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I would like to present the Public Service Commission's (PSC)
2010-2011 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP).
The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament, mandated to safeguard the integrity of the public service staffing system and the political neutrality of the public service. In addition, the PSC recruits qualified Canadians from across the country.
Our strategic outcome has remained constant — to provide Canadians with a highly competent, non-partisan and representative public service, able to provide services in both official languages and in which appointments are based on the values of access, fairness, transparency and representativeness.
The PSC's priorities for this planning period reflect the significant role and contribution of the PSC in the legislative review of the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA), especially with respect to the implementation of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).
Our key priorities for 2010-2011 are to:
In line with its statutory responsibility to make appointments to and within the public service and to independently oversee the health of the staffing system and the non-partisan character of the public service, in 2010-2011, the PSC will continue the work underway since 2008-2009 on the assessment of the PSEA. After several years of experience under the new legislation, the PSC set out to examine whether the Act has been implemented as intended and whether it adequately equips the PSC and others to protect merit and non-partisanship in the years ahead. The results of the PSC's assessment of the PSEA will be the foundation of its contribution to the review of the PSMA led by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
As keeper of the values of merit and non-partisanship, the PSC has been given a special mandate by Parliament. A rigorous, evidence-based approach to monitoring and oversight is crucial in a delegated, values-based staffing system. The PSC will continue to implement the recommendations resulting from the independent review of its oversight activities that was conducted in 2008-2009.
The PSC will also continue to modernize its services and extend its cost-recovery operations. Increased efforts will be devoted to marketing its services across the public service. We will be entering the final year of funding for the Public Service Staffing Modernization Project and we are seeking sustainable funding for the operation of the system beyond March 31, 2011.
As a model organization, we will be focusing on improving employee engagement and talent management. We are also continuing to implement budget reductions resulting from the Human Resources Horizontal Review that was conducted in 2008-2009.
Our achievements would not be possible without the engagement and commitment to excellence of our employees, at all levels of the PSC. I continue to count on their dedication and professionalism in carrying out our mandate, on behalf of Parliament and all Canadians.
We recruit talented Canadians from across the country to the public service. We continually renew our recruitment services to meet the needs of a modern and innovative public service.
On behalf of Parliament, the PSC safeguards the integrity of staffing and the non-partisan nature of the public service. In this respect, the PSC works closely with government but is independent from ministerial direction and is accountable to Parliament.
The PSC is mandated to:
The Program Activity Architecture structure illustrated below allows the PSC to effectively pursue its mandate and contribute to the achievement of the PSC's strategic outcome.
|1.1.0 Appointment Integrity and Political Neutrality||1.1.1 Policy, Regulation and Exclusion Approval Orders
1.1.2 Delegated Appointment Authorities
1.1.3 Non-delegated Authorities
1.1.4 Political Activities
|1.2.0 Oversight of Integrity of Staffing and Political Neutrality||1.2.1 Monitoring
1.2.2 Audit, Evaluation and Studies
|1.3.0 Staffing Services and Assessment||1.3.1 Staffing Services
|2.1.0 Internal Services
These services contribute to all program activities
|2.1.1 Governance and Management Support
2.1.2 Resource Management Services
2.1.3 Asset Management Services
The following is a summary of expected results and financial resources associated with each program activity that contributes to the achievement of the PSC's strategic outcome.
Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes: Government Affairs - Safeguarding and fostering the integrity and political neutrality of public servants
|Program Activity||Forecast Spending
|Planned Spending||Expected result|
|1.1.0 Appointment Integrity and Political Neutrality||12,175||12,835||12,853||12,853||Recruitment strategies, staffing practices and political activities consistent with the PSEA and PSC strategic outcome are implemented across the public service
(Expected result refined in 2010-2011 to include political activities)
|1.2.0 Oversight of Integrity of Staffing and Political Neutrality||21,233||22,379||22,384||22,384||Organizations have implemented PSC monitoring and audit recommendations and corrective actions as a result of investigations that contribute to safeguarding the integrity of staffing and political neutrality
Enhanced risk-based oversight of the integrity of public service staffing
|1.3.0 Staffing Services and Assessment1||36,573||29,729||21,872||21,872||Staffing and assessment services and products that meet the needs of federal departments and organizations operating within a more fully delegated staffing environment under the PSEA|
|2.1.0 Internal Services||38,214||34,019||33,654||33,654||Sound and effective management practices and support functions for the delivery of the PSC's mandate|
|Net planned spending||108,195||98,962||90,763||90,763|
To achieve its strategic outcome during the planning period, the PSC has chosen to focus its attention and resources on the following priorities.
|Operational Priority||Type||Linkages to Program Activity||Key actions for 2010-2011|
|I. Play a leadership role in the review of the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA) through an evidence-based assessment of implementation of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), including recommendations for change||new||1.1.0 Appointment Integrity and Political Neutrality||
|II. Provide ongoing independent oversight and assurance to Parliament on the integrity of the staffing system and the non‑partisanship of the federal public service||previously committed||1.1.0 Appointment Integrity and Political Neutrality
1.2.0 Oversight of Integrity of Staffing and Political Neutrality
|III. Provide ongoing independent oversight and assurance to Parliament on the integrity of the staffing system and the non‑partisanship of the federal public service||previously committed||1.3.0 Staffing Services and Assessment||
|Management Priority||Type||Linkages to Program Activity||Key actions for 2010-2011|
|IV. Build on the model organization||revised||All program activities||
The context for the PSC's work is ever changing and complex. Yet the essential role of the PSC in protecting merit and non-partisanship in Canada's public service remains constant. A number of external factors will impact the PSC over the planning period. Several key factors follow:
The PSC faces uncertainty with regard to the demand for services that are offered on a cost‑recovery basis. There is also uncertainty about whether the public service will continue to grow. Current demographics suggest that, as Canada's population ages, its future workforce will be smaller and more diverse, in both the public and private sectors.
The renewal of the public service is a multi-year undertaking. Given the public service rate of retirement, the recruitment of both post-secondary graduates and mid-career professionals remains important for the renewal of the public service. The PSC plays a critical role in enabling the government to meet its renewal objectives. Attracting, engaging and retaining workers representative of Canadian society in the future will depend on evolving perceptions of public service and the extent to which modern staffing practices and services effectively support targeted renewal efforts.
On February 6, 2009, the Prime Minister announced the creation of a single focal point within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and a more explicit recognition of the roles of deputy heads in managing people to make human resources governance more coherent. While these changes focus the efforts across the federal government, the role of the PSC and the staffing system remain unchanged. The highly delegated staffing model calls on deputies to provide leadership in their organizations and on managers to exercise the staffing authorities delegated to them in a manner consistent with the appointment values of the PSEA. In its oversight of the integrity of that staffing system and its protection of non-partisanship, the PSC fosters collaboration and collective understanding to implement the PSEA.
External risks and challenges
In July 2009, the Prime Minister designated the President of the Treasury Board as the minister responsible for the legislative review of the PSEA and the Public Service Labour Relations Act, two of the main pieces of legislation under the PSMA. Given its legislated mandate, the PSC will support and collaborate in the TBS-led review of the PSMA through its evidence-based assessment of the PSEA. To accomplish this objective, the PSC must undertake a systematic assessment of its data and experience to date under the provision of the PSEA.
The PSC continues to place priority on the provision of independent oversight and assurance to Parliament on the integrity of the merit-based staffing system and the non-partisanship of the public service. Increasingly more complex cases of political activity challenge non-partisanship. New public servants are highly educated and share an affinity for technology. Social networking Web sites and blogs give visibility to the political activities and affiliations of public servants, blurring the boundaries between professional and private life. The PSC recognizes that the political neutrality of the public service may be at risk if it does not enhance understanding of the value of non-partisanship. Its mitigation strategies include fostering a broad policy dialogue and strengthening communications.
Ongoing resource reallocations can lead to uncertainty about future levels of funding. Organizations therefore require efficient and effective means of recruiting and promoting public servants who can meet both current and future needs. The PSC plans to provide integrated and modernized staffing and assessment services in an environment in which optional services may decline. In cases where organizations opt out of using PSC services and develop their own assessment tools, the result could be duplication of effort by these organizations. As well, unlike the assessment tools available through the PSC, which have been proven and are defendable in court, organizations using their own tools could jeopardize the quality, transparency and fairness of staffing processes. Managing this risk will require both careful monitoring and targeted marketing promoting the PSC's products and services as enabling particular departments and agencies to meet significant goals.
