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PSAC calling for consultation on public service cuts

Conservatives offer cash incentives to consultants for proposing budget cuts.

Gordon: Those depending on public services and those providing them must be part of these decisions.November 15, 2011: Treasury Board President Tony Clement must let Canadians see the advice he's getting on public service cuts and let them have their say.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says transparency is critical given the government's goal to cut public services by up to 10 percent across the board.

"These cuts could have devastating consequences for families and communities across the country," said PSAC president John Gordon. "The people who depend on public services and the people who provide them must not be shut out of these decisions," he added.

The government set a Canadian precedent by offering senior management cash incentives of up to $15,000 pegged on how much they found to cut in their departments. Deloitte Inc. is getting $90,000 a day for its advice. Minister Clement and a cabinet sub-committee are currently behind closed doors reviewing their proposals.

  "It's a question of accountability, credibility and legitimacy."

"The Canadian public is paying a lot of money for advice on cuts that will cost families and communities in other ways for years to come," said Gordon. "We should be able to see what the government has paid for, and comment, before the final decisions are presented as a done deal in the budget," he added.

The PSAC has written to Minister Clement and set up a Twitter petition asking that the proposals from management and Deloitte be made public, then passed on to standing committees of parliament — which are mandated to review departmental budget estimates. Those committees, says PSAC, should then hold hearings about the consequences of proposed cuts.

"Winning a majority of seats in Parliament doesn't win you the right to keep the information affecting decisions of this magnitude a secret," said Gordon. "We are asking, very simply, that the government govern openly. It's a question of accountability, credibility and legitimacy."

Links and sources
  Let the public see the advice you're getting on public service cuts: PSAC to Clement

Posted: November 23, 2011

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