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SECTION I - OVERVIEW

Acting Commissioner's Message

I am pleased to submit the Performance Report for the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs for the period ending March 31, 2007.

Although the mandate of our office may see very little change from one year to the next, this Report demonstrates that 2006-2007 was again a busy fiscal year and that our personnel was able to overcome the challenges that arose during this period.

Among other things, we introduced necessary changes following the coming into force of amendments to the Judges Act, we helped establish the various judicial advisory committees across the country after the start of their new members' mandates, and we updated our strategic plan. Of course, we also continued to provide our usual services, such as; support for the judiciary, language training and international cooperation to name but a few. The following pages set out these activities as well as others in more detail.

I wish to underline the professionalism and commitment of the employees of our office in its support of the Canadian judiciary. We continually aim to improve our practices in order to function in the most efficient manner and we remain prepared to face new challenges.

Marc A. Giroux

Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) for The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 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 approved Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by the 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 numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.

Marc A. Giroux
Acting Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs

Summary Information

Department's Raison d'tre

Mission Statement

We are a federal agency statutorily created to support, promote and support judicial independence for the benefit of the public by providing a wide range of services to the Canadian judiciary.

Vision Statement

The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs (FJA) will be recognized as a unique service provider to the Canadian Judiciary and is renowned for efficiency, sound management and a good working environment.

Results for Canadians

There are 1,070 judges in Canada who are appointed by the federal government to the superior courts in the provinces and territories and to specialized courts such as the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada. These courts play a vital role in protecting citizens' rights and ensuring governments adhere to the rules of law and justice. FJA supports an independent judiciary and provides language training that enhances the capabilities of the judiciary.

FJA publishes the Federal Courts Reports, which are the official, bilingual reports of decisions, or parts of decisions of the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, that are considered to be of sufficient significance to warrant publication. FJA also provides administrative support to the Canadian Judicial Council.

FJA operates an efficient and effective judicial appointments process. The Judicial Appointments Secretariat received and processed 701 applications for judicial appointment, including 217 brought forward from the previous period. The Secretariat arranged for 52 advisory committee meetings including 12 orientation meetings for newly appointed committees. The Advisory Committees assessed a total of 455 applications, the results of which were certified by the Executive Director, Judicial Appointments and provided to the Minister.

Promoting the principles of judicial independence, and efficient and transparent court systems internationally ensures protection of Canada's interests abroad and enhances Canada's visibility internationally.


Financial Resources

Planned Spending

Total Authorities

Actual Spending

$359,632,000

$405,489,094

$404,584,428



Human Resources

Planned

Actual

Difference

69

65

4


 


Departmental Priorities

Strategic Outcomes

2006-2007
Priorities/ Commitments

Type

Planned Spending

Actual Spending

Expected
Results and
Current Status

To protect and promote the independence and efficiency of the federal judiciary by providing a full line of administrative support services, as provided under the Judges Act.

1.Develop organizational capacity.

ongoing

$ .1 M

$ .1

ongoing

2. Build a strong, integrated team. ongoing $ .1 M $ .1 ongoing
3. Improve service delivery. ongoing $ .5 M $ .3 ongoing
4. Enhance Communications . ongoing $ .1 M $ .1 ongoing
5. Manage Information ongoing $ .2 M $ .5 ongoing

Overall Departmental Performance

FJA had planned on embarking on a Transformation Initiative in 2006-2007. Changes in priorities, as well as changes in the administrative directions provided from the Treasury Board Secretariat have caused a re-evaluation of the original plan of action. A business case to deal with Transformation Initiative was submitted to the Treasury Board Secretariat, however, with the completion of the previous Commissioner's term, we have agreed with the Treasury Board Secretariat to delay our implementation plan until such time as a new Commissioner is appointed and has had an opportunity to review the plan and confirm the proposed course of action.

An important number of results have been achieved, such as the completion of the business planning process which included a Human Resource Staffing Plan, a revision to the Business Resumption Plan to take into account the Influenza Pandemic requirements and the completion of draft Security Policies.

In addition, orientation meetings were held for the newly appointed 8-member Judicial Appointments Advisory Committees across the country and members were advised of their obligations and responsibilities in accordance with the Guidelines for Committee members. The newly appointed 5-member Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for the Tax Court of Canada was incorporated into the Judicial Appointments process and administered as a one-year pilot project in accordance with Ministerial guidelines.

The department conducted two major contracting activities using the Request for Proposal process, one for translation services and the second for the requirements relating to the International Program currently being undertaken in conjunction with funding received from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The results of the translation tendering process resulted in expected savings of approximately 35% of the original budget for translation. The process for the International Program requirements was approximately 80% completed by the end of the fiscal year.

In the area of International Cooperation, the 4 year agreement with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to assist with judicial reform in Russia proceeded in accordance with the approved plan. FJA has also signed a new 5 year agreement with CIDA to assist with judicial reform in the Ukraine. Work has progressed on the third party arrangement with the National Judicial Institute to provide assistance with judicial reform in China.

The department was also successful in implementing the required components of the Public Service Modernization Act. Its linkages with external partners (e.g. Canada School of Public Service, HR Co-op) have provided the organization with opportunities to leverage its capacity to successfully meet its fairly aggressive implementation schedule.

The department conducted a training program for members of the Health and Safety Committee. The training covered health and safety awareness, development of terms of reference and a draft Health and Safety Policy, and specialized training including hazard recognition, assessment, control hazard prevention, as well as hazardous occurrence investigations and inspections.

The department was successful in implementing the required changes as a result of the proclamation of Bill C-17, an Act to amend the Judges Act. The required actions included: the issuance of retroactive salary and pension adjustments back to April 1, 2004; changes to our internal computer system to incorporate the administrative changes contained in the Act; and changes to our processes to allow for the changes to the process for judges electing supernumerary status;

The department undertook a survey of judges to determine the level of satisfaction with the services offered by the judges communication network, JUDICOM. The response rate from judges was very high with 47% of the target audience responding to the survey and providing valuable comments and feedback which confirmed that most judges are very satisfied with the service being provided to them.

Link to the Government of Canada Outcome Areas

The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, through the provision of services to all federally appointed judges, falls under the Government Affairs area within the Government of Canada Outcome areas.