7. Object codes for 2014–2015

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7.1 Introduction

This chapter provides information on the object code classification and includes in Section 7.2 the list of object codes as follows:

  • Objects of expenditure;
  • Objects for revenue; and
  • Objects for assets, liabilities and other transactions.

The object classification is a field of the government-wide coding block that identifies the type of goods or services acquired, the transfer payments made, the source of revenue or the cause of increases or decreases in assets and liabilities.

The object information provides:

  • A method for classifying and coding transactions to permit the reporting of information about the nature of transactions in the Estimates and in the Public Accounts;
  • A standard classification of transactions for internal departmental analysis and central management purposes; and
  • The basis used by Statistics Canada to determine and report more accurately the impact of government revenues and expenditures on the rest of the economy. This information is based on Statistics Canada's ARCHIVED - Standard classification of goods.

In addition, the object coding provides a repository of government-wide information, which can be used by central agencies without requiring departments and agencies to respond to numerous individual requests.

7.1.1 Object classification structure

To accommodate the need for various degrees of detail, other levels of object classification are used. In descending order of aggregation after categories and standard objects, there are reporting objects and economic, source and class objects.

Categories (the first digit)

This is the highest level of object aggregation. There are mainly eleven categories in the lists of Objects and are as follows:

  • Objects of expenditure comprise 4 categories, which are services, goods, land, buildings and works, transfer payments and other expenditures.
  • Objects for revenue comprise 2 categories, which are tax revenue and other revenue. Tax revenue consists of an object for tax revenues and other revenue is identified such as rights and privileges, leases, sales of goods and products, services, return on investments and miscellaneous other revenue.
  • Objects for assets, liabilities and other transactions comprise 5 categories, which are assets, liabilities, other, accumulated deficit and identification of partnering department for interdepartmental settlement transactions.

Standard objects (01 to 12)

Standard objects are the highest level of object classification used for parliamentary and management purposes, and are used to report information in the Estimates and Public Accounts. They apply to expenditures only. (Refer to Section 7.1.4 for a brief explanation of each standard object as presented in the Estimates). The allocation of the categories by standard object is as follows:

Category 0—Services includes the following standard objects:

  • 01. Personnel;
  • 02. Transportation and communications;
  • 03. Information;
  • 04. Professional and special services;
  • 05. Rentals;
  • 06. Repair and maintenance.

Category 1—Goods, land, buildings and works includes the following standard objects:

  • 07. Utilities, materials and supplies;
  • 08. Acquisition of land, buildings, and works;
  • 09. Acquisition of machinery and equipment.

Category 2—Transfer payments include the following standard object:

  • 10. Transfer payments.

Category 3—Other expenditures include the following standard objects:

  • 11. Public debt charges;
  • 12. Other subsidies and payments.

Sub–categories (the first two digits)

Sub–categories are a primary breakdown of each category. In many cases, they are the same as the standard objects.

Reporting objects (the first three digits)

Reporting objects are a sub–division of sub-categories, which are used for central management purposes.

Economic, source and class objects (the four digits)

Economic, source and class objects are the lowest levels of object classification used for government-wide reporting purposes. Economic objects apply to expenditures only and measure the impact of government transactions on the economy. The expenditures are classified according to the type of resources (goods and services) acquired or the transfer payments made. Source objects identify the origin of a receipt and apply to tax revenue and other revenue. Class objects identify the causes of increases or decreases to financial claims or obligations.

As most departments or agencies require more detail, transactions may be classified by departmental line object in the departmental system. To permit the consolidation and comparison of information from all departments, the line objects must be aligned with the objects prescribed in Section 7.2.

7.1.2 Maintenance of object codes

List of objects

The object codes that are to be recorded for expenditures, revenue, assets, liabilities, and other transactions are listed on the government–wide Chart of Accounts (COA) website as Section 7.2. The list is updated regularly to include all changes made to the object codes.

List of descriptions

Interpretation and analysis of financial information require the classification and coding of transactions to be correctly and consistently applied.

To help departments and agencies improve accuracy and consistency in the coding of their financial transactions, the descriptions are included in the detailed list of object codes included in Section 7.2.

To maximize the use of the detailed descriptions, departments should review it carefully to ensure that the alignment of their line objects is correct. Where applicable, a copy of the relevant descriptions should also be made available to departmental personnel involved in coding to help ensure consistent coding and reporting, both within the department and within the government as a whole.

7.1.3 Pay entitlement codes

A pay entitlement code classifies the type of remuneration paid to employees pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, the terms and conditions of employment, or other arrangements. These codes are issued to departments and agencies by Public Works and Government Services Canada (Compensation Sector). The pay entitlement codes are listed with the lists of Objects to improve consistency and accuracy in the alignment of pay entitlement codes to economic objects mainly in standard object 01. The list of pay entitlement codes is included as Appendix B to Section 7.2.

