AccountabilityManagement
May 7, 2012

Valuing Public Service

Bill Greenlaw is the elected president of the Institute for Public Administration in Canada. His keynote speech to their annual convention stressed the importance of championing the public service. He spoke with Vic Pakalnis, CGE editorial board member and director, Eastern Ontario Region, Ontario Ministry of Labour.

 

 

What do you see as IPAC’s greatest challenges?

 

I think we have two challenges. One is relevance and the other sustainability of the organization. I think that IPAC has, and will continue to be, well positioned to champion public service values: an independent and merit based public service which I think is fundamentally core to Canadian values with regard to what they expect from their public services.

 

The IPAC board has developed a five-year strategic plan targeting four key areas:

Leading edge research and knowledge sharing Education and professional development Recognition of innovation and excellence Relevant and sustainable organization.

 

 

But fundamentally, this year my particular focus will be on re-invigorating pride in public service. IPAC is well-positioned as a neutral delivery agent to champion across all three sectors of government the excellent work that we do; to champion our ideals; and to promote our raison d’etre, our “calling” to public service. I think that younger people have a broader understanding, a sense of value for the public good. They’ve been educated differently, they think differently, they want to be involved, they want to be engaged and IPAC can harness that energy, and promote and develop tools that allow organizations to recruit these new public servants.

 

We need to gather success stories, to share with Canadians. We have recognition programs, yet we need to more actively communicate what we’re doing. I see IPAC being the voice of public service. It’s well-positioned, it’s credible, it has a long history. It is able to speak to governance across the country, not to just reflect one order of government. It gives connections and gives you the big picture. And I find that new professionals are looking for broader connections, deeper understanding and to have more impact on society and influence in decision-making.

 

We need to communicate pride in public service to Canadians, and to students in particular. Jocelyn Bourgon, then head of the Public Service of Canada, spoke at Dalhousie University when I was there. I still recall thinking: I would love to work for that woman. Public sector leaders need to get out with energy and enthusiasm and tell the stories about the jobs they do and the good they do. People need to hear those messages.

 

How can young professionals contribute to IPAC?

 

Just like all organizations, we are grappling with what that means, and how do you actually make involvement meaningful for new members. We felt it was important to make sure that whatever we did was meaningful and really, truly gave everybody a voice at the table. We need them to contribute to the vision of Canada. Canada will undergo a significant shift in direction over the next 15 years. They will be the players, they will determine the direction in an involved, consultative, participatory way. IPAC has tried to give them voice by having a new professionals representative on the national board (Heather Orr); there’s a new professionals committee that links across all new professionals organizations; and we’ve created a new, reduced cost membership category for them and new academics. Nova Scotia has Governex, Ontario has TOPS and so on – IPAC can serve as an integrator providing value and connecting each of these to a bigger picture.

 

How can our readers help the new professionals to get the right start in their careers?

 

I think senior executives need to be aware of who these new professionals are, what their needs are, and the demographic information that’s out there. They need to act as mentors or assign mentors. It’s about finding the right match, finding out who they are and through your networks, try to find the right person that would help them at any given point in their career. A person can have multiple mentors, it’s not meant to be a one-time only experience. The needs evolve and a good time to sort these things out is through the performance review system.

 

You work with the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Tell us a bit about it.

 

We spent the past four years developing our own strategic plan for Heritage in Nova Scotia, released in February, a similar process to the one we did at IPAC. Heritage is at the essence of governance because heritage is a public good and government is about public good. It’s not a business. A museum is not a business, it is a public good. Why do we want to preserve and protect artefacts for perpetuity? Because human beings, in my mind, have an intrinsic understanding of what’s important to them and when things get tough or they’re looking for grounding, they want to go to the family tree, they want to go to the gravestone or they want to go to the museum to understand the past so we can connect to the future. The issue of communicating relevancy is very similar to the issue we have in the public service. When the Americans went into Baghdad and the museum was looted, there was an outcry about losing these artefacts for posterity. That speaks very true to the importance of heritage as a public good and its link to the broader sense of public calling and public duty. I have only been in the file for five years but it is an extremely fascinating and complex file fraught with many intertwined issues and with the age old issue of being heard in a larger context where other sectors such as health and education are competing for attention and resources.

 

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Accountability
 
For a few years now, there’s been a throwaway metaphor bounced...
 
The Chief Information Officer hoisted a thick binder up to eye...
 
What’s your organisation’s mission? Hopefully, you know what it does on...
 
OTTAWA, July 31 – CPA Canada, (Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada) announced their Public Sector Conference ,...
 
We live in the age of paradox.  Never before in human...
 
Despite a rapid expansion in digital democracy initiatives around the globe,...
 
On October 22, 2018, elections were held in Ontario’s 400+ municipalities....
 
What are the key initiatives to support government innovation and change?...
 
Buying Social. Responsible sourcing. Ethical procurement. Sustainable procurement. Whatever name you...
 
In this episode, Lori Turnbull discusses the positive side of disruption,...
 
The Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year...
 
According to a 2018 study led by Dr. Michael McGuire, Senior...
 
Imagine your favorite world class service provider replacing the Board of...
 
When Mark Zuckerberg checked out of Harvard for California’s Silicon Valley,...
 
In his article, Gaming the System, How the misuse of data impedes...
 
My observation is people often take the view, “no one else...
 
The recent 2018 Senate Report examining the Government of Canada’s Phoenix...
 
Human services agencies play a vital role in society, providing a...
 
Tornado warnings broadcast a few weeks ago in Eastern Ontario and...
 
Canada’s international reputation for welcoming and integrating newcomers is unparalleled. At...
 
A few years back, consultants with ghSMART told us the biggest...
 
On today’s show, J. Richard Jones sits down for a chat...
 
Procurement modernization has been a Government of Canada (GC) policy priority...
 
It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and just moments...
 
Over the past two decades, codes of ethical conduct have become...
 
Earlier this year the Canadian government took a crucial step by...
 
On the global scene, technology has revolutionized and automated the work...
 
Over the past decade, major Canadian procurement projects have encountered increasing...
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has, on many occasions, expressed his commitment...
 
In this episode, CGE radio show host J. Richard Jones speaks...
 
There is growing pressure on governments around the world to be...
 
Public servants are responsible for providing advice and support to the...
 
Today, the challenges facing governments are increasingly shifting away from traditional,...
 
Management in the Government of Canada is continuously searching for new...
 
Rankings of public sector entities has been big trend for quite...
 
Canadian Government Executive media through its upcoming TechGov event is providing the...
 
Ships docked in a harbour may not be going anywhere; however,...
 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in issuing its annual review of...
 
There’s no shortage of organizations claiming to have a digital transformation...
 
Cybersecurity professionals have sounded the alarm for years, and they are...
 
Cost estimation is becoming an extremely important skill within government due...
 
In this special episode of CGE Radio, your host John Jones...
 
Security professionals have an obligation to communicate risks and recommendations to...
 
Risk is always present in any undertaking, no matter the size...
 
Cost overruns have become institutionalized in the federal government, according to...
 
Last year, procurement Minister Jody Foote was prompted by the swirling...
 
Professionals, managers, and executives in the cost estimation industry can gain...
 
In this episode, hear from Carl Hammersburg, Manager, Government and Healthcare...
 
A new study from the Conference Board of Canada gives our...
 
In the world that we are living in today, free and...
 
The delivery method developed by Sir Michael Barber, chief adviser to...
 
Rules and accountability are helpful in developing and standardizing processes but...
 
Canadian doctors were told that climate change impacts human health and...
 
Even as talks between the government and federal workers affected problems...
 
The largest effort in 20 years to seek public input on...
 
Ottawa has overhauled the process by which justices are picked for...
 
July 27 was pay day some federal public workers that finally...
 
The Senate committee looking into Canada’s Syrian refugee program wants the...
 
In this episode, editor-in-chief, Patrice Dutil talks about the need for...
 
Yes, according to the former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence...
 
As much a 20 per cent of grade seven students in...
 
A Quebec superior court judge facing allegations that he helped commit...
 
In a move meant to the strengthen liability and compensation regime...
 
We often read news articles about rampant drug addiction and suicide...
 
Upon receiving numerous complaints regarding add-on fees that turn making economy...
 
Are you absolutely clear what the government wants to achieve? Are...
 
Veterans Affairs Canada is not adequately managing the drug component of...
 
Whether responding to emergencies back home or assisting regular troops abroad,...
 
Some public servants will have to request their departments for emergency...
 
A landmark Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for some...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) yesterday heard from several...
 
At least one prime minister has resigned, another in under fire,...
 
It appears it was not just the Mounties that were affected...
 
A while back there have been numerous media reports about the...
 
Performance auditing can lead to more efficient, effective, and economical program...
 
Written By Jason McNaught The Public Service Alliance of Canada was...
 
Independence has long been regarded as a cornerstone of the auditing...
 
Canada is a diverse nation, in language, culture, geography, and, ultimately,...
 
Public sector organizations are under increasing pressure to identify all risks...
 
The government of Canada has implemented several measures over the past...
 
Whether at the territorial, provincial or federal government level, internal audit...
 
An organization’s reputation can take years to build but it can...
 
On October 30, Ontario began second reading of the Public Sector...
 
In the well-known children’s story, an Emperor falls victim to the...
 
The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman is a small operation...
 
I think the ombudsman needs to be independent, because without independence...
 
Today’s business environment changes rapidly to adjust to evolving conditions and...
 
The best internal auditors actually are really good managers first. I...
 
The recent controversy about the actions of some staff members in...
 
Most professionals don’t need more than a sentence at a cocktail...
 
Recent research by the Institute of Internal Auditors Canada aims to...
 
When is it that a politician becomes part of the governing...
 
It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the information, privacy...
 
In 1996, a new budget watchdog, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, was...
 
The Ontario government is moving forward with the creation of a...
 
The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (PSIC)...
 
After the Auditor General’s (AG) report was released on April 30,...
 
In the U.K. system, Permanent Secretaries are what we call Deputy...
 
We are living in a period of rapid change and limited...
 
US public sector employees don’t trust their management to do the...
 
The news of Mark Carney’s nomination as the new Governor of...
 
Following Singapore’s independence in 1965, the controversial leadership of Lee Kuan...
 
Over the past few years, the preparation and delivery of the...
 
In healthcare, cost-cutting can result in cutting what is valued most...
 
For over 20 years Colin Bennett has been exploring issues of...
 
Even before controversy shook the organization to its foundation, Ornge was...
 
It will be the largest international multi-sport event ever held on...
 
We’ve all seen the headlines – BC Ferries, Ornge, la Caisse...
 
It can happen, and it’s noteworthy when it does. Government, business...
 
Kevin Page’s mandate as the first Parliamentary Budget Officer comes to...
 
Governments are challenged to meaningfully mitigate the effects of the financial...
 
Canada is facing a huge financial challenge brought on by massive...
 
For the past one hundred years, democratic states have been moving...
 
It’s so much easier and less painful to learn from the...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.2 February 2007 Canada’s Performance 2006 is the sixth...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.1 January 2008 The furor over the $300,000 that...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 "If the Public Service, as a...
 
When pondering leadership, we immediately think of exercising our influence downward...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.1 January 2007 "How can I be held accountable...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.2 February 2008 Let’s say you’re a senior manager,...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.1 January 2007 Perhaps it’s a legacy of the...
 
Last fall, Alberta’s Employment and Immigration department posted online the workplace...
 
As the global economy struggles to regain some forward momentum, Canadian...
 
This will be a defining budget for Stephen Harper. It will...
 
It is difficult to determine when the debate about the need...
 
For the next few years, the federal government’s overarching agenda will...
 
Much of the current conversation about the federal government’s economic agenda...
 
In 2006 the world was feeling the aftershocks of a number...
 
The Independent Blue Ribbon Panel on Grants and Contributions called for...
 
Au Canada, le secteur bénévole et à but non lucratif vit...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 Robert Parkins, editorial director, met recently...
 
Bill Greenlaw is the elected president of the Institute for Public...
 
In the past two decades, the nature of the state has...
 
Have you ever asked yourself the question: ‘How would I evaluate...
 
In recent months, the attention of Canadians has been focused on...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
For a few years now, there’s been a throwaway metaphor bounced...