Department of Justice Canada Client Feedback Survey

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Survey Methodology

Working in close partnership with the Statistical Consultation Group, Statistics Canada, DoJ developed a standardized questionnaire and methodology for collecting client feedback on the degree to which the delivery of legal services is meeting the needs and expectations of clients. Statistics Canada played an important role in reviewing and challenging the proposed approach throughout the design and implementation stages and was also involved in the analyses of survey data and the review of the presentation of findings contained in this report.

Because of the scope of the project, the survey was rolled out over a three year period on a portfolio-by-portfolio basis. The survey was administered to public servants employed across the country in 37 federal departments and agencies. The survey is aimed at potential clients at the EX minus one1 (and equivalent levels) through to Deputy Heads of the client departments and agencies. Based on consultations with service providers, it was determined that while individuals in these groups do not represent the entire population of potential clients, these individuals nevertheless represent the most likely users of legal services on an ongoing basis.

After consultations with Statistics Canada, the Department decided to adopt a census rather than a sampling approach to the survey. The census approach was chosen in part because the target population is of a manageable size and because it allowed us to avoid potential sources of error associated with sampling.

The survey is administered via a web-based questionnaire. Invitations to complete the questionnaire were sent to 19,462 potential respondents. Of these, 6,482 Government of Canada employees completed the questionnaire, resulting in an overall response rate of 33 per cent. Approximately one half (55%) of the respondents reported having used departmental legal services in the 12 months preceding the administration of the survey. All reported results are based on the feedback from these 3,562 respondents (a complete listing of survey population and response rates by department and agency is available in Annex A).

The survey collected feedback from clients on a 10-point Likert scale2 with two anchors: not at all satisfied (1) and completely satisfied (10). Feedback was sought along three key dimensions of service quality – accessibility/responsiveness, usefulness and timeliness. Specifically, the survey sought feedback on each of the following elements:


  • Provided services in the client’s official language of choice.
  • Provided services in a courteous and respectful manner.
  • Fully understood the nature of the problem or issue for which the client sought and received assistance.
  • Provided clients with regular and informative progress reports or ongoing feedback.


  • Advised clients of issues or developments which may impact their department or agency.
  • Proposed appropriate solutions for legal and drafting issues raised.
  • Identified opportunities to use dispute resolution practices, where appropriate.
  • Identified opportunities for early settlement of cases, where appropriate.
  • Provided clear and practical guidance on resolving the issue(s) for which assistance was sought.
  • Involved clients in the development of legal strategy and positions.
  • Assisted clients in developing policy.
  • Developed legal strategies appropriate to clients’ policy and/or program objectives.
  • Effectively worked with clients to identify legal risks.
  • Effectively worked with clients to manage legal risks.
  • Effectively resolved the issue or problem for which assistance was sought and received.
  • Identified appropriate opportunities to implement policies or programs by administrative rather than legislative means (“instrument of choice”).


  • Responded in a timely manner to requests for legal services.
  • Negotiated mutually agreed-upon deadlines.
  • Met mutually agreed-upon deadlines.

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