National Security and Intelligence Review Agency - Financial Statements 2020-21

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, 2021, and all information contained in these financial statements rests with the management of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA). These financial statements have been prepared by management using the Government of Canada’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 NSIRA’s financial transactions. Financial information submitted in the preparation of the Public Accounts of Canada, and included in NSIRA’s Departmental Results 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 NSIRA 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 ongoing process to identify key risks, to assess effectiveness of associated key controls, and to make any necessary adjustments.

A risk-based assessment of the system of ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2021 was completed in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Financial Management and the results and action plans are summarized in the Annex.

The financial statements of the National Security Intelligence Review Agency have not been audited.

 

John Davies
Executive Director
Pierre Souligny
Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
December 10, 2021

Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)

As of March 31st
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 through March 31, 2020
Liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 5) 1,519 1,560
Vacation pay and compensatory leave 215 323
Employee future benefits (note 6b) 316 146
Total liabilities 2,050 2,029
Assets
Financial assets
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund 946 1,536
Accounts receivable and advances (note 7) 632 90
Total net financial assets 1,578 1,626
Departmental net debt 472 403
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses 92 109
Tangible capital assets (note 8) 2,149 967
Total non-financial assets 2,241 1,076
Departmental net financial position 1,769 673

Contractual obligations (note 9)
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

 

John Davies
Executive Director
Pierre Souligny
Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada
December 10, 2021

Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (Unaudited)

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) Planned Results 2021 2021 For the period July 12, 2019 through March 31, 2020
Expenses
Assist the National Security Intelligence Review Agency 12,056 5,769 3,671
Internal Service 13,724 5,893 2,659
Total Expenses 25,780 11,662 6,330
Net cost from continuing operations 25,780 11,662 6,330
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 25,780 11,662 6,330
Government funding and transfers
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 12,401 3,919
Change in due from Consolidated Revenue Fund (590) 1,536
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 10a) 1,007 611
Transfer of overpayments (60)
Transfer of assets and liabilities from other government departments 937
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers (1,096) (673)
Departmental net financial position – Beginning of year 673
Departmental net financial position – End of year 1,769 673

Segmented information (note 11)
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Statement of Change in Departmental Net Debt (Unaudited)

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the period July 12, 2019 through March 31, 2020
Net cost of operations after government funding and transfers (1,096) (673)
Change due to tangible capital assets
Acquisition of tangible capital assets 1,353 14
Amortization of tangible capital assets (171)
Transfer of tangible capital asset to/from other government department 953
Total change due to tangible capital assets 1,182 967
Change due to prepaid expenses (17) 109
Net increase (decrease) in departmental net debt 69 403
Departmental net debt – Beginning of year 403
Departmental net debt – End of year 472 403

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

Statement of Cash Flow (Unaudited)

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 through March 31, 2020
Operating activities
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 11,662 6,330
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (171)
Transfer of tangible capital asset (to)/from other government department 953
Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 10a) (1,007) (611)
Transfer of overpayments 60
Variations in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase (decrease) in accounts receivable and advances 542 90
Increase (decrease) in prepaid expenses (17) 109
Decrease (increase) in accounts payable and accrued liabilities 41 (1,560)
Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave 108 (323)
Decrease (increase) in future employee benefits (170) (146)
Transfer of liabilities to other government departments (937)
Cash used in operating activities 11,048 3,905
Capital investing activities
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 8) 1,353 14
Cash used in capital investing activities 1,353 14
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 12,401 3,919

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

Notes to the Financial Statements (Unaudited)

1. Authority and objectives

On July 12, 2019 Bill C-59 enacted the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act (NSIRA Act), and repealed the provisions of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act (CSIS Act) which governed the activities of Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). The National Security Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) has a statutory mandate to review the activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), as well as the national security and intelligence activities of all other federal departments and agencies. To fulfill its review mandate, NSIRA has unfettered access to classified information other than Cabinet confidences. In addition, NSIRA inherited the complaints investigation functions of the SIRC, which was responsible for hearing complaints from members of the public regarding the actions of CSIS, as well as those related to the revocation or denial of security clearances. Going forward, it will also hear complaints regarding the CSE, as well as national security-related complaints regarding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

To achieve its strategic outcome and deliver results for Canadians, NSIRA articulates its plans and priorities based on the core responsibility and program inventory included below:

Assist the NSIRA

Support the Conduct of Reviews and Investigations, and the Development of Reports

The secretariat will assist NSIRA members in fulfilling the agency’s mandate. The Secretariat will conduct a range of activities to support the agency, including accessing relevant information and providing strategic and expert advice in the conduct of reviews, quasi-judicial investigation of complaints and the development of reports. It will also provide administrative support in arranging for briefings, hearings and consultations with stakeholders and international counterparts, and support to ensure compliance with security requirements.

