Corporate Risk Profile 2018-19

1. Introduction

Integrated risk management is recognized as a core element of effective public administration. Since the risks evolve over time, the Public Service Commission (PSC) ensures that existing and new risks are identified and managed within acceptable tolerance levels. Risk management processes are integrated into existing planning processes and management activities in order for the PSC to meet its objectives.

 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
  • ensure conscious and properly evaluated decisions about risk

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

2. Methodology summary

Our risk management cycle is based on 5 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 information concerning risks.  

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

3. Context

a. The organization

Core Responsibility

Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship

The PSC's enduring function is defined under its single Core Responsibility. The PSC promotes and safeguards a merit-based, representative and non-partisan public service that delivers results for all Canadians.

Through policy direction and guidance, the PSC supports departments and agencies in the hiring of qualified individuals into and within the public service, helping to shape a workforce reflecting Canada’s diversity. The PSC delivers recruitment programs and assessment services supporting the strategic recruitment priorities of the Government of Canada and the renewal of the public service, leveraging modern tools to provide Canadians with barrier-free access to public service jobs.

The PSC oversees public service hiring, ensuring the integrity of the hiring process. The PSC provides guidance to employees regarding their rights and obligations related to political activities and renders decisions on political candidacy, respecting employees’ rights to participate in political activities, while protecting the non-partisan nature of the public service.

b. Priorities and planned results

The key risks described in this document have the potential to affect the capacity of the PSC to achieve its priorities and planned results.

For 2018-19, the PSC has identified the following priorities to achieve its Core Responsibility:

  1. Provide leadership and support in efficiently building a diverse and highly competent public service.
  2. Promote and safeguard the integrity of the staffing system and non-partisan nature of the federal public service.
  3. Contribute to the development of a competent and professional public service through the provision of high-quality services.
  4. Support a high-performing workforce through the promotion of a healthy, respectful and modern workplace.

Overall, the activities will focus on priorities that will help the PSC reach the results identified in its Departmental Results Framework, which are:

  1. The public service efficiently hires the workforce of the future that is capable and ready to deliver results for Canadians.
  2. The public service reflects Canada’s diversity.
  3. Canadians are served by a politically impartial public service.

c. 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.

In 2018-19, through experimentation and innovation, the PSC will seek out new approaches to further modernize the public service staffing system and address key challenges in staffing and recruitment. The success of these initiatives will depend on the PSC’s ability to recruit people with the right skills in specific occupational groups. In addition, the PSC’s new Departmental Results Framework introduces a concept that has the PSC establish performance indicators for the public service staffing regime, rather than solely for our organization. The implementation by departments and agencies of the PSC’s programs will have a direct impact on its results. This new framework, along with several government-wide program and system changes, warrants a continuous focus and alignment of resources to ensure that the PSC can achieve its priorities.

4. Public Service Commission’s corporate risks 2018-19

Public Service Commission’s corporate risks 2018-19
Risk No. Risks and impacts Type Mitigation strategies Priority links Results Accountability Assessment
1 There is a risk that the PSC’s change agenda will not generate the expected outcomes in the staffing system. External

Experiment and explore new ways to attract and recruit, and report on results

Increase outreach, education, and engagement with stakeholders to provide support for emerging issues, and to ensure the appointment framework is well understood

Identify and promote innovative strategies to incentivize deputy heads, hiring managers and HR professionals to modernize how staffing is done in the public service

1,3 A EMC members Medium probability

High impact
2 There is a risk that the quality and timeliness of information will not be sufficient to enable the PSC to report on the integrity of the staffing system and support organizational and public service-wide decision-making. External

Expedite the development and implementation of a data management strategy

Pursue alternative strategies (including stakeholder partnerships) for data access, quality and analysis

Increase internal capacity for data quality and data analytics

1,2,3 A,B,C EMC members High probability

Medium impact
3 There is a risk that the PSC will not have sufficient internal capacity and expertise in specific occupational groups to deliver on some government-wide initiatives and on some of the PSC’s priorities. Internal

Use diverse and aggressive resourcing strategies

Improve identification, retention, development and re-allocation of talent

Partner with central agencies, organizations and external stakeholders on initiatives to supplement needed skills

4 A,B,C EMC members High probability

Medium impact
4 There is a risk that the implementation of multiple government-wide initiatives could limit the PSC’s ability to innovate and deliver on its key priorities. External

Prioritize innovation initiatives and allocate resources accordingly

Implement initiatives that simplify staffing

Partner with central agencies and organizations to maintain alignment on government-wide initiatives

1,2,3,4 A,B,C EMC members High probability

Medium impact

5. Public Service Commission’s corporate risk matrix 2018-19

  • Risk 1: medium probability, high impact
  • Risk 2: high probability, medium impact
  • Risk 3: high probability, medium impact
  • Risk 4: high probability, medium impact

6. Monitoring, reporting and using risk information

The PSC monitors risks via quarterly deliverable reports submitted to RMC and EMC. After the review by RMC, EMC receives information along with the analysis, draws its own conclusions and decides how to manage risks. If a risk develops which demands special attention, EMC will ask the directorate concerned to establish a more detailed risk management action plan bearing in mind its risk tolerance. The IAC also monitors evolving risks.

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

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