|Budgetary Statutory authorities||108,924||27,231||81,693|
|Total Budgetary authorities||4,629,699||671,818||1,076,629|
|(in dollars)||Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2019||Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2018||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Vote 1 – Net Operating expenditures||–||–||–|
|Budgetary Statutory authorities||–||–||–|
|Total Budgetary authorities||–||–||–|
Note 1: Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end for each respective fiscal year.
Note 2: Details may not add to totals due to rounding
Note 3: Given that this is the first full year of the Commission, no trend comparisons are available.
Annex B – Statement of Authorities (unaudited)
|(in dollars)||Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2020||Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2019||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Transportation and communications||157,800||21,699||50,059|
|Professional and special services||1,864,761||405,281||417,392|
|Repair and maintenance||-||-||-|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||10,200||-||-|
|Acquisition of machinery and equipment||-||-||-|
|Other subsidies and payments||561,091||2,301||3,542|
|Total net budgetary expenditures||4,629,699||671,818||1,076,629|
|(in dollars)||Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2019||Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2018||Year to date used at quarter-end|
|Transportation and communications||–||–||–|
|Professional and special services||–||–||–|
|Repair and maintenance||–||–||–|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||–||–||–|
|Acquisition of machinery and equipment||–||–||–|
|Other subsidies and payments||–||–||–|
|Total net budgetary expenditures||–||–||–|