Veterans Review and Appeal Board Quarterly Financial Report

For the quarter ended September 30, 2020


I. Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, personnel and program for the quarter ended
September 30, 2020

1. Introduction

This quarterly report has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act and in the form and manner prescribed by the Treasury Board. This quarterly report should be read in conjunction with the Main Estimates.

The Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) is the arm’s-length administrative tribunal that provides an independent avenue of redress for disability benefits decision made by Veterans Affairs Canada. The Board supports Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members, and their families in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to for service-related disabilities. The Board gives Veterans their only opportunity to appear before decision-makers to tell their story. The Board’s program is not only essential to fairness in the disability benefits adjudication system, it is important to the well-being of Veterans and their families. Board Members and staff keep this front of mind as we work together to deliver the appeal program and look for ways to serve Veterans and their families better.

The Board offers two levels of redress for disability benefits decisions: a Review hearing; and, if the Veteran remains dissatisfied, a subsequent Appeal hearing. It also provides the final level of appeal for War Veterans Allowance decisions. The Board is a micro-organization with a small, dedicated staff. The Board has up to 25 full-time Members who hear cases brought forward for redress at the Board, and decide whether the evidence meets the requirements of the legislation to award new or increased levels of disability benefits. In deciding cases, they conduct a thoughtful analysis of all available information (i.e. oral testimony, medical reports, opinion evidence from experts, written statements, etc.) and discuss the merits of the case, bearing in mind the requirement to resolve any doubt in the weighing of evidence in favour of the Veteran.

A summary description of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board program activities can be found in Part II of the Main Estimates.

Basis of Presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the Board’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the Board, consistent with the Main Estimates for the 2020-21 fiscal year. This quarterly report has been prepared using a special purpose financial reporting framework designed to meet financial information needs with respect to the use of spending authorities.

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.

When Parliament is dissolved for the purposes of a general election, section 30 of the Financial Administration Act authorizes the Governor General, under certain conditions, to issue a special warrant authorizing the Government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. A special warrant is deemed to be an appropriation for the fiscal year in which it is issued.

The Board uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual financial statements that are part of the departmental results reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis. The quarterly report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

2. Highlights of Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal Year-to-Date (YTD) Results

Statement of Authorities

As of September 30, 2020, the Board’s total authorities available for use decreased compared to the same quarter of 2019-20 to $8.92 million. Actual YTD expenditures at the end of the second quarter showed a decrease of 11.4%, from $5.01 million in 2019-20 to $4.44 million in 2020-21.

Figure 1 - Second Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities

First Quarter Expenditures Compared to Annual Authorities
Text version

Comparison of Net Budgetary Authorities and Expenditures as of September 30, 2019 and September 30, 2020.

This image consists of a bar chart with the y axis broken down into two million dollar increments, the x axis indicating two fiscal years, 2019-20 and 2020-21, each with a blue rectangular bar representing net budgetary authority and a red rectangular bar representing expenditures for the quarter ending September 30. The chart shows that VRAB's budget was 11.35 million in 2019-20 and is 8.92 million in 2020-21 and that the expenditures for the quarter ending September 30 were 5.01 million in 2019-20 and 4.44 million in 2020-21.

Statement of Departmental Budgetary Expenditures by Standard Object

In general, VRAB’s expenditures are distributed equally throughout the year. Expenditures at the end of the second quarter (equivalent to 49.7% of authorities available for use) are consistent with this trend.

3. Risks and Uncertainties

The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is funded through annual appropriations. As a result, its operations are impacted by any changes in funding approved through Parliament.

Context: The Board provides a national appeal program. It holds hearings and issues decisions for Veterans and their families. As a service-oriented agency, the majority of VRAB’s operating expenditures are salary based and demand-driven. Managing the demand for hearings is driven by a variety of factors over which VRAB has limited control.

The Board has an Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan and holds regular meetings to take into account operational priorities, human and financial resources, and performance measures. VRAB recruits new employees, as required, to replace departing staff to ensure adequate operational support to the redress process. Authorities and expenditures are monitored regularly with senior management.

4. Significant changes in relation to operations, personnel and programs

A decrease of $2.42 million in authorities available for use is due to the reduced supply of the Main Estimates. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and limited sessions in the spring for Parliament to study supply, the Standing Orders of the House of Commons were amended to extend the study period into the Fall. Veterans Review and Appeal Board is expected to receive full supply for the 2020-21 Main Estimates in December 2020.

Approved by:

________________________________
Christopher J. McNeil, Chair
Veterans Review and Appeal Board
Charlottetown, PE

________________________________
Sara Lantz, A/Chief Financial Officer
Veterans Affairs Canada
Charlottetown, PE

II. Financial Statements

Veterans Review and Appeal Board
STATEMENT OF AUTHORITIES (unaudited)
Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2019
Fiscal year 2019-20

(in thousands of dollars) Planned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2020*
Expended during the quarter ended
September 30, 2019
Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 10 - Veterans Review and Appeal Board Operating expenditures 10,019 2,239 4,344
Statutory authorities - Contributions to Employee Benefit Plans - Program 1,329 332 665
Total Budgetary authorities 11,348 2,571 5,009
Non-budgetary authorities 0 0 0
Total Authorities 11,348 2,571 5,009

*Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end.



STATEMENT OF AUTHORITIES (unaudited)
Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020
Fiscal year 2020-21

(in thousands of dollars) Planned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2021*
Expended during the quarter ended
September 30, 2020
Year to date used at quarter-end
Vote 10 - Veterans Review and Appeal Board Operating expenditures 7,625 1,950 3,789
Statutory authorities - Contributions to Employee Benefit Plans - Program 1,297 324 648
Total Budgetary authorities 8,922 2,274 4,437
Non-budgetary authorities 0 0 0
Total Authorities 8,922 2,274 4,437

*Includes only Authorities available for use and granted by Parliament at quarter-end.


Veterans Review and Appeal Board

Quarterly Financial Report for the quarter ended September 30, 2019
Departmental budgetary expenditures by Standard Object (unaudited)
Fiscal Year 2019-20

Expenditures
(in thousands of dollars)
Total available for use
for the year ending
March 31, 2020*
Used during the
quarter ended
September 30, 2019
Year to date
used at
quarter-end
01 Personnel 10,452 2,268 4,451
02 Transportation and communications 505 205 326
03 Information 6 2 6
04 Professional and special services 206 40 134
05 Rentals 18 3 9
06 Repair and maintenance 31 1 4
07 Utilities, materials and supplies 50 14 29
08 Acquisition of land, buildings and works 0 0 0
09 Acquisition of machinery and equipment 80 55 55
10 Transfer payments 0 0 0
11 Public debt charges 0 0 0
12 Other subsidies and payments 0 (17) (5)
     Total gross budgetary expenditures 11,348 2,571 5,009
Less Revenues netted against expenditures
     Total Revenues netted against expenditures: 0 0 0
Total net budgetary expenditures 11,348 2,571 5,009


Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020
Fiscal year 2020-21

Expenditures
(in thousands of dollars)
Total available for use
for the year ending
March 31, 2021*
Used during the
quarter ended
September 30, 2020
Year to date
used at
quarter-end
01 Personnel 8,242 2,216 4,322
02 Transportation and communications 330 3 9
03 Information 4 2 2
04 Professional and special services 209 19 27
05 Rentals 13 1 6
06 Repair and maintenance 19 0 0
07 Utilities, materials and supplies 36 17 32
08 Acquisition of land, buildings and works 0 0 0
09 Acquisition of machinery and equipment 69 3 20
10 Transfer payments 0 0 0
11 Public debt charges 0 0 0
12 Other subsidies and payments 0 13 19
     Total gross budgetary expenditures 8,922 2,274 4,437
Less Revenues netted against expenditures
     Total Revenues netted against expenditures: 0 0 0
Total net budgetary expenditures 8,922 2,274 4,437
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