Assented to 2003-11-07
An Act respecting employment in the public service
the public service has contributed to the building of Canada, and will continue to do so in the future while delivering services of highest quality to the public;
Canada will continue to benefit from a public service that is based on merit and non-partisanship and in which these values are independently safeguarded;
Canada will also continue to gain from a public service that strives for excellence, that is representative of Canada’s diversity and that is able to serve the public with integrity and in their official language of choice;
the public service, whose members are drawn from across the country, reflects a myriad of backgrounds, skills and professions that are a unique resource for Canada;
authority to make appointments to and within the public service has been vested in the Public Service Commission, which can delegate this authority to deputy heads;
those to whom this appointment authority is delegated must exercise it within a framework that ensures that they are accountable for its proper use to the Commission, which in turn is accountable to Parliament;
delegation of staffing authority should be to as low a level as possible within the public service, and should afford public service managers the flexibility necessary to staff, to manage and to lead their personnel to achieve results for Canadians; and
the Government of Canada is committed to an inclusive public service that reflects the diversity of Canada’s population, that embodies linguistic duality and that is characterized by fair, transparent employment practices, respect for employees, effective dialogue, and recourse aimed at resolving appointment issues;
- 2003, c. 22, s. 12 “Preamble”
- 2021, c. 23, s. 276
NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
2 (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.
Board means the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board referred to in subsection 4(1) of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board Act. (Commission des relations de travail et de l’emploi)
Commission means the Public Service Commission continued by subsection 4(1). (Commission)
(a) an organization named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act;
(b) any other organization that is designated by the Governor in Council as a department for the purposes of this Act; or
(c) any part of any organization that is designated by the Governor in Council as a department for the purposes of this Act. (ministère)
deployment means the transfer of a person from one position to another in accordance with Part 3. (mutation)
- deputy head
(a) in relation to an organization named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, its deputy minister;
(b) in relation to any organization or part of an organization that is designated as a department under this Act, the person that the Governor in Council designates as the deputy head for the purposes of this Act; and
(c) in relation to any organization named in Schedule IV or V to the Financial Administration Act to which the Commission has the exclusive authority to make appointments, its chief executive officer or, if there is no chief executive officer, its statutory deputy head or, if there is neither, the person designated by the Governor in Council as its deputy head for the purposes of this Act. (administrateur général)
employee means a person employed in that part of the public service to which the Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments. (fonctionnaire)
(a) the Treasury Board, in relation to an organization named in Schedule I or IV to the Financial Administration Act; or
(b) in relation to a separate agency to which the Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments, that separate agency. (employeur)
- equity-seeking group
equity-seeking group means a group of persons who are disadvantaged on the basis of one or more prohibited grounds of discrimination within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act. (groupe en quête d’équité)
- external appointment process
external appointment process means a process for making one or more appointments in which persons may be considered whether or not they are employed in the public service. (processus de nomination externe)
- internal appointment process
internal appointment process means a process for making one or more appointments in which only persons employed in the public service may be considered. (processus de nomination interne)
organization means any portion of the federal public administration named in Schedule I, IV or V to the Financial Administration Act. (administration)
- public service
public service means the several positions in or under
(a) the departments named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act;
(b) the organizations named in Schedule IV to that Act; and
(c) the separate agencies named in Schedule V to that Act. (fonction publique)
- separate agency
separate agency means an organization named in Schedule V to the Financial Administration Act. (organisme distinct)
- statutory deputy head
statutory deputy head means any officer who, by any Act of Parliament, is or is deemed to be a deputy head or who has, or is deemed to have, the rank of a deputy head. (administrateur général au titre de la loi)
Tribunal[Repealed, 2013, c. 40, s. 403]
Marginal note:References to deputy head
(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
(a) a reference to a deputy head in relation to an employee shall be construed as a reference to the deputy head of the department or other organization, as the case may be, in which the employee is employed; and
(b) a reference to a deputy head in relation to an appointment shall be construed as a reference to the deputy head of the department or other organization, as the case may be, in which the appointment is made.
Marginal note:References to occupational groups
(3) A reference in this Act to an occupational group shall be construed as a reference to a group or subgroup of employees defined by the employer, and a reference to the executive group shall be construed as a reference to an occupational group or subgroup designated by the employer and consisting of management personnel.
Marginal note:References to abuse of authority
(4) For greater certainty, a reference in this Act to abuse of authority shall be construed as including bad faith and personal favouritism.
- 2003, c. 22, ss. 12 “2”, 271
- 2005, c. 16, s. 17
- 2013, c. 40, s. 403
- 2017, c. 9, s. 48
- 2021, c. 23, s. 277
Marginal note:Descriptive cross-references
3 If, in any provision of this Act, a reference to another provision of this Act is followed by words in parentheses that are descriptive of the subject-matter of the provision referred to, the words in parentheses form no part of the provision in which they occur and are deemed to have been inserted for convenience of reference only.
PART 1Public Service Commission, Deputy Heads and Employer
Marginal note:Commission continued
4 (1) The Public Service Commission is continued, consisting of a President and two or more other Commissioners.
(2) In order to be eligible to hold office as a Commissioner, a person must be a Canadian citizen within the meaning of the Citizenship Act or a permanent resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Marginal note:Full-time or part-time
(3) The President shall serve on a full-time basis and the other Commissioners on a part-time basis.
