Departmental Legal Services Unit
Natural Resources Canada
April 2010

6. OBSERVATIONS – INTERFACES WITH OTHER JUSTICE SECTORS

The NRCan LSU’s interfaces with the Department of Justice are satisfactory.

The NRCan LSU receives direction, advice, and support from the Department of Justice’s Business and Regulatory Law Portfolio regarding financial, human resources, and administrative matters. The LSU also participates in monthly and annual meetings with the Portfolio Office and responds to requests for information from the Portfolio Office to support its accountabilities. Management at the Portfolio Office is satisfied with the information it receives from the NRCan LSU.

The NRCan LSU’s other main interactions with the Department of Justice are with specialist HQ sectors, as needed, for expert advice and opinions, and with regional office litigators. The LSU’s lawyers provide the interface between the HQ specialists and regional litigators and the client sectors in NRCan. The LSU’s lawyers described these relationships as open, productive, and professional. They stated that there were no requirements for changes. Interviews with a sample of lawyers at headquarters and in three regional offices revealed that they were satisfied with their interactions with the LSU. Half of those contacted described the NRCan LSU as among the best LSUs that they deal with.

The LSU’s lawyers also deal with lawyers in other DLSUs (e.g. Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and Transport Canada) on projects such as the construction of new pipelines. The purpose of these interactions is to ensure that differing opinions are reconciled so that all of the DLSUs are providing consistent advice to their respective clients. These discussions were described as cumbersome but necessary.

It is the audit team’s opinion that the NRCan LSU’s interfaces with Justice sectors are satisfactory.

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