Departmental Performance Report (DPR) 2013-14

 

The original version was signed by

The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

 

Table of Contents

Foreword

Registrar's Message

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Appendix: Definitions


Foreword

Departmental Performance Reports are part of the Estimates family of documents. Estimates documents support appropriation acts, which specify the amounts and broad purposes for which funds can be spent by the government. The Estimates document family has three parts.

Part I (Government Expenditure Plan) provides an overview of federal spending.

Part II (Main Estimates) lists the financial resources required by individual departments, agencies and Crown corporations for the upcoming fiscal year.

Part III (Departmental Expenditure Plans) consists of two documents. Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) are expenditure plans for each appropriated department and agency (excluding Crown corporations). They describe departmental priorities, strategic outcomes, programs, expected results and associated resource requirements, covering a three-year period beginning with the year indicated in the title of the report. Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs) are individual department and agency accounts of actual performance, for the most recently completed fiscal year, against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in their respective RPPs. DPRs inform parliamentarians and Canadians of the results achieved by government organizations for Canadians.

Additionally, Supplementary Estimates documents present information on spending requirements that were either not sufficiently developed in time for inclusion in the Main Estimates or were subsequently refined to account for developments in particular programs and services.

The financial information in DPRs is drawn directly from authorities presented in the Main Estimates and the planned spending information in RPPs. The financial information in DPRs is also consistent with information in the Public Accounts of Canada. The Public Accounts of Canada include the Government of Canada Consolidated Statement of Financial Position, the Consolidated Statement of Operations and Accumulated Deficit, the Consolidated Statement of Change in Net Debt, and the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flow, as well as details of financial operations segregated by ministerial portfolio for a given fiscal year. For the DPR, two types of financial information are drawn from the Public Accounts of Canada: authorities available for use by an appropriated organization for the fiscal year, and authorities used for that same fiscal year. The latter corresponds to actual spending as presented in the DPR.

The Treasury Board Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures further strengthens the alignment of the performance information presented in DPRs, other Estimates documents and the Public Accounts of Canada. The policy establishes the Program Alignment Architecture of appropriated organizations as the structure against which financial and non-financial performance information is provided for Estimates and parliamentary reporting. The same reporting structure applies irrespective of whether the organization is reporting in the Main Estimates, the RPP, the DPR or the Public Accounts of Canada.

A number of changes have been made to DPRs for 2014-15 to better support decisions on appropriations. Where applicable, DPRs now provide financial, human resources and performance information in Section II at the lowest level of the organization’s Program Alignment Architecture.

In addition, the DPR’s format and terminology have been revised to provide greater clarity, consistency and a strengthened emphasis on Estimates and Public Accounts information. As well, departmental reporting on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy has been consolidated into a new supplementary information table posted on departmental websites. This new table brings together all of the components of the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy formerly presented in DPRs and on departmental websites, including reporting on the Greening of Government Operations and Strategic Environmental Assessments. Section III of the report provides a link to the new table on the organization’s website. Finally, definitions of terminology are now provided in an appendix.


Registrar's Message

Picture of Roger Bilodeau, Registrar

I am pleased to present the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report for the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court of Canada is Canada's final court of appeal. The independence of the Court, the quality of its work and the esteem in which it is held both in Canada and abroad contribute significantly as foundations for a secure, strong and democratic country founded on the Rule of Law.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada has a deep appreciation for the importance of the Court’s role and focuses its efforts on a single strategic outcome, namely that ‘the administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent’.

Over the course of the period covered by this report, the core work of the Office continued to focus on the processing and management of cases brought to the Court.  As was the case in past years, the Court’s decision-making environment in 2013-14 has continued to present new risks, challenges and opportunities.

During the course of the last fiscal year, the Office of the Registrar placed a high priority on pursuing its business transformation efforts in order to continue to work towards the improvement of electronic access to the Court’s case files and information, render court operations more efficient, and ensure the long term preservation of Court data and information in an electronic format.

In addition to the Business Transformation initiative, the Court has also continued to focus on enhancements to its overall security services, as well as planning for a proposed major refurbishment project for the aging infrastructure of the Supreme Court of Canada Building.

I wish to conclude with heartfelt thanks to the entire staff of the Court for their continuing hard work and enthusiasm in serving the Court and Canadians with professionalism and a dedicated sense of purpose.

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.


Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P.

Deputy Head: Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.

Ministerial portfolio: Justice

Year established: 1875

Main legislative authorities:

Organizational Context

Raison d'être

Created by an Act of Parliament in 1875, the Supreme Court of Canada is Canada’s final court of appeal.  It serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance, thereby contributing to the development of all branches of law applicable within Canada.  The independence of the Court, the quality of its work and the esteem in which it is held both in Canada and abroad contribute significantly as foundations for a secure, strong and democratic country founded on the Rule of Law.  The Supreme Court of Canada is an important national institution, positioned at the pinnacle of the judicial branch of government in Canada, separate from and independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada provides all necessary services and support for the Court to process, hear and decide cases.  It also serves as the interface between litigants and the Court.  The focus of this report is on the priorities and activities of the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada.

More detailed information on the Court’s responsibilities, the hearing process and judgments is available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Responsibilities

In accordance with the Supreme Court Act, the Supreme Court of Canada consists of the Chief Justice and eight puisne judges, all of whom are appointed by the Governor in Council.  The Supreme Court of Canada hears appeals from the decisions of the highest courts of final resort of the provinces and territories, as well as from the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.  In addition, the Court provides advisory opinions on questions referred to it by the Governor in Council.  The importance of the Court’s decisions for Canadian society is well recognized.  The Court assures uniformity, consistency and correctness in the articulation, development and interpretation of legal principles throughout the Canadian judicial system.  Its jurisdiction is derived from the Supreme Court Act and otherActs of Parliament, such as the Criminal Code.

The Registrar, also a Governor in Council appointee, heads the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada and is responsible for the management of its employees, resources and activities.  The Supreme Court Act provides that the Registrar shall, under the direction of the Chief Justice, superintend the officers, clerks and employees of the Court, report and publish the judgments of the Court, as well as manage and control the library of the Court.  The organization of the Office of the Registrar is depicted in the following diagram and further explained in the paragraphs that follow.

Organization Chart of the Office of the Registrar

Description of image

The chart shows the organizational structure of the Court. Under the direction of the Chief Justice, who is supported by the Executive Legal Officer, the Registrar is the Deputy Head of the Court. He is responsible for the Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector, the Court Operations Sector and the Corporate Services Sector. The Registrar is seconded by the Deputy Registrar.

 

Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector: The Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector is responsible for the delivery of all judicial support services to the Chief Justice of Canada and the eight puisne judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, including protocol, the development and delivery of integrated judicial support programs and services, judicial administration, and the Law Clerk program.

Court Operations Sector: Composed of the Law Branch, Reports Branch, Registry Branch and the Library and Information Management Branch, this sector is responsible for the planning, direction and provision of legal advice and operational support for the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, respecting all aspects of the case management process from the initial filing to the final judgment on an appeal.  This includes processing and recording proceedings, scheduling of cases, legal and jurilinguistic services, legal research and library services, legal editing services and publication of the Canada Supreme Court Reports.  The Registry is the point of contact between the Court and litigants and it provides information and services to counsel and litigants, including unrepresented litigants.  Information management services, including case related and corporate records information, are also provided by the Sector.

Corporate Services Sector: Administrative and operational support for all the Court’s judges and staff is provided by the Corporate Services Sector, which is responsible for: strategic, business and resource planning; corporate reporting; management accountability; integrated risk management; finance; procurement; accommodation (including telecommunications, mail and printing services); human resources; security; health and safety; emergency management and preparedness; IT services; as well as business continuity planning.

Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Alignment Architecture

1. Strategic Outcome: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent

1.1  Program: Court Operations

1.2  Program: Processing of Payments to the Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type Strategic Outcome(s) [and/or] Program(s)
Business Transformation Ongoing

The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Court Operations

Summary of Progress

What progress has been made toward this priority?

Business transformation was first identified as a priority for fiscal year 2011-12.  This ongoing initiative ultimately will allow the Court to function with reduced reliance on paper based processes.  Through the Program Office, various business transformation projects were identified, prioritized, resourced and tracked. 

Accomplishments for 2013-14
  • The Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada were amended to permit more electronic processes, such as filing by e-mail and electronic processing of Chambers’ motions, and the automated Case Management System was updated to reflect the changes.
  • The analysis, design and planning for the modernization of the legacy IT systems continued and the IM and IT capabilities needed to support new business processes were defined.
  • Mapping of workflows for Chambers’ motions and the judgment editorial process were finalized and requirements for the electronic filing portal were completed.
  • A project to prototype an Enterprise Information Management System (EIMS) integrating C-doc (SharePoint 2010), used to manage Court case related documents, with GCDOCS (OpenText Content Server 10), for records management and archival preservation, using the OpenText Application Governance and Archiving (AGA) for Microsoft SharePoint Module. The prototype assessed the potential of the EIMS to support and transform Court Operations and its internal services in an increasingly electronic environment, while meeting the SCC’s IM/RM obligations.

 

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type Strategic Outcome(s) [and/or] Program(s)
Enhancement of the security program to better meet the overall needs of the Court Ongoing

The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services

Summary of Progress

What progress has been made toward this priority?

Due to the sensitive nature of the Court's business and its high level profile as the court of last resort in Canada's judicial branch of government, it is essential to continue enhancing the Court's security program which has many components, such as physical security, information technology security and business continuity planning.

Accomplishments for 2013-14
  • Continued update of the security policy framework.
  • Development of enhanced skills and competencies in the area of security.
  • Initiated the renewal of governance arrangements with the RCMP.
  • Options to acquire additional funding are being explored to support further planned enhancements to the security program.
  • Continued enhancements to the Court's IT Security posture.

 

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type Strategic Outcome(s) [and/or] Program(s)

Identification of cost-saving opportunities and resource management optimization

Ongoing

The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services
Summary of Progress

What progress has been made toward this priority?

In light of the current climate of fiscal restraint, the Court, much like any other public sector organization, is faced with the continuing challenge of doing more with less. As such, efforts will need to be dedicated in the short and medium term to ensure that all resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner.

Accomplishments for 2013-14
  • Performed an analysis of cost-saving opportunities and potential efficiency gains in the area of internal services.
  • Realignment of some functions as positions became vacant.
  • Implemented opportunities aimed at increasing efficiency and/or reducing operating costs (reduction in IT equipment and peripherals, reduction in the number of printers in use, changes to the delivery models of various services including the distribution of the Supreme Court Reports).
  • Developed operational efficiency indicators.
  • Implemented additional financial controls and reports which improved resource planning and forecasting.
  • In 2013-14, there was a transfer of responsibility for publishing the Canada Supreme Court Reports (S.C.R.) from PWGSC’s Publishing and Depository Services Directorate to Court Operations, with a subsequent reduction in the number of subscriptions managed and the publication of an electronic version of the S.C.R. on the SCC website, in line with the Open Government initiative.  Ultimately we will see a reduced cost for the program (in 2014-15).
  • A new Backup Tape Retention standard was approved by the Executive Committee, which reduces the number of tapes archived and ultimately the cost of their storage.
  • A Subscription Review Initiative was begun to reduce overall costs expended on library print subscriptions which are also available in electronic format.
  • Electronic acceptance of motions by email and the circulation of electronic documents related to their processing has reduced the need to circulate the paper files and improved efficiencies.

Risk Analysis

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture

IT Security (cyber threats)

Unintentional or unauthorized access, use, manipulation, interruption or destruction (via electronic means) of electronic information held by the Court and the electronic and physical infrastructure used to process, communicate and/or store that information. Risk to the security and confidentiality of judicial information and data.
  • IT security action plans
  • IT security awareness plans/staff awareness
  • Periodic vulnerabilities assessment and penetration testing
  • Strategic partnerships with lead security agencies

The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services

Security (persons, building, information, infrastructure)

