4 APR 2017
New Direction on Staffing:
In 2005, the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) was introduced to give deputy heads greater accountability and to focus on values-based staffing. Over the past ten years, policy, oversight and guidance requirements resulted in limited use of flexibilities intended by the 2005 legislation.
According to the Public Service Commission (PSC), oversight and monitoring indicated that the public service staffing system was healthy and well positioned for renewed flexibilities. As a result the PSC decided to change their Appointment Policy. This contradicts the aforementioned statement of “healthy and well positioned” however this is what has happened.
On 12 November 2015, the PSC has developed a new “Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument (ADAI)” that came into force on 1 April 2016.
Nature of the Change
The intent was to have fewer reporting and administrative requirements. This allowed for more managerial discretion and a new approach to monitoring and oversight.
The elements that were affected are:
Appointment Policy – PSC streamlined policy requirement (from 12 to 1)
Delegation Instrument – Simplified delegation, greater ability to customize organization
Oversight – Organizations (departments) play a key role in monitoring health of their staffing system.
The PSC in effect has less to do, less involvement and only focus on system-wide monitoring. In my humble opinion, the PSC has delegated the responsibility to the level where the most complaints and abuse were evident.
The PSCJAC is information and these plans were developed and implemented without meaningful consultation from the labour representatives. We continue to push for more input in the process and we are told it’s early in the process. A perfect time to consider the input from labour representatives on topics like staffing pools, public service recourse process, the limited nature of candidate recourse and other long standing members concerns.
The PSCJAC meeting presented a new look and feel for Job Advertisements. In addition a PSC Survey of Staffing to be launched in February or March of 2018. The survey is laden with questions for management and only four questions for public service members.
It remains to be seen there are any real improvements to the staffing process under New Direction for Staffing. This change is more about reducing the workload for PSC and delegating the work to already overwhelmed departmental managers.
Advisory Council Director
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada