Departmental Performance Report (DPR) 2015-16

 

The original version was signed by

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

 

Table of Contents

ISSN 2368-1801

Registrar’s Message

Results Highlights

Section I: Organizational Overview

Section II: Expenditure Overview

Section III: Analysis of Program(s) and Internal Services

Section IV: Supplementary Information

Appendix: Definitions


Registrar's Message

Picture of Roger Bilodeau, Registrar

I am pleased to present the 2015-2016 Departmental Performance Report for the Office of the Registrar of 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 2015-16 has continued to present new risks and challenges.

During the course of the last fiscal year, the Office of the Registrar continued to place a high priority on pursuing its business transformation efforts in order to pursue its work towards (i) the improvement of electronic access to the Court’s case files and information, (ii) making court operations more efficient and (iii) ensuring the long term preservation of Court data and information.

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. Their respective contributions are indispensable to the success of all that we do to support all facets of the Court’s work.

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.


Results Highlights

Results Highlights
What funds were used?
  • Greater access to information about Court cases achieved through the posting on SCC website of memorandums of argument on applications for leave to appeal granted by the Court
  • Electronic processes for management of proceedings in case files, including motions and taxations were implemented through the Business Transformation initiative
  • Funding secured to proceed with enhancements to the physical and IT Security Infrastructures
  • Launch of English- and French-language Twitter accounts which are used to broadly disseminate information about the Court and its proceedings
$32,339,748
Actual Spending
Who was involved?
201
Actual FTEs

Section I: Organizational Overview

Organizational Profile

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

Institutional Head:  Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.

Ministerial Portfolio:  Justice

Enabling Instrument(s):
Supreme Court Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26)
Judges Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. J-1)

Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 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 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 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 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: Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act

Internal Services

Operating Environment and Risk Analysis


Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
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
  • Regular IT Threat and Risk Assessments
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
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 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 CMS and operational systems
  • 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
Internal Services
Operating Environment

In recent years, the Court has seen relative stability in its caseload, but there continue to be operational pressures on the Office of the Registrar. These arise from the requirement to provide more services to the Court, litigants, and the public; to meet the needs of an increasing number of self-represented litigants; and to maintain operations in aging facilities with constricted resources. In addition, during the period under review, there has been one judicial retirement and a new judge appointed to the Court, with two more judicial retirements foreseen in 2016 and 2018. These departures have an impact on the Office of the Registrar, which must ensure a smooth transition when one judge retires and a new judge is appointed. The Court is also facing heightened concerns about physical and information security, which must be balanced with the need to provide a secure environment in the context of the operational requirements of a Court which is accessible to the public. As well, when responding to demands by government for operational efficiencies by way of the consolidation of various services, the Office of the Registrar must ensure the protection of judicial and institutional independence.  

Organizational Priorities

Priority: Business Transformation

Description

Supporting the Court in its work and ensuring that necessary business processes and technologies are in place to enable the electronic processing of cases, thereby allowing parties to access case file documents, data and information online (based on their entitlements), as well as providing the public with better access to Court information online, enabling litigants to file documents electronically through a secure portal, as well as protecting and preserving archival and historical information in an electronic format.

Priority Type1:  Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
  • Modernization of critical legacy IT systems to reduce the risk of system failure and to be in a better position to achieve transformational objectives.
  • Business process mapping and analysis of potential efficiencies.
  • Review of the workflows and processes for the translation and publishing of judgments.
  • Development of new case management system requirements to support current case management processes.
  • Implementation of an enterprise information management system, including the definition of the business requirements for a seamless flow of information through an e-filing portal, document and case management systems for the preservation of case records in an electronic document and records management system.
  • Implementation of a robust electronic records management system to transition paper-based records operations and to gain efficiencies in document sharing and collaboration.
  • Conceptualization and design of key application architecture systems.
December 2011 To be determined On track

 

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 Report on Plans and Priorities or the Departmental Performance Report.    

Progress Toward the Priority  

During the fiscal year 2015-16, the business transformation program delivered an enhancement to the automated case management system to allow the Registry to track cases from the initial contact by a litigant to the opening of a case file and to integrate all data once a file is opened. This allows for the more effective management of cases involving self-represented litigants. The number of fully electronic processes for the management of proceedings in case files was expanded to include the taxation of costs and motions by intervenors. The process for judgments on application for leave to appeal has been mapped and an electronic process has been developed. The ongoing conversion of the Case Management System to a .net platform continued. The records management system has moved to a production environment, the onboarding of various operational groups in the Court has begun, and information resources are being migrated to the new application. The Enterprise IM strategy has been updated. The development of in-house applications is limited by resource availability and the need to maintain business systems while transitioning to new applications and processes.   

Priority: Enhancement of the security program to better meet the overall needs of the Court

Description

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.

Priority Type2 : Previously committed to

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
  • Continued update of the security policy framework and operations in line with emerging trends.
  • Renewal of governance arrangements with the RCMP.
  • Options to acquire additional funding are being explored to support planned enhancements to the security program.
  • Continued enhancement of the Court’s IT Security Posture.
2010-11 2021 On track 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 Report on Plans and Priorities or the Departmental Performance Report.

Progress Toward the Priority   
  • Operating agreements are being finalized with the RCMP.
  • Funding was secured to proceed with enhancements to the physical and IT Security Infrastructures.

Priority: Identification of cost-saving opportunities and resource management optimization

Description

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 continue to be dedicated in the short and medium term to ensuring that all resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner.

Priority Type3:  Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
  • Implementation of opportunities/projects aimed at increasing efficiency and/or reducing operating costs.
  • Development of efficiency indicators to track the impact of opportunities which are implemented.
  • Implementation of additional controls aimed at improving resource management.
2013-14 2015-16 Completed 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 Report on Plans and Priorities or the Departmental Performance Report.

Progress Toward the Priority  
  • Efforts are ongoing. Resources are used in an optimal manner in support of operations.
  • Continued efforts are dedicated to enhance the Court’s performance management framework within the context of efficiencies.
  • The Court has measures in place to ensure that controls surrounding resource management are functioning as intended. Measures include, but are not limited to, management oversight over staffing and contracting, investment prioritization, etc.

Section II: Expenditure Overview

Actual Expenditures


Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference
(actual minus planned)
31,763,943 32,227,842 34,261,080 32,339,748 111,906

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
215 201 (14)

Budgetary Performance Summary


Budgetary Performance Summary for Program(s) and Internal Services (dollars)
Program(s) and Internal Services 2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
Court Operations 16,286,129 16,592,302 16,067,392 16,097,464
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 7,087,990 7,087,990 7,425,442 7,315,126
Internal Services 8,389,824 8,547,550 9,724,368 9,742,567
Total 31,763,943 32,227,842 33,217,202 33,155,157

 

Program(s) and Internal Services 2015–16
Total Authorities Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014–15
Actual
Spending
(authorities
used)
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Court Operations 16,586,179 15,491,294 16,489,596 16,627,433
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 7,933,812 7,933,812 6,565,949 6,155,512
Internal Services 9,741,089 8,914,642 8,937,242 8,647,994
Total 34,261,080 32,339,748 31,992,787 31,430,939

The Court’s spending trend remains fairly stable. Overall, the variance between planned and actual spending for 2015-16 is minimal ($111,906). The net decrease in actual voted spending in comparison to planned spending is mainly due to lower than expected salary expenditures offset by increases in statutory requirements for Judges’ salaries, allowances and annuities, namely in regard to relocation expenditures.

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of image

Spending Trend: This graph illustrates the spending trend for actual spending from 2013-14 to 2015-16, and planned spending from 2016-17 to 2018-19. Financial figures are presented in dollars and broken down by statutory and voted items.

Actual Spending indicates the amounts the Department spent: In 2013-14, $9,011,043 for statutory items and $22,419,896 for voted items, totalling $31,430,939; in 2014-15, $9,292,963 for statutory items and $22,699,824 for voted items, totalling $31,992,787; and in 2015-16, $10,524,153 for statutory items and $21,815,595 for voted items, totalling $32,339,748.

Planned Spending indicates the amounts the Department is planning to spend: In 2016-17, $9,854,498 for statutory items and $23,362,704 for voted items, totalling $33,217,202; in 2017-18, $9,744,182 for statutory items and $23,410,975 for voted items, totalling of $33,155,157; and in 2018-19, $9,879,307 for statutory items and $23,461,419 for voted items, totalling $33,340,726.

The above graph illustrates the spending trend for the ORSCC. Amounts from 2013-14 to 2015-16 represent the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts, whereas amounts for 2016-17 to 2018-19 represent the planned spending presented in the 2016-17 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Overall, the ORSCC’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. As for the voted spending, it fluctuated over the past three years, mostly due to a one-time transition payment of $597,073 in 2014-15, which increased the authorities used in comparison to 2013-14 and 2015-16.

Expenditures by Vote

For information on the Supreme Court of Canada’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2016.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework


Alignment of 2015-16 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015–16
Actual Spending
1.1 Court Operations Government Affairs Strong and independent democratic institutions 15,491,294
1.2 Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act Government Affairs Strong and independent democratic institutions  7,933,812

 

Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic affairs - -
Social affairs - -
International affairs - -
Government affairs 23,680,292 23,425,106

Financial Statements and Financial Statements Highlights

Financial Statements

The complete financial statements for the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada for the year ended March 31, 2016, which include the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control over Financial Reporting for fiscal year 2015-16, are available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

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.


Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2016 (dollars)
Financial Information 2015–16
Planned
Results*
2015–16
Actual
2014–15
Actual
Difference (2015–16 actual minus 2015–16 planned) Difference (2015–16 actual minus 2014–15 actual)
Total expenses 43,423,154 42,190,450 41,939,348 (1,232,704) 251,102
Total revenues 3,000 4,356 5,120 1,356 (764)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 43,420,154 42,186,094 41,934,228 (1,234,060) 251,866

*For more information, see the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (ORSCC)’s Future-Oriented Statement of Operations.

Expenses by Type (in dollars)

Description of image

This pie chart shows the 2015-16 expenses by two major categories: Salaries and Employee Benefits and Other Operating Expenditures representing $27,541,043 and $14,649,407 respectively for total expenses of $42,190,450.

Total expenses were $42,190,450 in 2015-16; an increase of $251,102 over the total expenses of $41,939,348 in 2014-15 (0.6%). Salaries and employee benefits represent the majority of the ORSCC’s expenditures ($27,541,043 or 65%), which decreased by $211,867 in comparison to the previous fiscal year. This decrease was offset by an increase of $462,969 in other operating expenditures, mainly attributable to an increase in relocation expenditures for judges.

 

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2016 (dollars)
Financial Information 2015–16 2014–15 Difference
(2015–16 minus
2014–15)
Total net liabilities 6,412,125 6,512,366 (100,241)
Total net financial assets 4,554,628 4,664,511 (109,883)
Departmental net debt 1,857,497 1,847,855 9,642
Total non-financial assets 1,050,492 1,133,927 (83,435)
Departmental net financial position (807,005) (713,928) (93,077)

Liabilities by Type (in dollars)

Description of image

This pie chart is divided into five pieces. The four largest pieces of the pie are assigned to Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities, Judges’ Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account, Employee Future Benefits and Vacation Pay and Compensatory Leave, which represent $2,072,001, $2,058,024, $975,736 and $914,211 respectively. The Security Deposit Trust Account represents $392,153, for total liabilities of $6,412,125.

Total net liabilities were $6,412,125 at the end of 2015-16; a decrease of $100,241 (1.5%) over the total liabilities of $6,512,366 for 2014-15. This variance is mainly attributable to a decrease in accounts payable.

Net Assets by Type (in dollars)

Description of image

This pie chart is divided into four pieces. The largest section is attributed to Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund and represents $4,516,897 of the $5,605,120 total net assets. Tangible Capital Assets represent $940,974 and, Net Accounts Receivable and Advances and Prepaid Expenses each represent $37,731 and $109,518 respectively.

Total net assets were $5,605,120 at the end of 2015-16; a decrease of $193,318 (3%) over the total net assets of $5,798,438 for 2014-15. This variance is due to general decreases across various asset types offset by a small increase in prepaid expenses.

Departmental net debt, calculated as the difference between total net liabilities and net financial assets, has increased by $9,642 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 $93,077 compared to the previous year due to a $9,642 net debt increase and a decrease in non-financial assets of $83,435.


Section III: Analysis of Program(s) and Internal Services

Programs

Program Title: 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 Canada 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.

Program 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. From year to year, there may be minor variances in meeting the objectives in processing cases. In 2015, this was the case with respect to applications for leave to appeal, as the Court’s priority was on the processing of appeals and the release of judgments in the wake of the retirement of two judges; this left less capacity to process applications for leave. Nonetheless, the Office of the Registrar maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.

In 2015-16, the Office of the Registrar focused on adding electronic processes to the various steps involved in moving court cases through the system, ensuring that business requirements are mapped to support ongoing process improvement and configuring the new court proceedings systems. Work on the implementation of the records management system proceeded. Among the accomplishments in 2015-16 was the implementation of a post-hearing survey for participants (lawyers and self-represented litigants) in appeal. A total of 75 counsel completed the client satisfaction survey between April 2015 and April 2016, and 92% said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall services provided by the Registry Branch (no surveys were completed by self-represented litigants).

The Court consults regularly with the Canadian Bar Association through a liaison committee and with Ottawa agents who represent counsel from outside the National Capital Region. Feedback about Registry services at all stages of proceedings was uniformly positive. At the same time, the Office has been working with Library and Archives Canada on policies to support the appropriate archiving of court case files and related information. Significant changes are being proposed to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada which will streamline the process for appeals. These changes are anticipated to come into effect in early 2017.


Supreme Court of Canada Caseload 2015
Leave applications filed 539
Leave applications submitted to the Court 483
Appeals as of right filed 21
Appeals heard 63
Judgments 74

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
16,286,129 16,592,302 16,586,179 15,491,294 (1,101,008)

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
146 136 (10)

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 18 weeks
Number of weeks  between hearing and judgment 26 weeks 25 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% 92%
Access to reference information % of factual/bibliographic requests for reference assistance responded to within service standard of 1 working day 95% 99%
% 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% 96%

Program Title: 1.2 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 therefore 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 them, namely allowances for relocation, representation, incidentals, conferences, as well as annuities. The Office of the Registrar processes these payments, as required by the Judges Act.

Program 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 3% on its accuracy level for the processing of these payments.

More specifically, 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. 

An assessment of the corrective entries was used as a basis to determine whether or not the Office of the Registrar met its target of an error rate of 2% or less. Of 611 transactions, 16 adjusting entries were needed to correct various errors, resulting in an error rate of 3%. The adjustments consisted mostly of errors in financial coding, thus not directly impacting the payment of any amounts due 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.

 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
7,087,990 7,087,990 7,933,812 7,933,812 845,822

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
0 0 0

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Timely and accurate payments 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% 3%
Average time to process payments 5 business days 1 business day

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 to those provided specifically to a program.

Program 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 initiatives which took place in 2015-16 are:

  • 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.
  • In accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Internal Controls, a Core Control Audit (CCA) by the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) was initiated in 2015-16. The objective of the audit is to ensure that core controls regarding the administration of financial management, contracting, travel and hospitality expenses and human resources within Small Departments are effective and in compliance with applicable legislation, policies and directives. The Audit will be completed in 2016-17.
  • Increased focus of Human Resources (HR) efforts on knowledge transfer/succession planning, specifically to identify essential positions and opportunities to streamline services. Succession plans for the replacement of key positions in the Registry, Reports and Information Management branches were implemented and staffing completed in 2015-16.
  • The Information Technology Branch is an integral part of the Court’s business as a partner and enabler in supporting the Business Transformation efforts. Priorities for 2015-16 included:
    • Continued efforts aiming the Case Management System (CMS).
    • Focus on getting the most out of the investments made in technologies over the last few years, leveraging existing tools to meet new requirements.

The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Accomplishments for 2015-16 included progress in the following key priorities:

  • GCDOCS was brought into production in January 2016 and a strategy to onboard various branches, migrate documents from the shared drives and develop business rules around document management are progressing well. This will support the organizational requirement for managing the full life-cycle of electronic information resources.
  • A new organizational structure has been developed for the Records Centre and is being implemented to ensure sufficient capacity to achieve and maintain compliance with the Directive on Recordkeeping.
  • The Office completed its first Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) in October 2015 and continues to release information related to its key mandate in a timely way. 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
8,389,824 8,547,550 9,741,089 8,914,642 367,092

Human Resources (FTEs)
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
69 65 (4)

Section IV: Supplementary Information

Supplementary Information Tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Federal Tax Expenditures

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 Report of Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational Contact Information

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

General Enquiries
Telephone: (613) 995-4330
Fax: (613) 996-3063
E-mail: reception@scc-csc.ca

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C. - Registrar
Telephone: (613) 996-9277
E-mail: reception@scc-csc.ca

David Power - Deputy Registrar
Telephone: (613) 996-7521
E-mail: reception@scc-csc.ca

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

Catherine Laforce - Director General, Corporate Services Sector
Telephone: (613) 947-0682
E-mail: Catherine.Laforce@scc-csc.ca

Michel Gallant – Executive Director, Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector
Telephone: (613) 996-4841
E-mail: 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):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 Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein):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):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.

plans (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.

results (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.

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.