Administration Expenses – Again

At the April 18, 2011 public board meeting the following question was asked:

On page 14 of the 2010-2011 budget document, it states that administration expenses are 3.6% of the total budget.

However, on page 27, it states that Finance and Business Services are 5.3% of the budget, Human Resources are 2.1%, and the Office of the Chief Superintendent is 1.1% which totals 8.5% of the budget. The CBE has also made it clear that the new administration building lease and the Board of Trustees are included in administration expenses.

In the interest of transparency, will you provide a detailed breakdown of everything that is included as Administration expenses and if there are parts of human resources and business and financial services that do not count towards administration, can you please explain which parts are not included and why?

The CBE response to this question was provided in writing and on the CBE website one week later. As we found the answer to be incomplete, the following question was asked at the May 3 public board meeting:

On April 25, the CBE provided a breakdown of how much each service unit contributed to the $39.1 million dollars in administration expenses for the 2010-2011 operations budget. Can you add in the number of full time employees (FTEs) included in each of these service units that are considered part of administration? Also, excluded from administration expenses was $5 million dollars from the Office of the Chief Superintendent, $7.5 million from Human Resources and $47.5 million from Finance and Business services. Can you please provide a detailed breakdown of this $60 million dollars with FTEs, by referencing the specific points in each subsection outlined in the ASBOA accounting guidelines that each portion of this $60 million would fall under? Thank you.

The CBE  provided the answer to this question two weeks later at the May 17 board meeting. It has not been posted on the CBE website. As is common, the answer generated even more questions. Here are a few:

1. The question referred to $60 million dollars that were unaccounted for. The response accounted for $37.9 million. Where is the remaining $22.1 million dollars?

2. According to the 2009-2010 audited financials, all trustees’ salaries, benefits, allowances and expenses totalled $422,082. In addition to this, the Board of Trustees has two full time employees, yet the Board of Trustees budget is $1.7 million. What is it being spent on?

3. The CBE budgeted $3.1 million dollars for legal counsel in 2010-2011. Is this normal?

4. Why are there still 45.4 full time employees in the administrative part of human resources even after the CBE outsourced payroll and human resources administration processes to TELUS?

5. Why are expenditures for Area offices not considered part of administration expenses?

6. What is the breakdown of the $7.2 million for the “five Area Offices, FOIP and instructional contingency provisions.”

7. Why is the CBE contributing $1 million to the ATA staff development fund when the CBE already provides professional development to teachers, and each teacher already pays over $1000/year in union dues?

8. Is the entire $3.4 million missing out of the breakdown of the $17 million in Finance and Business Services Instructional Support going towards “instruction support finance staff costs”? What do these staff do?

9. As the top two floors of the Education Centre were not sub-leased in 2010-2011, what impact did this have?

10. How much of the $7.4 million in Human Resources Instructional Support was recovered through external billings and what exactly was the rest used for?

11. Under which part of administration expenses is the lease for the new education centre?

We will be e-mailing these questions to our trustees, and hope to post their response soon.

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