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World-beating bureaucrats

My research compared the achievements of Canadian public service and political leaders with their U.K. counterparts, and the results are very favourable to Canada. It was rewarding to hear so many U.K. public service leaders ask about Canadian reforms. It seems that public service managers around the world are looking carefully at leading practices emerging in Ottawa and the provinces, especially Ontario.

One of the strange challenges I have as a public servant is the constant description of my colleagues as overpaid and underworked. The classic quote came from John Tory as leader of Ontario’s opposition party:

“These kinds of jobs are people who are breathing each other’s exhaust and sitting around, analyzing each other’s papers. There hasn’t been enough attention paid to looking at whether those people are really making a productive contribution to the effective delivery of public services in Ontario.”

Of course, you can point to several studies showing how efficient Ontario’s public servants are and how much the public benefits from government services, but people aren’t interested in reviewing this kind of evidence. So, I’m happy to see Tony Dean advocating for public servants. I think that strong advocacy from public servant leaders will help much more than statistics.