Quarterly Financial Report Ended September 30, 2015

Official Title: Employment and Social Development Canada Quarterly Financial Report Statement Outlining Results, Risks and Significant Changes in Operations, Personnel and Programs for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2015.

1. 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. This quarterly report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates for the current year.

1.1 Authority, mandate and programs

The mission of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), including the Labour Program and Service Canada, is to build a stronger and more competitive Canada, to support Canadians in making choices that help them live productive and rewarding lives and to improve Canadians’ quality of life.

ESDC delivers a range of programs and services that affect Canadians throughout their lives. The Department provides seniors with basic income security, supports unemployed workers, helps students finance their post-secondary education and assists parents who are raising young children. The Labour Program is responsible for labour laws and policies in federally regulated workplaces. Service Canada helps citizens access ESDC’s programs, as well as other Government of Canada programs and services.

To fulfill its mission, the Department is responsible for:

  • developing policies that ensure all can use their talents, skills and resources to participate in learning, work and their community;
  • delivering programs that help Canadians move through life’s transitions, from school to work, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment, from the workforce to retirement;
  • providing income support to seniors, survivors, families with children and Employment Insurance beneficiaries;
  • helping Canadians with distinct needs such as Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, homeless people, travellers and recent immigrants;
  • overseeing federal labour responsibilities; and
  • delivering programs and services on behalf of other departments and agencies.

Included in these core roles are responsibilities for the design and delivery of some of the Government of Canada’s most well-known programs and services, including:

  • Old Age Security (OAS);
  • the Canada Pension Plan (CPP);
  • Employment Insurance (EI);
  • Canada Loans and Grants for Students and Apprentices Program;
  • the Canada Education Savings Program;
  • the National Child Benefit;
  • the Universal Child Care Benefit;
  • the Wage Earner Protection Program; and
  • passport services.

These direct benefits to Canadians are part of Canada’s social safety net and represent 95 percent of the Department’s expenditures.

Further details on ESDC’s authority, mandate and programs may be found in Part II of the Main Estimates and in the Report on Plans and Priorities.

1.2 Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities (Table 1) includes ESDC’s spending authorities granted by Parliament, consistent with the Main Estimates and the budgetary authorities used by the Department for the 2015–16 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 authorities for specific purposes.

As part of the departmental performance reporting process, ESDC prepares its annual departmental financial statements on a full accrual basis in accordance with Treasury Board accounting policies, which are based on Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

The quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

1.3 ESDC’s financial structure

ESDC has a complex financial structure, with various funding mechanisms used to deliver its mandate. This includes budgetary authorities, comprised of voted and statutory authorities, as well as non-budgetary authorities. The voted budgetary authorities include Vote 1 (Operating Expenditures), vote-netted revenues, and Vote 5 (Grants and Contributions), while the statutory authorities are mainly comprised of the Old Age Security Program, the Universal Child Care Benefit, the Canada Student Loans Program, the Canada Education Savings Program, the Canada Disability Savings Program, the Wage Earner Protection Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation and employee benefit plans (EBP). The non-budgetary authorities consist of loans disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act and Apprentice Loans Act.

It should be noted that EI and CPP benefits and related administrative costs are administered through specified purpose accounts and not through appropriations from government. The EI Operating Account and the CPP are financed by employers and employees. Federal administrative costs incurred by departments in the delivery of programs related to EI and CPP are charged to the respective accounts and reported as revenues credited to the vote. The EI Operating Account and the CPP are excluded from ESDC’s Main and Supplementary Estimates. However, they are presented in the Report on Plans and Priorities. Accordingly, these accounts are not reflected in the Quarterly Financial Report.

2. Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal Year-to-Date (YTD) results

This section highlights the significant items that contributed to the net increase in resources available for the year and the actual expenditures for the quarter ending September 30, 2015.

ESDC’s total budgetary authority available in the second quarter ending September 30, 2015 was $54,301 million, which represents an overall increase of $2,105 million from the previous year. Much of this increase relates to an increase in statutory items. Statutory items are payments to be made under legislation previously approved by Parliament and are non-discretionary. Total YTD budgetary authorities used as of the second quarter ending September 30, 2015 were $29,643 million. In comparison, total YTD budgetary authorities used as of the second quarter of the previous year were $25,388 million, representing a year-over-year increase of $4,255 million.

Quarter ended September 30, 2015
Bar graph of Quarter ended September 30, 2015: description follows
Textual description of 2015-2016
2015–16 (in millions of dollars)
Total available % Total available YTD used % YTD Used
Voted 2,301 4% 1,026 3%
Statutory 52,000 96% 28,617 97%
Total 54,301 29,643
Quarter ended September 30, 2014
Bar graph of Quarter ended September 30, 2014: description follows
Textual description of 2014-2015
2015–16 (in millions of dollars)
Total available % Total available YTD used % YTD Used
Voted 2,314 4% 997 4%
Statutory 49,882 96% 24,391 96%
Total 52,196   25,388  

2.1 Significant changes to authorities

ESDC’s budgetary authorities available for use increased by $2,105 million compared to the second quarter of 2014–15 (Tables 1 and 2).

This increase is primarily associated with statutory items. In particular, forecasted OAS pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments represent an increase of $1,366 million and $483 million respectively owing to changes in average benefit payments and in the number of beneficiaries. Other factors contributing to the increase include:

  • An increase of $84 million to Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds which is due to a steady increase in total registered plans and participation in the program;
  • An increase of $77 million in the payments related to the direct financing arrangement under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act mainly due to an increase to repayment assistance costs that consider the latest Office of Chief Actuary projections for borrowers in repayments;
  • An increase of $34 million in the Canada Student Grant to qualifying full and part-time students pursuant to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act attributed to the growth rate assumption from the Office of Chief Actuary;
  • An increase of $32 million to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) based on an increased number of children entitled to the benefit. This increase does not include Budget 2015 enhancements to the UCCB; and
  • An increase of $27 million in Canada Education Savings Grant payments due to more families saving for their children's post-secondary education.
Significant changes to authorities at the end of second quarter 2015–16
(in millions of dollars)
Total budgetary authorities available for use — 2014–15 52,196
Changes to authorities available for use
Old Age Security Payments 1,366
Guaranteed Income Supplement Payments 483
Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds 84
Direct Financing Arrangement under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act 77
Canada Student Grants 34
Universal Child Care Benefits 32
Canada Education Savings Grants 27
Other 2
Sub-Total - Changes to authorities available for use 2,105
Total budgetary authorities available for use — 2015–16 54,301

For the non-budgetary authorities, there is a net increase of $136 million in forecasted loans disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act due to new loan projections by the Chief Actuary reflecting an increasing number of students requiring financial assistance. The loans disbursed under the Apprentice Loans Act is a new initiative announced in the Economic Action Plan 2014 and accounts for an increase of $111 million to non-budgetary authorities.

Also, variances to other operating expenditures (standard objects 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 and 09) are the result of adjustments made to authorities available for use to bring them more in line with actual historical spending trends.

2.2 Significant changes to expenditures

Overall, the proportion of ESDC’s total budgetary expenditures as of September 30, 2015 is comparable to expenditures as of September 30, 2014. Expenditures were approximately 55% of authorities available as of September 30, 2015 while at the end of September 2014, they represented approximately 49% of available authorities at that date. The main reason for this increased spending rate relates to the Universal Child Care Benefit for which expenditures are reflective of the new enhancements from Budget 2015 while authorities do not include the impact of the enhancements as of September 30th 2015.

Compared to the previous year, total budgetary expenditures as of the quarter ending September 30, 2015 have increased by $4,255 million (17%), climbing from $25,388 million to $29,643 million (refer to Tables 1 and 2).

This 17% increase is primarily explained by the rise in statutory expenditures from $24,391 million for the second quarter in 2014–15 to $28,617 million for the same period in 2015–16, representing a $4,226 million increase as of the end of the 2015–16 second quarter. Major statutory increases of $3,174 million related to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). The UCCB now provides up to $1,920 per year for each child under the age of 6 and up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.

There is also an increase of $796 million in OAS pension payments and $166 million in GIS payments. The main factors explaining these increases is the aging population thus the greater number of seniors receiving OAS and GIS benefits in addition to higher average amounts paid to beneficiaries.

The increase of $54 million in Vote 5 — Grants and Contributions is mostly explained by an increase of $52 million in payments related to the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities.The Budget 2013 committed to introduce a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities beginning in 2014–15, requiring new agreements with all provinces and territories. As not all the agreements were in place by the beginning of 2014–15, payments were made later compared to the current fiscal year, resulting in an increase of $52 million in expenditures in the second quarter of 2015–16.The remaining variance in expenditures is mostly attributable to the timing of payments rather than changes in spending patterns.

The increase of $26 million for Canada Student Grants program reflects the continued growth rate while the increase of $25 million for Canada Education Savings grant and the increase of $10 million for Canada Learning Bond reflect the continued growth due to more families saving for their children’s future post-secondary education.

In addition, Canada Disability Savings Grant payments have increased by $15 million, relative to the same period last year. These increases are mainly the result of the steady growth of the program and an increase in program beneficiaries. As for Canada Disability Savings Bond expenditures, they usually increase starting in the 4th quarter of the year. This explains why although authorities have increased for this program, expenditures as of September 30th, 2015 do not yet reflect the increased spending.

The increase of $10 million related to the Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA) is mainly due to the outstanding recoveries from Crown agencies and other government departments at the end of the second quarter of 2015–16.

The net decrease of $25 million in Vote 1 — Operating expenditures is mainly the result of a one-time transition payment for implementing salary payment in arrears by the Government of Canada in fiscal year 2014–15, offset by timing with regard to Revenues netted against expenditures.

Significant changes to expenditures at the end of second quarter 2015–16
(in millions of dollars)
Total budgetary authorities used as of September 30, 2014 25,388
Changes in authorities used
Universal Child Care Benefit 3,174
Old Age Security Payments 796
Guaranteed Income Supplement Payments 166
Vote 5 — Grants and contributions 54
Canada Student Grant 26
Canada Education Savings Grants 25
Canada Disability Savings Grants 15
Canada Learning Bond 10
Payments of compensation respecting government employees and merchant seamen 10
Other 4
Vote 1 — Operating expenditures

(25)

Sub-Total - Changes in authorities used 4,255
Total budgetary authorities used as of September 30, 2015 29,643

In Table 2, the $4,284 million increase in Transfer payments (standard object 10) is mainly due to major statutory expenditures, UCCB for $3,174 million, OAS for $796 million and GIS for $166 million.

The $50 million decrease in Other subsidies and payments (standard object 12) is mostly due to a one-time transition payment for implementing salary payment in arrears by the Government of Canada in fiscal year 2014–15.

The increase in Professional and special services expenditures (standard object 04) and in Information (standard object 03) and the decrease in repair and maintenance (standard object 06) expenditures are mostly attributable to the timing of payments rather than changes in spending patterns.

The amounts recoverable from Crown agencies and other government departments regarding payments of injury compensation benefits related to the Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA) have decreased by $12 million, mainly due to outstanding recoveries at the end of the second quarter of 2015–16.

The net amount of non-budgetary loans disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act and the new Apprentice Loans Act have decreased by $155 million at the end of the second quarter, primarily due to timing differences between loan disbursements and repayments. Disbursements normally increase in early fall with the start of the academic year and continue until January, while repayments remain relatively stable throughout the year.

3. Risks and uncertainties

The delivery of our programs and services is impacted by factors such as economic fluctuations, demographic shifts, technological developments and government priorities, to which the Department must respond accordingly. The Department has identified corporate-level risk and mitigation strategies for the 2015–16 fiscal year in the Risk Analysis section of the Report on Plans and Priorities.

The risks identified under each of the key risk areas below are the result of risk management self-assessment activities and independent reviews conducted by the Department. These risks will be monitored by senior management throughout the year to ensure adequate measures are implemented to mitigate their impacts.

1. Project Management

In support of the Government’s priority to modernize service delivery, the Department manages a number of complex projects in order to enhance services to Canadians. These projects must be managed effectively and efficiently to maintain high service standards. Given the scope and complexity of projects associated with the modernization agenda, it is increasingly imperative that ESDC has the project management capacity and resources to meet departmental priorities and objectives. This risk is further compounded by interdependencies between service and client branches, driving the need for collaboration and establishment of strong partnerships with enabling services.

The Department will continue relying on risk mitigation strategies and monitoring tools, including the Investment Management Process and the Project Management Framework, to ensure that all projects undertaken are planned, managed and delivered in a consistent and timely manner. To increase its capacity, the Department will recruit employees with project management skills as well as provide training to existing employees to support the implementation of large projects. Additionally, various governance structures are established to monitor and manage project expenditures and resource allocation.

2. Privacy/Security

Over the past decade, use of the Internet has significantly increased across the Government to enhance services and meet the evolving needs of clients. To help ensure the protection of personal and sensitive information, the Department will continue expanding and implementing its Data Protection Strategy; providing support to employees through training and development of Data Management tools; and increasing its awareness efforts to ensure that both employees and clients are aware of the threats or other attempts to gather personal information through various methods and techniques.

3. Information Technology

To support the changing needs of Canadians, ESDC must ensure that its programs and service delivery channels evolve at the same pace as the technologies used to support them. Maintaining a high service delivery standard requires investments by the Department in information technology applications to replace aging applications and develop systems, infrastructure and business applications that meet clients’ demand for fast, efficient, timely and secure service.

4. Human Resource Management

To ensure sufficient capacity and the right mix of skills and competencies, the Department will continue to maintain an integrated approach to workforce planning and management to assist managers and employees in delivering on business objectives. The Department’s approach includes implementation of a five-year ESDC Workforce Plan (2015-2020) containing numerous initiatives to attract and maintain a skilled and diverse workforce.

4. Significant changes in operations, personnel and programs

The Government increased and expanded the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). The UCCB now provides up to $1,920 per year for each child under the age of 6 and up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.

The first enhanced payment has been issued in July 2015 and included any retroactive payments for the period of January 2015 to June 2015. While authorities as of September 30, 2015 do not include the enhancements to the UCCB, expenditures at the end of the second quarter are reflective of that change.

As well, a new departmental Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) has been approved by Treasury Board and is effective starting in Fiscal year 2015–16. The Department has realigned its PAA to foster a stronger emphasis on horizontal collaboration and integration by bringing together all elements on the spectrum of policy development to service delivery.

5. Approval by senior officials

Original signed by:
Alain P. Séguin, Chief Financial Officer
November 23, 2015
Gatineau, Canada

Ian Shugart, Deputy Minister
November 23, 2015
Gatineau, Canada

Table 1: Statement of authorities (unaudited)

Vote (in thousands of dollars) Fiscal Year 2015–16 Fiscal Year 2014–15
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2016Footnote 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2015 Year to date used at quarter-end Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015Footnote 1 Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
1 Operating expenditures 588,701 156,880 291,638 610,934 142,395 316,475
5 Grants and contributions 1,712,658 220,267 734,166 1,702,912 471,604 680,096
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans 233,299 56,840 113,680 230,059 55,503 111,006
(S) Minister of Employment and Social Development, Democratic Reform and Minister for the National Capital Commission—Salary and motor car allowance 82 21 41 80 19 39
(S) Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women—Salary and motor car allowance 82 21 41 80 19 39
(S) Minister of State (Seniors)—Motor car allowance 2 1 1 2 1 2
(S) Minister of State (Social Development)—Motor car allowance 2 1 1 2 1 2
(S) Old Age Security Payments (Old Age Security Act) 34,920,970 9,061,367 18,036,593 33,554,711 8,719,626 17,240,524
(S) Guaranteed Income Supplement Payments (Old Age Security Act) 10,605,509 2,331,981 4,837,784 10,122,657 2,319,876 4,671,594
(S) Universal Child Care Benefit (Universal Child Care Benefit Act) 2,851,433 3,625,645 4,303,782 2,819,000 454,095 1,130,040
(S) Canada Education Savings grant payments to Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) trustees on behalf of RESP beneficiaries to encourage Canadians to save for post-secondary education for their children 800,000 171,223 360,011 773,000 156,188 334,592
(S) Canada Student Grants to qualifying full and part-time students pursuant to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act 756,113 257,894 311,262 722,620 235,525 284,997
(S) Payments related to the direct financing arrangement under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act 658,646 74,731 122,821 581,205 76,563 125,084
(S) Allowance Payments (Old Age Security Act) 545,938 119,560 247,325 544,294 121,279 246,505
(S) Canada Disability Savings Grant payments to Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) issuers on behalf of RDSP beneficiaries to encourage long-term financial security of eligible individuals with disabilities 266,900 46,442 115,278 228,300 41,115 100,114
(S) Canada Disability Savings Bond payments to Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) issuers on behalf of RDSP beneficiaries to encourage long-term financial security of eligible individuals with disabilities 131,000 12,630 32,273 85,700 15,027 33,375
(S) Canada Learning Bond payments to Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) trustees on behalf of RESP beneficiaries to support access to post-secondary education for children from low-income families 130,000 62,421 80,204 127,000 52,956 70,041
(S) Wage Earner Protection Program payments to eligible applicants owed wages and vacation pay, severance pay and termination pay from employers who are either bankrupt or in receivership as well as payments to trustees and receivers who will provide the necessary information to determine eligibility 49,250 6,833 14,193 49,250 7,237 13,167
(S) Payments of compensation respecting government employees (Government Employees Compensation Act) and merchant seamen (Merchant Seamen Compensation Act) 44,000 18,201 39,694 44,000 34,455 29,223
(S) The provision of funds for interest and other payments to lending institutions and liabilities under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act 7,871 1,663 3,772 6,497 2,085 3,197
(S) Payment related to direct financing arrangement under the Apprentice Loans Act 1,459 290 290 - - -
(S) Civil Service Insurance actuarial liability adjustments 145 - - 145 - -
(S) Supplementary Retirement Benefits—Annuities agents' pensions 35 - - 35 1 1
(S) The provision of funds for interest payments to lending institutions under the Canada Student Loans Act 3 - - 3 2 1
(S) The provision of funds for liabilities including liabilities in the form of guaranteed loans under the Canada Student Loans Act (5,333) (2,278) (2,095) (8,564) (3,210) (2,715)
(S) Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets 378 2 2 302 (2) (2)
(S) Refunds of amounts credited to revenues in previous years 188 28 188 207 150 208
(S) Spending pursuant to section 12(4) of the Canada Education Savings Act 1,461 14 117 1,354 - -
Sub-total—Statutory items 51,999,433 15,845,531 28,617,258 49,881,939 12,288,511 24,391,034
Total budgetary 54,300,792 16,222,678 29,643,062 52,195,785 12,902,510 25,387,605
Non-Budgetary
(S) Loans disbursed under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act 916,224 1,134,015 889,321 779,981 1,298,512 1,067,270
(S) Loans disbursed under the Apprentice Loans Act 111,199 10,344 22,634 - - -
Total Non-Budgetary 1,027,423 1,144,359 911,955 779,981 1,298,512 1,067,270

Table 2: Departmental budgetary expenditures by standard object (unaudited)

(in thousands of dollars) Fiscal year 2015–16 Fiscal year 2014–15
Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2016Footnote 1 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2015 Year to date used at quarter-end Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015Footnote 1 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
(01) Personnel 1,754,603 442,709 873,616 1,775,737 441,324 868,127
(02) Transportation and communications  65,905 11,604 21,178 66,668 11,851 17,863
(03) Information  65,076 13,359 14,185 66,480 2,128 10,881
(04) Professional and special services 653,751 167,948 263,672 635,899 113,929 213,880
(05) Rentals 264,993 50,104 104,189 274,317 77,044 110,267
(06) Repair and maintenance  12,988 388 587 8,172 696 4,293
(07) Utilities, materials and supplies 9,341 1,670 2,818 9,486 1,560 2,583
(09) Acquisition of machinery and equipment 27,169 1,566 2,026 19,324 1,572 1,869
(10) Transfer payments 53,330,078 15,975,795 29,173,374 51,207,891 12,644,211 24,889,256
(12) Other subsidies and payments 3,360 155 678 3,114 717 50,708
Total gross budgetary expenditures  56,187,264 16,665,298 30,456,323 54,067,088 13,295,032 26,169,727
Less: Revenues netted againstexpenditures
Recoverable expenditures on behalf of the Employment Insurance Operating Account (1,274,866) (308,326) (608,371) (1,270,113) (305,761) (602,630)
Recoverable expenditures on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan (289,786) (70,380) (140,332) (299,283) (75,918) (137,976)
Amounts recoverable from Crown agencies and other government departments regarding payments of injury compensation benefits  (128,334) (28,352) (28,792) (128,387) (9,721) (40,394)
Other amounts recoverable from provincial and territorial governments, other departments or other programs within a department (193,486) (35,562) (35,766) (173,520) (1,122) (1,122)
Total revenues netted against expenditures  (1,886,472) (442,620) (813,261) (1,871,303) (392,522) (782,122)
Total net budgetary expenditures 54,300,792 16,222,678 29,643,062 52,195,785 12,902,510 25,387,605
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