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Ministry of the Attorney General

Better Justice Together 2014-19 Strategic Plan

Ministry of the Attorney General

September 2013

Table of Contents

  1. Message from the Deputy Attorney General
  2. Strategic Planning Process
  3. Vision, Mission and Values
  4. Strategic Priorities
  5. Strategic Goals and Initiatives
  6. Ministry Strategy Map

Message from the Deputy Attorney General

Picture of the Deputy Attorney General Patrick Monahan

Since the day I arrived at the Ministry of the Attorney General, I have been constantly amazed at the level of commitment I see in our people every day, in every area of the province, in every division, branch and unit that is part of our ministry family. We have exceptional staff and we do vital work.

It is an exciting time to be in the public service. The public is more engaged. The expanding use of technology is coming into all areas of our lives, including the justice system. What we do matters to the public and to individuals involved in the courts. For these reasons, we need to know where we’re going.

All well-run organizations have a strategic plan. It helps to determine priorities, and develop long-term goals. It creates a path and identifies strategies to ensure we are all headed in the right direction and achieving our stated objectives.

Our strategic plan has three simple priorities that focus on modernization and innovation, a skilled and engaged workforce, and accountability that ensures value for money from the front lines to the corporate offices.

I invite each of you to read the strategic plan, discuss it with your colleagues and your managers and think about how you fit into the plan and what your role could be. I also invite you to submit to the Ideas and Innovation Fund, any creative ideas you have that could help us reach our goals.

Our justice system is not just bricks and mortar, systems and technology. Our people are our strength. They are the key to our success.

We need to work together to ensure our justice system is responsive to the needs of the people we serve and inspires public confidence. That is our vision.

Patrick Monahan
Deputy Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General

Strategic Planning Process

Planning for the future

The Ministry of the Attorney General has developed a five-year strategic plan that identifies key priorities and goals that will move the organization towards necessary change and modernization. This desire for change reflects the ministry’s commitment to providing the best possible services to staff, justice system participants and the people of Ontario. The strategic plan was developed through extensive discussions among the ministry’s senior management team with involvement and input from their divisional management committees. It also reflects input we received through our discussions during the Deputy Town Halls. The process, which lasted from September 2012 to July 2013, included a series of one-on-one interviews and workshops with senior leaders, as well as a joint divisional management committee session to validate and prioritize the ministry’s initiatives. The resulting strategic plan identifies a future direction for the ministry that will provide context and guidance for decision makers and members of the public.

Current environment

There are several internal and external factors driving the need for change at the ministry. These factors were carefully considered during the development of the strategic plan.

External factors

Citizens now have a greater desire for speedy, electronic service. People are increasingly adept at serving themselves and expect to engage with their government electronically. This strategic plan recognizes the ministry’s need to modernize its services to align with public expectations. Ontario is also experiencing slow economic growth and a marked shift in the demographics of the province’s population. The population of Ontario is becoming older, more urbanized and more diverse, placing increased pressure on justice services in urban centres. Case complexity is increasing and alternate avenues for dispute resolution are more commonly being pursued.

Internal factors

One of the most significant internal factors is ongoing cost pressures across the ministry and wider provincial government. Budgets are becoming tighter while ministries are expected to maintain or improve services to the public. The complexity of implementing change across the justice system is an important consideration as several ministry initiatives will have far-reaching impacts. In terms of operations, better leveraging technology for both customer-facing and internal processes, as well as reducing silos between divisions, are critical areas for this strategic plan to address. Finally, better resource allocation practices are essential to ensure the ministry has the right people with the right skills in the right role at the right time to meet its strategic goals.

Vision, Mission and Values

Our Vision

An innovative, sustainable and responsive justice system that inspires public confidence and upholds the rule of law.

Our Mission

The mission of the Ministry of the Attorney General is to administer the justice system, protect the public and ensure legality in government. We accomplish this by fostering an inclusive environment that values service excellence, access to justice, accountability, innovation, and responsiveness to the evolving needs of Ontario.

Our Values

Vision, Mission and Values Diagram Our Values, Accountability, Excellence, Inclusion, Integrity, Collaboration, Courage, Respect.

Strategic Priorities

The ministry has identified three key priorities that will shape its strategic direction over the next five years. These priorities directly support the ministry’s vision, mission and values and are specifically focused on modernizing processes and technology, investing in our people and promoting responsible, evidence-based decision making:

Strategic Priorities

Priority #1- Modernize and Streamline Processes and supporting technology while maintaining core Ministry functions

Priority #2 - Develop and retain a skilled and engaged workforce

Priority #3- Promote accountability and value for money

These priorities are broadly-defined objectives that the ministry must achieve to ensure our vision is realized. The strategic plan looks ahead by identifying key Ministry goals and initiatives that will support the priorities outlined above. In times of fiscal constraint, this will ensure we make the best possible use of both our human and capital resources.

Priority #1 – Modernize and streamline processes and supporting technology while maintaining core ministry functions

We want to change the way we do business. The ministry will work to modernize and streamline its processes to become more efficient and deliver the best possible value to Ontarians. Such modernization will require improving our technology to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to support desired reforms. A main focus of this priority will be to enhance electronic access to justice services and electronic interactions within the justice system.

The new Waterloo Region Courthouse courtroom

The new Waterloo Region Courthouse interior

The new Waterloo Region Courthouse

Priority #2 – Develop and retain a skilled and engaged workforce

Our people are the key to our success. The ministry is committed to further developing a highly skilled and engaged workforce comprised of hardworking and passionate people. We will focus on improving staff flexibility and professional development opportunities while striving to become an employer of choice within the Ontario Public Service.

Deputy Town Hall - Hamilton March 21, 2013

Deputy Town Hall – Hamilton March 21, 2013

Priority #3 – Promote accountability and value for money

The provincial government continues to face fiscal challenges as it looks to eliminate the provincial deficit by 2017-18. Our ministry must respond to these challenges by promoting accountability and value for money across all aspects of our operations. Improving our ability to evaluate programs and make evidence-based decisions will ensure we invest our limited resources in the right activities with the right outcomes for Ontarians.

Strategic Goals and Initiatives

Strategic goals are planned objectives that support each priority by further describing how that priority will be addressed, while initiatives are specific activities that support each goal and turn our vision into practice. The ministry has defined 11 key goals that directly support our three strategic priorities.

Ministry Strategy Map

Goal 1 enhance access to justice through increased channels of service to the public.
Goal 2 develop efficient business processes.
Goal 3  focus on core businesses.
Goal 4 optimize allocation of human resources
Goal 5 increase workforce flexibility 
Goal 6 develop leadership, management and professional skills
Goal 7 become an employer of choice within the OPS
Goal 8 instill a culture of continuous improvement
Goal 9 improve evidence based decision making
Goal 10 increase public reporting of outcomes
Goal 11 promote accountability across the justice system

It’s important to note that while there will be major strategic initiatives over the coming months and years that will drive change within the ministry, routine operations will continue. As a large provincial ministry, we are responsible for many initiatives to maintain our core functions and services. These initiatives will require the same focus and attention.