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Quarterly financial report for the quarter ended December 31, 2019

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. This quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review. However, it has been reviewed by the OCL Audit and Evaluation Committee.

The OCL mandate is stated in the Lobbying Act and covers three areas of activity:

  • Establish and maintain the Registry of Lobbyists, which contains and makes public the information disclosed by lobbyists;
  • Develop and implement educational programs to foster public awareness of the requirements of the Act; and
  • Undertake investigations to ensure compliance with the Act and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.

Further details on the OCL’s programs may be found in the 2019-20 Departmental Plan and in the Main Estimates.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the OCL’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the organization consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2019-20 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 OCL uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual 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 (YTD) results

Statement of authorities

The total authorities available as of December 31, 2019 have decreased by $1,123K compared to the same quarter of the prior year. The variation is mainly attributable to a decrease in the specified purpose allotment for the relocation of the office of $1,016K, a decrease of $128K of the specified purpose allotment for legal fees for court challenge and an increase of $24K for adjustments to personnel compensation.

Statement of budgetary expenditures by standard object

The OCL has spent approximately 66% of its authorities by the end of the third quarter of 2019-20. The most significant expenditures are for personnel costs representing approximately 65% of the total amount spent as of December 31, 2019. In addition the OCL acquires some of its corporate services from other government entities through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for information technology, human resources and financial services, and some of the invoices for services rendered for the third quarter were not received before the end of the quarter and consequently, not reflected in this report.

The total spent on personnel costs was about 64% of planned personnel costs due to unexpected vacancies. The total spent for other operating costs is approximately 71% of the annual planned expenditures related to other operating costs.

By the end of the third quarter the organization’s spending increased by $324K when compared to the previous year results. The increase is mainly related to the office relocation project ($280K) and personnel costs ($44K).

Risks and uncertainties

A financial risk arises because the Commissioner’s decisions with respect to investigations and applications for exemption from the five-year prohibition on lobbying may be subject to judicial review by the Federal Court. The current amount allocated for funding legal work would be insufficient in the event of a significant litigation.

Lobbyists, public office holders and others use the online Lobbyists Registration System (LRS) daily. The LRS is the main tool to ensure transparency of lobbying activities, and ensure lobbyists comply with the requirements of the Lobbying Act. As technology is constantly evolving, due to budget limitations, it has been a challenge for the OCL to adequately maintain the LRS and to keep the technology up-to-date.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

There have been no significant changes in the organization during the current quarter related to programs.

Approval by senior officials

Approved by:

Nancy Bélanger
Commissioner of Lobbying

Charles Dutrisac
Director of Finance and
Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
February 14, 2020

Statement of authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal Year 2019-20 (in thousands of 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
Budgetary Authorities
Vote 1 - Program Expenditures
4,664 1,194 3,036
Budgetary Statutory Authorities
Employee Benefit Plans
448 112 336
Total Budgetary Authorities 5,112 1,306 3,372
Fiscal Year 2018-19 (in thousands of 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
Budgetary Authorities
Vote 1 - Program Expenditures
5,840 1,066 2,752
Budgetary Statutory Authorities
Employee Benefit Plans
395 99 296
Total Budgetary Authorities 6,235 1,165 3,048

*Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end.

Budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal Year 2019-20 (in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures: Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2020 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2019 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 3,469 838 2,205
Transportation and communications 84 21 48
Information 38 1 15
Professional and special services 1,038 317 756
Rentals 70 8 30
Repair and maintenance 10
Utilities, materials and supplies 9 3 15
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 95 218
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 10 21 85
Other payments 384 2
Total net budgetary expenditures 5,112 1,306 3,372
Fiscal Year 2018-19 (in thousands of dollars)
Expenditures: Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2019 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2018 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 3,143 806 2,161
Transportation and communications 86 25 52
Information 73 1 14
Professional and special services 1,459 312 763
Rentals 31 11 31
Repair and maintenance 12 1 3
Utilities, materials and supplies 16 4 7
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 1,100
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 315 5 17
Other payments
Total net budgetary expenditures 6,235 1,165 3,048
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