Information on Agent Agreements
- Part I – Background and Overview of the Requirements
- Part II – Process Requirements
- Part III: Conditions Precedent to Agreement
- Part IV – Assessment and Selection
Part I – Background and Overview of the Requirements
1.1 Responsibilities of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) prosecutes criminal offences under federal law, provides legal advice to investigative agencies and contributes to strengthening the criminal justice system. The PPSC is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (Director).
In all provinces and territories except Quebec and New Brunswick, the PPSC is responsible for prosecuting all drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), regardless of which police agency investigates the alleged offences. In Quebec and New Brunswick, the PPSC prosecutes only drug offences investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
In all provinces and territories, the PPSC prosecutes charges under federal statutes such as the Income Tax Act, the Fisheries Act, the Excise Act, the Customs Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Canada Shipping Act, and the Competition Act, as well as conspiracies and attempts to violate these statutes. In total, over 250 federal statutes contain offences that fall under the PPSC’s jurisdiction to prosecute, and the PPSC regularly prosecutes offences under approximately 40 of those statutes.
The PPSC is responsible for prosecuting all Criminal Code offences in the territories. In the provinces, the PPSC has jurisdiction to prosecute a limited number of Criminal Code offences, including those related to terrorism, criminal organizations, money laundering, proceeds of crime, and fraud. Under arrangements with the provinces, the PPSC may also prosecute Criminal Code offences that are otherwise within a provincial jurisdiction when the accused also faces charges within federal jurisdiction.
1.2 Fixed-Term Agreements
The Agent Agreement – Terms and Conditions (pdf) and an Agent’s Fixed-Term Agreement (Agreement) govern the relationship between the Agent and the PPSC. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook (PPSC Deskbook) contains policies applicable to the conduct of federal prosecutions by agents. Both the T&Cs and the PPSC Deskbook can be found under the Publications tab on the PPSC website.
Agreements entered into as a result of this process will have a maximum term of five years, and be subject to termination by the Director for convenience or for default.
1.3 Fee Schedule
Agents and Agent Firm personnel are paid at an hourly rate, as set out in the table below:
|Agents:||Current Hourly Rates|
|Years of experience at Bar:|
|First 5 Years||$106|
|Starting at the beginning of the 6th year to the end of the 10th year||$126|
|Over 10 years||$150|
|Articling Students, students, paralegals, and iCase Administrator||$56|
The Agent’s rate, based on the number of years of experience at the Bar, is determined on July 1st of each year. Any increase in an Agent’s rate will be applied to services rendered after the July 1st date. Disbursements are calculated in accordance with Part 10 of the T&Cs.
Part II – Process Requirements
Submissions, including those of incumbents, must be clearly marked with the private sector lawyer or law firm’s name, address, and Notice Reference Number. The completed
“Application for a Fixed-Term Agreement” must be signed and submitted with a detailed Addendum responding to Part III of the Application; failure to do so could result in the Application being screened out.
Submissions may be submitted by mail, fax or by email to the individual indicated on the Notice of Opportunity (Notice). They must be received no later than midnight on the date indicated on the Notice. Timely and correct delivery of submissions to the specified address is the sole responsibility of the applicant.
No revisions to submission will be considered after the closing time and date.
2.2 Communications during the Period of this Process
To ensure the integrity of the process, enquiries and other communications regarding the process are to be directed only to the individual whose contact information is provided on the Notice. Enquiries submitted in writing, by fax, letter or e-mail, will be accepted.
2.3 The PPSC reserves the right:
- To consult outside sources regarding the qualifications and capabilities of a private sector lawyer(s) or law firm(s);
- To validate information provided by the private sector lawyer(s) or law firm(s) in their submissions;
- To accept any submission, including legal team members, in whole or in part;
- To cancel and/or reissue this process at any time; and
- To retain all submissions submitted in response to this process.
2.4 Information Required in Submission
2.4.1 In preparing its submission, the private sector lawyer or law firm should consider only the information provided in this document. Any other information the private sector lawyer or law firm may be privy to as a result of having dealt with any federal government official has no bearing on this process.
2.4.2 To permit assessment of the qualifications of applicants, private sector lawyers or law firms must provide detailed curriculum vitæ for each member of the law firm identified in the submission (including support staff); the PPSC reserves the right to contact the references provided with the curriculum vitæ, as well as enforcement agencies and members of the local Bar.
2.4.3 The submission should also identify the name of the Contact Agent (lawyer) within the law firm who will be responsible for the management of the business relationship between the Agent and the PPSC during the term of the Agreement.
In accordance with Part 2 of the T&Cs (Conflicts), in particular s. 2.2 which states
“Agents must not act for the defence anywhere in Canada in matters relating to the statute(s) under which the Agent has been authorized to conduct prosecutions…”, private sector lawyer(s) or law firm(s) should indicate, where feasible, any constraints they can foresee on their ability to represent the Director.
Part III: Conditions Precedent to Agreement
3.1.1 In filing a submission in response to this process, a private sector lawyer or law firm acknowledges its acceptance of the Agreement, the T&Cs, and the PPSC Deskbook, and its willingness to be bound by same if retained as an Agent.
3.1.2 The private sector lawyer or law firm commits over the course of the Agreement to:
- ensure that each lawyer in the proposed team is, and remains, a member in good standing of the provincial bar in the province in which the lawyer operates;
- ensure that each lawyer in the proposed team is, and remains, in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
- ensure that all lawyers and other personnel working on PPSC matters were either identified in the original submission or subsequently approved by the PPSC;
- ensure that all lawyers and other personnel working on PPSC matters have or will obtain a reliability status security clearance from the PPSC;
- provide the services of lawyers proposed at the hourly rates specified in Section 1.3;
- ensure that lawyers and other personnel are assigned tasks which are appropriate with their responsibilities and level of experience and that tasks are allocated to ensure maximum cost effectiveness;
- have the individual identified as Contact Agent assume the relevant responsibilities for the duration of the Agreement. If for reasons which are beyond the Agent’s control, this individual become unavailable to continue the work (e.g., leave firm; become ill; etc.) the Agent shall be responsible for identifying and providing acceptable replacement(s). The PPSC reserves the right to interview the proposed replacement.
3.1.3 Agents who undergo fundamental changes in their organization (e.g., firm merger or dissolution) must advise the PPSC prior to such changes, and may be required by the PPSC to re-submit to an assessment process.
Part IV – Assessment and Selection
4.1.1 The criteria contained herein will be used by the PPSC to assess each submission. Private sector lawyers and law firms (including incumbents) must address these requirements in sufficient depth in their submissions to enable a thorough assessment. The PPSC may seek further information or clarification on the information provided.
4.1.2 The PPSC reserves the right but is not obliged to seek clarification or verify any or all information provided in the submission.
4.2 Phase I: Assessment against Minimum Eligibility Criteria
4.2.1 The PPSC will evaluate the written submissions against the minimum eligibility criteria provided in the table below. Those private sector lawyers and law firms identified as meeting these criteria will proceed to Phase II of the assessment.
|1||The private sector lawyer must be a member in good standing of the provincial law society in the province in which he or she operates.|
|2||The private sector lawyer must be in compliance with the Canada Revenue Agency.|
|3||The private sector lawyer and any personnel working on PPSC matters must possess or obtain a Reliability status security clearance.|
|4||The private sector lawyer must possess criminal or regulatory litigation experience, including trial experience.|
4.3 Phase II: Assessment against Rated Assessment Criteria
4.3.1 The PPSC will evaluate the written submissions against the rated assessment criteria provided below, and will identify the private sector lawyer(s) or law firms that achieve a minimum of 60 points out of 100.
- Experience in conducting criminal or regulatory litigation (40 points)
- Experience in working in collaboration with others (15 points)
- Experience in coordinating multiple stakeholders associated with criminal or regulatory litigation (15 points)
- Ability to analyze legal issues and to provide legal advice (10 points)
- Ability to work independently (10 points)
- Ability to work under pressure (10 points)
4.3.2 Private sector lawyer(s) or law firms achieving a minimum rating of 60% will proceed to the next phase of the assessment process.
4.4 Phase III: Interview, Test, and References
The PPSC reserves the right to interview, test, and verify references of all individuals being proposed as agents.
The PPSC may assess the candidates on criteria such as:
- Knowledge of Canadian criminal law and procedure;
- Understanding of the nature and scope of the work, and of the roles and responsibilities of Agents and of the PPSC;
- Case management abilities;
- Interpersonal skills;
- Personal suitability.
4.5 Phase IV: Selection of Agent
The final assessment and selection of Agent(s) will be based on the results of Phases I to III.
In accordance with s. 4.2.1 (3), each member of an Agent Firm being recommended for a Fixed-Term Agreement who will have access to federal files will be required to obtain, at a minimum, a Reliability status security clearance through the PPSC Security Office, valid for the duration of the Agreement.
Failure to obtain the minimum Reliability status will result in the individual’s recommendation being withdrawn.
Upon confirmation that the security screening process has been satisfactorily completed, the application and the recommendation will be forwarded to the Director for final review and approval.
The selection of a private-sector lawyer or law firm to be an Agent of the Director is confirmed and acknowledged in writing by a Fixed-term Agreement.
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