Departmental Results Report 2017-18

 

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

 

ISSN 2561-8962

Table of contents

Registrar’s message

Results at a glance

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Operating context and key risks

Results: what we achieved

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Supplementary information

Appendix: definitions


Registrar's message

Picture of Roger Bilodeau, Registrar

I am pleased to present the 2017-18 Departmental Results Report for the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (‘Office’).

Our 2017-18 Departmental Results Report provides parliamentarians and Canadians with information on what we strive to accomplish and the progress we have made during the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The report provides information on our actual results for the most recently completed fiscal year and the financial and human resources needed to deliver those results. The information presented in the report provides a straightforward and balanced account of the actual results that we strive to accomplish, while continuing to provide transparency on how taxpayers’ dollars are spent. We also describe our programs and services for Canadians, our achievements in 2017-18, and how our work has met our organizational priorities.

The Office has a deep appreciation for the importance and role of the Supreme Court of Canada (‘Court’). As such, it 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 2017-18 has continued to present risks and challenges.

During the course of the last fiscal year, the Office placed a high priority on pursuing its work towards the adaptation of its business processes in an electronic environment, with a view to continuously improve electronic access to the Court’s case files and information, both for internal use by the Court as well as by the public and litigants.

In addition to planning and implementing these business transformation initiatives, the Court has also continued to focus on further 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 what we do to support all facets of the Court’s work.

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.


Results at a glance

Key Results Achieved in 2017-18
What funds were used?
  • Continuation of security enhancements – both physical and IT security
  • Launch of redesigned website to facilitate access to Court information and increased social media presence, particularly on Facebook
  • Significant improvements to the Court website to facilitate access to Court information, especially for self-represented litigants 

$37,417,169
Actual Spending for 2017-18

Who was involved?
208
Actual FTEs for 2017-18

For more information on the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.


Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

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 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. 

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

Mandate and role

In accordance with the Supreme Court Act, the Court consists of nine judges, including the Chief Justice of Canada, all of whom are appointed by the Governor in Council.  The Court 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 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 Registrar is appointed by the Governor in Council and heads the Office, being responsible for the management of its employees, resources and activities.  The organization of the Office is depicted in the following diagram and further explained in the paragraphs below.

Office of the Registrar's Organizational Chart

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 and Communications Services.

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 to the judges of the Court, including protocol matters and facilitating the Court’s international role, as well as the development and delivery of integrated judicial support programs and services, judicial support administration, and the Law Clerk program.

Communications Services: The Communications Services Branch develops and implements communication strategies, plans and programs to increase public awareness and understanding of the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as responding to requests for information and providing guided tours of the Court building. It also works to enhance internal communications within the Court.

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; building operations (including telecommunications, mail and printing services); human resources; security; health and safety; emergency management and preparedness; IT services; as well as business continuity planning.

For more general information about the Office, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.


Operating context and key risks

Operating context

The operating environment of the Office is continuously evolving.  The focus in recent years has been on business process improvement, information management and enhancing electronic access for litigants and the public.  To meet the pressures relating to the aging Court building and operational facilities, significant time and resources have been (and will continue to be) dedicated to long term planning for a building rehabilitation initiative, as well as to short term activities aimed at replacing aging equipment.

In recent years, the Court has seen relative stability in its caseload but there continues to be operational pressures on the Office. These arise from the requirement to (i) provide more services to the Court, litigants, and the public; (ii) meet the needs of a significant number of self-represented litigants; and (iii) maintain operations in aging facilities with constricted resources.

There is a continued focus on the electronic exchange of information between or from the judges, Court staff, the legal community and the public, since there is an expectation that electronic tools and processes can be used to obtain or provide Court information, as well as to file documents. Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, in effect as of January 1, 2017 have expanded the number of documents that can be filed in electronic form, have reduced the requirement to file paper copies of some documents and decreased the number of copies filed in paper format for others. This allowed for greater efficiencies in the processing of various documents and in overall Court operations. In addition, these recent changes serve to enhance the critical importance of the business transformation program to achieve its milestones, namely the ability:

  • to receive, manage and preserve Court records in electronic format;
  • to enable electronic filing by the legal community and parties to proceedings in a secure portal;
  • to communicate effectively with counsel and litigants through multiple and secure channels;
  • for Court staff to manage both paper and digital documents in a single management system simultaneously; and
  • to manage a robust information security permissions framework to limit access to documents with restrictions as appropriate.