Marginal note:Other employment or activities
(4) Commissioners shall not accept or hold any office or employment, or carry on any activity, that is inconsistent with their functions, and the President shall devote the whole of his or her time to the performance of the President’s functions.
Marginal note:Appointment of Commissioners
(5) The President and other Commissioners shall be appointed by the Governor in Council. The appointment of the President shall be made by commission under the Great Seal, after approval by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons.
Marginal note:Tenure and term of office
(6) A Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term of seven years, but may be removed by the Governor in Council at any time on address of the Senate and House of Commons.
(7) A Commissioner, on the expiration of a first or any subsequent term of office, is eligible to be re-appointed for a further term not exceeding seven years.
Marginal note:Oath or affirmation
(8) Before commencing his or her functions, a Commissioner shall take an oath or make a solemn affirmation in the following form before the Clerk of the Privy Council or the person designated by the Clerk:
I, , do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully, truly and impartially, to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, execute and perform the office of (Commissioner or President, as the case may be) of the Public Service Commission. (Add, in the case where an oath is taken, “So help me God” (or name of deity).)
5 (1) The Commissioners shall be paid the remuneration determined by the Governor in Council.
(2) The Commissioners are entitled to be paid reasonable travel and other expenses incurred by them in the course of their duties while absent from their ordinary place of residence or, in the case of the President, while absent from his or her ordinary place of work.
Marginal note:Application of Public Service Superannuation Act
(3) The President is deemed to be employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act.
Marginal note:Application of other Acts
(4) The Commissioners are deemed to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
6 (1) The President is the chief executive officer of the Commission.
(2) The President shall reside in the National Capital Region as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act or within the distance of it specified by the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Acting President
(3) If the President is absent or unable to act or if the office of President is vacant, the minister designated under section 23 may authorize a Commissioner or other qualified person to act as President for a period not exceeding sixty days, and the Governor in Council may authorize a Commissioner or other qualified person to act as President for any longer period.
7 (1) A majority of the Commissioners constitutes a quorum of the Commission.
(2) A vacancy in the membership of the Commission does not impair the right of the remaining Commissioners to act.
Marginal note:Head office
Marginal note:Human resources
9 The Commission may appoint the persons necessary for the proper conduct of its work in the manner authorized by this Act.
Marginal note:Experts and advisers
10 (1) The Commission may retain on a temporary basis the services of experts or other persons having technical or special knowledge to assist it in an advisory capacity and, subject to the approval of the Treasury Board, fix their remuneration.
Marginal note:Application of Public Service Superannuation Act
(2) Persons whose services are retained under subsection (1) are not employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act.
Mandate and Functions of Commission
11 The mandate of the Commission is
(a) to appoint, or provide for the appointment of, persons to or from within the public service in accordance with this Act;
(b) to conduct investigations and audits in accordance with this Act; and
(c) to administer the provisions of this Act relating to political activities of employees and deputy heads.
Marginal note:Functions assigned by Governor in Council
12 The Commission shall perform any functions in relation to the public service that are assigned to it by the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Delegation to Commissioners and employees
13 Any power or function of the Commission under this Act, other than under section 20 or 22, may be exercised or performed by any Commissioner or employee of the Commission authorized by the Commission to do so and, if so exercised or performed, is deemed to have been exercised or performed by the Commission.
Marginal note:Consultation by Commission
14 The Commission shall, on request or if it considers consultation necessary or desirable, consult with the employer or any employee organization certified as a bargaining agent under the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act with respect to policies respecting the manner of making and revoking appointments or with respect to the principles governing lay-offs or priorities for appointment.
- 2003, c. 22, s. 12 “14”
- 2017, c. 9, s. 55
Delegation by Commission to Deputy Heads
Marginal note:Exercise of powers and functions by deputy heads
15 (1) The Commission may authorize a deputy head to exercise or perform, in relation to his or her organization, in the manner and subject to any terms and conditions that the Commission directs, any of the powers and functions of the Commission under this Act, other than its powers under sections 17, 20 and 22, its power to investigate appointments under sections 66 to 69 and its powers under Part 7.
Marginal note:Revision or rescission
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Commission may revise or rescind an authorization granted under this section.
Marginal note:Revocation of appointments
(3) Where the Commission authorizes a deputy head to make appointments pursuant to an internal appointment process, the authorization must include the power to revoke those appointments and to take corrective action whenever the deputy head, after investigation, is satisfied that an error, an omission or improper conduct affected the selection of a person for appointment.
(4) In authorizing a deputy head under subsection (3), the Commission is not required to include the authority to revoke appointments or to take corrective action in circumstances referred to in sections 68 and 69.
Marginal note:Commission jurisdiction
(5) The Commission may not revoke an appointment referred to in subsection (3) or take corrective action in relation to such an appointment except in circumstances referred to in sections 68 and 69.
Marginal note:Re-appointment on revocation
(6) Where the appointment of a person is revoked by a deputy head acting pursuant to subsection (3), the Commission may appoint that person to another position if the Commission is satisfied that the person meets the essential qualifications referred to in paragraph 30(2)(a).
- Date modified: