Policy on Considerations for Investigations
The Public Service Commission (Commission) will exercise its discretionary authority to investigate appointment processes in order to provide oversight and ensure that appointments are made in accordance with the new Public Service Employment Act(PSEA).
To communicate the considerations which will guide the Commission in deciding whether to investigate an appointment process.
This policy applies to investigations conducted by the Public Service Commission relating to external appointment processes (PSEA, section 66), non-delegated internal appointment processes (subsection 67(1)), appointment processes where there is reason to believe that an appointment was not free from political influence (section 68), and appointment processes where there is reason to believe that fraud may have occurred (section 69). It does not apply to investigations conducted at the request of the deputy head (section 67(2)) nor to investigations of allegations of improper political activities (sections 118 and 119).
In deciding whether to investigate an appointment process, the Commission will consider information received by any means, including but not limited to audit findings, concerns raised by individuals, internal information and media reports.
The decision to investigate or not to investigate is discretionary and will be determined on a case by case basis. In deciding whether to conduct an investigation the Commission will take into consideration whether:
- the matter falls within the Commission's jurisdiction under sections 66, 67(1), 68 or 69 of the PSEA;
- the matter raises the possibility of a problem in the application of the PSEA that affected the selection for appointment or a breach of the PSEA, the Public Service Employment Regulations (PSER), Commission policies or the terms and conditions of delegation;
- the information received indicates the possibility of a pattern of irregularities in the application of the PSEA, PSER, Commission policies or the terms and conditions of delegation;
- the matter has come to the attention of the Commission by a person involved in the process within six months of the appointment being made or proposed; however, the Commission may, in the interest of fairness and the protection of merit, extend this time period;
- the matter has come to the attention of the Commission by any other means, and the Commission believes it should intervene, whether or not it is within six months of the appointment being made or proposed;
- there exists the possibility of implementing corrective action; and
- there is no recourse available for the matter through other avenues.
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