Quarterly financial report for the quarter ended June 30, 2020

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.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’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 TSB’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the department.

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.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, full supply for 2020-21 Main Estimates has not been approved by Parliament.  At the end of the first quarter, the TSB has been allocated only 75% of its supply of Main Estimates with full supply anticipated for December 2020. Authorities to date included in this report also include any respendable revenue earned and 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.

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 TBS’s total authorities available for use decreased by $7.2 million between fiscal years 2020-21 and 2019-20 due to the reduced supply of the Main Estimates. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited sessions in the spring for Parliament to study supply, the Standing Orders of the House of Commons were amended to extend the study period into the Fall. This means that the authorities available for use presented in this report represent only 75% of the TSB’s Main Estimates and are therefore not comparable to previous year for which full supply was received. The TSB is expected to receive full supply for the 2020-21 Main Estimates in December 2020.

Statement of Departmental Budgetary Expenditures

The department’s quarterly and year-to-date spending are lower by $142,000 or 2% in the current year compared to 2019-20.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TSB is seeing considerably lower spending in travel and training, which is expected to continue in the upcoming quarters. Due to the nature of TSB’s work, travel in particular is historically among the department’s highest spending categories.  Although spending in operations and maintenance is lower overall, the TSB is showing higher spending on personnel when compared to last year.  Higher personnel spending can be explained by increased staffing and filling of vacancies in the last quarters of 2019-20 as well as higher salaries resulting from newly signed and ratified collective agreements for the majority of the TSB’s classification groups.  

As illustrated in Figure 1, the TSB has spent approximately 28% of its available authorities at the end of the first quarter. However, it is important to note that only 75% of Main Estimates authorities have been allocated to the TSB at the end of the first quarter. The spend percentage would be considerably lower had the TSB received its full supply of Main Estimates.

Figure 1. First quarter expenditures compared to annual authorities
Graph of first quarter expenditures compared to annual authorities

Risks and Uncertainties

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 additional resource pressures that could require the department to seek further funding from Parliament. However, this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced travel both within Canada and internationally, in turn affecting the number of occurrences as well as limiting the TSB’s ability to investigate occurrences. It is unclear at this point what the impact will be financially on the department.  As the TSB is seeing savings in areas such as travel and training expenses, it is ensuring full use of its potentially lapsing funds by investing in special projects, capital purchases and telework equipment to support employees to work from home effectively. The TSB is also continuing to staff vacancies as needed.

As a departmental corporation, the TSB 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. 

Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs

Paul Treboutat was appointed Director of Investigations for the Rail and Pipeline Branch at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada effective April 6, 2020.

In relation to operations, the majority of TSB employees are currently working from home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The TSB is following the Government of Canada’s travel guidelines and restricting all non-essential travel until advised otherwise.

There has been no change to the TSB’s programs.

Approval by senior officials

Approved by,

Source document signed by
Kathleen Fox
Chair

Source document dated 2020-08-26
Date
Gatineau, Canada

Source document signed by
Luc Casault, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer

Source document dated 2020-08-27
Date
Gatineau, Canada

Statement of authorities (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2020-21 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2021 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2020 Year to date used at quarter-end
Main Estimates: Vote 1 - Net operating expenditures 22,526 6,379 6,379
Main Estimates: Statutory authorities - Employee Benefit Plans 3,573 893 893
Statutory authorities - Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets 51 - -
Statutory authorities - Expenditures Paragraph 29.1(1) of the Financial Administration Act - - -
Total authorities available for use 26,150 7,272 7,272
Fiscal year 2019-20 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
  Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2020 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2019 Year to date used at quarter-end
Main Estimates: Vote 1 - Net operating expenditures 29,583 6,501 6,501
Main Estimates: Statutory authorities - Employee Benefit Plans 3,650 912 912
Statutory authorities - Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown assets 50 1 1
Statutory authorities - Expenditures Paragraph 29.1(1) of the Financial Administration Act 2 - -
Total authorities available for use 33,285 7,414 7,414

Statement of Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)

Fiscal year 2020-21 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
  Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2021 Expended during thequarter ended June 30, 2020 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:      
Personnel 21,681 6,800 6,800
Transportation and communications 1,291 54 54
Information 128 12 12
Professional and special services 1,462 222 222
Rentals 319 110 110
Repair and maintenance 316 20 20
Utilities, materials and supplies 183 45 45
Acquisition of land, building and works 10 - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 760 9 9
Total net budgetary expenditures 26,150 7,272 7,272
Fiscal year 2019-20 (in thousands of dollars)Footnote 1
  Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2020 Expended during the quarter ended June 30, 2019 Year to date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:      
Personnel 27,555 6,519 6,519
Transportation and communications 1,748 357 357
Information 194 19 19
Professional and special services 1,844 238 238
Rentals 451 101 101
Repair and maintenance 440 5 5
Utilities, materials and supplies 229 78 78
Acquisition of land, building and works 39 - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 785 97 97
Total net budgetary expenditures 33,285 7,414 7,414
Date modified: