Departmental Performance Report (DPR) 2014-15

 

The original version was signed by

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

 

Table of Contents

Registrar's Message

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Section II: Analysis of Program(s) by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Appendix: Definitions


Registrar's Message

Picture of Roger Bilodeau, Registrar

I am pleased to present the 2014-2015 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 2014-15 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 improving electronic access to the Court’s case files and information, render court operations more efficient, as well as ensuring 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 the enhancements of its overall security services which aim to balance the safety of all participants in the judicial process, as well as the basic principles of fairness, access and openness which underpin the administration of justice.

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

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.


Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P.

Deputy Head: Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.

Ministerial Portfolio: Justice

Enabling Instrument(s):

Year established: 1875

 

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 other Acts 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 Court Operations Sector and the Corporate Services Sector. The Registrar is seconded by the Deputy Registrar, who is responsible for the Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector.

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 Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type1 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

Note 1: Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.

Summary of Progress
What progress has been made toward this priority?

The ongoing business transformation program, first identified as a priority for fiscal year 2011-12, is allowing the Court to reduce its reliance on paper-based processes. The program is coordinated through a program office allowing the integrated approach to managing projects and priorities. 

Accomplishments for 2014-15:

The mapping of current case management processes and processes relating to judgments was concluded, and a comprehensive document detailing the requirements of a new integrated case management system was developed. Phase 1 of the migration of the Case Management System to a new operating system began, starting with Records Centre operations. An automated process for the management of cases from the time initiating documents are received at the Court to the case being accepted for filing was developed, and allows for a reduced need for duplicate data entry. A proof of concept of a records management system, i.e. GCDOCS, showed that it could be integrated with the Court’s document management system. Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada now allow the electronic processing of motions, the Court’s first fully electronic case process. The updated Policy for Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records came into force in March 2015, and allows for a more efficient service to frequent requesters. A trial of secure digital transmission technology was conducted and used to evaluate the use of the technology in a judicial environment and to identify future requirements for the authentication of users and / or documents for electronic filing.

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type2 Strategic Outcome(s) [and/or] Program(s)
Enhancement of the security program to better meet the overall needs of the Court Previously committed to

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

Internal Services

Note 2: Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.

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 2014-15:
  • Policies and guiding instruments were strengthened to address requirements relating to emerging threats and a changing security landscape.
  • Discussions were initiated to review governance arrangements with the RCMP.
  • Additional funding was identified in the 2015 Budget to bring further enhancements to the Security program. The Court's IT Security posture continued to be improved in line with continuously increasing pressures.
Organizational Priorities
Priority Type3 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

Note 3: Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.

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 2014-15:
  • Cost-saving opportunities and potential efficiency gains are being explored on an ongoing basis as part of all program activities and services.
  • Organizational changes were proposed and adopted which are aiming at reducing salary pressures while better responding to changing operational needs.
  • Using the document management system to provide for the electronic processing of motions and electronic distribution of transcripts of SCC proceedings has reduced paper consumption in a significant way. The new CMS Filing Manager, reduces the amount of data that is re-keyed when a Court case file is opened.

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 are kept up-to-date
  • IT security awareness plans/staff awareness activities are taking place
  • Periodic vulnerabilities assessment and penetration testing are performed regularly
  • Regular IT Threat and Risk Assessments are conducted

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
  • Security Action Plan
  • Security Risk Register under development
  • Policies and procedures updated regularly
  • Security audits/threat and risk assessments
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Staff awareness
  • Effective relationship with the RCMP

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 integrate with newer products, lack of ability of the Court staff to address technical issues and to interface systems and data, and systems becoming obsolete and unmanageable if the Court waits too long to redesign and port to a new platform.

  • Threat and Risk Assessments
  • Back-up operations and tools kept up-to-date
  • In-house expertise available to support and upgrade Case Management System and other operational systems as needed
  • Consistent efforts to gradually modernize legacy applications
  • Identification of key significant upgrades in the Investment Plan (capital replacement), and provision of sufficient funding to meet requirements
  • Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery plans
  • Ongoing maintenance of systems and equipment/systematic checks

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

Internal Services

Operating Environment

Although the role of the Office of the Registrar in supporting the Court in hearing and deciding cases does not change from year to year, the environment in which the Office operates continues to evolve. There are ongoing pressures to provide more services with fewer resources, to meet the needs of an increasing number of self-represented litigants and to maintain operations in aging facilities. The shift from paper-based to electronic case and information processing is not an easy transition. The Office of the Registrar, working with the Court and with litigants, has to determine what services can be most effectively delivered through electronic processes. Where electronic processes are chosen, the long term preservation, authentication and accessibility of electronic court records needs to be addressed. Physical and information technology security concerns are heightened, and the need to provide a secure environment must be balanced with the operational requirements of a Court which is accessible to the public. Finally, although the caseload of the Court has been relatively stable over the last few years, the cases brought often involve more complex procedures and there is more pressure to determine cases on an expedited basis.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)
31,389,794 32,538,179 32,878,835 31,992,787 (545,392)

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
215 204 (11)

 

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

2014-15
Main Estimates

2014-15
Planned Spending

2015–16
Planned Spending

2016–17
Planned Spending

Strategic Outcome 1: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent
Court Operations 15,765,325 16,977,173 16,592,302 16,270,606
Processing of Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 6,756,473 6,756,473 7,087,990 7,270,062
Subtotal 22,521,798 23,733,646 23,680,292 23,540,668
Internal Services Subtotal 8,867,996 8,804,533 8,547,550 8,381,827
Total 31,389,794 32,538,179 32,227,842 31,922,495

 

Strategic Outcome, Programs and Internal Services

2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use

2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)

2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)

2012-13
Actual Spending (authorities used)

Strategic Outcome 1: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent
Court Operations 16,840,247 16,489,596 16,627,433 16,012,731
Processing of Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 6,565,949 6,565,949 6,155,512 6,025,983
Subtotal 23,406,196 23,055,545 22,782,945 22,038,714
Internal Services Subtotal 9,472,639 8,937,242 8,647,994 9,181,104
Total 32,878,835 31,992,787 31,430,939 31,219,818

There have been no significant changes to the Office of the Registrar’s program and consequently, actual spending has remained fairly stable over time.

The variance of $545,392 between planned and actual spending in 2014-15 was mainly attributed to lower than forecasted salary and relocation expenditures. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in the purchase of tangible capital assets. Other expenditures were relatively stable.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2014-15 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 16,489,596
  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 6,565,949

 

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 32,538,179 31,992,787

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of image

Spending Trend: This graph illustrates the spending trend for actual spending from 2012-13 to 2014-15, and planned spending from 2015-16 to 2017-18. Financial figures are presented in dollars and broken down by statutory and voted items.

Actual spending indicates the amounts the ORSCC spent: in 2012-13, $8,796,366 for statutory items and $22,423,452 for voted items; in 2013-14, $9,011,043 for statutory items and 22,419,896 for voted items, and in 2014-15, $9,292,963 for statutory items and $22,699,824 for voted items.

Planned spending indicates the amounts the ORSCC is planning to spend: in 2015-16, $9,902,737 for statutory items and $22,325,105 for voted items; in 2016-17, $9,641,169 for statutory items and $22,281,326 for voted items; and in 2017-18, $9,512,419 for statutory items and $22,281,326 for voted items.

The above graph illustrates the spending trend for the Office of the Registrar. Amounts for 2012-13 to 2014-15 represent the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts, whereas 2015-16 represents the forecasted spending presented in the 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities. For the 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years, the planned spending reflects the approved funding by Treasury Board.

Overall, the Office of the Registrar’s spending has remained fairly stable for the past three years, with minimal variances between fiscal years.

The annual increases in statutory items are mainly due to additional requirements for the Judges’ salaries, allowances and annuities; and in employees benefit plans.  The increase in voted spending for 2014-15 includes $597,073 for the impact of the salary in arrears approach that took effect in May 2014.

Expenditures by Vote

For information on Supreme Court of Canada’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2015 which is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.


Section II: Analysis of Program(s) 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)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
15,765,325 16,977,173 16,840,247 16,489,596 (487,577)

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
145 137 (8)

 

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 weeks between hearing and judgment 24 weeks 16 weeks
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% 100%
Access to reference information % of factual/bibliographic requests for reference assistance responded to within service standard of 1 working day 95% 95.6%
% of complex/substantive requests for reference assistance responded by date required by client 95% 100%
% of users that were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with library services 95% 100%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Supreme Court has a consistent record of meeting its objectives in 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.

Over the last three fiscal years, the Court has focused on its Business Transformation Initiative to address issues associated with aging mission critical systems while moving the Court towards increased electronic access and processing of cases, more effective and efficient work processes, as well as the protection and preservation of historical and archival information in electronic format. Electronic recordkeeping, through the implementation of an enterprise information management strategy, will continue to be considered as a core foundation of business transformation.  Business process mapping will look at current work processes and will identify workflows which may be streamlined or made more efficient through the introduction of new technologies.

With the enactment of amendments to its Rules of Court, the Court will be receiving key case documents in leave applications and motions in electronic format, as well as in paper format.  This will enable more case management to be done electronically, which should lead to greater efficiencies. 

With the completion of the mapping of key business processes and business requirements for electronic filing, the Business Transformation team will focus on defining more efficient processes. Experience with implementing electronic processes has demonstrated that simply duplicating a paper-based process will not necessarily be more efficient. Accordingly, the Court’s current program will see the development of an e-filing portal as one of the last pieces. The appropriate repositories for the documents, the third generation CMS and revised rules and procedures will be required before the e-filing portal can be designed.

 

Workload projections for 2015
Category Projected workload
Leave applications filed 530
Leave applications submitted to the Court 530
Appeals as of right filed 15
Appeals heard 65
Judgments 70

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. 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)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
6,756,473 6,756,473 6,565,949 6,565,949 (190,524)

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
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% 4%
Average time to process payments 5 business days 1 business day

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 4% 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 445 transactions, 20 adjusting entries were needed to correct various errors, resulting in an error rate of 4%. 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 reducing its error rate.

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 Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not those provided to a specific program.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Total Authorities Available for Use
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
8,867,996 8,804,533 9,472,639 8,937,242 132,709

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference (actual minus planned)
70 67 (3)

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 2014-15 include:

  • Continued improvements to the security and IT security programs, including the governance model, policies, operating procedures and practices, equipment upgrades, as well as training and awareness.
  • Continued efforts for better integration of financial and non-financial information at all levels of the organization so as to strengthen planning and reporting, and identify and explore potential operational efficiencies.
  • Continued collaboration with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) regarding the Supreme Court's proposed building rehabilitation project.
  • Increased focus of Human Resources (HR) efforts on knowledge transfer/succession planning, specifically to identify essential positions and opportunities to streamline services.
  • The Information Technology Branch is an integral part of the Court's business as a partner and enabler in supporting the Business Transformation efforts.  In 2014-15, progress was made towards the upgrade of key legacy applications, including the Case Management System (CMS), with an aim of achieving greater integration between systems. As well, key IT infrastructure improvements were brought to support the stability and robustness of the operating environment.

The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Accomplishments for 2014-15 included progress in the following key priorities:

  • As part of an ongoing assessment of the Enterprise Information System Proof of Concept/prototype in support of business transformation, there were service enhancements to the case-related document management system as the Court moved to electronic transcripts. This has the added impact of saving photocopying and distribution costs.
  • Significant progress has been made on implementing GCDOCS across the organization to manage documents and records of business value. Issues related to the configuration of the software have been resolved and the system is scheduled for roll-out in the Records Centre in Q1 of 2015-16. This will support the organizational requirement for managing the full life-cycle of both physical and electronic records.
  • Ensuring that the Office of the Registrar is able to meet its obligations under the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Directive on Recordkeeping continues as a key objective. In 2014-15, a formal Disposition Plan was approved by the Executive Committee, laying the groundwork to streamline disposition processes for electronic documents and records. Much work was done to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding with Library and Archives Canada for the long-term storage and care of the SCC’s records of enduring value. A revised Access to Court Records Policy was approved in March 2015. A digitization project to back-date the Supreme Court Reports to 1876 has been completed.

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

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

The Office of the Registrar’s liabilities are mainly for accounts payable and accrued liabilities, as well as for liabilities related to the Judges’ Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account. The “Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund” accounts for the majority of the Office of the Registrar’s assets. Expenses include $10,275,188 in services provided without charge. As for the revenues, they are insignificant.

Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada
Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2015
(dollars)
Financial Information 2014-15
Planned Results
2014-15
Actual
2013-14
Actual
Difference
(2014-15 actual minus 2014-15 planned)
Difference
(2014-15 actual minus 2013-14 actual)
Total expenses 42,765,251 41,939,348 41,130,351 (825,903) 808,997
Total revenues 5,500 5,120 11 (380) 5,109
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 42,759,751 41,934,228 41,130,340 (825,523) 803,888

 

Expenses by Type

Description of image

This pie chart shows the 2014-15 expenses by two major categories: Salaries and Employee Benefits and Other Operating Expenditures representing $27,752,910 and $14,186,438 respectively for total expenses of $41,939,348.

 

Total expenses were $41,939,348 in 2014-15; an increase of $808,997 over the total expenses of $41,130,351 in 2013-14 (2%). Salaries and employee benefits represent the majority of the Office of the Registrar’s expenditures ($27,752,910 or 66%). The net increase of $808,997 consists of increases in salaries and employee benefits ($531,843), and in other operating expenditures ($277,154).

Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada
Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2015
(dollars)
Financial Information 2014-15 2013-14 Difference (2014-15 minus 2013-14)
Total net liabilities 6,512,366 5,336,651 1,175,715
Total net financial assets 4,664,511 3,793,796 870,715
Departmental net debt 1,847,855 1,542,855 305,000
Total non-financial assets 1,133,927 1,105,535 28,392
Departmental net financial position (713,928) (437,320) (276,608)

 

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 $2,247,290, $1,976,731 and $1,055,873 respectively. Vacation Pay and Compensatory Leave represents $840,419 and the Security Deposit Trust Account, $392,053 for total liabilities of $6,512,366.

 

Total liabilities were $6,512,366 at the end of 2014-15; an increase of $1,175,715 (22 %) over the total liabilities of $5,336,651 for 2013-14. This increase is mostly attributed to the year-end salary accrual resulting from the Government of Canada’s implementation of salary payments in arrears in 2014-15.

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 $4,571,872 of the $5,798,438 total net assets. Tangible Capital Assets represent $1,036,098, Prepaid Expenses and Net Accounts Receivable and Advances represent $97,829 and $92,639 respectively.

 

Total net assets were $5,798,438 at the end of 2014-15; an increase of $899,107 (18%) over the total net assets of $4,899,331 for 2013-14, mostly due to an increase in the amount due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of $946,865.

Departmental net debt, calculated as the difference between total liabilities and net financial assets, has increased by $305,000 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 decreased by $276,608 compared to the previous year. The $305,000 net debt increase is offset by an increase in non-financial assets of $28,392.

Financial Statements

The complete Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (ORSCC)'s financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2015, which include the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting and its Annex for fiscal year 2014-15 are available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2014-15 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

David Power - Deputy Registrar
Telephone: 613-996-7521
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 - Executive Director, Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector
Telephone: 613-996-4841
Email: Michel.Gallant@scc-csc.ca


Appendix: Definitions

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

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires): Includes operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

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

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein): 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 (résultats du gouvernement du Canada): 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 (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats): 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 (dépenses non budgétaires): Includes net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement): 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 (indicateur de rendement): 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 (production de rapports sur le rendement): The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending (dépenses prévues): 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.

plan (plan): 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 (priorité): 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 (programme): 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.

Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes): 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 (rapport sur les plans et les priorités): Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

result (résultat): 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.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives): Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

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

sunset program (programme temporisé): 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 (cible): 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.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées): Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

whole-of-government framework (cadre pangouvernemental): 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.