Profession: Public Servant offers glimpses into the federal government’s corridors of power during a decade of profound change and underscores the importance of learning for individuals, groups, and organizations in today’s fast-paced world. It sets out a former deputy minister’s take on the “burden of office” of the role and in the difficulties of staying out of one ditch—excessive concern with safeguarding a few key principles—without sliding into another—being too anxious to please or too tempted to put personal interests first. The story emphasizes the constructive contribution of experience and imagination, especially when it is enriched by on-the-job reflection.
Foreword Acknowledgements Introduction 1 – Camelot: joining the profession Treasury Board Secretariat and the Foreign Investment Review Agency/ Investment Canada (1977-1984) 2 – Good luck: the right person in the right place at the right time Customs and Excise (1988-1992) 3 – Bad luck: the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time Canada Employment & Immigration Commission, Supply and Service Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint (1992-1994) 4 – Between and rock and a hard place: could it ever have worked? Public Service Commission of Canada and transition (1994-2000) Conclusion Annex 1 – The “Way Forward” proposal of the Public Service Commission Annex 2 – What Makes a good Deputy Minister? Glossary, abbreviations & terms
Ruth Hubbard is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa. She served for more than a decade as a federal deputy minister in the Government of Canada.