Fiscal year 2014-2015

Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2015, and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of the Northern Pipeline Agency (“the Agency”).  These financial statements have been prepared by management using the Government’s accounting policies, which are based on Canadian Public sector accounting standards.

Management is responsible for the integrity and objectivity of the information in these financial statements. Some of the information in the financial statements is based on management's best estimates and judgment, and gives due consideration to materiality.  To fulfill its accounting and reporting responsibilities, management maintains a set of accounts that provides a centralized record of the Agency’s financial transactions.  Financial information submitted in the preparation of the Public Accounts of Canada, and included in the Agency’s Departmental Performance Report, is consistent with these financial statements.

Management is also responsible for maintaining an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) designed to provide reasonable assurance that financial information is reliable, that assets are safeguarded and that transactions are properly authorized and recorded in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and other applicable legislation, regulations, authorities and policies.

Management seeks to ensure the objectivity and integrity of data in its financial statements through careful selection, training, and development of qualified staff; through organizational arrangements that provide appropriate divisions of responsibility; through communication programs aimed at ensuring that regulations, policies, standards, and managerial authorities are understood throughout the Agency; and through conducting an annual risk-based assessment of the effectiveness of the system of ICFR. 

The system of ICFR is designed to mitigate risks to a reasonable level based on an on-going process to identify key risks, to assess effectiveness of associated key controls, and to make any necessary adjustments.

The Agency will be subject to periodic Core Control Audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General and will use the results of such audits to adhere to the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control.

In the interim, the Agency has undertaken a risk-based assessment of the system of ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2015, in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control, and the action plan is summarized in the annex.

The financial statements of the Agency have not been audited.

 

Northern Pipeline Agency
Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As of March 31
(in dollars)
    2015   2014
Liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4) $ 59,976 50,474
Deferred revenue (note 5) 4,282,129 4,452,433
Total gross liabilities 4,342,105 4,502,907
 
Liabilities held on behalf of Government
Deferred revenue (note 5) (4,282,129) (4,452,433)
Total liabilities held on behalf of Government (4,282,129) (4,452,433)

Total net liabilities

59,976

50,474

Financial assets
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund 29,187 28,593
Accounts receivable and advances (note 6) 43,089 146,601
Total gross financial assets 72,276 175,194

Financial assets held on behalf of Government
Accounts receivable and advances (note 6) (30,400) (146,201)
Total financial assets held on behalf of Government (30,400) (146,201)

Total net financial assets

41,876

28,993

Departmental net debt

18,100

21,481

Non-financial assets

Tangible capital assets (note 7)

18,100

21,481
Total non-financial assets 18,100 21,481

Departmental net financial position

$-

$-

Contractual obligations (note 8)

 

 

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

Northern Pipeline Agency
Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (unaudited)
For the year ended March 31
(in dollars)
  2015
Planned Results
2015 2014
Expenses
Salaries and employee benefits $343,675 $273,801 $952,597
Professional and special services 285,400 227,202 149,678
Rental 35,525 10,846 49,508
Amortization 3,381 3,381 4,437
Transportation and communications 59,925 1,695 12,112
Utilities, materials, supplies 5,285 783 2,181
Transfer payments 10,000 - -
Acquisition of machinery and
   equipment
8,990 - -
Information 1,100 - 690
Small equipment 100 - 542
Total recoverable expenses 753,381 517,708 1,171,745
Services provided without charge by
   other government departments
   (note 9)
5,100 2,898 3,338
Total expenses 758,481 520,606 1,175,083

Revenues
Regulatory revenue

753,381

517,708

1,171,745
Revenue earned on behalf of
    government
 (753,381) (517,708) (1,171,745)
Total revenues - - -

Net cost of operations before
   government funding

758,481

520,606

1,175,083

Government funding

 

 

 
Net cash provided by Government   517,114 1,401,685
Change in due from Consolidated
   Revenue Fund
  594      (229,940)
Services provided without charge by
   other government departments
   (note 9)
  2,898 3,338
Net cost of operations after
   government funding
  - -

Departmental net financial position
   - Beginning of year

 

-

-
Departmental net financial position
   - End of year
  $- $-

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Northern Pipeline Agency
Statement of Change in Departmental Net Debt (unaudited)
For the year ended March 31
(in dollars)
  2015 2014
     
Net cost of operations after government funding $- $-

Change due to tangible capital assets

 

 

Loss on disposal of tangible capital assets

-

(198)
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7) (3,381) (4,437)
Total change due to tangible capital assets (3,381) (4,635)

Net decrease in departmental net debt

(3,381)

(4,635)

Departmental net debt - Beginning of year

21,481

26,116

Departmental net debt - End of year

$18,100

$21,481

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

Northern Pipeline Agency
Statement of Cash Flows
(unaudited)
For the year ended March 31
(in dollars)
  2015 2014
Operating activities
 Net cost of operations before government
 funding:
$520,606 $1,175,083

Non-cash items:
 Amortization of tangible capital assets
  (note 7)
(3,381) (4,437)
 Services provided without charge by other
  government  departments (note 9)
(2,898) (3,338)
 Loss on disposal of tangible capital assets - (198)

Variations in Statement of Financial Position:  
 Increase (decrease) in accounts receivable
  and advances
12,289 (17,577)
 Decrease (increase) in accounts payable and
  accrued liabilities
(9,502) 252,152
Cash used in operating activities 517,114 1,401,685

Net cash provided by Government of Canada
$517,114 $1,401,685

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Northern Pipeline Agency
Notes to the Financial Statements (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31

1.   Authority and objectives

In 1978, Parliament enacted the Northern Pipeline Act to:

  • give effect to an Agreement on Principles applicable to a Northern Natural Gas Pipeline (the Agreement) between the Governments of Canada and the United States of America; and
  • establish the Northern Pipeline Agency (the Agency) to oversee the planning and construction of the Canadian portion of the project.

The Agency is designated as a department and named under Schedule I.1 of the Financial Administration Act, reporting to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources.

The Agency has a single program. The object of the program is to oversee and regulate the planning and construction of the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline Project.

In accordance with Section 29 of the Northern Pipeline Act (the Act) and with the National Energy Board Cost Recovery Regulations, the Agency is required to recover all of its annual operating costs from the companies holding certificates of public convenience and necessity. Currently, Foothills Pipe Lines Limited (Foothills) is the sole holder of such certificates.

The Agency is reimbursed all recoverable expenses by Foothills and the funds are deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (“CRF”) of the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada, in turn, provides funds for working capital through an annual Parliamentary appropriation which is paid from the CRF.

Foothills has put the Alaska Highway gas pipeline project on hold pending further study of an alternative project that would exclude Canada. In 2014-15, and to align with reduced project activities in the foreseeable future, the Agency has scaled down its operations while continuing to fulfil Canada’s obligations as set out in the Agreement and the Act.

2.   Summary of significant accounting policies

These financial statements have been prepared using the Government’s accounting policies stated below, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.  The presentation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant differences from Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Significant accounting policies are as follows:

  1. Parliamentary authorities:

    The Agency is financed by the Government of Canada through Parliamentary authorities.  Financial reporting of authorities provided to the Agency do not parallel financial reporting according to generally accepted accounting principles since authorities are primarily based on cash flow requirements.  Consequently, items recognized in the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position and in the Statement of Financial Position are not necessarily the same as those provided through authorities from Parliament. Note 3 provides a reconciliation between the bases of reporting. The planned results amounts in the “Expenses” and “Revenues” sections of the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position are the amounts reported in the Future-oriented Statement of Operations included in the 2014-2015 Report on Plans and Priorities. Planned results are not presented in the “Government funding” section of the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position and in the Statement of Change in Departmental Net Debt because these amounts were not included in the 2014-2015 Report on Plans and Priorities.

