President meeting with Ms. Kristina Namiesniowski, President Public Health Agency of Canada September 13, 2019

Introduction

Deputy Head

Ms. Kristina Namiesniowski was appointed as the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), effective May 6, 2019.

As Ms. Namiesniowski is exercising the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) authority for the first time as Deputy Head (DH). A copy of the New Direction in Staffing (NDS) highlights for DHs is attached as Annex A.

Deputy Minister University Champion

Ms. Namiesniowski is not a Deputy Minister University Champion.

Organizational Context

Mandate

The PHAC helps protect the health and safety of all Canadians. Its activities focus on preventing chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, preventing injuries, and responding to public health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks. The PHAC is responsible for emergency preparedness and response for issuing public health notices, and for immunization and vaccines. Through research, programs and services, the PHAC’s goals are to bring about healthier Canadians, reduced health disparities, and a stronger capacity to deliver on and support public health activities. As part of the PHAC’s program activities, it uses grants and contributions to fund community, volunteer and not-for-profit agencies to support government policies and priorities.

Challenges

In its 2019-2020 departmental plan, the PHAC focuses on three aspects of public health: health promotion and chronic disease prevention; infectious disease prevention and control; and health security.

To achieve expected results, the organization is seeking to attract and retain the best possible medical and scientific candidates.  As the PHAC is competing with other governments and the industry, hiring and promotion practices are continuously reviewed. As the more classic recruitment approaches proved to be a deterrent to valuable candidates, the organization is looking at more innovative and simplified application procedures, and using talent management to promote individuals, as it is the practice by employers in scientific and medical industries.

The PHAC will continue to examine the level of resources required for priority initiatives. The organization does not foresee any major staffing initiative nor does it anticipate any group specific initiatives.

The PHAC is in search of the best and brightest public health specialists and pandemic prevention authorities. In the recruitment of these professionals, obtaining timely confirmation of bilingualism and recognition of foreign education credentials has been a challenge.

The PHAC must also ensure an agile approach to recruitment when facing with emergency situations.

Experimentation

The PHAC is working on making talent management and performance appraisal practices more compatible for use in staffing processes, as valuable information to assess merit.

For the hiring of doctors (MD group), the PHAC has adapted its advertisement approach. They now simply ask candidates to submit their resume, and the hiring manager contacts them to ask for any pertinent additional information. Putting the responsibility on the hiring manager has increased the number of applying candidates for the MD group. The approach has proven successful, leading to increased recruitment.

Population and Staffing Activities

Population

The PHAC is a large organization that has a population of 2,395 employees as of March 31, 2019.

Most of the PHAC’s employees are located in the National Capital Region. It also has a large regional presence in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, the Prairies and Western provinces. The relatively high employee population in Manitoba is explained with the location of the Winnipeg Common Business Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control.

Please refer to annex B for additional details on staffing activities.

Staffing Activities

In 2018-2019, the PHAC proceeded with a total of 1,383 staffing activities (excluding appointments of less than 4 months):

Types of staffing action:

Tenure:

Time to Staff

The PHAC has a median time of 213 days for internal appointments, which is higher than the median of the public service, which is 176 days.

The data is insufficient for providing results on external appointments for the PHAC, and to compare it to the public service median of 186 days.

Staffing Framework

New Direction in Staffing Implementation

As the PHAC is becoming more familiar in experimenting the NDS, there is less risk aversion from HR advisors and hiring managers.  The organization is currently reviewing all its staffing training modules, and has developed a train the trainer program to have their staff deliver NDS information sessions to managers and staff within the PHAC.

The organization would like to continue implementing the NDS culture, and help more HR advisors to think “outside the box”, and foster creativity in staffing processes. To support this cultural change, the PHAC has implemented a “Safe Space” innovation corner to give all HR advisors of the organization across Canada to share their ideas. The goal is to foster innovation and fight the aversion for creativity.

