Info Source

Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information 2012-13
Public Service Staffing Tribunal


Table of Contents

General Information

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

Additional Information


General Information

Introduction to Info Source

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Access to information Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

The Public Service Staffing Tribunal (the Tribunal) is an independent and quasi-judicial body that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The Tribunal was established in 2005 through the Public Service Modernization Act, which enacted a new Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), to deal with complaints related to internal appointments and lay-offs in the federal public service. The Tribunal conducts hearings and provides mediation services in order to resolve complaints. The Tribunal may include between five and seven permanent members, including the Chairperson, also acting as the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribunal, the Vice-Chairperson, as well as an unlimited number of temporary members. The Governor in Council appoints permanent members for a term not exceeding five years.

Responsibilities

The Tribunal derives its mandate from the PSEA and is responsible for the impartial and timely consideration and disposition of complaints submitted under the Act with respect to internal appointment and lay-off processes in the Government of Canada. By providing transparent, impartial and sound decision-making for complaints as well as the support necessary to help parties resolve staffing disputes as informally as possible, the Tribunal is both accessible and responsive to its stakeholders—namely, deputy heads, human resources specialists, bargaining agents and public servants— and contributes to the effective management of human resources to the benefit of federal public service departments and agencies, managers, employees and Canadians at large.

All complaints must be filed with the Tribunal within 15 days of the notice of the appointment or proposed appointment, lay-off, or revocation of appointment. If the complaint falls within the Tribunal's jurisdiction, each complaint is automatically referred to mediation unless one of the parties declines to participate. In addition to mediation, the Tribunal offers other informal opportunities, such as pre-hearing conferences, settlement conferences and a 25-day period for an exchange of information between parties, to resolve the complaint.

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that promotes open and respectful communication with the assistance of a neutral and impartial third party - the mediator. Mediation allows the parties in a dispute to examine their interests and concerns, explore a variety of creative options and develop mutually satisfactory solutions to the problem in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Settlement conferences allow the parties to discuss the strengths and weakness of their case with the assistance of a Tribunal member. It differs from mediation in that it is a mandatory, evaluative process controlled by the Tribunal. Settlement conferences are always chaired by a Tribunal member.

Complaints that are not resolved through mediation or a settlement conference are referred to a Tribunal member who renders a decision on the complaint following an oral or paper hearing. In an oral hearing, the member presides over a hearing where all parties, representatives and witnesses are present. A paper hearing is one where the member renders a decision based on written submissions by the parties. All complaints scheduled for an oral hearing are preceded by a teleconference during which procedural issues and technical questions are addressed. These pre-hearing conferences not only streamline the process but can also result in the withdrawal of the complaint.

Policy on Openness and Privacy

The Tribunal has adopted a Policy on Openness and Privacy, which explains why and how the Tribunal gives access to its complaint files that relate to the proceedings that it administers. The full text follows:

Policy on Openness and Privacy

The Tribunal and the Open Court Principle

The Public Service Staffing Tribunal (Tribunal) is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal that operates in most respects like a court. It is required by law to decide cases impartially and must send information received in a complaint to all parties. It must apply legal principles and consider evidence in making its determinations. The mandate of the Tribunal, pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act, is such that its decisions can impact the whole public service and Canadians in general.  This document outlines the Tribunal’s policy on the openness of its processes and describes how it handles issues relating to privacy.

Given the nature of the work of the Tribunal, it is bound by the open court principle which is protected by the Constitution. It guarantees the public’s right to know how justice is administered and allows the public access to decisions rendered by administrative tribunals. The principle of open court is deeply connected to transparency and the public trust in the systems that are in place to adjudicate rights and duties of parties.

The Tribunal has hearings that the public can attend and posts the full texts of its decisions on its website as well as summaries of those decisions. Tribunal decisions identify parties and their witnesses by name and may set out information about them that is relevant and necessary to the determination of the dispute. The Tribunal minimizes, as much as possible, the inclusion of private or personal information in the decision making process, so long as it can also protect the open court principle.

In publishing and posting its decisions, the Tribunal  follows the statement of the Heads of Federal Administrative Tribunals Forum endorsed by the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals and the principles found in the Protocol for the Use of Personal Information in Judgments approved by the Canadian Judicial Council on the use of personal information in decisions. These documents provide a set of principles to ensure a consistent approach to the inclusion of personal information in decisions. They also provide guidance to administrative tribunals on posting decisions on their websites.

Privacy and the Open Court Principle

The Tribunal recognizes that it is important to balance the principle of open court with the right to privacy.

Web site: Given major advances in electronic technology, the Tribunal has taken active steps to balance privacy and the open court principle. The steps taken are designed to prevent Internet searching of full-text versions of decisions posted on its website. This has involved using the “web robot exclusion protocol” which is recognized by Internet search engines (e.g., Google and Yahoo). What this means is that the only decision-related information on the Tribunal’s website that is indexed by Internet search engines is found in decision summaries and the texts of the Tribunal’s annual reports. As a result, an Internet search of a person’s full name mentioned in a decision will not find any information from the full-text versions of decisions posted on the Tribunal’s website. The Tribunal considers this a positive measure. It cannot guarantee that the technological measures taken will always be respected or free of mistakes or malfunctions. Should you have concerns, please address your questions to info@psst-tdfp.gc.ca.

Hearings and Tribunal discretion: In exceptional circumstances, the Tribunal can depart from the open court principle during a hearing and can take certain measures in hearings to exclude sensitive information. The Tribunal may determine that it is appropriate to grant requests to maintain the confidentiality of specific evidence. It may determine that it should tailor its decisions to accommodate the protection of an individual’s privacy. This can include holding a hearing in private, sealing exhibits containing sensitive personal information, or protecting the identities of witnesses or third parties.

Access to Tribunal complaint files:

The Tribunal considers that the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act do not apply to its complaint files. However, they are accessible in the following way:

by a party: Files of staffing complaints contain correspondence exchanged between the parties. The Tribunal provides parties with access to their complaint file in paper format only in accordance with the rules of natural justice. These are available for consultation at the Tribunal’s premises with appropriate notice.

by the public:Files of staffing complaints contain correspondence exchanged between the parties. The Tribunal provides access to complaint files in paper format only in accordance with the open court principle.  These are available to the public for consultation at the Tribunal’s premises with appropriate notice. However, an individual’s home address, personal email address and personal phone number -- is not available for consultation and is depersonalized prior to access.

Exhibits filed at a hearing are available to the public for consultation at the Tribunal’s premises with appropriate notice, once the decision on the merits of the case has been rendered or the Tribunal has closed its complaint file. However, exhibits that have been ordered sealed are not available for consultation.


Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

INFORMATION HOLDINGS FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE STAFFING TRIBUNAL
DISPUTE RESOLUTION MATTERS

Description: Information on the development and offering of services to resolve disputes arising from staffing activities within the public service. Records include documentation with regard to the Tribunal’s dispute resolution requirements and process descriptions, process steps, guidance material and dispute resolution information resources for complainants. It provides information related to a number of opportunities available for parties to resolve complaints, such as the complaint process and settlement conferences and mediation.
Document Types: Process, policies and directives related to complaint mediation and settlement conferences; dispute resolution literature; mediation and settlement conference forms and documents; Interest-based Negotiation and Mediation Training materials.
Record Number: PSST OPS 002

MANAGEMENT MATTERS

Description: Information on the development of business processes as they apply to the Tribunal's mandate and activities. Records include information related to management, processing and monitoring of Tribunal process and service improvements and its strategic planning and stakeholder relations.  
Document Types: Management of hearing processes; mediation; legal and policy support; corporate relationships.
Record Number: PSST OPS 001

INTERNAL SERVICES

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

ACQUISITIONS

Acquisition Services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfil a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

  • Procurement and Contracting
    • Professional Services Contracts
COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

Communications Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public - internal or external - receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

  • Communications
    • Internal Communications
    • Public Communications
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Financial Management Services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

  • Financial Management
    • Accounts Payable
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Acquisition Cards
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

Human Resources Management Services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and/or plans.

  • Awards (Pride and Recognition)
    • Recognition Policy
  • Classification of Positions
    • Staffing
  • Compensation and Benefits
    • Attendance and Leave
    • Pay and Benefits
  • Employment Equity and Diversity
    • Employment Equity and Diversity
  • Hospitality
    • Hospitality
  • Human Resources Planning
    • Human Resources Planning
  • Labour Relations
    • Discipline
    • Grievances
    • Harassment
    • Internal Disclosure of Wrongdoing in the Workplace
    • Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
  • Occupational Health and Safety
    • Employee Assistance
    • Harassment
    • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Official Languages
    • Official Languages
  • Performance Management Reviews
    • Discipline
    • Performance Management Reviews
  • Recruitment and Staffing
    • Applications for Employment
    • Employee Personnel Record
    • EX Talent Management
    • Personnel Security Screening
    • Staffing
    • Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
  • Relocation
    • Relocation
  • Training and Development
    • Training and Development
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

Information Management Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency, and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

  • Information Management
    • Automated Document, Records and Information Management Systems
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Information Technology Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

  • Information Technology
    • Electronic Network Monitoring
LEGAL SERVICES

Legal services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework.

  • Legal Services
MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT SERVICES

Management and Oversight Services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and/or plans.

  • Co-operation and Liaison
    • Lobbying Act Requirements
    • Outreach Activities
  • Executive Services
    • Executive Correspondence
  • Internal Audit and Evaluation
    • Evaluation
    • Internal Audit
  • Planning and Reporting
MATERIEL

Materiel Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

  • Materiel Management
REAL PROPERTY

Real Property Services involve activities undertaken to ensure real property is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout its life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

  • Real Property Management
TRAVEL AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Travel and Other Administrative Services include Government of Canada (GC) travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.

  • Access to Information and Privacy
    • Access to Information and Privacy
  • Administrative Services
    • Parking
  • Boards, Committees and Councils
    • Governor in Council Appointments
    • Members of Boards, Committees and Councils
  • Business Continuity Planning
    • Business Continuity Planning
  • Disclosure to Investigative Bodies
    • Disclosure to Investigative Bodies
  • Proactive Disclosure
    • Hospitality
    • Travel
  • Security
    • Identification and Building-Pass Cards
    • Internal Disclosure of Wrongdoing in the Workplace
    • Personnel Security Screening
    • Security Incidents
    • Security Video Surveillance and Temporary Visitor Access Control Logs and Building Passes
  • Travel
    • Travel

Classes of Personal Information

Administration Files

The general administrative and correspondence files of the Tribunal contain a certain amount of personal information not arranged or retrievable by personal identifiers. Such personal information covers matters such as suggestions, opinions, and queries. This form of personal information is normally retrievable only if the name of the correspondent, date of communication, and subject are provided. The retention periods for these classes of personal information are controlled by the record schedules of the files in which they are stored.

Manuals
  • Tribunal’s Procedural Guide, 2nd edition

Additional Information

The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through requests outside of the ATIP process.  You may wish to consult the Tribunal’s completed Access to Information (ATI) summaries. To make an information request, contact the Tribunal at the address below.

Please see the Introduction to this publication for information on formal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The following outlines how to make a formal ATIP request.

Mail your letter or Access to Information Request Form (Access to Information Act) or Personal Information Request Form (Privacy Act), along with any necessary documents (such as consent or the $5.00 application fee for a request under the Access to Information Act) to the address below.

Please note: Each request made to the Tribunal under the Access to Information Act must be accompanied by an application fee of $5.00, cheque or money order made payable to the Receiver General of Canada.

The Tribunal gives access to complaint files that relate to the proceedings that it administers in accordance with its Policy on Openness and Privacy.

For additional information about the programs and activities of the Public Service Staffing Tribunal, please contact:

Public Service Staffing Tribunal
C.D. Howe Building
240 Sparks Street, 6th Floor West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A5

Telephone: 613-949-6516
Toll-free: 1-866-637-4491
TTY: 1-866-389-6901
Facsimile: 613-949-5514
E-mail: info@psst-tdfp.gc.ca>
Internet: www.psst-tdfp.gc.ca

Reading Room

In accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, an area on the premises will be made available should the applicant wish to review materials on site.  The address is:

C.D. Howe Building
240 Sparks Street, 6th Floor West
Ottawa, Ontario