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Opinion

Phoenix just the latest case of the feds trying to fix what’s not broken

By Andrew Caddell      

When governments plan to fix something, they need to make sure they don't break anything, or anyone, in their efforts to be more efficient. If they don’t follow that rule, the project may end up as a verb.

Treasury Board President Scott Brison, Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough, and her parliamentary secretary Steve MacKinnon, pictured at a news conference at the Charles Lynch Room in Parliament's Centre Block building last year, are some of the main people speaking for the government on the Phoenix payroll debacle. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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OTTAWA—Phoenixed. When a noun becomes a verb, you know it has become ubiquitous and, more than likely, egregious. So it is with the poorly conceived and badly executed Phoenix pay system. What began as a terrible story of a handful of public servants had ballooned to 520,000 cases by November and could be a $600-million bill. This is hard to figure, when you consider there are only 258,000 or so public servants. And I was one of them.

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