7.1.4 Brief definition of each standard object

Personnel (01)

  • Salaries and wages, overtime, severance pay, retroactive pay and other special pay of civilian continuing (full–time) or term(part–time, seasonal and casual) employees except those of agency and proprietary Crown corporations, as well as members of the military and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • Judges’ salaries, those of the Governor General, the Lieutenant–Governors and the indemnities to Members of both Houses of Parliament, and all types of allowances paid to or in respect of continuing and term employees (such as living, terminable, foreign service, isolated post, board and subsistence allowances, shift differential allowances for assistants, and other such allowances).
  • Ministers’ motor car allowances and the expense allowances to Senators and Members of the House of Commons.
  • The government’s contribution to various employee benefit plans (the Public Service Superannuation Account, the Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account, the Canada Pension Plan Account, the Quebec Pension Plan, the Public Service Death Benefit Account and the Employment Insurance Account).
  • The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Account, the Canadian Forces Superannuation Account and the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Account, and the Government’s contribution to provincial and other medical and hospital insurance plans and supplementary personnel costs for various purposes.

Transportation and communications (02)

  • Traveling and transportation expenses of government employees, members of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, removal expenses of those persons and their dependants, and living and other expenses of such persons on travel status, judges’ traveling expenses, and traveling expenses and allowances payable to Senators and Members of the House of Commons.
  • Transportation of persons by contract and chartered facilities or by other means (including traveling expenses of persons engaged in field survey work, inspections and investigations), and traveling and transportation of non–government employees such as travel costs of veterans who are applicants for treatment or pensions.
  • Ordinary postage, airmail, registered mail, parcel post special delivery mail, post office box rentals, and any other postal charges.
  • Expenditures relating to the transportation of goods other than initial delivery cost on a purchase (which is included in the standard object covering the cost of the purchase itself) including charges for courier services provided by outside carriers.
  • All costs of telecommunication services by telephone, telegram, cable, teletype, radio and wireless communication (tolls, rates, etc.) and other communication costs such as courier services provided by outside agencies and communication services performed under contract or agreement.

Information (03)

  • Advertising services acquired for publicity and general purposes from advertising agencies or directly for time on broadcast media or for space in print media or on outdoor posters or billboards. It includes advertising and creative work services such as graphic artwork.
  • Publishing services for commissioning, marketing, distribution and sales of publications sponsored by the department, and for the acquisition of related government publications. Also included are services for printing, duplicating, photocopying, text editing, design of graphics, art work, technical and advisory services such as computerized text processing and mass transmission of printed material. In addition, it includes exposition services such as exhibits and associated audio-visual services related to exhibitions and displays.
  • Public relations and public affairs services for attitude and service assessment surveys, sales promotion, marketing, export marketing, public relations and publicity, opinion polls, and contracts to organize and operate focus groups and media monitoring services. It also includes services for speech writing, press releases, briefing, press conferences and special events.

Professional and special services (04)

  • Provision for all professional services performed by individuals or organizations such as payments (in the nature of fees, commissions, etc.) for the services of accountants, lawyers, architects, engineers, scientific analysts, reporters, and translators; for teachers at various levels of educational institutions; for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel; for management, data processing and other research consultants; and for other outside technical, professional and other expert assistance.
  • Payments for hospital treatment, care of veterans and welfare services, payments for the provision of informatics services, payment of tuition for Indians at non-federal schools, purchase of training services under the Adult Occupational Training Act, and payments made to the Canada School of Public Service for training.
  • Payments for Corps of Commissionaires services and for other operational and maintenance services performed under contract, such as armoured cars, laundry and dry cleaning, cleaning of buildings, temporary help, hospitality, storage and warehousing, and other business services, as well as payments made to the Department of Public Works and Government Services for contract administration.

Rentals (05)

  • Rental of properties required for special purposes by the various departments and for the accommodation of government offices and services by the Department of Public Works and Government Services.
  • Hire and charter – with or without crew – of vessels, aircraft, motor vehicles and other equipment, and rental of telecommunication and office equipment including computers.

Storage and warehousing services is, however, in standard object 04 even though it involves the rental of space.

Repair and maintenance (06)

  • The repair and upkeep under contract of the durable physical assets provided for in standard object 08 for acquisition of land, buildings, and works and of equipment provided for in standard object 09 for acquisition of machinery and equipment.
  • Payments to the Department of Public Works and Government Services for tenant services.
  • Materials, supplies and other charges for repairs undertaken by a department directly are coded to other objects, according to the nature of the purchase.

