Thursday, March 06, 2014

CSE Commissioner budget cuts not really cuts

The CSE Commissioner's 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities, tabled today in the House of Commmons, indicates that the apparent reduction in the Commissioner's budget over the past two years (discussed earlier here) is not a reduction in the core budget of the office.

According to the report, the significant increase in the Commissioner's budget that took place in 2012-13 "was entirely attributable to the cost of [a] security retrofit and expansion of the physical space" of the offices of the Commissioner, due in large part to the recent expansion of the Commissioner's staff. The reductions of the past two years have simply returned the Commissioner's budget to its core level.

The Executive Director of the Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner, William Galbraith, e-mailed me with additional details (re-posted here with permission):
Here is some explanation of the arcana of government finances, in this instance the "Estimates": the decrease this year is due to re-payment of prior year borrowing from future years to pay for construction costs that allowed the Commissioner to accommodate more staff (now 11 full-time positions plus office space for subject matter experts engaged by the Commissioner); the official term for this is
"re-profiling". Construction was completed a year ago.

Here are figures that follow the construction and security retrofit:

i) The 12-13 budget included $290,000 received in Supplementary Estimates for the costs of the security retrofit and expansion of the physical space.

ii) The 13-14 budget included $100,000 that had to be set aside for partial "repayment" of the supplementary estimate monies received in 12-13.

iii) The 14-15 budget was reduced $100,000 pre-estimates for another partial "repayment" of the supplementary estimate monies received in 12-13.

iv) The 15-16 budget was reduced $90,000 pre-estimates for the final "repayment" of the supplementary estimate monies received in 12-13.

You'll see that ii, iii and iv add to the $290,000 which was received, as described in i. If you were to include the $100,000 in 14-15 in the Estimate total, the revised total would be $2,124,000 (an increase of $11,000).

If you examine the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities, you will see that the Commissioner's office funding (appropriation from Parliament) is stable around $2 million, increasing in 2016-17. However, Commissioners regularly ask whether they have adequate resources to fulfill their mandate effectively.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there Bill,

Thank you for this update. I was wondering if the last line, "however, Commissioners regularly ask whether they have adequate resources to fulfill their mandate effectively" is also from Galbraith, or if that is your wording.

April 06, 2014 8:25 am  
Blogger Bill Robinson said...

The last line is Galbraith's.

April 06, 2014 8:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me know, Bill - much appreciated.

April 09, 2014 10:52 am  

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