Tag: #clerk

Clerk Breaks Silence on Phoenix and Shared Services Canada

Clerk Breaks Silence on Phoenix and Shared Services Canada

August 4, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Clerk Michael Wernick gave a one-on-one interview last week, opening up about the embattled Phoenix pay system and the constant criticism from public servants and departments of Shared Services Canada (SSC).

Shared Services Canada

If anyone was hoping for the slightest possibility that the public service might do a 180 on its IT approach and devolve SSC, returning IT ownership to individual departments, think again.

“We have no choice but to move forward with SSC. The idea that over 300 federal organizations were going to fix and modernize and recapitalize their IT, one at a time, by going to Treasury Board and Finance and building independent systems, is a fantasy scenario. We had to do it together.”

The Clerk was asked if he’d given any direction to SSC since he became Clerk, “No, we have an accountable deputy minister and head of SSC. I have told the deputy minister community that Shared Services Canada is here to stay, and we need an agency that is a service provider that is listening and open to its clients, and we need clients that are willing to work and engage with the service provider. When those relationships work well then we do very well.”

But when asked how he thought SSC had been operating thus far, the Clerk replied, “It’s a work in progress, obviously. Shared Services Canada is barely three and a half years old. It is a massive undertaking to transform IT of the largest organization in the country.

The only way to have adequate cyber protection around the information that departments are the custodians of is to have a strong perimeter defence. And the only way to do that — and this has been said many times by the head of the Communication Security Establishment — is to put departments and agencies behind the firewalls and the defences of Shared Services Canada.

So there are transition issues of migrating from where we have been to where we need to go, but I am quite determined that we have to have shared IT infrastructure in the government of Canada.”

Phoenix

Next, the Clerk was asked about his reaction to learning that public servants had to quit their jobs because of the problems associated with the public service pay system, Phoenix.

“Every department and agency in the federal government has the ability to issue emergency cheques and advances, and there is no reason for anybody to be without cash. And in many of the cases that have popped up in the media, people have, in fact, been given cash advances against the compensation that they’re owed.

The best thing for people to do is to go to the website, file their case online, or call the call centre and make sure that the pay file catches up with them, but there is no reason for anybody to be without cash.”

Other Links

Follow the Clerk on Facebook here.

Read the full length interview here.

Update: Former Clerk Janice Charette Confirmed as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

Update: Former Clerk Janice Charette Confirmed as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

July 19, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

This morning, the Minister of Global Affairs confirmed several diplomatic appointments via news release.

This included confirmation that former Clerk Janice Charette becomes High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Janice Charette replaces former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell who was serving as High Commissioner since 2011.

Ms. Charette is no stranger to the UK as she visited public servants and public service leadership there in her role as Clerk, speaking about women leaders in the public service.

Public servants reacted with emotion and gratitude upon learning that she would be moving on from her role as Clerk back in January.

Her departure as Clerk came as a surprise to many, who expected her to depart at some point but not as early.

Many public servants have been wondering what Ms. Charette would do next but since leaving her role as Clerk, she has been active on social media, still engaged and championing awareness around mental health.

Ms. Charette made mental health in the workplace a priority for the public service in the Clerk’s annual report to the Prime Minister last year and continues to be a priority for the public service in Clerk Michael Wernick’s report on the public service for this year.

Video

Watch Janice Charette have a discussion about women leaders in the public service with UK public servants here:

Other Links

Read the official news release on the diplomatic appointment here.

Follow Janice Charette on Twitter here.

Public Servants Get Real About Diversity in the Public Service

Public Servants Get Real About Diversity in the Public Service

June 28, 2016 | By | 1 Comment

Yesterday was Canadian Multiculturalism Day, which the Clerk and departments/agencies were promoting awareness of online:

The topic of diversity in the public service has been a recurring one this month.

First, Public Works and Government Services Canada produced a short video starring public servants titled, “Show Your Colours” to promote awareness around fighting homophobia and transphobia:

Secondly during National Public Service Week, the Clerk was direct with his remarks during his first television interview when he stated that, “the public service has work to do in all aspects of diversity, frankly.”

This was followed by public servants continuing an honest and open discussion on diversity in the public service, as it was the theme for this month’s LeadersGC event.

This month’s LeadersGC was co-hosted by Christine Donoghue, President of the Public Service Commission.

When public servants were asked which HR tools are needed so that leaders at all levels can benefit from inclusion in the workplace, many public servants responded by saying that staffing processes need to be reevaluated so that hiring managers can ‘cast a wider net’ and hire based on best fit.

