Northern Pipeline Agency Quarterly Financial Report (unaudited) For the Quarter Ended December 31, 2016

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), and Supplementary Estimates (B), as well as Canada’s Budget 2016. 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 2016-2017 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), and Supplementary Estimates (B) for the 2016-2017 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.

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, 2016, including Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates (A), and Supplementary Estimates (B), and the details presented in this report focus on and compare the third quarter results of 2016-2017 with those of 2015-2016.

2.1 Authorities Available for Use and Planned Spending for the Year

As at December 31, 2016, the Agency has authorities available for use of $751,835 in 2016-2017 compared to $750,775 in 2015-2016, for a slight increase of $1,060 mainly due to the increased cost of the employee benefits plan.

In 2016–2017, to align with reduced AHGP 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 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 2016-2017, the Agency spent $40,786 or 5% of the total funding available, compared to $157,951 or 21% of the total funding available in the same period of 2015-2016, for a net decrease of $117,165. The key differences are as follows:

  • Expenditures on Personnel salaries decreased by $37,545 between the third quarter of 2016-2017 and third quarter of 2015-2016, as the Agency has scaled down its personnel costs by the reduction of staff.
  • Expenditures on Professional and special services decreased by $79,444 between the third quarter of 2016-2017 and the third quarter of 2015-2016, as the Agency was not invoiced by Natural Resources Canada for professional services provided in the quarter.
  • Expenditures on Rentals decreased by $347 between the third quarter of 2016-2017 and the third quarter of 2015-2016, as the Agency has scaled down its rental requirements.
  • No contribution funds were issued in the third quarter of 2016-2017, nor were there funds issued in the third quarter of 2015-2016.

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 2016-2017.

Original signed by:

 

Christyne Tremblay,
Commissioner

February 21, 2017
Ottawa, Canada
                      Wayne Marshall,
Director of Operations

February 15, 2017
Calgary, Canada

 

Table 1: Statement of Authorities (unaudited) (in dollars)
  Fiscal year 2016-2017   Fiscal year 2015-2016
  *Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2017 Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2016 Year-to-date used at quarter-end *Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2016 Used during the quarter ended December 31, 2015 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Budgetary Authorities
Net Operating expenditures - Vote 1 701,095 28,101 53,493 701,215 145,561 253,563
Statutory Authority - Employee Benefit Plans 50,740 12,685 38,055 49,560 12,390 37,170
Total Budgetary Authorities 751,835 40,786 91,548 750,775 157,951 290,733

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

Table 2: Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited) (in dollars)
  Fiscal year 2016-2017   Fiscal year 2015-2016
  *Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2017 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2016 Year-to-date used at quarter-end   *Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2016 Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2015 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures:
Personnel 345,740 18,147 52,905   344,560 55,692 176,538
Transportation and communications 4,000 - -   30,000 - -
Information 750 - -   1,000 - -
Professional and special services 379,095 20,062 33,637   298,215 99,506 107,106
Rentals 10,000 2,368 6,314   60,000 2,715 6,935
Repair and maintenance 250 - -   1,000 - -
Utilities, materials and supplies 2,000 - -   5,000 38 154
Acquisition of machinery and equipment - - -   1,000 - -
Transfer Payments 10,000 - -   10,000 - -
Other subsidies and payments - 209 (1,308)**   - - -
Total net budgetary expenditures 751,835 40,786 91,548   750,775 157,951 290,733

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

** Credit rebate issued by Shared Services Canada.