2019-20 Departmental Plan
Table of contents
- President’s message
- Plans at a glance and operating context
- Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond
- Spending and human resources
- Additional information
- Appendix: definitions
I am pleased to present the 2019-20 Departmental Plan of the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC).
For over a century, the PSC has been mandated to promote and safeguard merit-based appointments and protect the non-partisan nature of the federal public service. Under the delegated staffing system set out in the Public Service Employment Act, we fulfill our responsibilities by providing policy guidance and expertise, conducting oversight, delivering innovative staffing and assessment services, and reporting to Parliament on the performance of the staffing system and on non-partisanship in the public service. These are key factors in building and maintaining a public service that delivers results for Canadians.
Our 2019-20 Departmental Plan provides Parliamentarians and Canadians with information on measurable outcomes and how we will work with organizations to build tomorrow’s public service and move toward an agile and effective staffing system. Specifically, our focus will be to:
- experiment on reducing the time to staff;
- develop guidance documents to deepen understanding of the appointment framework;
- implement initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion;
- deliver our second Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey; and
- work towards modernizing the government recruitment platform.
The work of the PSC continues to evolve over time with one constant: we can only achieve results in partnership with organizations. A change in culture across government is necessary in order to nurture a staffing system that can support the renewal of an inclusive public service.
Throughout the coming year, I look forward to having an open dialogue with Parliamentarians on our progress and to sharing reports on our results.
Public Service Commission of Canada
Plans at a glance and operating context
The Public Service Commission of Canada collaborates with its partners to transform federal public service recruitment and hiring, while upholding the foundation for trust in government through a merit-based system, free from political influence. Our priorities for 2019–20 will allow us to build tomorrow’s public service in collaboration with departments and agencies, and move toward an agile and effective staffing system.
For 2019–20, we have identified the following priorities:
1. Provide leadership and enable organizations to efficiently hire a diverse and competent public service.
We will provide government-wide guidance to support the hiring of qualified individuals into and within the public service, in order to help departments and agencies meet their business needs, renew the public service, and attract and recruit a diverse public service. This includes:
- offering concrete support, including guidance documents, information and training sessions, data and analysis, and advice
- collaborating with departments and agencies to implement innovative and efficient approaches to recruitment
2. Promote and safeguard the integrity of the staffing system and the non-partisan nature of the federal public service.
We will provide assurance to Canadians, public servants and Parliament on the integrity of public service staffing, and continue building confidence and trust in the public service as a professional and non-partisan institution. This includes:
- conducting oversight activities to ensure that Canadians are served by a non-partisan public service hired on the basis of merit
- providing research and data analytics to support reporting, policy improvements, decision-making and learning to promote the integrity of the staffing system
- increasing public servants’ awareness of political activities and of requirements to obtain permission to be a candidate in an election
3. Provide programs, services and systems that contribute to the hiring of a competent, diverse and professional public service.
Through outreach and by strengthening and modernizing processes, tools, systems and technology, we will identify and reduce barriers to improve access to public service jobs across Canada. This includes:
- working towards the modernization of the recruitment platform to meet the evolving needs of job seekers, hiring managers and human resource professionals
- enhancing access to federal public service jobs for persons with disabilities and improving the way they are assessed during the recruitment process, in line with the Government of Canada’s agenda
- increasing partnerships and stakeholder engagement, including with departments and agencies, in order to influence recruitment practices and trends, promote quality of hire, and reduce time to staff
4. Support the Public Service Commission’s workforce by promoting a healthy and modern workplace that is diverse and inclusive.
We will improve our internal services to promote a diverse, inclusive and agile workforce to meet current and future organizational needs. This includes:
- supporting mental health and workplace wellness through services, activities and tools that promote respect and strengthen well-being
- modernizing information technology products and services to provide our employees with the support and tools they need to deliver results for Canadians
These priorities will support a public service workforce that is politically impartial, reflective of Canada’s diversity, and ready to deliver results for Canadians.
We operate in a dynamic and complex environment that requires us to be efficient, agile and innovative to support hiring in departments and agencies across Canada. Our federal public service must renew itself amidst fierce competition for key skills and record low unemployment rates. While the Public Service Commission holds the legal authority to appoint public servants, we delegate this authority to deputy heads, and we rely on individual departments and agencies to carry out staffing to meet their business needs.
