1993 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 35th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
HONOURABLE GLEN CLARK
MINISTER OF FINANCE AND
Part 1 -- Introductory Provisions
|2||Purpose of Act|
|3||Application of Act|
Part 2 -- Public Service Employee Service Relations Commission
|5||Public Service Employee Relations Commission established|
|7||Access to facilities and records|
Part 3 -- Appointments to the Public Service
|8||Appointments on merit|
|10||Exceptions to section 8|
|13||Deputy ministers' pensions|
|14||Declaration of deputy minister status|
|15||Appointment by Lieutenant Governor in Council|
Part 4 -- Public Service Applea Board
|16||Public Service Appeal Board established|
|20||Appeal board's decision final|
Part 5 -- Miscellaneous
|22||Dismissal and suspension of employees|
|26||Transitional - deputy ministers' pensions|
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:
PART 1 -- INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS
1 (1) In this Act "appeal board" means the Public Service Appeal Board established under section 16;
"auxiliary employee" means an auxiliary employee as defined in the regulations;
"commission" means the Public Service Employee Relations Commission established under section 5 (1);
"commissioner" means the commissioner appointed under section 5 (2);
"deputy minister" means
(a) a person appointed as a deputy minister under section 12, or
(b) subject to section 14, a person who by an Act or by an order in council under that section is declared to have the status of a deputy minister;
"employee" means a person appointed under this Act other than a person appointed under section 15.
2 The purposes of this Act are to
(a) facilitate the provision of service to the public in a manner that is responsive to changing public requirements,
(b) recruit and develop a well qualified and efficient public service that is representative of the diversity of the people of British Columbia,
(c) encourage the training and development of employees to foster career development and advancement,
(d) encourage creativity and initiative among employees, and
(e) promote harmonious relations of the government and employees and bargaining agents that represent employees in the public service.
3 Except as otherwise provided in this Act or in another Act, this Act applies
(a) to all ministries of the government, and
(b) to any board, commission, agency or organization of the government and its members or employees, to which the Lieutenant Governor in Council declares this Act, or a provision of this Act, to apply.
4 (1) The commission must consult with representatives of the employees' bargaining agents certified under the Public Service Labour Relations Act with respect to
(a) the application of the matters that determine merit under section 8 (2), and
(b) regulations that may affect the employees represented by the bargaining agents that the minister intends to recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council under section 25.
(2) In addition, the commission may consult with employees who are not represented by the bargaining agents referred to in subsection (1) with respect to the matters referred to in that subsection that affect members of those groups.
(3) In this section "consult" means seeking advice or an exchange of views or concerns prior to the making of a decision respecting the matters that determine merit under section 8 (2) or the making of regulations under section 25.
PART 2 -- PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEE RELATIONS COMMISSION
5 (1) A division of the government to be known as the Public Service Employee Relations Commission is established under the administration of the minister.
(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint a commissioner as the deputy minister responsible for the commission.
(3) The commissioner is responsible for personnel management in the public service including but not limited to the following:
(a) advising the minister respecting personnel policies, standards, regulations and procedures;
(b) providing direction, advice or assistance to ministries in the conduct of personnel policies, standards, regulations and procedures;
(c) recruiting, selecting and appointing, or providing for the recruitment, selection and appointment of, persons to or within the public service;
(d) developing, providing, assisting in or coordinating staff training, educational and career development programs;
(e) developing, establishing and maintaining job evaluation and classification plans;
(f) acting as bargaining agent for the government in accordance with section 3 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act;
(g) developing, establishing and maintaining occupational health and safety programs;
(h) developing and implementing employment equity policies and programs;
(i) conducting studies and investigations respecting staff utilization;
(j) carrying out research on compensation and working conditions;
(k) developing and implementing mechanisms to ensure effective human resource planning and organizational structures;
(l) developing, implementing and maintaining a process to monitor, audit and evaluate delegations under section 6, to ensure compliance with this Act and the regulations;
(m) establishing and maintaining a personnel management information system;
(n) performing other duties assigned by the minister respecting personnel, consistent with this Act and the regulations.
(4) Subject to this Act and the regulations and on the recommendation of the commissioner, the minister may issue policies respecting the matters referred to in subsection (3).
6 Subject to the regulations, the commissioner may
(a) delegate any of his or her powers, duties or functions under this Act or the regulations to an employee of the commission,
(b) with respect to employees of a ministry or a board, commission, agency or organization to which this Act applies, delegate any of his or her powers, duties or functions under this Act or the regulations to a deputy minister or other employee of the ministry or to a member, officer or employee of the board, commission, agency or organization,
(c) delegate dismissal authority under section 22 (2) (i) to an assistant deputy minister or an employee who has an equivalent classification level to an assistant deputy minister, and
(ii) to a member or officer of a board, commission, agency or organization to which this Act applies,
(d) establish conditions, standards or requirements for any delegation, and
(e) amend, replace or revoke any delegation made under this section.
7 The commissioner is entitled to access to ministries and to boards, commissions, agencies and organizations that are declared to be subject to this section under section 3 and to their records relating to personnel matters or containing information required by the commissioner to carry out his or her duties under the Act or regulations.
PART 3 -- APPOINTMENTS TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE
8 (1) Subject to section 10, appointments to and from within the public service must
(a) be based on the principle of merit, and
(b) be the result of a process designed to appraise the knowledge, skills and abilities of eligible applicants.
(2) The matters to be considered in determining merit shall, having regard to the nature of the duties to be performed, include the applicant's education, skills, knowledge, experience, past work performance and years of continuous service in the public service.
(3) Regulations, policies and procedures with respect to recruitment, selection and promotion shall facilitate
(a) opportunities for external recruitment and internal advancement to develop a public service that is representative of the diversity of the people of British Columbia, and
(b) the long term career development and advancement of employees appointed under this Act.
(4) Subject to the regulations, the commissioner may direct in respect of a vacancy or class of vacancies in the public service, that applicants be
(a) limited or given preference in a manner intended to achieve employment equity objectives,
(b) limited to employees to encourage career development and advancement,
(c) limited to employees of a stated occupational group, position level or organizational unit, or
(d) limited to a stated geographical area or locale.
9 (1) If a person who is not an employee is appointed to a position in the public service, the person shall be on probation until he or she has worked the equivalent of 6 months' full time employment.
(2) Where the appointment is made from within the public service, a probation period in the new position not exceeding the equivalent of 6 months' full time employment may be imposed.
(3) A deputy minister or the commissioner may reject an employee during the probation period if the deputy minister or commissioner considers that the employee is unsuitable for employment in the position to which he or she was appointed.
10 Subject to the regulations
(a) section 8 (1) does not apply to an appointment that is a lateral transfer or a demotion, and
(b) section 8 (1) (b) does not apply to the following:
(i) a temporary appointment of not more than 7 months in duration;
(ii) an appointment of an auxiliary employee;
(iii) a direct appointment by the commissioner in unusual or exceptional circumstances.
11 (1) An unsuccessful applicant for appointment to the public service may apply in writing to the chair of the selection panel for the competition with respect to that appointment for a statement of the reasons why he or she has not been appointed.
(2) The chair of the selection panel must provide the unsuccessful applicant with the statement referred to in subsection (1) as soon as possible but in any case not later than 30 days after the date on which the chair receives the application of the unsuccessful applicant under subsection (1).
12 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint deputy ministers, associate deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers.
(2) An associate deputy minister has all the powers of a deputy minister.
(3) Sections 8 and 18 do not apply to appointments under this section.
13 (1) When calculating the amount of a superannuation allowance under the Pension (Public Service) Act, each year of service as a deputy minister must be counted as 1 1/2 years of pensionable service.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply
(a) to the calculation under section 6 (5) of the Pension (Public Service) Act, or
(b) to a person holding the position of acting deputy minister.
14 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may declare that a person has the status of a deputy minister and may set terms and conditions of employment, including remuneration, for that person and specify which sections of this Act or the regulations apply to that person.
15 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint persons the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers
(a) will be acting in a confidential capacity to the Lieutenant Governor, Executive Council or a member of the Executive Council, or
(b) will be appointed to a position that requires special professional, technical or administrative qualifications.
(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b) may be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on terms and conditions, including remuneration, authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or set out in the regulations.
(3) This Act, other than subsections (1) and (2) and sections 21 and 25 (3), does not apply to a person appointed under this section.
PART 4 -- PUBLIC SERVICE APPEAL BOARD
16 (1) A board to be called the Public Service Appeal Board is established to hear appeals under section 18.
(2) The appeal board shall consist of at least 3 members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, one of whom shall be designated as chair.
(3) A member of the appeal board appointed under subsection (2) shall hold office during good behaviour for a term not exceeding 3 years and shall serve on a full or part time basis as the Lieutenant Governor in Council may order.
(4) Where there is a tie vote on any matter before the appeal board, the decision of the chair shall be the decision of the board.
(5) In addition to the members of the appeal board appointed under subsection (2), the appeal board may appoint persons as members of the appeal board for the purpose of one or more appeals.
(6) A member of the appeal board shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses necessarily incurred by the member in the performance of his or her duties and be paid remuneration authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
17 (1) The board may appoint a registrar and other employees it considers necessary for the purposes of the appeal board and may set terms and conditions of employment including remuneration for those employees.
(2) The other provisions of this Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act do not apply to the registrar or other employees appointed under subsection (1).
18 (1) An employee who is an unsuccessful applicant for appointment to a vacancy in a position in the public service may appeal to the appeal board on the ground that section 8 (1) has not been complied with.
(2) Subject to the regulations, the appeal board shall establish its own procedure for the expeditious hearing of appeals under subsection (1).
(3) If an applicant commences an appeal under subsection (1), the appeal board shall, before hearing the appeal, inform the commissioner and the appropriate deputy minister of the particulars of it.
