Brunt of public service cuts outside of Ottawa, report finds

Not surprising, the people making the decisions are in Ottawa-Gatineau. One of the factors contributing to the dramatic fall in citizenship processing in 2012 was cutbacks to CIC’s regional network:

“The bottom line is that, proportionately, there have been more cuts in the regions than in the NCR,” said Mostafa Askari, assistant parliamentary budget officer.

The report found about two-thirds of the job cuts were outside the National Capital Region, where the head offices of most departments and agencies are located.

Overall, the number of jobs in the federal public service has fallen by 7.5 per cent – 6.5 per cent in the National Capital Region – since the 2012 restraint budget.

At that time, the government said 70 per cent of the reductions would come from operational and “back office” efficiencies and wouldn’t even be noticed by most Canadians. The regions, where most of the front-line employees work providing programs and services to Canadians, were to be largely unaffected.

The bulk of the job cuts were supposed to come in the Ottawa area, where the size of the public service has mushroomed over the past decade. The government estimated that 12,000 bureaucrats would be laid off and the remaining 7,000 cuts would be through its five per cent yearly attrition rate.

The PBO offered no explanation as to why a larger portion of the public service has shifted to the national capital or whether this indicated a shift in the nature of work. The public service has changed considerably, becoming more “professional” in hiring new employees and facing an unprecedented generational turnover as baby boomers retire.

The public service has come under fire for being too Ottawa-focused, isolated and out of touch with Canadians. A big focus of the modernization of the public service now underway is to consult and collaborate more when making decisions.

Brunt of public service cuts outside of Ottawa, report finds | Ottawa Citizen.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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