Public Service Commission’s Revised Political Activities Self-Assessment Tool (13-04)

Notice

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2013-03-11

Note: The following message was sent to deputy heads on March 8, 2013.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is pleased to announce the recent launch of the revised Political Activities Self-Assessment Tool.

The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) recognizes the right of federal public service employees to engage in political activities while maintaining the principle of political impartiality in the public service. 

The PSEA defines two types of political activities: political activities related to an employee’s own political candidacy in an election and non-candidacy political activities which include supporting or opposing a political party or candidate.

The self-assessment tool will help employees assess whether their participation in a non-candidacy political activity could impair, or be perceived as impairing, their ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner. The tool examines each non-candidacy political activity in light of the interplay of the following factors: the nature of the non-candidacy political activity, the nature of the employee’s current public service duties, the level and visibility of their position and their personal visibility. 

The revised tool, launched as a one-year pilot, also allows users to:

  • Select from a more comprehensive list of political activities including the use of social media;
  • Obtain a printable final report with more detailed results; and
  • Provide anonymous feedback on the tool itself if they so desire.

The self-assessment tool is one of a number of resources available to assist employees in making an informed decision about whether to participate in a non-candidacy political activity.  Employees are encouraged to discuss their specific circumstances with their manager, the Designated Political Activities Representative in your organization or the PSC’s Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate. They may also consult the PSC’s Web site.

A communiqué is attached to advise your employees of the launch of the revised self-assessment tool. Should you or your Designated Political Activities Representative require additional information or assistance with your communications efforts related to political activities, you may contact Kathy Nakamura, Director General, Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate, at 613-995-1125.

I appreciate your continued commitment and support in ensuring a professional and non-partisan public service.

Anne-Marie Robinson
President

Communiqué to employees