The 2017 amendments to the Rules have allowed the Court to address the increasing complexity of proceedings being filed and have improved efficiency. With reduced timelines for filing, the scheduling of appeals is also more efficient. The impact of these new Rules will be monitored and evaluated on a continuing basis.

In addition to the above, self-represented litigants filed 27% of the applications for leave to appeal in 2017, which represents a significant percentage of its filings. This underlies the continuous need for the Registry Branch to enhance its resources for self-represented litigants, who require more assistance from staff.

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 must ensure the protection of judicial and institutional independence.

The operating environment is also evolving from an outreach perspective. There is increased public interest in the Court’s cases and growing visibility of the SCC judges in Canada and abroad. As a leader in court administration, the Office must support the Court in that role.

The Office therefore continues to dedicate ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring that all resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Key risks

On an annual basis, the Office’s operating environment is assessed in terms of its capacity to deal with key high-level risks linked to the achievement of organizational objectives and results. The key risks are identified during the Strategic Planning exercise and are updated on an annual basis. Mitigation measures are also monitored continually to ensure that they are adequate and fully implemented.

The following table outlines the key risks and risk response strategies faced by the organization:

 

Key risks
Risks Mitigating strategy and effectiveness Link to the department’s Programs Link to mandate letter commitments and any  government‑wide or departmental priorities

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 Assessment
  • Key investments in security software and systems
  • Sensitive information is clearly identified, classified and stored
Internal Services

Organizational priority: Enhancement of the Security Program

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.

  • 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
  • Enhanced physical security measures

Internal Services

Organizational priority: Enhancement of the Security Program

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

Organizational priority: Business Transformation

Research capacity is compromised
Lack of enterprise search between information repositories limits knowledge sharing and transfer. Escalating costs of maintaining access to published legal information. Library Management Software requires renewal to allow for interoperability and more transparent search between print and electronic resources.

  • Knowledge management applications being developed to support consistency and comprehensiveness of internal information
  • Ongoing review of library collection and usage
  • Library Management Software renewal is ongoing
Court Operations Organizational priority: Business Transformation

Despite being stable over time, the Office does have ongoing risks which require constant vigilance, as identified in the table above. In response to these risks, the Office is continuing to implement enhanced security measures at the Court – both physical and IT security. These investments enable the Office to increase its security posture and address security vulnerabilities. Once fully implemented, these enhanced measures will ultimately ensure that the cases can proceed without any disruptions, that legal information is safeguarded and that the well-being of all parties involved is protected. These investments span 5 years, followed by ongoing funding. As 2017-18 represents the second year of funding for these enhanced security measures, progress towards mitigating these risks remains on target.

The failure of aging legacy IT systems remains a key risk for the Office. The Office dedicates resources (both human and financial) to maintain its asset base and ensures that the core assets that support the Court Operations program are replenished. However, rising costs and fiscal uncertainty are making the replenishment of these assets increasingly difficult. Investment planning is key in planning for these infrastructure investments. Progress is achieved by ensuring that resources are allocated to maintaining these systems (back-up operations, updated tools and ongoing monitoring systems). As well, regular threat and risk assessments are conducted and business continuity plans are being developed.

The Office identified a new risk in its 2017-18 Departmental Plan, i.e. the risk of compromised research capacity. Escalating costs in published legal information, the lack of interoperability between the Office’s internal information repositories, searching challenges, and an aging Library Management System, all contribute to this risk. These pressures are mitigated by investing in information management applications to support the consistency and comprehensiveness of internal information, renewing the Library Management Software and reviewing the library collection development policy (including all subscriptions and usage monitoring).


Results: what we achieved

Programs

Program name: 1.1 Court Operations

Description

In order to render its decisions, the Court requires the support of the Office in the management of its caseload, 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.

Results

The 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 strives continuously to maintain stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality. 

To meet the challenges of continuing to provide excellent services to the Court and litigants in an environment of escalating costs and added pressures such as physical and IT security, the focus on business transformation will continue.  In the upcoming year, the Business Transformation Program will continue to direct resources to the implementation of digital recordkeeping, workflow enhancements and the development of policies and new software applications in support of recent amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, along with operational guidelines to support efficient Court processes and to further clarify internal business processes.