  2. Net cash provided by Government:

    The Agency operates within the CRF, which is administered by the Receiver General for Canada.  All cash received by the Agency is deposited to the CRF and all cash disbursements made by the Agency are paid from the CRF.  The net cash provided by the Government is the difference between all cash receipts and all cash disbursements including transactions between the Agency and departments of the federal government.

  3. Amount due from or to the CRF:

    Amounts due from or to the CRF are the result of timing differences at year-end between when a transaction affects authorities and when it is processed through the CRF.  Amounts due from the CRF represent the net amount of cash that the Agency is entitled to draw from CRF without further authorities to discharge liabilities.

  4. Revenue/Deferred revenue:

    Revenues from regulatory fees recovered from Foothills are recognized in the year in which the expenses were incurred.

    Funds received from external parties for specified purposes are recorded upon receipt as deferred revenue. These revenues are recognized in the period in which the related expenses are incurred.

    Revenues that are non-respendable are not available to discharge the Agency’s liabilities.  While the Commissioner is expected to maintain accounting control, he has no authority regarding the disposition of non-respendable revenues.  As a result, non-respendable revenues are considered to be earned on behalf of the Government of Canada and are therefore presented in reduction of the entity’s gross revenues.

  5. Expenses:

    Expenses are recorded on the accrual basis.

    Transfer payments are recorded as expenses when authorization for the payment exists and the recipient has met all eligibility criteria or the entitlements established for the transfer payment program.

    Services provided without charge from other government departments for Management Services provided by the Natural Resources Canada are recorded as operating expenses at their estimated cost.

  6. Employee future benefits:

    All employees of the Agency are seconded from other government departments. Future benefits for seconded employees, including pension benefits, providing services to the Agency are funded by the employee’s home-base department.  Estimated costs charged by Treasury Board Secretariat are included in the employee benefits charged to the Agency.

  7. Accounts receivable:

    Accounts receivables are stated at the lower of cost and net recoverable value.  A valuation allowance is recorded for accounts receivable where recovery is considered uncertain.

  8. Tangible capital assets:

    All tangible capital assets having an initial cost of $1,000 or more are recorded at their acquisition cost. The Agency does not capitalize intangibles, works of art and historical treasures that have cultural, aesthetic or historical value, assets located on Indian reserves and museum collections.

    Amortization of tangible capital assets is done on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the assets as follows:

    • Machinery and equipment                    10 years
    • Office furniture and equipment             10 years
    • Informatics hardware                            4 years
       
  9. Measurement uncertainty:

    The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses reported in the financial statements.  At the time of preparation of these statements, management believes the estimates and assumptions to be reasonable. Salaries and employee benefits and the useful life of tangible capital assets are the most significant items where estimates are used.  Actual results could differ significantly from those estimated.  Management’s estimates are reviewed periodically and, as adjustments become necessary, they are recorded in the financial statements in the year in which they become known.

3.   Parliamentary authorities

The Government of Canada funds the expenses of the Agency through parliamentary authorities.  Items recognized in the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position and the Statement of Financial Position in one year may be funded through parliamentary authorities in prior, current or future years.  Accordingly, the Agency has different net results of operations for the year on a government funding basis than on an accrual accounting basis.  The differences are reconciled as follows:

  1. Reconciliation of net cost of operations to current year authorities used:
      2015 2014
      (in dollars)
    Net cost of operations before government funding $520,606 $1,175,083
    Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations
       but not affecting authorities:
       
    Add (Less):
    Services provided without charge by other
       government departments
    (2,898) (3,338)
    Loss on disposal of tangible capital assets - (198)
    Amortization of tangible capital assets    (3,381) (4,437)
    Refund of prior years’ expenditures 1,983 1,084
    Adjustments reflected in subsequent year authorities - 4,430
    Total items affecting net cost of operations but
       not affecting authorities
    (4,296) (2,459)
    Current year authorities used $516,310 $1,172,624

