Departmental Performance Report (DPR) 2012-2013

 

The original version was signed by

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

 

Table of Contents

Message from the Registrar

Section I: Organizational Overview

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Section IV: Other Items of Interest

Endnotes


Message from the Registrar

Picture of Roger Bilodeau, Registrar

I am pleased to present the 2012-2013 Departmental Performance Report for the Supreme Court of Canada.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.


Section I: Organizational Overview

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.Footnote I

Responsibilities

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

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

Organization Chart of the Office of the Registrar

Description of image

The chart shows the organizational structure of the Court. Under the direction of the Chief Justice, who is supported by the Executive Legal Officer, the Registrar is the Deputy Head of the Court. He is responsible for the Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector and the Corporate Services Sector. The Registrar is seconded by the Deputy Registrar who is responsible for the Court Operations Sector and the 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 the eight puisne judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, including protocol activities, the development and delivery of integrated judicial support programs and services, judicial administration, the Law Clerk program as well as judges' dining room services.

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

Communications Services: The Communications Services develop and implement communication strategies, plans and programs to increase public awareness and understanding of the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as to enhance internal communications within the Court.

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; modern management methods and tools; integrated risk management; finance; procurement; accommodation (telecommunications, mail and printing services); human resources; security; health and safety; emergency management and preparedness; development, delivery and management of IT strategies, plans, policies, standards and procedures; as well as business continuity planning.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

Type Identifier Title
D D080 Supreme Court of Canada
SO R080-0001 The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent
P P080-0001 Court Operations
In order to render decisions, the Court requires the support of the Office of the Registrar in the management of cases from the receipt of an application for leave to appeal up to and including the release of a judgment on appeal.This support includes providing services to the litigants; reviewing applications for leave to appeal and preparing advice as to whether leave to appeal should be granted; preparing summaries of the leave applications; providing procedural advice; reviewing and summarizing factums where leave to appeal is granted; receiving, controlling and preserving all incoming case documentation; tracking various time periods to ensure compliance by the parties with the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada; recording proceedings on appeals; answering queries with regard to cases; editing and summarizing decisions of the Court; publishing decisions in the Supreme Court Reports, in accordance with the Supreme Court Act; and providing law library services with an extensive collection in both print and electronic formats to support legal research undertaken by users within the Court and members of the legal community.
P P080-0002 Processing of payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act
The Judges Act is an Act respecting all federally appointed judges, and thereby applies to the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. With respect to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Judges Act specifies the salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, and prescribes other payments to be made to judges, namely allowances for removal, representation, incidentals, conferences and seminars, as well as annuities. The Office of the Registrar processes these payments as required by the Judges Act.
SO R080-0002 The following program activity supports all strategic outcomes within this organization.
P P080-0003 Internal Services
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.

Organizational Priorities

While the primary focus of the Office of the Registrar continued to be the processing of cases without delay while maintaining stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service. The office had two operational priorities for 2012-13: (i) Business Transformation efforts and the (ii) Enhancements of the security program to better meet the needs of the Court.

Summary of Progress Against Priorities

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Business Transformation Previously committed to The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent
Summary of Progress

The Office continued to make progress towards the goal of the Supreme Court becoming a fully electronic functioning court with reduced reliance on paper based processes.  To ensure that business processes and technology are in place to enable electronic processing of cases, allow parties to file electronically through a secure portal and access case file documents, data and information online based on their entitlements, provide the public better access to court information online, and protect and preserve historical information in an electronic format, the following activities were undertaken during the fiscal year.

Accomplishments for 2012-13
  • A program management framework (e.g., governance, funding, program plan and timeline) was established.
  • With oversight from the Program Office, solutions to address the immediate needs of the business were developed while at the same time abiding to the design principles that will ensure future enterprise architecture growth is not compromised.
  • Key business processes were mapped and analyzed to identify potential efficiencies/opportunities for improvement in upcoming years.
  • New requirements and processes were put in place for the filing of electronic memorandums of argument on applications for leave to appeal which was a fully paper based process prior to July 2012.  Internally, a mobile application was developed to make leave application documents accessible to the Members of the Court.
  • Business, IM and IT capabilities needed to support new business processes were defined.  IM/IT enterprise architecture was refined for the case document management.
  • Short-term project priorities and sequencing were approved.
  • Project charters and work plans for projects related to the motions workflow, the judgment editorial process, mobile applications, and migration of the case management system platform were developed and identified.

 

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Enhancement of the security program to better meet the needs of the Court Previously committed to The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent
Summary of Progress

Due to the sensitive nature of the Court's business and its high profile as the court of last resort in Canada's judicial branch of government, in 2012-13, the Office continued to focus on enhancing its security program which has many components such as physical security, information technology security and business continuity planning.

