In my new role as President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, one of the most important and exciting projects I’m responsible for is the design of a new process for developing the Government of Canada’s Next Generation HR and Pay solution.
My counterpart, Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, continues to lead efforts to stabilize and troubleshoot the current government pay system to ensure public servants are paid accurately and on time for the important work they do. However, there is broad consensus that a new system is needed.
Our government recognized over a year ago that the future of HR and pay requires a bold new path, which will result in a long-term, sustainable, and effective solution to meet the diverse needs of federal employees across Canada.
That’s why in Budget 2018, we invested $16 million over two years for the work of identifying a solution, and we have made amazing progress.
Our team designed a discovery process founded on the new Government of Canada Digital Standards, which are leading the way in the shift towards becoming more open, agile and user-focused in designing digital projects, programs and services in the public interest.
We invited technology providers to demonstrate possible solutions, and saw to it that they were directly tested with users. Some 260 public servants did hands-on testing, and more than 1,700 employees completed surveys during Next Gen user expos conducted across Canada. We have also launched a Digital User Expo where public servants can experience possible solutions, ask questions and provide feedback.
Based on the feedback, the Treasury Board Secretariat is working on new HR and pay solutions that are truly reflective of Canada’s modern workforce.
The next step will be to work with technology providers and stakeholders to test these solutions against the real complexity of federal government HR and pay needs. As noted in Budget 2019, this work will include running pilot projects with select departments and agencies later this year, and course-correcting as needed, while assessing vendors’ abilities to deliver.
Throughout this process, as we have from the start, we will be talking to employees who rely on the system and advisors who use the system every day, as well as working closely with our union partners and bargaining agents.
I acknowledge that our union partners in this project wanted to see a specific dollar commitment for the next stages of the Next Gen pay project in Budget 2019.
The fact is, we have learned from the lessons of the past. We learned from the shortcomings of Phoenix, when key system requirements were abandoned to ensure the project came in on budget. And this time, we are committed to investing what is needed to get it right. This time we will fit the budget to the job, not the job to the budget.
We are investing the resources required to build a modern, user-friendly HR and pay solution. Our world-class public service deserves no less.
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