Grain Financial Protection Board - Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2019 - 2022

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Mandate
  3. Governance
  4. Strategic Direction
  5. Overview of Current and Future Programs and Activities
  6. Resources Needed to Meet Objectives of Mandate and Strategic Directions
  7. Environmental Scan
  8. Performance Measures and Targets
  9. Financial budget
  10. Initiatives involving third parties
  11. Implementation Plan
  12. Risk Assessment and Management
  13. Communication Plan
  14. Appendix 1: Current Board Appointee (as of February 15, 2019)
  15. Appendix 2: History of claims (as of February 15, 2019)

Executive Summary

The Grain Financial Protection Board (Board or GFPB) was established in 1985 and is classified as a Board-Governed Provincial Agency under the Agencies and Appointments Directive (AAD). The Board "administers funds or other assets for beneficiaries named under statute." The Board's mandate, strategies and activities have always been focused on prudent management of the Funds to ensure financial compensation is available to grain corn, soybean, wheat, and canola producers/owners when required. The Board's mandate of administrating the Funds, investigating, granting and refusing claims, and recovering money is directly linked to one of the Ministry's goals of ensuring the sustainability of agriculture in Ontario.

Commitments for 2019-2022

The Board will continue to administer the Funds in a sound manner and this provides producers/owners with an effective risk management tool that allows them to remain competitive. The Board has outlined five strategic priorities for 2019-2022:

  • To ensure long-term sustainability of the Funds administered by the Board;
  • To ensure appropriate agreements are reviewed, understood and in place to fulfill its mandate;
  • To work with Ministry staff to explore alternative governance models as a potential option for the Board to consider;
  • To continue to investigate and adjudicate claims in a fair and equitable manner; and
  • To grant, refuse and recover claim payments under the Farm Products Payments Act (FPPA) as appropriate.

Revenue and Expenditures and Expectations for 2019-2022

The Board receives revenue for the Funds from two sources. The first is in the form of producer check-off fees that are received when a producer sells one of the four commodities: grain corn, soybean, canola or wheat. Each commodity has its own check-off fee which is expressed in $/tonne. The Minister adjusted check-off fees in 2013 to assist the Funds in meeting the targeted Fund balances. No further adjustments are currently anticipated for 2019-2022.

Assuming that the projected sales of the four commodities would be similar to previous years, the projected check-off fees revenue will be approximately $436,823 per annum based on an average from the last five-years.

The second source of revenue is from investment interest earned on the balance of the Funds held. Due to the rise in Bank of Canada's key interest rates, GFPB's investments in Guaranteed Investment Certificates are providing are higher rate of return. As such, investment revenues are projected to be 1.9% in 2018-19.

The Board has been able to effectively manage expenses over the past several years. For 2019-20, the budgeted expenses are estimated to remain the same compared to the previous year. The Board has budgeted an increase in expenses of one and half per cent per annum to capture the projected effect of inflation.

Under the June 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Minister and the Board Char, the GFPB shall pay for the Cost of Determining Financial Responsibility, provided that any annual payment due does not exceed thirty percent (30%) of total annual licencing costs. This was an increase in Board expenses as of 2017/18 fiscal year and onward in the budget (section 13.6 of MOU).

The Board includes a projected amount for claims as part of the proposed operating expenditures. For budgeting purposes, an amount of $263,000 annually has been included for each year. The Board anticipates it will generate enough revenue to cover all expenses in 2018/19.

The Board will continue to review and monitor the soundness of all the Funds on an annual basis, and will make recommendations to the Minister regarding the appropriate changes such as the level of check-off fees, as required.

The Board conducted its annual review of the Funds in September 2018 and compared the Funds' performance to the recommendations from the 2011 and 2016 Actuarial Reviews. As of 2017/18, all of the Funds have met the established target balances. Total revenue for 2017-18 was $694,076 and total expenses were $264,945.

Key achievements from 2018/2019:

  • Appointed Chair and Minister reaffirmed the June 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Claim adjudication training for all Board members completed
  • Investigated and adjudicated claims in a fair and equitable manner
  • Review and management of Fund performance completed
  • Multi-year service agreement for Governance, Secretariat and Financial Service Agreement was signed
  • Business planning and risk assessment completed
  • Appointment and re-appointment of Board members achieved
  • Orientation for new board members including Board Chair completed
  • Review of Board by-laws, policies and guidelines undertaken.

In 2018/19, a total of eight claims were submitted from producers wishing to claim for potential payment from the Funds. The Board reviewed, discussed and made decision on the claims presented with no pay-outs from the Funds. (See Appendix 2 includes a history of all claims).

