Monday, 7 April 2008

LAC Estimates show large budget increase

This is the time of year when federal department's spending estimates become public. Here's the situation at Library and Archives Canada for the fiscal year just started.

In the organization 2008-2009 Main Estimates LAC plans current fiscal year total expenditures of $158 million. This is a major increase over the expenditures foreseen in the Main Estimates a year ago. Then total expenditures for 2008-2009 were a forecast $101 million.

Full credit to LAC managers. When many of us were lamenting the prospect of reduced funding to LAC for this year, as shown in last year's estimates, down to $101 million from $119 million in 2007-2008, I was told that such a decrease was highly unlikely. How right they were.

The table below shows that the Estimates for three years, the rows, consistently show the current year, in red, as having a peak expenditure with a forecast reduction in subsequent years.


2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011







2006-2007 $93 $109 $104 $100

2007-2008
$109 $119 $101 $99
2008-2009

$119 $158 $109 $103

But is there more to the story? A large part of the increase from last year is accounted for by the budget for the component "Making the Documentary Heritage Known and Accessible for Use" which includes funding for ongoing public services. That budget goes from $42 million to $69 million.

It would be nice to think we can expect 64% more public service. Unfortunately, Doug Rimmer, ADM responsible for this area informs me that "Much if not all of the variation that you point out is due to capital projects, IT projects or other special funding and is not a reflection of changes to our operating dollars - which is what funds our day-to-day operations."

If I were on the parliamentary committee reviewing these estimates I'd be asking for clarification on exactly where the increased finding is going.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surprising that you did not highlight the “genie” portion of the document [extract below]. Good to know that the LAC has a Genealogy Strategy – where is it?

Surprising as well that your concerns were not discussed at the recently established LAC Services Advisory Board [also highlighted in the document] which was apparently established “to build citizen/client research and evaluation into our decision making.”

LAC’s Genealogy Strategy

LAC's Genealogy Strategy seeks to increase awareness of, and access to, Canadian
documentary heritage by harnessing Canadians' growing interest in family history.
In 2008–2009, LAC will improve access to its collections of genealogical interest by using partnerships with the private, public and non-governmental sectors for digitization, nominal indexing, and promotion. It will also begin to develop new genealogy-based programming.

The outcome will be a greater awareness and use of LAC's collections, as evidenced by a 10 percent increase in page views on the Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC) website by the end of 2008–09, and a 40 percent increase by 2012.

Risks factors include the availability of human and financial resources to manage the
partnerships and expand the CGC website.

Performance Measure:

Short term
In 2008–2009, LAC will improve access to its collections of genealogical interest by using partnerships with the private, public and non-governmental sectors for digitization, nominal indexing, and promotion. It will also begin to develop new genealogy-based programming, in partnership with the voluntary sector.

Long term
Greater awareness and use of LAC's collections, through the website and other channels.