Corporate Risk Profile 2017-18

1. Introduction

Integrated risk management is recognized as a core element of effective public administration. The Public Service Commission (PSC) intends to define and manage the risks inherent in meeting the organization’s objectives. Risks evolve over time. PSC wishes to ensure that existing and new risks are identified and managed within acceptable tolerance levels. Risk management processes need to be integrated into existing planning processes and management activities.

 The PSC’s overall objective is to have procedures to:

  • manage risk according to best practices;
  • fully document major threats and opportunities; 
  • clearly identify risk exposure;
  • implement cost-effective mitigation strategies to reduce risks; and,
  • ensure conscious and properly evaluated risk decisions.

The Corporate Risk Profile provides an overview of our key risks, demonstrates how they are tied to our strategic management priorities and facilitates shared understanding of our organizational context. It is an important internal communication tool that will allow us to seek all employees’ involvement in the phases of risk management. 

2. Methodology summary

Our risk management cycle is based on five key phases: establishing the context, identifying risks, analyzing and assessing risks, taking action on these risks and finally, being accountable, monitoring, and revising risks. Throughout the process, the focus is on communication and updating of information concerning risks.  

The monitoring of risks is ongoing; they are reviewed and updated on a quarterly basis by the Branches, the Resource Management Committee (RMC) and the Executive Management Committee (EMC).  The evolution of risks is also presented on demand to the Internal Audit Committee (IAC). The overall governance for the risks resides with EMC.

3. Context

a. The organization

The mandate of the PSC is to promote and safeguard merit-based appointments and, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to protect the non-partisan nature of the public service. The PSC reports independently on its mandate to Parliament.

Under the delegated staffing system set out in the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), the PSC fulfills its mandate by providing policy guidance and expertise, as well as by conducting effective oversight. In addition, the PSC delivers innovative staffing and assessment services.

b. Programs and services

The PSC Program Alignment Architecture appearing on the next page consists of one strategic outcome and four programs.  Since the PSC has only one strategic outcome, all risks are correlated to it. For more information about programs and activities, see the 2017-18 Departmental Plan.

c. Priorities

The Corporate Risk Profile described in this document identified the key risks which have the potential to affect the capacity of the PSC to deliver its programs and services in accordance with the priorities it has established.

The PSC’s four priorities for 2017-18 are as follow:

  • 1. Provide leadership, in collaboration with deputy heads, in promoting and safeguarding the non-partisan nature of the federal public service.
  • 2. Ensure the integrity of the staffing system through policy support and ongoing oversight, working in collaboration with deputy heads.
  • 3. Contribute to the development of a competent and professional public service through the provision of high quality services.
  • 4. Mobilize a high performing workforce in a healthy, respectful and modern workplace.

d. Public Service Commission operating environment

The PSC operates in a dynamic and complex environment that requires it to be efficient, adaptive and innovative. It uses integrated risk management, including the annual development of a Corporate Risk Profile, to identify and respond to challenges and opportunities.

For 2017-18, government-wide changes to HR programs and systems, including the ongoing adoption by departments and agencies of the PSC’s new appointment framework, will continue to directly impact the PSC

To deliver effectively on its mandate, the PSC must adapt to new ways of realizing its activities that, in some cases, demand different skills than what were traditionally required. Externally, the number of government-wide program and system changes warrant a continuous focus and alignment of resources to ensure the PSC can achieve its priorities.

Government of Canada Spending and Outcome Area

  • Spending area: Government Affairs
  • Outcome area: Well-managed and efficient government operations

PSC Strategic Outcome

To provide Canadians with a highly competent, non-partisan and representative public service, able to provide service in both official languages, in which appointments are based on merit and the values of fairness, access, representativeness and transparency.

Program Alignment Architecture

  • 1.1.0 Staffing System Integrity and Political Impartiality
    • 1.1.1 Staffing and Non-partisanship Policies, Advice and Support
    • 1.1.2 Delegation, Political Activities, Official Languages and Priority Administration
  • 1.2.0 Staffing Services and Assessment
    • 1.2.1 Staffing Services
    • 1.2.2 Assessment
    • 1.2.3 Enabling Infrastructure
  • 1.3.0 Oversight of Integrity in Staffing and of Non-partisanship
    • 1.3.1 Monitoring
    • 1.3.2 Audit and Data Services
    • 1.3.3 Investigations
  • 2.1.0 Internal Services
    • 2.1.1 Management and Oversight
    • 2.1.2 Communications
    • 2.1.3 Legal
    • 2.1.4 Human Resources Management
    • 2.1.5 Financial Management
    • 2.1.6 Information Management
    • 2.1.7 Information Technology
    • 2.1.8 Real Property
    • 2.1.9 Material
    • 2.1.10 Acquisition

4. Public Service Commission’s Corporate Risks 2017-18

Corporate risk
Risk # Risks and Impacts Type Mitigation Strategies PAA Links Priorities Links Accountability Assessment
1 There is a risk that system-wide changes may impact the ability of the PSC to meet its priorities in a timely manner. External
  • ensure that PSC’s staff are well supported (e.g., training, guidance) to address the different aspects of the implementation of public service-wide changes
  • reallocate resources in a timely and effective manner
  • leverage internal governance committees to make recommendations on prioritizing work and adjust according to changes in enterprise-wide projects’ timelines
  • ensure representation on relevant inter-organizational committees
  • leverage partnerships with similar organizations to share knowledge to meet priorities
  • 1.1.0 Staffing System Integrity and Political Impartiality
  • 1.2.0 Staffing Services and Assessment
  • 1.3.0 Oversight of Integrity in Staffing and of Non-Partisanship
  • VP, OB
  • VP, SIB
  • VP, IB
  • VP, CAB

Medium probability

Medium impact

2 There is a risk that the PSC may not have the individual or collective skill sets to deliver on the organization’s initiatives. Internal
  • identify potential skill gaps and invest in employee development and other strategies
  • equip managers to lead workforce renewal efforts, manage performance and engage employees in finding ways to strengthen and improve the PSC’s capacity to deliver on its mandate
  • enhance change management and change leadership skills among PSC employees
  • partner with central agencies and organizations on initiatives to supplement needed skills
Internal Services All
  • VP, OB
  • VP, SIB
  • VP, IB
  • VP, CAB

Medium probabliity

High impact

5. Public Service Commission’s Corporate Risk Matrix 2017-18

  • Risk 1: medium probability, medium impact
  • Risk 2: medium probablity, high impact

6. Correlation between risks and strategic outcome

Since the PSC has just one strategic outcome in its PAA, risks are shown in Section 4 in order to indicate how they are related to priorities and programs.

7. Risk monitoring and reporting

The PSC has a risk registry containing all key risks. The registry is used as a tracking tool to produce quarterly reports submitted to RMC and EMC. After the review by RMC, the EMC receives information along with analyses, draws its own conclusions and decides how to manage risks. If a risk develops which demands special attention, the EMC will ask the directorate concerned to establish a more detailed risk management action plan bearing in mind its risk tolerance. The Internal Audit Committee (IAC) also monitors evolving risks.

When the fiscal year ends, the information from the quarterly reports is compiled for the Departmental Performance Report. 

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