Public Service Commission of Canada

Public Service Commission of Canada

October 09, 2009 14:06 ET

PSC Says Staffing Is Still Too Slow

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 9, 2009) - The Public Service Commission of Canada's (PSC) 2008-2009 Annual Report, along with five audit reports, were tabled today in Parliament. The PSC also released three studies, four updates to previous studies and one report on investigations. The Annual Report presents the results of the PSC's oversight of the integrity of the staffing system and non-partisanship in the federal public service during 2008-2009.

In this year's Annual Report, the PSC concludes that the overall performance of organizations is acceptable and the PSC is starting to see examples of strong management performance. According to Maria Barrados, President of the Public Service Commission: "The core values of merit and non-partisanship are generally being respected across the public service. However, the PSC is concerned about early and important signs that added vigilance is required to ensure that Canadians will continue to benefit from a merit-based, non-partisan public service in the years ahead."

The PSC identified a number of areas that require ongoing vigilance.

- The PSC is concerned that the time required to staff is still too slow. Slowness in staffing directly affects the ability of the public service to provide quality programs and services to Canadians.

- The PSC noted an increase in the hiring of permanent employees from the casual workforce and is concerned that prior casual experience can provide an advantage to some individuals. The PSC is also concerned about the inappropriate use of temporary workers to fill established public service jobs on a long-term basis.

- The Federal Student Work Experience Program is working reasonably well. However, some student bridging decisions do not demonstrate respect for the legislation, guiding values or the PSC's Appointment Framework.

- The PSC found problems with data quality and reporting. Accurate information is required to monitor the use of non-advertised processes and measure the representation of employment equity members in appointments.

- This year the PSC observed new challenges with respect to protecting the value of non-partisanship. "We are beginning to see more complex cases that may undermine the overall perception of the political impartiality of the public service," said Mrs. Barrados.

The PSC continues to see significant interest in careers in the public service. Organizations under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) continued to grow - an increase of 4.5 % this year. Because of growth, retirements and strong internal mobility, staffing activity also increased.

Based on assessment of risk, the PSC audited five organizations in 2008-2009:

- Health Canada and Infrastructure Canada. The PSC has requested that both organizations provide additional reporting on progress made following audit recommendations.

- The Canada Border Services Agency. The PSC will conduct a follow-up audit within two years to assess whether the organization's appointments and appointment processes comply with the PSEA and the PSC's appointment framework.

- The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The PSC is concerned with the findings of preferential treatment in staffing processes for some executive appointments and former Governor-in-Council appointees. Over the course of the year, the PSC will continue to review and monitor the IRB's staffing processes to ensure compliance with the PSEA. The IRB will also be required to provide additional reporting on progress made in implementing the audit recommendations.

- The Office of the Correctional Investigator Canada. All restrictions on their appointment authorities have been removed.

The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament. Its mandate is to safeguard the integrity of the public service staffing system and the political neutrality of the public service. In addition, the PSC recruits qualified Canadians from across the country.

The PSC's 2008-2009 Annual Report, five audit reports, three studies, four updates to previous studies and a report on investigations conducted by the PSC are available on the PSC's Web site at

Related documents

- 2008-2009 Annual Report and Highlights sheet

- Audit of Infrastructure Canada and Highlights sheet

- Audit of Health Canada and Highlights sheet

- Audit of Canada Border Services Agency and Highlights sheet

- Audit of Immigration Refugee Board and Highlights sheet

- Follow-up audit of the Office of the Correctional Investigator Canada and Highlights sheet

- Study on the data collection of non-advertised appointment processes

- Career progression in the federal public service --Temporary versus permanent start-ups

- Study on the drop-off of employment equity groups in recruitment

- Time to staff in the federal public service - An update

- Acting Appointments and Subsequent Promotions in the Federal Public Service (Update) )

- New indeterminate employees: Who are they? (Update)

- To what extent do casuals become employed under the Public Service Employment Act? (Update)

- Report on investigations conducted by the Public Service Commission

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