(4) The appeal board may, after hearing an appeal,
(a) dismiss the appeal,
(b) direct that the appointment or the proposed appointment be rescinded and reconsidered, or
(c) direct that an appellant be appointed to the position taking into account the matters referred to in section 8 (1).
(5) The appeal board may summarily dismiss an appeal under subsection (1) if it considers that the appeal is frivolous or vexatious.
(6) A member of the appeal board may sit alone or the chair may appoint a panel consisting of 3 members to hear and decide an appeal.
(7) This section does not apply with respect to an appointment to the public service that is referred to in section 10.
19 For the purpose of an appeal under section 18, the members of the appeal board have the protection, privileges and powers of a commissioner under sections 12, 15 and 16 of the Inquiry Act.
20 A decision or direction of the appeal board is final and binding.
PART 5 -- MISCELLANEOUS
21 A person appointed to the public service and a person appointed or employed under section 15 shall swear or affirm an oath in the prescribed form.
22 (1) The commissioner, a deputy minister or an employee authorized by a deputy minister may suspend an employee for just cause from the performance of his or her duties.
(2) The commissioner, a deputy minister or an individual delegated authority under section 6 (c) may dismiss an employee for just cause.
23 Unless otherwise provided by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, retirement is compulsory for all employees who attain the age of 65 years, and the effective date of retirement shall be the first day of the month next following that in which the anniversary of the date of birth occurs.
24 The minister shall lay before the Legislative Assembly as soon as practicable, a report for the fiscal year ending March 31 respecting the work of the commission.
25 (1) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting government personnel management, including regulations respecting the following:
(a) the definition of "auxiliary employee" in section 1;
(b) recruitment, selection and appointment of staff including standards and procedures respecting advertising vacancies and who may apply for those vacancies;
(c) probation periods for employees who are appointed to positions in the public service;
(d) health and safety of employees;
(e) terms and conditions of employment;
(f) job evaluation and classification;
(g) standards of employee conduct;
(h) all matters respecting discipline, suspension and dismissal of employees;
(i) monitoring and auditing of all personnel functions.
(2) Regulations under subsection (1) (a) may be different for different categories of employees, and
(b) may be made retroactive to a date not earlier than the date this section comes into force, and if made retroactive are deemed to have come into force on that date.
(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the terms and conditions of employment of persons appointed under section 15.
(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting appeals and inquiries to the appeal board including regulations respecting
(a) the manner of bringing appeals and the time limits within which they may be brought,
(b) time limits within which appeals must be heard and concluded, and
(c) all matters respecting practice, procedure and costs on appeals.
(5) If there is a conflict between a provision of a regulation under subsection (1) or (4) and a provision in a collective agreement between the government and a bargaining agent certified under the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the provision in the collective agreement prevails with respect to employees covered by the collective agreement.
26 Despite section 13, section 4.1 of the Public Service Act, S.B.C. 1985, c. 15, continues to apply with respect to a person who became a deputy minister before November 5, 1991 and to whom the section would otherwise have applied.
27 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Public Service Act, S.B.C. 1985, c. 15, is repealed by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
(2) Section 4.1 of the Public Service Act, S.B.C. 1985, c. 15, is deemed to have been repealed on November 5, 1991.
28 The following provisions are amended by striking out "Government Personnel Services Division" wherever it appears and substituting "Public Service Employee Relations Commission":
(a) Auditor General Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 24, section 5 (5) (b);
(b) Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, S.B.C. 1992, c. 61, section 41 (4) (b);
(c) Ombudsman Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 306, section 8 (4) (b);
(d) Public Service Bonding Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 345, section 4 (1);
(e) Public Service Labour Relations Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 346, section 1 in the definition of "division" and section 3;
(f) System Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 399, section 15 (2) and (3).
29 Schedule 2 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, S.B.C. 1992, c. 61, is amended
(a) by striking out "Public Service Commission" from the column headed "Public Body" and by striking out "Minister of Government Services" from the opposite column, and
(b) by adding "Public Service Appeal Board" in the column headed "Public Body" and adding "Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations" in the opposite column.
30 Section 2 (1) (c.1) of the Pension (Public Service) Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 318, is repealed and the following is substituted:
(c.1) notwithstanding paragraph (c), an assistant deputy minister and an associate deputy minister;
(c.2) notwithstanding paragraph (c), a deputy minister unless the order appointing the deputy minister provides that this Act does not apply to that deputy minister.
31 Section 3 of the Public Service Bonding Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 345, is amended by striking out "Public Service Commission" and substituting "Public Service Appeal Board".
32 Section 1 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 346, is amended in the definition of "division" by striking out "section 3 of the Public Service Act" and substituting "section 5 of the Public Service Act".
33 (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
(2) Sections 13 and 26 are deemed to have come into force on November 5, 1991 and are retroactive to the extent necessary to give them effect on and after that date.
This Bill will repeal and replace the Public Service Act in order to implement the recommendations of the Korbin Commission.
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