Accomplishments for 2012-13
  • Prioritized security gaps and weaknesses
  • Assessed delivery model options
  • Reviewed security program governance to clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Reviewed policies, procedures and practices
  • Continued working on the development of the Departmental Security Plan
  • Updated Security Action Plan

 

Risk Analysis

The Office of the Registrar has continued to strive towards meeting its future challenges and to address its strategic priorities. The major factors' affecting the Court's is activities are detailed below, along with key risks.

Operating Environment

The Office of the Registrar is faced with both operational and reputational risks. Operational risks are those associated with operational and organizational capabilities to deal with change affecting administrative processes, people management, financial and information processing, technology, security and business continuity. Reputational risks are associated with risks that affect the Court's reputation and public confidence in its ability to fulfill its mandate.

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture Link to Organizational 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.
  • Followed and implemented, where appropriate, Government of Canada Cyber Threat Evaluation Center (CTEC) Recommended Mitigation Actions.
  • Various awareness tools and sessions were prepared and delivered.
  • Action plans developed in response to vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.
Internal Services Enhancement of the security program to better meet the needs of the Court.
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 principles of open court (the Supreme Court of Canada building is a high volume tourism destination). 

Security governance strenghtened

Security Action Plan and Security Risk Register (in preparation)

Policies and procedures under development

Security audits/ threat and risk assessments

Business Continuity Plan

Staff awareness
Internal Services Enhancement of the security program to better meet the needs of the Court.
Aging Legacy IT Systems and Applications: Failure of aging legacy systems and applications, such as 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 SCC staff to address technical issues and to interface systems and data, and systems becoming obsolete and unmanageable if SCC waits too long to redesign and port to new platform.  Planning for the replacement of various aging IT systems continued and will be scheduled when time and resources allow.  Focus will be applied to those systems deemed critical to maintaining operations. Internal Services Business Transformation
Infrastructure Failure within Building: The Supreme Court of Canada building is aging, and consequently there is a growing risk of infrastructure and building systems failure as a result of continuing property deterioration.

Working with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to continue planning for a major building rehabilitation project.

PWGSC space / accommodation audits and Business Continuity Plan

Internal Services  

 

Summary of Performance

Financial Resources - Total Departmental ($ millions)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2012-13
Planned Spending
201213
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2012-13
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2012-13
Difference (Planned vs. Actual Spending)
29.8 29.8 32.3 31.2 -1.4

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — FTEs)
Planned 2012-13 Actual 2012-13 Difference 2012-13
214 213 1

 

Performance Summary Table for Strategic Outcome and Programs ($ millions)
Strategic Outcome 1: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent
Program Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates
201213)
Planned Spending
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Court Operations 15.8 15.8 16.9 15.8
Process payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 5.7 5.7 6.4 6.7
Strategic Outcome 1
Sub-Total
21.5 21.5 23.3 22.5

 

 

Program Total Authorities (available for use) 2012–13 Actual Spending (authorities used) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2012-13 2011-12 2010-11
Court Operations 16.8 16.0 14.8 19.7 Strong and independent democratic institutions
Process payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act 6.0 6.0 5.7 - Strong and independent democratic institutions
Strategic Outcome 1
Sub-Total
22.8 22.0 20.5 19.7  

 

Performance Summary Table for Internal Services ($ millions)
Internal Services Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates 2012–13) Planned Spending Total Authorities (available for use) 2012–13 Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11
  8.3 8.3 8.8 8.5 9.5 9.2 11.0 10.6
Sub-Total 8.3 8.3 8.8 8.5 9.5 9.2 11.0 10.6

 

Total Performance Summary Table ($ millions)
Strategic Outcome(s) and Internal Services Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates 2012–13) Planned Spending Total Authorities (available for use) 2012–13 Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11
  29.8 29.8 32.1 31.0 32.3 31.2 31.5 30.3
Total 29.8 29.8 32.1 31.0 32.3 31.2 31.5 30.3

There have been no significant changes to the Office's program over the last few years and consequently, both the planned spending for future years and the actual spending for prior years have remained relatively stable. For 2012-13, the variance between planned and actual spending ($1.4 million) is mainly attributed to the Office's eligible pay list expenditures for severance, vacation entitlements upon termination of employment and parental benefits, which were not part of the planned spending forecast. In line with new reporting guidelines, planned figures for 2013-14 and future years now include this forecast.

As well, slight increases in the contribution to employee benefits and statutory expenditures for the Judges' salaries, allowances and annuities have also contributed to the overall increase in actual results over planned spending.

It is to be noted that an adjustment was made in 2012-13 to allocate the proportion of employee benefit plan contribution costs related to the Court Operations program from Internal Services.  These costs have historically been entirely attributed to Internal Services. This adjustment allows for more accurate costing of each program. This explains in large part the variance in actual spending between both programs when comparing to prior fiscal years.

Despite the change in how departments must account for their human resources (FTEs), the Office of the Registrar's FTE count (213) was consistent with the planned staffing level (214). This is primarily due to the fact that the additional FTEs (such as students and casuals) which were not part of the planned figure were offset by vacant positions, delays in planned staffing and other leave entitlements.

 

Expenditure Profile

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of image

The graph entitled "Spending Trend" illustrates the actual spending for four fiscal years: 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 and the planned spending for fiscal years 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. Financial figures are presented in millions of dollars below:

Actual Spending
2009-10 - $ 29.0 million
2010-11 - $ 30.3 million
2011-12 - $ 31.5 million
2012-13 - $ 31.2 million

Planned Spending
2013-14- $ 32.1 million
2014-15 - $ 31.0 million
2015-16 - $ 31.4 million

 

The Supreme Court of Canada's spending has remained fairly stable in 2012-13 in comparison to 2011-12, with a net decrease in expenditures of $0.3 million over 2011-12.  Salary increases of $0.5 million were offset by a decrease in operating expenditures of $0.8 million. There was a considerable decrease in professional services ($0.3 million), as well as reductions in materials and supplies and in the acquisition of Library materials in the amount of $0.4 million. Other general decreases across various expenditure types account for the total decrease in operating expenditures. Investments in new initiatives such as business transformation and security services have been absorbed within existing reference levels. These initiatives involve primarily existing human resources and therefore the impact on operating expenditures has been minimal and consistent with prior years.

 

Estimates by Vote

For information on Supreme Court of Canada organizational Votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the Public Accounts of Canada 2013 (Volume II).Footnote II An electronic version of the Public Accounts 2013 is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.


Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

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

Program: Court Operations

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

Financial Resources ($ millions)
Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates)
2012-13
Planned Spending 2012-13 Total Authorities (available for use)
2012-13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012-13
Difference
2012-13
15.8 15.8 16.8 16.0 -0.2

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — FTEs)
Planned 2012-13 Actual 2012-13 Difference 2012-13
145 144 1

 

Performance Results – For Program Level
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 Partially met
Number of months between hearing and judgment 6 months Met
Access to Court services and information % of lawyers and unrepresented litigants that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Registry Services 95% Met
Courtroom systems reliability Number of hearing disruptions for technical reasons per year 0 Exceeded
Access to reference information % of factual/bibliographic requests for reference assistance responded to within service standard of 1 working day 95% Met
% of complex/substantive requests for reference assistance responded to by date required by client 95% Met
% of users that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services 95% Exceeded
% of citations in judgments that are in the collection 85% Exceeded

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Supreme Court has consistently met its performance targets in the areas of processing cases without delay, providing effective access to Court services and programs, including reference information, and providing reliable courtroom services.  At the same time, the Office of the Registrar has maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.  In 2012-13, the Office of the Registrar concentrated its efforts on improving information management and continued improvements to the Business Transformation program.  The primary focus has been on documenting the business processes associated with case management which have not been reviewed in many years. 

Case management in the Supreme Court of Canada is defined as the process by which the Court controls the filing, scheduling, hearing and disposition of proceedings.  During the coming fiscal year, a sustained focus on the Court's Business Transformation Program will move the Court towards increased electronic access and processing of cases, more effective and efficient work processes, and the protection and preservation of historical information in electronic format.  Amendments will be brought to the Rules to facilitate the filing and serving of documents that are not required to be bound, including correspondence and motions, by email. 

A pilot project to implement electronic document and records management was undertaken in 2012-13 as electronic document and records management will be a core foundation of business transformation.  The findings will be leveraged in the coming fiscal years.  Business process mapping, already begun, will continue to look at current processes and will identify workflows which may be streamlined or made more efficient through the introduction of new technologies.

 

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

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

Financial Resources ($ millions)
Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates)
2012-13
Planned Spending 2012-13 Total Authorities (available for use)
2012-13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012-13
Difference
2012-13
5.7 5.7 6.0 6.0 -0.3

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — FTEs)
Planned 2012-13 Actual 2012-13 Difference 2012-13
0 0 0

 

Performance Results - For Program
Expected
Results
Performance
Indicators
Targets Actual Results
Timely and accurate processing of payments % of payments processed within service standards 95% 100%
% of errors on payments 2% 1.4%

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 standards of five days and incurred an error rate of 1.4% on its accuracy level for the processing of these payments.

The Office of the Registrar has achieved a level of 100% for the timely processing of its payments to judges. This success is partly attributed to procedures that have been implemented to carefully monitor outstanding payments and to fully verify claims before they are sent for approval thus ensuring a timely reimbursement of judges' claims under various allowances. More frequent payments were issued in order to stay within the targeted timeframes. Efforts will continue in order to maintain the established target. 

Although an independent file review has not recently been conducted, an assessment of the corrective entries was used as a basis in determining whether or not the Office of the Registrar met its target of an error rate of 2% or less. Of 492 transactions, 7 adjusting entries were needed to correct various errors, resulting in an error rate of 1.4%. The adjustments consisted mostly of errors in financial coding, thus not directly impacting the payment to the recipients. The Office of the Registrar will continue to strive towards maintaining its error rate goal.

The number of judges' expense claims has remained stable in 2012-13 and with adequate financial controls in place, the Office of the Registrar was able to meet its expected results. Processes such as reconciliation and frequent reporting have allowed for early detection of errors, in particular financial coding errors, and corrective action is taken immediately. Although, the actual results have exceeded the Office's expectations, time and effort will continue to be dedicated in the coming year to maintain this level of service.

From a financial perspective, actual results exceed planned spending by $0.3 million. The variance is mainly attributed to increased pension costs as well as relocation expenditures arising from the departure of a retiring Judge and the arrival of her successor.

There are no FTEs assigned to this program because it relates to the Judges who are not considered in the Supreme Court's FTE count.

 

Program: Internal Services

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 are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Real Property Services; Material Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services includes only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Financial Resources ($ millions)
Total Budgetary Expenditures (Main Estimates)
2012-13
Planned Spending 2012-13 Total Authorities (available for use)
2012-13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012-13
Difference
2012-13
8.3 8.3 9.5 9.2 -0.9

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents — FTEs)
Planned 2012-13 Actual 2012-13 Difference 2012-13
69 69 0

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Internal services support the Court by providing timely and responsive services that are effective and efficient as per established service standards. Some key accomplishments for 2012-13 are:

  • Assess the delivery of the security program; including delivery model options, the governance model, policies, procedures and practices, and training and awareness.
  • The creation and implementation of a framework to integrate financial and non-financial information (e.g., HR, court operations) at all levels of the organization to strengthen planning and reporting.
  • Collaborate with PWGSC in the delivery of a functional program regarding the SCC's proposed building rehabilitation project.
  • Human Resources (HR) efforts were focused on knowledge transfer/ succession planning, change management and HR su
    • Renew efforts to replace employees who are leaving because of retirement or moving on to a position in a different organization, and implement a knowledge transfer and learning strategy that will help develop the next generation of key employees.  Adequate provision must also be made for back-up of staff.
    • Continue to develop change management skills and competencies needed to implement major business transformation, and develop better ways of engaging all staff in business process and change initiatives.
    • Clarify the role of human resources in supporting managers, with a particular emphasis on improving and streamlining hiring approaches.
  • The IT Branch is an integral part of the Court's business as a partner and enabler. Accomplishments for 2012-13 include:
    • Support the Court Operations Sector in its business transformation objectives.
    • Successful migration of Electronic Document Management System from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.
    • Development of new information architecture for the Courtroom Display Tool.
    • Introduction of mobile technology to enhance operations.
    • Development of a solid plan and foundation for the upgrade of key legacy applications (e.g., case management system).
    • Strive for greater interoperability between new and old systems, and leverage the previous investments in new technologies to not only gain efficiencies but remain vigilant to emerging cyber threats.
  • The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Accomplishments for 2012-13 include:
    • Complete the initial phase of the implementation of an Electronic Records Management System in order to validate functional and business requirements, ensure the continuous  and effective management of information of business value; and
    • Ensuring that the Office of the Registrar meets its obligations under the Recordkeeping Directive.

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

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

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

Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position

 

Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (Unaudited)
As at March 31, 2013
($ millions)
  2012-13
Planned Results
2012-13
Actual
2011-12
Actual
$ Change (2012-13 Planned vs. Actual) $ Change (2012-13 Actual vs. 2011-12 Actual)
Total expenses 40.7 41.4 41.9 -0.7 -0.5
Total revenues - - - - -
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 40.7 41.4 41.9 -0.7 -0.5
Departmental net financial position N/A -0.8 -0.7 N/A -0.1

 

Expenses by Type

Description of image

Expenses by type ($ millions)- This pie chart shows the 2012-13 expenses by two major categories: Salaries and Employee Benefits and Other Operating Expenditures representing $26.3M and $15.1M respectively for total expenses of $41.4M.

 

Total expenses were $41.4 million in 2012-13; a decrease of $0.5 million (1%) over the total expenses of $41.9 million in 2011-12. Salaries and employee benefits represent the majority of the Office's expenditures ($26.3 million or 64%). The net decrease of $0.5 million consists of a decrease in other operating expenditures ($1 million), offset by an increase in salaries and employee benefits ($0.5 million). A decrease was noted in professional services. The reduction was in part attributed to an overall decline in spending, as well as a change in coding for software licences. These costs were part of the professional services category in 2011-12 and have since been reclassified to equipment rentals, as per changes to the Government Wide Chart of Accounts. 

Regarding the departmental net financial position for the 2012-13 Planned Results, the corresponding future-oriented financial statements had been prepared using the previous Treasury Board Accounting Standard (TBAS) 1.2, since the revised version was adopted after the completion of these statements. Changes included government funding being incorporated in the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position, resulting in a Departmental Net Financial Position total which agrees with the total of the Statement of Financial Position. As a result, the departmental net financial position is not available for comparison.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position

 

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2013
($ millions)
  2012-13 2011-12 $ Change
Total net liabilities 6.4 6.6 -0.2
Total net financial assets 4.3 3.5 0.8
Departmental net debt 2.1 3.1 -1.0
Total non-financial assets 1.3 2.4 -1.1
Departmental net financial position -0.8 -0.7 -0.1

 

Liabilities by Type

Description of image

Liabilities by type ($ millions) - This pie chart is divided into five pieces. The three largest pieces of the pie are assigned to Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities, Judges' Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account and Employee Future Benefits which represent $2.0M, $1.8M and $1.4M respectively. Vacation Pay and Compensatory Leave represents $0.8M and the Security Deposit Account, $0.4M for total liabilities of $6.4M.

 

Total liabilities were $6.4 million at the end of 2012-13; a decrease of $0.2 million (3%) over the total liabilities of $6.6 million for 2011-12. This decrease is mostly attributable to Employee Future Benefits, as the accumulation of severance benefits under the employee severance pay program ceased for certain collective bargaining groups beginning in 2012 and have since affected the majority of collective agreements.

Assets by Type

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Assets by type ($ millions)- This pie chart is divided into four pieces. The largest section is attributed to Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund and represents $4.2M of the $5.6M total assets. Tangible Capital Assets represent $1.2M and Accounts Receivable and Advances and Prepaid Expenses each represent $0.1M.

 

Total assets were $5.6 million at the end of 2012-13; a decrease of $0.3 million (5%) over the total assets of $5.9 million for 2011-12, which is mostly due to a decrease in tangible capital assets. The net book value of these assets has significantly decreased over time, essentially due to leasehold improvements being almost fully depreciated (amongst other asset categories). The acquisition of new assets has been minimal over the last few years, therefore explaining the significant decrease in tangible capital assets over time.

Departmental net debt, calculated as the difference between total liabilities and net financial assets, has decreased by $1 million 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 $0.1 million compared to the previous year. The $1 million net debt decrease is offset by a reduction in non-financial assets, therefore reducing the variance between both fiscal years.

Financial Statements

The complete Office of the Registrar Financial StatementsFootnote III for the year ended March 31, 2013, which include the Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control Over Financial Reporting and its Annex for fiscal year 2012-13, are available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Supplementary Information Tables

All electronic supplementary information tables listed in the 2012–13 Departmental Performance Report can be found on Supreme Court of Canada's website.Footnote I

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report

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 publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication.Footnote VII   The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

 


Section IV: Other Items of Interest

Organizational Contact Information

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

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

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

Mary McFadyen - Deputy Registrar
Telephone: 613-996-7521
Email: reception@scc-csc.ca

Barbara Kincaid - General Counsel
Telephone: 613-996-7721
Email: Law-Droit@scc-csc.ca

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

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

Additional Information

Listing of Statutory and Departmental Reports

Supreme Court Reports
Pursuant to Section 17 of the Supreme Court Act, the Registrar or the Deputy Registrar, as the Chief Justice directs, is responsible for the publication of the judgments of the Court in the Canada Supreme Court Reports, which include all the reasons for judgment rendered by the Court in a given calendar year.

Legislation Administered

Supreme Court Act, R.S.C., 1985, C.S-26 as amended
Judges Act, R.S.C., 1985, C.J-1 as amended


Endnotes