We launched the New Direction in Staffing 3 years ago to provide departments and agencies with more managerial discretion to simplify and streamline staffing. This type of culture shift takes time to implement; it also requires sustained efforts and, most importantly, behavioural changes on the part of hiring managers. Because of these factors, there is a risk that this initiative to encourage a more agile staffing culture may not lead to expected results. There is also a risk that public perception of our ability to safeguard merit-based hiring may be affected if the other initiatives we are launching to support agile staffing, including new recruitment methods, tools and practices, are not properly communicated or used.
Our ability to deliver on our mandate also depends on our partnerships and shared responsibilities with other central agencies. These partnerships are essential to supporting evolving Government of Canada priorities relating to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and workplace well-being. If we are not aligned with our partners, it could affect our ability to achieve our results.
We also face internal challenges shared by many other departments and agencies, including shortages of people in certain job categories.
Another risk hinges on information technology (IT), which is essential to delivering modern recruitment and assessment services to Canadians. We need a strong IT capacity to deliver on key projects, including the development of a robust and forward-looking online recruitment platform. Increasing demand within the Public Service Commission for IT support could limit our ability to experiment with recruitment and assessment solutions and services for public servants and Canadians.For more information on the Public Service Commission’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.
Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond
Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship
The Public Service Commission (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.
Our 2019–20 planning highlights provide the basis for achieving our Core Responsibility. Through experimentation and innovation, we will seek new approaches to modernize the staffing system and address key challenges in staffing and recruitment.
1. Support organizations in innovating and leveraging the New Direction in Staffing to achieve their hiring needs.
We will experiment with new ways to reduce time to staff and recruit employees, including reviewing our approach to priority clearances and piloting an employee referral program.
2. Provide policy direction and guidance to build understanding and ensure that public service appointments are merit-based and non-partisan.
We will develop and share guidance documents, and provide customized assistance, to help departments and agencies staff efficiently and effectively.
3. Collaborate with central agencies and stakeholders to enhance accessibility, diversity and inclusion in hiring and recruitment.
We will collaborate with various agencies and stakeholders to implement new initiatives and strengthen existing ones to promote diversity and increase accessibility in public service hiring. This includes hiring veterans, Indigenous people and persons with disabilities.
4. Conduct outreach to reinforce the political impartiality of the public service and to ensure public servants understand their rights and responsibilities regarding engaging in political activities.
We will launch the second Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey to identify issues and improvements to staffing policies and practices, and to better focus efforts to safeguard non-partisanship within the federal public service.
5. Employ effective oversight activities that support integrity, learning and ongoing improvement of a merit-based and non-partisan public service.
We will provide departments, agencies and Canadians with an informed view of the dynamics of public service hiring by conducting audits and publishing reports, including our Audit on Employment Equity Representation in Recruitment and our Horizontal Audit on Credential Validation.
6. Recruit talented and diverse candidates through outreach, promotion, and delivery of targeted programs and services to meet the evolving needs of job seekers and federal organizations.
In addition to maintaining existing programs to recruit veterans, students and new graduates, including targeted recruitment of Indigenous students, we will implement the Federal Internship Program for Canadians with Disabilities. A targeted inventory will also be implemented at the national level to recruit students with disabilities.
7. Modernize recruitment and assessment tools, streamline program delivery and supporting information technology systems to improve accessibility and the quality of staffing services in the public service.
We will continue to modernize the public service recruitment platform. We will ensure that it provides an inclusive, modern, user-centric and seamless digital solution to attract talent and meet the evolving needs of job seekers, hiring managers and human resources professionals. We will also experiment with new approaches to modernizing our testing services. For example, we will complete and report on our pilot project to give hiring managers more flexibility to evaluate second language oral proficiency.
