Public Service Commission "an arm of political patronage:" Rodd

Teresa Wright
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James Rodd, leader of the New Democratic Party, spoke about the party's plans for the P.E.I. Public Service Commission and fair hiring practices Friday.

The Leader of the P.E.I. NDP tackled patronage in his first press conference of the campaign – proposing to scrap the Public Service Commission and establish a new public body to oversee government hiring.

James Rodd appeared before the media Friday for the first time since the writ was dropped on Sept. 6.

He criticized the hiring practices of the Public Service Commission, calling it “an arm of political patronage.”

“It’s my understanding that Public Service Commission presents, after interviewing, a list of three people, and then it’s at the discretion of the premier who gets the job,” he said.

“What we want to do is eliminate the interference of the premier and the other MLAs with the hiring process.”

He proposed to establish a new public body made up of professional human resources personnel who would deliver what he termed “more objective hiring without political control from the premier’s office.”

“MLAs will be removed from the hiring process once and for all,” he said.

The Guardian contacted the Public Service Commission for comment on Rodd’s charges.

CEO Aidan Sheridan said he didn’t want to comment, as it is not the role of the commission to get involved in political issues.

He referred to the commission’s human resources policy and procedure manual for information on its hiring practices.

The manual states in the section that deals with appointing an advertised position: “in relation to open competitions, one of the top three candidates based on merit will be appointed to the position after consultation with the employer.”

Rodd claims this policy allows elected officials the final say on who gets hired for government jobs.

“The government of P.E.I. has a duty and a responsibility to ensure fair and objective hiring practices for all workers and all government departments, including agencies and boards,” Rodd said.

“Unfortunately, political patronage remains a way of life on P.E.I. It’s a means of control and reward for politicians who should have no hand in the hiring of public employees or in award government contracts.”

In addition to a new body to oversee hiring, Rodd proposed to appoint an ombudsperson to ensure a more fair hiring process.

Organizations: Public Service Commission, The Leader

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Maddie
    September 12, 2011 - 06:48

    PEI has to be one of the most backward places to do business and this is just another indicator why this is so. Cabinet inisters and members deciding who to hire when more often than not their own qualifications don't even come close to what is required of them. This isn't any more professional than banana republics from the third world. The pork trough here on PEI is just as deep as it always has been and until someone in government has the guts to change it we will continue to be ruled by a strong armed "old boys society" Only difference in the last 50 years is they have allowed women into the mix but the unfairness in hiring continues on.

  • best news ever
    September 11, 2011 - 12:36

    Wonderful news. Its about time people got hired even for term or casual positions, for what they know, not who they know. And end creation of jobs just because someone knows someone and is unemployed. No wonder our young people leave to find work as they're not into the "old boys club" on hiring. Get with the program and step out of the "50's.

  • eyes raised
    September 10, 2011 - 17:16

    "CEO Aidan Sheridan said he didn’t want to comment, as it is not the role of the commission to get involved in political issues." Asking them a question like that is like going to the Kremlin and asking "was there ever a Russian revolution".......then again if the NDP got would be staffed with NDP'ers no no doubt a vicious circle of empire building by bureaucrats.......when will it end.....Larry McGuire where are you when we need you?

    September 10, 2011 - 12:22

    We need an ombudsman on PEI for sure, Mr. Rodd, but not just for the Civil Service Commission. PEI is the most corrupt place I have ever lived and it needs an ombudsman for the court, for the government employees, for the police, the RCMP, the polics, and on and on. Please don't just talk about it like the inane rhetoric that permeates PEI, do something real for the ordinary citizen who gets pushed under the rug and told to stay there and shut up.

  • Great Idea
    September 10, 2011 - 08:07

    This is a great idea to try to bring some reason to the hiring process and get away from the party politics of hiring. This is a policy that the other parties should weigh in on and say what they would do.

  • Gerry
    September 09, 2011 - 23:09

    Who is considered to be the "employer", the Minister? Why would three names be submitted to the Minister for his/her selection, if there is only one position available? You're either the top candidate (in every sense of the word) or not. This game has been going on for years! The merit principle does not exist at any level of government.

  • Civil Servant
    September 09, 2011 - 21:16

    This is a great idea! 100% of TPW is hired this way as patronage runs rampant! Mr Rodd you have my X based on this!

  • Garth Staples
    September 09, 2011 - 21:12

    Is this the same gentleman( of the Commission) who was President of a Liberal Assoc.?