  2. Authorities provided and used:
     
      2015 2014
      (in dollars)
    Authorities provided:
    Vote 30 - Program expenditures $701,325 $3,003,000
    Statutory amounts 37,465 133,931
    Less:
    Lapsed appropriations (222,480) (1,964,307)
    Current year authorities used $516,310 $1,172,624

4.   Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

The following table presents details of the Agency’s accounts payable and accrued liabilities balances:

  2015 2014
  (in dollars)
Accounts payable to other government departments
  and agencies
$59,326 $47,113
Accounts payable to external parties 203 3,206
Total accounts payable 59,529 50,319
Accrued liabilities 447 155
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities $59,976 $50,474

5.   Deferred revenue

  Deferred revenue consists of:

  2015 2014
   (in dollars)
Deferred revenue, beginning of year $4,452,433 $2,444,063
Net billings in the fiscal year 347,404 3,180,115
Recoverable expenses in the current year (517,708) (1,171,745)
Deferred revenue, end of year 4,282,129 4,452,433
     
Deferred revenues held on behalf of Government (4,282,129) (4,452,433)
Net closing balance $- $-

On November 21, 2013, the Northern Pipeline Agency Cost Recovery Charge Remission Order, 2013 (Remission Order 2013) was approved by Order in Council P.C. 2013-1258. The effect of Remission Order 2013 was to remit to TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TCPL) the amount of $663,639. This amount represents the surplus collected from Foothills (now fully owned by TCPL) which was not reduced through the cost recovery process in 2007 and 2008. The Remission Order 2013 resulted in a reduction to the billing amount to TCPL for the fiscal year 2013-2014.

6.   Accounts receivable and advances

The following table presents details of the Agency’s accounts receivable and advances balances:

  2015 2014
  (in dollars)
Receivables - Other government departments and agencies $12,689 $-
Receivables - External parties 30,400 146,201
Standing advances - 400
Gross accounts receivable 43,089 146,601
Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government (30,400) (146,201)
Net account receivable and advances $12,689 $400

 

7.   Tangible capital assets

(in dollars) Cost Accumulated amortization Net Book Value
Capital asset class Opening balance Acquisition Disposals, write-offs and other Closing balance Opening balance Amortization Disposals, write-offs and other Closing balance 2015 2014
Machinery and equipment $24,829 - - $24,829 $7,463 $2,483 - $9,946 $14,883 $17,366
Office furniture and equipment 12,362 - - 12,362 8,248 897 - 9,145 3,217 4,114
Informatics hardware 2,760 - - 2,760 2,759 1 - 2,760 - 1
Total $39,951 - - $39,951 $18,470 $3,381 - $21,851 $18,100 $21,481

 

8.   Contractual obligations

The nature of the Agency’s activities can result in multi-year contracts whereby the Agency will be obligated to make future payments when the services/goods are received.  Significant contractual obligations that can be reasonably estimated are summarized as follows:

9.   Related party transactions

The Agency is related as a result of common ownership to all Government of Canada departments, agencies and Crown corporations.  The Agency enters into transactions with these entities in the normal course of business and on normal trade terms. In addition, the Agency has an agreement with Natural Resources Canada related to the provision of finance and procurement, financial system, human resources and assets management services.

During the year, the Agency received common services which were obtained without charge from other government departments as disclosed below.

(a) Common services provided without charge by other government department

Management services provided without charge by Natural Resources Canada was $2,898 ($3,338 in 2013-14).

The Government has centralized some of its administrative activities for efficiency, cost-effectiveness purposes and economic delivery of programs to the public. As a result, the Government uses central agencies and common service organizations so that one department performs services for all other departments and agencies without charge. The costs of these services, such as the payroll and cheque issuance services provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada are not included in the Department’s Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position.

(b) Other transactions with related parties

  2015 2014
  (in dollars)
Expenses – Other government departments and agencies $491,633 $1,045,727

Expenses disclose in (b) exclude common services provided without charge, which are already disclosed in (a).

10.   Easement fee

In 1983, the Government of Canada, pursuant to Subsection 37(3) of the Act, granted Foothills a twenty-five year easement upon and under lands in the Yukon Territory.  For the right of easement, Foothills is to pay the Agency an annual amount of $30,400; of this annual amount, $2,806 ($2,806 in 2013-14) is collected on behalf of and forwarded directly to the Government of the Yukon Territory.  The balance of $27,594 ($27,594 in 2013-14) was remitted to the Government of Canada by the Agency. 

11.   Financial instruments

The Agency’s financial instruments consist of accounts receivable, accounts payable, deferred revenues and accrued liabilities. Unless otherwise noted, it is management’s opinion that the Agency is not exposed to significant interest, currency or credit risk arising from these financial instruments.   Unless otherwise disclosed in these financial statements, management estimates that the carrying values of the financial instruments approximate their fair value due to their impending maturity.

Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility
Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting
of the Northern Pipeline Agency
for fiscal year 2014-15 (unaudited)

Summary of the assessment of effectiveness of the system of internal control over financial reporting and the action plan

  1. Introduction

    This unaudited Annex provides summary information on the measures taken by the Northern Pipeline Agency (the Agency) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).

    The Agency has a service partnership agreement with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) regarding a full range of administrative and financial services, including: the maintenance of a delegation instrument and financial signing authority Specimen Signature Records, financial statement preparation, accounting, and financial and procurement transactions processing. As a result, the Agency’s system of internal control is reliant on NRCan’s system of internal control.

    The Agency will leverage the results of the periodic core control audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General when performed. [1]

    Detailed information on the Agency’s authority, mandate, and programs can be found in the 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report and the 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities.

  2. Assessment results during fiscal year 2014-15

    For the most part, the Agency operates under NRCan’s control environment.

    Summary information on the maintenance of an effective system of ICFR by NRCan can be found in the Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting of Natural Resources Canada for fiscal year 2014-15 (the NRCan Annex), which  accompanies the NRCan 2014-15 Financial Statements.

    Differences in processes between NRCan and the Agency are as follows:

    • Some electronic tools used by NRCan are not used by the Agency.
    • The billing process for the recovery of expenditures from Foothills Pipe Lines Limited/TransCanada PipeLines Limited is unique to the Agency.

    Those differences are incorporated within the NRCan internal control documentation.

    During 2014-15, as part of the on-going monitoring of its system of ICFR, NRCan completed the following exercises for processes that impact the financial information of the Agency:

    • Reassessment of the entity-level controls and of the internal controls in the areas of Operating Expenditures, Payroll and Benefits, Revenue and Accounts Receivable and Capital Assets.
    • IT General Controls were tested for operating effectiveness for the Specimen Signature Record (SSR) application.
    • Operating effectiveness testing of remediation actions that consist of reviews which were implemented in 2013-14.

    Information on the results of the assessments mentioned above can be found in the NRCan Annex, which accompanies the NRCan 2014-15 Financial Statements.

    The NRCan Annex also refers to other processes assessed in 2014-15 which are not applicable to the Agency.

    Specific to the Agency, the following key remediation requirement was identified and remediated during the assessment of the Operating Expenditures process:

    • NRCan and the Agency had the same risk criteria in the financial and material management system (SAP) to determine the level of review a payment was subjected to prior to payment issuance.  The Agency now has its own risk criteria in SAP that is separate from NRCan’s risk criteria.
  3. Assessment plan

    A Service Partnership Agreement between NRCan and the Agency for administrative and financial services is still in effect. The NRCan on-going monitoring plan for the annual risk-based assessment of its system of ICFR appears in the NRCan Annex that accompanies the NRCan 2014-15 Financial Statements.


[1] Core control audits of small departments are conducted by the Office of the Comptroller General over a periodic cycle, to assess an individual department’s compliance with key controls from Treasury Board policy instruments. When such an audit is performed in the future, the Agency may refer to the audit report rather than produce this Annex for the relevant fiscal year.