Threats to the safety of Judges, staff or visitors, and to the security of the building, information and infrastructure. Balancing security measures required for the protection of judges, staff and visitors with the principle of an open court (the Supreme Court of Canada building is a high volume tourism destination).
  • Security governance structure / relationship with the RCMP
  • Security Action Plan
  • Security Risk Register
  • Policies and procedures
  • Security audits/threat and risk assessments
  • Business Continuity Plan under development
  • Staff awareness

The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services

Aging legacy IT systems and applications

Failure of aging legacy systems and applications, such as the Case Management System (CMS), as evidenced by system downtime or failure, flexibility of systems to handle new requirements or to integrate with newer products, lack of ability of SCC staff to address technical issues and to interface systems and data, and systems becoming obsolete and unmanageable if SCC waits too long to redesign and port to a new platform.
  • IT Threat and Risk Assessments performed periodically
  • Up-to-date and effective backup services
  • In-house expertise available to support CMS and operational systems, and initiatives underway to ensure business systems are up-to-date
  • Access to specialized expertise via service contracts
  • Investment Plan (capital replacement)
  • Ongoing maintenance of systems and equipment/systematic checks

The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services

Infrastructure failure within building

The Supreme Court of Canada building is aging, and consequently there is a growing risk of infrastructure and building systems failure as a result of continuing property deterioration.
  • Working with PWGSC on a major proposed building rehabilitation project, and on several shorter-term building improvement projects
  • PWGSC space/accommodation audits
  • Business Continuity Plan under development

The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services

Compromised ability to maintain program operations

Risk of compromised ability to maintain program operations during an ongoing business transformation initiative due to extensive staff participation in the mapping of current processes, identification of business requirements and evaluation of proposed solutions, with no additional resources to maintain operations.
  • Strong program tracking
  • Strong governance and decision-making framework at the Executive Committee level.
  • Through the Program Office, planning of the various projects takes into account operational schedules and priorities to ensure that resources are not overtaxed.  Risk analysis is part of the project planning process.

The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services

Operating Environment

The environment within which the Office of the Registrar must carry out its activities is continually evolving. First, to counter various ongoing pressures placed on the Court to update its facilities, systems and services, the Office of the Registrar’s focus in recent years has been on courtroom modernization, information management and on enhancing electronic access to the Court for litigants and the public.

Second, there has been a need for a continued focus on the electronic exchange of information between or from the Judges, Court staff, the legal community and the public. While the Office of the Registrar has moved toward a greater acceptance of processing cases electronically (all main appeal documents are now filed electronically and some application for leave document are available in electronic format), the requirement for paper-based processes continues and will continue for some time. As a result, parallel streams (paper and electronic) of case and information processing are required. Implications for the Office of the Registrar include but are not limited to:

  • Storage, retention and preservation of Court information in electronic format
  • Ability to hyperlink between documents and outside sources (e.g., from factum to record). This will require a revision of standards
  • Increased access by parties to a single source of information on the web (With differentiated access rights assigned to Court documents based on the status of a party in a given case, along with applicable, privacy restrictions)
  • Ability to manage both paper and electronic systems at the same time
  • Capacity to manage documents which are not provided to the Court electronically, either through scanning or alternative workflows
  • Need to redesign the Court Case Management System (CMS) to align with current information management standards and e-filing, as well as to address aging technology issues
  • The need to be conscious of the expectations of judges and other organizations in considering and introducing new technology
  • Providing a horizontal perspective to processes, including those which affect the judges’ workflows

Third, factors such as globalization and the growing influence of privacy, national security and human rights issues continue to increase the complexity of cases being heard. More complicated motions are also being filed and the Court is frequently asked to deal with cases or issue rulings on an expedited basis. In addition, a significant number of applications for leave to appeal are being filed by self represented litigants. Addressing the particular needs of self represented litigants causes additional pressure on all of the Court’s operations.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013-14
Main Estimates
2013-14
Planned Spending
2013-14
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2013-14
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)
30,656,211 32,056,991 32,601,842 31,430,939 -626,052

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — [FTEs])
2013-14
Planned
2013-14
Actual
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
220.5 210 -10.5

 

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome and Programs (dollars)
Strategic Outcome, Programs and Internal Services

2013-14
Main Estimates

2013-14
Planned Spending

2014–15
Planned Spending

2015–16
Planned Spending

Strategic Outcome 1: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent
Court Operations 15,785,123 16,878,450 15,828,920 15,828,920
Processing of Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 6,371,407 6,371,407 6,693,585 7,029,740
Subtotal 22,156,530 23,249,857 22,522,505 22,858,660
Internal Services Subtotal 8,499,681 8,807,134 8,523,265 8,523,265
Total 30,656,211 32,056,991 31,045,770 31,381,925

 

Strategic Outcome, Programs and Internal Services

2013-14
Total Authorities Available for Use

2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)

2012-13
Actual Spending (authorities used)

2011-12
Actual Spending (authorities used)

Strategic Outcome 1: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent
Court Operations 17,454,578 16,627,433 16,012,731 14,768,158
Processing of Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 6,155,512 6,155,512 6,025,983 5,724,347
Subtotal 23,610,090 22,782,945 22,038,714 20,492,505
Internal Services Subtotal 8,991,752 8,647,994 9,181,104 10,962,683
Total 32,601,842 31,430,939 31,219,818 31,455,188

There have been no significant changes to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (ORSCC)’s program in recent years and consequently, actual spending has remained fairly stable over time.

The variance of $626,052 between planned and actual spending in 2013-14 was mainly attributed to lower than forecasted salary and professional services expenditures. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in parking rental expenditures paid to Public Works and Government Services Canada. Other expenditures were relatively stable.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2013-14 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-government framework (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2013-14 Actual Spending
1 The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent 1.1 Court Operations Government Affairs Strong and independent democratic institutions 16,627,433
  1.2 Processing of Payments to the Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act Government Affairs Strong and independent democratic institutions 6,155,512

 

Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 0 0
Social Affairs 0 0
International Affairs 0 0
Government Affairs 32,056,991 31,430,939

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of image

The graph entitled "Spending Trend" illustrates the actual spending for four fiscal years: 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 and the planned spending for fiscal years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. Financial figures are presented in dollars below:

Actual Spending
2010-11 - $ 30,295,691
2011-12 - $ 31,455,188
2012-13 - $ 31,219,818
2013-14 - $ 31,430,939

Planned Spending
2014-15 - $ 32,538,179
2015-16 - $ 31,721,311
2016-17 - $ 31,774,633

The ORSCC’s spending has remained fairly stable for the past three years, with minimal variances between fiscal years. There are no significant variances to report.

Investments in new initiatives, such as business transformation and security services, have been absorbed within existing reference levels. These initiatives primarily involve existing human resources and therefore the impact on operating expenditures has been minimal and consistent with prior years.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the Supreme Court of Canada’s organizational Votes and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2014 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.


Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Performance Measurement
Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Level of satisfaction among judges regarding quality of service Satisfied

Target met: In discussions with the Registrar, the Judges indicated that they were satisfied with the level of service provided to them.

Level of satisfaction among lawyers in the legal community regarding quality of service Satisfied Target met: Comments received from lawyers at meetings of the Supreme Court of Canada / Canadian Bar Association Liaison Committee and the Court / Ottawa Agents Practice and Procedures Committee were unanimous in expressing the view that the quality of service of the Court Registry is excellent, and accordingly there is a high level of satisfaction on their part.

Program 1.1:  Court Operations

Description

In order to render decisions, the Court requires the support of the Office of the Registrar in the management of cases from the receipt of an application for leave to appeal up to and including the release of a judgment on appeal. This support includes providing services to the litigants; reviewing applications for leave to appeal and preparing advice as to whether leave to appeal should be granted; preparing summaries of the leave applications; providing procedural advice; reviewing and summarizing factums where leave to appeal is granted; receiving, controlling and preserving all incoming case documentation; tracking various time periods to ensure compliance by the parties with the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada; recording proceedings on appeals; answering queries with regard to cases; editing and summarizing decisions of the Court; publishing decisions in the Supreme Court Reports, in accordance with the Supreme Court Act; and providing law library services with an extensive collection in both print and electronic formats to support legal research undertaken by users within the Court and members of the legal community.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013-14
Main Estimates
2013-14
Planned Spending
2013-14
Total Authorities Available for Use
2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
15,785,123 16,878,450 17,454,578 16,627,433 -251,017

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — [FTEs])
2013-14
Planned
2013-14
Actual
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
154 142 -12

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Cases processed without delay Number of weeks between filing of application for leave and decision on application for leave 14 weeks 14 weeks
Number of months between hearing and judgment 6 months 6 months
Access to Court services and information % of lawyers and unrepresented litigants in appeals with the Supreme Court of Canada that were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with Registry services 95% Measured by comment cards post hearing; none received
Access to reference information % of factual/bibliographic requests for reference assistance responded to within service standard of 1 working day 95% 97% of factual/bibliographic requests were responded to within the service standard
% of complex/substantive requests for reference assistance responded by date required by client 95% 96% of complex/substantive requests for reference assistance were completed by the date
% of users that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services 95% 100% of respondents to surveys were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Supreme Court has consistently met its performance targets in the areas of processing cases without delay, providing effective access to Court services and programs, including reference information, and providing reliable courtroom services.  At the same time, the Office of the Registrar has maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.  In 2013-14, the Office of the Registrar concentrated its efforts on improving information management and continued improvements to the Business Transformation program.  The primary focus was documenting the business processes associated with case management.

During the fiscal year, a sustained focus on the Court's Business Transformation Initiative addressed issues associated with aging mission critical systems.  In particular, our Case Management System, an in-house proceedings system developed in the 1990s, was tested and a prototype written in vb.net, which subsequently led to a plan for a more robust re-thinking of the CMS in a .net environment.  This work is being planned while moving the Court towards increased electronic access and processing of cases, including making information more accessible to the public based on access rights and permissions. A prototype electronic records management system was tested to link proceedings data with the SCC’s electronic document management system for court case files and an archival records management solution. This work will continue in 2014-15 as a core foundation of business transformation.

Workload projections for 2014
Category Projected workload
Leave applications filed 538
Leave applications submitted to the Court 542
Appeals as of right filed 15
Appeals heard 83
Judgments 80

Program 1.2: Processing of Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act

Description

The Judges Act is an Act respecting all federally appointed judges, and thereby applies to the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. With respect to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Judges Act specifies the salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, and prescribes other payments to be made to judges, namely allowances for removal, representation, incidentals, conferences and seminars, as well as annuities.  The Office of the Registrar processes these payments as required by the Judges Act.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013-14
Main Estimates
2013-14
Planned Spending
2013-14
Total Authorities Available for Use
2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
6,371,407 6,371,407 6,155,512 6,155,512 -215,895

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14
Planned
2013-14
Actual
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
0 0 0

 

Performance Results
Expected
Results
Performance
Indicators
Targets Actual Results
Timely and accurate processing of various allowances to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act % of payments processed within service standards 95% 100%
% of errors on payments 2% 1%
Average time to process payments 5 business days 1.2

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Office of the Registrar has exceeded its target of 95% for the timely processing of payments pursuant to the Judges Act within its service standard of five days and has incurred an error rate of 1% on its accuracy level for the processing of these payments.

The Office of the Registrar has achieved a level of 100% for the timely processing of its payments to judges. As previously reported, this success is partly attributed to procedures that have been implemented to carefully monitor the payment process. Frequent payment batches have been generated to ensure that targeted timeframes are respected. Efforts will continue in order to maintain the established target. 

Although an independent file review has not yet been conducted, an assessment of the corrective entries was used as a basis in determining whether or not the Office of the Registrar met its target of an error rate of 2% or less. Of 374 transactions, 5 adjusting entries were needed to correct various errors, resulting in an error rate of 1%. The adjustments consisted mostly of errors in financial coding, thus not directly impacting the payment to the recipients. Processes such as reconciliation and frequent reporting have allowed for early detection of errors, in particular financial coding errors, and corrective action was taken immediately. The Office of the Registrar will continue to dedicate time and effort in the coming year to strive towards maintaining its level of service.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013-14
Main Estimates
2013-14
Planned Spending
2013-14
Total Authorities Available for Use
2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
8,499,681 8,807,134 8,991,752 8,647,994 -159,140

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14
Planned
2013-14
Actual
2013-14
Difference (actual minus planned)
66.5 68 1.5

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Internal services support the Court by providing timely and responsive services that are effective and efficient as per established service standards.  Some key accomplishments for 2013-14 are:

  • Evaluation and prioritization of operational activities and projects pertaining to the security services program, including the refinement of the governance framework, updates to policies, procedures and practices, as well as training and awareness for staff and Judges.
  • Achieved significant improvements in the integration of financial and non-financial information (succession planning, operational trends and pressures, budget forecasting, etc.) at all levels of the organization, providing a richer decision-making environment more conducive to realizing operational efficiencies.
  • Ongoing collaboration with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) on the development of a functional program regarding the Supreme Court’s proposed building rehabilitation project, as well as the identification of functional requirements for interim space.
  • Increased focus of Human Resources (HR) efforts on knowledge transfer/succession planning, change management and HR support, in particular:
    • Implemented a knowledge transfer and learning strategy that help develop the next generation of employees in line with emerging trends and changing business realities. 
    • Continued to develop change management skills and competencies needed to implement major business transformation, and develop better ways of engaging all staff in business process and change initiatives.
  • The Information Technology Branch and the Business Development Branch are an integral part of the Court’s business as a partner and enabler.  Key accomplishments for 2013-14 include:
    • Ongoing assistance to Court Operations in its business transformation objectives.  In the context of several systems implementation initiatives, focus was put on leveraging existing technologies and skills to maximize return on investment for the Court.
    • Progress made towards the upgrade of key legacy applications, including the Case Management System (CMS), as well as the development of new functionality in support of a changing business environment.
  • The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Results for 2013-14 include:
    • To confirm that the GC Docs Pilot Project could be deployed across the organization, a proof of concept to test the interoperability of C-doc, the Court’s document system for case-related documents and GCDOCS, using the AGA tool from Open Text, was investigated.  A prototype demonstrated that closed case files, with their proceedings related metadata, could be migrated from C-doc to GCDOCS, and that enterprise searching across both systems could be achieved.  Shortcomings in the transfer of case-related metadata, and in the management of physical case files, will be reviewed in the coming year.  Archiving and preservation of the case file in electronic format is the ultimate goal.
    • An improved search experience for internal users of the document and records systems, and the efficiency and effectiveness of searching for information across organizational repositories, was successfully demonstrated.  An older repository of historical case summaries and judgments will be migrated in the coming year.
    • Ensuring that the Office of the Registrar is able to meet its obligations under the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Directive on Recordkeeping has been a key objective.  An implementation plan for the Recordkeeping Directive was approved and submitted to TBS CIO Branch for review.

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

The financial highlights presented in this section are drawn from the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (ORSCC)'s financial statements. These statements have been prepared using the Government’s accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

The ORSCC’s liabilities are mainly for accounts payable and accrued liabilities, as well as for payables related to the Judges’ Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account. The “Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund” accounts for the majority of the ORSCC’s assets. Expenses include $10,078,969 in services provided without charge. As for the revenues, they are insignificant.

Supreme Court of Canada
Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2014
(dollars)
  2013-14
Planned Results
2013-14
Actual
2012-13
Actual
Difference
(2013-14 actual minus 2013-14 planned)
Difference
(2013-14 actual minus 2012-13 actual)
Total expenses 43,011,936 41,130,351 41,363,100 -1,881,585 -232,749
Total revenues 6,500 11 809 -6,489 -798
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 43,005,436 41,130,340 41,362,291 -1,875,096 -231,951
Departmental net financial position -2,338,047 -437,320 -815,428 1,900,727 378,108

 

Expenses by Type

Description of image

This pie chart shows the 2013-14 expenses by two major categories: Salaries and Employee Benefits and Other Operating Expenditures representing $27,221,066 and $13,909,284 respectively for total expenses of $41,130,350.

 

Total expenses were $41,130,351 in 2013-14; a decrease of $232,749 over the total expenses of $41,363,100 in 2012-13 (0.6 %). Salaries and employee benefits represent the majority of the ORSCC’s expenditures ($27,221,067 or 66%). The net decrease of $232,749 consists of a decrease in other operating expenditures ($1,118,432), offset by an increase in salaries and employee benefits ($885,683). The main decrease in operating expenditures is a reduction of the amortization of tangible capital assets of $810,742 and a decrease in travel of $287,690.

Supreme Court of Canada
Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2013
(dollars)
  2013-14 2012-13 Difference (2013-14 minus 2012-13)
Total net liabilities 5,336,651 6,434,841 -1,098,190
Total net financial assets 3,793,796 4,282,801 -489,005
Departmental net debt 1,542,855 2,152,040 -609,185
Total non-financial assets 1,105,535 1,336,612 -231,077
Departmental net financial position -437,320 -815,428 378,108

 

Liabilities by Type

Description of image

This pie chart is divided into five pieces. The three largest pieces of the pie are assigned to Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities, Judges’ Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account and Employee Future Benefits which represent $1,475,616, $1,883,553 and $794,935 respectively. Vacation Pay and Compensatory Leave represents $790,665 and the Security Deposit Trust Account, $391,882 for total liabilities of $5,336,651.

 

Total liabilities were $5,336,651 at the end of 2013-14; a decrease of $1,098,190 (17 %) over the total liabilities of $6,434,841 for 2012-13. This decrease is mostly attributed to a decrease in accounts payable to other government departments and agencies, as well as a larger volume of payments of severance benefits to employees during the 2012-13 fiscal year. The employee severance pay entitlement ceased for certain collective bargaining groups beginning in 2012 and has since affected the majority of collective agreements.

Assets by Type

Description of image

This pie chart is divided into four pieces. The largest section is attributed to Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund and represents $3,625,007 of the $4,911,831 total assets. Tangible Capital Assets represent $1,025,380 and Accounts Receivable and Advances and Prepaid Expenses each represent $261,444.

 

Total assets were $4,911,831 at the end of 2013-14; a decrease of $742,601 (13%) over the total assets of $5,654,432 for 2012-13, which is mostly due to a reduction in the amount due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund ($616,164), as well as a decrease in tangible capital assets ($204,738). The net book value of these assets has significantly decreased over time, essentially due to leasehold improvements being almost fully depreciated (amongst other asset categories). The acquisition of new assets has been minimal over the last few years, therefore explaining the significant decrease in tangible capital assets over time.

Departmental net debt, calculated as the difference between total liabilities and net financial assets, has decreased by $609,185 compared to the previous year. Net debt will fluctuate from year to year in accordance with the level and timing of both departmental spending and revenues received.

The Departmental net financial position has increased by $378,108 compared to the previous year. The $609,185 net debt decrease is offset by a reduction in non-financial assets, therefore reducing the variance between both fiscal years.

Financial Statements

The complete Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (ORSCC)'s financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2014, which include the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting and its Annex for fiscal year 2013-14 are available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.


Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Supreme Court of Canada Building
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0J1

General Enquiries
Telephone: 613-995-4330
Fax: 613-996-3063
Email: reception@scc-csc.ca

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C. - Registrar
Telephone: 613-996-9277
Email: reception@scc-csc.ca

Barbara Kincaid - General Counsel and Director General, Court Operations Sector
Telephone: 613-996-7721
Email: law-droit@scc-csc.ca

Catherine Laforce - Director General, Corporate Services Sector
Telephone: 613-947-0682
Email: Catherine.Laforce@scc-csc.ca

Michel Gallant - Director, Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector
Telephone: 613-996-4841
Email: Michel.Gallant@scc-csc.ca


Appendix: Definitions

appropriation: Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures: Include operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Departmental Performance Report: Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

full-time equivalent: Is a measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada outcomes: A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.

Management, Resources and Results Structure: A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

non-budgetary expenditures: Include net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance: What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator: A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting: The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending: For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

plans: The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

priorities: Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).

program: A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

results: An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

Program Alignment Architecture: A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Report on Plans and Priorities: Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Strategic Outcome: A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset program: A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

target: A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

whole-of-government framework: Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.