Internal Services

Internal support services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

2. Comparative Information

The comparative information (2019-20) included in these financial statements represent the partial year results of operations for the period July 12, 2019 through March 31, 2021, and the financial position of the NSIRA as at March 31, 2020, including all transferred assets and liabilities.

3. Summary of significant accounting policies

These financial statements are prepared using NSIRA’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:

a) Parliamentary authorities

NSIRA is financed by the Government of Canada through Parliamentary authorities. Financial reporting of authorities provided to NSIRA 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 4 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 2020-2021 Departmental Plan. The planned results amounts in the “Government funding and transfers” section of the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position and in the Statement of Change in Departmental Net Debt were prepared for internal management purposes and have not been previously published.

b) Net cash provided by Government of Canada

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

c) Amounts 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 NSIRA is entitled to draw from the CRF without further authorities to discharge its liabilities.

d) Expenses

  • Vacation pay and compensatory leave are accrued as the benefits are earned by employees under their respective terms of employment.
  • Services provided without charge by other government departments for accommodation, employer contributions to the health and dental insurance plans and workers’ compensation are recorded as operating expenses at their carrying value.

e) Employee future benefits

  • Pension benefits: Eligible employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, a pension plan administered by the Government. NSIRA’s contributions to the Plan are charged to expenses in the year incurred and represent the total departmental obligation to the Plan. NSIRA’s responsibility with regard to the Plan is limited to its contributions. Actuarial surpluses or deficiencies are recognized in the financial statements of the Government of Canada, as the Plan’s sponsor.
  • Severance benefits: The accumulation of severance benefits for voluntary departures ceased for applicable employee The remaining obligation for employees who did not withdraw benefits is calculated using information derived from the results of the actuarially determined liability for employee severance benefits for the Government as a whole.

f) Accounts receivable

Accounts receivable are initially recorded at cost and when necessary, an allowance for valuation is recorded to reduce the carrying value of accounts receivable to amounts that approximate their net recoverable value.

g) Non-financial assets

All tangible capital assets having an initial cost of $5,000 or more are recorded at their acquisition cost. Tangible capital assets do not include immovable assets located on reserves as defined in the Indian Act, works of art, museum collection and Crown land to which no acquisition cost is attributable; and intangible assets.

Inventories are valued at cost and are comprised of spare parts and supplies held for future program delivery and are not primarily intended for resale. Inventories that no longer have service potential are valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value.

h) Measurement uncertainty

The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported and disclosed amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes at March 31. The estimates are based on facts and circumstances, historical experience, general economic conditions and reflect the Government’s best estimate of the related amount at the end of the reporting period. The most significant items where estimates are used are contingent liabilities, the liability for employee future benefits and the useful life of tangible capital assets. Actual results could significantly differ from those estimated. Management’s estimates are reviewed periodically and, as adjustments become necessary, they are recorded in the financial statements in the year they become known.

4. Parliamentary authorities

NSIRA receives most of its funding through annual 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, NSIRA has different net results of operations for the year on a government funding basis than on an accrual accounting basis. The differences are reconciled in the following tables:

a) Reconciliation of net cost of operations to current year authorities used

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 11,662 6,330
Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (171)
Services provided without charge by other government departments (1,007) (611)
Decrease / (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave (108) (76)
Decrease / (increase) in employee future benefits (170) (72)
Refund of prior years’ expenditures 481 (1)
Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities (759) (760)
Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:
Acquisition of tangible capital assets 1,353 14
Increase / (decrease) in prepaid expenses (17) 28
Accounts receivable and advances 12 13
Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities 1,348 55
Current year authorities used 12,251 5,625

b) Authorities provided and used

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Authorities provided:
Vote 1 – Program expenditures 22,592 22,468
Statutory amounts 962 371
Less:
Lapsed: Operating (11,303) (17,214)
Current year authorities used 12,251 5,625

5. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

The following table presents details of NSIRA’s accounts payable and accrued liabilities:

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Accounts payable – Other government departments and agencies 444 306
Accounts payable – External parties 1,075 (8)
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities transferred in from other government department 1,262
Total accounts payable 1,519 1,560
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities 1,519 1,560

6. Employee future benefits

a) Pension benefits

NSIRA’s employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan (the ”Plan”), which is sponsored and administered by the Government of Canada. Pension benefits accrue up to a maximum period of 35 years at a rate of two percent per year of pensionable service, times the average of the best five consecutive years of earnings. The benefits are integrated with Canada/Québec Pension Plan benefits and they are indexed to inflation.

Both the employees and the Agency contribute to the cost of the Plan. Due to the amendment of the Public Service Superannuation Act following the implementation of provisions related to Economic Action Plan 2012, employee contributors have been divided into two groups – Group 1 related to existing plan members as of December 31, 2012 and Group 2 relates to members joining the Plan as of January 1, 2013. Each group has a distinct contribution rate.

The 2020-21 expense amounts to $877,610 ($325,594 in 2019-20). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.01 times (1.01 times in 2019-20) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.00 times (1.00 times in 2019-20) the employee contributions.

NSIRA’s responsibility with regard to the Plan is limited to its contributions. Actuarial surpluses or deficiencies are recognized in the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Canada, as the Plan’s sponsor.

b) Severance benefits

Severance benefits provided to NSIRA’s employees were previously based on an employee’s eligibility, years of service and salary at termination of employment. However, since 2011 the accumulation of severance benefits for voluntary departures progressively ceased for substantially all employees. Employees subject to these changes were given the option to be paid the full or partial value of benefits earned to date or collect the full or remaining value of benefits upon departure from the public service. By March 31, 2018, substantially all settlements for immediate cash out were completed. Severance benefits are unfunded and, consequently, the outstanding obligation will be paid from future authorities.

The changes in the obligations during the year were as follows:

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Accrued benefit obligation – Beginning of year 146
Accrued benefit obligation transferred in from other government department 74
Expense for the year 170 72
Accrued benefit obligation – End of year 316 146

7. Accounts receivable and advances

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

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Receivables – Other government departments and agencies 581 (21)
Receivables – External parties 51 11
Employee advances 2
Accounts receivable and advances transferred in from other government department 98
Net accounts receivable 632 90

8. Tangible capital assets

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

For the Year Ended March 31
Asset class Amortization Period
Informatics hardware 3 to 10 years
Other equipment 3 to 30 years

 

For the Year Ended March 31
Cost Accumulated Amortization Net Book Value
Capital Asset Class (in thousands of dollars) Opening Balance Acquisitions Adjustments Disposals and WriteOffs Closing Balance Opening Balance Amortization Adjustments Disposals and WriteOffs Closing Balance 2021 For the period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Informatics hardware 279 279 120 69 189 90 159
Other equipment 1,012 84 1,096 205 102 307 789 808
Assets under construction – other 1,269 1 1,270 1,270
1,291 1,353 1 2,645 325 171 496 2,149 967

 

9. Contractual obligations

The nature of NSIRA’s activities may result in some large multi-year contracts and obligations whereby NSIRA will be obligated to make future payments in order to carry out its programs or when the services/goods are received. Significant contractual obligations that can be reasonably estimated are summarized as follows:

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 and subsequent Total
Professional and special services 1,019 462 1,481
Information 88 88
Repair and maintenance 6,195 6,195
Rental 117 117
Transportation and communications 111 111
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 376 376
Total 7,906 462 8,368

10. Related party transactions

NSIRA is related as a result of common ownership to all government departments, agencies, and Crown Corporations. Related parties also include individuals who are members of key management personnel or close family members of those individuals, and entities controlled by, or under shared control of, a member of key management personnel or a close family member of that individual. NSIRA enters into transactions with these entities in the normal course of business and on normal trade terms.

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

a) Common services provided without charge by other government departments

During the year, NSIRA received services without charge from certain common service organizations, related to accommodation, the employer’s contribution to the health and dental insurance plans and workers’ compensation coverage. These services provided without charge have been recorded at the carrying value in NSIRA’s Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position as follows:

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 t0 March 31, 2020
Accommodation 451 316
Employer’s contribution to the health and dental insurance plans 556 295
Total 1,007 611

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 Services and Procurement Canada are not included in NSIRA’s Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position. The costs of information technology infrastructure services provided by Shared Services Canada, following the transfer of responsibilities in November 2011 are also not included in NSIRA’s Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position.

b) Other transactions with other government departments and agencies

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) 2021 For the Period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Expenses 5,595 2,325

