Management Statement of Risks and Significant Changes in Operations, Personnel and Programs (2018-2019, Q3)

From: Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

For Quarter Ended December 31, 2018

Introduction

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (the Agency) third quarterly financial statement report for the period ended December 31, 2018, has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act and in the form and manner prescribed by Treasury Board under the Directive on Accounting Standards. It should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates for the current year.

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

The Agency is the responsible authority for all projects subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) except for those that are regulated by the National Energy Board or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. In accordance with the transitional provisions of CEAA 2012, the Agency is also responsible for managing the environmental assessment (EA) of most projects that are required to be completed under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

In addition, the Agency advises and assists the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in establishing review panels and supports panels in their work. It also supports the Minister in fulfilling responsibilities under CEAA 2012, including the development and issuance of enforceable EA decision statements.

The Agency administers a Participant Funding Program that supports individuals, not-for-profit organizations, and Indigenous groups participating in federal EAs.

The Agency also has responsibilities for reviewing projects of a federal nature under the environmental and social protection regimes set out in sections 22 and 23 of the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. The President of the Agency is designated by Order-in-Council as the federal administrator of these processes.

The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals establishes a self-assessment process for conducting a strategic EA of a policy, plan or program proposal. The Agency supports the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in promoting the application of the Cabinet Directive and provides training and guidance for federal authorities.

The Agency's activities are carried out under three different programs: EA Delivery, EA Policy and Internal Services.

The EA Delivery program ensures that high-quality EAs of major projects are conducted and completed in a timely and predictable way, supporting economic growth while preventing or reducing adverse environmental effects. The most appropriate means of avoiding duplication of assessment activities with other jurisdictions is applied, thereby increasing efficiency and providing certainty for all participants in the process. The Agency promotes, monitors, and facilitates compliance with CEAA 2012. The EA provides for meaningful participation of the public and Indigenous groups. Indigenous consultation obligations are integrated to the greatest extent possible with the federal EA process. As such, the Agency consults with Indigenous groups during the EA process to assess how the proposed project may adversely affect potential or established Indigenous or treaty rights and related interests, and find ways to avoid or minimize these adverse impacts.

The EA Policy program develops and promotes robust policies and practices for high-quality EAs in accordance with CEAA 2012. This is achieved by: building and reinforcing policies, procedures and criteria for the conduct of federal EAs; promoting cooperation and coordinated action between the federal government and other jurisdictions; promoting communication and cooperation with Indigenous peoples; and developing instruments and training for EA practitioners. The EA Policy program enables continuous improvement through research, monitoring, analysis and advice. Recommendations inform the development of new regulatory and policy approaches as well as the revision of guidance, training and knowledge-based instruments. The program also provides support for the conduct of EAs through various means, such as federal-provincial agreements and policy criteria.

Internal Services comprises related activities and resources to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of the Agency. These include Management and Oversight Services, Communications Services, Legal Services, Human Resources Management Services, Financial Management Services, Information Management Services, Information Technology Services, the Access to Information and Privacy Office, Real Property Services, Materiel Management Services, Acquisition Services, and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services includes activities and resources that apply across an organization, not those provided specifically to a program.

The Agency was established in 1994 and is led by a President, who reports directly to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. It has its headquarters in Ottawa and regional offices in Halifax, Quebec City, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver. During the third quarter, operations started at the new satellite office in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Basis of Presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the Agency's spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the Agency consistent with the Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates (as applicable) for the 2018-2019 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.

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 Agency 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 fiscal quarter and fiscal year-to-date (YTD) results

Figure 1 outlines the net budgetary authorities ($55,922,370 in 2018-2019 and $39,078,560 in 2017-2018), which represent the resources available for the year as at December 31, 2018, net of the revenue that is forecasted to be collected. Within those resources, the Agency received, during the third quarter of 2018-2019, supplementary funding of $19.1M. The annual budgetary authorities increased in comparison with 2017-2018 as the Agency is preparing for the expansion of its mandate and consequently has increased activities to prepare for the possible transition from EA to Impact Assessment. Year-to-date budgetary expenditures net of revenues have increased by $1.27M from the previous year consisting of a $1.18M increase in expenditures and a $0.14M increase in revenues.

Figure 1: Third Quarter Year-to-Date Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities
Figure 1: Third Quarter Year-to-Date Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities

Year-to-date budgetary expenditures increased by $1.18M in comparison with 2017-2018 due to the following:

  • An increase of $0.71M in personnel and benefit expenditures related to preparations for the possible transition to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada;
  • An increase of $0.12M due to travel for review panels and regional assessments;
  • An increase of $0.06M related to advertising for more panels and assessments;
  • An overall decrease of $0.14M in professional services, due to payments relative to the EA process made in the first half of 2017-2018;
  • An overall increase of $0.45M in rentals, repair, maintenance, equipment, utilities, materials and supplies;
  • An increase of $0.33M for the Participant Funding Program;
  • A decrease of $0.35M due to the payment of a court award in 2017-2018.

Risks and Uncertainties

The Agency is funded through annual appropriations. As a result, its operations are impacted by any changes in funding approved through Parliament. The Agency has two initiatives, Aboriginal Consultation ($6.8M per annum) and Major Projects Management Office ($8.0M per annum), which were renewed in Budget 2015 for five years starting fiscal year 2015-2016.

The Agency’s expenditures and revenues are also influenced by the number of EAs underway during any given fiscal year and with the number of EAs influenced by economic conditions outside the control of the Agency. To off-set portions of its expenditures, the Agency has vote-netted authority to recover certain costs from proponents in the conduct of EAs by review panels. The timing of revenue collection is uncertain and may impact the Agency’s overall financial results.

In addition, the timing of requests for participant funding for consultation varies and is unpredictable. A commitment to participant funding may be planned in one year but could be realized across multiple fiscal years depending on the progression of the EA. Unused commitments are carried forward from one year to another and are honoured by the Agency as they become due.

The Agency is also subject to litigation, the extent and costs are uncertain and are normally covered by the Agency’s annual appropriations.

Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs

The Agency received additional funding to support the implementation of Bill C-69, which may change the mandate of the Agency to become the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. The $19.1M in additional funding will support staffing and activities to grow the Agency to reflect the new mandate.

Approval by Senior Officials

Approved by:

Ron Hallman
President

Alan Kerr, CPA, CMA
Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
February 28, 2019

Statement of Authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal Year 2018-2019 (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

$ 50,697,197

$ 7,946,940

$ 27,111,136

Statutory Authorities - Employee Benefits

$ 5,225,173

$ 849,364

$ 2,548,091

Total Authorities

$ 55,922,370

$ 8,796,304

$ 29,659,227

Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (in dollars)
 

Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2018

Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2017

Year to date used at quarter-end

VOTE 1 - Net Operating Expenditures

$ 35,592,524

$ 8,850,912

$ 25,803,866

Statutory Authorities - Employee Benefits

$ 3,486,036

$ 863,102

$ 2,589,307

Total Authorities

$ 39,078,560

$ 9,714,014

$ 28,393,173

Agency Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal Year 2018-2019 (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

Expenditures

     

Personnel

$ 36,932,017

$ 7,172,435

$ 22,628,586

Transportation and Telecommunications

$ 1,896,403

$ 251,364

$ 800,768

Information

$ 377,219

$ 60,435

$ 192,486

Professional Services

$ 7,144,491

$ 536,894

$ 3,321,304

Rentals

$ 4,782,234

$ 101,175

$ 255,613

Purchased Repair and Maintenance

$ 8,245

$ 77,811

$ 94,219

Utilities, materials and supplies

$ 206,131

$ 33,540

$ 82,583

Acquisition of Machinery & Equipment

$ 1,259,459

$ 172,713

$ 685,435

Transfer Payments

$ 6,378,275

$ 780,121

$ 2,504,164

Other expenses

$ 937,895

$ 7,254

$ 4,956

Total Gross Budgetary Expenditures

$ 59,922,370

$ 9,193,743

$ 30,570,114

Less Revenues netted against Expenditures

     

Planned Revenues (Note 1)

     

Environmental assessment and training services

-$ 4,000,000

-$ 397,438

-$ 910,887

Total Revenue netted against expenditures

-$ 4,000,000

-$ 397,438

-$ 910,887

Total net budgetary expenditures

$ 55,922,370

$ 8,796,304

$ 29,659,227

Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (in dollars)

 

Planned Expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2018

Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2017

Year to date used at quarter-end

Expenditures

     

Personnel

$ 27,465,859

$ 7,243,634

$ 21,916,045

Transportation and Telecommunications

$ 1,347,680

$ 217,214

$ 682,311

Information

$ 268,071

$ 22,658

$ 128,901

Professional Services

$ 3,919,553

$ 1,260,763

$ 3,458,204

Rentals

$ 3,398,499

$ 114,093

$ 163,939

Purchased Repair and Maintenance

$ 5,859

$ 545

$ 1,697

Utilities, materials and supplies

$ 146,487

$ 43,037

$ 84,421

Acquisition of Machinery & Equipment

$ 895,036

$ -

$ 420,710

Transfer Payments

$ 4,965,000

$ 714,164

$ 2,176,690

Other expenses

$ 666,516

$ 357,539

$ 357,539

Total Gross Budgetary Expenditures

$ 43,078,560

$ 9,973,647

$ 29,390,457

Less Revenues netted against Expenditures

     

Planned Revenues

     

Environmental assessment and training services

-$ 4,000,000

-$ 259,633

-$ 997,284

Total net budgetary expenditures

$ 39,078,560

$ 9,714,014

$ 28,393,173

Note 1: The Agency has authority to collect up to $8,001,000 in vote-netted revenue

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