The Public Service Commission did recently launch the new direction in staffing on April 1, meant to give hiring managers more flexibility and the ability to tailor staffing requirements according to their own unique business needs.

Highlights

Question 1) The terms diversity and employment equity are often used interchangeably. What is the difference between them?

Question 2) With Canada’s changing demographics, do you think that employment equity groups reflect Canadian society?

Question 3) What are the risks of not adopting an approach that encourages diversity and inclusion at work?

Question 4) Tell us about how your contribution through your own diverse identity has led to a successful outcome at work.

Question 5) What are some ways to effectively manage the challenges associated with diversity in a team?

Question 6) What action is the public service taking to foster an inclusive workplace and increase the understanding of diversity?

Question 7) What HR tools are needed so that leaders at all levels can benefit from inclusion in the workplace?

Question 8) What kind of efforts and initiatives would you personally undertake to ensure a commitment to diversity and inclusion?

Other Links

Read the official Storify from the LeadersGC chat on diversity in the public service by clicking here.

Clerks Says Diversity and Generational Change are Biggest Challenges

Clerks Says Diversity and Generational Change are Biggest Challenges

June 16, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

In his first television interview in his capacity as Clerk, Michael Wernick told CBC television that his biggest challenge will be presiding over the generational change that is taking place in the public service.

This is in line with recruitment being one of his priorities for the public service this year in his latest annual report.

In the interview, the Clerk said that’s why it will be important to ‘professionalize HR’ in the public service and to be able to recruit people from the outside right into the senior ranks of the public service.

This is one of the reasons why the Privy Council Office (PCO) has put out a request for proposals (RFP) for, “services to develop and help maintain an inventory of potential candidates for consideration by the Privy Council Office for possible appointments to senior leadership positions in the deputy minister cadre.”

After the creation of the inventory, it is expected that PCO would draw on it as it supports the Prime Minister by identifying deputy minister candidates for consideration.

It is anticipated that after initial creation of the inventory, it would need to be updated every two months.

When asked about diversity, the Clerk admitted the challenge in having a public service that looks like Canada, most notably in the senior ranks.

“We have work to do in all aspects of diversity, frankly,” the Clerk said.

“However, I’m quite confident that in a few years, you’ll see a very different looking senior public service.”

LeadersGC

To continue the discussion on diversity, participate in today’s LeadersGC online chat happening at 8 p.m. (EDT) with the President of the Public Service Commission.

Other Links

Read the original request for proposal here.

Video

Watch the Clerk in his own words here: (starts at the 21:45 mark)

Former Clerk Janice Charette Appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

Former Clerk Janice Charette Appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

May 26, 2016 | By | 2 Comments

This week it’s been reported that former Clerk Janice Charette has been appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Janice Charette replaces former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell who was serving as High Commissioner since 2011.

Ms. Charette is no stranger to the UK as she visited public servants and public service leadership there in her role as Clerk, speaking about women leaders in the public service.

Public servants reacted with emotion and gratitude upon learning that she would be moving on from her role as Clerk back in January.

Her departure as Clerk came as a surprise to many, who expected her to depart at some point but not as early.

Many public servants have been wondering what Ms. Charette would do next but since leaving her role as Clerk, she has been active on social media, still engaged and championing awareness around mental health.

Ms. Charette made mental health in the workplace a priority for the public service in the Clerk’s annual report to the Prime Minister last year and continues to be a priority for the public service in Clerk Michael Wernick’s report on the public service for this year.

Video

Watch Janice Charette have a discussion about women leaders in the public service with UK public servants here:

Other Links

Follow Janice Charette on Twitter here.

With files from here.

Highlights From the Clerk’s Online LeadersGC Chat With Public Servants

Highlights From the Clerk’s Online LeadersGC Chat With Public Servants

May 24, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Last week was the much anticipated online #LeadersGC chat with Clerk Michael Wernick, where public servants had the opportunity to interact with the Clerk on Twitter and for the first time, on the Clerk’s new Facebook page.

The event likely set new records for engagement and participation with public servants outside of normal working hours.

The chat got underway at 8 p.m. (EDT) and public servants were able to ask questions and discuss the Clerk’s priorities for the public service this year, set out in the Clerk’s latest annual report to the Prime Minister.

As per usual, it wasn’t long before the event began trending on Twitter but this time reached the number two spot nationally.

Participation was strong not only across the country, but extended internationally, as well:

Hundreds of public servants took part with over 4,000 tweets going out and potentially over 3.7 million accounts on Twitter being reached.

The discussion visualized:


Click to enlarge.
Image via @ToferC

Frequency distribution of hashtags throughout the discussion:

It was clear that for many public servants, the work the public service has done so far on mental health in the workplace was one accomplishment that they were most proud of and reiterated that it should continue to be a priority for the public service.

Some highlights from the event:

Highlights

Question 1) The Clerk’s report lists many public service accomplishments; what are you most proud of?

2) The Clerk’s report outlines my priorities for the public service. What are your priorities? How can we better serve Canadians?

3) To deliver on the Government of Canada’s mandate, the public service must adapt. What cultural changes do you think are needed?

4) How do we set a course towards a public service we want to become?

5) Recruiting the right people to meet future needs of Canadians is critical. What skills will be required?

6) As the world evolves, the public service must evolve with it. But what will or must remain constant for the public service?

7) The Clerk’s report highlights the importance of wellness and mental health in the workplace. What does this mean to you?

8) How can the public service be more results-focused?

Closing

Video

Other Links

Read the official Storify from the LeadersGC chat with the Clerk here.

Catch up on highlights from past series below:

  1. November 5, 2015 – “Embrace the Social Leader in You” with Andrew Treusch
  2. November 12, 2015 – “The Essence of Social Leadership” with Nancy Chahwan
  3. November 19, 2015 – “Building the Workforce of the Future” with Denise Amyot
  4. November 26, 2015 – “Engagement and Pride in the Public Service” with Clerk Janice Charette
  5. January 21, 2016 – “Raising Awareness Around Mental Health and Stopping the Stigma” with Debbie Beresford-Green
  6. February 18, 2016 – “Leadership and Innovation in the Public Service” with Graham Flack
  7. March 17, 2016 – “Official Languages in the Public Service” with Graham Fraser and Donna Achimov
  8. April 15, 2016 – “Coaching and Mentoring in the Public Service” with Dan Couture
  9. April 20, 2016 – “Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair: Recruitment in the Public Service” with Anne Marie Smart
Public Servants Call on Public Service Leadership to Save Clicks and Tips

Public Servants Call on Public Service Leadership to Save Clicks and Tips

May 16, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Public servants recently learned that the popular “Clicks and Tips” initiative and community of practice within the public service will be put on hold for the foreseeable future until it can find the support needed from senior leaders and necessary resources to sustain itself.

Clicks and Tips began as a resource, started by one public servant, Roy Nader, that has now turned into a full blown community of practice via GCTools, where all public servants can ask their questions related to technology and get help.

The monthly newsletter has over 7,000 subscribers, the GCConnex group has over 4,000 members and is the third largest group on there, and the GCPedia page has been visited hundreds of thousands of times.

A small sample of some of the reaction from public servants upon learning the news that Clicks and Tips will be suspended:

After five years, those involved with Clicks and Tips have been investing their own time and resources, dedicated to keeping it alive on top and outside of their normal jobs with no budget.

Clicks and Tips has evolved into a community of practice so popular and so big that those involved:

  • Manage the Clicks and Tips newsletter (up to 25 hours per month);
  • Edit the newsletter (up to 5 hours per language);
  • Translate documents;
  • Prepare presentations/webinars (30-70 hours for a one-hour session);
  • Coordinate/manage the large WebEx sessions;
  • Manage the GCConnex group and GCPedia sites;
  • Research new best practices;
  • Test new tools;
  • Help others by responding to tech questions via email, telephone and GCConnex;
  • Deliver presentations; and
  • So much more.

Clicks and Tips leverages GCTools, which the Clerk recently relaunched at last month’s interdepartmental innovation fair.

There, the Clerk said that the public service of turf, territory and ego must be replaced with collaboration, openness and engagement.

This was reiterated in the Clerk’s annual report on the public service saying that, “It will take all of us to build the kind of public service that we want – known for its collaboration, partnership and agility.”

Public servants are saying that is exactly what Clicks and Tips is doing and that this is an opportunity for senior leaders in the public service to show commitment and leadership on these issues by supporting Clicks and Tips, where actions mirror words spoken.

Clicks and Tips by the Numbers

2016clickstipsnumbers

Other Links

Help save Clicks and Tips by signing the petition on GCConnex here (internal to the federal public service only).

Find Clicks and Tips on GCPedia here (internal to the federal public service only).

Clerk Outlines Priorities for the Public Service This Year in Annual Report

Clerk Outlines Priorities for the Public Service This Year in Annual Report

May 9, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

On Friday, Clerk Michael Wernick released his annual report to the Prime Minister on the public service. The Clerk is the most senior public servant in the public service and as such, his report included the priorities for the public service in the coming year:

  • respectful workplaces with a priority on mental health;
  • recruitment; and
  • reinforcing the policy community.

The Clerk’s priorities for the public service remain unchanged from last year and this report moreso provided an update on, “progress made in advancing these priorities and details areas in which we need to accelerate our efforts to obtain results.”

Letter to the Prime Minister

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Clerk Michael Wernick paid a respectful tribute to former Clerk Janice Charette and specifically referenced “her strong leadership during her tenure as Clerk. Carrying on her work on wellness and mental health in the workplace will be important as I tackle my dual mandate helping to deliver on your Government’s mandate and increasing the capabilities of the Public Service to better serve the Government and Canadians.”

Clerk Michael Wernick also highlighted to the Prime Minister that, “It is clear to me that we are entering a period of dramatic generational change in the Public Service. It will be important to pass on the values and wisdom of past generations while mobilizing the energy and creativity of the new generation of public servants. I see this as a key and urgent task for the Public Service as a whole.”

Highlights From Across the Public Service Last Year

Respectful Workplaces and Mental Health

  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) adopted a dynamic mental health strategy, taking a holistic approach to psychological and physical wellness, prevention, de-stigmatization, and intervention. Training is provided on mental health first aid, stress management, dealing with abhorrent information, suicide prevention, and violence or harassment in the workplace. Employee surveys and focus groups are used to help guide the strategy;
  • Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) created an integrated mental health framework to guide the development of tools and resources for employees and managers to support good mental health practices in the workplace. It incorporates concrete actions as well as related accountabilities and timelines. An easy-to-view two-page summary provides managers and staff with a quick reference guide for the strategy, to help keep it front of mind. Initiatives include: mental health training for employees; blogs from senior management; employee testimonial articles and video; Deputy Minister of Labour guest editor of the Spotlight on Blueprint 2020 special edition on mental health; and a mental health coaching circle for managers;
  • In the interest of promoting greater awareness and transparency regarding harassment in the workplace, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency began publishing harassment complaint summaries on its intranet site. These were viewed 693 times in 2014-2015; and
  • The Improving the Workplace Challenge was an opportunity to ask employees of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, “What is one thing that could be done that would help improve your workplace experience?” More than 500 staff across the country participated, submitting ideas and rating and improving their colleagues’ concepts. The top ten ideas included better promoting health and wellness, 360-degree performance reviews of managers, and creating space for collaboration and conversation.

Recruitment

      • The Public Service Commission launched the New Direction in Staffing, moving from 12 policies to one, while preserving the principles of merit and non-partisanship. This means departments have more opportunities to use innovative, efficient and effective staffing tools and customized processes;
      • Parks Canada used its Campus Club Network to expand its recruitment efforts. This new initiative gets young adults outside the classroom and connects them with parks. Over the past two years, Campus Clubs have been established at 15 post-secondary institutions in seven provinces. The initiative currently reaches more than 6,000 young adults across the country. There are 23 Campus Club leaders helping Parks Canada promote volunteer work and employment; and
      • During a 2014 Dragon’s Den type of event at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, public servants pitched a new approach to recruitment, retention and career management for Indigenous students.
        • The pilot project demonstrated that a great idea pays off. Between 2014 and 2015, there were 65 Indigenous students registered in the Federal Student Work Experience Program for the Quebec region. A year later, by October 1, 2015, that number had almost doubled, with 125 students registered.
        • The number of Indigenous students hired by the Department’s Quebec regional office rose 31% in 2014 and then another 47% in 2015, with Indigenous students accounting for roughly half (8 of 17) of the new recruits brought into the regional office over this last year.

Reinforcing the Policy Community

  • Canada Revenue Agency’s Accelerated Business Solutions Lab furthered its efforts to modernize. Through innovative methods—advanced analytics, behavioural economics and other techniques—the Lab is able to explore and apply new approaches to the Agency’s administrative, policy and service challenges;
  • At the Public Health Agency of Canada, the GCconnexUS Team worked to drive better policy by connecting scientists and policy experts. This partnership with the Treasury Board Secretariat resulted in the launch of an improved user profile on an internal website, GCconnex, which allows people to find potential colleagues faster within the Agency and across government; and
  • Natural Resources Canada launched the New Policy Instruments and Approaches portal, aimed at analysts, managers, communities of practice, and policy innovators, and seeks to support research, knowledge exchange, discussion, networking and experimentation.
LeadersGC

The Clerk will be the special guest host for May’s #LeadersGC event, which will cover the priorities for the public service outlined in his report.

The event takes place Thursday May 19 at 8 p.m. (EDT) on Twitter and for the first time, on Facebook via the Clerk’s Facebook page.

Other Links

Read the Clerk’s full report on the public service here.

Like and follow the Clerk on Facebook here.

Clerk’s Message to All Public Servants on Mental Health Week

Clerk’s Message to All Public Servants on Mental Health Week

May 4, 2016 | By | 2 Comments

This week is mental health week and Clerk Michael Wernick has shared a message with all public servants:

This week is Mental Health Week.

It’s an opportune time for me to reinforce my continuing commitment to improving mental health and workplace wellness across the Public Service.

We all work hard, I know that. We should be very proud of our work because it matters to our country and given that, there are very high expectations placed on us. These expectations come not only from our minister, the Prime Minister and his staff, but also from our colleagues across departments, agencies, and other organizations in our federal public service family who look to us for guidance and direction.

With these expectations, sometimes finding a balance can be difficult. However, I encourage you to try and find the balance that works for you, despite the demands. If you are experiencing difficulties, I’d ask that you talk to your managers. If you’d rather not, speak to a colleague or a friend. Please speak to someone. There are tremendous resources available through the Employee Assistance Program; they are a quick, confidential call away: 1-800-268-7708.

Look after yourselves and each other.

Respectfully,

Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council

This week, the Clerk will be releasing his annual report to the Prime Minister on the public service.

The report will include the priorities for the public service in the coming year and in a recent address, the Clerk confirmed that mental health and workplace well-being will once again be a priority.

Other Links

Read the original message on the Clerk’s Facebook page here.

Reminder About the Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all public servants in need of support.

Support is available in-person, over the phone or by email.

Calls are:

answered by fully trained bilingual counsellors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. All counsellors have a minimum of a master’s degree in counselling, social work or psychology and are trained in crisis and suicide prevention/intervention. In terms of confidentiality, your employer will not know that you have accessed the program and will not have access to any of your private information. There is no risk to your future career advancement.

For phone contact information, click here.

For more information on support by email, click here.

Just some of the topics you can turn to EAP for support on:

There’s also a link to the main EAP page at the bottom of our website in the “Quick Links” section for easy reference.

Clerk to Guest Host Next LeadersGC Event: May 19

Clerk to Guest Host Next LeadersGC Event: May 19

May 3, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Following this week’s release of the annual report to the Prime Minister on the public service, Clerk Michael Wernick will be the special guest host for May’s #LeadersGC event, where he will discuss the priorities for the public service outlined in his report.

The event takes place Thursday May 19 at 8 p.m. (EDT) on Twitter via the #LeadersGC hashtag and for the first time, on Facebook via the Clerk’s Facebook page.

LeadersGC is a monthly chat series on Twitter, meant to incite discussion among public servants at all levels around leadership and social engagement.

Created by public servants for public servants, four pilot episodes were held in November 2015 and became an instant hit. The series trended in the top spot nationally on Twitter, had international participation, interest from other sectors and had a Twitter account reach in the tens of thousands.

LeadersGC is the brainchild of Nick Frate, a well known champion of social leadership and engagement in the public service and host of each LeadersGC event. Joining him are the Collaborators, a team of engaged public servants from across departments.

Each event is guest hosted by a senior Executive in the federal public service.

In the meantime, get involved in the #LeadersGC discussion on Twitter and catch up on highlights from past series below:

  1. November 5, 2015 – “Embrace the Social Leader in You” with Andrew Treusch
  2. November 12, 2015 – “The Essence of Social Leadership” with Nancy Chahwan
  3. November 19, 2015 – “Building the Workforce of the Future” with Denise Amyot
  4. November 26, 2015 – “Engagement and Pride in the Public Service” with Clerk Janice Charette
  5. January 21, 2016 – “Raising Awareness Around Mental Health and Stopping the Stigma” with Debbie Beresford-Green
  6. February 18, 2016 – “Leadership and Innovation in the Public Service” with Graham Flack
  7. March 17, 2016 – “Official Languages in the Public Service” with Graham Fraser and Donna Achimov
  8. April 15, 2016 – “Coaching and Mentoring in the Public Service” with Dan Couture
  9. April 20, 2016 – “Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair: Recruitment in the Public Service” with Anne Marie Smart

Other Links

Like and follow the Clerk on Facebook here.

Read highlights from the Clerk’s annual report last year here.