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, 2017, and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). 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
IRB’s financial transactions. Financial information submitted in the preparation of the Public Accounts of Canada, and included in the
IRB’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 IRB and through conducting an annual risk-based assessment of the effectiveness of the system of
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.
IRB 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 IRB has undertaken a risk-based assessment of the system of ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2017, in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control, and the results and action plan are summarized in the annex.
The financial statements of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada have not been audited.
The original version was signed by
Mario Dion, Chairperson
The original version was signed by
Barbara Wyant, Chief Financial Officer
August 11, 2017
Notes to the Financial Statements (Unaudited)
For the year ended March 31
1. Authority and objectives
The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is an independent, accountable administrative tribunal established by Parliament on January 1, 1989 to resolve immigration and refugee cases fairly, efficiently and in accordance with the law. The
IRB ensures continued benefits to Canadians: by only accepting refugee claimants needing protection in accordance with international obligations and Canadian law; by contributing to the integrity of the immigration system, the safety and security of Canadians and upholding Canada's reputation of justice and fairness for individuals; and promoting family reunification. The
IRB also contributes to the quality of life of Canada's communities by strengthening our country's social fabric and by reflecting and reinforcing core values that are important to Canadians. These include respect for human rights, peace, security and the rule of law.
The Board strategic outcome is to resolve immigration and refugee cases efficiently, fairly and accordance with the law.
Five programs support this strategic outcome:
Refugee Protection Division
The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) delivers the
IRB's Refugee Protection program. It renders quality decisions and resolves cases in a timely manner regarding refugee protection claims made by persons in Canada, and pre-removal risk assessments of persons subject to a removal order.
Refugee Appeal Division
The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) delivers the
IRB's Refugee Appeal program. It renders quality decisions and resolves cases in a timely manner regarding appeals against a decision made on a refugee protection claim of the Refugee Protection Division.
Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews
The Immigration Division (ID) delivers the Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews program. It renders quality decisions and resolves cases in a timely manner regarding foreign nationals or permanent residents who are alleged to be inadmissible to Canada pursuant to the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and foreign nationals or permanent residents who are detained under
The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) delivers the Immigration Appeal program. It renders quality decisions and resolves cases in a timely manner regarding sponsorship applications refused by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; certain removal orders made against permanent residents, refugees and other protected persons and holders of permanent resident visas; permanent residents outside of Canada who have been found not to have fulfilled their residency obligation; and appeals by the Minister of Public Safety Canada against a decision of the Immigration Division on admissibility.
Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities 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; and Acquisition Services.
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:
(a) Parliamentary authorities
IRB is financed by the Government of Canada through Parliamentary authorities. Financial reporting of authorities provided to the
IRB 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 Revenue 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
2016‑17 Report on Plans and Priorities. Planned results are not presented 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 because these amounts were not included in the
2016‑17 Report on Plans and Priorities.
(b) Net Cash Provided by Government
IRB operates within the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), which is administered by the Receiver General for Canada. All cash received by the
IRB is deposited to the CRF and all cash disbursements made by the
IRB 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) Due from the CRF
Amounts due from 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
IRB is entitled to draw from the CRF without further appropriations to discharge its liabilities.
Other revenues are accounted for in the period in which the underlying transaction or event that gave rise to the revenue takes place. The
IRB does not charge for its services and its only revenue stem from gains on disposals of crown assets, Acces to Information and Privacy fees and interes on overdue accounts receivable.
Revenues that are non-respendable are not available to discharge the Department's liabilities. While the Deputy Head is expected to maintain accounting control, he or she 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.
Expenses are recorded on the accrual basis:
- 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 legal services are recorded as operating expenses at their estimated cost.
(f) Employee future benefits
- Pension benefits: Eligible employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan (the "Plan"), a multiemployer pension plan administered by the Government. The
IRB’s contributions to the Plan are charged to expenses in the year incurred and represent the total obligation of the
IRB to the Plan. The
IRB’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: Employees entitled to severance benefits under labour contracts or conditions of employment earn these benefits as services necessary to earn them are rendered. The obligation relating to the benefits earned by employees is calculated using information derived from the results of the actuarially determined liability for employee severance benefits for the Government as a whole.
(g) Accounts receivables
Accounts receivable are stated at the lower of cost and net recoverable value. A valuation allowance is recorded for accounts receivable where recovery is considered uncertain.
(h) Contingent liabilities
Contingent liabilities are potential liabilities that may become actual liabilities when one or more future events occur or fail to occur. To the extent that the future event is likely to occur or fail to occur, and a reasonable estimate of the loss can be made, an estimated liability is accrued and an expense recorded. If the likelihood is not determinable or if an amount cannot be reasonably estimated, the contingency is disclosed in the
notes to the financial statements.
