The Auditor General’s damning report on the Phoenix pay system echoes much of what the Public Service Alliance of Canada has been saying for more than two years.
“PSAC told the government at every step that the problems were substantial and they needed to slow down until the problems were fixed. We told them the decision to lay off the compensation advisors was unconscionable,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President. “The government didn’t listen and our members have suffered as a result of this irresponsibility.”
The Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada was released November 21, 2017 and examined the way Public Service and Procurement Canada worked to address the pay problems and to ensure federal public service workers were paid correctly.
The report highlighted that it will take years to fix Phoenix and cost far more than the $540 million already committed by the government. The Auditor General also said that the decision to lay off the compensation advisors made it even more difficult to fix problems once the rollout began.
PSAC is concerned the true number of outstanding pay requests was hidden from everyone. The Auditor General noted that the number of requests continues to grow and reached almost 500,000 cases by the end of the reporting period.
PSAC expects the government to act immediately to fulfill the recommendations of the Auditor General’s report by hiring additional compensation advisors and investing additional resources to resolve Phoenix pay problems.
“We want the government to pay our members, and it is up to them to figure out how,” said Benson. “We will do everything in our power to get our members paid accurately and on time, but the ultimate responsibility rests with this government.”