Quarterly financial report for the quarter ended December 31, 2015

ISSN 2369-7938

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 and Supplementary Estimates.

The Transportation Safety Board’s (TSB) sole objective is to advance transportation safety. This mandate is fulfilled by conducting independent investigations into selected transportation occurrences. The purpose of these investigations is to identify the causes and contributing factors and the safety deficiencies evidenced by an occurrence. The TSB then reports publicly and makes recommendations to improve safety and reduce or eliminate risks to people, property and the environment.

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

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the Transportation Safety Board’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the department. Authorities include amounts granted through the Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates for the 2015-16 fiscal year and any respendable revenue available for use to quarter-end. 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.

As part of the departmental performance reporting process, the TSB 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.

Highlights of fiscal quarter and fiscal year to date results

Statement of authorities

The TSB received $29,730,000 in funding through the Main Estimates ($26,290,000 for operating expenditures and $3,440,000 for employee benefit plans). During the second quarter, the TSB received its operating budget carry forward (OBCF) from 2014-15 which represents an increase in authorities of $789,000. The TSB has additional statutory authorities totaling $47,000 at the end of the third quarter generated by proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets and its authority to respend revenues as a departmental corporation.

TSB’s total authorities available for use decreased by $91,000 between fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16 despite the OBCF increasing by $132,000 compared to previous year. This can be attributed to a timing element in the allocation of terminable allowances for expired collective agreements for which the difference is anticipated to be received by year-end.

Statement of departmental budgetary expenditures

The department’s year-to-date spending is lower by $1,788,000 or 8% in the current year compared to 2014-15. This can be largely explained by exceptional expenditures which occurred in the first and second quarters of the previous year:

  • a charge of $723,000 to implement the payment of salaries in arrears by the Government of Canada, without impacting employees on salary at the date of implementation;
  • the expenditure of $622,000 for the receipt and installation of an X-Ray Computed Tomography System; and
  • payments for severance totaling $425,000 attributable to the liquidation of accumulated severance benefits as per collective agreements.

Variations in other categories of expenditures between years is primarily explained by timing differences in the quarter in which costs have been incurred.

As illustrated in Figure 1, the TSB has spent approximately 70% of its authorities at the end of the third quarter. This is consistent with expectations given that the department's most significant expense is salaries. The TSB's spending is generally distributed equally throughout the year. The difference of 6% when compared to previous year can be explained by the significant transactions which increased 2014-15 expenditures as described above.

Figure 1. Third quarter expenditures compared to annual authorities

Risks and uncertainties

The TSB is funded through annual appropriations. As a result, its operations are impacted by any changes in funding approved through Parliament. As a departmental corporation, it has authority to spend revenues received during the year although such revenues are minimal, on average less than 1% of the department’s funding requirements.

A continuous risk to the TSB’s financial situation is that expenditures are greatly influenced by the number and complexity of transportation occurrences. A significant transportation accident or a flurry of smaller size occurrences could significantly increase expenditures and result in resource pressures that could require the department to seek additional funding from Parliament.

Furthermore, as announced in Budget 2014, departmental operating budgets are frozen for 2014-15 and 2015-16. This presents a risk to the TSB since it will not be allocated any funding for wage and salary increases that take effect during that period, or for the ongoing impact of those adjustments. As a result, the department will need to cover these amounts within its existing appropriations. The TSB has implemented additional spending restraints to ensure this risk is mitigated.

Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

Over the past two years, there has been an increased number of rail accidents investigated by the TSB. The number of open rail occurrence investigations in the previous year was among the highest in recent years. It is important to note that many of these investigations are ongoing into 2015-16 and future years. With heightened public expectations of railway safety, there has been a significant increase in activities within the rail occurrence investigations program. In addition to incremental workload for investigation deployments and follow-ups, this program has experienced increased public and stakeholder interest in the form of media communications and access to information requests. In fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15, additional funding was received through Supplementary Estimates in order for the TSB to meet its mandate regarding this program.

Approval by senior officials

Approved by,

Source document signed by
Kathleen Fox
Chair

Source document dated 2016-02-24
Date
Gatineau, Canada

Source document signed by
Chantal Lemyre, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer

Source document dated 2016-02-23
Date
Gatineau, Canada

Statement of authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2015-16 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
  Total available for use for the year ending
March 31, 2016
Expended during the quarter ended
December 31, 2015
Year to date
used at quarter-end
Vote 1 - Net operating expenditures 27,079 6,531 18,904
Statutory authorities - Employee Benefit Plans 3,440 859 2,579
Statutory authorities - Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets 6 0 1
Statutory authorities - Expenditures Paragraph 29.1(1) of the Financial Administration Act 41 1 11
Total authorities available for use 30,566 7,391 21,495
Fiscal year 2014-15 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2015 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 1 – Net operating expenditures 27,198 6,341 20,818
Statutory authorities - Employee Benefit Plans 3,442 821 2,464
Statutory authorities - Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets 16 - 1
Statutory authorities - Expenditures Re: Paragraph 29.1(1) of the Financial Administration Act 22 - -
Total authorities 30,678 7,162 23,283
Frozen allotments – Web renewal and CSPS -21 - -
Total authorities available for use 30,657 7,162 23,283

Statement of expenditures by standard object (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2015-16 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
Expenditures: Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2016 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2015 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 24,863 6,107 18,433
Transportation and communications 1,700 326 891
Information 160 39 109
Professional and special services 2,260 522 1,192
Rentals 339 95 299
Repair and maintenance 451 148 250
Utilities, materials and supplies 275 58 132
Acquisition of land, building and works 115 2 20
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 400 91 166
Other subsidies and payments 3 3 3
Total net budgetary expenditures 30,566 7,391 21,495
Fiscal year 2014-15 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
Expenditures: Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2015 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2014 Year to date used at quarter-end
Personnel 24,135 6,108 18,837
Transportation and communications 1,699 355 913
Information 150 26 72
Professional and special services 2,219 447 1,393
Rentals 360 61 294
Repair and maintenance 445 91 223
Utilities, materials and supplies 250 37 140
Acquisition of land, building and works 0 0 0
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 690 37 687
Other subsidies and payments 730 0 724
Sub-total net budgetary expenditures 30,678 7,162 23,283
Frozen allotment – reduction applied to Professional and special services -21    
Total net budgetary expenditures 30,657 7,162 23,283

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Includes only authorities granted by Parliament at quarter end.

Return to footnote 1 referrer