The Board worked collaboratively with the Ministry to make recommendations for vacant member positions. The Board continues to focus on the effective management of the Funds. All policies and guidelines are reviewed annually to both ensure that the material continues to be relevant, and that the members remain informed. The Board is focused on ensuring that appropriate agreements and directives are up to date and understood by the members so that they continue their commitment of agency transparency and accountability. Legal counsel is available to the Board, and may be consulted to interpret agreements.

Mandate

The Board is responsible to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister) and is constituted under the authority of the FPPA and the regulations made thereunder:

  • O. Reg. 70/12 (Payments From Funds For Grain Producers)
  • O. Reg. 321/11 (Fees Payable to Boards)

The Board's legislative mandate is set out in subsection 4 (1) of the FPPA as:

It is the function of a board and it has power,

  1. To administer its fund;
  2. To investigate all claims made to it under this Act and to determine the extent of their validity;
  3. To grant or refuse the payment of claims or any part thereof and determine the amounts and manner of payment;
  4. To recover any money to which it is entitled under this Act by suit in a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise.

The vision of the Board is to protect the financial interests of Ontario producers who have sold grain corn, soybeans, wheat and canola, as well as owners who stored grain with elevator operators. The Board's vision supports OMAFRA's goal of strong Agriculture, Food and Bio-Product Sectors and Strong Rural Communities; in particular, the business risk management components.

Governance

The Board members are accountable to the Minister, through the Chair, for setting goals, objectives and the strategic direction for the Board. The Board operates under the authority set out in the FPPA and in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Minister and the Chair. The MOU defines the relationship between OMAFRA and the Board, including the roles and responsibilities of the Minister, the Deputy Minister, the Board Chair and the Board members of the GFPB. The MOU is effective until it is revoked or the Parties sign a new MOU. The MOU sets out the operational and reporting relationship between the Board and the Minister, and also outlines the administrative, financial and auditing arrangements with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The Board must comply with provincial government directives that guide agencies in the delivery of services to the public. The Agencies & Appointments Directive is a Management Board of Cabinet Directive, and sets out the requirements for the Board as a provincial agency.

Board Structure

The Board is comprised of a minimum of five members as appointed by the Minister for terms of up to three years and are eligible for reappointment. The Minister also has the authority to designate a member of the Board as Chair and another as Vice-Chair.

To ensure stakeholder confidence in its decisions, the Board requests stakeholders to identify candidates for recommendation to the Minister for appointment. Currently membership of the Board includes nominees from the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO), the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA), and the Ontario Canola Growers Association (OCGA). These industry groups select candidates based on the Board's key competency needs of: industry experience as a primary agricultural producer or grain dealer; financial experience in accounting or investments; board governance and risk management. These key competencies enable the Board to continue to meet its mandate and enhance performance as a Board.

The Board typically meets quarterly, or as required by business demands (e.g. to review and adjudicate claims).

There are currently nine Board members including the Chair and Vice Chair. Appendix 1 includes a list of the Board members.

Strategic Direction

The Board's strategic direction is focused on the following broad priorities which are essential in keeping with the Board's mandate and responsibilities:

  • To ensure long-term sustainability of the Funds administered by the Board;
  • To continue to investigate and adjudicate claims in a fair and equitable manner;
  • To work with Ministry staff to continue to explore alternative governance models as a potential option for the Board to consider;
  • To grant, refuse and recover claim payments under the FPPA, as appropriate; and
  • To ensure appropriate agreements are reviewed, understood and in place to fulfill the mandate.

To support the priorities outlined above, the Board has established five goals with corresponding objectives and activities that are used to assist with fulfilling their mandate.

The goals which the Board focuses on are:

Ensure long-term sustainability of the Funds - The Board has hired Agricorp for the day-to-day administrative functions of the Funds; however, the Board is ultimately responsible for the oversight and management of the Funds. The Board annually measures the performance of the Funds against established targets. The Board will request actuarial reviews on the Funds periodically or as required and will only invest the Funds in instruments that are approved in the MOU. The Board has an established Statement of Investment Policy that is reviewed annually.

Maintain an adjudication process that is simple, fair and accessible with minimal delays - The Board has approved claim adjudication guidelines and has established operational procedures to assist with the processing of claims. These will assist the Board to ensure that the adjudication process is understandable, fair and has minimal delays.

Ensure agreements and directives are understood and documentation required under the MOU is in place - The Board reviews the documentation required under the MOU to ensure that it is both understood and that the appropriate documentation is on file. Legal counsel assists the Board with the review of the documentation.

Ensure a high performing Board - The Board works with OMAFRA and stakeholder groups to seek recommendations and approvals for appointments to the Board. The Board also maintains an orientation manual and provides new members with orientation and training.

Consult with industry stakeholders - The Board participates in a minimum of one stakeholder meeting every two to three years or more frequently, as needed.

