8.2 Annual estimation methods and data sources

8.12 For this discussion of sources and methods the three stages of the production-revision cycle will be considered starting from the benchmarked years and progressing to the current quarter estimates. This order works for two reasons: first, because for some sub-sectors the more timely estimates are based, to some extent, on the benchmark periods; and, second, because for all sub-sectors the benchmark period estimates are based on information from public accounts, audited financial statements and censuses of universe entities.

8.13 Revised estimates of government current expenditure on goods and services for benchmarked years benefit from the commodity and industry balancing of the Input-Output Tables (IOT) and are the product of an integrated effort by statisticians of the Industry Accounts Division, the Income and Expenditure Accounts Division and the Public Institutions Division. Annual estimates for benchmarked years are based on the final, audited financial accounts and statements of each government entity.

8.14 Non-benchmarked year estimates are based on similar source information—financial reports and statements, budget estimates and survey responses—but final versions are often not yet available and the information is subject to revision.

8.15 Current year quarterly estimates are based on sub-annual administrative or financial reports, budget estimates and related indicators.

Federal government

8.16 The federal government sub-sector is divided into two parts for purposes of estimation, as the underlying data sources are different. These two parts are called budgetary1 and extra-budgetary. Information for the budgetary part of the sub-sector comes from the Government of Canada Banking and Accounting System of Public Works and Government Services Canada. Data sources for the extra-budgetary part include annual and sub- annual financial reports and statements of the extra-budgetary entities or other information obtained from them directly.

8.17 Current expenditure on goods and services for the budgetary part of the federal government sub-sector is estimated as a remainder. Data on total budgetary expenditures are provided in the Public Accounts of Canada2 and Public Works and Government Services monthly statements. From this total, statisticians working in the Public Institutions Division identify and remove all spending that is not on goods and services, as illustrated in Table 8.4. The resulting budgetary goods and services expenditure includes both current and capital spending.

8.18 For the extra-budgetary part of the sub-sector expenditure, transactions in the source documents are analyzed and those that are purchases of goods and services are identified and aggregated. As for the budgetary part of the sub-sector, this aggregate includes both current and capital amounts.

8.19 Finally, current expenditure on goods and services is obtained by removing an estimate of investment in fixed capital and adding capital consumption allowances and financial services indirectly measured (FSIM) from the sum of budgetary and extra-budgetary total goods and services expenditure as all three appear elsewhere in the Income and Expenditure Accounts.3

Table 8.4 Estimation method of federal government current expenditure on goods and services. Opens in a new browser window.

Table 8.4
Estimation method of federal government current expenditure on goods and services

8.20 Sales of goods and services are identified directly in source documents for both budgetary and extra- budgetary entities.

8.21 Federal government estimation is done in two parts for the non-benchmark years, just as for benchmark years. For the budgetary part, the same procedure is used for both benchmark and non-benchmark years, except that since the Public Accounts of Canada is not usually available for the last non-benchmark year, only Public Works and Government Services Canada's monthly reports are used.

8.22 Extra-budgetary estimates are also prepared in the same way as for benchmark years. Again, the main difference with benchmark years is source-data availability; for some extra-budgetary entities, financial statements are not available for the reference year and information for the most currently available year is used instead.

Provincial and territorial government

8.23 The provincial and territorial sub-sector has budgetary and extra-budgetary parts too, but unlike the federal sub-sector, the same methodology is used for both parts. Source documents are analyzed and transactions that are purchases (or sales) of goods and services are identified and aggregated. Source documents used to estimate provincial and territorial government current expenditure on goods and services include the public accounts of each province and territory for budgetary components and audited financial statements and annual reports of extra-budgetary entities.

8.24 The estimates derived from provincial and territorial sub-sector information, as for the federal sub-sector, include both current and capital spending. Current expenditure on goods and services is obtained by removing an estimate of investment in fixed capital and adding both capital consumption allowances and financial services indirectly measured (FSIM).

8.25 For the non-benchmark years, source information is much less uniform than for benchmark years and includes budget estimates, quarterly and monthly financial reports and information obtained directly from governments and their subordinate entities. As with the benchmark years, provincial and territorial governments expenditure on (and sales of) goods and services are identified in source documents and aggregated—the methodology for both budgetary and extra-budgetary parts of the sub-sector being identical.

8.26 Current expenditure on goods and services of hospitals, residential care facilities and other health and social service entities is obtained by summing their operating expenditures, as reported in Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Health Statistics Division surveys and provincial health ministry records. These surveys and records also provide the information to estimate sales of goods and services.

8.27 Estimates of universities and colleges expenditures on, and sales of, goods and services are obtained through surveys conducted by the Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics.

8.28 For hospitals, residential care facilities, other health and social institutions, and universities and colleges, estimates for the more current years are projected from earlier benchmarks using various indicators, including information on provincial and territorial funding transfers and related labour income time series.

Local government

8.29 Source documents are the annual reports of provincial and territorial governments' departments of municipal affairs, which summarize information for all municipalities in their jurisdiction, and financial statements of municipalities and other local government entities. The current expenditure on goods and services of municipalities and other local government entities are calculated by summing all transactions identified as purchases of goods and services. Sales of goods and services are also aggregated.

8.30 Estimates for school boards are based on provincial and territorial departments of education information, representing a census of local schools. This information is gathered from surveys conducted by the Public Institutions Division.

8.31 For the non-benchmark years, estimates of transactions in goods and services of municipalities and other local government entities are developed from information gathered through sample surveys conducted by the Public Institution Division4 and then inflated to represent the universe of local government entities in Canada. The surveys collect information originally developed for budget estimates and financial statements.

8.32 Operating expenditures and sales of goods and services estimates of local schools boards are based on information from provincial departments of education, compiled by the Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics, for the non-benchmark years.

Canada and Quebec pension plans

8.33 Administrative expenditures of the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan are obtained from the accounting statements of the plans for both the benchmark and non-benchmark years.

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Notes

1. Budgetary entities is the terminology used in Canadian public finance to describe the ministries, departments and agencies of the government. Similarly, the term extra-budgetary entities is used to describe what the public sector universe refers to as autonomous organizations, boards, commissions and funds—that is, entities that the Canadian System of National Accounts includes in the federal sub-sector but which are not included in the Government of Canada's budgetary universe, for example, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

2. The federal, provincial, territorial, Canada and Quebec pension plans public accounts benchmark data are all on a fiscal-year basis. Since estimates for these entities in the IEA were originally made for a specific quarter, based on monthly or quarterly information, it is a relatively simple matter to convert the benchmark data from a fiscal-year to a calendar-year basis using the appropriate quarters.

3. Investment in fixed capital sources and methods are described in Chapter 10 while the capital consumption allowances methodology is described in Chapter 9. Financial services indirectly measured (FSIM) methods are described in detail in Chapter 7.

4. See Public Sector Statistics, catalogue no.68-213 for the methodology and sample size of the surveys.