Federal public service HR in need of repair, critics charge

By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/30/2002

The people management system in the public service is broken and needs to be fixed quickly, but lacks the HR expertise to fix it, according to an association of public service executives.

“Only meaningful, profound change in the management of people will enable the public service of Canada to remain relevant and effective for the 21st century,” states a position paper written by the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX).

Last April, Prime Minister Jean Chretien created a task force on modernizing human resources management in the public service. APEX has issued what it calls a “strong warning” about any attempt to overhaul the system: “There is serious doubt that the capacity currently exists within the public service to deliver on the objectives of HR reform. After years of cuts, we are short on the HR expertise and the money to plan and implement new systems. The association therefore urges the government not to proceed with the reform initiative unless it intends to resource the effort appropriately, with new hiring, information, training and the right technology.”