Archived - Accountability Policy

Table of Contents

I. Policy Statement

The Public Service Employment Act 2003 promotes a delegated appointment system in which merit and non-partisanship must be applied in accordance with the core values of fairness, transparency, access and representativeness. The appointment system is to be less rules-driven while providing greater scope for delegated organizations to customize their appointment processes to meet their respective current and future human resources requirements.

While providing more flexibility in the appointment process, the PSEA also requires that those delegated and sub-delegated to make appointment decisions (e.g., deputy heads, managers) be accountable to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the proper use of their delegated authorities. The performance of the public service organizations which have delegated appointment authorities is therefore to be monitored on an ongoing basis. The PSC assesses their staffing performance through a risk management perspective and reports to Parliament on the health of the public service appointment system.

II. Policy Objective

The objective of this policy is to describe how the Commission will hold deputy heads accountable for the exercise of their delegated appointment authorities in compliance with the legislation, while providing them with an opportunity to demonstrate leadership to continuously improve their management of staffing.

III. Policy Requirements

The Commission holds deputy heads accountable for the exercise of delegated staffing authorities by:

  • providing a Staffing Management Accountability Framework (SMAF);
  • monitoring appointment patterns, information gathering, and risk assessment;
  • requiring deputy heads to report on their management of delegated staffing;
  • providing feedback to delegated organizations so they can take action to improve their staffing system and ultimately to protect merit in the overall system;
  • conducting audits, studies and investigations;
  • using a range of interventions or remedial measures when it finds abuses or questionable practices; and
  • reporting to Parliament on the health of the Public Service staffing system.

Deputy heads must put in place their own management frameworks based on the SMAF, in order to monitor and adjust their organizational staffing performance against PSC expectations, against the risk areas identified for the public service as a whole, and against risk areas identified specifically for their organization. Deputies are strongly encouraged to include bargaining agents when developing their organizational staffing management framework. They are expected to conform to PSC requirements, as well as to recommendations and suggestions for improvement that emerge from PSC feedback.

Deputy heads must ensure that accurate information is maintained in relation to their appointment system as a whole and in relation to individual appointment actions. This is necessary for them to provide a fair and reliable representation of their activities in accordance with the PSEA and with the Commission's policy, delegation and accountability requirements.

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