Quarterly Financial Report October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014

Northern Pipeline Agency Quarterly Financial Report (unaudited) For the Quarter Ended December 31, 2014

Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, personnel and programs

1. Introduction

This quarterly financial report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates (A), Supplementary Estimates (B), and the Net Budgetary Authorities published on the Treasury Board Secretariat website, as well as Budget 2014 - The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities (Budget 2014). It has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act and in the form and manner prescribed by Treasury Board. This quarterly financial report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

1.1 Authority, Mandate and Programs

The Northern Pipeline Agency (“the Agency”) was created by legislation in 1978 to carry out federal responsibilities in relation to the planning and construction in Canada of the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline (AHGP) project by Foothills Pipe Lines Limited (Foothills).  The pipeline is to carry natural gas from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to the lower 48 states. Foothills is now owned by TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TCPL).

Further details on the Agency’s authority, mandate and programs are available in Part II of the 2014-2015 Main Estimates.

1.2 Basis of Presentation

This quarterly financial report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the Agency’s spending authorities granted by Parliament, and authorities used by the Agency are consistent with the Main Estimates Supplementary Estimates (A), Supplementary Estimates (B), as well as transfers from Treasury Board for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. This quarterly report has been prepared using a special purpose financial reporting framework.

The authority of Parliament is required before monies 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 Parliamentary business of supply, the Main Estimates must be tabled in Parliament on or before March 1 preceding the new fiscal year. 

In regards to the Agency’s specific situation, it will not be drawing on Budget 2012 funding for 2014-2015.  Please see the explanation in Section 5 below.

Although the Agency uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual unaudited financial statements that are part of the Departmental Performance Report and its Annual Report, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

2. Highlights of the Third Fiscal Quarter and Comparative Results

This Quarterly Financial Report reflects the result as at December 31, 2014, including Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates (A), Supplementary Estimates (B) and the Operating Budget Carry Forward.  The details presented in this report focus on and compare the third quarter results of 2014-2015 with those of 2013-2014.

2.1 Authorities Available for Use and Planned Spending for the Year

As at December 31, 2014, the Agency has authorities available for use of $750,000 in 2014-2015 compared to $3,123,930 in 2013-2014, for a net decrease of $2,373,930 or 76%. The difference is due to the following:

  • An overall reduction of net operating funds totalling $691,675 due to less consultation activities, primarily with Aboriginal groups who may be affected by the project since the Agency is scaling down operations, as described in section 3.1.
  • A decrease in the grants and contribution funds totalling $1,610,000;
  • A decrease in employee benefit plans of $72,255.

In 2014–2015, and to align with reduced AHGP project activities in the foreseeable future, the Agency will scale down its operations while continuing to fulfil Canada’s obligations as set out in the Northern Pipeline Act (the Act) and the Agreement under the Act.

2.2 Authorities Used and Amounts Expended during the Third Quarter

During the third quarter in 2014-2015, the Agency spent $152,589 or 20.3% of the total funding available, compared to $244,690 or 7.8% of the total funding available the same period in 2013-2014, for a net decrease of $92,101. The key differences are as follows:

  • Personnel expenditures decreased by $146,467 or 68.7% to $66,868 during the third quarter of 2014-15, compared to $213,335 during the third quarter of 2013-2014, as the Agency has scaled down its personnel costs.
  • Expenditures on Professional and Special Services increased by $55,900 or 216% to $81,779 during the third quarter of 2014-2015, compared to $25,879 during the third quarter of 2013-2014, mostly as a result of the development and implementation of a new information and record management system during the third quarter of 2014-15.

3. Risks and Uncertainties

In planning for an efficient and effective review and regulation of the project, the Agency must adapt to project developments by the proponent, i.e., to carry out its responsibilities and to make the necessary preparations in concert with the pace of the project’s development.

3.1 Risk Mitigation Framework

The Agency identifies and responds to the pace of the project’s development by continual corporate-level forecasting, tracking and management of issues that could affect or require a response from the Agency.  For example, on March 30, 2012, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and TCPL announced a work plan to assess liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from south-central Alaska as an alternative to a natural gas pipeline through Canada.  In February 2013, TCPL notified the Agency that no further work is planned on the AHGP for now, and of their intentions to maintain the AHGP assets in Canada. To align with the reduction in the AHGP project activities for the foreseeable future, the Agency has scaled down its operations, while continuing to fulfill Canada’s obligations as set out in the Act.

4. Significant Changes in Relation to Operations, Personnel and Programs

There were no significant changes to operations, personnel and programs during the third quarter of 2014-2015.

5. Budget 2012 Implementation

This section provides an overview of the savings measures announced in Budget 2012 that are being implemented in order to refocus government and programs; make it easier for Canadians and business to deal with their government; and modernize and reduce the back office.

Budget 2012 provided the Agency with authorities of $47 million over two years (to be cost recovered) to carry out federal regulatory responsibilities related to the AHGP project, however, the Agency will not be drawing on Budget 2012 funding for 2014-2015, in light of the March 30, 2012 announcement by TCPL noted in Section 3.1 (Risk Mitigation Framework) above. 

Approved by:

Bob Hamilton,
Commissioner      
  Wayne Marshall,
Director of Operations
Date signed
February 20 2015                       
Ottawa, Ontario       
  Date signed
February 20 2015                       
Calgary, Alberta

 

Table 1: Statement of Authorities (Unaudited) (in dollars)
Budgetary Authorities Fiscal year 2014-2015 Fiscal year 2013-2014
*Total available for use for the year ending Used during the quarter ended Year-to-date used at *Total available for use for the year ending Used during the quarter ended Year-to-date used at
March 31,  2015 December 31, 2014 quarter-end March 31,
2014
December 31, 2013 quarter-
end
Net Operating expenditures - Vote 1 701,325 140,420 294,529 3,003,000 214,4547 721,358
Statutory Authority - Employee Benefit Plans 48,675 12,169 36,506 120,930 30,233 90,698
Total Budgetary Authorities 750,000 152,589 331,035 3,123,930 244,690 812,056

* Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end: Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates (A) and (B).

Table 2: Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (Unaudited) (in dollars)
Expenditures: Fiscal year 2014-2015 Fiscal year 2013-2014
*Planned expenditures for the year ending Expended during the quarter ended Year-to-date used at *Planned expenditures for the year ending Expended during the quarter ended Year-to-date used at
March 31, 2015 December 31,
2014
quarter-end March 31, 2014 December 31,
2013
quarter-
end
Personnel 343,675 66,868 232,923 815,930 213,335 743,792
Transportation and communications 59,925 1,104 1,104 143,312 2,264 7,039
Information 1,100 - - 3,125 671 690
Professional and special services 285,400 81,779 89,076 365,830 25,879 50,966
Rentals 35,525 2,710 7,962 68,982 1,579 8,011
Repair and maintenance 100 - - 2,388 669 669
Utilities, materials and supplies 5,285 161 387 10,314 406 1,037
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 8,990 - - 17,323 - -
Transfer Payments 10,000 - - 1,620,000 - -
Other subsidies and payments - (33)** (417)** 76,726 (113) (148)
Total net budgetary expenditures 750,000 152,589 331,035 3,123,930 244,690 812,056

* Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end: Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates (A) and (B).
** Credit rebate issued by the Bank of Montreal MasterCard Service.