The Law Branch manages and administers all legal services to the Department of Finance. It provides legal advice and legislative services with respect to a range of areas, including financial institutions, federal financial transfers to the provinces and territories, tax policy, trade issues, securities and capital markets regulation, financial administration and Crown corporations, as well as the development and implementation of the federal budget. It also instructs on and monitors major litigation of concern to the Department, including litigation with potential significant fiscal implications.
The Assistant Deputy Minister and Counsel to the Department of Finance serves as chief legal adviser to the Department and oversees the work of the four divisions of the Law Branch. The Assistant Deputy Minister is also Head of the Central Agencies Portfolio of the Department of Justice, which comprises the legal services units located in Finance Canada, the Treasury Board, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, and the Public Service Commission of Canada.
The General Legal Services Division serves all branches of the Department, with the exception of the Tax Policy Branch, through the provision of legal advice. Its responsibilities include:
The Tax Counsel Division primarily serves the Tax Policy Branch of the Department of Finance through the provision of legal advice and legislative drafting. The Tax Counsel Division team is composed of both legal counsel and legislative drafters. Among its many responsibilities are:
The Access to Information and Privacy Division is responsible for administering the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act for the Department. The Division also provides advice and guidance to departmental officials on matters that concern the legislation.
This division is responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring, and improvement of plans to ensure compliance with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service and the Conflict of Interest Code for the Department of Finance. It also provides advice and guidance to employees on values and ethics issues.