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PIPSC Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-44

The Institute has submitted comments to the Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget.

Its brief covers two areas of concern: the first relates to the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act and the Science and Technology (S&T) Infrastructure Initiative, and the second relates to changes to the Shared Services Act.

Science and Technology (S&T) Infrastructure Initiative

PIPSC has concerns about the government’s proposed infrastructure bank and its potential link to the S&T Infrastructure Initiative, and the higher costs associated with the proposed private financing model. The approach laid out is not the sort of investment required to rebuild public science in Canada.

PIPSC recommends exploring lower-cost public financing to meet pressing infrastructure and science needs. The Infrastructure Bank could lead to higher costs for doing government science, which in turn would affect other available science resources and, in any case, is plainly not a sensible approach to managing public funds.

Shared Services Act

Bill C-44 allows the Minister responsible for Shared Services Canada (SSC) to authorize a department to obtain services from other sources or deliver those sources internally.

While the provision is currently limited and conditional, it could weaken Shared Services Canada over the longer term. Bill C-44 seems to overlook the existing capacity to provide these services within the government. What SSC requires now is an open and transparent operational plan, not the piecemeal erosion of its role. Strengthening the role of the government IT workforce through reduced outsourcing and professional development is what is most needed at this point.

 

Publish Date: 24-MAY-2017 02:40 PM