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Archived - Public Service Commission tables annual report - increased hiring in a smaller public service

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For Immediate Release

October 21, 2014 – Gatineau (Québec)

The Public Service Commission’s (PSC) 2013-2014 Annual Report was tabled today in Parliament. The Annual Report comprises two volumes: The first provides an overview of its activities and the second contains seven audit reports. The PSC reports to Parliament on its mandate to promote and safeguard merit-based appointments and, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to protect the non-partisan nature of the public service.

Based on all its oversight and feedback mechanisms, the PSC concluded that, in 2013-2014, management of staffing in departments and agencies continued to improve. The PSC audits found that most key elements of staffing frameworks were in place, and deputy heads and delegated managers respected their delegated authority. However, some recurring issues were identified including the need for improved monitoring of appointment decisions and improvements in how appointment decisions are substantiated. The PSC will provide targeted guidance and support in those areas.

In 2013-2014, the population in organizations coming under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) decreased by 2.6%. Following three consecutive years of decline, this population in March 2014 was 10% lower than in March 2011. Notwithstanding this, in 2013-2014 we saw an increase in hiring and staffing activities across all tenures. While student hiring increased by 8.6%, it represented a slightly smaller proportion of new hires as compared to the previous year. We saw fewer permanent hires of new graduates. Moreover, employees under the age of 35 represented 17% of the permanent population in 2013-2014, down from 18.4% the year before. This proportion has declined for the fourth consecutive year; in 2010-2011, this age group accounted for 21.2% of permanent employees. The PSC is preoccupied by these trends, which have implications for the renewal and future composition of the public service. 

Quick facts

  • The PSEA population in March 2014 was 195 081, down from 200 250 in March 2013.
  • There were a total of 72 527 hiring and staffing activities in 2013‑2014, compared to 64 925 in 2012‑2013.
  • Hiring and staffing activities in 2013‑2014 remained below the levels observed in 2011‑2012, prior to the implementation of Spending Review 2012.
  • Through the PSC’s Priority Administration Program, 1 235 persons with a priority entitlement were re-deployed into new positions, a 29.2% increase from 2012‑2013. Most of these were employees declared surplus as a result of Spending Review 2012.
  • The 2013 staffing survey found that employees' awareness continued to increase with 75% of respondents aware of their rights and responsibilities with respect to political activities.
  • As of 2013‑2014, e‑testing represented 54% of all the tests administered by the PSC, including Second Language Evaluation.

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