Operating Context and Key Risks

Operating Context

The ATSSC supports 11 tribunals with different mandates, each operating under different statutes, regulations and rules. Each tribunal operates separately from other tribunals and maintains a specialized expertise in their respective fields. Given the diversity of operations and activities, and the depth of expertise of the tribunals, the ATSSC maintains and invests in developing its staff capacity and expertise so as to be positioned to respond to the varied and complex needs of the tribunals individually and overall. Central to the mandate of the ATSSC is to provide effective and efficient support services to tribunals while ensuring that they maintain their adjudicative independence.

The tribunals face a substantial, ongoing planning challenge in that much of their work and caseloads are driven by matters referred to them. These are in turn driven by external demands that are often affected by a changing landscape. The ATSSC must be in a state of readiness to ensure appropriate resources are realigned to address sporadic increases or decreases in tribunal workloads on an ongoing basis. The ATSSC must also continue to foster service consistency and predictability, while ensuring efficient and effective use of public resources for providing specialized and expert services, and internal services.

The ATSSC continues to work closely with the tribunals to support them in their efforts to continuously enhance their operations and improve access to justice.

Key Risks

Risks Risk response strategy and effectiveness Link to department’s Core Responsibilities Link to departmental priorities

Tribunal Caseload
There is a risk that, as tribunal caseloads are generally affected by unpredictable external factors, the ATSSC’s ability to provide additional services could be impacted as a result of unexpected caseload surges and/or workload increases.

The ATSSC developed an environmental scan which assessed internal and external factors that may impact the ATSSC. This process assisted with the monitoring of emerging trends, priorities, needs and legislative changes that had impacts on caseloads and ATSSC resources.

The ATSSC maintained sufficient delivery capacity to leverage resources to meet the service needs of tribunals. The percentage of overtime against secretariat salary budget allocations was 0.4%, well under the target of ≤ 10%.

The quarterly in-year financial review process built in the flexibility to re-allocate resources if and when required.

  • 1.1 Program: Registry Services

  • 1.2 Program: Legal Services

  • 1.3 Program: Mandate and Member Services

  • Internal Services
  • Case Management Systems
  • Investing in IM/IT
  • Mandate and Business Planning
  • Financial Sustainability

Capacity Gap
There is a risk that the ATSSC may not be able to maintain an appropriate delivery capacity to meet the mandates and the evolving needs and priorities of the tribunals it serves.

Integrated planning processes were developed to effectively link operational requirements and priorities to financial and human resource allocations.

The ATSSC is continuing to work with internal stakeholders to identify strategies in support of organizational investments. The results of the SEE exercise may also be leveraged in the development of medium and long-term investment strategies.

The launch of the Service Excellence Exercise (SEE) looked to assess organizational budgetary structures and allocations to ensure that resources are available to meet the day to day needs of the tribunals while planning for larger, multi-year priority projects.

  • 1.1 Program: Registry Services

  • 1.2 Program: Legal Services

  • 1.3 Program: Mandate and Member Services

  • Internal Services
  • Member Training
  • Mandate and Business Planning
  • Workforce
  • Financial Sustainability

Critical IT Infrastructure
(new)
There is a risk that the ATSSC may not be able to address all critical infrastructure needs which are required to modernize its operations and to ensure continuity of IT services to tribunals and to those seeking access to justice.

The ATSSC implemented measures to consistently assess the health of the IM/IT infrastructure: an IT evergreen strategy with health checks was developed; a help desk monitoring tool was developed and enacted; and a cloud-based IT/IM solution has been planned. Disaster Recovery Plans will be developed once foundational pieces are in place.

  • 1.1 Program: Registry Services

  • 1.2 Program: Legal Services

  • 1.3 Program: Mandate and Member Services

  • Internal Services
  • Case Management Systems
  • Investing in IM/IT

As this was the ATSSC’s first Corporate Risk Profile, the organization was able to monitor and track mitigation strategies more closely. The year-end results indicate that considerable progress was achieved in mitigating organizational risks. More than half of the mitigation strategies for organizational risks were completed, and most targets that were set were achieved. Although some critical areas remain that require additional resources to address, including the health of current CMS and costs associated with pursuing an organization-wide CMS solution, secretariats and internal services improved and created new functions to minimize risks and better serve tribunals.

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