Public Service Commission of Canada

Public Service Commission of Canada

October 06, 2005 10:00 ET

PSC Tables its 2004-05 Annual Report

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 6, 2005) - Today the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) tabled its 2004-05 Annual Report. The report is a reflection on the public service staffing system and a preview of the readiness of departments and agencies to take on the challenges they will face with the coming into force of the new Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), which is expected in December 2005.

"Of the many thousands of transactions that took place last year, most are carried out properly and competent people are being hired," said Maria Barrados, President of the PSC. "However, it is clear that some issues still need to be addressed. We continue to see a reliance on short-term hiring as the route to permanent employment, a lack of transparency in hiring, an under representation of visible minorities and inadequate HR planning."

The overall number of new hires into the public service declined over the past two years. Of those hired, most were appointed on a short-term basis. Short-term hiring, which is intended to meet short-term needs, does not usually involve the more stringent requirements associated with hiring permanent employees. Yet, it has become the main route to permanent employment. Approximately 70 per cent of those hired permanently into the public service last year were hired from this pool of temporary employees. This route to permanent employment presents a risk to fairness and transparency.

The PSC also reports that some public servants believe personal favouritism in staffing occurs within their work unit. The PSC is concerned with this perception, which appears to be linked with how well staffing decisions are communicated by management. This points to the importance of transparency and communication in a well functioning staffing system. Finally, the Report observes that, while progress has been made in hiring women, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities, members of visible minority groups are still significantly under-represented in the federal public service.

The concerns raised in the PSC's 2004-05 Annual Report take on additional significance with the expected coming into force of the new PSEA in December 2005. "Much has been accomplished in preparing for the new PSEA and we continue to work with departments and agencies on the implementation of the new staffing regime," stated Mrs. Barrados. "Organizations recognize that there are gaps in the areas of human resources planning and policy and have committed to address these areas. In the longer term, there is also a need for additional skilled human resources professionals and cultural change in the community, as well as more information systems support and training."

The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament. It is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the staffing system in the federal public service and the political impartiality of public servants, and for recruiting talented Canadians drawn from across the country.

Note: The PSC is hosting a technical briefing for the media starting at 10:00 this morning. The President will then hold a press conference at 11:00. Both events take place at the National Press Theatre, 150 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

The PSC's 2004-05 Annual Report is available on the PSC's web site at: www.psc-cfp.gc.ca.

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