Goal Objectives Activities
Long-term sustainability of the Funds To maintain actuarially sound Funds that are managed in the interest of producers and owners
  • An Actuarial Review is completed periodically or as required.
  • Funds are invested in instruments that are approved in the MOU.
  • Review and approve quarterly statements.
  • Meet with the Agricorp Controller annually to discuss the Funds' performance, future strategies and other issues.
  • The Board's accounts and financial transactions are audited annually by the Office of the Auditor General. A report of the audit is made to the Board and to the Minister, as per the FPPA.
  • Recover any money to which the Board is entitled under the FPPA by suit in a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise.
Long-term sustainability of the Funds To be self-sustaining, paying all legitimate Board expenses from the Funds.
  • Review, monitor and approve financial reports.
  • Ensure that payments from the Funds are compliant with the FPPA
Maintain an adjudication process that is understandable, fair, and accessible, with minimal delays. To conduct adjudicatory Board meetings and hearings and to issue decisions in a timely and fair manner
  • Have all claims investigated and complete the adjudication process.
  • Maintain the claim adjudication guidelines.
  • The Board may provide the evidence upon which it based its decision to the parties (i.e. the investigative report including statements by witnesses and supporting documents).
  • The Board may provide an opportunity for all parties to be heard (i.e. an opportunity to make written or, as requested by the Board, verbal submissions to the Board before a decision is made).
Ensure action is taken to recover any money to which the Board is entitled under the FPPA Board compliance with the FPPA
  • When a claim is paid, the Board follows up with the Chief Inspector to determine if security is held and thereafter to ensure that it is deposited to the Funds.
  • The Board consults with OMAFRA Legal Services Branch for guidance on how to proceed with any recovery action.
Ensure that appropriate agreements and directives are understood and that required documentation under the MOU is in place Board compliance
  • Board members understand the MOU and directives and their roles and responsibilities
  • Necessary documents are prepared and training is planned and undertaken
Ensure a high performing Board To mitigate loss of Board member experience and knowledge as members' terms expire
  • Work with OMAFRA and stakeholder groups to seek recommendations and approvals for appointments to the Board.
  • Maintain the GFPB Orientation Manual.
  • Training is scheduled and undertaken as required. (e.g.: A mock-up of a claim to give members exposure to a claim adjudication is available).
Consultation with industry stakeholders To be transparent on decisions of the Board
  • Participate in stakeholder meetings when scheduled. The last stakeholder meeting was held in July 2018.

Overview of Current and Future Programs and Activities

The following describes how the Grain Financial Protection Program (GFPP), the four Funds and the Board work together:

Grain Financial Protection Program

The Grain Financial Protection Program (the Program) was introduced in the mid-1980s, following a series of grain elevator bankruptcies. The program is managed by Agricorp under the Grains Act, through the designation of a Chief Inspector who has statutory authority on licensing. The following are the licensing components of the Program:

  • Determining the financial responsibility of grain dealers and elevator operators;
  • Inspection of storage sites; and
  • Licensing of grain dealers and elevator operators.
Grain Financial Protection Board Funds (the Funds)
  • The Board administers four Funds: grain corn, soybean, canola and wheat.
  • Income comes from producer check-off fees and the investment income generated from those fees.
  • The purpose of the Funds is to provide producers/owners with financial compensation in the event that a dealer or elevator defaults on their obligation or if there is a storage shortfall.
Grain Financial Protection Board (the Board)

The Board is a trust agency that operates under the legal authority as set out in the Farm Products Payments Act and Ontario Regulation 70/12. The Board manages the respective Funds for the Grain Corn, Soybeans, Wheat and Canola Producers under the financial protection component of the program and adjudicates producer claims to those Funds.

  • The Board will investigate and determine the validity of applications for potential payment from the Funds.
  • They make a decision to pay or refuse to pay on a claim based on the evidence and certain situations described in the regulation.
  • Payment to producers and owners is made after the Board has determined that their claim is valid and the Board has approved the claim for payment.
  • The Board's main activities are to manage the Funds effectively and prepare for claims when they occur.

The Board administers the Funds and, as such, in addition to adjudicating claims, its focus is on the growth of the Funds and on prudent management of expenditures.

The Board does not administer any other program and no new programs are being considered for the 2019 - 2022 time frame.

Resources Needed to Meet Objectives of Mandate and Strategic Directions

Human Resources and Staff Numbers

The Board does not have staff. All resources are provided through a Service Agreement or as agreed to in the MOU between the Board and the Minister.

The Board currently has a multi-year service agreement with Agricorp to provide Governance, Secretariat and Financial Services to the Board. Resources that provide support to the Board have no role in the licensing and inspection components of the program. These functions are separate to avoid any perception of a possible conflict of interest in adjudicating the claims that arise from a licenses dealer's/ elevator operator's default in payment, while protecting the integrity of the program.

