4 Strategic Organizational Priorities

Excellence in Prosecution Management

The PPSC is committed to improving the effectiveness of its prosecution management practices, from the way files are assigned to how they are managed and tracked throughout the lifecycle of a prosecution. Stressing the importance of learning from best practices and recommendations developed by its provincial and international partners or counterparts, the PPSC seeks to ensure that prosecutions are managed in the most modern and effective way possible.

The PPSC continued to review and implement recommendations identified in internal audits of regional offices with respect to file information systems and the assignment and management of prosecution files, including compliance with protocols for closing files and the capture of key information in the PPSC’s case management system. The PPSC also continued to focus on the development of best practices throughout the fiscal year. Through participation in a one-day forum sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General regarding measuring performance in the context of law management and attendance at two justice summits in British Columbia, PPSC staff have shared knowledge and discussed various approaches with their provincial counterparts.

Employee Training and Development

The PPSC focuses on providing all PPSC staff with access to the tools and opportunities they need to improve their skills and further their professional development.

The Regulatory and Economic Prosecutions and Practice Management Division and the Human Resources Directorate worked together to establish a learning and development framework for PPSC staff. The PPSC is currently analyzing the impact of the framework and aligning its activities with the Canada School of Public Service’s new service delivery model, which will focus its curriculum on core public service training, increase access to online and classroom curriculum, and standardize training for managers and executives. Targeted legal training and development webinars were offered by the ORO, and also made accessible to PPSC prosecutors across the country. Use of video link-up as well as WebEx technologies enabled the participation of approximately 100 PPSC prosecutors across Canada.

Building on the success of the Federal Prosecutor Development Program, the PPSC initiated the Paralegal Excellence Program Project. It is also analyzing the learning needs of the administrative support and the supervisor and manager communities.

Working Collaboratively with Investigative Agencies

To be effective and efficient as a national prosecution service, the PPSC must work closely with police and federal investigative agencies while respecting the independence of these agencies and maintaining its own independence. The PPSC continued to strengthen its relationships with investigative agencies by ensuring effective communication at both the local and national levels. This involved working collaboratively to ensure consistency and completeness in the investigation files sent to the PPSC and in the legal advice provided by the PPSC.

The PPSC has taken steps to ensure ongoing communication and liaison with police and investigative agencies. It attends the RCMP’s weekly national priority-setting exercises and has a seat on the RCMP’s External Advisory Committee on the re-engineering of the force. As a result, the PPSC gains access to information allowing it to coordinate and prioritize the use of its resources according to stated investigative priorities, confirm regional priorities and better coordinate projects that span two or more regions. CFPs also maintain regular contacts with the heads or deputy heads of police forces, including the Criminal Operations Officers of the RCMP. PPSC representatives, both at HQ and in the regions, also regularly meet with their counterparts in the investigative agencies to whom Crown prosecutors most often provide prosecution services. In addition, the PPSC has agreements with many police and investigative agencies which set out what the PPSC expects from them in terms of the timing and content of disclosure, and approaches to the vetting of routine and sensitive information in the disclosure package.

In a follow-up to the 2008 PPSC survey of investigative agencies, the PPSC distributed a questionnaire to investigative agencies in the summer of 2014 to seek input on the PPSC’s legal advice and prosecution-related activities from members of police and federal regulatory agencies that initiate most of the cases that the PPSC prosecutes. The survey’s specific objectives were to describe the possible impacts and results of these activities; to identify the factors that can contribute to more effective and efficient operational approaches; and to identify strategies to strengthen the working relationship between the PPSC and investigative agencies. The responses are currently being analyzed.

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