Robert C. McLeod: Reporting on the Public Service

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to update the Members of this Assembly on the status of the NWT Public Service.

The Department of Human Resources reports on the public service using various mechanisms, including the 20/20 Strategic Plan Results Reports, the Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey Results, and the Public Service Annual Report, to name a few.

Later today I will table the 2015 Public Service Annual Report. I want to take this opportunity to tell Members about improvements to this report and efforts to increase transparency and accountability of public service salaries.

Mr. Speaker, the 2015 Public Service Annual Report provides information on the management, composition and development of the public service, and highlights some significant achievements from 2015.

The 2015 version of the Public Service Annual Report has been streamlined in comparison to previous years. A significant component of this redesign has been ensuring important information and data it contains about the public service is presented as clearly as possible.

The Department of Human Resources is modernizing the report to ensure the report focuses on citizens. These changes will ensure the information is presented in a way that will have meaning to the public.

In the coming years, the report will be tabled in the House using a fiscal year reporting cycle instead of the calendar year. This will better align the report with Government of the Northwest Territories reporting cycles. Additionally, reporting on the fiscal year will help readers make a stronger connection with what is being reported and what they have experienced over the past year.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is committed to transparency and to providing the public with information about how public money is being spent to maintain the public service.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to update the House on a matter concerning the transparency and accountability of the public service. The GNWT is committed to transparency and to providing the public with information about how public money is being spent to maintain the public service.

Currently, salary grids for unionized, excluded, senior management and Deputy Head employees are available on the Department of Human Resources’ website.  These salary grids provide the salary ranges for all of our positions

In an effort to increase transparency, in mid-November, the Department of Human Resources will begin to make organizational charts, job descriptions, and salary ranges publicly accessible on the department website.

Exact salaries will not be disclosed; rather the salary range of positions will be released. This is an important step towards greater transparency for public service salaries, while still insuring that there is no invasion of personal privacy under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is an engaged and highly motivated public service that provides quality programs and services for residents of the NWT.  The dedication and commitment of public servants to their communities is an important part of what makes the GNWT a great place to work and employer of choice.

I believe I am not alone in the belief that NWT public servants play a very important role in what makes the NWT a great place to live. I want to take this opportunity to make certain that all NWT public servants know that we do not take their contributions for granted.

As the Minister of Human Resources, I take great pride in this government’s commitment to its public servants. I am proud that this government has consistently been recognized as one of the top employers in Canada for diversity.  I am proud of the fact that GNWT employees are, on average, among the highest paid public servants in Canada. I am proud of the benefits, like health care and 24-hour access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program that contribute to our employees’ well-being. I am proud of the generous leave package, the northern living allowance and the five paid days off at Christmas time that allow our employees to live balanced lives.

Mr. Speaker, as the work of the 18th Legislative Assembly continues, the public service continues to work hard to support the priorities of this House. I am confident that with such a dedicated public service, we will make great progress in the months and years to come.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.