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0117 - Staffing Appeal Process

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Contents

Introduction

  1. The Staffing Appeal process gives unsuccessful candidates an opportunity to appeal a staffing decision if they feel that an error was made during the hiring process which adversely affected their opportunity to be appointed.  A hearing may be conducted to review the process to ensure that procedural fairness occurred in the application of applicable legislation, guidelines, directives and procedures.

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Application

  1. These guidelines and procedures only apply to an unsuccessful candidate who applied on any position up to and including Director level and who:
    1. is eligible for priority consideration under the Affirmative Action Policy and who declared that priority eligibility prior to the proposed appointment; or
    2. is an employee (indeterminate, term or casual) of the Government of the Northwest Territories and was so at the time of applying on the competition.

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Definitions

  1. Staffing Review Officer is an individual appointed to provide an independent review of the competition process. The Staffing Review Officer determines whether procedural fairness occurred in the application of legislation, regulations, policies, directives, and procedural guidelines in the competition process and whether the appeal should be granted or denied.
  2. Appellant is the individual filing the appeal.
  3. A job offer is a written or verbal offer of appointment to a position.
  4. Competition file is the official record of the competition containing all documents required by policies and guidelines.
  5. The merit principle is the ranking, based on merit, of suitable, qualified candidates of the same hiring priority category.
  6. The Selection Committee usually includes, but is not restricted to, a Human Resource Officer and the supervisor of the position being filled.
  7. Proposed appointee is the individual to whom the job offer has been made.

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Guidelines

  1. The purpose of the appeal process is to determine whether an error occurred in the application of applicable legislation, guidelines and procedures during the competition process that adversely affected an appellant’s opportunity for appointment.
  2. An appellant who is eligible to file an appeal must do so within the following limits:
    1. four working days after the day on which the unsuccessful applicant was verbally notified of the proposed appointment; or
    2. five working days after the date upon which written notification of the proposed appointment was emailed or faxed to the unsuccessful applicant; or
    3. ten working days after the date upon which written notification of the proposed appointment was mailed to the unsuccessful applicant.
    E-mail may only be used if an applicant provided their e-mail address in their resume or cover letter.  In addition, the letter and the e-mail must cover the same information provided in the standard appeal rights rejection letter.
  3. An applicant must appeal in writing to the Deputy Minister of Finance. Appeals must be filed within the prescribed time limits noted above and must include the reasons for the appeal.
  4. Appeal rights do not exist where the proposed appointment is one of the following:
    1. an appointment resulting from the classification or reclassification of an existing position;
    2. an appointment of a layoff, unless the appellant is a layoff;
    3. a demotion under Section 29(1)(c) of the Public Service Act;
    4. return of an employee from leave of absence;
    5. a change made for health purposes and which is not a promotion;
    6. an appointment of a person completing a Government training program;
    7. a direct appointment;
    8. an appointment of a person named on an eligibility list;
    9. an appointment to a position as an Executive Manager, Assistant Deputy Minister, Associate Deputy Minister, teacher or principal.
  5. The Staffing Review Officer cannot award a job to an appellant if it is determined that an error occurred in the competition process. He or she may only direct that the competition be restarted at the point at which the error occurred.
  6. The Staffing Review Officer must give the appellant or his/her representative an opportunity to be heard.
  7. The Staffing Review Officer may give the proposed appointee or his/her representative an opportunity to be heard, if the proposed appointee desires.

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Procedures

  1. An applicant who is eligible to appeal and wishes to do so must appeal in writing within the specified time lines and must also include the reason why he/she wants to appeal a competition. If the applicant is appealing by reason of eligibility, under the Affirmative Action Policy, the eligibility must be clearly stated. The written appeal should be addressed to:

    Deputy Minister
    Department of Human Resources
    BOX 1320, YK Centre, 6th Floor
    YELLOWKNIFE, NT X1A 2L9

    The appeal letter/application may be hand-delivered, faxed to: (867) 873-0667 or emailed to: appeals@gov.nt.ca.
  2. An appeal application or a letter may be used.  The appeal letter must contain the following information:  name, address and telephone number of the appellant, the competition number, and the competition title that is being appealed.  The letter must also include the reason for the appeal, including the details about the error(s) the appellant believes were made during the competition process.
  3. To be accepted, the written notice of appeal must be received by the Deputy Minister within the following timelines:
    1. four working days of verbal notification of the proposed appointment;
    2. five working days of the written notification (by email or fax), of the proposed appointment; or
    3. ten working days of the written notification, by mail, of the proposed appointment.
    If faxed or e-mailed, the date on the fax or e-mail will be considered the date of receipt. If delivered by hand, the date received stamp will be considered the date of receipt.

