2020–21 Quarterly Financial Report (for the quarter ended June 30, 2020)

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

Introduction

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 Treasury Board. It should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates. The quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

Raison d’être

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada was established to implement the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act), which came into force in April 2007.

The Commissioner reports directly to Parliament, and the President of the Treasury Board is responsible for tabling the Office’s Departmental Plan and Departmental Results Report in Parliament.

The Office contributes to strengthening accountability and increases oversight of government operations by providing:

  • public servants and members of the public with an independent and confidential process for receiving and investigating disclosures of wrongdoing in, or relating to, the federal public sector, and by reporting founded cases to Parliament and making recommendations to chief executives on corrective measures; and
  • public servants and former public servants with a mechanism for handling complaints of reprisal for the purpose of coming to a resolution including referring cases to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.

Further details on the Office’s authority, mandate and program activities can be found in the Main Estimates (Part II) and in its corporate publications.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the Office’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the Office, consistent with the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. 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 money 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 Office uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual financial statements that are part of the departmental results reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

Highlights of the fiscal quarter and the fiscal year-to-date results

This section highlights the significant variance in resources available for the year and net changes in actual expenditures for the quarter ended June 30, 2020, in comparison to the prior year.

From 2019–20 to 2020–21, total budgetary authorities available for use decreased by $1.2M (21.8%). This decrease in the authorities available for use is due to the reduced supply of the Main Estimates. Due to the COVID-19 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 Office is expected to receive full supply for the 2020–21 Main Estimates in December 2020.

Budgetary expenditures used during the first quarter of 2020–21 increased by $65,043 (6.6%) as compared to the same quarter last year. The major changes in expenditures by standard object are summarized as follows:

  • An increase of $171,728 in salary expenditures as a result of hiring new employees and employee pay file transfers during the 2019–20 fiscal year.
  • A decrease of $42,155 in acquisitions of buildings and works attributable to the refit and relocation of the Office completed in the first quarter of 2019–20.
  • An overall decrease of $64,530 in other expenditures due to the impact of the pandemic in 2020–21 (delays in planned contract spending and travel restrictions).

Risks and uncertainties

The Office continues to operate in a sensitive environment where there still exists a culture of resistance to whistleblowing within the federal public service due to various factors, including fear of reprisal. Decisions by individuals to disclose wrongdoing or submit a complaint of reprisal, the complexity of cases, as well as the legislative requirements and the Office’s service standards are major contributors to the workload. In turn, this drives the need to retain and recruit key skilled positions, such as investigators and case analysts.

The COVID-19 pandemic had minimal impact on the Office financial results in the first quarter. Although the Office does not anticipate any significant financial impact in the second quarter nor on its year-end financial statements, other than a continued reduction in travel spending, the impact for the rest of 2020 and thereafter remains highly uncertain.

Based on statistical data of previous years, volume of cases does fluctuate by month throughout the year, and the complexity of each case can vary significantly. COVID-19 adds another level of uncertainty as a large percentage of federal employees are working remotely and a change in behaviours could occur. However, if there was a continued and significant increase in the number of cases and/or investigations, the Office runs the risk of not being able to process all files in a timely manner.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

There were no significant changes to personnel and programs during the first quarter ended June 30, 2020. However, because of the mandatory remote work arrangements and travel restrictions, these factors required changes to how the Office conducts interviews. The implementation of videoconferencing interviews enabled the Office to continue its investigations, meet its service standards and achieve its results.

Approval by Senior Officials

(Original signed by)

  • Joe Friday
    Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
  • Éric Trottier, MBA, CPA, CMA
    Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
August 28, 2020


Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal Year 2020–21

(in dollars) Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2021 footnote * Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 – Program Expenditures 3,784,484 921,049 921,049
Budgetary Statutory Authorities 536,352 134,088 134,088
Total Budgetary Authorities 4,320,836 1,055,137 1,055,137

Fiscal Year 2019–20

(in dollars) Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2021 footnote * Used during the quarter ended June 30, 2019 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 – Program Expenditures 4,982,609 853,900 853,900
Budgetary Statutory Authorities 544,777 136,194 136,194
Total Budgetary Authorities 5,527,386 990,094 990,094

Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal Year 2020–21

(in dollars) Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2021 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Personnel 3,254,354 890,375 890,375
Transportation and communications 123,581 9,705 9,705
Information 59,475 50 50
Professional and special services 716,994 128,683 128,683
Rentals 77,585 22,305 22,305
Repair and maintenance 2,470 - -
Utilities, material and supplies 8,952 - -
Acquisition of land, building and works - - -
Acquisitions of machinery and equipment 39,925 4,019 4,019
Transfer payments 37,500 - -
Other subsidies and payments - - -
Total Budgetary Expenditures 4,320,836 1,055,137 1,055,137

Fiscal Year 2019–20

(in dollars) Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2021 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2019 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Personnel 4,105,411 718,647 718,647
Transportation and communications 88,429 31,794 31,794
Information 59,863 7,219 7,219
Professional and special services 881,305 164,691 164,691
Rentals 138,356 24,881 24,881
Repair and maintenance 3,974 - -
Utilities, material and supplies 15,525 707 707
Acquisition of land, building and works - 42,155 42,155
Acquisitions of machinery and equipment 184,523 - -
Transfer payments 50,000 - -
Other subsidies and payments - - -
Total Budgetary Expenditures 5,527,386 990,094 990,094