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, 2016, 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 Performance 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.
A risk-based assessment of the system of
ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2016, was completed in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control, and the results and action plans are summarized in the
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
September 6, 2016
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 2015‑16 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 2015‑16 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||136,907||146,742|
|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 5)||
|Write-off of tangible capital assets||0||
|Decrease (increase) in employee future benefits||2,069||
|Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave||54||
|Prepaid expenses previously charged to appropriation||
|Adjustments to prior’s years accounts payable (PAYE)||297||271|
|Refunds of previous year's expenses||57||56|
|Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:|
|Acquisition of tangible capital assets (note 5)||726||1,012|
|Transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears (note 11)||27||2,773|
|Increase in prepaid expenses||175||171|
Current year authorities used||
(b) Authorities Provided and used: (in thousands of dollars)
|Vote 10 - Operating expenditures||107,337||115 999|
|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:
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (in thousands of dollars)
|Accounts payable - Other government departments and agencies||1,134||1,308|
|Accounts payable - External parties||2,016||2,601|
|Total accounts payable||3,150||3,909|
Total accounts payable and accrued liabilities||
In Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government announced savings measures to be implemented by departments over the next three fiscal years starting in 2012‒13. As a result, the Department has recorded at March 31, 2016, an obligation for termination benefits for an amount of $284,722 ($87,866 in 2014‑15) as part of accrued liabilities to reflect the estimated workforce adjustment costs.
5. 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||408||726||
Accumulated amortization (in thousands of dollars)
| ||Opening Balance||Amortization||Transfers, Disposals and Write-Offs||Closing Balance|
|Machinery and Equipment||119||43||0||162|
Net book value (in thousands of dollars)
|Machinery and Equipment||310||267|
|Assets under construction||408||15|
Net Book Value||
6. Accounts receivable and advances
The following table presents details of the
IRB's accounts receivable and advances balances:
Accounts receivable and advances (in thousands of dollars)
|Receivables from other government departments and agencies||1,601||750|
|Receivables from external parties||243||151|
|Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government||
7. 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 2015‑16 expense amounts to $8.2 million ($8.7 million in 2014‑15). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.25 times (1.41 times in 2014‑15) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.24 times (1.39 times in 2014‑15) 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
IRB provides severance benefits to its employees based on eligibility, years of service and final salary. These severance benefits are not pre-funded. Benefits will be paid from future authorities.
As part of collective agreement negotiations with certain employee groups, and changes to conditions of employment for executives and certain non-represented employees, the accumulation of severance benefits under the employee severance pay program ceased for these employees commencing in 2012. Employees subject to these changes have been given the option to be immediately paid the full or partial value of benefits earned to date or collect the full or remaining value of benefits on termination from the public service. These changes have been reflected in the calculation of the outstanding severance benefit obligation.
Information about the severance benefits, measured as at March 31, is as follows:
Severance benefits (in thousands of dollars)
|Accrued benefit obligation, beginning of the year||6,962||6,039|
|Expense for the year||
|Benefits paid during the year||
Accrued benefit obligation, end of the year||
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:
Contractual Obligations (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.
(a) 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. Claims and litigations for which the outcome is not determinable and a reasonable estimate can be made by management amount to approximately $440,000 ($567,400 in 2014‑15) at March 31, 2016.
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:
Common services provided without charge by other government departments
(in thousands of dollars)
|Employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans||6,647||6,492|
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
Other transactions with related parties (in thousands of dollars)
|Expenses - Other Government departments and agencies||22,278||23,090|
11. Transfer of the transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears
The Government of Canada implemented salary payments in arrears in 2014‑15. As a result, a one-time payment was issued to employees and will be recovered from them in the future. The transition to salary payments in arrears forms part of the transformation initiative that replaces the pay system and also streamlines and modernizes the pay processes. This change to the pay system had no impact on the expenses of the
IRB. However, it did result in the use of additional spending authorities by the
IRB. Prior to year end, the transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears were transferred to a central account administered by Public Services and Procurement Canada, who is responsible for the administration of the Government pay system.
12. 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:
Segmented Information (in thousands of dollars)
| ||Refugee Protection||Immigration Appeals||Admissibility Hearings & Detention Reviews||Refugee Appeal||Internal Services||2016||2015|
|Salaries and employee benefits||36,488||12,558||9,032||9,401||24,943||92,422||98,086|
|Professional and special services||5,554||3,640||1,786||2,452||3,366||16,798||19,574|
|Transportation and telecommunications||665||216||163||100||793||1,937||1,668|
|Repair and maintenance||19||1||365||0||733||1,118||131|
|Acquisition of equipment||58||6||91||12||1,492||1,659||1,918|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||205||36||55||11||234||541||631|
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, 2016, 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 Performance Report and the
Report on Plans and Priorities.
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;
- 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 2015‑16
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. As a consequence, certain elements of the planned control assessment were modified to focus resources on the new system control environment. The
IRB was in its second year on the
SAP financial system and continued to refine its procedures in the new environment.
4. Departmental action plan
4.1 Progress during fiscal year 2015‑16
During 2015‑16, the Board focused primarily on completing the implementation of the new financial system. The emphasis was placed on ensuring the application controls and processes operated effectively and on training and support to personnel. The following table summarizes the department’s progress based on the plans identified in the previous fiscal year’s annex.
Progress during fiscal year 2015-16
|Element in previous year’s action plan||Status|
|Entity level controls: documentation, design effectiveness and operating effectiveness||Entity level controls are reviewed and monitored annually. Monthly consolidated financial status reports will be implemented in 2016‑17 and an assessment of the dashboard functionality and usefulness will be considered.|
IT level controls:
SAP, Peoplesoft control documentation and assessment of design effectiveness||The
CAC-SS engaged an independent firm to report on the controls placed in operation for the fiscal year. The report and management action plans were communicated to all user entities, including the
|Pay and benefits, operating expenses testing||Pay and benefits testing was deferred to 2016‑17 as the Phoenix system implementation was delayed to February 2016. A substantive approach to reviewing transactions during the period February to March was required, and those transactions pending and not processed by Phoenix were assessed as part of the year end close for 2015‑16.|
|Capital assets: documentation update and design effectiveness||The design effectiveness of the capital asset key controls was deferred to 2017‑18 due to the rescheduling of the asset management module implementation to April 2017.|
|Financial close||Documentation of the financial close process was completed. Design effectiveness evaluation was deferred until 2016‑17 based on the feedback from the 2015‑16 year end close.|
4.2 Status and action plan for the next fiscal year and subsequent years
IRB’s rotational ongoing monitoring plan over the next three years, based on an annual validation of the high-risk processes and controls and related adjustments to the ongoing monitoring plan as required, is shown in the following table.
Rotational Ongoing Monitoring Plan
|Key control areas||Fiscal year 2016‑17||Fiscal year 2017‑18||Fiscal year 2018‑19|
IT general controls under departmental management||No||Yes||Yes|
|Master data on vendors and customers||No||Yes||No|
In addition to the ongoing monitoring rotational plan,
IRB plans to conduct the following assessment work in 2016‑17 to update the operating expenditure, master data on vendors and payroll documentation and assess the effectiveness of the controls in the new systems environments.