2017 Caseload
Category Number of cases
Leave applications filed 526
Leave applications submitted to the Court 492
Appeals as of right filed 17
Appeals heard 66
Judgments 67

 

Results achieved
Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2015–16 Actual results
Cases processed without delay Number of weeks between filing of application for leave and decision on application for leave 14 weeks Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
19 17 18
Number of weeks between hearing and judgment 24 weeks Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
21 20 25
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% Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
93% 100% 92%
Access to reference information % of factual / bibliographic requests for reference assistance responded to within service standard of 1 working day 95% Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
98% 99% 99%
% of complex / substantive requests for reference assistance responded to by date required by client 95% Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
98% 100% 100%
% of users that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services 95% Ongoing
Frequency:
Annually
100% 100% 96%

From year to year, there may be minor variances in meeting targets in regard to processing cases. In 2017-18, with the retirement of former Chief Justice McLachlin, the operational priority was the processing of appeals and the release of judgments by the Court.  The target set for the number of weeks between the hearing of an appeal and the judgment on appeal was 24 weeks and this was surpassed by three weeks, with judgments being released, on average, 21 weeks after the appeal hearing.  With a correspondingly reduced capacity to process applications for leave, the target of 14 weeks set as the number of weeks between the filing of an application for leave and the decision on the application for leave was exceeded by 5 weeks. Nonetheless, the Office of the Registrar maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.

With respect to access to Court services and information, the target of 95% as the level of lawyers and unrepresented litigants in appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall services provided by the Registry Branch was 93%, just short of the target of 95%.  As the Court changed the survey software used to capture the feedback regarding client satisfaction with the services of the Registry, it was not possible to produce a report for the entire year.

In regard to access to reference information, the targets of 95% set for responding to: (a) requests for factual/bibliographic requests for assistance within the service standard of one working day; (b) complex/substantive requests for reference assistance by the date required by the client; and (c) the percentage of users that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services, have consistently been met over the past three years.

Significant changes to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, which came into effect on January 1, 2017, have streamlined the process for appeals.

The Office strives to continuously meet its targets and utilizes the information it gathers from past results to constantly strengthen its future work and results.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
15,546,765 15,546,765 18,253,680 17,453,512 1,906,747

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18 
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
148 141 (7)

Program name: 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 thereby applies to the judges of the Court. The Judges Act specifies the salaries of the judges of the Court and prescribes other payments to be made to them, namely allowances for relocation, representation, incidentals, conferences, as well as annuities. The Office processes these payments, as required by the Judges Act.

Results

The timeliness of various allowances paid to the judges of the Court is assessed internally through the maintenance of receipt and processing dates for individual claims.  In an effort to constantly improve its services, the Office has implemented processes to ensure accuracy and an adequate level of satisfaction. The Office has set targets of 95% for the timely processing of payments pursuant to the Judges Act, within service standards of five days and a 2% error rate in the accuracy of the payment of these claims. The accuracy of these payments is monitored on a regular basis.

Results achieved
Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results

2015–16 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 of 5 days for the reimbursement of allowances pursuant to the Judges Act 95% Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
100% 100% 100%
% of errors on payments 2% Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
less than 1% less than 1% 3%
Average time to process payments 5 business days Ongoing

Frequency:
Annually
1 business day 1 business day 1 business day

The Office has surpassed its target of 95% for the timely processing of payments pursuant to the Judges Act within its service standard of five days for the past three fiscal years. In fact, the Office has consistently maintained a level of 100% over this period for the timely processing of its payments to judges, which success is in great part attributed to procedures that have been implemented to carefully monitor the payment process, such as generating frequent payment batches to ensure that targeted timeframes are respected. Efforts will continue to maintain the established target.

The Office has set a target of 2% error rate in the accuracy of the payment of judges’ claims. Although this target was exceeded for fiscal year 2015-16, the error target rate was surpassed again in fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18, with an error rate of less than 1%.

Of the 712 transactions processed in 2017-2018, a small number of adjusting entries were needed to correct various errors and 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 will continue to dedicate time and effort in the coming year to strive towards maintaining its error rate below its target of 2% as the accuracy level for the payments to judges. The planned results for 2017-18 seek to continuously maintain a high level of accuracy and timelines in the issuance of these payments.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
7,708,915 7,708,915 7,990,851 7,990,851 281,936

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18 
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
 Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
0 0 0

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization.

Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Management Services; Materiel Management Services; and Acquisition Management Services.

Results

Internal services support the Court by providing timely and responsive services that are effective and efficient as per established service standards.  Some key results for 2017-18 were:

  • Continued improvements to the security and IT security programs, including policies, operating procedures and practices, equipment upgrades, as well as training and awareness.
  • Ongoing efforts aimed at improving and strengthening key internal controls within the organization.
  • Increased focus of Human Resources (HR) efforts on knowledge transfer/succession planning, more specifically to better identify essential positions and opportunities to streamline services.
  • Launch of a redesigned website to facilitate access to Court information and its proceedings.
  • Increased presence on social media, reflected particularly in increased activity on Facebook and the launch of “Cases in Brief”, which summarize Court decisions in plain language.
  • The Information Technology Branch is an integral part of the Court’s business as a partner and enabler in supporting the Business Transformation efforts. Results for 2017-18 included progress made in the following areas:
    • continued efforts aimed at upgrading key legacy business applications and IT infrastructure components;
    • efforts for greater interoperability between new and older systems and focus on getting the most out of the investments made in technologies over the last few years will continue; and
    • further enhancements to the Court’s IT Security posture.
  • The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization. Accomplishments for 2017-18 included:
    • various branches across the organization were onboarded to GCDocs, being a system to better manage the Court’s administrative information and closed case files; the implementation of GCDocs across the organization will continue;
    • work to enhance the capacity of information management employees to support business units, modernize processes, and maximize the use of implemented technologies was realized and will continue; and
    • ensuring that the Office is able to meet its obligations under the Treasury Board Secretariat’s information management policies.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
11,627,242 11,627,242 12,539,830 11,972,806 345,564

 

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
69 67 (2)

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.


Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of image

Spending Trend: This graph illustrates the spending trend for actual spending from 2015-16 to 2017-18, and planned spending from 2018-19 to 2020-21. Financial figures are presented in dollars and broken down by statutory and voted items.

Actual Spending indicates the amounts the Department spent: in 2015-16, $10,524,153 for statutory items and $21,815,595 for voted items, totalling $32,339,748; in 2016-17, $10,165,452 for statutory items and $23,513,974 for voted items, totalling $33,679,426 and in  2017-18, $10,735,385 for statutory items and $26,681,784 for voted items, totalling $37,417,169;

Planned Spending indicates the amounts the Department is planning to spend: in 2018-19, $10,515,324 for statutory items and $24,520,525 for voted items, totalling $35,035,849; in 2019-20, $10,383,475 for statutory items and $24,408,050 for voted items, totalling $34,791,525; and in 2020-21, $10,349,012 for statutory items and $24,772,676 for voted items, totalling of $35,121,688.

The above graph illustrates the spending trend for the Office. Amounts for 2015-16 to 2017-18 represent the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts, whereas amounts for 2018-19 to 2020-21 represent the planned spending presented in the 2018-19 Departmental Plan.

The increase in voted spending, starting in 2016-17, is mainly attributable to new funding received for enhancements to the security program. As for the statutory spending, it fluctuates over time in conjunction with the requirements for the judges’ salaries, allowances and annuities (including retired judges or their surviving spouses).

Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
Court Operations 15,546,765 15,546,765 16,165,457 16,084,220
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act 7,708,915 7,708,915 8,241,373 8,131,700
Subtotal 23,255,680 23,255,680 24,406,830 24,215,920
Internal Services 11,627,242 11,627,242 10,629,019 10,575,605
Total 34,882,922 34,882,922 35,035,849 34,791,525

 

Programs and Internal Services 2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017-18
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
  Actual spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Actual spending (authorities used)
Court Operations 18,253,680 17,453,512 15,597,127 15,491,294
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act 7,990,851 7,990,851 7,572,984 7,933,812
Subtotal 26,244,531 25,444,363 23,170,111 23,425,106
Internal Services 12,539,830 11,972,806 10,509,315 8,914,642
Total 38,784,361 37,417,169 33,679,426 32,339,748

The Office’s spending trend remains fairly stable. The increases between 2016-17 and 2017-18 expenditures are mainly attributable to retroactive payments for new collective agreements. The increase in statutory items from 2016-17 to 2018-19 is due to annual increases in judges’ salaries, allowances and annuities.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Programs and  Internal Services 2015–16
Actual full-time equivalents
2016–17
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
Court Operations 136 137 148
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act 0 0 0
Subtotal 136 137 148
Internal Services 65 67 69
Total 201 204 217

 

Programs and  Internal Services 2017–18 
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
Court Operations 141 156 152
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act 0 0 0
Subtotal 141 156 152
Internal Services 67 72 72
Total 208 228 224

Variances between actual and planned FTEs are due to vacancies arising throughout the fiscal year.

