Top public service official criticizes ‘sweeping generalizations’ in Auditor General’s report

June 13, 2018 12:52 AM

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OTTAWA—The public service’s top bureaucrat is taking issue with Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s spring report which criticizes the culture in the public service.

Ferguson’s message in his report on culture in the public service is an “opinion piece,” Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick said Tuesday.

Wernick was called before the House of Commons Public Accounts committee to address comments Ferguson made about culture in the public service in his latest report.

In Ferguson’s spring report, he wrote that the public service has an obedient culture that “fears mistakes and risk” and has to change.

“This culture causes the incomprehensible failures it is trying to avoid,” he said, referring to the Pheonix pay system.

Wernick said the public service isn’t perfect but he won’t accept Ferguson’s findings and called them “sweeping generalizations.”

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