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Analysis by Program Activity

Strategic Outcome

Open, fair, transparent and expeditious hearings related to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Program Activity Name

Hearing and Processing Cases under the Competition Act

Providing Support Services

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Planned Spending


Actual Spending




Human Resources




14 FTEs

14 FTEs


Hearing and Processing Cases under the Competition Act

The Tribunal hears cases and the Registry processes the materials for the cases heard by the Tribunal under Parts VII.1 and VIII of the Competition Act.

The expected results of this program activity are a Registry service that provides administrative support to Tribunal members and litigants and timely access to case records and decisions, contributing to enhanced Tribunal effectiveness and transparency and the continued maintenance and enhancement of modernized document and filing systems.  It is also expected that efficient case processing and hearing services to the Tribunal and litigants and efficient management of the Tribunal’s case records will occur.

Competition Tribunal Statistics for 2006-2007

Number of proceedings filed from previous years and still ongoing


Number of proceedings filed


Number of proceedings completed


Number of decisions rendered


Working Environment

The Registry of the Competition Tribunal (RCT) is a small federal organization with one service line –– providing support to the Competition Tribunal in support of its business line – the hearing of applications and the issuance of orders.  Clients of the Tribunal are all Canadian businesses, and the cases it hears are complex.  Conducting proceedings in a timely manner is important, and the outcomes of Tribunal proceedings are felt by all Canadians.  The RCT does its best to provide value-for-money and superior service to the Tribunal, its Chairperson and members, Tribunal clients and all Canadians.

The RCT’s major planning challenge is that the Tribunal has no function other than that associated with the hearing of applications and the issuance of orders; and thus can only react to external demands.  Hence, it does not control its workload.  The number of applications brought before the Tribunal depends on the enforcement policy adopted by the Commissioner of Competition and the number of cases filed under the private access provisions of the Competition Act.  As a court of record the Tribunal has such powers, rights and privileges as are vested in a superior court of record with respect to the attendance, the swearing-in and examination of witnesses, the production and inspection of documents, the enforcement of its orders and other matters necessary for the due exercise of its jurisdiction.

The RCT and the Tribunal are constantly looking for ways to enhance preparedness so that cases are processed promptly and fairly.  Litigants expect cases to be resolved quickly and at lower cost.  The RCT has modernized its operations over the last several years.  The RCT has felt increased pressure to develop and introduce more electronic services, and it has responded appropriately.  The RCT’s electronic filing and hearing process has set a standard for the legal community.

Improving Client Service

During 2006-07, the RCT implemented a new case management system in support of its electronic services.  The new system provides more effective support for electronic hearings, the members’ electronic bench book and improved case management features.  This system has improved the quality of information readily available to Registry staff, and improves the response time to address questions from parties before the Tribunal or the public.

The RCT’s secure channel web-based electronic filing application permits counsel to file documents securely from any location at any time.  This web-filing application is used in conjunction with other forms of electronic filing, such as email attachments and CD-ROMS.  Feedback on this web-based application was positive and confirms that it is seen as an efficient tool for the secure filing of documents.  Comments regarding the website are captured via web survey questions.  The results have been positive and clients have been pleased with electronic filing. Comments received indicate that these services save time, provide quicker access to the documents and confirm that it is a service the participants would use again.

To measure satisfaction with Registry services, client satisfaction surveys were designed for the parties to a hearing and for the Tribunal members.  Overall, satisfaction with the services provided by Registry staff is high, as is satisfaction with the electronic hearing system.  Service provided by Registry Officers is measured relating to scheduling, preparation of bench books, hearing support, technical advice and the issuance of Orders and Directions.  All respondents indicated that they were satisfied with all services, with one respondent indicating that he/she was not satisfied with the issuance of orders or directions.  With respect to the service provided by the legal advisors, the members of the Tribunal responded that they were all very satisfied, as were they satisfied with the e-hearing system.  The survey results from the parties to the hearings indicate satisfaction with the level of service received by the Registry officers as well as with the e-filing and e-hearing systems.

Service standards were created for the Registry respecting the posting of documents on the website and the publication of notices.  To address the posting of documents on the website, the standard is that the document be posted within 48 hours of filing.  The target rate is that this be achieved 90% of the time.  This was achieved 66% of the time.  A review of the circumstances relating to delayed posting points to issues related to proof of service of these documents, for the most part.  That is to say, that most documents, 88.5%, were posted on the Tribunal’s website within 48 hours, once prescribed by law.  It is therefore necessary to undertake a review to ensure that the wording of the service standard is more appropriate to the circumstances prescribed by the Competition Tribunal Rules, when dealing with documents requiring proof of service or the public version of a confidential document.  Notices are to be published in the Canada Gazette and/or newspapers within 10 days of filing the Notice of Application for the cases.  This was achieved 100% of the time.

Providing Support Services

The expected results of this program activity are the strengthening of management practices, including the on-going development of enhanced accountability, human resources and employee learning and development.

Providing Legal Support to Tribunal Processes

The legal section’s primary role within the Tribunal is to provide research and drafting support to members of the Tribunal in their adjudicative role. As an adjunct to that function, it conducts research on various issues and is responsible for the upkeep of a library designed to provide timely information on various law issues that impact the work of the Tribunal. The legal section also led a major initiative of a working group made up of members of the Bar, representatives from the Competition Bureau and Justice Canada, to redraft the rules of procedure of the Tribunal in order to streamline the various proceedings before the Tribunal.    

The new Rules take into account the evolution of technology such as e-filing, the changes in procedure brought about by amendments to the Competition Act, and the experience of the Competition Tribunal as an expert tribunal for civil competition matters.  The final draft was submitted to Justice Canada for regulatory approval in July 2006, and was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on May 26, 2007, for public comment.

Improving Management Practices

As part of its commitment to improving the provision and quality of its services to clients, the RCT implemented a service standard in the finance area respecting the payment of invoices and expense claims.  The goal was to ensure prompt payment.  The standard relating to the payment of invoices and expense claims is that payment is authorized within 10 days following the date of the receipt (on uncontested invoices).  This standard was implemented in October 2006.  Since that time, the finance section has monitored a random monthly sampling of ten (10) invoices to determine its adherence to the standard.  From October 2006 to March 31, 2007, out of a random sampling of 59 invoices and expense claims, the payment was authorized within ten (10) days, and most often within 3 days, of the date of the receipt 100% of the time.  This exceeds the target of 90%.

The RCT continued to develop its management practices, continuing its collaboration with a cluster group of three other small quasi-judicial agencies:  the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal, the Copyright Board and the Transportation Appeal Tribunal.  The cluster group focused mainly on the implementation of the Public Service Modernization Act, particularly on the enhancement of the Informal Conflict Management System and began preparations for the Management Accountability Framework Assessment scheduled for the fall of 2007.

The RCT has completed its implementation of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).  It continues to work with the Small Agency Transition Support Team on matters related to enhancing its internal processes under the PSEA and ensures that any necessary changes are made to the mandatory policies developed under this legislation.  The RCT has completed its first ever Departmental Staffing Accountability Report (DSAR) for the Public Service Commission reporting on the implementation of the PSEA and on the processes adopted by the RCT in support of this.  The RCT continues to enhance its human resources planning processes and has developed a current staffing strategy to address staffing issues in the upcoming year.  The HR Plan provides the basis for anticipating gaps and developing appropriate strategies to address these needs.

In an effort to ensure compliance with section 8 of the new Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA), the RCT was a founding member of the Micro and Small Agency Labour Management Consultation Committee.  This committee is comprised of numerous small agencies that were previously unable to establish a labour management consultation committee (LMCC) due to the small size of their organizations.  It was felt that due to the small size of the participating agencies, and the resource challenges of bargaining agents in attending LMCCs at all agencies individually, a collaborative effort between interested small agencies and bargaining agents would be effective in meeting the substantive requirements of the PSLRA.  To date, Terms of Reference have been adopted and a management steering committee has been established.  Letters were sent to the deputy heads of small and micro agencies to introduce them to the LMCC and to solicit their participation, through the designation of a senior management representative.  The LMCC has already had three meetings and has discussed issues relating to employee learning and development and communication issues between employees and bargaining agents.  The next meeting will take place in October 2007.

Focusing on Employee Learning and Development

The RCT continues to support employee development.  A Competency Dictionary and competency profiles for each position in the organization were created.  This Dictionary contains both behavioural and technical competencies that have been identified by the organization as important components of knowledge or development.  To support the implementation and effective use of these profiles, supporting tools in the form of a Competency Assessment Questionnaire and a personal learning plan template were developed.  These tools will assist in performance discussions between managers and employees and will ensure that employees are well-equipped to prepare a personal learning plan.

Responding to the 2005 Public Service Employee Survey

The RCT’s management team analysed the RCT’s individual results from the 2005 Public Service Employee Survey and found that there were no issues identified in the results that required action.  This was discussed at an all-staff meeting at which this conclusion was validated by employees.  As a result, no action plan or working group was developed.