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

11. Segmented information

Presentation by segment is based on NSIRA’s Departmental Results Framework. The presentation by segment is based on the same accounting policies as described in the Summary of significant accounting policies in note 3. The following table presents the expenses incurred and revenues generated for the main program alignments, by major object of expense and by major type of revenue. The segment results for the period are as follows:

For the Year Ended March 31
(in thousands of dollars) Assist the NSIRA Internal Services 2021 For the period July 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Expenses
Salaries and employee benefits 5,380 2,614 7,994 3,996
Professional and special services 302 1,543 1,845 1,361
Accommodation 451 451 316
Transportation and communications 15 73 88 225
Information 109 82 192 78
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 694 694 73
Repair and maintenance (49) 1,307 1,258 115
Amortization of tangible capital assets 171 171
Rentals 152 152 51
Utilities, materials and supplies 2 6 8 40
Other 10 (1,201) (1,191) 75
Total Expenses 5,769 5,893 11,662 6,330
Net cost from continuing operations 5,769 5,893 11,662 6,330

Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting for Fiscal Year 2020-21 (unaudited)

1. Introduction

This document provides summary information on measures taken by the National Security Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) including information on internal control management, assessment results and related action plans.
Detailed information on NSIRA authority, mandate, and programs can be found in our Departmental Plan and Departmental Results Report.

2.  Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting

2.1 Internal Control Management

NSIRA recognizes the importance of setting the tone from the top to help ensure that staff at all levels understand their roles in maintaining effective financial systems of ICFR and are well equipped to exercise these responsibilities effectively. NSIRA’s financial transactions can be processed within the financial system by both NSIRA and the Privy Council Office (PCO), in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and are subject to the same control framework and monitoring activities undertaken at PCO.

NSIRA relies on PCO control measures to a large extent, but also recognizes the importance of ensuring that it implements its own complementary measures. To this end, NSIRA ensures that all managers with financial delegation have completed the appropriate training course prior to exercising their delegation. NSIRA has implemented a rigourous governance and accountability structure to support the oversight of its system of internal control, which includes:

  • Values and ethics framework;
  • Organizational accountability structures as they relate to internal control management to support sound financial management including roles and responsibilities for senior managers in their areas of responsibility;
  • Evidence of effective planning and reporting activities which includes multiple financial reviews and regular financial reporting to all managers including senior management;
  • Integrated risk management and on-going quality assurance and monitoring activities;
  • On-going communication and training on statutory requirements, policies, and procedures for sound financial management and control; and
  • Monitoring and regular updates as needed on internal control management plus assessment results and action.

2.2 Service Arrangements relevant to financial statements

NSIRA relies on other organizations for the processing of certain transactions that are recorded in its financial statements, and relies on these service providers to ensure an adequate system of ICFR is maintained over services provided to NSIRA.

Common Arrangements:
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) centrally administers the payments of salaries, the procurement of certain goods and services and provides accommodation services
  • On behalf of the employer, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) provides NSIRA with information used to calculate various accruals and allowances, such as the accrued severance liability; and
  • Shared Services Canada (SSC) provides IT infrastructure services to NSIRA in the areas of network services. SSC also provides the service for the acquisition and provision of hardware and software for workplace technology devices to The scope and responsibilities are addressed in the interdepartmental arrangement between SSC and NSIRA.
Specific Arrangements:
  • As aforementioned, NSIRA’s financial transactions are processed within the financial system by both NSIRA and the Privy Council Office (PCO), in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and are subject to the same control framework and monitoring activities undertaken at PCO.

3.  Departmental assessment results during fiscal year 2020-21

Progress during the 2020-21 fiscal year

NSIRA’s management team has maintained a financial system and an internal control mechanism that ensures that financial information is understandable, relevant, reliable and comparable in concert with the Privy Council Office’s support as per our MOU.  Progress is disclosed in the Annex of PCO’s Statement of Management Responsibility.

New or significantly amended key controls – NSIRA relies on the system of internal control implemented at PCO for the above noted business processes.  New or significantly modified internal controls are disclosed in the Annex of PCO’s statement of management responsibility.

On-going monitoring program – NSIRA’s monitoring program for the above noted business processes leverages PCO’s rotational on-going monitoring plan disclosed in the Annex of PCO’s statement of management responsibility.

4.  Departmental action plan

4.1 Progress during fiscal year 2020-21

We understand our responsibility in terms of appropriate financial comptrollership and communication with the public, and we will continue to ensure that financial controls and a rigourous reporting process continue to be in place going forward.  Action plans are disclosed in the Annex of PCO’s Statement of Management Responsibility.

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