Survey of Federal Government Expenditures in Support of Education (FEDEX)

Detailed information for 2002-2003





Record number:


The purpose of this survey is to collect data on federal government expenditures in support of education.

Data release - April 12, 2006 (see online catalogue number 81-582-X)


The Federal Government Expenditures in Support of Education survey enables Statistics Canada to determine, in detail, direct federal government financial support for education at all levels by department and by province/territory. A standard questionnaire is sent to all federal government departments and agencies with programs related to education and training.

Users of these data include stakeholders from both inside and outside of Statistics Canada. The information collected from this survey, as well as the other finance surveys, gives governments and various associations involved in the field of education, information which assists in the formulation of education policy. External users of these data include federal government departments which of course are also data providers. Data collected are also used to reconcile financial data from other sources. Moreover, these data are included as part of the inputs under ''Total education revenues and expenditures in Canada'' which is required by many organizations.

Other divisions within Statistics Canada also use these data "indirectly" as inputs into their statistical programs, for example, annual benchmarks are produced for sub-annual surveys of labour income and to feed the System of National Accounts and the Public Institutions Division. Data from this survey are also used to feed information to international organizations such as the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Moreover, these data are also used as inputs to the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program as well as the Canadian Social Trends publication.

Reference period: April 1 - March 31

Collection period: March to December


  • Education finance
  • Education, training and learning
  • Government

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is federal government departments, agencies, commissions, boards and crown corporations.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was originally designed many years ago by Statistics Canada and other federal government departments which were directly involved in the education sector. Since the original design dates back to the early 1980s, information on details of the questionnaire design, testing or focus groups is not available.

A few minor changes were made in the questionnaire design in the early 2000s, including an "Authorization to release Statement" as well as statement indicating to respondents that if they choose to send data by fax or other electronic means, Statistics Canada cannot guarantee their confidentiality. Only when the data are actually received can the Statistics Act guarantee confidentiality.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys.

Questionnaires and Guideline Booklets are sent to all Federal Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Crown Corporations. Information on Language Training is obtained from Treasury Board of Canada and the FSEP (Federal Science Expenditures and Personnel) file is received from Science and Technology Division of Statistics Canada. The aforementioned is entered in the appropriate questionnaires. When the forms are returned to the division, the data are manually verified with the previous year's questionnaires, validated and entered into the computer system. The data for non-respondents units are estimated.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

The first stage of editing is at the capture stage as data are inspected visually and compared with previous year's data. Control totals for the provinces and Canada are also used to verify the data.

Once the data capture and edit is complete the DC2 system is used for compilation. Once the FSEP file is received it is then merged with the DC2 file and uploaded to the Mainframe in order to run the next edits.


Imputation for missing, invalid or incomplete (i.e. after thorough follow-up attempts) is generally done by the survey manager and is based on historical estimation using the same department's responses from the previous year(s) and in(de)flation. Other published sources are rarely but sometimes used.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Before finalizing or releasing the data each year, they are compared to the previous year's figures by the survey manager using percentage increases or decreases of the dollar amounts. Relatively large increases or decreases, by program, are investigated and there maybe call-backs to the institutions if warranted. Data from this survey can be checked with other published sources. For example, if a department shows or announces, in its Public Accounts, general increases in spending for certain education programs during a particular year and the Statistics Canada FEDEX survey they filled in shows a decrease on the other hand, then a call-back would definitely be made.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data that would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

The data directly from the questionnaire are not released in any official form such as The Daily, Cansim, etc.

The data are basically aggregated by province and then used as an input into total education expenditures "directly" financed by the federal government.

However, customized microdata are available by request through Online Catalogue number 81C0010 but can only be released in the aggregated form or by program if the survey respondent responsible for the program has signed the "Authorization to Release Data" section on the questionnaire.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

No seasonal adjustment or calendarization is necessary for this survey. The survey manager makes revisions to the Final year figures if necessary and material.

Data accuracy

Only non-sampling errors apply to this survey as no sampling process was used to produce the final results. Also, since the response rate for the data collected by questionnaire is over 85% annually on average and only 15% is imputed using previous year's trends, it can be said that the data are quite accurate. Furthermore, the fact that we collect three years in one, (a final, and two estimates for future years) gives added confidence when imputing figures for missing data during a particular year. Furthermore, given that the survey respondents are also public institutions such as Statistics Canada, there is more willingness, in general, for the respondents to complete the questionnaire and to do so in an accurate and timely fashion. In addition, the guidelines that are sent with the questionnaires are quite explicit and fairly easy to understand thus contributing to the accuracy of the survey.

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