We will assign resources to experiment with new approaches to fulfill our Core Responsibility. We will also use a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) lens to assess the impact of our new policies and programs on men, women and non-binary people, considering factors like race, ethnicity, religion, age and disability. We will also review our forms that collect gender and sex information to ensure we are aligned with government policy on modernizing information practices.
|Departmental Results||Departmental Result Indicators||Target||Date to achieve target||2015–16 Actual results||2016–17 Actual results||2017–18 Actual results|
|The public service efficiently hires the workforce of the future that is capable and ready to deliver results for Canadians||Number of days to complete a recruitment process||Max 177 days
|03-2020||197 days||188 days
|Percentage of managers who say they have the flexibility to fulfill their hiring needs||At least 65%||03-2021||Not available
|Percentage of managers who believe that appointees meet the performance expectations of the position||At least 90%||03-2021||Not available
|Percentage of new hires and internal promotions who fully meet the qualifications of the position (i.e., based on merit)||At least 98%||03-2022||Not available
|The public service reflects Canada’s diversity||Percentage of employees who are women||52.5% or higher
|Percentage of employees who are an Aboriginal person||3.4% or higher
|Percentage of employees who are members of visible minority groups||13.0% or higher
|Percentage of employees who are persons with disabilities||4.4% or higher
|Percentage of new hires under the age of 35||At least 53%||03-2020||53.8%||55.0%||53.2%|
|Percentage of Official Language Minority applicants (French-speaking applicants outside of Quebec and English-speaking applicants within Quebec)||At least 6.9%||03-2020||11%||10.3%||10.9%|
|Percentage of new hires who applied from outside the National Capital Region||At least 75.0%||03-2020||73.6%||76.7%||75.0%|
|Canadians are served by a politically impartial public service||Number of founded investigations related to political activities
|Percentage of employees who are aware of their rights and obligations regarding engaging in political activities||At least 80%||03-2021||Not available
Note a: This is an ambitious target, and it may take several years to meet it. It corresponds to a 10% decrease compared to the 2015-16 baseline (197 days). This indicator measures the median number of calendar days it takes for a public service position to be filled once an external advertised hiring process begins, and does not include non-advertised appointments, inventory processes and some innovative staffing initiatives that contribute to a decrease in time to staff. Results are calculated based on the first appointment resulting from an external advertised selection process.
Note b: The methodology for this indicator was improved and slightly changed which created a break in series. Therefore, this result is not comparable to previous years’ results.
Note c: This is a new indicator created in 2017; the first year of data availability is 2017-18.
Note d: The target for each designated group is to meet or exceed workforce availability. For 3 of the groups, workforce availability is based on 2011 Census data. Workforce availability for persons with disabilities is derived from data, also collected by Statistics Canada, in the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability. These targets will be updated once new workforce availability estimates become available based on 2016 Census data and the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability.
Note e: This indicator was modified following a change in the approach to referred cases. This change affects the reference data and includes all founded cases related to political activities. This is an ambitious target reflecting the Public Service Commission’s commitment to protecting the impartiality of our public service and ensuring that federal public servants respect their obligations with respect to political activities. More information is available in GC InfoBase.
|2019–20 Main Estimates||2019–20 Planned spending||2020–21 Planned spending||2021–22 Planned spending|
|2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents||2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents||2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents|
Financial, human resources and performance information for the Public Service Commission’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.
Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:
- Management and Oversight Services
- Communications Services
- Legal Services
- Human Resources Management Services
- Financial Management Services
- Information Management Services
- Information Technology Services
- Real Property Management Services
- Materiel Management Services
- Acquisition Management Services
|2019–20 Main Estimates||2019–20 Planned spending||2020–21 Planned spending||2021–22 Planned spending|
|2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents||2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents||2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents|
1. Promote and enable a high-performing culture that supports workplace well-being and healthy working relationships.
In 2019–20, we will strengthen workplace well-being and promote healthy working relationships. Internal Services will:
- develop a wellness and mental health strategy, and a process for identifying psychological hazards, in collaboration with the Occupational Health and Safety Policy Committee
- increase the capacity in our Ombudsman’s Office, created in the fall of 2018, to enhance workplace wellness
- this includes engaging with partners and investing in tools to provide feedback, services and referrals to employees seeking help to resolve workplace issues, such as harassment
- support our employees experiencing pay challenges and pursue solutions to help them receive accurate and timely pay
- this includes running a pilot project that aims to improve planning of hiring processes to prevent pay issues caused by late data entry
2. Support the delivery of Public Service Commission programs and services to achieve departmental results.
We will provide our managers with the people they need to run programs that provide the best results for Canadians. We will experiment to improve our internal human resources practices and procedures by implementing:
- a pilot an employee referral program to attract qualified candidates in difficult-to-staff positions
- a talent management approach to align human resources to operational needs, and to contribute to employee engagement
We will also deliver key digital tools and develop solutions to support programs delivering results to Canadians, including:
- a strategy to give the Public Service Commission the processes, skills and technology required to take full advantage of cloud services
3. Develop and implement tools and initiatives to modernize and strengthen the Public Service Commission.
We will modernize our information management and information technology (IT) products and systems to support our employees in delivering results for Canadians. We will also support a culture of innovation and creativity by funding IT innovation and experimentation.