(i) Tangible capital assets
All tangible capital assets and leasehold improvements having an initial cost of $10,000 or more are recorded at their acquisition cost.
Amortization of tangible capital assets is done on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the asset as follows:
Amortization of tangible capital assets
|Asset class||Amortization Period|
|Informatics hardware ||4 years|
|Informatics software||5 years|
|Machinery and Equipment||10 years|
|Leasehold improvements||Lesser of the remaining term of lease or useful life of the improvement|
Assets under construction are recorded in the applicable capital asset class in the year that they become available for use and are not amortized until they become available for use.
(j) 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. 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.
3. Parliamentary Authorities
IRB receives its funding through annual Parliamentary authorities. Items recognized in the statement of operations and the statement of financial position in one year may be funded through Parliamentary authorities in prior, current or future years. Accordingly, the
IRB 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 (in thousands of dollars)
|Net cost of operations||140,620||136,907|
|Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:|
|Services provided without charge by other government departments (note 10)||
|Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 7)||
|Decrease (increase) in employee future benefits||1,189||2,069|
|Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave||
|Increase in charges for contingent liabilities||
|Prepaid expenses previously charged to appropriation||
|Adjustments to prior’s years accounts payable (PAYE)||435||297|
|Refunds of previous year's expenses||110||57|
|Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:|
|Acquisition of tangible capital assets (note 7)||658||726|
|Transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears||0||27|
|Salary overpayments to be recovered||499||39|
|Increase in prepaid expenses||232||175|
Current year authorities used||
(b) Authorities Provided and used: (in thousands of dollars)
|Vote 10 - Operating expenditures||110,422||107,337|
|Lapsed authorities: Operating||
Current year authorities used||
4. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities
The following table presents details of the
IRB's accounts payable and accrued liabilities:
(in thousands of dollars)
|Accounts payable - Other government departments and agencies||960||1,134|
|Accounts payable - External parties||1,433||2,016|
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities||
In Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government announced savings measures to be implemented by departments starting in 2012‒2013 and extending over the three subsequent fiscal years. To this effect, the Department has recorded an obligation for termination benefits as part of accrued liabilities to reflect the estimated workforce adjustment costs. The remaining balance of these measures as of March 31, 2017 is $63,537 ($284,722 as of March 31, 2016).
5. Employee future benefits
(a) Pension benefits
IRB’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 2 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 Plans benefits and they are indexed to inflation.
Both the employees and the
IRB 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 relates 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 2016-17 expense amounts to $8.5 million ($8.2 million in 2015-16). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.12 times (1.25 times in 2015-16) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.08 times (1.24 times in 2015-16) the employees contributions.
IRB’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.
(b) Severance benefits
Severance benefits provided to the
IRB’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, 2017, 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:
(in thousands of dollars)
|Accrued benefit obligation, beginning of the year||4,893||6,962|
|Expense for the year||
|Benefits paid during the year||
Accrued benefit obligation, end of the year||
6. Accounts receivable and advances
The following table presents details of the
IRB's accounts receivable and advances balances:
(in thousands of dollars)
|Receivables from other government departments and agencies||1,841||1,601|
|Receivables from external parties||1,194||243|
|Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government||
7. Tangible capital assets
Cost (in thousands of dollars)
| ||Opening Balance||Acquisitions||Transfers, Disposals and Write-Offs||Closing Balance|
|Machinery and Equipment||429||0||0||429|
|Assets under construction||15||658||
Accumulated amortization (in thousands of dollars)
| ||Opening Balance||Amortization||Transfers, Disposals and Write-Offs||Closing Balance|
|Machinery and Equipment||162||43||0||205|
Net book value (in thousands of dollars)
|Machinery and Equipment||267||224|
|Assets under construction||15||542|
Net Book Value||
8. Contractual Obligations
The nature of the
IRB's activities can result in some large multi-year contracts and obligations whereby the
IRB will be obligated to make future payments when the services or goods are received. Significant contractual obligations that can be reasonably estimated are summarized as follows:
(in thousands of dollars)
| ||Acquisitions of goods and services||Operating leases||Total|
9. Contingent liabilities
Contingent liabilities arise in the normal course of operations and their ultimate disposition is unknown.
Claims and litigation
Claims have been made against the
IRB in the normal course of operations. These claims include items with pleading amounts and other for which no amount is specified. While the total amount claimed in these actions is significant, their outcomes are not determinable. IRB recorded and included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4), an allowance for contingent liabilities for which the outcome is likely and the amount could be estimated for $20,000 ($0 in 2015-2016). Claims and litigations for which the outcome is not determinable and a reasonable estimate can be made by management amount to approximately $0 ($440,000 in 2015-16) at March 31, 2017.
