Departmental Performance Report 2013–2014

The Departmental Performance Report (DPR) is published in PDF and HTML formats.

 PDF Version (0.8MB)

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


Table of Contents

Foreword

Chief Administrator’s Message

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Appendix: Definitions

Endnotes


Foreword

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Treasury Board Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures further strengthens the alignment of the performance information presented in DPRs, other Estimates documents and the Public Accounts of Canada. The policy establishes the Program Alignment Architecture of appropriated organizations as the structure against which financial and non-financial performance information is provided for Estimates and parliamentary reporting. The same reporting structure applies irrespective of whether the organization is reporting in the Main Estimates, the RPP, the DPR or the Public Accounts of Canada. A number of changes have been made to DPRs for 2013–14 to better support decisions on appropriations. Where applicable, DPRs now provide financial, human resources and performance information in Section II at the lowest level of the organization’s Program Alignment Architecture.

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


Chief Administrator’s Message

The Honourable Daniel Gosselin

I am pleased to present the Departmental Performance Report on the Courts Administration Service (CAS) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

Throughout 2013–14, CAS continued to play a vital role in support of Canada’s justice system by providing essential services to the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada. Despite workload pressures and competing priorities for limited resources, progress was made with the implementation of a number of initiatives to support the modernization and deployment of security systems, optimize our information technology infrastructure, and provide better tools to the courts and employees. CAS was able to achieve these objectives by remaining responsive to the needs of the four courts and reinforcing its governance and risk management strategies.

However, CAS’s needs are many and resources are limited. In this regard, we continue to work with central agencies to identify viable, long-term solutions to address program integrity issues.

I extend my sincere thanks to all employees, whose dedication, professionalism and tireless efforts contributed to our ability to deliver services to the members of the courts, their users and the public.

In closing, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Chief Justices, the Judges and the Prothonotaries for their ongoing support, collaboration and advice.

Daniel Gosselin, FCPA, FCA
Chief Administrator


Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Chief Administrator: Daniel Gosselin
Ministerial Portfolio: Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Enabling Instrument(s): Courts Administration Service Act i
Year of Incorporation/Commencement: 2003

Organizational Context

Raison d'être

The Courts Administration Service (CAS) was established in 2003 with the coming into force of the Courts Administration Service Act. The role of CAS is to provide effective and efficient judicial, registry and corporate services to four superior courts of record – the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada. The Act enhances judicial independence by placing administrative services at arm‘s length from the Government of Canada and enhances accountability for the use of public money.

Responsibilities

CAS recognizes the independence of the courts in the conduct of their own affairs and aims to provide each court with quality and efficient administrative and registry services. Pursuant to section 2 of the Act, CAS is mandated to:

  • facilitate coordination and cooperation among the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court and the Tax Court of Canada for the purpose of ensuring the effective and efficient provision of administrative services;
  • enhance judicial independence by placing administrative services at arm‘s length from the Government of Canada and by affirming the roles of chief justices and judges in the management of the courts; and
  • enhance accountability for the use of public money in support of court administration while safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

Judicial Independence

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of the Canadian judicial system. Under the Constitution, the judiciary is separate from and independent of the executive and legislative branches of the Government of Canada. Judicial independence is a guarantee that judges will make decisions free of influence and based solely on fact and law. It has three components: security of tenure, financial security and administrative independence.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

1. Strategic Outcome: The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

1.1 Program: Judicial Services

1.2 Program: Registry Services

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Maintain core judicial and registry services to the four courts. Previously committed to The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.
Summary of Progress

In 2013–14, CAS continued to focus on maintaining its capacity to deliver on its mandate by prioritizing the allocation of its resources to meet the essential needs of the four courts and by taking action on various initiatives to improve core services and alleviate financial pressures.