The PHAC staffing policies (direction for the choice of appointment process, policy on the area of selection, and requirements for the articulation of the selection decision) were updated in 2016 following NDS.

As part of an overall department policy review initiative that will occur in 2019, the PHAC is planning to take this opportunity to refresh their staffing policies. They have identified a need to better clarify the DH direction on the choice of appointment process and provide additional guidance to hiring managers concerning advertised and non-advertised appointment processes.

In February 2019, at the request of the organization, the PSC examined the PHAC’s sub-delegation instruments. The PSC identified some compliance issues. PHAC’s HR services Directorate implemented PSC’s suggestions when updating their sub-delegation instruments, which was approved by the PHAC’s president in June 2019 further to a final review by the PSC.

The PSC also identified areas for improvement in terms of simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness with their current sub-delegation instrument. While the PHAC is not ready to conduct a major review their instrument for efficiency purpose at this time, they are open to the PSC’s suggestions on how an instrument could be simplified in the future.

Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument Annex D Reporting

Use of the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order and the Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations

The PHAC reported that the organization made no use of the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order for the period of April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

Approved Deputy Head Exceptions to the National Area of Selection Requirements for External Advertised Appointment Process

The PHAC reported not having used the DH exception to the National Area of Selection.

Results of Organizational Cyclical Assessment

The first PHAC cyclical assessment is due by May 1, 2021.

Inquiries and Trends

In 2018-2019, inquiries were concerning various staffing matters, with the largest portion of questions regarding assessment (16.2%), followed by questions on values (9.9%). The organization shows a high level of collaboration with the PSC as it relates to using the Staffing Support Advisor (SSA) support and advice.

Oversight

Audits

The PHAC had previously been identified for an organizational audit in the PSC’s 2015-2016 audit plan. Due to the transition to the new appointment policy framework, the PSC chose to complete a Staffing Assessment of the PHAC in lieu of an organizational audit. The purpose of this was to support the organization in implementing the NDS. The PSC completed this exercise in 2017, and concluded that the organization was on track for meeting the PSC’s appointment framework requirements stemming from the NDS. Further to this audit, the PHAC is monitoring areas considered more at risk and has implemented recommendations made by the PSC.

The PHAC was included in the pilot System-Wide Staffing Audit, for which the final report was published in December 2018. The PHAC was also one of the 15 organizations selected for the Horizontal Audit on Credential Validation. The final report of this audit was published in May 2019.

Investigations

Between April 1, 2017 and February 10, 2019, the PSC received 5 requests for investigations: 4 on external appointment processes and 1 on political activities.

The 4 cases on external processes were closed, and the case on political activity is still ongoing.

Table 1 - Investigations

Public Health Agency of Canada

Cases Received

Cases Referred by Organization

Closed - Not Accepted

Completed Unfounded

Completed Founded

Ongoing

s.66 External Appointments (Merit, Error, Omission, Improper Conduct)

4

0

4

0

0

0

s.118 Improper Political Activities - Employees

1

0

0

0

0

1

Total

5

0

4

0

0

1

Note: The number of received cases may not add up to the number of completed/closed cases as completed/closed cases are not necessarily cases that were received in the same period. Some cases can also be discontinued or resolved via early intervention.

Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey Results

The survey results for the PHAC shows that managers are less satisfied than similar size organizations and the overall public service concerning the quality of services they received from their HR advisor.

Below are key findings from the PHAC’s 2018 Staffing and Non-Partisanship Survey (SNPS) results:

Diversity Profile

The organization is above workforce availability for women, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. However, the organization would like to focus on addressing certain employment equity gaps in specialized fields, such as in the MD and SE (Scientific Researchers) groups.

Aboriginal Peoples are under-represented at 3.1% of the Agency’s workforce, while the Public Service workforce availability is at 3.4%. The organization may wish to take action to close the gap to ensure ongoing representativeness of its workforce.

Table 2 - Diversity Profile

Designated Group

Public Service
Work Force Availability (WFA)

Public Health Agency of Canada

Representation across the Public Service of Canada

New WFA 2019

Women

52.5%

68%

54.8%

52.6%

Aboriginal Peoples

3.4%

3.1%

5.1%

4.0%

Persons with Disabilities

4.4%

5.5%

5.3%

9.0%

Members of Visible Minorities

13.0%

20.3%

15.7%

15.3%

Source: Employment Equity in the Public Service of Canada 2017- 2018
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Priority Entitlements and Veterans

As of April 15, 2019, the PHAC had registered 12 persons with priority entitlement.

From April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, the PHAC made 601 priority clearance requests and appointed 2 persons with priority entitlement.

The PHAC has not appointed any medically released veterans with a priority entitlement since July 1, 2015.

Table 3 - Priority Entitlements and Veterans

Priority Type

Carry-Over from Previous FY

New Cases

Total
(Carry-over + New Cases)

Appointed

Resigned / Retired

Expired

Organization Rescinded

* Other Removal

Priority Type Updates

Active at run date of report

Leave of absence Returnee - PSEA 41(1)(a)

10

2

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

13

Reinstatement - PSER 10

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Relocation of Spouse - PSER 9

2

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

Total

12

4

16

0

0

0

0

0

1

16

Note: This table represents a snapshot in time. Any discrepancies between the individual values and the totals results from the system data not being updated in real time.

*Appointments made of organization’s own priority population either within or to other organizations.

Non-Partisanship in the Public Service

The PHAC employees are not active in regards to interactions with the PSC about political activities, compared to employees of other organizations. Only one PHAC employee requested permission, in 2018-2019, for a municipal election (not elected). Also, the on-line Self-Assessment Questionnaire was used about 20 times per year by employees of the PHAC, slightly less than the average 31 times for all organizations.
The results of the SNPS demonstrate that the PHAC employees have similar awareness and understanding of political activities and non-partisanship (89%) compared to the public service as a whole (88.9%).

PSC Initiatives

The organization participated in the Position-Specific Assessment for Oral Proficiency at the B Level.

Staffing Support

Public Service Commission Representatives and Organizational Contacts

The SSA assigned to this organization is Yannick Fortin.  The Head of Human Resources is Daryl Gauthier, Director General, Human Resources Services Directorate and the primary organizational contact is Tammy Kardoes, Director, Staffing and Classification Policy Center.

Prepared by:

Yannick Fortin
Staffing Support Advisor

Annexes:

Annex A

New direction in Staffing – A merit-based system that is effective, efficient and fair

Appointment Policy

New focus on core requirements to provide sub-delegated persons greater discretion in making an appointment

Delegation

All PSC monitoring and reporting requirements now found in the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument

Monitoring and Reporting

Monitoring built by organizations, targeted to their needs

PSC Oversight

System wide-focus

This document should be read in conjunction with the Public Service Employment Act, the Public Service Employment Regulations, the PSC Appointment Policy and the PSC Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument.

Annexe B

Figure 1 - Population by tenure as of March 31
Text version
Table 4 - Public Service Employment Act population by tenure as of March 31

Year

Indeterminate population

Term population

Casual population

Student population

Total population

As of March 31, 2014

1 831

113

103

126

2 173

As of March 31, 2015

1 851

139

92

101

2 183

As of March 31, 2016

1 884

114

113

118

2 229

As of March 31, 2017

1 916

112

109

140

2 277

As of March 31, 2018

1 850

127

103

116

2 196

As of March 31, 2019

1 941

179

132

143

2 395

Figure 2 - Population by language requirements as of March 31, 2019
Text version
Table 5 - Public Service Employment Act population by language requirements of the position for fiscal year 2018 to 2019

Linguistic requirements of the position 

Population as of March 31, 2019

Percentage of population as of March 31, 2019

Bilingual

854

42%

Unilingual

1 170

58%

Unknown

371

 

Figure 3 - Population by occupational group as of March 31, 2019
Text version
Table 6 - Top occupational groups, as a percentage of the Public Service Employment Act population for fiscal year 2018 to 2019

Occupational group

Population as of March 31, 2019

Percentage of population as of March 31, 2019

EC – Economics and Social Science Services

828

37%

AS – Administrative Services

359

16%

PM – Programme administration

262

12%

EG – Engineering and Scientific Support 257 11%

257

11%

Other

546

24%

Figure 4 - Population by region as of March 31, 2019
Text version
Table 7 - Distribution by region, as a percentage of the Public Service Employment Act population for fiscal year 2018 to 2019

Region

Population as of March 31, 2019

Percentage of population as of March 31, 2019

National Capital Region (NCR)

1 453

61%

Non-NCR

939

39%

Unknown

3

 

Figure 5 - External indeterminate hires by occupational group, 2018-19
Text version
Table 8 - External indeterminate hires by top occupational groups, for fiscal year 2018 to 2019

Occupational group

Number of indeterminate hiring activities

Percentage of all indeterminate hiring activities

EC – Economics and Social Science Services

46

52%

AS – Administrative Services 18 21%

18

21%

Other

23

26%

Total

88

100%

Figure 6 - Staffing by region
Text version
Table 9 - Percentage of staffing activities in the National Capital Region compared with all other regions by fiscal year

Fiscal year

Percentage of staffing activities in the National Capital Region (NCR)

Percentage of staffing activities in all other regions (Non-NCR)

2014 to 2015

63%

37%

2015 to 2016

67%

33%

2016 to 2017

68%

32%

2017 to 2018

68%

32%

2018 to 2019

70%

30%

Figure 7 - Staffing by process type
Text version
Table 10 - Number and percentage of staffing activities by type of process and fiscal year

Fiscal year

Non-advertised processes (excludes unknowns)

Advertised processes

% of Non- advertised processes

2014 to 2015

98

197

33%

2015 to 2016

66

164

29%

2016 to 2017

82

169

33%

2017 to 2018

164

218

43%

2018 to 2019

195

312

38%

Figure 8 - Staffing by appointment type
Text version
Table 11 - Staffing activities by appointment type and fiscal year

Fiscal year

Promotions

Lateral and downward movements

Appointments to the public service (includes casuals and students)

Acting appointments (excludes appointments of less than 4 months)

Total

2014 to 2015

106

134

547

229

1 016

2015 to 2016

136

183

571

147

1 037

2016 to 2017

164

192

672

143

1 171

2017 to 2018

193

198

582

122

1 095

2018 to 2019

242

230

728

183

1 383

Figure 9 - Staffing activities by appointment type and fiscal year
Text version
Table 12 - Staffing activities by tenure and fiscal year

Fiscal year

Indeterminate staffing activities

Term staffing activities

Casual staffing activities

Student staffing activities

Total staffing activities

2014 to 2015

474

111

196

235

1 016

2015 to 2016

460

83

228

266

1 037

2016 to 2017

511

111

224

325

1 171

2017 to 2018

550

114

204

227

1 095

2018 to 2019

717

160

253

253

1 383

Key findings - Staffing and non-partisanship survey (2018)

Figure 10 - Student program hires
Text version
Table 13 - Student staffing activities by recruitment program and fiscal year

Fiscal year

Federal Student Work Experience Program

Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program

Research Affiliate Program

Total

2014 to 2015

105

123

7

235

2015 to 2016

119

142

5

266

2016 to 2017

166

158

1

325

2017 to 2018

122

102

3

227

2018 to 2019

144

106

3

253

Figure 11 - External indeterminate and term hiring activities: Post-Secondary Recruitment Program and former student hires
Text version
Table 14 - External indeterminate and term hiring activities: Post-Secondary Recruitment Program and former student hires by fiscal year

Fiscal year

Post-Secondary Recruitment Program hires

Hiring of former students

2014 to 2015

4

51

2015 to 2016

2

25

2016 to 2017

6

55

2017 to 2018

2

70

2018 to 2019

11

79

Figure 12 - Internal time to staff Public service median = 176 days 2018-19
Figure 13 - Internal time to staff Public Health Agency of Canada = 213 days 2018-19
Text version
Table 15 - Internal time to staff

Number of calendar days

The number of internal appointments for which the TTS-IA was within the specified number of calendar days for organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act

The number of internal appointments for which the TTS-IA was within the specified number of calendar days for the specified organization

0 calendar days

0

0

0 to 29 calendar days

15

0

30 to 59 calendar days

130

1

60 to 89 calendar days

277

0

90 to 119 calendar days

391

7

120 to 149 calendar days

367

3

150 to 179 calendar days

322

4

180 to 209 calendar days

278

8

210 to 239 calendar days

241

5

240 to 269 calendar days

165

6

270 to 299 calendar days

134

2

300 to 329 calendar days

107

1

330 to 359 calendar days

77

1

360 to 389 calendar days

61

1

390 to 419 calendar days

53

2

420 to 449 calendar days

51

0

450 to 479 calendar days

42

0

480 to 509 calendar days

40

1

510 to 539 calendar days

32

1

540 to 569 calendar days

24

1

570 to 599 calendar days

21

0

600 to 629 calendar days

11

0

630 to 659 calendar days

19

0

660 to 689 calendar days

3

1

690 to 719 calendar days

13

0

720 to 749 calendar days

6

0

750 to 779 calendar days

5

1

780 to 809 calendar days

8

0

810 to 839 calendar days

4

1

840 to 869 calendar days

10

0

870 to 899 calendar days

4

0

900 to 929 calendar days

5

1

930 to 959 calendar days

5

0

960 to 989 calendar days

3

0

More than 990 calendar days

23

1

Internal time to staff is calculated as the number of calendar days between the opening date of the advertisement and the date of the first notification.

Internal time to staff for fiscal year 2018 to 2019

The median internal time to staff for the public service (organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act) for fiscal year 2018 to 2019 is 176 days. Public Health Agency of Canada’s median internal time to staff for fiscal year 2018 to 2019 is 213 days.

Figure 14 - External time to staff Public service median = 186 days 2018-19
Text version
Table 16 - External time to staff

Number of calendar days

The number of external appointment processes for which the TTS-EA was within the specified number of calendar days for organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act

0 calendar days

0

0 to 29 calendar days

49

30 to 59 calendar days

82

60 to 89 calendar days

124

90 to 119 calendar days

160

120 to 149 calendar days

181

150 to 179 calendar days

179

180 to 209 calendar days

160

210 to 239 calendar days

139

240 to 269 calendar days

84

270 to 299 calendar days

73

300 to 329 calendar days

61

330 to 359 calendar days

41

360 to 389 calendar days

43

390 to 419 calendar days

49

420 to 449 calendar days

35

450 to 479 calendar days

22

480 to 509 calendar days

27

510 to 539 calendar days

17

540 to 569 calendar days

15

570 to 599 calendar days

14

600 to 629 calendar days

12

630 to 659 calendar days

7

660 to 689 calendar days

5

690 to 719 calendar days

7

720 to 749 calendar days

11

750 to 779 calendar days

3

780 to 809 calendar days

7

810 to 839 calendar days

2

840 to 869 calendar days

2

870 to 899 calendar days

0

900 to 929 calendar days

3

930 to 959 calendar days

1

960 to 989 calendar days

0

More than 990 calendar days

0

External Time to Staff
External time to staff is calculated as the number of calendar days between the opening date of the advertisement and the date of the first estimated external hire.
The data is insufficient for providing results on external process times for Public Health Agency of Canada.

External time to staff for fiscal year 2018 to 2019
The median external time to staff for the public service (organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act) for fiscal year 2018 to 2019 is 186 days. The data is insufficient for providing results on external process times for the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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