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017–2018.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018, are available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Financial statements highlights  

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information 2017–18
Planned
results*
2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
Difference (2017–18 Actual results minus 2017–18 Planned results) Difference (2017–18 Actual results minus 2016–17 Actual results)
Total expenses 43,044,597 45,053,945 40,742,246 2,009,348 4,311,699
Total revenues 0 330 252 330 78
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 43,044,597 45,053,615 40,741,994 2,009,018 4,311,621

*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 2017-18 expenses by two major categories: Salaries and Employee Benefits and Other Operating Expenditures representing $31,493,409 and $13,560,536 respectively for total expenses of $45,053,945.

Total expenses were $45,053,945 in 2017-18; an increase of $4,311,699 (10.6%) over the total expenses of $40,742,246 in 2016-17. Salaries and employee benefits represent the majority of the Office’s expenditures ($31,493,409 or 70%), which increased by $3,482,326 in comparison to the previous fiscal year, mostly due to general salary increases and collective agreements retroactive payments. The net increase in other operating expenditures is $829,373.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial Information 2017–18 2016–17 Difference
(2017–18 minus
2016–17)
Total net liabilities 7,947,375 6,919,690 1,027,685
Total net financial assets 5,883,709 5,367,379 516,330
Departmental net debt 2,063,666 1,552,311 511,355
Total non-financial assets 1,883,176 1,354,056 529,120
Departmental net financial position (180,490) (198,255) 17,765

 

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, Vacation Pay and Compensatory Leave and Employee Future Benefits, which represent $3,278,757, $2,240,734, $1,289,237 and $746,757 respectively. The Security Deposit Trust Account represents $391,890, for total liabilities of $7,947,375.

Total net liabilities were $7,947,375 at the end of 2017-18; an increase of $1,027,685 (14.85%) over the total liabilities of $6,919,690 for 2016-17. This variance is mainly attributable to an increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities.

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 $5,756,429 of the $7,766,885 total net assets. Tangible Capital Assets represent $1,763,740 and Net Accounts Receivable and Advances and Prepaid Expenses represent $127,280 and $119,436 respectively.

Total net assets were $7,766,885 at the end of 2017-18; an increase of $1,045,450 (15.55%) over the total net assets of $6,721,435 for 2016-17. This variance is mostly attributable to an increase in the Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund account as well as in tangible capital assets.

Departmental net debt, calculated as the difference between total net liabilities and net financial assets, has increased by $511,355 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.


Supplementary information

Corporate information

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:

Supreme Court Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26)

Judges Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. J-1)

Year of incorporation / commencement:  1875

Reporting framework

The Office’s Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2017–18 are shown below.

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

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information table is available on the Supreme Court of Canada’s 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 each year in the Report on 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, Ontario
K1A 0J1

General Enquiries
Telephone: 1-888-551-1185
Fax: (613) 996-3063
Email: reception@scc-csc.ca

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C. - Registrar
Telephone: (613) 995-4330
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 and Chief Financial Officer, 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)

Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)

An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)

A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three‑year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)

A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)

A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.

Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)

Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on an appropriated department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

evaluation (évaluation)

In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.

experimentation (expérimentation)

Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.

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.

gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])

An analytical approach used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that the gender-based analysis goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. Examples of GBA+ processes include using data disaggregated by sex, gender and other intersecting identity factors in performance analysis, and identifying any impacts of the program on diverse groups of people, with a view to adjusting these initiatives to make them more inclusive.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)

For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government;  A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.

horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)

An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

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.

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.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, 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 Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

priority (priorité)

A plan or project 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) or Departmental Results.

Program (programme)

Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)

Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s Core Responsibilities and Results.

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.

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.