  • CAS continued to provide responsive administrative and legal services to members of the courts by implementing measures to lower the cost of doing business. These measures included the pooling of resources to address workloads pressures, the cross-training of employees to increase organizational capacity to meet service demand, and the forming of strategic alliances with other organizations to share resources where appropriate.
  • Efforts to deploy standalone versions of the Digital Audio Recording System (DARS) on a court-by-court basis were maintained. DARS supports technology-enabled hearings by streamlining processes for recording and transcribing court proceedings.
  • CAS also concentrated its efforts on maintaining and updating its information technology (IT) infrastructure (including legacy systems), in an attempt to prevent disruption of court operations. Improvements to various electronic systems were also made to reduce dependency on paper, enhance accessibility of records and increase operational efficiency.
  • An electronic court project was piloted at the Federal Court to address the need for managing cases involving complex issues and a large volume of documents. The success of this project supports moving forward on the implementation of electronic courts.
  • To ensure the delivery of core services to the four itinerant courts in the provinces and territories where CAS does not have local offices, CAS reviewed, negotiated and renewed standardized service arrangements.


Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Provide a robust, reliable and secure IM/IT infrastructure,
and modernize judicial
support systems.
Previously committed to The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.
Summary of Progress

CAS’s IT strategies focused on transformational initiatives and plans aimed at addressing IT performance, emerging priorities and the development of its Life Cycle Management Plan.

  • An IT performance and upgrade strategy and roadmap was developed, which included various initiatives and cost-effective solutions to enhance network performance, improve IT infrastructure and client service, and upgrade operating systems, business applications and software solutions. This also included the acquisition and testing of new software and the migration of court records to a new database platform. In 2013–14, CAS made progress in replacing some rusted-out technological components and continued optimizing the new data centre to enhance its ability to address more complex requirements.
  • A network assessment and infrastructure optimization study was launched to enhance the strategies and plans aimed at addressing the organization’s IT network performance issues and to optimize the IT infrastructure in order to meet the current and future needs of electronic courts and registry operations.
  • Through its Enterprise Project Management Office, CAS continued to improve its project management capacity by providing oversight and direct support to key stakeholders in accordance to its Project Management Framework.
  • CAS streamlined business processes to reduce the need for hard copies of documents in the management of the Law Clerk program; in particular, the Online Law Clerk Application system simplified the process for identifying candidates for law clerk positions.
  • To enhance support to the members of the courts while on travel and at CAS offices across Canada, CAS began a project to enhance network performance and provide remote connections. This will improve accessibility and connectivity to the courts records required for day-to-day business.
  • CAS updated its websites and that of the four courts to meet accessibility requirements and enhance search functionalities.


Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Ensure the long-term financial viability of the organization and establish a work environment that addresses employee needs. Previously committed to The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.
Summary of Progress

In response to increasing budgetary pressures, CAS continues to make every effort to maximize the use of its resources.

Financial Viability

  • CAS continued to work with central agencies and stakeholders to identify viable, long-term solutions to address program integrity issues.
  • CAS relied extensively on rigorous business planning and prioritization exercises allowing for periodic reallocation or realignment throughout the year to meet pressing operational priorities.
  • To reduce the organization’s environmental footprint, CAS actively supported the government-wide initiative Greening Government Operations, including practices to reduce paper consumption, increased sharing of IT equipment, and enhanced use of video conferencing to reduce the need for travel.

Employees Needs

  • Organizational realignment in the Human Resources Division improved the business delivery model and is expected to provide a useful path for succession planning while meeting current and future organizational needs.
  • CAS undertook consultations to verify the effectiveness of the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey action plans. The implementation of the plan is expected to promote a more productive and engaged workforce and help address concerns raised by employees.
  • In keeping with government-wide initiatives, particular attention was devoted to the implementation of the Directive on Performance Management, disability management and the development of an Integrated Human Resources Management Planning Framework. CAS also completed the Occupational Health and Safety Hazard Prevention analyses aimed at advancing the well-being of its employees.


Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Improve the quality and relevance of corporate communications. New The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.
Summary of Progress

CAS has restructured and streamlined communications services to better respond to and support evolving program needs. A number of services designed to enhance key stakeholders’ understanding and awareness of CAS and the courts were provided.

  • In 2013–14, CAS developed a Strategic Communications Plan to guide the organization’s communications activities with emphasis on effective communication strategies and tools to improve the quality, timeliness, relevance and flow of information.
  • To ensure the availability of court accommodations across the country, CAS maintained ongoing and open communications with provincial and territorial governments.
  • CAS also supported initiatives to enhance key stakeholders’ understanding of important changes impacting the federal courts’ processes.
  • Throughout the reporting period, CAS reinforced its partnerships through active participation on a number of regional councils and inter-ministerial committees including the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heads of Courts Administration and the Association of Canadian Court Executive Officers. These fora promote effective communications through information exchange and the sharing of best practices across organizations and jurisdictions.

Risk Analysis

In 2013–14, the identification of risks and the development of mitigation measures and controls continued to contribute to the establishment of priorities, planning, resource allocation, policy development, program management and performance reports. In keeping with prior years, CAS developed a formal Corporate Risk Profile which provided a summary of the key risks to the organization in meeting its business objectives.

Key Risks

Risk Analysis Evaluation
Risks Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture

Access to Justice – There is a risk that access to justice could be impacted by competing priorities for limited resources.

  • Maintain application for program integrity.
  • Continue discussions with the central agencies to identify appropriate mechanism to fund non-discretionary expenditures.
  • Conduct frequent reviews of expenditures, commitments and staffing action to rapidly identify pressures and to reallocate funding to ease the pressure on available resources.

Strategic Outcome – The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Programs – Judicial Services and Registry Services

Courts and Registry Information Technology Systems – There is a risk that the courts and registry IT systems and infrastructure will be unable to meet the requirements of evolving technology and program activities.

  • Develop and implement an IT network performance roadmap with an enterprise architecture and action plan to address IT infrastructure gaps. Elements of the plan will include:
    • Optimization of IT infrastructure;
    • Enhancements of network performance and reliability;
    • Improvements to email access, mobile Internet and electronic accessibility of documents;
    • Upgrade of computers; and
    • Upgrades to Windows and other critical software.

Strategic Outcome – The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Programs – Judicial Services and Registry Services

Security – There is a risk that the security of the members of the judiciary, staff, clients as well as CAS facilities, information and IT could be seriously compromised.

  • Address accountability and funding issues identified.
  • Develop and implement a plan to address the findings of the Threat and Risk Assessment. Elements of the plan will include:
    • Clarification of legislation and responsibilities for court security;
    • Reinforce security for members of the courts;
    • Establish a new model for Court Security Officer Service;
    • Implement a risk-based security approach;
    • Strengthen physical security measures;
    • Establish courts accommodation security standards; and
    • Develop new business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

Strategic Outcome – The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Programs – Judicial Services and Registry Services

Information Management – There is a risk loss of hard copy and digital records.

  • Consultation with members of the courts on court record retention analysis.
  • Dissemination of information management awareness sessions to staff.
  • Judicial endorsement of the Judicial Information Management plan.
  • Implementation of a document management system as central repository.
  • Adoption of DARS in courtrooms
  • Documentation of Court and Registry Management System “as-is” processes.
  • Provision of support for e-filing system.

Strategic Outcome – The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Programs – Judicial Services and Registry Services

Judicial Support Systems

The lack of sufficient resources to implement important IT projects to support the transition to electronic courts, the difficulties of meeting evolving program needs using existing legacy systems and increased requirements for systems integration remain a challenge. Given the resource constraints, CAS strives to balance the maintenance of existing legacy systems with investments in new systems — the emphasis being on extending network performance, improving IT infrastructure stability, and overall systems reliability and security. Risk mitigation strategies have been formulated in the IT Strategy and Roadmap, which lays out plans and projects for a sustainable long-term IT solution. Investments are required to manage the inherent and residual risks.

Sufficiency of Financial Resources

This risk stemmed from a number of factors including the scope and complexity of federal courts system; the increased workload of the federal courts; the increasing demands on the limited resources; and the need to support Canada’s fiscal objectives, government-wide rules and legislative changes. To mitigate this risk, CAS took measures to closely monitor its key key initiatives and continued to work with central agencies and key stakeholders to secure additional funding to address urgent program integrity issues and identify a sustainable funding model.

Security

Increasing workload pressures and competing priorities for limited resources contributed to this risk. In response, CAS sought an independent Federal Courts System Threat and Risk Assessment and developed the CAS Directive on Security Management and the Standard on the Hearing Risk Management Process. The latter is intended to quickly identify and respond to potential threats and risks related to an upcoming hearing. The organization also initiated a review of its Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan.

Information Management

CAS has moved forward in many areas of information management. New online training on information security was made available to employees; the corporate file plan was completed; and the retention and disposition practices were reviewed, updated and published. While investments and progress are still required, it was determined that mitigation activities have sufficiently reduced CAS’s exposure to this risk.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14
Main Estimates
2013–14
Planned
Spending
2013–14
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2013–14
Actual Spending
(authorities
used)
Difference
(actual minus
planned)
68,490,773 70,338,653 72,147,398 67,342,559 (2,996,094)


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
640 595 (45)


Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome and Programs (dollars)
Strategic Outcome, Program(s) and Internal Services 2013–14
Main Estimates
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
Planned Spending
2013–14 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012–13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2011–12
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Strategic Outcome: The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.
Judicial Services 22,397,714 22,736,607 22,379,302 21,445,479 23,133,122 21,333,113 21,125,246 21,576,245
Registry Services 26,700,966 27,113,233 26,673,348 25,143,766 27,402,634 25,014,862 25,400,192 29,146,563
Subtotal 49,098,680 49,849,840 49,052,650 46,589,245 50,535,756 46,347,975 46,525,438 50, 722,808
Internal Services Subtotal 19,392,093 20,488,813 18,992,093 17,234,435 21,611,642 20,994,584 19,058,769 22,499,604
Total 68,490,773 70,338,653 68,044,743 63,823,680 72,147,398 67,342,559 65,584,207 73,222,412

Note:

The $1,808,745 variance between 2013–14 planned spending and 2013–14 total authorities available for use is primarily the result of differences between the actual funding received through allocations from Treasury Board Central Votes and the estimated funding amounts in the 2013–14 RPP. Funding received in relation to the operating budget carry-forward in 2013–14 amounted to $2,345,013. In addition, the actual funding received in relation to paylist expenditures in 2013–14 was $575,704 less than the amounts estimated in the 2013–14 RPP. Other minor variances totalling $39,436 account for the remaining variance.

The variance between 2013–14 total authorities and 2013–14 actual spending represents a lapse of $4,804,839. Of this amount, $2,520,209 is related to funding set aside by Treasury Board, within CAS’s budget, to support the reform of Canada’s refugee determination system and represents a forced lapse. CAS is not authorized to use these funds until a new judicial appointment is made and Treasury Board approval is received. During 2013–14, one judicial appointment was made and Treasury Board approval for the use of $504,040 was received, which reduced the funds set aside by Treasury Board accordingly. The remaining lapse of $2,284,630 is related to a combination of factors including an overall reduction in spending activities in many areas of the organization, as well as project-related delays in IT, Security and Facilities.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2013–14 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government Frameworkii (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government
of Canada
Outcome
2013–2014
Actual
Spending
The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada. Judicial
Services
Government
Affairs
Strong and independent democratic institutions 21,333,113
Registry
Services
Government
Affairs
Strong and independent democratic institutions 25,014,862


Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 0 0
Social Affairs 0 0
International Affairs 0 0
Government Affairs 49,849,840 46,347,975


Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of the image

Departmental Spending Trend

This graph represents the departmental spending trend for the years 2011––12 to 2016–17.

  • In 2011-12, actual spending was $73.2M.
  • In 2012-13, actual spending was $65.6M.
  • In 2013-14, actual spending was $67.3M.
  • In 2014-15, planned spending was $68M.
  • In 2015-16, planned spending was $63.8M.
  • In 2016-17, planned spending was $63.9M.

Note:

The variations in spending seen in the chart are attributable to a series of factors which fall under two broad categories: CAS's responsibilities and government decisions.

In the first category, the factors that related to CAS’s responsibilities include a major investment in 2011–12 in information technology infrastructure to address rust-out issues, including the construction of a new data centre and the provision in Budget 2011 for permanent program integrity funding for CAS to make some security improvements and fund legislatively mandated judicial appointments.

In the second category, the factors related to government decisions include lump sum funding for collective agreements and existing employee benefits such as severance and maternity pay. In 2011–12, the option offered to many employees to convert severance pay entitlements into cash represents the biggest single component of the increase in spending. Other factors affecting spending from year-to-year include various government expenditure restraint measures.

The increase in actual spending in 2013–14 is due in part to the expected completion of severance liquidation payments and in part to the resumption of funding for collective agreement increases.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the CAS organizational Votes and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2014 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.iii


Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome:

Strategic Outcome: The public has timely and fair access to the litigation processes of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Program 1.1: Judicial Services

Description

The Judicial services program provides legal services and judicial administrative support to assist members of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada in the discharge of their judicial functions. These services are provided by legal counsel, judicial administrators, law clerks, jurilinguists, judicial assistants, library personnel and court attendants, under the direction of the four Chief Justices.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14
Main Estimates
2013–14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2013–14
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)
22,397,714 22,736,607 23,133,122 21,333,113 (1,403,494)


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
191 181 (10)


Performance Results
Expected Results Performance
Indicators
Targets Actual Results
Members of the courts have the legal services and administrative support they require to discharge their judicial functions. % of final court decisions posted on the websites within established timeframes 95% March 31, 2015

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

CAS provided strategic management, legal services and administrative support to members of the courts, supported the work of various legal committees and assisted with the development of the Federal Court’s five-year Strategic Plan. In particular, CAS maintained its support for the global policy review of the Federal Courts Rules, which focused on proportionality, control of abusive proceedings and access to justice for self-represented litigants. In addition, CAS assisted with the implementation of the practice guidelines for alternative dispute resolution of the Federal Court proceedings involving Aboriginal litigants. CAS also supported the Aboriginal Law Bar Liaison Committee, and provided regulatory drafting assistance to the Rules Committee on draft rules published in the Canada Gazette (Jan. 2014). Additionally, CAS provided support to the Tax Court of Canada Rules Committee in preparing amendments to the Tax Court of Canada Rules, which were published in the Canada Gazette (Feb. 2014).

CAS made further progress with the implementation of its cost-containment strategy. This included a review of its electronic and print information services, the consolidation of print library collections, the development of an online Book of Authorities including the Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court Common List of Authorities in Patent Law and Trade-Mark Law, and the replacement of its print collection with electronic documents and subscriptions. A suite of library policies and procedures was developed to streamline CAS’s holdings, and a new Digital Depository was implemented to facilitate online access to electronic decisions and publications. Improvements were also made to the Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court Law Clerk Online Application system to further facilitate and streamline the recruitment process.

In 2013–14, CAS developed a new Policy on the Use of Space by External Entities to maximize the utilization of its space and allow other organizations, tribunals and courts to access CAS facilities when available and vice versa. This approach aims to maximize the efficient use of resources, strengthen interdepartmental and intergovernmental partnerships, and permit CAS to benefit from the use of space and services under the administration and control of its partners.

To better support access to justice for self-represented litigants, CAS also improved the layout, design, content and search functionality of the courts’ websites.


Program 1.2: Registry Services

Description

Registry services are delivered under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada. The registries process legal documents, provide information to litigants on court procedures, maintain court records, participate in court hearings, support and assist in the enforcement of court orders, and work closely with the office of the four Chief Justices to ensure that matters are heard, and decisions are rendered in a timely manner. Registry services are offered in every province and territory through a network of permanent offices, and agreements with provincial and territorial partners.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14
Main Estimates
2013–14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)
26,700,966 27,113,233 27,402,634 25,014,862 (2,098,371)


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
294 276 (18)


Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual
Results
Court files are accurate and complete % of court files accurate and complete 95% 87%*

* Federal Court results

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

As a follow-up to the 2012 client feedback survey on registry services offered to litigants at the four courts, action plans were developed to improve services, including enhancements to training and telephone services. A service quality management framework was developed for the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada and will be rolled out in 2014-15. To maximize the level of service provided to the members of the Tax Court of Canada and the public, the Registry Services implemented new procedures for dealing with case-managed appeals and groups of appeals.

Throughout the year, Registry Services rigorously monitored non-discretionary expenses as well as legislative and policy developments to enable better forecasting of workloads, and to become more agile in meeting the evolving needs of the courts and employees.

On the technology enabling front, the Digital Audio Recording System (DARS) a standalone version represents an important, albeit early, step towards electronic courtrooms and the concomitant anticipated cost savings. DARS a standalone version represents an important, albeit early, step towards electronic courtrooms and the concomitant anticipated cost savings. DARS represents an important, albeit early, step towards electronic courtrooms and the concomitant anticipated cost savings. DARS is currently fully operational at the Federal Court and at the Tax Court of Canada. DARS represents an important, albeit early, step towards electronic courtrooms and the concomitant anticipated cost savings. DARS is also being used at the Federal Court of Appeal on an experimental basis. In some regions where CAS does not have permanent offices, use of DARS represents an important, albeit early, step towards electronic courtrooms and the concomitant anticipated cost savings. DARS depends on equipment availability. A networked version of DARS represents an important, albeit early, step towards electronic courtrooms and the concomitant anticipated cost savings. DARS can only be implemented after information technology (IT) infrastructure enhancements have been addressed.

At the Federal Court, CAS supported a pilot project for the development and implementation of an electronic trial to enable the Court to efficiently handle very large amounts of evidence, pleadings, interlocutory orders, exhibits, reports, documents and transcripts of testimony. The anticipated benefits of this project, which is expected to last approximately two years, include more efficient processing and review of court exhibits and an overall reduction in the number of trial days.

Internal Services

Description

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

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14
Main Estimates
2013–14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)
19,392,093 20,488,813 21,611,642 20,994,584 505,771


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
155 138 (17)

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

To maximize the use of financial resources, CAS relied on prudent planning, ongoing budget reallocation and a variety of measures to forecast and respond to service demands. CAS also continued to reinforce its governance, risk management and internal controls. However, these measures cannot entirely address fundamental program integrity issues.

Security remained one of CAS’s top priorities in 2013–14. A comprehensive Threat and Risk Assessment (TRA) was conducted to establish the security level required for the federal courts and to define related security requirements. This led to a review of CAS’s National Security Strategy and the development of an action plan to address the findings of the TRA.

In 2013–14, CAS developed a Directive on Security Management that clearly defines the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for the management of security. The directive forms the basis for effective decision-making and ensures that security activities are centrally coordinated and harmonized across the country.

Budget constraints prevented the completion of planned equipment and systems upgrades that are critical to successfully addressing the full spectrum of IT issues. To mitigate some of the risks associated with aging systems and inadequate tools, a multi-year IT Performance and Upgrade Strategy and Roadmap was developed to address essential IT infrastructure gaps over a three-year time horizon. With the completion of the new data centre, CAS shifted its focus to addressing network performance, critical systems and equipment upgrades; improving computing architecture; and optimizing infrastructure and electronic information management.

CAS reviewed its Record Keeping Directive to ensure compliance with information management policies and practices. The review led to the development of training on information management and information security for members of the courts and employees. Further, the migration of court records to the new central repository database has set the foundation for the future implementation of an electronic document management system.

In 2013–14, consultation took place to validate the action plans that resulted from the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey and to ensure that these plans were effectively implemented across CAS.



Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (unaudited) - For the Year Ended March 31, 2014 - (dollars)
  2013–14
Planned
Results
2013–14
Actual
2012–13
Actual
(Restated1)
Difference
(2013–14
actual
minus
2013–14
planned)
Difference
(2013–14
actual
minus
2012–13
actual)
Total expenses 99,950,591 95,230,581 93,967,006 4,720,010 1,263,575
Total revenues 7,610 3,850 3,798 (3,760) 52
Net cost of operations
before government
funding and transfers
99,942,981 95,226,731 93,963,208 (4,716,250) 1,263,523
Departmental net
financial position
688,035 2,408,490 (457,614) 1,720,455 2,866,104

1Note:

During the preparation of the CAS’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, errors were identified in the financial statements of prior periods. The correction has been reported retroactively and comparative information has been restated. These are related to the capitalization of salary costs and the accounting treatment of certain tangible capital assets.

Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position

Expenses: CAS’ total expenses were $95,230,581 in 2013–14 ($93,967,006 in 2012–13). The largest components in the increase of $1,263,575 (1%) were increases of $403,847 in amortization of tangible capital assets, and $285,089 in professional and special services.

  • Salaries and employee benefits: Salary and employee benefit expenses were $53,183,830 in 2013–14 ($52,998,803 in 2012–13). The $185,027 (0.4%) increase compared to 2012–13 is primarily due to the completion of severance liquidation payments in 2013–14. More than half of CAS’s total expenses consist of salaries and employee benefits.
  • Operating: Operating expenses were $42,046,751 in 2013–14 ($40,968,203 in 2012–13). The $1,078,548 (3%) increase compared to 2012–13 is attributable to increases of $403,847 in amortization of tangible capital assets and $285,089 in professional and special services and other minor variances totalling $389,612.

Revenues: The majority of CAS’s revenues are earned on behalf of Government. Such revenues are non-respendable, meaning that they cannot be used by CAS, and are deposited directly into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). CAS earns a small amount of respendable revenue from the sale of Crown assets. CAS’s gross revenues were $3,017,798 in 2013–14 ($5,611,564 in 2012–13) and net revenues were $3,850 in 2013–14 ($3,798 in 2012-13).

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2014 - (dollars)
  2013–14 2012–13
(Restated1)
Difference
(2013–14 minus
2012–13)
Total net liabilities 15,460,196 15,115,530 344,666
Total net financial
assets
10,347,122 7,804,446 2,542,676
Departmental net debt 5,113,074 7,311,084 (2,198,010)
Total non-financial
assets
7,521,564 6,853,470 668,094
Departmental net
financial position
2,408,490 (457,614) 2,866,104

1Note:

During the preparation of the CAS's financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, errors were identified in the financial statements of prior periods. The correction has been reported retroactively and comparative information has been restated. These are related to the capitalization of salary costs and the accounting treatment of certain tangible capital assets.

Financial Statements

Statement of Financial Position

Liabilities: CAS’s total liabilities as at March 31, 2014, were $15,460,196 ($15,115,530 as at March 31, 2013).

  • Accounts payable and accrued liabilities: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $3,975,110 ($3,160,034 as at March 31, 2013). The increase of $815,076 is mainly due to an increase in accounts payable to external parties as a result of many projects in Information Technology, Security and Facilities being in progress.
  • Vacation pay and compensatory leave: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $1,984,319 ($2,047,330 as at March 31, 2013). Vacation pay and compensatory leave remained stable compared to the previous fiscal year.
  • Deposit accounts: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $7,194,421 ($6,776,478 as at March 31, 2013). Because they reflect many separate decisions of the courts, deposits cannot be projected and the balance in the deposit accounts can vary significantly from year to year.
  • Employee future benefits: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $2,306,346 ($3,131,688 as at March 31, 2013). Significant changes were made to the employee severance pay program beginning in 2011–12. These changes have resulted in a decrease in employee future benefits over the past three years.

Assets: Total assets signify the ability of CAS to provide future services to the courts and thereby to ensure access to justice for Canadians. CAS’s total gross assets as at March 31, 2014 were $18,847,592 ($16,735,856 as at March 31, 2013).

  • Gross financial assets: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $11,326,028 ($9,882,386 as at March 31, 2013). This increase of $1,443,642 is mainly due to an increase in the amount due from the CRF. This amount represents the net amount of cash that CAS is entitled to withdraw from the CRF without generating additional charges against its authorities.
  • Financial assets held on behalf of Government: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $978,906 ($2,077,940 as at March 31, 2013). These assets consist primarily of accounts receivable from another governmental organization; an example is the allocation to the Department of Employment and Social Development of the costs of administering Employment Insurance cases in the courts.
  • Net financial assets: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $10,347,122 ($7,804,446 as at March 31, 2013). This amount represents gross financial assets less financial assets held on behalf of the Government.
  • Non-financial assets: The balance as at March 31, 2014, was $7,521,564 ($6,853,470 as at March 31, 2013). Non-financial assets consist of the tangible capital assets that are essential for the successful delivery of services required by the courts. Computer hardware and software (including assets under construction) totalled 33% of non-financial assets in 2013–14, while leasehold improvements accounted for 52%. Combined, these categories currently account for 85% of CAS’s tangible capital assets.

    Investment in capital assets is crucial for maintaining secure modern facilities, updating technological infrastructure and information systems, and maintaining a reliable fleet of vehicles. CAS spent $1,749,478 on the acquisition of tangible capital assets in 2013–14 ($1,640,872 in 2012–13). Of this amount, $758,926 related to computer hardware and software, $652,883 related to machinery and equipment and $276,580 related to leasehold improvements. Other acquisitions of $61,089 were for furniture and fixtures, and vehicles.

Departmental Net Debt: CAS’s departmental net debt (total liabilities less total net financial assets) was $5,113,074 as at March 31, 2014 ($7,311,084 as at March 31, 2013). Departmental net debt provides a measure of the future authorities required to pay for past transactions and events.

Departmental Net Financial Position: CAS’s departmental net financial position (total non-financial assets less departmental net debt) was $2,408,490 as at March 31, 2014 (compared to $457,614 as at March 31, 2013). Departmental net financial position represents the net resources (financial and non-financial) that will be used to provide future services to the courts and thereby to benefit Canadians.

Financial Highlights Charts

Assets by Type

Assets by Type

Description of the image

Assets by Type:

This pie chart represents the breakdown of the department’s most significant assets, measured by percentage dollar amount of total assets on CAS’ annual financial statements for 2013––14.

  • Due from the consolidated revenue fund (CRF) represent 52% of total assets.
  • Capital assets represent 40% of total assets.
  • Accounts receivable and advances represent 8% of total assets.

Liabilities by Type

Liabilities by Type

Description of the image

Liabilities by Type:

This pie chart represents the breakdown of the department’s most significant liabilities, measured by percentage dollar amount of total liabilities on CAS’ annual financial statements for 2013–14.

  • Employee future benefits represent 15% of total liabilities.
  • Deposit accounts represent 46% of total liabilities.
  • Accounts payable and accrued liabilities represent 26% of total liabilities.
  • Vacation pay and compensatory leave represent 13% of total liabilities.

Gross Expenses by Type

Expenses by Type

Description of the image

Gross Expenses by Type:

This pie chart represents the breakdown of the department’s most significant expenses, measured by percentage dollar amount of total expenses on CAS’ annual financial statements for 2013––14.

  • Salaries and benefits represent 56% of total expenses.
  • Accommodations represent 27% of total expenses.
  • Professional services represent 9% of total expenses.
  • Other expenses represent 8% of total expenses.

Gross Revenues by Type

Revenues by Type

Description of the image

Gross Revenues by Type:

This pie chart represents the breakdown of the department’s most significant revenues, measured by percentage dollar amount of total revenues on CAS’ annual financial statements for 2013––14.

  • Fines represent 3% of total revenues.
  • Filling fees represent 62% of revenues.
  • Employment insurance represents 31% of revenues.
  • Other revenues represent 4% of total revenues.

Financial Statements

The CAS financial statementsiv can be found at: http://www.cas-satj.gc.ca/en/publications/dpr/2013-14/fs-2013-14.shtml.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tablesv listed in the 2013–14 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the Court Administration Service’s websitevi at: http://www.cas-satj.gc.ca/en/publications/dpr.shtml

 


Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

Additional Information

Further information on the strategic planning portion of this document can be obtained by contacting:

Director, Corporate Secretariat
Courts Administration Service
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H9
Info@cas-satj.gc.ca

Further information on the financial portion of this document can be obtained by contacting:

Director General, Finance and Contracting Services
Courts Administration Service
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H9
Info@cas-satj.gc.ca



Appendix: Definitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

planned spending:
For RPPs and DPRs, planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates. A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endnotes

i Courts Administration Service Act, http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-45.5/page-1.html

ii Whole-of-Government Framework, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ppg-cpr/frame-cadre-eng.aspx

iii Public Accounts of Canada 2014, http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/index-eng.html

iv CAS Financial Statements

v CAS Supplementary Information Tables

vi CAS Website, http://www.cas-satj.gc.ca

vii Four spending areas, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ppg-cpr/frame-cadre-eng.aspx

 

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