2013–14 Departmental Performance Report

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Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

  • Appropriate Minister: Peter MacKay
  • Institutional Head: William F. Pentney
  • Ministerial portfolio: Justice
  • Enabling Instrument: Department of Justice Act
  • Year of Incorporation/Commencement: 1868

Organizational Context

Raison d'être

The Department of Justice Canada has the mandate to support the dual roles of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.

Under Canada's federal system, the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal government and the provinces and territories. The Department supports the Minister of Justice in his responsibilities for some 50 statutes and areas of federal law by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework, principally within the following domains: criminal justice (including youth criminal justice), family justice, access to justice, Aboriginal justice, public law, and private international law.

The Department also supports the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the Crown, both in terms of the ongoing operations of government and of the development of new policies, programs, and services for Canadians. The Department provides legal advice to the Government and federal government departments and agencies, represents the Crown in civil litigation and before administrative tribunals, and drafts legislation.

Responsibilities

The Department of Justice Canada was officially established in 1868, when the Department of Justice Act was passed in Parliament. The Act sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Department as well as those of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

The Department of Justice Canada fulfills three distinctive roles within the Government of Canada. It acts as:

  • a policy department with broad responsibilities for overseeing all matters relating to the administration of justice that fall within the federal domain – in this capacity, it strives to ensure a fair, relevant, and accessible Canadian justice system for all Canadians;
  • a provider of a range of legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to government departments and agencies; and
  • a central agency responsible for supporting the Minister in advising Cabinet on all legal matters.

The Department of Justice Canada has approximately 4,500 dedicated, full-time equivalent employees. Some 65 percent of Justice employees are located in the National Capital Region. The other 35 percent provide a strong national presence through a network of regional offices and sub-offices positioned across the country.

Just over half of departmental staff are lawyers. The other half comprises a broad range of professionals, including paralegals, social scientists, program managers, communications specialists, human resources and administrative services personnel, computer service professionals, and financial officers.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture

  1. Strategic Outcome: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
    • 1.1 Program: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
      • 1.1.1 Sub-program: Criminal Justice
        • 1.1.1.1 Sub-sub-program: Youth Justice
        • 1.1.1.2 Sub-sub-program: Illicit Drugs
        • 1.1.1.3 Sub-sub-program: Victims of Crime
        • 1.1.1.4 Sub-sub-program: Integrated Market Enforcement Teams Program
      • 1.1.2 Sub-program: Family Justice
      • 1.1.3 Sub-program: Access to Justice
        • 1.1.3.1 Sub-sub-program: Legal Aid
        • 1.1.3.2 Sub-sub-program: Special Advocates Program
        • 1.1.3.3 Sub-sub-program: Court-ordered Counsel in Federal Prosecutions
        • 1.1.3.4 Sub-sub-program: Justice Partnership and Innovation Program
        • 1.1.3.5 Sub-sub-program: Justice in Official Languages
        • 1.1.3.6 Sub-sub-program: Contraventions
        • 1.1.3.7 Sub-sub-program: Access to Justice Services in the Territories
      • 1.1.4 Sub-program: Aboriginal Justice
        • 1.1.4.1 Sub-sub-program: Aboriginal Justice Strategy
        • 1.1.4.2 Sub-sub-program: Aboriginal Courtwork Program
    • 1.2 Program: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
  2. Strategic Outcome: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
    • 2.1 Program: Legal Services to Government Program
  3. Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Priority TypeFootnote 1 Strategic Outcome and Program
To ensure the justice system continues to enhance the personal safety and security of citizens Ongoing
SO 1
A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
Program 1.1
Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Summary of Progress

In 2013-14, the Department worked to ensure that the justice system continues to enhance the safety and security of Canadians by supporting security and anti-terrorism policies, as well as criminal law reform initiatives and other means. Accordingly, it supported the introduction, re-introduction or parliamentary enactment of:

In addition, the Department led the Government’s response to 17 private members' bills that proposed criminal law reforms to address public safety issues, including human trafficking, organized crime and child abduction. The Department continued to lead the National Anti-Drug Strategy, in collaboration with 11 federal departments. The Strategy was expanded in the Speech from the Throne 2013 to include prescription-drug abuse. Budget 2014 allocated $44.9 million over five years to this important area.

Working with provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations, the Department supported programs and initiatives designed to enhance the Canadian justice system. It also worked with provinces and territories to develop the federal-provincial-territorial Cybercrime Report and the Anti-Human Trafficking Handbook, in an effort to assist police and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of these criminal activities.

The Department supported the Government's international priorities related to justice system reforms by providing technical assistance and capacity-building initiatives to foreign countries, which contributed to the promotion of democracy, respect for human rights, effective governance, and international security. The Department also participated in multilateral international fora, such as the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the G8, on various issues, including corruption and bribery, drugs, cybercrime, organized crime, international cooperation, and human trafficking. In addition, the Department led the Canadian delegation to the 22nd session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

The Department employed a variety of instruments and initiatives to enhance the safety and security of Canadians by making the criminal justice system more relevant, effective and efficient. These included developing policy and law reform initiatives, engaging provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations to develop responses to emerging issues, and supporting foreign-policy objectives that protect and advance Canadian interests and values.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program
To support victims of crime Ongoing
SO 1
A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
Program 1.1
Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Summary of Progress

The Department of Justice houses the Policy Centre for Victim Issues, which supports the Government in carrying out its commitment to give victims of crime a stronger voice in the criminal justice system through the continued implementation of the Federal Victims Strategy and the development and implementation of criminal law reforms.

In 2013-14, the Federal Victims Strategy continued to advance victims services and awareness of victim issues. A key activity included the organization of the eighth annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, from April 21 to 27, 2013, which focused on the theme, "We All Have a Role." Additional policy support and program funding provided through the Victims Fund enabled victims organizations across the country to host 177 events and contributed to the hosting of a Federal Symposium held in Ottawa on April 22, 2013.

Throughout 2013-14, the Department of Justice provided support to assist Canadians who were victimized abroad in addition to funding for victims of crime to attend Parole Board of Canada hearings. It also supported the enhancement of the Child Advocacy Centres Initiative, which seeks to address the needs of child and youth victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system. The Department continued to work with its federal, provincial and territorial government partners to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls. Funding was also provided to increase culturally-responsive victim assistance to families of missing or murdered Aboriginal women.

The Department led the development of three criminal law reforms that will give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system: (1) Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act, which proposes to enforce victims rights to information, protection, participation and restitution, as well as amendments to criminal laws to implement these rights; (2) Bill C-37, the Increasing Offenders' Accountability for Victims Act, which doubled the victim surcharge and made it mandatory in all cases; and (3) Bill C-14, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, which enables victims to have greater involvement in the courts and Review Board hearing process, and ensures that their safety concerns are specifically considered in the decision-making process.

Through these activities, the Department of Justice supports victims of crime, promotes access to and participation in the criminal justice system, and increases awareness of victims' issues.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program
To support the Government of Canada’s priorities through the delivery of high-quality legal services Ongoing
SO 1
A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
Program 2.1
Legal Services to Government Program
Summary of Progress

The Department provides high-quality legal services to the Government of Canada and to federal department and agencies, in support of initiatives reflecting the Government’s priorities in economic, social, international and governmental affairs.

In the area of economic affairs, the Department provided legal advisory and legislative services to help develop and implement the federal Budget (including its implementing legislation); major resource development projects; telecommunications policies; consumer- and competition-oriented initiatives; infrastructure investments, such as replacing Montreal's Champlain Bridge; and legislation governing financial institutions. With the aim of encouraging economic development in the North, the Department assisted with legal and policy initiatives providing Northerners and Aboriginal people with greater decision-making powers over land and resources development. It also provided litigation services to represent the Crown in challenges, including those related to various economic development and land use projects, and the Expenditure Restraint Act.

With respect to social affairs, the Department developed the Victims' Bill of Rights to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system and create clear statutory rights at the federal level for victims of crime. In addition, it provided legal support for the implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and managed litigation associated with the federal role in the care of Aboriginal children. In order to support healthy communities and promote opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians to benefit and participate more fully in the economy, the Department worked to address numerous legislative and regulatory gaps, as well as legal policy barriers to economic development, including those in the Indian Act that impede success. To further support social affairs, the Department provided legal advisory and legislative services to develop medical marihuana-related regulations and defended the Government against legal challenges to Criminal Code provisions related to prostitution, assisted suicide and mandatory minimum penalties, as well as challenges to regulations under the Food and Drugs Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It also provided legislative and advisory services in response to the Lac-Mégantic disaster.

Efforts relating to international affairs involved providing legal advice and support in the area of national security, including the security certificates regime and other activities related to cyber security, cyber crime, counter-terrorism, and organized crime and corruption. In 2013-14, the Department continued to assist federal departments with specific U.S.–Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan initiatives, including the development of the Canada-U.S. Land, Rail, Marine and Air Preclearance Agreement. The Department also provided legal advice and legislative services on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s immigration system reform initiatives and on the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act since 1977. The Department facilitated the sharing of evidence between domestic prosecution services and international treaty partners in furtherance of criminal investigations and prosecutions worldwide. The Department also provided legal advice and legislative services on measures against foreign states under the Special Economic Measures Act and the United Nations Act. Moreover, the Department provided advice and litigation services to advance Canada’s economic interests under various bilateral and multilateral international trade and investment agreements, including the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Finally, in support of government affairs, the Department worked with the Canada Revenue Agency and central agencies to implement their priorities and helped implement new legislative measures and tax changes announced in the 2013 Budget. Furthermore, the Department provided legislative services in support of the Government’s priorities in this area, such as for the Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23), the Red Tape Reduction Act (Bill C-21) and the Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act (Bill S-2). Through advisory work, the Department played a key role in the senate reform initiatives and in solving various issues relating to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program
To manage organizational change in the context of cost containment Previously committed to
SO 1
A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
SO 2
A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
Summary of Progress

To manage organizational change in the context of cost containment, the Department continued to implement its Modernization Strategy in support of the Budget 2012 Economic Action Plan. In 2013-14, the Department also was engaged in significant Government of Canada modernization initiatives implicating financial management, information management, information technology, security, communications, human resources management, and other administrative services.

The Department is already witnessing the benefits of the Modernization Strategy. Internal Services functions have been better integrated and standardized, resulting in a more efficient organization. Clearer accountabilities are being leveraged to support greater rigour and to make internal client service delivery models more effective and efficient. Senior Management received human resources support and advice on implementing organizational changes, reducing the effect on employees, and maximizing the placement of impacted employees. Implementation is expected to be completed by March 2015, and the Department fully expects to meet its commitments.

Furthermore, the Department transformed its records management system by replacing it with a modern, Government of Canada-standard solution. The Department’s Information Management and Information Technology services have been consolidated into a single national model, allowing for streamlined processes and reductions in the overall cost of delivering these services. The Department also instituted new web publishing processes to ensure effective delivery and management of web services by reorganizing its resources to maximize capacity and ensure efficient responses to emerging departmental priorities.

Additional measures taken by the Department to manage organizational change in the context of cost containment included implementing cost-saving measures and spending thresholds for travel, hospitality and conferences. These thresholds, taking into account cost-saving measures stemming from Budget 2013, were provided to all senior officials at the beginning of the fiscal year. Related expenditures were monitored and reported to senior management as part of the departmental forecasting process. Together, these initiatives allowed the Department to support the priority of cost containment and to ensure greater efficiencies at all levels of its organization.

Risk Analysis

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
Responding to new and emerging policy priorities in a timely manner
  • Continued to monitor emerging trends to inform forward planning
  • Succession planning and knowledge-management activities
SO 1
A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
P 1.1
Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Maintaining partnerships necessary for policy/program development and delivery
  • Ongoing dialogue with partners and stakeholders
  • Continued to implement service standards and recipient-engagement strategy for funding programs
  • Continued to implement action plan to simplify and reduce administrative burden on funding recipients
SO 1
A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
P 1.1
Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Meeting evolving demands for legal services
  • Collaborated with clients and undertook joint planning to meet government priorities and manage legal risks in a cost-effective manner
  • Continued to support professional development of legal staff
  • Continued to develop and enhance supporting tools and processes (e.g., litigation support)
SO 2
A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
P 2.1
Legal Services to Government Program

The Department’s risk profile remained stable in 2013-14. With respect to the Department’s stewardship of the legal framework, the broad scope and complexity of the justice system pose ongoing challenges for timely responses to new and emerging policy priorities. Moreover, the multi-tiered nature of the Canadian justice system requires the involvement and collaboration of various partners and stakeholders, including provinces and territories.

In response, the Department has continued to monitor and analyze emerging trends to inform its forward planning and policy responsiveness. The Department has also undertaken succession planning and knowledge management activities to ensure that its workforce continues to possess the proper knowledge, skills and expertise to navigate within this complex operating environment.

To maintain partner and stakeholder relations, the Department has worked with provincial and territorial governments, delivery partners, and other funding recipients through an ongoing dialogue based on mutual respect, common values, and shared interests. The Department has developed service standards and a recipient-engagement strategy for funding programs, and continued to implement an action plan to reduce the administrative burden on recipients of grants and contributions, thereby improving accessibility.

In its role as a service provider to federal departments and agencies, the Department must maintain appropriate delivery capacity to meet legal needs. This capacity is largely contingent on the recovery of costs from clients. Risk may be created as clients adjust priorities, particularly if there are unanticipated changes in the volume or nature of their legal service requests.

To address this risk, the Department continued to focus on improvements to its cost recovery and forecasting practices. The Department also focused on client engagement, including sharing information on the effective management of legal risks, the triggers and costs of litigation, and the appropriate role of legal counsel. The Department continued joint planning with clients to ensure that legal resources are properly aligned with government priorities. Finally, as part of the Government’s commitment to better and more effectively manage resources on an ongoing basis, a horizontal review of legal services (LSR) was undertaken in 2013-14 to improve the delivery of legal services government-wide, with a view to managing the demand for legal services and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of those services in the long term.

The Department's ability to meet service demands may also be affected by changes in law practice management and the increasing volume of electronically-stored information. To manage this risk, the Department has continued to actively support ongoing professional development for its legal staff, as well as continued to develop and enhance supporting tools, technologies and processes.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (Dollars)

2013-14
Main Estimates
2013-14
Planned Spending
2013-14
Total Authorities Available for use
2013-14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Difference (Actual minus Planned)
657,476,767 748,158,295 765,649,641 737,040,864 -11,117,431

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)

2013-14
Planned
2013-14
Actual
2013-14
Difference (Actual minus Planned)
4,719 4,510 -209

Budgetary Performance Summary of Strategic Outcomes and Programs (Dollars)

Strategic Outcomes, Programs and Internal Services 2013-14
Main Estimates
2013-14
Planned Spending
2014-15
Planned Spending
2015-16
Planned spending
2013-14
Total Authorities Available for UseTable note 1
2013-14
Actual Spending (Authorities Used)
2012-13
Actual Spending (Authorities Used)
2011-12
Actual Spending (Authorities Used)
Strategic Outcome 1: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
Program 1.1: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework 380,483,738 383,740,200 348,317,035 344,339,285 397,222,148 382,305,605 424,204,889 426,666,083
Program 1.2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime 1,311,790 1,314,205 1,318,570 1,318,570 1,318,472 1,195,444 1,178,162 1,248,282
Subtotal 381,795,528 385,054,405 349,635,605 345,657,855 398,540,620 383,501,049 425,383,051 427,914,365
Strategic Outcome 2: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
Program 2.1: Legal Services to Government Program 192,294,013 204,047,035 201,897,664 194,870,865 204,778,998 191,292,725 191,992,179 171,563,310
Subtotal 192,294,013 204,047,035 201,897,664 194,870,865 204,778,998 191,292,725 191,992,179 171,563,310
Internal Services Subtotal 83,387,225 159,056,855 110,509,541 99,608,658 162,330,023 162,247,090 116,607,619 145,530,090
TotalTable note 2 657,476,766 748,158,295 662,042,809 640,137,377 765,649,641 737,040,864 733,982,849 745,007,765
Table note 1

Total authority excludes Net Vote Authority of $296.2 million which allows the Department to recover from other government departments and agencies some of the costs incurred to deliver legal services. The total amount recovered is $299.5 million which is applied to actual spending.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

Differences may arise due to rounding.

Return to table note 2 referrer

Alignment of Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2013-14 Actual Spending with the Whole-of-Government-Framework Spending Area (Dollars)

Strategic Outcomes (SO) Programs Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2013-14
Actual Spending
SO 1: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System Program 1.1: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 382,305,605
Program 1.2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 1,195,444
SO 2: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services Program 2.1: Legal Services to Government Program Government Affairs Well-managed and efficient government operations 191,292,725

Total Spending by Spending Area (Dollars)

Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 0 0
Social Affairs 385,054,405 383,501,049
International Affairs 0 0
Government Affairs 204,047,035 191,292,725

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

As shown in the departmental Budgetary Financial Resources table, the Department's 2013-14 Main Estimates totaled $657.5 million, and its Total Authorities amounted to $765.6 million. The Total Authorities include funding received through the Supplementary Estimates processes and Treasury Board Secretariat Central Votes in the amount of $90.3 million.

Departmental Spending Trend Graph, described below

Text version: Departmental Spending Trend Graph

The Department of Justice Spending Trend graph shows on the x-axis, from left to right, fiscal years 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15. 2015-16, and 2016-17. The y-axis displays spending amounts in millions of dollars from 0 to 800. The graph consists of a group of six vertical bars per fiscal year, which represent sunset programs and total spending, with sunset data only avaialbe for years 2014-15. 2015-16, and 2016-17, as indicated by the chart with corresponding actual numbers for each sunset program and total spending below the graph. The graph demonstrates a consistent decrease from 745.1 million dollars in 2011-12 to 636.4 million dollars in 2016-17 in total spending, as well as an increase in sunset programs from 53.27 million dollars in 2014-15 to 70.01 million dollars in 2016-17.

While spending had decreased from $745.0 million in 2011-12 to $734.0 million in 2012-13, spending increased slightly in 2013-14 to $737.0 million (0.4 percent from the previous year). This variance is primarily due to the onetime payment for the severance pay cash out and the increase in salary expenditures as per various ratified collective agreements. This increase has been offset by a general decrease in demand for the provision of legal services to other government departments and agencies, by the implementation of Budget 2012 cost-savings measures, and through greater efficiencies resulting in a reduction in FTEs.

As for the planned spending, the decrease is mostly attributable to a few temporarily funded programs that are anticipated to expire in future years. This funding reduction represents $53.3 million in 2014-15, $62.8 million in 2015-16, and $70.0 million in 2016-17. Expired temporary funding is not included in the total planned spending which explains the decrease in total authorities over the course of the three-year planning period. The Department is not in a position to include planned spending for these initiatives since the renewal has not been announced or confirmed by Parliament (Budget).

Furthermore, as the Department deals with fluctuating demand for legal services, the profile of its Total Authorities continues to change from year to year. As the graph below demonstrates, the A-base and Net Voting Authority (NVA) changed from 2011-12 to 2013-14. The trend shows a decrease of 4.4 percent in A-base as a result of the implementation of Budget 2012 savings measures, and a decrease of 3.1 percent in NVA over the three-year period. However, the NVA recoveries increased by 1.1 percent from 2012-13 to 2013-14 for a total of $299.5 million. This NVA increase is primarily due to an increase in salary costs for legal practitioners and offset by a decrease in demand for legal services. The A-Base decrease is mainly attributable to the implementation of Budget 2012 cost-savings measures and other minor cost-savings measures.

A-Base and Net Voting Authority Trend

A-Base and Net Voting Authority Trend, described below

Text version: A-Base and Net Voting Authority Trend

The Department of Justice Base and Net Voting Authority Trend bar graph shows on the x-axis, from left to right, fiscal years 2011-212, 2012-13 and 2013-14. The y-axis displays amounts in millions of dollars from 0 to 1000. The graph consists of a group of two vertical bars per fiscal year, which represent the Net Voting Authority and A-Base Voting Authority for that year in millions of dollars. The graph shows that there has been a slight decrease in Net Voting Authority in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, which is followed by an increase from 2012-13 to 2013-14, as well as a continued decrease in A-Base Authority over the three years displayed.

The Net Voting Authorities range from 309.1 million dollars in 2011-12, to 295.5 million dollars in 2012-13, and to 299.5 million dollars in 2013-14.

The A-Base Authorities range from 797.7 million dollars in 2011-12, to 768.8 million dollars in 2012-13, and to 765.6 million dollars in 2013-14.

Estimates by Votes

For information on the Department of Justice Canada’s organizational Votes and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2014 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.

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