Public Service Commission tables 2012-2013 Annual Report showing overall staffing decrease

Ottawa, Ont. – November 6, 2013 – The Public Service Commission (PSC)'s 2012-2013 Annual Report was tabled today in Parliament. The Annual Report comprises two volumes: the first provides an overview of activities, and the second contains 12 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 2012-2013, management of staffing in departments and agencies continued to improve. The PSC audits found that most of the key elements of effective staffing management were in place; and deputy heads and managers respected their delegated authority. Some areas still require further attention. For example, some organizations need to continue to improve their internal monitoring of appointment processes, which allows them to detect and correct issues in a timely way.

Fiscal year 2012-2013 was an unusual year in many ways as departments and agencies focused their efforts on redeploying employees and placing persons affected by workforce adjustment, thereby altering normal staffing patterns. Overall hiring to the public service decreased by 28.3%, and the population of the public service covered by the Public Service Employment Act decreased by 5.4%.

In 2012-2013, the PSC enhanced the Priority Administration Program with the objective of allowing the public service to retain qualified employees who have the skills and experience needed for the future. Working in close collaboration with departments and agencies, the PSC was able to place 956 priority persons, which represents a 17% increase over the previous year.

Student hiring accounted for a stable share of overall hiring. The PSC also found that fewer recent graduates and fewer employees under the age of 35 joined the public service in 2012-2013 than the year before. In this context, a focus on renewal and the recruitment of new employees will gain greater importance as the public service moves forward.

Safeguarding the political impartiality of the public service continues to be of critical importance. The 2012 staffing survey found that employees' awareness continued to increase with 73% of respondents aware of their rights and responsibilities with respect to political activities, up from 69% found in the previous year. The PSC will continue to collaborate with departments, agencies and other stakeholders to find ways of sustaining this momentum.

With respect to innovation, the PSC continues to leverage its technology and expertise to offer departments and agencies efficient and cost-effective services tailored to their needs. The PSC has expanded its e-testing capacity and has seen a steady increase in on-line testing, which now represents 50% of all PSC tests administered. Further advances were also made in the use of unsupervised Internet testing and computer-generated testing. These innovative tools are a valuable link in enhancing access to public service jobs and effectively managing high volumes of applicants.

For more information please refer to the report tabled today, found on the PSC Web site.


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Public Service Commission
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