Audit of Readiness for the New Public Service Employment Act
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Audit of Readiness for the New Public Service Employment Act

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HighlightsAudit of Readiness for the New Public Service Employment Act October 2006agencies had met the essential elementsWhy did the Public ServiceThe Public Serviceprior to the implementation of the newCommission conduct this audit?Commission (PSC) PSEA. The PSC chose to audit the Readinessis an independent for the new PSEA because of the importanceThe new Public Service Employment Actof these changes and the early detection of(PSEA), which came into forceagency reportingpotential problems.December 31, 2005, is an importantto Parliament,component of the modernization ofmandated to We selected six organizations to audithuman resources management in thesafeguard the representing large, medium, and smallpublic service of Canada. The intent isorganizations and those with a regionalintegrity of the public to allow the appointment process to bepresence. The audit covered the periodmore adaptable and efficient. Also, it isservice staffingfrom January 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006.intended that there will be more roomsystem and the Staffing activities and appointments underfor managers to exercise judgement inpolitical neutrality of the new PSEA were only being implementedcarrying out appointment processes andat this time, and consequently, the auditthe public service. in making appointment decisions. Thedid not include a review of completedPSC developed essential elements thatIn addition,the PSCappointment processes by which todepartments and agencies had to ...

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Highlights
Audit of Readiness for the
New Public Service Employment Act October 2006
agencies had met the essential elementsWhy did the Public Service
The Public Service
prior to the implementation of the newCommission conduct this audit?
Commission (PSC) PSEA. The PSC chose to audit the Readiness
is an independent for the new PSEA because of the importanceThe new Public Service Employment Act
of these changes and the early detection of(PSEA), which came into forceagency reporting
potential problems.December 31, 2005, is an important
to Parliament,
component of the modernization of
mandated to We selected six organizations to audithuman resources management in the
safeguard the representing large, medium, and smallpublic service of Canada. The intent is
organizations and those with a regionalintegrity of the public to allow the appointment process to be
presence. The audit covered the periodmore adaptable and efficient. Also, it isservice staffing
from January 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006.intended that there will be more room
system and the Staffing activities and appointments underfor managers to exercise judgement in
political neutrality of the new PSEA were only being implementedcarrying out appointment processes and
at this time, and consequently, the auditthe public service. in making appointment decisions. The
did not include a review of completedPSC developed essential elements thatIn addition,the PSC
appointment processes by which todepartments and agencies had to haverecruits qualified
measure compliance. At this stagein place before the new PSEA came into
Canadians from there can be no assurance that theforce at the end of 2005. The essential
across the country. accountability instruments, policies andelements included the new delegation
training provided have led to changesinstruments, policies, training and
in practices. This will be a question forcommunication, and accountability and
subsequent audits.reporting requirements.
The objective of this audit was to determine
whether a selection of departments andDeputy heads accepted the findings of thisWhat did the PSC find?
audit and agreed to implement the
Overall, we found that the selected departments recommendation that they provide ongoing
and agencies had met the essential elements leadership to support the full implementation
for the coming into force of the new PSEA. of the PSEA with particular attention to:
The success was largely due to the concerted
efforts of all those in the community: sub- implementing the “Moving Forward”
delegated managers, human resources advisors, activities;
deputy heads, the PSC and the Public Service
developing a reasonable level of human
Human Resources Management Agency of
resources advisors with appropriate staffing
Canada (PSHRMAC).
expertise to support sub-delegated
managers; and
The process of change is just starting and
there are significant challenges ahead that improving the reliability and timeliness
will have to be dealt with if full implement- of data to support monitoring of staffing
ation of the new PSEA is to be a success. We activities and reporting.
found that there was a need for continued
The PSC has committed to working withemphasis on training managers, human
departments and agencies, the humanresources advisors and employees; and a need
resources community and PSHRMACto make continual improvements to tools,
to establish timelines for the “Movinglearning and communication. We noted that
Forward” activities.organizations had challenges in attracting and
retaining human resources specialists needed
to implement the new PSEA due to a variety
of factors such as promotions, transfers, and
retirements of the human resources advisors.
Furthermore, our audit raised concerns about
the reliability and timeliness of human resources
data to adequately support monitoring and
central reporting requirements.
What is being done?
Prior to the coming into force of the new
PSEA, it was anticipated that deputy heads
would be required to undertake further
activities to continue the momentum for
change. These “Moving Forward” activities
include the implementation of integrated
business and human resources planning,
continued emphasis on training and
enhancements to policies and support
activities (tools, learning and communication).
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