Public Service Commission of Canada

The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) is an independent government agency that safeguards merit-based hiring, non-partisanship, representativeness (aboriginal people, visible minorities, women, and people with disabilities) and the use of both official languages (English and French) in the Canadian public service. The PSC aims to protect the integrity of hiring and promotion within the public service. As well, the Commission works to protect the political impartiality and non-partisanship of public servants. The Commission develops staffing policies and provides guidance to public service managers and recruits Canadians into the public service. To ensure the staffing system in the government is properly maintained, the PSC has the power to audit, investigate and order departments and managers to make improvements. While typical government departments are headed by Ministers, the PSC is an independent agency that is headed by a President (Currently Maria Barrados) who reports to the Canadian Parliament.

The PSC has the mandate to appoint people to the public service, and to promote people within the government. The PSC can also assist government departments with hiring and assessment tools. The PSC oversees the integrity of the hiring and promotion system, and makes sure that the hiring process is not compromised by partisan interference from elected officials. Part of this overseeing role involves collecting and analyzing data on hiring and promotion in the public service (e.g., hiring of different groups, by region, by department). As well, the PSC audits departments and agencies by examining their hiring and promotion files, to ensure that employees are hired and promoted based on merit. Lastly, the PSC administers the part of the 2003 Public Service Employment Act that sets out the restrictions on the political activities of public service employees and department heads (in Canada, these are called deputy heads or deputy ministers). The strategic outcome of the PSC is to achieve "A highly competent, non-partisan and representative Public Service, able to provide service in both official languages, in which appointments are based on the values of fairness, access, representativeness and transparency."


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