Q. How will staffing be fair and transparent if merit doesn't mean "best qualified"?

A. While "best qualified" will no longer need to be the basis for appointment decisions, there are many safeguards in the system to ensure that appointments are made in a fair and transparent manner. Specifically:

  • Managers will establish merit criteria which must be identified at the beginning of an appointment process and included in any advertisement for an appointment process;
  • Merit criteria must be relevant based on the needs of the position and the organization;
  • Informal discussion will provide an opportunity for managers to explain their decisions;
  • Participants in internal appointment processes will be able to make a complaint to the PSST if they believe there has been an abuse of authority;
  • Managers must document the reasons for their appointment decisions; and
  • The Commission may audit deputy heads on the exercise of their authority to establish merit criteria.

Q. Why have you chosen only four guiding values from all those listed in the preamble?

A. The four guiding values the Commission has identified as key (fairness, transparency, access and representativeness) are those which most influence the appointment process. Deputy heads will be held accountable for respecting these values. The preamble sets out merit and non-partisanship as key result values.

Q. Why haven't you used efficiency as a value?

A. The Commission expects that through the effective use of HR planning and organizational policies, efficiencies will be realized. Efficiency will also be one of the tests that we as a central agency will have to pass. We will ask ourselves if our integrated appointment framework (policy, delegation and accountability) provides opportunities for organizations to develop flexible and efficient appointment systems. However, deputy heads are not accountable to the PSC for efficiency.

Q. What happened to the result value of competence?

A. Competence is a part of merit and will be achieved by the application of the new merit criteria.

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