The Canadian Public Service Reforms


The Canadian public service is a staff of the federal government and it works through commissions, departments, corporations and other organizations. Canadian public service’s role involves implementation of the programs set by the government. The Canadian public service has been encountering many problems which hinder proper delivery of services to the people. In this article , I will argue on the reasons as to why the public service of Canada require some reforms in order to prevent incidents like corruption and embezzlement of funds among other problems which hinder efficient service delivery to the Canadians.

For proper provision and delivery of services to the public of Canada at reduced cost, there is a need for reforms through service delivery overhaul. Diversification of the methods of delivery should be done in order to meet the needs of the people satisfactorily (Barzelay 2001, p. 64). The government should improve the leadership of the public service and come up with a culture that will help all the employees to work hard in order to improve the organization they work for. Departments and organizations should bring their efforts together so as to create a public service which is respected by everybody, public service which is professional and competent.

Cultural Reform

The cultural reform will help in proper control of the expenses of the government because the public service employees will be dedicated and efficient. Proper employee recruiting process should be adopted and high professional employees need to be retained at all levels. The government should also invest in training and development processes and the employees should be encouraged to develop their skills in management and leadership which are required by the current society. A good labor relation environment should be created so as to make the employees in the public service get more involved. The administrative and management systems should be modernized and simplified in order to make them more cost effective and efficient (Kettl 2005, p. 116).

Information Technology Reform

Reforms should also be done in the government information technology so as to ensure that services given to the public are enhanced and productivity is increased by using information technology as a strategic tool for delivery of program and supporting government priorities. This technological reform will help in improving the way the government carries out its business and will also help in maintaining a public service which is modern. Through improved technology, it is possible to come up with information technology strategies based on program priorities and select information technology that meets the public service objectives.

Improvement of technology in the Canadian public service will help the human resource department to carry out its activities easily. Electronic labor exchange can be used in matching skills. Human resource managers can create a profile for the vacant positions that need to be filled and identify the education, experience and skills required. Using the information in the profile, the electronic labor exchange can make a match which is exact thus helping employers to get people with the right experience and skills. A web can be created to help in bringing together a network of information on training, education, self assessment, employment opportunities and techniques on how to search jobs (Thompson 1982, p. 104).

Equity and Diversity

The Canadian public service should ensure equity and diversity. Equality should be observed in workplace in order to ensure that no one is denied to work or enjoy the benefits of work due to reasons not related to ability. The Canadian public service should ensure implementation of employment equity by identifying and avoiding the obstacles of employment which negatively affected some employees. Proper practices and policies should be instituted and persons in designated groups accommodated. It is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion, race, nationality, disability, sex, marital status and age. For this reason thus, the public service is not supposed to discriminate against a person based on those reasons. The treasury board should instruct the commission to create an employment equity program which the deputy head should have jurisdiction. Management which is decentralized should be formed and should have the responsibility of implementing the employment equity and integrate it with the practices of the human resource combined with the corporate culture. Each organization’s head should be accountable for results achieved for the responsibilities given.

Corruption and bribery scandals associated with the politicians in Canada also involved the public servants. It thus calls for reforms of the Civil service in Canada so as to protect the public officers who are efficient and honest from those who are corrupt and portray a bad image of the administration of the Canadian public service. This will prevent bribery, municipal corruption, abuse of office, owning items obtained though crime and commissions which are secret. The government should also ensure that the act of corruption of public officials is implemented so as prohibit money laundering, and theft or grabbing of public resources (Hodgetts 1991, p. 67). The act makes it possible to punish the victim and also reduces attempts of committing the crime.

Developing of Trust and Transparency in the Public Service

The public service should create trust in the public as they are delivering their services. This helps in creating motivation to the employees because they are not monitored which leads to reduction of cost. There’s a need to set the achievable targets so as to improve service delivery within the government agencies. The public should also have a voice on the service delivery. They should express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction to the service providers. They can achieve this by launching complain to the representatives selected or following the complaints procedure. Choice and competition model should be adopted in the Canadian public service because this model helps in the use of self interest to serve the public well. Service providers engage in creativity and innovation in order to attract customers. The quality of the service and delivery is also improved for one to remain in business due to competition from the private sector (Hodgetts 1991, p. 67).

Canadian public service should be made transparent. Since the government information provided to the people is very important, the government should ensure that this information is timely, reliable and relevant. This information should be accessible to the public for their scrutiny in order to ensure proper service delivery. With increased internet access, the government should avail its information online for the public to access. Electronic systems provides tools which can integrate information from public information that can be used by businesses and citizens. With the advent of e-government, coherence, consistency and quality of information online can be made possible. Annual report publication and performance data are necessary tools which the public should access for scrutiny. In order to ensure openness also, strategic plan publication, legislative timetables and projects forthcoming should be made available to the public (Siegel 1999, p. 118).

Service Accessibility

The Canadian public service should be made accessible and this can be achieved by putting in place measures to reduce linguistic, physical and organizational barriers. By creating an open government which is accessible by everybody, equal treatment. Administration law should state how the public can access the government and should also put in place the mechanisms to make the authorities accountable for the decisions they make. Services provided should meet the needs of the public and provide redress mechanisms. Citizen’s charter should be needed for the public sector to provide services of high quality which the public can access easily and also they should be customer centered. With introduction of redress mechanism and citizen charter, the government can provide the businesses and people with a way of evaluating their own experiences on public service use compared to the set standards of service. Policy measure which will reduce the administrative burden should be developed since they aid in improving access and providing advice and assistance in following the regulations. E-government lowers the obstacle to citizens by providing access to the information from the government and online services.

Developing Responsiveness and Strategic Direction

The public service of Canada should be made more responsive. In order to improve the public services and increase its legitimacy, the public should be consulted during the law making process (Siegel 1999, 118). For the government to be more responsive, efforts should be made in improvement of tools and integration of results consulted from the public in order to help in decision making. Government cannot implement policies effectively if the public does not get their meaning and support them. In order for the public service to be effective, the consultation process should have clear goals which will define the exercise and the obligation of the government to declare its use of the received input. The Internet can make it possible to increase the scope of consultation by the government to the citizens and the stakeholders during a decision making process.

The Canadian public service should have a strategic direction which will help in overseeing that the services are delivered properly to the public. A good strategy will help the public sector to work efficiently because there are the laid down objectives which are supposed to be achieved at a specific period. A long term strategy will help to meet the short term goals which will help to create public confidence. Improvement on performance management is also important in the Canadian public service. Performance data should be published for the public and those providing the service to see what they are doing and compare themselves with others. Performance management will help to know when a certain service is under performing (Hodgetts 1991, p. 67).

For Canada to achieve reforms in the public management a framework to govern the reforms should be made and it should comprise such institutions like legal covenants, formal rules, and unwritten code of conducts, norms and operating procedures which are standard. Processes of resource management and policy making will assist in allocating human resource and financial resources between competing ministries like education and defense. Institutional arrangements will help in shaping the delivery of public service and help in improving operational productivity activities. Regulatory measurements should be put in place because they help in prevention of corruption in service delivery or employee recruitment will also help in comparing inputs and out puts and also monitor the performance of output. The results got from the evaluation process will help in the improvement of structures, services and systems in the public sector (Thompson 1982, p. 104).

Structural Reforms

Structural reforms in the public sector will improve the environment in which individuals carry out public management activities like budget making and service delivery. Structural reforms include formal incentives which comprise classification of jobs in the public service, competitiveness of wage with the private sector and the system of grading. When these are put in place, they will help in predicting and preventing arbitrariness for example in budget making. Structural reforms also include external check where competition can result to customer or client feed back and can also lead to avoiding bureaucrats. Through this structural reform performance is improved, for example the government due to competitive forces can open civil service recruitment thus providing remuneration comparable to the private sector (Corkery 1998, 108). Availability of information explaining how well the public resources have been used will improve the performance and this can be achieved through hiring good audit institution and strengthening the watchdogs (Seidle 1995, p. 98).

Flexible delivery systems should be designed to help in proper access of services like education and proper operation of facilities like schools and clinics which will lead to client or public satisfaction. Centralized system results to fiscal problems and monopoly and thus a decentralized system should be adopted in improving the resource allocation process by spreading the administrative responsibilities and fiscal to all levels of the government. Flexible service delivery will help in accountability at all government levels and the authority to control resources. It will also help in demonopolization due to combination of rules, competition and voice (Halligan 2003, p. 123).

When proper decentralization is done in the Canadian public service it will lead to improved allocation of financial resources, it will be also possible to access the rural people who are poor and will provide good opportunity for economy exploitation. Decentralized system will ensure transparency between the public and the officials and thus the accountability of the officials to the public will be very clear. A decentralized arrangement ensures proper coverage and allocation and utilization of the public resources preference being given to the local people.


Canadian public service has been experiencing some challenges in its service delivery. This article has explained that reforms need to be done in order to ensure transparency in servile delivery, ensure government responsiveness, and ensure accountability and accessibility. This will help in efficient service delivery and proper allocation of the public funds. Proper decentralization should also be done to ensure that funds are properly allocated even to the lowest level of government and also to avoid monopoly. Information technology should also be improved to ensure modernized service delivery and easy access to information. Finally, equality should be observed in the Canadian public service by avoiding discrimination and corruption in the recruitment process.

Reference List

  1. Barzelay, Michael. 2001. The new public management: improving research and policy dialogue. California: University of California Press.
  2. Corkery, Joan. 1998. Management of public service reform. New York: IOS Press.
  3. Halligan, John. 2003. Civil service systems in Anglo-American countries. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  4. Hodgetts, J. 1991.Public Management: Emblem of Reform for the Canadian Public Service. Canadian Centre for Management Development.
  5. Kettl, Donald. 2005. The global public management revolution. New York: Brookings Institution Press.
  6. Seidle, Leslie. 1995. Rethinking the delivery of public services to citizens. London: IRPP.
  7. Siegel, David. 1999. Service in the field: the world of front-line public servants. New York: McGill-Queen’s Press.
  8. Thompson, Fred. 1982. Regulatory reform in Canada. London: IRPP.