Encumbrance accounting is a mechanism to facilitate the accounting of goods and services where an obligation to purchase has occurred but the goods or services had not been received by year end. Public sector accounting requires the Niagara Region to follow accrual based accounting. This creates a funding complication in that items ordered and services contracted before year end and received subsequent to year end would not be matched to their budgeted funding. Encumbrance accounting was introduced to effectively transfer the budgeted funding for goods and services where a purchase order, contract or other commitment exists, to an encumbrance reserve at year end. Below is a detailed summary of 2016 encumbrances by department as reported in CSD 14-2017.
|Encumbrance History (in thousands of dollars)|
|Planning & Development||3,254||2,509||1,511||455||834|
|Niagara Regional Housing||223||34||192||-||197|
|Public Works - Levy||604||269||156||117||86|
|Public Works - Rate*||8,193||7,439||1,162||1,328||1,141|
* The Public Works - Rate 2016 Encumbrance includes $7,742 related to Combined Sewer Overflow program funding now reported in operating budget rather than capital budget.