Service, Communication, governance and efficiency
Timothy E. McGee
First, I would like to extend a warm welcome on behalf of all staff to our incoming President, Anna K. Fung, QC. I have met with Anna to review her four Presidential themes for the work of the Law Society in 2007: Responsiveness, Accessibility, Accountability and Enhanced Lawyer Competence.
These are strong themes, going to the heart of our mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice. Addressing these themes requires focusing the Law Society’s resources on the key performance areas of service, communication, governance and efficiency. In other words, we must focus on maintaining the public confidence and support so essential to the continued independence and relevance of our profession.
These presidential themes are closely aligned with the Law Society management team’s four top operational priorities for 2007, and I would like to share those priorities with you now.
First, we will continue to manage the implementation of the five-part Building for the Future operational plan launched in 2006. Three key initiatives are being rolled out over the course of this year: the new in-field Trust Assurance Program, the new in-house Custodianship Program and, effective January 1, the Small Firm Practice Course. As well, we will continue the work started in 2006 in our Bencher Support and Government Relations programs.
Second, we will develop and present to the Benchers for their consideration a new set of performance measures: defining what we do in our core mandated operations, outlining how those operations are advancing the mandate of the Law Society, and providing recommendations for measurement of progress and performance in those areas. This work is directed at enabling all Benchers to state with confidence, “I understand the objectives of our core mandated operations and how they are being pursued; I believe that achieving those objectives improves the Law Society’s performance as regulator of the profession; and I am satisfied that management is measuring that performance clearly and appropriately.” This work touches on what we all do here at the Law Society, day in and day out.
Third, we will focus on a number of “people” initiatives in 2007. Working with our Employee Council and using the results of an employee survey conducted last year, we will improve our management and communication practices, becoming more responsive to issues identified by employees as important to them. We’re off to a good start with the January 1 kick-off of our Health and Wellness Benefit Program, and with the introduction of our new Employee Recognition Program later this month.
Fourth, we will complete the work started in 2006 around designing and recommending a long-term strategy and plan for the setting of practice fees, building three-year “rolling” operating budgets and assessing our long-term capital needs and future funding options.
I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Anna, the Benchers and our fine staff to turn these four Presidential themes and operational priorities into action through 2007.
Finally, I welcome you to the year’s first issue of the Benchers’ Bulletin , redesigned for a cleaner, brighter look and produced for a similar cost per issue than our previous version.