Public Service Commission of Canada

Public Service Commission of Canada

May 14, 2009 10:48 ET

Public Service Commission Tables Two Special Reports in Parliament

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 14, 2009) - The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) tabled two special reports today in Parliament - one dealing with a student employment program and the other with unauthorized use of the PSC language tests.

Audit of the Federal Student Work Experience Program and subsequent appointments through bridging mechanisms

The audit concluded that overall, the use of the FSWEP as a staffing tool is operating reasonably well. The audit identified a small proportion of unsatisfactory appointments (6%) - circumventing the system to appoint a student chosen in advance. A 2003 PSC study found a 19% rate of pre-matching. Although the methods of estimation differed, it is a significant improvement from the 2003 study.

FSWEP students can be bridged into the public service. Over a third of the bridging appointment processes were identified as unsatisfactory.

"Over one-fifth of the FSWEP participants obtain term or indeterminate (permanent) jobs in the federal public service through bridging. Improvements need to be made in how these processes are used." said Maria Barrados, President of the PSC.

The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) is the primary vehicle through which federal departments and agencies recruit students for temporary jobs. This program, established in 1990, provides over 10 000 students a year with temporary jobs in federal organizations across Canada. The bridging mechanisms allow managers to hire recent post-secondary graduates who participated in the FSWEP or other student employment programs.

Audit of possible unauthorized access to Public Service Commission Second Language Evaluation (SLE) tests by the Nec Plus Ultra language school

The audit concluded that the NPU language school had unauthorized possession and use of the SLE reading and writing tests. The evidence showed that for the SLE reading and writing tests, NPU students had success rates far exceeding those of the general population. The evidence also shows that NPU gave its students practice tests that are practically identical to the PSC SLE tests for reading and writing.

"We take this matter very seriously and we are committed to take the necessary steps to maintain the integrity of our tests and the staffing system." said Maria Barrados.

As a result of this audit, the PSC is taking a series of measures to ensure that the integrity of the language testing process is preserved:

- The PSC is replacing the two tests that have been affected;

- NPU students who took the reading and/or writing test following their training will be re-tested, as appropriate;

- The recommendations from this audit will be incorporated into the PSC's test security action plan, and measures are already underway to tighten test security.

The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament. It is mandated to safeguard the integrity of the public service staffing system and the political neutrality of the public service. Audits, evaluations and studies allow the PSC to provide objective information, advice and assurance to Parliament and Canadians about the integrity and effectiveness of the appointment process.

Related links to Audit reports and Highlights:

Audit of the Federal Student Work Experience Program and subsequent appointments through bridging mechanisms

Audit of possible unauthorized access to Public Service Commission Second Language Evaluation (SLE) tests by the Nec Plus Ultra language school

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