I’d really like to call this post something else, but it’s time I stopped holding back on what some people think is their God-given right to complain about how they think the public servant’s job should be done, and that all public servants will “obviously” agree. What triggered my lack of inhibition? Johanna Read’s incredibly biased and non-factual article in today’s Ottawa Citizen (Read: Trudeau is ready but the public service isn’t).
Let’s break her argument down, because there are very few points I can agree with as a career civil servant.
- Public service has been cut too far;
- Public service is gagged and under-utilized i.e. “scientists”;
- Public service is demoralized by previous government;
- Accountability measures created by civil servants pushed decision-making upward;
- Core business is fearless policy advice;
- Challenges in loyally implementing decisions;
- Public service values in treating each other are lower;
- No market for advice under previous Prime Minister;
- Public service policy is now about power games, cliques, and close-mindedness due to empire-building;
- Therefore public service is not ready as capacity has been weakened and need management agenda for culture change, including new values, new attitudes, new behaviours.