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POLICY - PUBLIC WORKS
Public Services and Procurement Canada associate deputy minister Les Linklater and Minister Carla Qualtrough appear before the House Government Operations and Estimates Committee on Dec. 6 to discuss, among other things, money to help stabilize the Phoenix pay system. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As tax season nears, feds freeze Phoenix system changes to help issue proper income slips

Meanwhile, some MPs say they're still frustrated by the lack of constituency office support on Phoenix cases, and efforts continue to reduce the pay-problem case backlog, which on Nov. 28 was 289,000 open files.
Opinion|, David Perry
Last year, DND actually spent most of its procurement money; hopefully the same will occur this year.
Governments in Canada are taking baby steps while the rest of the world is already far ahead on the gruelling marathon of technological development.
Long processes, problematic procurement tools, and security clearances were noted as the top complaints of both federal officials and suppliers in the last year.
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Twenty-seven MPs and cabinet ministers had moved into new offices in the Wellington, Justice, and Confederation buildings by Oct. 1, according to House staff.
Federal directives limit the government from commissioning studies that explicitly advance its own self-interests.
Chief information officer Alex Benay says the new system won’t be deployed government-wide at first, and could run in parallel with Phoenix for a time.
The Senate's report is the latest study in recent months to highlight the failure of the Phoenix pay system, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of backlogged pay files for public servants.
Though plans are still not concrete, roughly 20 Liberal MPs, nine Conservative MPs, five NDP MPs, 10 Senators, and Senate administration staff will be moving this summer.
Marc Lemieux has taken over from assistant deputy minister Danielle May-Cuconato, who was in charge of the project management office behind the Phoenix fix.
Union leaders say members are ‘frustrated’ as they await a negotiation mandate that’s supposedly on the prime minister’s desk.
But the clerk's job is to put into place a structure and ensure people he trusts are working on it, argues ex-PCO official Zussman, and there's some indication that's happening.
Opposition MPs say they’re split on whether it should be easier to boot poorly performing bureaucrats, suggest keying in on whistleblower protection.
When opinions diverge between the PMO/PCO and the bureaucracy, the department head soon ‘retires’ or becomes a ‘senior adviser’ in a small office. Speaking truth to power isn't valued.
‘It’s just been overwhelming,’ says CAPE leader Greg Phillips as government announces union partnership to find new pay system.
Liberal MPs blame a Harper-era atmosphere in the bureaucracy as they back PCO Clerk Michael Wernick in his war of words with the federal auditor.
Opinion|Jake Cole
The top court has created and cultivated a 'we care' mantra that pervades the whole agency, says a former public servant. It seems it’s not just a nice place to work, but a place where work is done well.
Public Services and Procurement Canada’s decision to study eco-friendly replacements to natural gas ignited criticism.
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