Departmental Results Report 2018-2019

President’s message

I am pleased to present you with the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report for the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC). In the pages that follow, we report on the 3 results identified in our Departmental Results Framework. They are:

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

I am encouraged by the strides we have made with respect to these 3 results, particularly the fruitful partnerships with departments and agencies that we have built and maintained throughout the year. These close alliances have brought new cooperation and openness to changing behaviours around staffing and recruitment in the public service. They have also served to challenge long-held beliefs and myths around the culture of hiring. This is a necessary shift as we work to build a workforce that has the capacity to deliver results for Canadians, both today and in the future.

The federal public service’s staffing culture and approach need to keep pace with what is happening in a much wider context, especially as we compete with the private sector for talent. In collaboration with our partners, we will continue to strive to reduce the time that it takes to hire into the public service. In 2016, the New Direction in Staffing was put in place to simplify and streamline staffing. This was a first step, but more remains to be done.

We will also continue to foster innovation and to support departments and agencies as they modernize their recruitment efforts. We are proud to offer solutions while maintaining our oversight function. Our goal is to continue to push the boundaries through collaboration with our partners, to help them hire faster and better, while building a diverse, truly representative public service.

It is an exciting time to be at the Public Service Commission of Canada.

I invite you to read this report and learn about our efforts to safeguard merit and non-partisanship, working with departments and agencies to build tomorrow’s public service for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Patrick Borbey
President
Public Service Commission of Canada

Results at a glance

In 2018–19, we started using a new Departmental Results Framework. Under this new framework,Endnote E1 we report to Canadians on the results related to our core responsibility, which is to promote and safeguard a merit-based, representative and non-partisan public service that delivers results for all Canadians. The Public Service Commission had 797 actual full-time equivalents and actual spending of $86,565,632.

Here are our key achievements:

  • We provided leadership and support to efficiently build a diverse and highly competent public service. We launched experimental initiatives to improve outcomes for Canadians and inform evidence-based decisions; examples include a macro-simulation (innovative tool used to analyze scenarios to predict the future performance of the federal public service with respect to recruitment) and innovative pilot projects to reduce time to staff and give managers more flexibility to hire for their needs. During this same time period, the median time to staff for the entire public service decreased slightly, and we aim to reduce it further. We also implemented an orientation program for persons with priority entitlements, including veterans, to help them find public service jobs.
  • We promoted and safeguarded the integrity of the staffing system and the non-partisan nature of the federal public service. We held activities across the country to increase public servants’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities with regard to political activities. We are addressing recommendations from our oversight activities — including the System-Wide Staffing Audit and the Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey — to improve staffing across the public service. We strengthened our data strategy to make useful data available to Canadians on the Open Government portal.Endnote E2 We also held a successful workshop on sharing best practices in staffing oversight with HR and internal audit leaders from across the public service.
  • We contributed to the development of a competent and professional public service by providing high quality services. We adapted our programs and service delivery model to be more agile, to focus on users, and to increase inclusion and diversity, by reducing barriers to public service jobs across Canada. We explored potential solutions and the needs of job seekers and hiring managers to prepare our new recruitment platform. To provide valuable federal public service experience to students with disabilities across Canada, the Employment Opportunity for Students with Disabilities was launched nationally.

For more information on the Public Service Commission’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core Responsibility

Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship

Description

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.

Results

In 2018–19, we aimed to achieve 3 main results in support of our single core responsibility:

1. The public service efficiently hires the workforce of the future that is capable and ready to deliver results for Canadians

The time it takes to staff public service jobs has decreased for processes that are externally advertised, and we continue to work on speeding up staffing. We helped departments and agencies take full advantage of the flexibilities available to them, and we experimented to reduce the time it takes to hire high quality candidates. In a pilot project that was well received by participating departments, we provided hiring managers with greater flexibility in second language evaluation by allowing them to use their own assessment methods. In a survey following the pilot, hiring managers indicated that the approach would result in faster staffing. We plan to study, refine and improve the results of this pilot project to address differences in how the English and French versions of second language evaluation tests are used, and to make it easier for managers to conduct these tests.

To help retain public service talent and expertise, we launched an orientation program for persons with priority entitlements, including veterans, in December 2018. The program equips them to fully benefit from their entitlement, and increases their chances of finding a position. Since the program was launched, we have held 17 orientation sessions in several cities across the country and 5 Canadian Armed Forces bases.

We are also modernizing our recruitment platform, which is the system behind the GC Jobs website where Canadians and public servants go to apply for public service jobs. Our goal is to develop the most effective solution to support departments in recruiting top talent for the Government of Canada. To ensure that the new platform allows each department to customize staffing based on its unique context, we asked job seekers, hiring managers and HR professionals what they needed, and we invited private sector recruiting companies to demonstrate their solutions. The resulting demonstrations further refined the list of requirements and will inform the new platform. We are collaborating with Treasury Board Secretariat to ensure that the new system is user-centered and compatible with other HR-related platforms.

In 2018–19, we also engaged with stakeholders to seek their views on the application of the Public Service Employment Regulations, and to explore possible enhancements. Our consultations revealed some opportunities to simplify and clarify the regulations, and raised new ideas to better support departments in hiring.

Both regulatory and non-regulatory solutions (for example, guidance) will be drafted in late 2019–20 for further consultation with key stakeholders. After these consultations, we will work with Justice Canada to update the regulations.

2. The public service reflects Canada’s diversity

We collaborated with central agencies and stakeholders to increase diversity and create inclusive and efficient staffing practices. The Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity generated 1,329 student applications and 186 hires in 2018–19. We partnered with the Indigenous Executive Network to help develop mentorship opportunities, and with Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario to present employment opportunities to Indigenous youth. We also partnered with other organizations to promote employment equity hiring.

We also developed a macro-simulation to demonstrate how different recruitment scenarios can impact the future makeup and representativeness of the public service. The result is a preliminary model on renewal and diversity in the public service that sheds light on how to improve the representation of persons with disabilities. This exercise demonstrated the usefulness of macro-simulations, and will contribute to planning and decision-making.

We prepared for the new Accessible Canada Act and the Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada by working with Treasury Board Secretariat to develop the Federal Internship Program for Canadians with Disabilities. This program, which launched in early 2019–20, will provide meaningful work experience to Canadians with disabilities and help them develop their professional skills. We partnered with 8 departments to review hiring practices and accessibility issues, and developed new relationships with organizations and communities to better reach persons with disabilities. We targeted communications to Indigenous groups and persons with disabilities in the regional post-secondary recruitment campaign, and encouraged them to apply and to self-declare.

We undertook a horizontal audit to determine whether the 4 designated employment equity groups are proportionately represented throughout key stages of the recruitment process and to identify potential barriers. In another study, we examined:

  • gaps in the promotion rates of these groups as compared to their counterparts
  • progress in promotion rates of these groups over the past 30 years
  • the impacts of belonging to 2 or more employment equity groups

3. Canadians are served by a politically impartial public service

We conducted oversight activities to support the integrity and ongoing improvement of a merit-based and non-partisan public service. We changed our approach regarding employees who have not requested permission to be a candidate in an election, resulting in an increase in the number of cases investigated during the 2018–19 fiscal year. Despite this increase, we are targeting zero founded investigations related to political activities in 2019–20 to preserve the impartiality of the public service and to ensure that all federal public servants meet their political activities obligations. We aim to achieve this target by continuing to raise awareness among public servants.

In a year that was particularly busy with several provincial and municipal elections, we carried out a range of activities to make public servants aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding political activities, including:

  • engaging with partners within departments and agencies to ensure public servants respect the law when they seek to become a candidate in an election
  • using innovative communication tools and platforms, including social media and videos, to reach a diverse and multi-generational public service
  • the implementation of an awareness campaign across the country

We used the results of our Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey to develop an action plan to address concerns around maintaining a politically impartial public service. Nearly 102 000 employees from 74 departments and agencies completed the survey. We plan to support departments and work to better understand root causes of low perceptions of fairness, merit and transparency.

Results achieved

Departmental results

Performance indicators

Target

Date to achieve target 2018–19 Actual results 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 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

Maximum  197 daysa

March 2020 186 days 194 days 188 days

Percentage of managers who say they have the flexibility to fulfill their hiring needs

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 60%g Not availableb Not availableb

Percentage of managers who believe that new hires and internal promotions meet the performance expectations of the position

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 91.8%g Not availableb Not availableb

Percentage of new hires and internal promotions who fully meet the qualifications of the position (That is, based on merit)

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 98.3% Not Availableb Not Availableb

The public service reflects Canada’s diversity

Percentage of employees who are women 52.5% or higher c 03-2021e 54.8% 54.9% 54.6%

Percentage of employees who are Indigenous

3.4% or higherc

03-2021e Not Availablef 5.2% 5.3%

Percentage of employees who are members of visible minority groups

13.0% or higherc

03-2021e Not Availablef 15.8% 15.1%

Percentage of employees who are persons with disabilities

4.4% or higherc

03-2021e Not Availablef 5.3% 5.6%

Percentage of new hires under the age of 35

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 54.8% 53.2% 55%

Percentage of Official Language Minority applicants (French-speaking applicants outside of Quebec and English-speaking applicants within Quebec)

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 11.4% 10.9% 10.3%

Percentage of new hires who applied from outside the National Capital Region

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 73%h 75%h 76.7%h

Canadians are served by a politically impartial public service

Number of cases where an employee was found to have engaged in improper political activities

Maximum 5d

03-2019 7 2 3

Percentage of employees who are aware of their rights and obligations regarding engaging in political activities

Was not established for 2018-19b

Not applicable 80.1%g Not availableb Not availableb

Note a: This indicator measures the median number of days between the date the poster was published to date of the first external hire (outside of PSEA organization) based upon the pay system.

Note b: This is a new indicator created in 2017. The target was established during the first year of Departmental Results Framework implementation. Information is now available in the 2019–20 Departmental Plan.

Note c: 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 reflect the data available at the time of production of the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report and is meant to be updated once new workforce availability estimates become available based on 2016 Census data and the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability.

Note d: The Public Service Commission has changed its approach regarding employees who have not requested permission to be a candidate in an election, resulting in an increase in the number of cases investigated during the 2018–19 fiscal year. Despite this increase, the Public Service Commission is targeting zero founded investigations related to political activities in 2019–20 to preserve the impartiality of the public service and to ensure that all federal public servants meet their political activities obligations.

Note e: Date to achieve target was changed to March 2020 although the 2018-19 Departmental Plan indicated March 2021.

Note f: These results were not available at the time of production of the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report.

Note g: These indicators are assessed by the biennial Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey. The 2019–20 Departmental Plan indicated these results under the 2017–18 actual results column in error since the reference period assessed by the survey was the 2017 calendar year. The data has therefore been published under the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report actual results column as appropriate.

Note h: The results of this indicator present an average taken over 5 years.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned spending 2018–19 Total authorities available for use 2018–19 Actual spending(authorities used) 2018–19 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
53,861,500 53,861,500 56,267,456 55,789,506 1,928,006
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19Planned full-time equivalents 2018–19 Actual full-time equivalents 2018–19 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
525 527 2

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Public Service Commission’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.Endnote E3

Internal Services

Description

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 service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • Acquisition Management Services
  • Communication Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Legal Services
  • Material Management Services
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Real Property Management Services

Results

1. Be a model organization in supporting mental health and workplace well-being

The 2018 Public Service Employee Survey found that the number of employees who strongly agree that their workplace is psychologically healthy increased by 12% since 2017. Our own internal survey found that most of our employees are satisfied with their workplace and are able to maintain work-life balance.

We established an Ombudsman’s office on October 29, 2018, as a safe place to:

  • obtain tools, resources and information to resolve workplace issues
  • address conflict and ethical dilemmas
  • voluntarily discuss and explore options
  • make decisions
  • improve wellness
  • develop personal competencies

The Ombudsman heard 44 new cases and recorded 79 visits in 2018–19.
The active workstation initiative moved from a pilot to a formal program, with 10 treadmill and bicycle working stations across the country, allowing employees to stay active while they work. Employees using the active workstations reported experiencing higher levels of job satisfaction, clearer thinking and an improved ability to manage stress.

2. Provide employees with the support they require to deliver programs and services, and achieve results

We modernized our digital environment to provide employees with the tools they need to deliver results:

  • we invested in our mobile workforce to improve communication and remote collaboration
  • we upgraded most of our computers to tablets and laptops, as well as the communication systems in our boardrooms
  • we started upgrading all computers to Windows 10, and provided IT-related training, including agile project management

To streamline the staffing process while ensuring there is room for flexibility and creativity, we developed a staffing compass for managers within the Public Service Commission. The compass guides our managers through the staffing process by providing information and tools. Analysis comparing the median length of our 2018–19 staffing processes before and after the compass was introduced suggests that it has made our staffing processes more efficient.

Median time to staff for internal processes within the Public Service Commission decreased by 43 days since 2017–18 (from 153 days to 110), and by 35 days for externally advertised processes (from 222 days to 187), following several initiatives to improve our performance in this area. While more work needs to be done, better time to staff within our agency contributes to our ability to effectively recruit and retain our talent.

3. Implement mandatory requirements and government-wide initiatives

In support of the government-wide commitment to gender-based analysis plus (GBA+), we began to integrate a gender and diversity lens into our key activities and business processes. As a result, we changed our approach to work already underway, including the development of policy guidance products, as well as our approach to new initiatives, such as the review of the Public Service Employment Regulations. By the end of 2018–19, we had started expanding GBA+ to other program areas (such as a targeted recruitment initiative for Canadians with disabilities) and to our internal business processes. We are now systematically considering, through an evidence-based approach, the impacts of our key policies, programs and services on diverse groups of Canadians with respect to factors such as gender, age and disability using an evidence-based approach.

To modernize the way we handle information on sex and gender, we undertook a whole-of-organization effort to determine which products (including forms and data systems) could continue to collect and display sex and gender information, and we will be adding a third option (“another gender”) to existing response options (male/female).

We have also been working with Treasury Board Secretariat as we prepare to implement the Government of Canada’s financial and material management solution, which aims to modernize and standardize the business model across government. Managers will have modern, direct and streamlined access to consistent, reliable financial and performance reporting.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned spending 2018–19 Total authorities available for use 2018–19 Actual spending(authorities used) 2018–19 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
31,814,790 31,814,790 33,218,258 30,776,126 -1,038,664
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2018–19 Planned full-time equivalents 2018–19 Actual full-time equivalents 2018–19 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
288 270 -18

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental spending trend graph
Long description - Departmental spending trend graph
Departmental spending trend graph
Date 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Statutory 9,108,958 9,839,178 10,040,574 11,403,817 11,403,817 11,403,817
Voted 66,714,150 75,829,518 76,525,058 74,055,538 73,984,321 73,984,321
Total 75,823,108 85,668,696 86,565,632 85,459,355 85,388,138 85,388,138
Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2018–19 Main Estimates 2018–19 Planned spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2018–19 Total authorities available for use 2018–19 Actual spending (authorities used) 2017–18 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016–17 Actual spending (authorities used)
Core Responsibility Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship 53,861,500 53,861,500 54,509,470 54,469,552 56,267,456 55,789,506 54,920,605 47,377,494
Internal Services 31,814,790 31,814,790 30,949,885 30,918,586 33,218,258 30,776,126 30,748,091 28,445,614
Total 85,676,290 85,676,290 85,459,355 85,388,138 89,485,714 86,565,632 85,668,696 75,823,108

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full time equivalents)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016–17 Actual   full-time equivalents 2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2018–19 Planned  full-time equivalents 2018–19 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents
Core Responsibility Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship 488 504 525 527 525 525
Internal Services 225 238 288 270 288 288
Total 713 742 813 797 813 813

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Public Service Commission’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2018–2019.Endnote E4

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Public Service Commission’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.Endnote E3

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Public Service Commission’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the Public Service Commission website.Endnote E5

Financial statements highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information 2018–19 Planned results 2018–19 Actual results 2017–18 Actual results Difference (2018–19 Actual results minus 2018–19 Planned results) Difference (2018–19 Actual results minus 2016–17 Actual results)
Total expenses 114,054,394 115,220,984 114,312,980 1,166,590 908,004
Total revenues 8,283,149 9,346,297 8,382,963 1,063,148 963,334
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 105,771,245 105,874,687 105,930,017 103,442 -55,330

For 2018–19, there was an increase in expenses, mainly due to the acquisition of new furniture and computer equipment. Revenue is mainly due to a higher demand for assessment products and a price increase.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2019 (dollars)
Financial information 2018–19 2017–18 Difference (2018–19 minus 2017–18)
Total net liabilities 21,402,662 17,546,074 3,856,588
Total net financial assets 15,045,598 11,157,430 3,888,168
Departmental net debt 6,357,064 6,388,644 -31,580
Total non financial assets 3,488,408 2,502,978 985,430
Departmental net financial position -2,868,656 -3,885,666 1,017,010

The increase of $1M in our net financial position over last year, as at March 31, 2019, is mainly due to a $3.9M (22%) increase in total net financial liabilities, a $3.9M (35%) increase in total net financial assets and a $0.985M (39%) increase in total non-financial assets.

The $3.9M (22%) increase in total net financial liabilities is mainly due to the following increases:

  • Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities:
    • amounts owed to employees due to delays in payment by the Public Service Pay Centre
    • amounts owed to suppliers for acquisition of new furniture
  • Vacation Pay and Compensatory Leave:
    • delay in payments by the Public Service Pay Centre for amounts owed to employees for vacation pay and compensatory leave

The $3.9M (35%) increase in total net financial assets is mainly due to the following increases:

  • due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund:
    • amounts owed to employees due to delays in payment by the Public Service Pay Centre
  • Accounts Receivable:
    • salary overpayments recognized by the Public Service Pay Centre

The $0.985M (39%) increase in total non-financial assets is due the following:

  • Tangible Capital Assets:
    • capitalization of software development costs
    • capitalization of leasehold improvements; the improvement of 3 boardrooms and lobby turnstile

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C., MP

Institutional head: Patrick Borbey, President

Ministerial portfolio: The Public Service Commission of Canada is part of the Privy Council Office portfolio

Enabling instrument: Public Service Employment ActEndnote E6 (S.C. 2003, c.22. 12, 13)

Year of incorporation/ commencement: 1908

Other:

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 of Canada website.Endnote E5

Raison d’être

The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada is responsible for the Public Service Commission of Canada (the agency) in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and for tabling the agency’s annual report under the Public Service Employment Act. The agency reports independently on its mandate to Parliament.

Through collaboration with departments and agencies, it is dedicated to building tomorrow’s public service that is based on excellence and is representative of Canada’s diversity. It safeguards non-partisanship and promotes and protects merit and the use of both official languages in a staffing and recruitment context. It supports departments and agencies in recruiting talented people from coast to coast to coast through the use of innovative and modern services, tools and practices.

Mandate and role

Under the delegated staffing system set out in the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Commission fulfills its mandate by promoting and safeguarding a non-partisan, merit-based and representative public service that serves all Canadians. We do this by:

  • supporting departments and agencies in hiring qualified individuals into and within the public service
  • overseeing and ensuring the integrity of public service hiring
  • protecting the non-partisan nature of the public service while respecting employees’ rights to participate in political activities
  • delivering recruitment programs and assessment services

For more general information about the department, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.

Operating context and key risks

Operational context

In 2018–19, we operated in a dynamic and complex environment that required us to be efficient, agile and innovative to support hiring in departments and agencies across Canada. The federal public service sought to renew its workforce amidst fierce competition for key skills and record low unemployment rates. Lengthy staffing processes and the potential loss of top talent remained a source of concern.

While the Public Service Commission holds the legal authority to appoint federal public servants, we delegate this authority to deputy heads. Our success in 2018–19 hinged in large part on individual departments and agencies effectively carrying out staffing to meet their business needs.

Our ability to deliver on our mandate also depended on our partnerships and shared responsibilities with other central agencies. These partnerships were essential to our ability to support evolving Government of Canada priorities related to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and workplace well-being. We must continue to improve the staffing system through innovation and experimentation, recognizing that changes to the system will also require a culture change and will take time.

Key risks

In 2018–19, the Public Service Commission identified 3 risk areas that could affect our ability to achieve our intended results for Canadians. More information on how we have managed these risks is provided below.

In 2018–19, we also faced internal challenges shared by many other departments and agencies, including chronic job vacancies in high demand fields. Our ability to recruit and retain skilled employees was challenged by the limited supply of available talent and increasing demand from other departments and the private sector. We used professional services, including consultants, as a mitigating measure; however, gaps remained.

The accelerating pace of technological change, digital requirements and data needs to support decision-making and to deliver modern recruitment and assessment services to Canadians also increased substantially. Reliance upon ageing technology to deliver our programs and services ran up against the need to develop modern (including cloud) environments to support innovation.

Key risks table
Risks Mitigating strategy and effectiveness Link to the department’s Programs (or Core Responsibility) Link to mandate letter commitments and any government wide or departmental priorities
Outcomes of the staffing system
There is a risk that the Commission’s change agenda will not generate the expected outcomes in the staffing system.
To mitigate this risk, we:
  • conducted audits and activities to monitor the integrity and effectiveness of the staffing system
    • in December 2018, we published the final report on the System-Wide Staffing Audit with recommendations to improve the staffing system
    • we held a lessons learned session to support early planning for the next cycle of the audit
    • we launched an audit (continued in 2019–20) to determine whether the 4 designated employment equity groups were proportionately represented through key stages of the recruitment process
  • analyzed and disseminated Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey results, supporting the integrity of the staffing system by monitoring the level of awareness and perceptions of employees in the core public service on staffing and non-partisanship issues
    • positive results include: managers are confident that the people they hired meet the performance expectations of the position
    • areas of concern include: employee perception that staffing processes were not conducted in a fair and transparent manner
    • we will study these results further to better understand the root causes and to support organizations
  • helped departments and agencies to be more agile by experimenting with new ways to recruit
    • collaborated with partners and built relationships with client organizations to support them in innovating and leveraging the New Direction in Staffing, and to foster engagement and establish new practices and approaches to staffing
      • delivered awareness sessions to departments to build understanding and promote innovation
      • held interventions and support sessions with partners to address the issues identified from monitoring activities
    • established partnerships with different functional communities (PG, CS, FI and Internal Audit) as part of our Functional Communities Engagement Strategy
      • these partnerships enable us to align recruitment programs efforts with concrete needs across the public service, thus helping to improve staffing outcomes while increasing and strengthening partnerships with Deputy Minister University Champions and universities
    • launched a pilot to allow hiring managers, instead of PSC second language assessors, to assess candidates’ proficiency at the most common bilingual profile (the intermediate level of a candidate’s spoken second official language (B level))
Recruitment and Assessment Services Policy Direction and Support Oversight, Monitoring and Non-Partisanship Priorities 1,3
Information limitations
There is a risk that the quality and timeliness of information will not be sufficient to enable the Commission to report on the integrity of the staffing system and support organizational and public service-wide decision-making.
To mitigate this risk, we:
  • revised our data strategy and strengthened our data collecting approaches, to make them more efficient and to make more new and relevant data available to Canadians on the Open Government portal
  • developed a novel interactive data visualization tool that allows users to easily manipulate Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey data to clearly display results in a way that meets their needs; this tool is available on Open Government
  • conducted risk-based audits to monitor the integrity and effectiveness of the staffing system
    • we conducted a horizontal audit to ensure that appointees to jobs involving health, safety or security of Canadians met the required academic and professional credentials. Results were published in 2019
Recruitment and Assessment Services Policy Direction and Support Oversight, Monitoring and Non-Partisanship Priorities 1,2,3
Change management
There is a risk that the implementation of multiple government-wide initiatives could limit the Commission’s ability to innovate and deliver on its key priorities
To mitigate the risk, we:
  • piloted innovative initiatives within the PSC before expanding to the public service (for example, position-specific second language evaluations)
  • partnered with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and other organizations to align overarching priorities on government-wide HR systems
  • revised some of our organizational structures and operating framework to support a new client-centric, national service delivery model designed to better meet organizational requirements and government-wide initiatives
  • worked with partners and stakeholders to implement the government-wide accessibility strategy in alignment with the PSC’s diversity and inclusion agenda (for example, development of the Federal Internship Program for Canadians with Disabilities)
Recruitment and Assessment Services Policy Direction and Support Oversight, Monitoring and Non-Partisanship Priorities 1, 2, 3, 4

Reporting framework

The Public Service Commission’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2018-2019 are shown below.

Core Responsibility

Public Service Hiring and Non-partisanship

Departmental Results Framework

  • Departmental Result 1.1: The public service efficiently hires the workforce of the future that is capable and ready to deliver results for Canadians
    • Indicator 1.1.1 Number of days to complete a recruitment process
    • Indicator 1.1.2 Percentage of managers who say they have the flexibility to fulfill their hiring needs
    • Indicator 1.1.3 Percentage of managers who believe that new hires and internal promotions meet the performance expectations of the position
    • Indicator 1.1.4 Percentage of new hires and internal promotions who fully meet the qualifications of the position (based on merit)
  • Departmental Result 1.2: The public service reflects Canada’s diversity
    • Indicator 1.2.1 Percentage of employees who are women
    • Indicator 1.2.2 Percentage of employees who are Indigenous
    • Indicator 1.2.3 Percentage of employees who are members of visible minority groups
    • Indicator 1.2.4 Percentage of employees who are persons with disabilities
    • Indicator 1.2.5 Percentage of new hires under the age of 35
    • Indicator 1.2.6 Percentage of Official Language Minority applicants (French-speaking applicants outside of Quebec and English-speaking applicants within Quebec)
    • Indicator 1.2.7 Percentage of new hires who applied from outside the National Capital Region
  • Departmental Result 1.3: Canadians are served by a politically impartial public service
    • Indicator 1.3.1 Number of cases where an employee was found to have engaged in improper political activities
    • Indicator 1.3.2 Percentage of employees who are aware of their rights and obligations regarding engaging in political activities

Internal Services

Program Inventory

  • Program 1 Policy Direction and Support
  • Program 2 Recruitment and Assessment Services
  • Program 3 Oversight, Monitoring and Non-partisanship

Supporting information on lower-level programs

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Public Service Commission’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.Endnote E3

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Public Service Commission’s website:Endnote E5

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Gender-based analysis plus

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.Endnote E7 This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Mailing address:
Public Service Commission
22 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A  0M7

Email address:: cfp.infocom.psc@canada.ca

Appendix: definitions

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.

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 Results (résultats ministériels)

A report on an appropriated department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

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)

Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.

Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on an appropriated department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

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 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 2018–19 Departmental Results Report, 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 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 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 Strategic Outcome(s) or 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.

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.

Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)

A long term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

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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