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ARCHIVED - RPP 2007-2008
Courts Administration Service

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Acting Chief Administrator’s Message

The Courts Administration Service (also referred to as the “Service”) is focused on becoming one of the leading organizations in the administration of justice and the support it provides to the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada (also referred to as the “Courts”). We are embracing the adoption of new technology which will provide the Service with the necessary flexibility to deal with increasing workload and also enhance service to the legal and judicial community and to Canadians at large. We are striving to develop and deliver registry and judiciary services which will ensure the best utilization of public funds, while safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

The Service has now entered into the fourth year of its amalgamation and even though we have achieved numerous strategic initiatives, I am determined to make the Service a model of a single-window approach that will provide greater access to the Judiciary system. Over the next planning period, our time and energy will be focussed on two principal areas; embracing new court technology and, developing and maintaining a highly qualified workforce. There is no doubt, that the implementation of new technology, and in particular a new case management system, will greatly facilitate the synergies between the registry services supporting the four Courts. As in many other organizations, and as indicated by the Clerk of the Privy Council, we need a sound and flexible human resources plan in order to recruit and maintain our employees. In that context, we will pursue our work on the succession planning front to foster a greater sense of belonging by our employees and to further promote the professional development of our workforce.

The Service is committed to providing a highly professional service to the Courts and the public. This will be achieved through ongoing consultations with the Chief Justices, judges, members of the legal professions and litigants to ensure the development of sound and efficient management practices.

In closing, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Chief Justices and the judges, the staff of the Service and officials of a number of provinces who provide support under existing arrangements, for their professionalism and dedication.

Raymond P. Guenette

Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Courts Administration Service.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the TBS guidance;
  • It is based on the department’s Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in the RPP.

Raymond P. Guenette
Acting Chief Administrator

Summary Information

Reason for Existence
The role of the Courts Administration Service is to provide registry, judicial and corporate services to four courts of law: the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada. These services permit individuals, companies, organizations and the Government of Canada to submit disputes and other matters to the Courts, and enable the Courts to hear and resolve the cases before them fairly, without delay and as efficiently as possible.

Financial Resources
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
$ 61.6 M $ 58.3 M $ 58.3 M

Human Resources
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
650 650 650

Departmental Priorities

Name Type
Priority 1 Modernization of our business processes and registry services operations ongoing
Priority 2 Implementation of a comprehensive, dynamic, and fully integrated work environment to support the delivery of our services to clients and the judiciary ongoing

Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

This table reflects the expected results for the priorities presented in this RPP. However, the planned spending represents the total amount to be expended during the next three fiscal years for both on-going operations as well priorities indicated. The Service is currently reviewing its Performance Management Framework within the context of the Program Activity Architecture.

Strategic Outcome The public has effective, timely and fair access, in either official language, 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.
($ millions)   Planned Spending  
Program Activity Expected Results 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 Contributes to the following priority
Registry Services
  • Efficient CAS processes that provide timely access for Canadians to the registry and are responsive to the judiciary
  • A sustainable system of services to the courts that make better use of technology, optimize resources and ensure value for money spent
  • Records and information management that ensures the highest quality of information to users
  • Increased awareness and understanding of CAS and Courts by all stakeholders
  • The maintenance of effective and efficient services in support of the courts
  • Better reporting on results and value for money to Canadians and Parliament
  • Improved employee well-being
  • Excellence and professionalism in our workforce
37.2 37.2 37.2 Priority No. 1 and 2
Judicial Services 20.6 20.6 20.6 Priority No. 1 and 2

Departmental Plans and Priorities

The Operational Environment and Priorities

The Service is a relatively new organization that was established by amalgamating the former registries of the Federal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada. The amalgamation took effect on July 2, 2003 with the coming into force of the Courts Administration Service Act, S.C. 2002, c. 8 (see

The Service is entirely funded through appropriations from Parliament.

Program Activity Architecture

Department/Agency Courts Administration Service
Strategic Outcome The public has effective, timely and fair access, in either official language, 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 Activity 1. Provide registry services 2. Provide judicial services 3. Provide corporate services
Program Sub-Activity 1.1 Federal Court of Appeal and Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada Registry Operations Provide registry services 2.1 Executive Offices 3.1 Office of the Chief Administrator
1.2 Federal Court Registry Operations 2.2 Judicial Assistants 3.2 Finance and Corporate Services
1.3 Tax Court of Canada Registry Operations 2.3 Law Clerk Program 3.3 Chauffeurs and Court Attendants Services
1.4 Quebec & Atlantic Region * 2.4 Library 3.4 Human Resources
1.5 Ontario Region   3.5 Information Management (Records Management)
1.6 Western Region ** 3.6 Information Technology
3.7 Best Practices & Modernization

* include Nunavut Territory
** include Yukon Territory & Northwest Territories

Strategic Relationships

The Service maintains five main strategic relationships:

  • The Department of Justice Canada

The Department of Justice and other government departments/organizations initiate legislation and policies that have a direct bearing on the courts’ workload, which in turn has an impact upon the workload of the Service. Moreover, the Attorney General of Canada designates representatives of the legal profession to sit on the Rules Committee of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court, as well as on the equivalent committee of the Tax Court of Canada (TCC). In addition, both rules committees include senior representatives of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Further the DOJ is a litigant in all matters heard at the TCC.

  • Provinces and Territories

Eight of the Service's seventeen regional offices are collocated with – and staffed by – provincial/territorial court employees on contractual basis. As well, provincial courtroom facilities are used in partnership in many locations. There is an ongoing need to maintain a presence in these locations and to continue using available facilities and libraries.

  • The Canadian Bar Association and Provincial Law Societies

These organizations provide valuable feedback on processes and procedures to ensure the continued effectiveness of services provided by the Service They also take into account regional sensitivities such as those relating to admiralty issues, Employment Insurance, Immigration and Income Tax.

  • Quasi-judicial Tribunals and Boards

The Service's ongoing efforts to achieve cost savings include the sharing of facilities and courtrooms across the country with federal tribunals, boards, commissions and the provinces while keeping in mind sensitivities relating to judicial independence.

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB)

Given that a large portion of the workload of the Federal Court is tied to the number of immigration cases being referred from CIC and the IRB, it is necessary for the Service to maintain a close relationship with these organizations to acquire knowledge of their present and future workflow and to plan accordingly.

Rationale behind the Priorities

Priority 1:

Modernization of our business processes and registry services operations.

The requirement for trials and the judicial process to become automated is increasing. This means, the Service must take into account the impact of new technologies on its work and the need to remain current with technological advances in order to provide the most cost-effective, efficient and secure services to judges, prothonotaries, counsel, the public and our employees. By employing up-to-date technological systems and tools, it will enable our decision-makers and employees to exchange information, to support case preparation, to manage the flow of cases through various stages and to communicate and consult with stakeholders.

The priority will be on continuing to improve and modernize the Service’s business processes namely case management, information sharing, communications, recommendations for rules amendments, and support for the judiciary. New technologies such as digital recording, e-filing and electronic courtrooms will continue to be adopted and further enhanced for use by the Courts. Such initiatives will ultimately provide the public and the legal community more efficient options for greater access to the judicial system. The Service is committed to providing its services in the most efficient, effective and economical manner, and in maintaining excellence in serving our clients.

Priority 2:

Implementation of a comprehensive, dynamic and fully integrated work environment to support the delivery of our services to clients and the judiciary.

Led by senior management, the Service continues its efforts to form a single, highly skilled team to support the amalgamated registries of the four courts while preserving each court’s separate identity.

The service to the courts relies heavily on the daily performance of people who provide the services and on the tools they use. In the years ahead, as in the recent past, the important matter of strengthening and maintaining workforce capacity will require much attention. The Service will make every effort to consolidate the staff in the National Capital Region in fewer physical locations and will keep a close watch on succession planning as about 20% of its workforce will be eligible to retire in the next two years. Training, recruiting, human resources planning and operational systems that set out clear accountabilities and result measurements are all part of this management priority.

The Service will continue to adopt the principles of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) into its management culture and day-to-day operations. This will ensure a continued focus on effective management of resources and decision making as well as a reinforcement of the importance of public service values, ethics, learning and innovation which are essential in the delivery of results to Canadians and to the development of its program and policies. We will do this by developing and continuously refining a performance management framework.

Challenges and Risks

Challenges of a similar nature face both the Service and the whole of the federal public service. There is the need, for example, to attract and keep the best people for its workforce, make better use of technology and meet the expectation of greater and faster services to Canadians. The Service has no control over the amount of work that must be done to support the courts. The challenge, then, is to somehow forecast what may be on the horizon or to be constantly prepared for an unanticipated surge in work. The Service is relying on more detailed planning and consultation with entities as one method of preparing for workload increases.

The risks are high if sufficient resources are not acquired and retained. The high risk of missed deadlines and backlogged cases demands a flexible and adaptable organization. Without timely access to our courts systems, justice will be compromised, public confidence will erode, and the Service’s reputation will be tarnished.

With fewer staff, training and cross-training will be crucial. Cross-training current staff and training new staff can cause delays in processing because time is lost when staff is away on training and because of the learning curve to transfer knowledge and skills back into the work environment once they have been trained.

The emphasis on succession planning and training and recruitment is critically important for the future of the Service. We will develop and implement an integrated business and human resources plan that is practical. Unique recruitment and retention strategies are needed, above and beyond the traditional government means of staffing positions. We will also develop a business continuity plan to address all of our organizational risks, including a pandemic matrix chart.

It is often difficult to anticipate and respond to the requirements of our Judiciary. As new judges arrive, they might bring new priorities and demands. We must respond to the judiciary or lose our reputation – in extreme circumstances the force of law can be used to ensure our response. The Courts form an essential component of constitutional government. Consequently, the failure of the Service to provide effective services has potentially severe consequences. To mitigate these risks we are proactive in our engagement and consultations with Judges and are formalizing our role on committees. We also keep up with best practices to be certain that our support systems are state-of-the-art and may be improved upon.

The Service needs sufficient stable resources to support the Courts on a sustained basis and to ensure that the Service’s mandate and its statutory obligations to judges, prothonotaries, litigants and the Canadian public are not negatively affected. This means developing the capabilities of the Service to anticipate future demands and new resource requirements.

The organization has no control over its workload and has had to deal with an increasing volume and complexity of cases, new security requirements and other unforeseen issues within its existing budget which requires a strict control over reallocation. In that context, consultation by the Service with government departments and agencies is crucial in order to define and assess the scope of the impact of new and proposed legislation, and to better predict upcoming workload.

Link to Government of Canada Outcome areas

The Service supports the Judicial Branch of the Government of Canada, as such; our contributions affect several of the broad outcome areas including economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs, and government affairs.