Pre-Hearing

  1. Upon receipt of the application for appeal(s), the Deputy Minister’s delegate informs the Human Resource Officer responsible for the competition of the receipt of an appeal. The Human Resource Officer does the following:
    1. informs the proposed appointee that the appointment has been withdrawn pending the outcome of the appeal; and
    2. informs the department representatives who were members of the Selection Committee that an appeal has been filed.
  2. Appeals are reviewed by a Staffing Review Officer. Within four days of its receipt by the Deputy Minister, the Staffing Review Officer will assess the appeal letter to determine if the appellant is entitled to appeal, if the appointment is for a position that may be appealed and whether there appears to be grounds for the appeal.
  3. If it is determined that the appeal is not eligible to proceed, the Staffing Review Officer will advise the Deputy Minister’s delegate. The Deputy Minister’s delegate will advise the appellant and the applicable Client Services Manager. The appointment of the proposed appointee can be finalized.
  4. If it is determined that the appeal is to proceed, the Human Resource Officer will be advised and will be required to:
    1. prepare a competition package and provide it to the Deputy Minister’s delegate who forwards it to the Staffing Review Officer. The package includes the following: Due to the confidentiality of the information contained in the references, copies of the reference checks are not included in the competition package. However, the Human Resource Officer may provide a verbal summary of the content of the reference checks during the hearing.
      • the application for appeal;
      • the résumés and applications for both the appellant and proposed appointee;
      • the staff requisition or its equivalent;
      • the signed and dated job description;
      • the signed and dated screening criteria;
      • the job poster;
      • the interview questions, including committee members’ notes for both the appellant and proposed appointee;
      • the signed and dated competition rating form;
      • a written competition summary report which makes reference to the relevant policies, procedures, and guidelines that guided the selection panel in their decision;
      • a written record of references;
      • any applicable correspondence;
      • contact numbers for Selection Committee members, appellant and proposed appointee.
    2. review all aspects of the competition package with Selection Committee members to ensure they are familiar with its contents and understand how it will be reviewed by the Staffing Review Officer.
  5. The competition package must be provided to the Deputy Minister’s delegate without delay as the hearing should take place within four days after the initial review of the application for appeal, or within such time as determined by the Staffing Review Officer. The Staffing Review Officer may decide to wait until the appeal period for all applicants with appeal rights has lapsed before beginning the hearing process.

Hearing

  1. In conducting a hearing, the Staffing Review Officer shall review copies of documents outlined in section 24(a) and shall review relevant legislation, regulations, policies, directives and procedural guidelines to determine whether an error was made.
  2. The Staffing Review Officer shall give the appellant(s) or his/her representative the opportunity to explain their reason(s) for the appeal.
  3. The Staffing Review Officer may question members of the Selection Committee individually or together about decisions made during the competition process. The Staffing Review Officer may also examine persons responsible for administering the Act, the regulations and the applicable policies, directives and procedural guidelines and any other person the Staffing Review Officer considers necessary.
  4. The Staffing Review Officer examines all the evidence in the competition file and provided by the witnesses to arrive at a decision.

Post-Hearing

  1. The Staffing Review Officer denies the appeal if it is concluded that the competition was conducted in accordance with legislation, regulations, directives, policies, and procedural guidelines. The appointment of the proposed appointee may proceed.
  2. The Staffing Review Officer grants the appeal if it is concluded that the Competition Selection Committee erred in the application of legislation, regulations, policies, directives and procedural guidelines and that this error adversely affected the appellant's opportunity for appointment, transfer or promotion.
  3. Where the decision is to grant an appeal, the Staffing Review Officer, taking into account the reasons for granting the appeal, may direct that the competition be restarted at the point where the error occurred or be redone.
  4. Within three days of completing the hearing, the Staffing Review Officer prepares a report of the findings, including the reasons for his/her decision, and provides it to the Deputy Minister.
  5. The Deputy Minister’s delegate provides a copy of the report to the appellant and notifies the Human Resource Officer of the decision. The Human Resource Officer notifies the proposed appointee and the Selection Committee members of the decision.
  6. If the decision is to grant the appeal, the Human Resource Officer follows the Staffing Review Officer direction contained in the report regarding at what point the competition must be redone.
  7. If the Staffing Review Officer identifies any issue(s) during the review of the appeal package that did not adversely affect the appellant but that needs to be addressed to improve the staffing or appeals process, the Staffing Review Officer will advise the Director, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Human Resources in writing.
  8. The Director, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Human Resources reviews appeal reports on a regular basis to determine what action or training can be implemented to improve the staffing process.

 

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Authorities and References

Staffing Appeals Regulations

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