Fairness in Public Service

This Office was forwarded an anonymous letter alleging wrongdoing within the Public Service Commission with respect to their job posting practices, which restrict applications for certain positions to applicants from under-represented groups.

An initial assessment of the complaint was conducted, which included a review of relevant legislation, including the Public Service Act, Civil Service Act, and Human Rights Act. Relevant Public Service Commission policies were also reviewed, including the Employment Equity Policy and guidelines, Fair Hiring Policy and guidelines, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2014-2018), and the Designated Position Process Summary. The legislation and policy were analysed in the context of the complaint to determine whether the concerns brought forward in the complaint met the threshold to proceed with an investigation of wrongdoing under the Pubic Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act.

The Office concluded that the Public Service Commission had the authority to restrict competitions to members of designated groups through their established human-resource policies.  Further, restricting designated positions to members of under-represented groups does not violate provincial legislation and policy and, in fact, supports the strategy of the Public Service Commission to increase diversity within the civil service. The complaint did not fit the definition of wrongdoing under the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act and no further investigation was required under this legislation.