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ARCHIVED - RPP 2006-2007
Courts Administration Service

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Acting Chief Administrator's Message

In the past year, the Courts Administration Service (also referred to as the "Service") has been committed to pursuing its effort of consolidating the functions of the registries of the Federal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada; establishing approaches to ensure that 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")-are provided with the most effective means of support possible given their unique requirements; and examining all corporate and operational activities to provide the best value for public funds, while safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

The Courts Administration Service contributes to judicial independence through its mandate by providing effective support services to the Courts and ensuring access to those Courts by members of the Canadian public seeking judicial redress. To achieve these objectives, the Service must be provided with stable funding based on clearly articulated needs, supported by performance measures that are both meaningful and clear.

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 and judges 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.

R. P. Guenette

Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006 - 2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Courts Administration Service.

This document has been prepared according to 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 by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS);
  • It uses an approved program activity architecture (PAA) structure;
  • 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 TBS.

Name: Raymond P. Guenette
Title: 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
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
$ 62.2 million $ 57.3 million $57 million
Human Resources
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
655 655 655
Departmental Priorities




Planned Spending

($ millions)




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.

Priority #1
Implementing a comprehensive, dynamic and fully integrated people management strategy which will support all employees in the efforts of the Service consolidation.



The planned initiatives supporting this priority are expected to assist and sustain the efforts of consolidation in providing to all employees a work environment that fulfills their interest.




Priority #2
Sustaining innovation and pursuing modernization of business processes and practices.



The planned initiatives will allow the Service to provide registry and judicial services that are flexible, responsive while ensuring the best value for the public money.




Departmental Plans 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.

The mandate of the Service is to:

  • ensure the efficient provision of service to the Courts;
  • enhance the judicial independence of the Courts by placing them at arm’s length from the Government of Canada; and
  • enhance accountability for the use of public money.

Strategic Relationships

The Service maintains four 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 (i.e. the Minister of Justice) 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.  In addition, both rules committees include senior representatives of the Department of Justice.
  • Provinces and territories – Eight of the Service's seventeen regional offices are co-located with – and staffed by – provincial/territorial court employees on a 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, 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.

Organizational Issues

Even though, the Service made some notable progress in 2005-2006, we still need to pursue our consolidation efforts in 2006-2007.  For this fiscal year, we will continue the cross-training of employees.  Harmonizing and updating policies, and standardizing work tools, such as computer applications and financial systems will be our main focus in addressing organizational issues.  This will be achieved through the development of a broader application of technology in the registries and enhancement of access to the Courts.  For example, technologies permitting digital recording, "remote hearings" and the electronic filing of documents will be adopted for use by the Courts.

Furthermore, work will continue in 2006-2007 on improving accountability, streamlining and reengineering processes to achieve cost effectiveness.

This enhanced accountability manifests itself in the Courts Administration Service Act, which requires that the Chief Administrator send an annual report to the Minister of Justice, who then tables it in each House of Parliament.  The Annual Report represents a unique opportunity for the Chief Administrator to inform the House of Commons and the Senate the numerous challenges which are currently affecting the Service, and as a corollary, the respective Courts which it serves.

The increasing use of alternate dispute resolution (ADR) in Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court proceedings will also affect how the Courts Administration Service is providing its services to the litigants. ADR is a structured process in which a judge or prothonotary conducts an informal process, such as mediation, in order to facilitate a resolution of the dispute without embarking on a formal trial. ADR programs reduce backlogs and free up court services in the face of increasing caseloads. However, such programs have also created new judicial support needs and additional space requirements.

Financial Issues

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 with the Service by government departments and agencies is crucial in order to define and assess the scope of the impact of new and proposed legislation to better predict upcoming workload.

This is particularly true given that one of the purposes of the legislation amalgamating the two former organizations was to enhance accountability for the use of public money in support of court administration.

The Service is also committed to the Government of Canada’s Expenditure Review initiative. The Senior Management team is looking at achieving internal operational efficiencies to meet the goal of long-term savings set out by the Government of Canada.  Some of the initiatives identified as securing possible savings include consolidating the network infrastructure; amalgamating the Courts and the Service into one building -Pierre Elliott Trudeau Judicial Building (PETJB) in Ottawa, which could result in about $25M of savings over a 20-year period.  The Service is also consulting with the Chief Justices and the Rules Committees of the Courts to determine whether certain practices, such as the requirement to transmit certain documents by registered mail, could be modernized.  We are also looking to legislative and amendments to Rules that could facilitate electronic filing.


a)        Provide Information to public

In the spirit of the federal government's Government On-Line initiative, the Service intends to take a proactive approach to making information available to the public.  However, there is an inherent contradiction between the two principles of the public's right to know and citizens' right to privacy.  The Service, in consultation with the judiciary, must find a way to balance these interests in making information such as court decisions broadly available to the public on the Internet.

b)        Ability to deal with increased workload

The past few years have seen a significant increase in applications to the Courts and most specifically in respect of immigration cases.  Thus, the Federal Court's immigration and refugee workload almost doubled between 1995 and 2000 (from 3,630 to 6,619 proceedings commenced) and increased significantly between 2002 and 2004 (from 6,699 to 10,651 proceedings commenced).  The passing of the Anti-terrorism Act following the events of September 11, 2001 and the increased emphasis on security have also added to the workload of the Federal Court.

The Service will need adequate resources to meet the requirements of the current complement of the Courts and any future needs arising from the filling of vacant judicial positions at the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada, to meet the increasing workload of the Courts.  Resourcing for Deputy Judges will also be paramount.  To ensure the effective and efficient management and administration of all court services, the Service will continue to examine the resources required for the accurate and timely processing of files for the Courts.

c)         Maintain the independence of the judiciary

Another challenge faced by the Service lies in the requirement that it account for the use of resources while at the same time safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.  The need for budgetary restraint must be balanced with the need to ensure that the judiciary has all necessary tools to determine cases free of influence.  For example, we must be conscious at all times of security concerns, and a full range of tools must be provided in support of the Courts' work.

Strategic Outcome

The Service is committed to realizing the following 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.

This commitment is consistent with the Government of Canada's strategic outcomes which are outlined in Canada's Performance 2005 Report 

Canada's Performance 2005 is structured around three main policy areas:

  • sustainable economy, which demonstrates the increased importance given to the links between the Canadian economy and the natural environment;
  • Canada's social foundations, which reflects the important role health care plays in Canadian society; and
  • Canada's place in the world, which recognizes the international dimension of government activity needed to advance national aspirations.

Organizational Priorities for the Planned Period

Taking into consideration the Service’s external and internal environment, the Service has identified two strategic priorities that extend beyond the fiscal year 2006-2007.

The organizational priorities described below support our strategic outcome and are intended to ensure more efficient processing of cases and more effective support to the Courts we serve, broader public access to the Courts, while ensuring transparency and full accountability for the use of public funds.  These priorities based on our program activities will be achieved through key initiatives which are either underway or will be implemented during the reporting period.  (Program Activities: Registry Services, Judicial Services and Corporate Services as described in our PAA.)

Program Activity Architecture

The PAA is an inventory of all the activities undertaken by a department or agency.  The activities are depicted in their logical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The PAA is the initial document for the establishment of a Management Resource and Results Structure (MRRS).


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

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

Rationale behind the Priorities

Priority 1:
Implementing a comprehensive, dynamic and fully integrated people management strategy which will support all employees in the efforts of the Service’s consolidation.

The Service still needs to pursue its efforts to make the organization operate as one entity while preserving each Court's identity. Fostering greater understanding of each of the Federal Court and Tax Court Registries will continue and team building sessions are envisaged to ensure a smooth and gradual implementation of upcoming revamped procedures and a common technology platform. These efforts are critical to allow the Service to meet any future demands of the Courts in light of the anticipated retirement of a significant number of employees over the planning period.

Trials and the judicial process are becoming increasingly automated.  The Service must take into account the impact of new technologies on its work and the need to keep up with technological advances in order to provide the most cost-effective, efficient and secure services to judges, prothonotaries, counsel, the public and its employees.  The Service relies on up-to-date technological systems and tools to enable 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.

Priority 2:
Sustaining innovation and pursing modernization of business practices and processes.

This strategic priority will focus on improving and modernizing the Service business processes namely case management, information sharing, communications, rule refinements, and improved support for the judiciary. To that end, state-of-the-art 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 economic manner, and in maintaining excellence in serving our clients.

The two above organizational priorities will still prevail for the planning period as the Service needs to strengthen its workforce capabilities to adjust and cope with changes. These overarching priorities will also affect all aspects of the Service's work and will guide the management team in its decisions. Monitoring key initiatives that support these priorities will be critical to guide strategic and operational decisions and to address emerging issues.




Implementing a comprehensive, dynamic and fully integrated people management strategy which will support all employees in the efforts of the Service consolidation.

Relocation of staff from Lorne Building

Harmonization of Registries

Implementation of Outreach Activities

Review of Judicial Services

Improved employees well-being

Increased citizen-focused services

Increased visibility, awareness and understanding of the services provided by the Courts Administration Service

Sustaining innovation and pursing modernization of business practices and processes.

Modernization of Practices and Procedures

Electronic Filing

Digital Recording

Electronics Courtrooms

New case management system

Construction of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Judicial Building

Toronto Federal Judicial Centre Project



Vancouver Federal Judicial Centre Project

Modernization of operational activities to reflect best practices and improve procedures




Increased efficiencies throughout the Service and lower operational costs

Increased efficiencies throughout the Service, including improved security for judges and staff and greater capacity to meet case management workload

Space optimization of tenant requirements to maximize utilization