Utilities, materials and supplies (07)

  • The provision for all payments for services of a type normally provided by a municipality, or public utility service such as the supply of water, electricity, gas, etc., and includes water, light, power and gas services, and payment for such services whether obtained from the municipality or elsewhere.
  • The provision for materials and supplies required for normal operation and maintenance of government services such as:
    • gasoline and oil purchased in bulk; fuel for ships, planes, transport and heating
    • feed for livestock
    • food and other supplies for ships and other establishments
    • livestock purchased for ultimate consumption or resale
    • seed for farming operations
    • books and other publications purchased for outside distribution
    • uniforms and kits
    • photographs, maps and charts purchased for administrative and operational purposes
    • laboratory and scientific supplies, including samples for testing
    • drafting, blueprinting and artists' supplies; supplies for surveys and investigations;
    • chemicals product
    • hospital, surgical and medical supplies
    • works of art for exhibits, and historical material for galleries, museums and archives
    • coal and wood
    • electrical supplies
    • repair parts other than parts normally acquired with equipment at the time of purchase for aircraft, ships, road vehicles, and for communication and other equipment; and all other materials and supplies
    • metal products
    • office and stationers supplies

Acquisition of land, buildings and works (08)

  • All expenditures for the acquisition of buildings, roads, irrigation works, canals, airports, wharves, bridges and other such types of fixed assets.
  • Improvements involving additions or changes of a structural nature, and for installing fixed equipment which is essentially a part of the work or structure such as elevators, heating and ventilating equipment.
  • All reconstruction of such types of physical assets and such projects performed under contract or agreement.
  • The purchase of land.

Expenditures pursuant to contracts for new construction for casual employees hired or continuing employees assigned to work full or part–time on specified projects, travel, professional services, equipment rentals, equipment maintenance and of materials purchased directly for use on such projects are charged to the relevant standard objects (standard object 01 to 09).

Acquisition of machinery and equipment (09)

  • Expenditures for the acquisition of all machinery, equipment, office furniture and furnishings, electronic data processing and electronic or other office equipment.
  • Microfilming equipment and supplies, inter–office communication equipment, postal meter machines, machine records and all other office equipment.
  • Motor vehicles, aeroplanes, tractors, road equipment, telecommunications and related equipment, laboratory and other scientific equipment, vessels, icebreakers and other aids to navigation and all other types of light and heavy equipment; includes ammunition and various types of equipment for National Defence, such as ships, aircraft, mechanical equipment, fighting vehicles, weapons, engines and such spare parts and supplies as are normally acquired with that equipment at the time of purchase.

Transfer payments (10)

  • Grants, contributions, and all other transfer payments made by government.
  • Major social assistance payments made to persons such as Old Age Security benefits and related allowances, Veterans’ pensions and allowances.
  • Payments to the provinces and territories under the Constitution Acts, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the Canada Health and Social Transfers and for official languages.
  • Payments to Indians and Inuit in support of self-government initiatives, health, educational, social and community development programming and in respect of native claims.
  • Payments to the territorial governments pursuant to financing agreements entered into between the Minister of Finance and the respective territorial Minister of Finance.
  • Capital assistance to industry; research grants and other assistance towards research carried on by non–governmental organizations; scholarships.
  • Sustaining grants to many national and international non-profit organizations.
  • Contributions to international organizations and assessments for membership in such organizations, such as the contribution to the International Food Aid Program and Canada’s assessment for membership in the United Nations.

Public debt charges (11)

  • Interest on the unmatured debt of Canada (including Treasury Bills) and on other liabilities such as trust and other special funds.
  • The cost of issuing new loans, amortization of bond discount, premiums and commissions.
  • The cost of servicing and administering the public debt.

Other subsidies and payments (12)

  • Payments to Crown corporations that include those made to provide for operating deficits as well as other transfers paid to Crown corporations.
  • Payments to certain non–budgetary accounts (such as the government contributions to agricultural commodities stabilization accounts, as well as benefits under the Veterans Land Act), as well as the write-offs of various types of losses, the annual adjustment of reserves for financial claims and some other miscellaneous items referred to as “Sundries”.

Miscellaneous expenditures include licences, permits and payments for dockage, towage, wharfage and mooring privileges; bonding of government employees, loss of personal effects, and expenditures for small miscellaneous articles and services. Also included are many small items and services that do not lend themselves to identification under specific headings detailed in this summary.

7.1.5 Expenditure standard objects table

Table Summary

The table lists the standard objects of expenditures with the corresponding government–wide object codes.

Standard object Description Government–wide object codes
01 Personnel 0100–0199
02 Transportation and communications 0200–0299
03 Information 0300–0399
04 Professional and special services 0400–0499, 0800–0899
05 Rentals 0500–0599
06 Repair and maintenance 0600–0699
07 Utilities, materials and supplies 0700–0799, 1100–1199
08 Acquisition of land, buildings and works 1300–1399
09 Acquisition of machinery and equipment 1200–1299
10 Transfer payments 2000–2999
11 Public Debt charges 3100–3199
12 Other subsidies and payments 3000–3099, 3200–3799

7.2 List of object codes

7.3 List of release notes—Object codes

7.4 List of pay entitlement codes

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