Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am here today to present the 2020‑21 year‑end financial report, and to seek your approval for the supplementary estimates (B) 2021‑22. This report provides the details of the authorities and expenditures for the 2020‑21 fiscal year, as well as comparative information from the previous year. As with the quarterly reports already submitted this year, we are comparing two atypical years. This past year, the pandemic clearly impacted our spending trends, and the general election was held the year before. Therefore, our comparisons were made with due consideration of the influences on the results of those two years.
For reporting purposes, as of March 31, 2021, approved authorities for that period totalled $641.9 million, which is an increase of $124.8 million over 2019‑20 authorities. The most significant change relates to an actuarial adjustment to the members of Parliament retiring allowance account and the members of Parliament retirement compensation arrangements account in the amount of $125.6 million. The adjustment is made as directed by an actuarial report of the MP pension plan. As of March 31, expenditures totalled $610.1 million, an increase of $104.4 million over the previous year's expenditures.
The most significant increase in expenditures relates to the increase of $126.8 million in the contribution to the members' pension plan, mainly due to the previously mentioned actuarial adjustments. Had there not been this actuarial adjustment, the variance in expenditures would have been a reduction of $22.4 million.
This decrease in expenditures across the House is due to measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the restrictions on travel and gatherings imposed by public health authorities, which contributed to the significant decrease in our travel expenditures. A decrease has also been seen in areas across the whole organization, such as training and hospitality. Also, the temporary closure of some of our food service facilities and printing facilities last year has meant a significant reduction in our costs of materials and supplies.
These reductions were partially offset by the purchase of consumable items such as the face masks and hand sanitizer that were used across the House, as well as by the investments in the virtual House proceedings and committees, including the remote voting system and accommodations for press conference facilities. In addition, there were costs incurred for equipment to enable the administration employees to work remotely during the COVID pandemic.
On the other hand, expenditures for salaries and benefits have decreased, mainly since expenditures in 2019-20 were abnormally high as a result of the payments made in that period for severance payments for members and their employees following the 2019 general election. Also, in that fiscal year there were retroactive payments in respect of economic increases for certain administration employees.
Finally, the report provides a comparison between the 2020-21 and the 2019-20 utilization of authorities. With respect to the non-statutory spending, the utilization has decreased by 5.2%, which is not unexpected given the current situation. It is important to note and to mention that the administration does promote an efficient use of resources and continuously strives to minimize requests for incremental funding whenever possible. The COVID pandemic had a significant impact on the House business, and the magnitude of the financial impact was not apparent early in the fiscal year. Funding decisions were made based on the best information available at various times.
As the pandemic continued to evolve, restrictions continuously had to be put in place, which resulted in lower-than-expected expenditures. As mentioned before, the 2020-21 authorities totalled $641.9 million, and expenditures totalled $610.1 million. This leaves us with a $31.8-million surplus, which corresponds to the lapse that will be represented in the public accounts of Canada. The surplus represents 8.8% of the 2021 main estimates voted authorities. It is customary for government organizations to carry forward a lapsed amount of up to 5% of their main estimates.
Therefore, I'm seeking your approval to include a carry-forward of $18 million in the 2021-22 supplementary estimates (B), but note that I will return in the fall to inform the members of the final amount to be included in the supplementary estimates based on operational requirements at that particular time, if there is some reason why we don't need to carry over the full amount.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my presentation.
I am available to answer any questions you may have.