We will support government-wide initiatives, including Open Government, to make government more accessible to everyone. In 2019–20, we will identify valuable sources of data and information and leverage innovative ways to promote greater access to all Canadians.
Spending and human resources
|Core Responsibilities and Internal Services||2016–17 Expenditures||2017–18 Expenditures||2018–19 Forecast spending||2019–20 Main Estimates||2019–20 Planned spending||2020–21 Planned spending||2021–22 Planned spending|
|Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship||47,377,494||54,920,605||55,543,631||54,509,470||54,509,470||54,469,552||54,469,552|
Projected spending is expected to remain stable over the next 3 years. The increase in 2017–18 spending over 2016–17 is mainly due to retroactive salary payments and higher salary rates following the implementation of new collective agreements. About 80% of the Public Service Commission’s annual expenditures are for salary-related costs.
Planned human resources
|Core Responsibilities and Internal Services||2016–17 Actual full-time equivalents||2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents||2018–19 Forecast full-time equivalents||2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents||2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents||2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents|
|Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship||488||504||532||532||532||532|
The number of full-time equivalents is not expected to change over the next 3 years. The year-over-year increase from 2016–17 is the result of increased staffing in various areas of the organization, including IM/IT and testing services.
Estimates by vote
Information on the Public Service Commission’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2019–20 Main Estimates.
Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
The Future‑Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Public Service Commission’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, amounts may differ.
A more detailed Future‑Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Public Service Commission’s website.
|Financial information||2018–19 Forecast results||2019–20 Planned results||Difference (2019–20 Planned results minus 2018–19 Forecast results)|
|Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers||107,902,177||107,506,441||(395,736)|
Planning figures for 2019–20 are based on the overall authorities for the year, whereas the 2018–19 figures are based on the projected spending against the available authorities.
Appropriate minister[s]: The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Institutional head: Patrick Borbey, President
Ministerial portfolio: The Public Service Commission of Canada is part of the Privy Council Office portfolio
Enabling instrument[s]: Public Service Employment Act (S.C. 2003, c.22. 12, 13)
Year of incorporation / commencement: 1908
Other: Public Service Commission of Canada website
Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Public Service Commission’s website.
The Public Service Commission Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.
|Structure||2019–20||2018–19||Change||Rationale for change|
|Core responsibility||Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship||Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship||No change|
|Program||Policy Direction and Support||Policy Direction and Support||No change|
|Program||Recruitment and Assessment Services||Recruitment and Assessment Services||No change|
|Program||Oversight and Monitoring||Oversight, Monitoring and Non-partisanship||Title change||(Note 1)|
Note 1: The Public Service Commission moved part of the Oversight and Monitoring program to the Policy Direction and Support program to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest which could have arisen from housing the directorate responsible for approving election candidacy requests with the program responsible for investigating such decisions.
Supporting information on the Program Inventory
Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Public Service Commission’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.
Supplementary information tables
The following supplementary information tables are available on the Public Service Commission’s website :
Federal tax expenditures
The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
Organizational contact information
Public Service Commission of Canada
22 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M7
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- appropriation (crédit)
- Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
- budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
- Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
- Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
- An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
- Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
- A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
- Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
- Any change that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
- Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
- A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
- Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
- The department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
- Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
- A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
- evaluation (évaluation)
- In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
- experimentation (expérimentation)
- Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
- full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
- A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
- gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
- An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
- government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
- For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
- horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
- An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
- non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
- Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
- performance (rendement)
- What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
- performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
- A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, Program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
- Performance Information Profile (profil de l’information sur le rendement)
- The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
- performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
- The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
- plan (plan)
- The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
- planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
- priority (priorité)
- A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
- Program (programme)
- Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
- Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
- Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s Core Responsibilities and Results.
- result (résultat)
- An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, Program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, Program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
- statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
- Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
- sunset program (programme temporisé)
- A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
- target (cible)
- A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
- voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
- Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
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