Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm here to present the third quarterly financial report for 2019-20.
The first slide shows the various reports prepared by the administration that contain financial data. These reports are all presented here to the Board of Internal Economy members over the course of a year. All these reports help support effective oversight of the use of public funds.
The third quarterly report compares the current year-to-date financial information up to the end of the third quarter with the financial information of the same period from the previous fiscal year. It is prepared using the expenditure basis of accounting, which is consistent with the Public Accounts of Canada. The approved authorities include the House's main and supplementary estimates, which have been approved here by the board.
As of December 31, the approved authorities for 2019-20 total $520.7 million. This represents a decrease of $2.2 million or 0.4% compared with the previous year.
The most significant changes concern a $9.3 million decrease in the members' pension plans. This decrease is offset by increases of $3.4 million and $1.5 million related to the rise in the cost of living for members, House officers and the administration. There's also a $1.4 million increase for substantive reports and a $0.6 million increase for major investments.
At the end of the third quarter of 2019-20, the expenditures totalled $350.4 million, compared with $348.1 million for the same period in the last fiscal year. This represents an increase of $2.3 million, or 0.7%.
The expenditures are also presented by type of cost. The most significant increase for our third quarter, compared with the same period in the previous year, is for computers, office furniture and fixtures. This has increased by $4.7 million due to the investments associated with the long-term vision and plan, as well as investments relating to the management of computers in constituencies and our IT infrastructure.
In addition, the 2019-20 salary and benefit expenditures increased in the third quarter. These increases are mainly related to the hiring of additional employees and the support for various initiatives, such as information technology managed on behalf of the constituencies, the team providing advisory services to members as employers, and the various preparations for activities related to the general election.
In addition, the increase in repairs and maintenance expenditures is mainly related to costs associated with the long-term vision and plan and the maintenance of our computer infrastructure. There was also a decrease in transportation and telecommunications expenditures for this period, compared with the previous year. This was primarily related to a decline in travel in the year of a general election.
Finally, the report provides a comparison between 2019-20 and 2018-19 in the utilization of our authorities. As of December 31, it shows a slight increase of 0.7%.
It is important to mention that the House promotes efficient use of resources and consistently strives to minimize the request for incremental funding whenever possible. Following this year's general election, we are closely monitoring the various considerations of the financial impact of what has been happening and making funding decisions throughout the year accordingly.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my presentation.
I can now answer the members' questions.