The PSC remains attentive to the need to accurately estimate the demand of departments and agencies. If it does not identify and put in place the necessary systems, tools and capacities, the PSC will encounter difficulty in the cost-recovery environment.
One key tool enables electronic recruitment for federal government organizations that are recruiting outside the public service. The Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS) has assisted organizations in the public service with the management of job applications for a number of years. Furthering its commitment to integrated and modernized staffing and assessment, the Commission will develop a funding strategy for PSRS to continue its operation and to develop a comprehensive solution for both external and internal staffing beyond 2011, when funding will have to be renewed. Without adequate funding, the PSC may have to sunset the current PSRS, leaving organizations with no centrally managed automated tool to support ongoing recruitment and staffing needs.
Internal risks and challenges
Sound, effective and efficient management practices and employee engagement are critical to the delivery of the PSC's mandate. Like many other organizations, the PSC is absorbing budget cuts resulting from the 2008-2009 horizontal review of the government's central human resources management functions.
As a public service organization, the PSC feels the impact of demographics on its own workforce. Its main occupational group, the personnel administration group, has a significant turnover rate. Most PSC employees have been with the Commission for five years or less. The portrait of its workforce demonstrates that the PSC needs to focus on its people. Without engagement of employees, along with training and development and succession planning, the PSC will not be able to mobilize its human resources to achieve its priorities. Ongoing internal communication, talent management and enhanced learning and development opportunities are among the approaches that the PSC will emphasize in the management of these internal risks.
Corporate risk profile and mitigation strategies
The PSC continues to approach risk as an integral part of its planning process, recognizing the need for risk management in all of its operations and at the corporate level. Further details of the PSC's corporate risk profile and mitigation strategies, all of which are monitored on a regular basis by its senior management, are available in the electronic version of this document in the publications section of the PSC Web site (www.psc-cfp.gc.ca).
Canada's Economic Action Plan
As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Public Service Commission has received funding to enhance federal public service student employment in the amount of $70K (horizontal item as part of Budget 2009). The PSC will be spending this full amount in 2009-2010 and in 2010‑2011.
The following graph illustrates the PSC's spending trend from 2006-2007 to 2012-2013. This graph includes planned spending for Assessment Services, for which the PSC, since 2005-2006, has had the approval from TBS to use cost recovery.
Analysis of spending trend
The planned spending for 2010-2011 of $98,962K represents a decrease of $9,233K from the forecast spending of $108,195K in 2009-2010. The following table explains the variation between the 2009-2010 forecast spending and the 2010-2011 planned spending figures:
|Carry forward (used to cover various projects and initiatives)||($4,917K)|
|Severance pay, parental benefits and vacation credits payable upon termination of employment||($4,436K)|
|Increase in Public Service Staffing Modernization Project (PSSMP) funding||$203K|
The planned spending of $90,763K for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 represents a reduction of $8,199K from the 2010-2011 planned spending of $98,962K, which is mainly due to the sunset of PSSMP, the additional reduction pertaining to the Human Resources Horizontal Review, the budget reduction related to procurement savings, the sunset of the funding for the federal public service student employment offset by an increase in the salary compensation and employee benefit plans.
This table indicates the information presented to Parliament before approving a supply bill. Parliament approves the voted items on an annual basis and the statutory items are displayed for information purposes only.
|Vote # or Statutory Item (S)||Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording||2009-10
|(S)||Contributions to Employee Benefit Plans||11,952||13,195|
|Total Voted and Statutory Items||91,767||98,962|
The difference of $7,195K between the 2010-2011 Main Estimates of $98,962K and the 2009‑2010 Main Estimates of $91,767K is due to the inclusion of funding related to the PSSMP ($6,757K), salary compensation ($4,182K), funding for enhancing federal public service student employment ($70K) offset by a budget reduction related to the Human Resources Horizontal Review ($3,205K), procurement savings ($225K), an adjustment to the Employee Benefit Plans ($219K), contribution to the 2011 census ($133K) and Public Opinion Research ($32K).