Resources, services, support provided to the Board:

Board has a service agreement with Agricorp

Both Governance/Secretariat and Financial Support services are provided to the Board by Agricorp as agreed to in the Service Agreement between the two parties. A multi-year service agreement for Governance, Secretariat and Financial Service Agreement was signed in 2017-18 for a three year term, with options to extend for two separate one-year terms.

Additional support services to the Board

Through the MOU, OMAFRA is committed to providing the GFPB with:

  • Investigative services provided by the Agriculture Investigations Unit within OMAFRA's Food Safety & Traceability Programs Branch; and
  • Legal services through the Ministry of the Attorney General - OMAFRA Legal Services Branch.

Environmental Scan

The Board is responsible through its mandate to manage the Funds and to adjudicate claims presented by producers and owners of canola, grain corn, soybeans, or wheat. Producers or owners may submit a claim to the Board to potentially cover a portion of their losses.

The factors that could impact the Board and/or the health of the Funds are outlined below.

External Drivers

Interest Rates

Interest rates play a significant role in the overall health of the Funds. The GFPB actuarial review indicated that the Funds are highly dependent upon investment income to cover projected expenses and claims. The review revealed that the current investment holdings are of high quality. The Board will need to continue to ensure that the Funds are invested in high quality investments that are consistent with in the Trustee Act provisions referenced in the MOU and the Board's investment policy.

Elevator Operators and Dealers

In recent years there have been an increase in the number of smaller businesses offering grain elevator and/ or dealer services. Many of these are producers increasing their own on-farm storage capacity and using their surplus storage capacity to store grain for other producers. An awareness campaign by stakeholders has resulted in an increased knowledge of the requirement to deal with a licensed facility. Agricorp addresses unlicensed facilities and dealers as soon as they are apparent with sanctions under the Grains Act.

If a dealer or elevator is not licensed, a review of that organization's financial responsibility is completed. This may determine the risk that the organization will default on a producer or owner. Agricorp occasionally receives complaints about unlicensed operators but the number has decreased from a few years ago when many producers increased on farm storage capacity and provided custom storage to neighbours while unlicensed. In the majority of the cases, the complaint has resulted in the operator completing an application and the issuance of a license for the grain elevator.

Out of Province Dealers

In the past few years, there have been a few dealers based in Quebec or the United States that require a license. Producers are free to sell and transport crops to other jurisdictions. But if operations are purchasing from Ontario producers, a license is required. There are several out of province dealers that are currently licensed.

Increased Demand for Government Accountability and Transparency

Increased scrutiny of both private and public sector organizations has resulted in increasing demands for accountability. Government, including agencies, need to perform their functions effectively and efficiently in a transparent and responsible manner. They must show that government directives are being complied with and outcomes are achieved through clear and regular reporting. The Management Board of Cabinet requires greater Board accountability, transparency, reporting and standardized risk identification and management. In response to the need for greater transparency, the Board completes and submits to the Ministry a quarterly risk assessment report.

Legislative, Strategic and Policy Changes

The Board was established under the FPPA, which is administered by OMAFRA. Any change to the FPPA could have a direct, profound impact upon the Board and its activities. Through the MOU, the Minister and the Chair have agreed to work closely together when the Ontario Government is considering regulatory or legislative changes for the agency. The Chair and the Minister meet as required to discuss any legislative changes that may impact the Board.

Financial Responsibility Review Committee (FRRC)

An important part of grain dealer and operator licensing involves determining the financial responsibility of dealers and elevator operators. The FRRC is established to support the determination of the financial strength of applicants. The FRRC includes an Agricorp staff member and two Chartered Accountants that review files and provide licensing recommendations to the Chief Inspector. The Program helps to ensure that only financially viable operations are licensed to purchase from producers.

Commodity Prices

Commodity prices have experienced great volatility that may increase cash flow challenges and increase the amount of risk to the dealer/elevator and, in turn, to the Funds. This volatility has made it harder to predict the future of commodity prices.

Internal Drivers

Funds

The 2016 actuarial review indicated that the Funds are highly dependent upon investment income. The review indicated that the Board should consider making changes to the target fund levels compared to the previous actuarial report. The Board will consider if any of the actuarial review recommendations are needed to be implemented, and will continue to monitor all the Funds against the target levels to ensure they are growing or maintained at an appropriate level.

Board Expertise and Development

The Funds have a low frequency of claims. This makes it difficult for Board members to acquire "hands-on" claims adjudication experience. The Board annually reviews the Claim Adjudication Guidelines which assists Board members without previous claims experience to adjudicate claims. Board members bring a variety of skills and experience and an annual review of these guidelines promotes a consistent approach to adjudicating claims.

Board Knowledge Management and Succession Planning

Deliberate planning and consideration is given to the expiry date of members' terms to minimize the loss of experience and knowledge during member transition periods. A continuous review of existing Board members' terms is conducted. Appointment tenures are staggered, in part to promote continuity.

Performance Measures and Targets

The following indicators define the outcomes the Board is committed to achieving. These indicators are the basis for measuring and evaluating impact.

Objective 1: To maintain a solvent compensation Fund managed in the interest of grain producers.

Performance Measure Baseline Target
17/18
Actual
17/18
Target
18/19
Target
19/20
Target
20/21
Annual financial audit achieves an unqualified audit opinion in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles Unqualified Unqualified Achieved Unqualified Unqualified Unqualified

Minimum Target Fund Balances are maintained as per Actuarial Review.

Performance Measure Baseline Target
17/18
Actual
17/18
Target
18/19
Target
19/20
Target
20/21
Grain Corn target Fund balance Minimum Fund balance $4,600,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $4,600,000 maintained Achieved-
Balance $5,990,402
Minimum Fund balance $4,600,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $4,600,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $4,600,000 maintained
Wheat target Fund balance Minimum Fund balance $2,200,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $2,200,000 maintained Achieved-
Balance $3,820,948
Minimum Fund balance $2,200,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $2,200,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $2,200,000 maintained
Canola target Fund balance Minimum Fund balance $900,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $900,000 maintained

Achieved-Balance

$1, 023,397

Minimum Fund balance $900,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $900,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $900,000 maintained
Soybean target Fund balance Minimum Fund balance $4,400,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $4,400,000 maintained Achieved -
Balance $5,028,220
Minimum Fund balance $4,400,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $4,400,000 maintained Minimum Fund balance $4,400,000 maintained
Soybean target Fund balance 2% Annual growth in Fund balance 2% Annual growth in Fund balance Achieved - The fund is now meeting target with a balance of $ 4,442,789. Met its target balance in 2015/16, therefore this target is no longer needed for 2016/17. N/A N/A
Receipt and review Fund financial statements from Agricorp Quarterly Quarterly Achieved Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly

Objective 2: To conduct adjudicatory hearings and issue decisions in a fair and timely manner.

Performance Measure Baseline Target
17/18
Actual
17/18
Target
18/19
Target
19/20
Target
20/21
Claims processed with minimal delays Claimants notified within 2 days, dealer/ elevators within 4 days of receipt of claim Claimants notified within 2 days, dealer/ elevators within 4 days of receipt of claim Achieved - all claimants notified within 2 days, dealers and elevators notified within 4 days of
receipt of claim
Claimants notified within 2 days, dealer/ elevators within 4 days of receipt of claim Claimants notified within 2 days, dealer/ elevators within 4 days of receipt of claim Claimants notified within 2 days, dealer/ elevators within 4 days of receipt of claim
Claims are adjudicated fairly Claims are reviewed individually, and follow adjudication guidelines established Claims are reviewed individually, and follow adjudication guidelines established Achieved - all claims were reviewed
Individually and claims adjudication guidelines were followed.
Claims are reviewed individually, and follow adjudication guidelines established Claims are reviewed individually, and follow adjudication guidelines established Claims are reviewed individually, and follow adjudication guidelines established
Claimants received notification of Board decision Within 10 days of a Board decision Within 10 days of a Board decision Achieved - all
claimants notified of
Board decision within 10 days of Board decision.
Within 10 days of a Board decision Within 10 days of a Board decision Within 10 days of a Board decision

Objective 3: To grant or refuse claims and to seek recovery of amounts paid.

Performance Measure Baseline Target
17/18
Actual
17/18
Target
18/19
Target
19/20
Target
20/21
Claims are reviewed to determine their validity Board refers to FPPA and uses legal counsel as required to determine validity of claims Board refers to FPPA and uses legal counsel as required to determine validity of claims Achieved - 15
claims reviewed in
2017-18.
Board refers to FPPA and uses legal counsel as required to determine validity of claims Board refers to FPPA and uses legal counsel as required to determine validity of claims Board refers to FPPA and uses legal counsel as required to determine validity of claims
Recover any money to which the Board is entitled to under the FFPA Legal counsel is consulted when proceeding with any recovery action Legal counsel is consulted when proceeding with any recovery action Achieved - all monies paid out in 2017/18
for claims was recovered in 2017/18.
Legal counsel is consulted when proceeding with any recovery action Legal counsel is consulted when proceeding with any recovery action Legal counsel is consulted when proceeding with any recovery action

Objective 4: To ensure that the Board is compliant with directives, policies and agreements.

Performance Measure Baseline Target
17/18
Actual
17/18
Target
18/19
Target
19/20
Target
20/21
Updated MOU in place Updated as per the Agencies and Appointments Directive section 1.9.1 Not applicable MOU was reaffirmed by
Chair and Minister in
December 2017.
Updated as per the Agencies and Appointments Directive section 1.9.1 (if applicable) Updated as per the Agencies and Appointments Directive section 1.9.1 (if applicable) Updated as per the Agencies and Appointments Directive section 1.9.1 (if applicable)
Submit Annual Report Annually Within 90 days of the agency's receipt of the audited financial statement. Achieved; met AAD
requirement. Report was submitted to
Minister through the
OMAFRA liaison on
October 2, 2017 within
90-days of completing the financial audit
(Sept. 18, 2017).
Within 90 days of the agency's receipt of the audited financial statement meeting AAD requirements Within 90 days of the agency's receipt of the audited financial statement meeting AAD requirements Within 90 days of the agency's receipt of the audited financial statement meeting AAD requirements
Submit Business Plan Annually March 2017

Achieved.

Submitted on February 24, 2017

March 2018 March 2019 March 2020
Submit Quarterly Risk Assessment Report Quarterly Quarterly Achieved. Submitted to Ministry liaison Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly
Submit Agency Attestation
(New requirement as of 2015/16)
Annually Annually Achieved. Submitted to Agency liaison on March 28, 2018. Annually Annually Annually

Financial Budget

The estimated revenues and expenses for the next three years are provided in Table 1 (below). The Board has delegated the investment of the Funds to Agricorp, and the Funds are invested in instruments authorized under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and as per the Board's investment policy.

Projected Board Revenues

The Board manages four separate Funds for grain corn, soybeans, canola and wheat. Revenue is received from producer check-off fees and interest earned on the balance of the Funds held. Producers contribute to the Funds by paying check-offs on crop that is sold.

The Minister adjusted the fees effective July 1, 2013. They are based on the volume of crop sold and are outlined for the four commodities below:

  • Corn: 1/10 of 1 cent/tonne
  • Wheat: 5 cents/tonne
  • Soybeans: 10 cents/tonne
  • Canola: 20 cents/tonne

The Minister has the authority to set these fees under the FPPA. The FPPA authorizes the Board to withdraw amounts from the Funds for specific purposes, such as to compensate producers for valid claims when a dealer has defaulted on a payment or to compensate owners when an elevator has defaulted on a storage responsibility.

The Board is subject to an annual audit by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.

Projected Board Expenditures

Governance/Secretariat and Financial Support Services - The FPPA requires the Board to meet all its expenses from the Funds except for the remuneration of those of its employees who are public servants employed under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006. The Board has entered into a contract with Agricorp, which expires on March 31, 2020 with the option to extend the agreement for up to two (2) additional terms of one (1) year each for these services.

Professional, Technical or Other Assistance to the Agency - An example of this type of cost would be an Actuarial Review.

Board member Per Diems, Travel and Meal Expenditures - A financial review determined that Board remuneration (per diem and incidental costs, including travel) should be paid by OMAFRA and not from the Funds. This change came into effect in November of 2010.

Costs of Determining Financial Responsibility - Since November of 2010 and as indicated in the MOU, the GFPB is obliged to pay the person or persons who are responsible for determining whether grain dealer licence applicants and grain dealer licensees are financially responsible. Agricorp is that person. The Board has signed a letter of understanding that expires on March 31, 2019 with Agricorp regarding the costs of determining financial responsibility.

Claim Payments - All claim payments and associated costs are paid by the four Funds. The total cost depends on the number and complexity of the claims received by the Board and the amount of payments on approved claims. To date, claims have been infrequent.

Financial Responsibility Review Committee (FRRC) - This is the cost of a chartered accountant who reviews all grain dealer and elevator operators annually to determine if they are financially responsible prior to recommending issuance or renewal of a license. The present contract expires in October of 2018.

Proposed Capital Expenditures

The Board does not have any capital expenditures planned for 2019-2022.

Table 1. Financial table - expenditure and revenue

Revenue ($)

Revenue Budget 2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Budget 2018/19 Actual6 2018/19 Budget 2019/20 Budget 2020/21 Budget 2021/22
Fees 375,000 426,022 375,000 483,638 436,823 436,823 436,823
Investment Interest 248,488 238,921 252,6721 362,5031 6 366,9681 374,0871 382,3681
Claim Recoveries 0 29,133 0 0 0 0 0
Total Revenue 623,488 694,076 627,672 846,1416 803,791 810,910 819,191

Expense ($)

Expense Budget 2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Budget 2018/19 Actual6 2018/19 Budget 2019/20 Budget 2020/21 Budget 2021/22
Claims 263,0002 29,133 263,0002 0 263,0002 263,0002 263,0002
Gover-
nance/
Secretariat Services
47,000 17,204 47,000 28,1586 47,000 47,000 52,000
Financial Services 33,000 20,332 33,000 27,2386 33,000 33,000 33,000
Profess-
ional Fees (i.e. Actuarial)
0 0 0 0 0 0 60,0003
Financial Res-
ponsibility Review
182,500 198,276 181,9004 5 181,4584 6 185,3644 188,8164 192,3374
Total Expense 525,500 264,945 524,900 236,8546 528,364 531,816 600,337
Net Balance (Total Revenue - Expenses) 97,988 429,131 102,772 609,2876 275,427 279,093 218,854
Fund Balance Beginning of Year 15,433,836 15,433,836 15,862,967 15,862,967 16,472,253 16,747,680 17,026,774
Fund Balance End of Year 15,531,784 15,862,967 15,965,739 16,472,2536 16,747,680 17,026,774 17,245,627

Notes:

1 2018/19 forecasted interest rate of 1.70% and 2019/20 to 2020/21 forecasted interest rate of 2.20%

2 Amount for claims are included for budgeting purposes only and are based on the information used in the 2011 and 2016 actuarial study.

3 Actuarial Review - last actuarial review was last completed in 2016 (completed approx. every 5 years). Amount estimated based on cost of 2016 review. Next review is approximately 2021.

4 Expenses included in financial responsibility review includes the Cost of Determining Financial responsibility, one FRRC member and other administration (ie: bank charges).

  Budget 2019/20 Budget 2020/21 Budget 2021/22
Cost of Determining Financial Responsibility $172,5845 $176,0365 $179,5565
FRRC (see Note 7) $12,5007 $12,5007 $12,5007
Other Administration $280 $280 $280

5 The MOU was revised effective June 2017 and the Cost of Determining Financial Responsibility was updated to be 30% of total licensing costs (no longer $156,240).

6These numbers represent the actuals from the first three quarters of 2018-19 and a forecast for Q4.

7 Expense included in FRRC are invoices from the firm of Graham, Scott and Enns LLP and from Gee, Lambart and Courtney less the revenue from other revenue (e.g. dealer FRRC fees).

Initiatives involving third parties

Approximately every 5 years, the Board conducts an actuarial review, an initiative that involves a third party vendor, to determine how potential claim payments may impact the Funds.

As an agency of the government, the Board adheres to the OPS Procurement Directive when making any purchases for goods or services to procure and involve a third party vendor to provide this service.

The next actuarial review is planned for approximately 2021 (every 5 years). The last Actuarial Review was completed in 2016.

Information Technology

All Information Technology support is provided by Agricorp through the maintenance of ready access and secure storage of documents developed and received on behalf of the Board. The mandate of the Board does not require Electronic Service Delivery.

Implementation Plan

Performance measures and targets for each objective are identified below. As part of its continuous improvement process, the Board has set goals to ensure that objectives are achieved. The Board also tracks progress against these measures and prepares an annual report.

Risk Assessment and Management

The AAD requires a risk-based approach to be used to focus Ministry and central agency resources on higher risk agencies and to ensure compliance with directive requirements. The table below provides a description of the risks identified and the plans to mitigate these risks. Aside from the actions detailed below, risk management is also supported by a strong commitment by the Board and its service provider to meet or exceed the performance measures outlined in this plan.

Risk category Risk statement/name Risk level assessment/inherent risk score Risk Action Plan/Mitigation activities
Operational Interest Rate Risk Low- minimal risk exposure The Board ensures that the Actuarial Review remains current to assess the soundness of all the Funds.
The 2011 Actuarial Review recommended a target balance for each of the four Funds.
Operational Elevator Operators and Dealers Low- minimal risk exposure The Board ensures that the Actuarial Review remains current to assess the soundness of all the Funds.
The 2011 Actuarial Review recommended a target balance for each of the four Funds.
Operational Fluctuation in commodity prices Low- minimal risk exposure The Board ensures that the Actuarial Review remains current to assess the soundness of all the Funds.
The 2011 Actuarial Review recommended a target balance for each of the four Funds.
Operational Lack of quorum for Board Low- minimal risk exposure Board member transition is monitored and appointment recommendations are sought and forwarded to the Ministry several months prior to vacancies. This is to reduce the impact to the Board as experienced members leave and new members are appointed.
Operational Lack of adequate skills of members (knowledge) Low- minimal risk exposure Training for Board appointees is on-going and a Board Orientation Manual has been created
Operational Lack of members with experience(Expertise) Low- minimal risk exposure The Board has a claim adjudication guideline to assist members with adjudicating claims. Legal expertise and investigative services are available to the Board (as outlined in the MOU) to support the claims process
Operational Inability to pay claims Low- minimal risk exposure The Board has an Investment Policy aligned with the MOU which outlines strategies for investing Funds.
The Board will be considering the results and recommendations of the 2016 actuarial review to continue to monitor all the Funds annually and make the appropriate changes as needed
Information Technology & Infrastructure Security Breach of Information Low- minimal risk exposure All Board policies and procedures are maintained electronically. Security breach possibilities are reviewed annually to reduce risks

Communication Plan

Annually, the Board will inform the stakeholders of the status of the Funds by providing them with a copy of the Board's audited financial statements and annual report, following the Ministers approval of the document.

