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2018–19 Departmental results report

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Permission to reproduce

Except as otherwise specifically noted, the information in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the information reproduced; that the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada is identified as the source institution; and, that the reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

For permission to reproduce the information in this publication for commercial redistribution, please email: info@lobbycanada.gc.ca

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
as represented by the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, 2019

Catalogue No. Lo2-5E-PDF
ISSN 2292-5341

Aussi offert en français sous le titre :
Rapport sur les résultats ministériels 2018-2019 - Commissariat au lobbying du Canada

Table of contents


Message from the Commissioner of Lobbying

I am pleased to present the 2018-19 Departmental results report for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.

This report highlights what we accomplished in relation to our 2018-19 Departmental Plan.

My first year as Commissioner focused on building relationships and evaluating ways to enhance the delivery of the Office's mandate.

The Office's 2018-19 results include:

  • a new multi-year strategic plan
  • improvements to the Registry of Lobbyists
  • streamlined compliance processes and updated guidance
  • improvements to outreach materials
  • a completed evaluation of registration and client services
  • readiness to relocate the Office
Photograph of Nancy Bélanger

In July 2018, we celebrated the Office's tenth anniversary. This milestone was an opportunity to highlight our achievements and renew our commitment to working with all stakeholders, including lobbyists, public office holders, and our provincial, municipal and international counterparts.

It has become obvious with today's realities of rising costs related to IT and the increasing complexity of our work that additional funding is necessary. A budget of $4.5 million allocated in 2008 is no longer sufficient. I have met and will continue to meet with Treasury Board Secretariat officials to share our accomplishments, challenges and needs in order to properly assess funding requirements.

The success of the Office depends on the day-to-day dedication of its team of professionals. Their work supports and ensures a modern lobbyist registration system, effective compliance and enforcement activities, and enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians. Continued engagement and dialogue supports the Office's exceptional workplace.

I am very proud of what we accomplished in 2018-19, and I am very grateful for the team's unwavering professionalism in advancing the important work of the Office.

Nancy Bélanger
Commissioner of Lobbying

Results at a glance

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's 2018-19 results include:

  • a new multi-year strategic plan outlining four key result areas
    • a modern lobbyist registration system
    • effective compliance and enforcement activities
    • enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians
    • an exceptional workplace
  • improvements to the Registry of Lobbyists
    • a new electronic user agreement process
    • technical work related to data integrity, user experience, and mobile compatibility
  • streamlining compliance processes and updated guidance
    • reviewed investigation procedures and practices
    • updated guidance on ethical lobbying requirements
  • improvements to outreach materials
    • updated and improved the clarity, brevity, and consistent terminology of presentations, content modules, and advisory letters
    • adopted a new corporate visual identity
  • a completed evaluation of registration and client services
  • readiness to relocate the Office
  • remaining an employer of choice

For more information on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's plans, priorities and results achieved, see the "Results: what we achieved" section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core responsibility

Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision making

Description

The purpose of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct is to assure the Canadian public that lobbying is done transparently and with the highest ethical standards. The mandate of the Commissioner of Lobbying is to establish and maintain the Registry of Lobbyists, develop and implement educational programs to foster awareness of the Act and the Code, and ensure compliance with the Act and the Code.

Results

All results for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying align with the government-wide priority of an open and transparent government.

In 2018-19, the Office applied lessons learned over its first decade to implement a new 3-year strategic plan and to improve the effectiveness of its services and functions. The result areas outlined in this new plan are:

  • a modern lobbyist registration system
  • effective compliance and enforcement activities
  • enhanced outreach and communications for Canadians
  • an exceptional workplace

The Office started implementing recommendations from last year's technical review of the Registry infrastructure. Development work focused on improving data integrity, enhancing the user experience, and mobile compatibility. The Office also launched a new electronic user agreement process to speed up the interval between account creation and registration for new users of the Registry.

The Office assessed and updated its investigative procedures and practices in order to enhance effectiveness while ensuring that investigations are conducted in accordance with standards of procedural fairness and that decisions are reasonable, in accordance with the Act. The Office also updated its Lobbyists' Code of Conduct guidance on mitigating conflicts of interest related to preferential access, political activities, and gifts.

The Office implemented recommendations from the evaluation of the Outreach and Education program to better communicate the requirements of the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct to lobbyists, their clients, and public office holders. Outreach materials were updated to ensure consistent and clear messaging regarding the requirements of the Act and the Code. The Office initiated work necessary to renew the website to improve accessibility and usability. The Office also adopted a new corporate visual identity to reflect our values and to provide consistent communications with various audiences.

The Office completed an evaluation of its registration and client services functions. The evaluation concluded that client services and the Registry of Lobbyists system are accessible. It also identified possible system navigation improvements and potential outreach activities.

The Office prepared for a move to a new location in May 2019. This provided the opportunity to better integrate knowledge across the organization and to modernize IT systems.

Results achieved
Departmental result Performance indicator Target Date to achieve target 2018-19 Actual result 2017-18 Actual result 2016-17 Actual result
Lobbyists register and report their Lobbying Activities in accordance with the Lobbying Act Number of lobbyists active during the fiscal year 8,400* March 31,
2019
6,819 9,084
{6,661}*
8,653
{6,008}*
Number of registration activities during the fiscal year 22,000 March 31,
2019
40,326 35,075 33,045
Canadians access information about Lobbying Activities through the Registry of Lobbyists Number of times Registry information is accessed during the fiscal year 700,000 March 31,
2019
844,149 858,469 806,925
Outreach and education lead to new registrations Number of new registrations during the fiscal year 1,200 March 31,
2019
2,141 2,052 2,088
Lobbyists are aware of the requirement to file accurate monthly communication reports in a timely manner Percentage of monthly communication reports that are accurate 90% March 31,
2019
90% 93% 93%
Percentage of monthly communication reports that are filed in a timely manner 90% March 31,
2019
94% 94% 94%
Individuals, corporations and organizations engaged in Lobbying Activity comply with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct Percentage of allegations of non-compliance that are assessed 100% March 31,
2019
100% 100% 100%
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to compliance measures that remained in compliance or demonstrated improved compliance in the subsequent 12-month period 98% March 31,
2019
100% 100% 100%
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to verification that are found to be compliant with the Act 90% March 31,
2019
91% 93% 97%
Former designated public office holders who request exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying receive timely decisions in order to facilitate compliance with the Lobbying Act Percentage of exemption reviews for which the letter of intent is completed within 60 days 100% March 31,
2019
100% 100% 100%

* An error existed in all data extracts from the Registry of Lobbyists in previous years, resulting in the inclusion of lobbyists listed in both active and inactive registrations in the reported number of active lobbyists. The 2018-19 target of 8,400 active lobbyists was set before this data anomaly was identified. Revised numbers of active lobbyists in recent years are as follows:

  • 2013-14 = 5,979
  • 2014-15 = 5,929
  • 2015-16 = 6,008
  • 2016-17 = 6,661
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018-19
Main Estimates
2018-19
Planned spending
2018-19
Total authorities
available for use
2018-19
Actual spending (authorities used)
2018-19
Difference in spending
(Actual minus Planned)
3,068,808 3,068,808 3,516,769 3,281,717 212,909
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018-19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018-19
Actual full-time equivalents
2018-19 Difference
(Actual minus Planned)
22 22 0

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase. Footnote 1

Internal services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • acquisition management
  • communications
  • financial management
  • human resources management
  • information management
  • information technology
  • legal
  • materiel management
  • management and oversight
  • real property management

Results

In July 2018, the Office celebrated its tenth anniversary.

The lease for the Office's current location expired in May 2019 and could not be extended. In conjunction with Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Office planned and participated in the design and fit-up of the new work environment and prepared for the move to its new location at the beginning of 2019-20.

In the 2018 Public Service Employee Survey, the Office ranked in the top 5 of all federal organizations when it comes to employee satisfaction with their organization, the prevention of harassment in the workplace, and the workplace being psychologically healthy.

Management reviewed public service employee survey results with staff and explored how the Office can remain an employer of choice that ensures respect for its employees, the fostering of their health and well-being, and that everyone's contributions are valued.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018-19
Main Estimates
2018-19
Planned spending
2018-19
Total authorities
available for use
2018-19
Actual spending (authorities used)
2018-19
Difference in spending
(Actual minus Planned)
1,412,128 1,412,128 2,702,450 2,027,897 615,769
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018-19
Planned full-time equivalents
2018-19
Actual full-time equivalents
2018-19 Difference
(Actual minus Planned)
6 6 0

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

Figure 1 - Departmental spending trend graph
Figure 1 - Text version
Departmental spending trend graph (thousands of dollars)
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Statutory 380 333 379 448 442 437
Voted 4,157 4,439 4,931 4,406 4,115 4,084
Total 4,537 4,772 5,310 4,854 4,557 4,521

Actual spending for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 corresponds to total expenditures as published in the Public Accounts of Canada. Planned spending for 2018-19 and 2019-20 reflects the resources approved through the Main Estimates but does not include the one-time additional resources identified in Budget 2018 to fund the Office move in 2019. The planned spending 2020-21 reflects the currently approved resources.

Budgetary performance summary for core responsibility and internal services (dollars)
Core responsibility and internal services 2018-19
Main
Estimates
2018-19
Planned
spending
2019-20
Planned
spending
2020-21
Planned
spending
2018-19
Total
authorities
available
for use
2018-19
Actual
spending
(authorities
used)
2017-18
Actual
spending
(authorities
used)
2016-17
Actual
spending
(authorities
used)
Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision-making 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,516,769 3,281,717 3,266,388 2,996,518
Subtotal 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,068,808 3,516,769 3,281,717 3,266,388 2,996,518
Internal services 1,412,128 1,412,128 1,412,128 1,412,128 2,702,450 2,027,897 1,505,557 1,540,060
Total 4,480,936 4,480,936 4,480,936 4,480,936 6,219,219 5,309,614 4,771,945 4,536,578

The 2018-19 Main Estimates and 2018-19 planned spending do not include additional authorities obtained in Budget 2018 for the relocation of the Office.

The increase to total authorities available for use in 2018-19 includes:

  • $1,400,000 for relocation of the Office, obtained through Budget 2018
  • ≈ $128,000 for legal costs connected to a court challenge, re-profiled from 2017-18
  • ≈ $168,000 for compensation costs related to signed collective agreements and corresponding adjustments to the Employee Benefits Plan

Planned spending for 2019–20 and future years reflects approved resources that have remained constant. Planned spending for 2019-20 does not include costs related to spring 2019 relocation of the Office.

2018-19 budgetary actual gross spending summary (dollars)
Core responsibility and internal services 2018-19
Actual gross spending
2018-19
Actual gross spending
for specified purpose
accounts
2018-19
Actual revenues netted
against expenditure
2018-19
Actual net spending
(authorities used)
Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision-making 3,281,717 - - 3,281,717
Subtotal 3,281,717 - - 3,281,717
Internal services 1,275,974 751,923 - 2,027,897
Total 4,737,691 751,923 - 5,309,614

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for core responsibility and internal services (full-time equivalents)
Core responsibility and internal services 2016-17
Actual
2017-18
Actual
2018-19
Planned
2018-19
Actual
2019-20
Planned
2020-21
Planned
Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision-making 22 22 22 22 22 22
Subtotal 22 22 22 22 22 22
Internal services 6 6 6 6 6 6
Total 28 28 28 28 28 28

The Office's staffing level has remained constant at 28 employees for the last few years. The human resources for 2019-20 and future years reflect the currently approved resources.

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2018–2019.Footnote 2

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's spending with the Government of Canada's spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.Footnote 1

Financial statements

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the Office's website.Footnote 3

Financial statements highlights

Condensed statement of operations (unaudited) for the year ending March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information 2018-19
Planned
2018-19 Actual 2017-18 Actual Difference
(2018-19 Actual
minus 2018-19
Planned)
Difference
(2018-19 Actual
results minus
2017-18 Actual)
Total expenses 4,921,520 5,208,807 5,168,889 287,287 39,918
Total revenues - - - - -
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 4,921,520 5,208,807 5,168,889 287,287 39,918

The change between 2018–19 planned results and 2018–19 actual results represents a 5.8% increase of total expenses. The 2018-19 actual results include costs for the office relocation. These additional expenses have been paid through access to a special purpose allotment of $1,400,000 for 2018-19 obtained in Budget 2018. The $1,400,000 special purpose allotment it is not a permanent increase to the Office's budget. The ≈ $40,000 increase in the net cost of operations from 2017-18 to 2018-19 is linked to the relocation project, however the costs are offset by the increase in total net financial assets.

Condensed statement of financial position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information 2018-19 2017-18 Difference
(2018-19 minus 2017-18)
Total net liabilities 1,432,980 997,047 435,933
Total net financial assets 1,270,073 825,938 444,135
Departmental net debt 162,607 171,109 (8,502)
Total non-financial assets 1,493,584 754,457 739,127
Departmental net financial position 1,330,977 583,348 747,629

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Deputy head

Nancy Bélanger

Enabling instrument

Lobbying Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 44 (4th Supp.) Footnote 4

Year of incorporation

2006

Other

For administrative purposes, the President of the Treasury Board tables the Office's Departmental Plan and Departmental results report in Parliament.

Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Information related to mandate and role is available on the Office's website.Footnote 3

Operating context and key risks

Information on context and key risks is available on the Office's website.Footnote 3

Reporting framework

Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2018-19
Core responsibility:
Ensure transparency and accountability in the lobbying of public office holders in order to contribute to confidence in the integrity of government decision-making
Internal services
Departmental results: Indicators:
Lobbyists register and report their Lobbying Activities in accordance with the Lobbying Act Number of lobbyists active during the fiscal year
Number of registration activities during the fiscal year
Canadians access information about Lobbying Activities through the Registry of Lobbyists Number of times Registry information is accessed during the fiscal year
Outreach and education lead to new registrations Number of new registrations during the fiscal year
Lobbyists are aware of the requirement to file accurate monthly communication reports in a timely manner Percentage of monthly communication reports that are accurate
Percentage of monthly communication reports that are filed in a timely manner
Individuals, corporations and organizations engaged in Lobbying Activity comply with the Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct Percentage of allegations of non-compliance that are assessed
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to compliance measures that remained in compliance or demonstrated improved compliance in the subsequent 12-month period
Percentage of individuals, corporations and organizations subject to verification that are found to be compliant with the Act
Former designated public office holders who request exemptions to the five-year prohibition on lobbying receive timely decisions in order to facilitate compliance with the Lobbying Act Percentage of exemption reviews for which the letter of intent is completed within 60 days
Program inventory:
Registry of Lobbyists
Outreach and Education
Compliance and Enforcement

Supporting information on the program inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase. Footnote 1

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available: Footnote 3

  • Planned evaluation coverage over the next five fiscal years
  • Upcoming internal audits for the coming fiscal year

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.Footnote 5 This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
410 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 810
Ottawa ON K1R 1B7

Tel: 613-957-2760
Fax: 613-957-3078

Email: info@lobbycanada.gc.ca

Website: lobbycanada.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
The department's Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental results report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2018–19 Departmental results report, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, Program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental results reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental results reports.

priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
Program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, Program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, Program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization's influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
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