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Archived - PSC urges targeted hiring in a period of no growth

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OTTAWA, Ont.October 25, 2011 – The 2010-2011 Annual Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC), as well as 11 audit reports and the Report on the Agreement on the Follow-up to the Audit of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, was tabled today in Parliament.

The PSC reported that in 2010-2011 the number of individuals in organizations under the Public Service Employment Act remained practically unchanged from the previous year. Fewer hiring and staffing activities took place than in each of the four previous years. Related reductions were seen in employee mobility and the hiring of new employees.

According to Maria Barrados, President of the PSC, “As the government enters a period of fiscal restraint, there will be increased pressure to ensure that core and guiding values are respected in each appointment process.” Mrs. Barrados added, “The role played by the PSC in providing independent assurance of the integrity of the staffing system will continue to be very important. Targeted hiring will be essential to ensure succession in the public service. The PSC will also need to make sure that the priority administration system is sound. Managers will need to ensure better planning and proper use of the permanent and contingent workforces.”

Based on its oversight activities for 2010-2011, the PSC has concluded that, overall, merit is being respected in the staffing system. Of the 11 organizations audited in 2010-2011, the PSC has placed additional conditions only on the delegation of staffing authorities at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The Commissioner has provided an action plan that outlines how the Office will respond to the audit recommendations, and will provide semi-annual reports on how the plan has been implemented.

The PSC’s audits show that managers are doing a better job of applying merit, and organizational performance in the management of staffing continues to improve. However, a number of issues identified in last year’s audits persist, including inadequate quality control of appointment processes, lack of appropriate assessment and documentation of merit, and poor rationales for non-advertised appointment processes.

With respect to non-partisanship, a small proportion of public servants are politically active. In 2010-2011, the PSC received 94 political candidacy requests from public servants. Effort is still required to ensure that public servants are well informed about their rights and responsibilities with regard to political activities.

In addition, Maria Barrados stated, “The PSC is concerned that a quarter of employees perceive that the staffing process is not fair. We are also preoccupied about the continued low rate of external appointments for persons with disabilities, which can have negative consequences for their representation in the public service over the long term.”

The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament. Its mandate is to safeguard the integrity of the public service staffing system and the non-partisanship of the public service. In addition, the PSC recruits qualified Canadians from across the country.

The PSC also released the Analysis of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 Audit Results: Consideration of priority persons in the public service and the History of Employment Equity in the Public Service and the Public Service Commission of Canada. The reports tabled and released today can be found on the PSC Web site at


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