Departmental Performance Report 2014–2015

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

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


Table of Contents

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


Chief Administrator’'s Message

I am pleased to present the 2014-–15 Departmental Performance Report for the Courts Administration Service (CAS), which outlines the progress made on the priorities set out in our 2014-–15 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Overall, CAS made steady progress on many important and complex files, despite the heavy workload and limited resources. Some improvements were made to our technology infrastructure, a key step in moving forward with our plans to provide better tools and services to the members of the courts, court users and CAS employees. We also took concrete and innovative steps to enhance both physical and information technology (IT) security and exerted particular efforts to increase training opportunities and maintain an open dialogue with staff.

The fiscal year ended on a high note with $19 million over five years earmarked in Budget 2015 to invest in physical and IT security measures for the federal courts and registry offices across the country. This is a significant step towards addressing critical security priorities; however, ongoing demands on our limited resources necessitate our continued efforts to identify a viable, long-term funding solution for the maintenance of core registry and judicial services and robust access to justice.

In closing, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Chief Justices, members of the courts and CAS employees for their continued support, professionalism and commitment to excellence in service delivery.

I invite you to read this report for more information on our accomplishments in 2014–-15.

Daniel Gosselin, FCPA, FCA
Chief Administrator


Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P.
Chief Administrator: Daniel Gosselin
Ministerial Portfolio: Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Enabling Instrument(s): Courts Administration Service Act Footnote 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 registry, judicial 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 facts 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

First Organizational Priority - Security
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Security – Strengthen security for members of the courts, their users and employees. 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.
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014–-15, CAS revised its national security program and related strategy, action plans, policies and procedures to incorporate the results of the Threat and Risk Assessment (TRA) completed in 2013-–14. These efforts contributed to securing funding granted through Budget 2015 to enhance physical and information technology (IT) security for the Federal Courts, and promote a standardised approach to effectively manage security risks across Canada.

To ensure that Canada’»s judicial system continues to function optimally and that members of the courts, litigants, lawyers and the public are safe and secure, enhancements were made to the physical security of CAS facilities. In particular, CAS finalized improvements to its emergency response systems to facilitate a timely and consistent approach to emergency situations. Improvements were also made to access controls, and the baseline criteria for the Court Security Officer program were reviewed to better respond to the evolving security requirements of the courts.

In keeping with the recommendations of the TRA, a strategic risk-based approach to security management was adopted which included the formalization and strengthening of partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. Through ongoing analysis, collaboration and sharing of information on threats and risks assessments and investigations with the law enforcement community, effective mitigation strategies were developed. This approach facilitated the anticipation of threats and the proactive implementation of mitigation measures.

In addition, the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) was completed to provide for the continued availability of critical services and assets in the event of unforeseen business interruptions and the resumption of services following a disaster. The BCP is aligned with the Government Security Policy and related Operational Security Standard –- Business Continuity Planning Program and supports the mitigation strategies identified in the CAS Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

Robust IT security is essential to safeguard sensitive court data from potential risks. In 2014–-15, efforts were devoted to enhancing CAS’»s IT security and related procedures and processes were revised and communicated to the members of the courts and employees to promote best practices for the optimal protection of information. The security of judicial information continued to be aligned with the requirements of the Canadian Judicial Council'’s Blueprint for the Security of Judicial Information.


Second Organizational Priority - IM/IT
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
IM/IT – 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.
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014–-15, CAS continued to maintain and update its critical IT infrastructure to ensure ongoing operations and mitigate technological risks to the extent possible. An IT Architecture and Computing Environment (ACE) Assessment was conducted to evaluate the ability of the network and infrastructure to meet current and future needs. Based on this assessment, a number of areas were identified as requiring attention in order to support current service requirements and enable the move toward fully integrated and secure electronic courts information services.

The IT Network Performance Roadmap was revised to take into account the ACE assessment results, placing special emphasis on stabilizing the network platform and upgrading the IT infrastructure to support the electronic requirements of the courts. Progress was made in resolving network performance issues and focus was placed on providing employees with IT equipments and tools that better support efficient and secure court operations.

CAS migrated to new Internet/intranet services to improve connectivity within its offices and for members of the courts while traveling. Pilot tests and extensive consultations were undertaken with the Courts IT consultation team to better meet the needs of the itinerant courts. In addition, CAS initiated the deployment of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 and provided concurrent training to employees and members of the courts to facilitate the transition to the new environment. Key components of the network operating system were also upgraded.

Throughout the period covered by this report, CAS continued to conduct needs assessments and work closely with members of the courts to augment client services and better serve the evolving needs of the courts and litigants. In line with this objective, CAS established a new service delivery structure to maximize the use of its resources.


Third Organizational Priority - Long Term Financial Viability
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Long Term Financial Viability – 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.
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014–-15, CAS continued to face significant financial challenges which impeded its ability to move forward on a number of essential initiatives and adversely affected its capacity to deliver fully on its programs. In response to this challenge, CAS continued to work with central agencies and stakeholders with the objective of identifying viable, long-term solutions to its program integrity issues. However, the need for program integrity funding was not permanently addressed.

In keeping with the approach taken in previous the year, extensive reliance was placed on business planning and prioritization exercises which allowed for the periodic reallocation or realignment of resources to meet the evolving operational priorities of the courts and respond to service demands to the extent possible. CAS also continued to reinforce its governance, risk management and internal controls to enable better forecasting and to become more agile in meeting the evolving needs of the courts while managing risks.

In Budget 2015, the Government of Canada announced its plans to invest $19 million over five years in physical and IT security for the federal courts, beginning 2015–-16. Physical security enhancements such as additional cameras, security personnel and screening tools will ensure the security and proper functioning of the courts. The investments in IT security enhancements will also help guard against security breaches and allow the courts to continue to protect judicial confidentiality, personal information privacy and sensitive commercial information in its possession. Succinctly, the announced funding addresses the security requirements of the Courts and CAS but other critical areas such as IT, judicial support systems and registry capacity still face serious program integrity issues.

Finally, the organization’'s environmental footprint was reduced through active support for the government-wide initiative, Greening Government Operations, including practices to reduce paper consumption, increased sharing of IT equipment, and enhanced use of videoconferencing to decrease the need for travel.



Forth Organizational Priority - Human Resources Management
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Human Resources Management – Support the needs of employees. 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.
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014–-15, CAS implemented the new Government of Canada Directive on Performance Management which came into force on April 1, 2014. The Directive, which promotes a shared commitment to a sustained culture of high performance, will better equip management to recognize and reward excellence, work with all employees to maximize their potential and deal decisively with unsatisfactory performance.

CAS released its new Learning and Development Integrated Calendar offering development and training opportunities to employees. To provide additional learning opportunities, CAS supported the federal government's Blueprint 2020 enterprise-wide commitment to learning through the Canada School of Public Service. Plans for enhancements to operational training were also made to better meet the development needs of registry officers and judicial assistants. This included plans to update the content of the training materials and the restructuring of the modules to allow for greater flexibility and timely delivery of training.

A senior management/employee engagement initiative was launched to seek input from employees and address their concerns. This thrust on engagement aimed to keep the stream of ideas from employees moving and allow management to seize opportunities to support employees.

CAS published its new Code of Conduct which aligns with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and outlines the values and ethical standards to which CAS management and employees must adhere. The new code will assist in identifying and addressing ethical risks and potential conflicts of interest. Related communication and training activities were conducted throughout the year to promote awareness.

Finally, CAS continued to implement initiatives from its three-year Public Service Employee Survey 2011 action plan to address concerns raised by employees and results were monitored –- showing improvements on all objectives.



Risk Analysis

In 2014–-15, the operational environment within which CAS managed its risks remained complex and challenging. As with the previous year, the most prescient risk driver was that of increased demands on the limited financial resource base. In particular, significant under funding of critical IM/IT and security initiatives, including the postponement of initiatives to address essential upkeep and repairs of IT systems, continued to amplify CAS'’s risks exposure.

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

Access to Justice – There is a risk that the access to justice could be impacted by competing priorities within available resources.

  • Applied for program integrity funding.
  • Continued discussions with the central agencies to identify appropriate mechanism to fund non-discretionary expenditures.
  • Conducted frequent reviews of expenditures, commitments and staffing actions to rapidly identify pressures and to reallocate funding to alleviate to the extent possible.

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 Technology (IT) – There is a risk that the IT infrastructure and systems applications will be unable to meet the current and evolving operational requirements of the Courts and CAS.

  • Developed and implemented elements of the CAS IT Network Performance Roadmap to address IT infrastructure gaps. In particular, CAS:
    • Addressed a number of gaps in network performance and reliability;
    • Improved email access, mobile Internet and electronic accessibility of documents;
    • Upgraded computers, Windows and other critical software; and
    • Updated Alfresco and Oracle.

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 members of the judiciary, clients and CAS staff, facilities, information and IT could be seriously compromised.

  • Applied for program integrity funding.
  • Revised its comprehensive national security strategy and developed an action plan to incorporate the results of the Threat and Risk Assessment (TRA) completed in 2013–-14.
  • Developed plans to establish a new model for the Court Security Officer Service.
  • Adopted a strategic risk-based approach to security management.
  • Strengthened physical security measures.
  • Completed a Business Continuity Plan.

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 Technology

Given the resource constraints, CAS endeavoured to balance the maintenance of its existing legacy systems with investments in new systems. Emphasis was placed on improving network performance, IT infrastructure stability, overall systems reliability and IT security based on available funds and resources. Risk mitigation strategies were formulated in the IT Network Performance Roadmap, which lays out plans and projects for a sustainable long-term IT solution.

Access to Justice

A number of factors continued to pose tremendous pressure on CAS’'s limited resource base in 2014-–15: the increasing workload of the courts; the growing demands on the limited resources; amendments to the Courts Rules; technological advances; public demands for online services; the non-discretionary work associated with the escalation in the number of multi-day hearings; the yearly increases in the number of documents received by the courts; the requirement to support Canada'’s fiscal objectives; and government-wide rules and legislative changes. To mitigate this risk, CAS was forced to implement various strategies: reallocated resources to address some of the most urgent requirements; postponed necessary investments in essential areas ,and delayed or reduced staffing. In addition, CAS continued to apply for program integrity funding to respond to this increasingly complex risk.

Security

In 2014–-15, this risk was driven by the evolving security requirements of the courts, the emerging threats on the international scene, the lack of funding for security initiatives and the increasing demands on the limited resources. To mitigate this risk, the CAS national security strategy and action plans were revised to incorporate the results of the TRA. The updated plans will facilitate the implementation of a comprehensive security approach on behalf of the Courts; harmonize security service delivery standards across Canada, and enhance security measures and response capabilities.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014–15
Main Estimates
2014–15
Planned
Spending
2014–15
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2014–15
Actual Spending
(authorities
used)
Difference
(actual minus
planned)
68,044,743 68,044,743 72,574,944 69,150,406 1,105,663


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTE])
2014–15
Planned
2014–15
Actual
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
628 596 (32)

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)
Strategic Outcome, Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Main Estimates
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015––16
Planned Spending
2016––17
Planned Spending
2014–15 Total Authorities Available for Use 2014–15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013––14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012––13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Strategic Outcome: 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 22,379,302 22,379,302 23,176,362 23,176,670 22,931,170 21,961,589 21,333,113 21,125,246
Registry Services 26,673,348 26,673,348 23,937,466 23,961,915 27,492,240 25,696,130 25,014,862 25,400,192
Subtotal 49,052,650 49,052,650 47,113,828 47,138,585 50,423,410 47,657,719 46,347,975 46,525,438
Internal Services Subtotal 18,992,093 18,992,093 16,838,759 16,898,002 22,151,534 21,492,687 20,994,584 19,058,769
Total 68,044,743 68,044,743 63,952,587 64,036,587 72,574,944 69,150,406 67,342,559 65,584,207

Note:

The $4,530,201 variance between 2014–-15 planned spending and 2014-–15 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 2014-–15 Report on Plans and Priorities. Funding received in relation to the operating budget carry-forward in 2014-–15 amounted to $2,575,641. In addition, the actual funding received in relation to paylist expenditures in 2014-–15 was $1,644,828, whereas planned spending specifically excludes paylist shortfall estimates. Furthermore, CAS'’s contribution to employee benefit plans was $116,429 higher than estimated amounts. Other minor variances totalling $193,303 account for the remaining variance.

The variance between 2014–-15 total authorities and 2014-–15 actual spending represents a lapse of $3,424,538. Of this amount, $2,084,719 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. As of the end of 2014-–15, two judicial appointments were made and Treasury Board approval for the use of $1,042,356 was received. The remaining lapse of $1,339,819 is due to a combination of factors, including $595,405 related to unsigned collective bargaining agreements for which spending was planned, as well as a $550,083 for a deficit in contributions to employee benefit plans and $194,331 in other frozen amounts that resulted in a forced lapse.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2014–15 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework Footnote ii (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government
of Canada
Outcome
2014–2015
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 21,961,589
Registry
Services
Government
Affairs
Strong and independent democratic institutions 25,696,130


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 49,052,650 47,657,719


Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend

Description of the image

Departmental Spending Trend

This graph represents the spending trend: the Actual, Forecast and Planned Spending, from 2012-13 to 2017-18

  • In 2012-13, actual spending was $58.6M voted and $7.0M statutory.
  • In 2013-14, actual spending was $60.3M voted and $7.0M statutory.
  • In 2014-15, forecasted spending is $62.1M voted and $7.0M statutory.
  • In 2015-16, planned spending is $65.7M voted and $7.1M statutory.
  • In 2016-17, planned spending is $65.7M voted and $7.1M statutory.
  • In 2017-18, planned spending is $64.7M voted and $7.1M statutory.

Note:

The increase in actual spending for 2014–-15 is largely due to transition payments for implementing salary payment in arrears by the Government of Canada. Fiscal years 2012–-13 though 2014-–15 also include other salary related payments for existing employee benefits such as severance and maternity pay, the option offered to employees to convert severance pay entitlements into cash, and lump sum funding for collective agreements which fluctuate year to year and are not included in planned spending figures for 2015–-16 to 2017-–18.

Planned spending increases beginning in 2015–-16 are largely due to the announcement in Budget 2015 of $19 million over 5 years for investment in physical security enhancements such as additional cameras, security personnel and screening tools that will help ensure federal courts remain secure and function properly. It will also enable IT enhancements to protect judicial confidentiality, personal privacy and sensitive information.

Also, increases for 2015-–16 to 2017-–18 are due to the renewal of funding related to Division 9 proceedings of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Footnote iii aimed at addressing challenges in the management of security inadmissibility cases, protection of classified information in immigration proceedings, and obtaining diplomatic assurances of safety for inadmissible individuals facing a risk of torture. Furthermore, funding for support of additional judicial appointments for refugee reform under Bill C-11 is included in the planned spending levels but is not available to CAS until these appointments are made. As of the end of 2014-–15, two judicial appointments had been made.

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 . Footnote iv


Section II: Analysis of Programs by 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 counsels, judicial administrators, law clerks, jurilinguists, judicial assistants, library personnel and court attendants, under the direction of the four Chief Justices.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014–15
Main Estimates
2014–15
Planned
Spending
2014–15
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2014–15
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
22,379,302 22,379,302 22,931,170 21,961,589 (417,713)

Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents [FTE)]
2014–15
Planned
2014–15
Actual
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
190 181 (9)

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 courts’ websites within established timeframes. 95% 99%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2014-–15, the Deputy Chief Administrator, Judicial and Registry Services, provided key strategic management and legal advice to the four Chief Justices and other members of the courts. Assistance was also provided to a number of Bench and Bar Committees.

During the period covered by this report, Judicial Services supported initiatives to modernize the Federal Courts Rules to remove obstacles to e-services and pave the way for future possibilities for the increased use of technology in the delivery of judicial and registry services. The development of policy recommendations for amendments to the Rules helped identify opportunities for their simplification and clarification.

To improve access to justice, resources were made available to self-represented litigants to assist them in settling disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner. Access to the courts practice directions, availability of easy-to-follow steps for filing proceedings, navigation of self-represented litigants through the hearing stage process, and access to updated and simplified materials empowered self-represented litigants to become more self-reliant.

An increase in the number of immigration-related applications at the Federal Court resulted in a corresponding demand for the translated decisions. Similarly, an important increase in the caseload of the Tax Court of Canada resulted in a substantial escalation in the number of self-represented litigants and associated non-discretionary cost.

With the coming into force of Bill C-43 Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No.2 Footnote v, the jurisdiction for payment of prothonotaries’' salaries, pensions, benefits and other administrative arrangements were transferred to the Office for the Commissioner of Federal Judicial Affairs (FJA). In 2014–-15, CAS worked with central agencies and the FJA to facilitate the transfer.


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 Offices 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)
2014–15
Main Estimates
2014–15
Planned Spending
2014–15
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2014–15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
26,673,348 26,673,348 27,492,240 25,696,130 (977,218)

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014–15
Planned
2014–15
Actual
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
292 277 (15)

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance
Indicators
Targets Actual
Results
Public has access to information regarding Courts’' processes across Canada. % of reviewed court documents that are processed accurately. 95% 89%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Registry Services are at the heart of CAS’'s support for the federal courts. They provide all operational and registry functions necessary for the smooth and efficient functioning of the courts, including the maintenance of court files and the provision of information and services to the public. Registry Services maintain offices and staff in two locations in Ottawa (headquarters to the four courts), as well as regional and local offices in ten other cities across Canada.

In 2014–-15, the registries were pushed to operate beyond capacity, supporting a large number of proceedings, many involving large volumes of documentation. Workload pressures were mainly due to the number, complexity and nature of trials, the need to support the increasing number of self-represented litigants (who typically required substantially more assistance than litigants represented by lawyers), legislative amendments, and the increased volume of court applications and hearings.

The new and evolving requirements of the courts, technological advances and other imperatives necessitated the regular review of the Courts Rules and registry processes. To facilitate the implementation of the revised rules, mandatory training was provided to employees. However, the limited resources and the increased volume of non-discretionary work diminished the registries’' capacity to make important improvements to operations. A sound approach to forecasting hearings costs was established and resources were allocated and reallocated when needed, to address the impact of the increasing workload and non-discretionary expenditures.

Considering the limitations of CAS’'s IT network, the courts and registry management continued to seek creative solutions to meet the demands associated with the use of technology, all while sustaining core business activities in an environment of resource constraints and competing priorities. To ensure the ongoing delivery of quality registry services to the courts, CAS continued to implement some technological enhancements in the courtrooms including Digital Audio Recording System e-filing, e-scanning and e-faxing.

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)
2014–15
Main Estimates
2014–15
Planned
Spending
2014–15
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2014–15
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
18,992,093 18,992,093 22,151,534 21,492,687 2,500,594

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014–15
Planned
2014–15
Actual
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
146 138 (8)

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2014–-15, the emerging risks on the international scene and evolving court security requirements necessitated ongoing review of physical security measures, awareness and preparedness, as well as increased collaboration with the law enforcement community to advance organizational interests. In addition, particular attention was given to IT security in light of the escalation in cyber threats and attacks on Government of Canada networks. To address this potential risk, CAS updated and developed its IM/IT security policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities; strengthened its IT security controls and standards and conducted ongoing assessments to mitigate its exposure to cyber threats.

The funding earmarked in Budget 2015 for key enhancements to physical and IT security for the federal courts will ensure that the judicial system continues to function optimally and that members of the courts, court users and CAS employees are safe and secure. These investments will facilitate key enhancements with national implications on federal courts, registry offices and administrative buildings across Canada. Physical security improvements such as additional cameras, security personnel and screening tools and IT enhancements will help safeguard against security breaches.

The Architecture and Computing Environment assessment commissioned in 2014–-15, described the remediation and enhancements to the network necessary to enable the deployment of new business solutions to meet the evolving needs of the courts, litigants and CAS. Moving forward, the findings of this assessment, as incorporated into the revised IT roadmap, will continue to be assessed along with the financial and human resources necessary to deliver on the plans.

Progress was made on the Montréal office relocation project in collaboration with Public Works and Government Services Canada. The lease for the current facilities will expire in 2019 and as such, CAS worked to identify funding to cover the cost for the judicial and special purpose fit-up and furniture required for this project. In addition, CAS completed renovations in its Edmonton and Halifax offices. The construction of the Newfoundland facility initiated in 2014–-15, was slated for completion in 2015-–16.


Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

The highlights presented in this section are drawn from CAS’'s financial statements and are prepared on an accrual basis. These financial statements have been prepared using Government of Canada accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2015 - (dollars)
Financial Information 2014–15
Planned
Results
2014–15
Actual
2013–14
Actual
Difference
(2014–15
actual
minus
2014–15
planned)
Difference
(2014–15
actual
minus
2013–14
actual)
Total expenses 97,694,644 98,149,017 95,230,581 454,373 2,918,436
Total revenues 2,774 0 3,850 (2,774) (3,850)
Net cost of operations
before government
funding and transfers
97,691,870 98,149,017 95,226,731 457,147 2,922,286

The planned results amounts are those reported in the Future-Oriented Statement of Operations Footnote vi included in the 2014–-15 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Expenses: CAS'’s total expenses were $98,149,017 in 2014–-15 ($95,230,581 in 2013–-14). The largest components in the increase of $2,918,436 (3%) were increases of $1,225,576 in accommodations, $724,785 in salaries and employee benefits, $495,726 in amortization of tangible capital assets, and $298,864 in machinery and equipment.

  • Salaries and employee benefits: Salary and employee benefit expenses were $53,908,615 in 2014–-15 ($53,183,830 in 2013–-14). The $724,785 (1%) increase compared to 2013–-14 is primarily due to a $1,185,020 increase in the provision for severance benefits, offset by a $303,901 decrease in salaries and wages, a $132,705 decrease in employer contributions to employee benefits plans, and other minor decreases of $23,629. More than half (55%) of CAS’'s total expenses in 2014–-15 consisted of salaries and employee benefits.
  • Operating: Operating expenses were $44,240,402 in 2014–-15 ($42,046,751 in 2013–-14) and made up 45% of CAS’'s total expenses. Operating expenses included accommodations (28% of total expenses); professional and special services (8% of total expenses); and other expenses (9% of total expenses). The $2,193,651 (5%) increase compared to 2013–-14 is attributable to increases of $1,225,576 in accommodations, $495,726 in amortization of tangible capital assets, $298,864 in machinery and equipment, and other minor increases totalling $173,485.

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’'s gross revenues were $2,597,088 in 2014–-15 ($3,017,798 in 2013–-14). These included filing fees (63%), Employment Insurance Operating Account cost recoveries (28%), fines (5%), and other revenues (4%). CAS earns a small amount of respendable revenue from the sale of Crown assets. There were no sales of Crown assets in 2014–-15; therefore, net revenues were nil ($3,850 in 2013–-14).

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2015 (dollars)
Financial Information 2014–15 2013–14 Difference
(2014–15 minus
2013–14)
Total net liabilities 17,571,084 15,460,196 2,110,888
Total net financial
assets
12,362,300 10,347,122 2,015,178
Departmental net debt 5,208,784 5,113,074 95,710
Total non-financial
assets
7,756,582 7,521,564 235,018
Departmental net
financial position
2,547,798 2,408,490 139,308

Liabilities: CAS's net liabilities as at March 31, 2015 were $17,571,084 ($15,460,196 as at March 31, 2014). The increase of $2,110,888 is the result of the following:

  • Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (29% of total liabilities): Increase of $1,181,383 largely due to an increase of $1,488,476 in accrued liabilities as a result of the Government»s implementation of salary payments in arrears, partly offset by a decrease in accounts payable to external parties.
  • Vacation pay and compensatory leave (11% of total liabilities): Decrease of $139,148 due to CAS's continued efforts to increase the utilization of vacation leave.
  • Deposit accounts (45% of total liabilities): Increase of $708,975. 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 (15% of total liabilities): Increase of $359,678 due to an increase in the actuarially determined liability for severance benefits for the Government as a whole.

Assets:

Financial assets:

  • Amount due from the CRF (58% of gross assets)
  • Accounts receivable and employee advances (5% of gross assets)

Non-financial assets:

  • Tangible capital assets (36% of gross assets)
  • Prepaid expenses (1% of gross assets)

Net financial assets: This is comprised of financial assets net of accounts receivable held on behalf of Government. Accounts receivable held on behalf of Government consist primarily of accounts receivable from other governmental organizations. The increase of $2,015,178 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.

Non-financial assets: The increase of $235,018 is mainly due to prepaid expenses, as well as
a smaller increase in tangible capital assets.

Departmental net debt: This provides a measure of the future authorities required to pay for past transactions and events.

Departmental net financial position: This 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 Statements

The CAS Financial Statements Footnote vii.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables Footnote viii listed in the 2014–15 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the Court Administration Service»s website.

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 areasFootnote ix : 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 Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.
plans:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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