July 20th, 2024

B.C. Ombudsperson finds ‘systemic mismanagement’ in hiring at public service agency

By The Canadian Press on June 24, 2024.

B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke says dozens of public service jobs meant to help develop the careers of public servants wrongfully went to government appointees over a 10-year period. Chalke speaks during a press conference in Victoria, Thursday, April 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VICTORIA – B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke says dozens of public service jobs meant to help develop the careers of public servants wrongfully went to government appointees over a 10-year period.

In a report released Monday, Chalke says his office found “systemic mismanagement” at the B.C. Public Service Agency allowed the government appointees to apply for temporary positions that should have been reserved for “regular public servants.”

Chalke says 64 temporary jobs went to ineligible people previously appointed under government orders-in-council, diverting career development opportunities from public servants.

He says the investigation began after his office was tipped off by a government employee about two hirings at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, although the investigation didn’t turn up problems with those positions.

But his office found that despite the B.C. Public Service Agency’s policy precluding government appointees from applying for temporary jobs, 205 did so between 2013 and 2023.

Chalke says awarding jobs to ineligible people constitutes “wrongdoing” by the agency under B.C.’s Public Interest Disclosure Act.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2024.

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