What is the BC Public Service?
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Serve the public's interest and keep their trust. The public service is a professional organization that supports the elected government. It is politically neutral and remains in place through elections. It's main duties include:
- Developing and delivering policies and programs
- Carrying out government decisions and policies
- Providing government with honest and objective advice
- Responsibly taking care of public resources and information
Public servants work for the public service. The public expects the highest standard of conduct from them. They're expected to:
- Complete activities openly, fairly and transparently
- Maintain the highest professional and ethical standards and act with integrity
- Follow the law, including the Public Service Act and the BC Public Service Oath of Employment
The corporate plan for the BC Public Service outlines how the public service continues to adapt to our changing world so we can continue to serve the needs of citizens in pursuing their aspirations for themselves, their families, and their communities.
The 2020 edition of the plan maintains that course, continuing to set the strategic vision and guiding direction for the BC Public Service as it continues to evolve.
The BC Public Service is part of the executive branch of provincial government.
Political leaders elected by the public provide strategic direction. The public service turns their direction into action.
The employees that work for the public service are called public servants. Their skills and talents are organized into ministries and agencies to do the work of government.
The role of the public service has been to serve the needs of British Columbians. Our heritage is built on every public servant's commitment to service and adaptability.
Public servants were originally called government agents. To be appointed in 1908, applicants had to have a certificate of good health and character and pass an exam. Work included everything from collecting fees to performing marriage ceremonies. The first public servant was a gold commissioner – a position that still exists today!
“We are here to serve. The public are not cold statistics, but flesh and blood persons with feelings and emotions like our own. The public are people who bring us their wants and it is our job to handle them as expeditiously and courteously as possible.”
– B.C. public servants
The public service hires qualified people based on merit as required under the Public Service Act.
There are about 35,000 regular and auxiliary public servants working in 200 different types of jobs across 280 communities. They provide services, programs and policy expertise in areas like health care, public safety, education, and environmental management.
The people who work here also represent our province's diversity. Here's an overview (as of June 30, 2020):
- 61.2% are women, 38.8% are men
- Average age is 43.4
- 38% are Millennials, 40% from Gen X, and 22% are Baby Boomers
- Average years of service 11.7
- Almost half are located in Victoria, a third in the Lower Mainland and the rest in the Interior and North regions
According to the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Survey, of the almost 49% of employees who responded:
- 16.5% identified as having a disability
- 27.4% identified as a visible minority
- 1.1% identified as trans or gender diverse
- 5.0% identified as Indigenous
- 7.3% identified as LGBTQ2S+