10. Related party transactions
IRB is related as a result of common ownership to all Government departments, agencies, and Crown Corporations. The
IRB enters into transactions with these entities in the normal course of business and on normal trade terms. During the year, the
IRB 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, the
IRB received services without charge from certain common service organizations, related to accommodation and the employer’s contribution to the health and dental insurance plans. These services provided without charge have been recorded in the IRB’s Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position as follows:
in thousands of dollars
|Employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans||7,482||6,647|
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 the
IRB’s Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position.
(b) Other transactions with related parties
(in thousands of dollars)
|Expenses - Other Government departments and agencies||22,250||22,278|
11. Segmented Information
Presentation by segment is based on the
IRB's program alignment architecture. The presentation by segment is based on the same accounting policies as described in the Summary of significant accounting policies in note 2. The following table presents the expenses incurred and revenues generated for the main programs, by major object of expenses and by major type of revenues. The segment results for the period are as follows:
(in thousands of dollars)
| ||Refugee Protection||Immigration Appeals||Admissibility Hearings & Detention Reviews||Refugee Appeal||Internal Services||2017||2016|
|Salaries and employee benefits||37,222||12,921||9,833||10,531||27,574||98,081||92,422|
|Professional and special services||5,171||3,138||1,861||3,119||2,680||15,969||16,798|
|Transportation and telecommunications||606||259||153||134||785||1,937||1,937|
|Repair and maintenance||99||0||23||0||449||571||1,118|
|Acquisition of equipment||66||5||19||9||1,135||1,234||1,659|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||279||42||34||15||155||525||541|
Total operating expenses||
|Revenues earned on behalf of government||
Net cost of operations||
Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting (unaudited)
This document provides summary information on the measures taken by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (the
IRB) to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). In particular, it provides summary information on the internal control assessments conducted by the
IRB for the year ended March 31, 2017, including information on internal control management, assessment results and related action plans.
Detailed information on the department’s authority, mandate and program activities can be found in the
Departmental Results Report and the
2. Departmental system of internal control over financial reporting
2.1 Internal control management
The Immigration and Refugee Board has a well-established governance and accountability structure to support departmental assessment efforts and oversight of its system of internal control. A departmental internal control management framework, approved by the Chairperson, is in place and includes:
- Organizational accountability structures as they relate to internal control management to support sound financial management, including roles and responsibilities of senior managers in their areas of responsibility for control management;
- Values and Ethics Office, which provides educational and awareness programs;
- Ongoing communication and training on statutory requirements, and policies and procedures for sound financial management and control;
- An annually updated Corporate Risk Profile;
- Financial management policies as well as documentation of its main business processes; and
- Periodic monitoring of and updates on internal control management.
2.2 Service arrangements relevant to financial statements
The Immigration and Refugee Board relies on other organizations for the processing of certain transactions that are recorded in its financial statements as follows:
- Public Services and Procurement Canada centrally administers the calculations, processing, and payments of salaries and the procurement of certain goods and services, and provides accommodation services;
- The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provides the Immigration and Refugee Board with information used to calculate various accruals and allowances, such as the accrued severance liability; and
- Shared Services Canada provides information technology infrastructure services to the Immigration and Refugee Board in the areas of data centre and network services. The scope and responsibilities are addressed in the interdepartmental arrangements between Shared Services Canada and the Board.
IRB is one of the departments in the Central Agency Cluster – Shared Systems (CAC-SS), hosted by Treasury Board Secretariat. This arrangement provides the
IRB with corporate administrative systems and system support including
SAP Financial system, PeopleSoft human resources management system, Cognos Business Intelligence Tool and a secure infrastructure to host the three applications.
3. Departmental assessment results during fiscal year 2016‑17
On February 24, 2016, Phoenix was implemented at the
IRB. As was expected with a project of this complexity and scope, there were challenges. The
IRB prepared by ensuring training of staff and data integrity prior to the conversion. There were numerous pay issues throughout the year, as a result this area was the focus of review, and a centralized substantive approach was taken in verifying records where there was a difference in the forecasted and actual salary costs to accrue over and under payments.
4. Departmental action plan
4.1 Progress during fiscal year 2016‑17
In May 2016, the IRB introduced a monthly executive financial report to provide visibility across all branches of forecasts and expenditures, changes in funding and reallocations of resources. In August 2016, the IRB commenced committing current year salary commitments against the appropriation in the departmental financial system, as well as reporting this information in the executive financial report. In 2016-17 the financial delegation instrument and all signature cards were updated.
4.2 Status and action plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent years
The IRB is expecting a core control audit by the Office of the Comptroller General in 2017-18. The priorities in 2017-18 are to continue to update documentation, to further evaluate processes to identify and resolve pay issues, and enhance financial reporting at a branch level.