2016-17 Report on Plans and Priorities

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister:

Jody Wilson-Raybould

Deputy Head:

William F. Pentney

Ministerial portfolio:

Justice

Year established:

1868

Main legislative authorities:

Department of Justice Act

Organizational Overview

Raison d’être

The Department of Justice 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’s responsibilities for 52 statutes and areas of federal law by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework, principally within the following domains: criminal justice (including justice for victims of crime and 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 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 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 ensurea 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 has approximately 4,300 dedicated, full-time equivalent employees. Some 58 percent of Justice employees are located in the National Capital Region. The other 42 percent provide a strong national presence through a network of regional offices and sub-offices positioned across the country.

Over half of departmental employees are lawyers. The other half comprises a broad range of professionals: paralegals, social scientists, program managers, communications specialists, administrative services personnel, 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: Legal Policies and Laws
      • 1.1.2 Sub-program: Justice System Support
        • 1.1.2.1 Sub-sub-program: Criminal Justice and Legal Representation
        • 1.1.2.2 Sub-sub-program: Victims of Crime
        • 1.1.2.3 Sub-sub-program: Youth Justice
        • 1.1.2.4 Sub-sub-program: Family Justice
        • 1.1.2.5 Sub-sub-program: Aboriginal and Northern Justice
        • 1.1.2.6 Sub-sub-program: Justice in Official Languages
    • 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
  • Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

Priority: Renewing the Relationship with Indigenous Peoples

To renew Canada’s nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership.

Priority TypeFootnote 1

New

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Develop, in collaboration with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and supported by the Minister of Status of Women, an approach to and a mandate for an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Ongoing To Be Determined Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to address gaps in services to Indigenous peoples and those with mental illnesses throughout the criminal justice system.

2016-17

To Be Determined Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Develop and design, in collaboration with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and other Ministers, First Nations, the Métis Nation, the Inuit, parties to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, and other key partners, a national engagement strategy for developing and implementing a national reconciliation framework, informed by the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 2016-17 To Be Determined Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Priority: Criminal Law

To ensure that legislation meets the highest standards of equity, fairness and respect for the rule of law.

Priority Type

New

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Review of the Criminal Justice System. 2016-17 To Be Determined Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Lead a process, supported by the Minister of Health, to work with provinces and territories to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted death. Ongoing Ongoing Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Health to create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana. 2016-17 To Be Determined Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Priority: Public Law

Support the Government’s commitment to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law, and assist the Government in advancing related domestic and international legal and policy interests through development of public law policy.

Priority Type

New

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Ensure that the rights of Canadians are protected, that the Government’s work demonstrates the greatest possible commitment to respecting the Charter, and that the Government seeks to fulfill its policy goals with the least possible interference with the rights and privacy of Canadians. Spring 2016 Ongoing Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Develop a parliamentary engagement and stakeholder consultation strategy leading to a more transparent, inclusive and accountable process for appointing justices to the Supreme Court of Canada, and ensuring judges are functionally bilingual. Winter 2016 Spring 2017 Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Consult provinces and territories to gauge their interest in expansion of Unified Family Courts and bring forward implementing legislation and related measures. Winter 2016 Spring 2017 Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Introduce legislation to add gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Spring 2016 2016 Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Provide policy support to the officials in Canadian Heritage to restore a modern Court Challenges Program. Winter 2016 Ongoing Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework
Support the Government’s review of the Access to Information Act, including the commitment to apply that law appropriately to administrative bodies that support the federal courts. Winter 2016 Ongoing Program 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Priority: Legal Services to Government

To support the Government of Canada’s priorities through the delivery of high-quality legal services.

Priority Type

Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Provide advisory and legislative services to client departments and agencies to help them implement Government priorities. Ongoing Ongoing Program 2.1 – Legal Services to Government

Priority: Management Excellence

To manage organizational transformation in support of business and legal excellence.

Priority Type

Ongoing

Key Supporting Initiatives
Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Link to Department’s Program Alignment Architecture
Support Public Service renewal priorities through Blueprint 2020, with emphasis on service excellence, encouraging transformative activities and streamlining of processes. Ongoing Ongoing Program 3.1 – Internal Services
Support the development or implementation of the Government-wide Transformation Initiatives: such as Workplace 2.0, Transformation of Pay Administration, and key Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) initiatives. Ongoing Ongoing Program 3.1 – Internal Services
Advance the Canada’s Legal Team vision through three pillars: a whole-of Justice-approach, legal and business excellence, and applying new ways of working through talent, innovation and technology. Ongoing Ongoing Program 3.1 – Internal Services
Transition towards a digital-first approach to efficiently and effectively deliver communications services to the Department. Ongoing Ongoing Program 3.1 – Internal Services

For more information on Department of Justice priorities, see the Minister’s mandate letter on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website.

Risk Analysis

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture

Responsiveness to new and emerging policy priorities.

The broad scope and complexity of the justice system pose ongoing challenges for timely policy and program responses.

  • Maintain a close dialogue with partners and stakeholders (e.g., through targeted or public consultations).
  • Continue to monitor, research and analyze emerging trends to inform forward planning.
  • Conduct regular departmental planning sessions to promote information sharing and coordinated consideration of key policy issues.
  • Succession planning through knowledge management and skill/leadership development.
  • SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
  • P. 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Maintaining partnerships necessary for policy and program development and delivery.

Relationships with essential justice system partners and stakeholders could weaken if not actively maintained.

  • Maintain a close dialogue with all partners (other federal departments, provinces and territories, and non-governmental organizations).
  • Continue to develop and implement stakeholder engagement plans for policy development and funding programs.
  • Continue to explore innovative forums for collaboration.
  • SO 1 – A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
  • P. 1.1 – Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

Managing evolving demands for legal services.

As federal departments/agencies seek to contain spending on legal services, any unplanned or uncoordinated service demands could impact the Department’s ability to deliver effective and fiscally sustainable services.

  • Collaborate with client departments and agencies, including joint planning to meet government priorities and manage legal risks in a cost-effective manner.
  • Continue implementation of cost recovery process improvements.
  • Refine the Department’s service delivery model based on findings of the recent Legal Services Review (LSR).
  • SO 2 – A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
  • P. 2.1 – Legal Services to Government Program

The effective management and monitoring of key corporate risks will support the implementation of the Department’s 2016-17 priorities.

Given that the administration of justice in Canada is an area of shared jurisdiction, the Department’s stewardship of the Canadian legal framework requires close collaboration with the provinces and territories. The Department must also work with a broad range of stakeholders, including other federal departments, non-governmental organizations and international institutions. At times, relationships with these essential partners may be affected by the need to balance expectations and interests. An additional challenge, in the current era of electronic information and connectedness, are changing expectations with respect to how policies are developed and administered (e.g., heightened expectations for rapid responses to emerging issues).

To manage these risks, the Department will continue to monitor emerging trends to inform its forward planning and maintain policy responsiveness. This will include conducting regular policy-focused planning sessions. The Department will also continue succession planning and knowledge-management activities to foster the proper knowledge, skills, and expertise to readily navigate within this operating environment.

In its delivery of legal services to the federal government, Justice Canada must work closely with client departments and agencies, who share joint responsibility for managing legal risks. Decisions by clients to engage, or not engage, Justice Canada shape the Department’s workload (the nature and volume of demands), as well as its overall delivery capacity since a significant portion of service delivery is funded through cost recovery from clients.  Consequently, any unplanned or uncoordinated service demands could impact Justice Canada’s ability to deliver effective and fiscally sustainable services, particularly as federal departments seek to contain spending on legal services. For instance, a decision to not seek legal advice on an item of higher legal risk could lead to more costly litigation in the future, and/or a missed opportunity to consider the issue from a government-wide perspective. Conversely, engaging legal counsel on files that have no legal issues could increase costs unnecessarily. In addition, as legal services expenditures are contained or reduced, the Department could face unanticipated imbalances between expenditures and revenues. Moreover, as the Department balances legal service delivery capacity to respond to current demands, it may have limited capacity to respond to any future surges in demands (in either volume or complexity).

To address these risks, the Department will continue to focus on joint planning with clients, including the sharing of information on the effective management of legal risks, the triggers and costs of legal services, and the appropriate role of legal counsel. These activities are informed by the recent Legal Services Review (LSR) to improve the delivery of legal services across government. The LSR has been undertaken to manage the demand for legal services and to ensure the fiscal sustainability of those services in the long term. Based on the finding of this review, the Department continues to implement a number of measures to refine its service delivery model. The Department also continues to make improvements to its cost recovery processes to effectively mitigate financial risks.

Planned Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)Footnote 2
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
678,860,530 678,860,530 639,749,877 632,917,952

Note: Financial Resources for Planned Spending are based on Main Estimates and are net of respendable revenues. In addition, planned spending for 2016-17 and beyond exclude all Treasury Board central votes funding (such as the Operating Budget Carry-Forward and Paylist related expenditures).

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])Footnote 3
2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
4,310 4,310 4,310
Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2013–14
Expenditures
2014–15
Expenditures
2015–16
Forecast Spending
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2018–19
Planned Spending
Strategic Outcome 1: A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System
Program 1.1: Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework 382,305,605 383,759,270 387,816,954 400,491,696 400,491,696 361,691,258 359,745,452
Program 1.2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime 1,195,444 1,080,164 1,342,671 1,324,227 1,324,227 1,324,227 1,324,227
Subtotal 383,501,049 384,839,434 389,159,625 401,815,923 401,815,923 363,015,485 361,069,679
Strategic Outcome 2: A Federal Government that is Supported by High-Quality Legal Services
Program 2.1: Legal Services to Government Program 191,292,725 208,762,406 186,952,643 199,619,747 199,619,747 199,619,745 195,212,356
Subtotal 191,247,090 208,762,406 186,952,643 199,619,747 199,619,747 199,619,745 195,212,356
Internal Services – Subtotal 162,247,090 115,249,778 112,606,440 77,424,860 77,424,860 77,114,647 76,635,917
Total 737,040,864 708,851,618 688,718,708 678,860,530 678,860,530 639,749,877 632,917,952

Note: Forecast spending for 2015-16 is based on the October 2015 Financial Situation Report. Planned spending for 2016-17 and beyond excludes all Treasury Board central votes funding.

Budgetary Planning Summary

As indicated in the table above, the Department of Justice’s forecasted expenditures are $688.7 million and $678.9 million for 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. These spending figures are net of the Department’s Net Vote Authority, which allows it to collect and spend revenue for the delivery of legal services to other government departments. The $9.8 million variance of expenditures between 2015-16 and 2016-17 is primarily attributable to the following major factors:

Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework:
The planned increase in spending under Program 1.1 of $12.7 million is primarily explained by the fact that the planned spending figure for 2016-17 is based on total spending of budgetary authorities. The Department may not be able to spend all of its authorities in 2015-16 resulting in a projected lapse of $13.2 million.
Legal Services to Government Program:
The increase in planned spending under Program 2.1 of $12.7 million also relates to the fact that the planned spending figure for 2016-17 is based on total spending of budgetary authorities. In addition, there is an increase in planned spending due to administrative adjustment of some budgets and planned expenditures from the Internal Services Program to the Legal Services to Government Program in order to properly report against the correct program. This administrative adjustment will be effective fiscal year 2016-17.
Internal Services:
The reduction in planned spending for internal services of $35.2 million is primarily attributable to the following factors: corresponding program activity administrative adjustment as mentioned above, exclusion of Treasury Board central votes such as paylist related expenditures (e.g. severance pay, vacation credits payable upon termination of employment, parental benefits) and funding from the 2015-16 Operating Budget Carry Forward.

The Department has Net Vote Authority (NVA) of $296.2 million with a corresponding offset to the Operating Budget. The NVA is notionally distributed between Legal Services to Government and Internal Services Programs. The actual revenues distributed between Programs could vary depending on numerous factors such as legal service rates, fluctuation in the demand for legal services from client departments and the actual amount of revenues collected over or below the authority (as per the TBS Guide on Financial Arrangements and Funding Options, departments may spend up to 125% of their authorities in revenues received for related costs).

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2016 - 17 Planned Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2016–17 Planned 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 400,491,696
Program 1.2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 1,324,227
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 199,619,747
Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending
Economic affairs 0
Social affairs 401,815,923
International affairs 0
Government affairs 199,619,747

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

As depicted in the chart below, the Department’s total planned spending (statutory and voted) is expected to decrease in 2016-17 to $678.9 million from a forecast spending of $688.7 million in 2015-16. As the primary provider of legal services to other federal government departments and agencies, the Department of Justice has Net Vote Authority to collect and spend revenue from such services as part of the Vote 1 (Operating expenditures) authority. For the purpose of departmental reporting, these re-spendable revenues reduce total departmental authorities and expenditures. In 2015-16, the total amount of re-spendable revenues is forecasted to reach $292.0 million. For comparability purposes “Planned spending” is net of re-spendable revenues.

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Description

Note: Sunset Programs figures are not included in planned spending, but rather are shown in the above graph to demonstrate the impact of sunset funding over the three-year planning period. The figures for 2013-14 and 2014-15 are based on actuals whereas the 2015-16 figures are based on forecasts as of October 2015. In addition, planned spending for 2016-17 and beyond exclude all central vote funding (such as the Operating Budget Carry-Forward and Paylist related expenditures).

In fiscal year 2016-17, the Department plans to spend $365.2 million on Grants and Contributions and $313.7 million on Operating Expenditures, and forecasts $296.2 million in revenues related to the provision of legal and internal support services to other government departments to supplement the Department’s Operating Expenditures. 

The Department’s net spending consists of Grants and Contributions and Operating Expenditures less revenues collected. In fiscal year 2016-17, the decrease of $9.8 million in net spending, from $688.7 million in 2015-16 to $678.9 million in 2016-17, is primarily attributable to the 2016-17 planned spending figure being based on total spending of budgetary authorities and the exclusion of Treasury Board Central Votes such as paylist related expenditures and the Operating Budget Carry Forward from the 2016-17 forecast.  

Estimates by Vote

For information on the Department of Justice Canada’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2016–17 Main Estimates.

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