Canadian departments told to update harassment rules

Government departments in Canada will have to make changes to rules and policies on harassment by next spring, following a review of the issue by the country’s top civil servant. Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, launched the review of the culture of the civil service and the handling […]

Malaysian civil service needs whistleblowing policy, says former law chief

A former Malaysian chief justice has called on the country’s government to introduce a whistleblowing policy for the civil service. Speaking at an event held by the National Institute of Public Administration last week, Tun Zaki Azmi, who held the office of chief justice from 2008-2011, argued that civil servants need formal policies enabling them […]

Canadian government pledges no ‘cut corners’ on Phoenix replacement

The Canadian government is working up plans to replace its troubled Phoenix shared service, stating that this time round it will adopt an “entirely different approach” to designing and building a central system managing civil servants’ pay. Ministers pledged to replace the system in March, committing to spend CAN$16m (US$12m) over the next two years on looking […]

New Zealand consults on major civil service reforms

The New Zealand government has unveiled proposals for reform of the civil service in an attempt to break down siloes between its departments. In a speech in parliament last week Chris Hipkins, minister for state services, launched a consultation on proposals to overhaul the 1988 State Services Act: the legislation which created the current machinery […]

UK signals greater powers for Northern Ireland civil servants

The UK government intends to give civil servants in Northern Ireland greater powers to make decisions in the absence of local elected leaders, the Westminster administration’s minister for the province has announced. Northern Ireland minister Karen Bradley also said last week that she will bring forward legislation to create a limited period during which the […]

Brexit ‘no deal’ would hit criminal justice across Europe, says think tank

Failure by the UK and European Union to reach a deal over law enforcement cooperation after Brexit could harm the ability of both parties’ crime agencies to bring criminals to justice, according to UK think tank the Institute for Government (IfG). In a report released last week, the IfG said that a no-deal scenario could […]

Indian recruitment reform plans spark politicisation fears

The Indian government’s plans to introduce a new step in the civil service’s selection and deployment procedures have sparked controversy, with opponents concerned that Narendra Modi’s administration intends to politicise appointments to its fast-track promotion schemes. The Indian government recruits officials using entrance exams, which are conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). And […]

Trump wavers over civil service pay freeze plan

US president Donald Trump has signalled he may back down on proposals – announced just last week – to freeze pay for civilian federal employees. In a letter to Congressional leaders published last Thursday, Trump initially said he would use his powers to cancel a scheduled across-the-board rise of 2.1% for federal civil servants. He […]

Former Scotland first minister attacks perm sec over harassment probe

The head of the UK’s union for senior civil servants has defended Scottish Government permanent secretary Leslie Evans, after the civil service chief came under fire from former first minister Alex Salmond – who objects to the conduct of an investigation into claims of sexual harassment against him. Salmond, who led the country’s devolved administration […]

US departments could disobey judge’s ruling on Trump executive order

Questions have been raised over whether US government departments will obey a judge’s ruling overturning anti-union executive orders issued by president Donald Trump. Three executive orders were signed by Trump at the end of May. They banned federal employees from spending more than 25% of their working hours on union business, and required federal agencies to renegotiate […]

Kuwait cancels contracts for foreign civil servants

Work contracts for more than 3,000 non-Kuwaitis serving in the public sector have been cancelled, in a bid to replace expatriates with nationals in the service. The announcement was made by Ahmad Al-Jassar, chairman of the Civil Services Commission (CSC) to the state-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) at the weekend. The officials served in various […]

New Pakistan prime minister pledges civil service reform

Government departments that perform well will be awarded with bonuses, while those that do not will be penalised, Imran Khan, Pakistan’s new prime minister has said. Khan made the comments in his inaugural speech at the weekend, following the victory of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), in the country’s election last month. He has promised […]

Third of civil servants struggling to justify wealth in corruption probe

Around 30% of Kenyan civil servants have been unable to explain the source of their wealth in an audit ordered by the government. The figure was revealed by head of public service Joseph Kinyua during the swearing-in of the Public Service Commission chairman Stephen Kirogo at the Kenyan Supreme Court last week. The audit was […]

US senator warns of government watchdog cuts

Proposed funding cuts to the budgets of US watchdogs overseeing federal agencies could harm efforts to tackle waste, fraud and abuse, according to a report produced by a senator. Claire McCaskill, the most senior Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has produced a report analysing proposed budget allocations for inspectors general […]

UK unions launch legal challenge over pay offer

Unions representing civil servants have launched a legal challenge to the government’s proposed pay settlement, which offered an average rise of no more than 1.5%. In June, the government announced that government departments will be able to make average pay awards for 2018-19 within a range of 1% to 1.5%. But unions the FDA, Prospect […]

UK consultation to shape geospatial data strategy

The UK Cabinet Office has launched a consultation on its first geospatial strategy, seeking views on how to make best use of the location data held by public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Development of the strategy, which is slated for publication next year, will be overseen by the government’s Geospatial Commission – launched in […]

OECD launches open consultation on public service leadership and capability

The OECD has launched an online consultation on a set of 14 principles designed to help countries create a “fit-for-purpose public service”, with a particular emphasis on recruiting and developing suitable leaders and workforces. The principles form a draft recommendation on public service leadership and capability, and represent the product of a year’s development work […]

New tech will erode tax base, think tank warns

Changes to the world of work, including automation, artificial intelligence and the rise of the gig economy, could erode tax revenues so severely that it becomes difficult to provide essential state services by 2040, a Canadian think tank has warned. The report, ‘Robots, Revenues and Responses: Ontario and the Future of Work’, was published last […]

Senate defies Trump’s civil service pay freeze

A spending package including a 1.9% pay rise for US federal employees in 2019 was approved almost unanimously by the Senate last week, running counter to President Trump’s wish to freeze civil service salaries. Senators voted 92 to 6 in favour of the $154.2bn spending bill which, as well as the pay rise, combined fiscal […]

E-government progress hampered by digital divide, UN report finds

Denmark, Australia and South Korea have come top in a biennial United Nations survey of countries’ progress in implementing e-government. The survey, by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, notes an overall “persistent positive global trend” towards higher levels of e-government development – but the world’s poorest countries are lagging behind, the report […]