Schedule C of the MOU between the Board and the Ministry outlines the communication plan that the Board will follow.

Key messages for communication

  • Clearly outlines the process and regulations that are followed in making a decision.
  • Identifies section(s) of the applicable Act(s) and regulations used to arrive at a decision.

Key messages for broad based communications

  • All Funds are maintained on an actuarially sound basis.
  • The Board adjudicates claims made under the FPPA and determines the payment, if any, to be made from the Fund.
  • The FPPA protects the financial interests of producers who sell grain corn, soybeans, wheat and canola to licensed dealers. It also protects the financial interests of owners who store grain corn, soybeans, canola or wheat with licensed elevator operators.
  • Agricorp is responsible under contract with OMAFRA to determine financial responsibility and administer the licensing and inspection components of the Grain Financial Protection Program.

Vehicle used to communicate key messages

  • In the event of a claim, the Board will advise each claimant via letter on the outcome of their claim.
  • The Minister will consult with the Chair, as appropriate, when significant new directions for the Board are contemplated. The Deputy Minister will meet with the Chair, as necessary, to discuss matters of mutual importance to the Board and OMAFRA.

Appendix 1: Current Board Appointees (as of February 15, 2019)

Position Member Name Tenure
Chair (Part Time) Buttenham, David 22-Mar-2011 - 17-Sept-2020
Vice-Chair (Part-Time) Van Ankum, Henry 19-Apr-2012 - 30-Aug-2019
Member (Part-Time) MacDonald, Jennifer 13-Mar-2017 - 12-Mar-2020
Member (Part-Time) Oliphant, Darcy 30-Jul-2011 - 29-Jul-2020
Member (Part-Time) Menich, Lindsay 27-Oct-2017 - 26-Oct-2020
Member (Part-Time) Schwandt, Nadine 27-Oct-2017 - 26-Oct-2020
Member (Part-Time) Amyot, Charles (Chuck) 25-Jan-2018 - 24-Jan-2021
Member (Part-Time) Campbell, Ron 29-Jan-2018 - 28-Jan-2021
Member (Part-Time) Haerle, Markus 29-Jun-2015 - 1-Jan-2022

Appendix 2: History of claims (as of February 15, 2019).

Fiscal Year
(Apr. 1 - Mar. 31)
# of claims reviewed/ made decision on # of
Claims Paid
Total Claim
Amount Paid from Funds
Dollars Recovered to the Funds Amount Paid
Out by the Funds
1985-1986 264 92 $1,059,602.00 $312,699.00 $746,903.00
1986-1987 7 6 $27,603.04 $26,280.00 $1,350.04
1987-1988 Nil Nil - - -
1988-1989 2 2 $15,806.69 $0.00 $15,806.69
1989-1990 13 13 $249,748.02
$0.00 $249,748.02
1990-1991 20 18 $279,367.75 $2,000.00 $277,367.75
1991-1992 Nil Nil - - -
1992-1993 11 11 $266,814.40
$40,000.00 $226,814.40
1993-1994 27 24 $270,500.59 $0.00 $270,500.59
1994-1995 5 1 $15,993.09 $8,000.00 $7,993.09
1995-1996 Nil Nil - - -
1996-1997 51 45 $434,282.39 $0.00 $434,282.39
1997-1998 Nil Nil - - -
1998-1999 Nil Nil - - -
1999-2000 21 21 $57,786.98 $0.00 $57,786.98
2000-2001 Nil Nil - - -
2001-2002 Nil Nil - - -
2002-2003 Nil Nil - - -
2003-2004 8 8 $147,204.67 $11,379.00 $135,825.67
2004-2005 Nil Nil - - -
2005-2006 Nil Nil - - -
2006-2007 Nil Nil - - -
2007-2008 Nil Nil - - -
2008-2009 19 18 $731,797.00 $267,000.00 $464,797.00
2009-2010 Nil Nil - - -
2010-2011 Nil Nil - - -
2011-2012 3 0 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
2012-2013 Nil Nil - - -
2013-2014 Nil Nil - - -
2014-2015 Nil Nil - - -
2015-2016 5 4 $7,617.23 $7,617.23 $0.00
2016-2017 Nil Nil - - -
2017-2018 15 2 $29,132.89 $29,132.89 $0.00
2018-2019 8 0 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Total 479 265 $3,593,283.74 $704,108.12 $2,889,175.62

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca