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0109 - 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 think that a procedural error during the competition process adversely  affected how they were considered as an applicant.  A hearing may be conducted to review the process to ensure that procedural fairness occurred in the application of applicable legislation, policies, guidelines 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/or was so at the time of applying on the competition.

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Definitions

  1. Appeal Rights means the entitlement of an unsuccessful candidate to appeal the results of a competition where an offer of employment was made.
  2. Appellant is the individual filing the appeal.
  3. Hearing means to lead a review and examination of competition documents and interviews with the appellant and Selection Committee members.
  4. Human Resource Representative means those employees of the Department of Finance designated to co-ordinate the recruitment process.
  5. Job Offer is a verbal or written offer of employment that specifies the terms and conditions of the employment arrangement. 
  6. Merit Principle is the ranking, based on merit, of suitable, qualified candidates of the same hiring priority category.
  7. Procedural Error means an error that may have occurred in the application of the Public Service Act, Staffing Appeals Regulations, or the applicable policies, directives or procedural guidelines during the hiring process.
  8. Proposed Appointee is the individual to whom the job offer has been made.
  9. Selection Committee includes, but is not necessarily restricted to, a Human Resource Representative and the Supervisor of the position being filled.  Where appropriate, a member with technical expertise or community representative may be added to the Selection Committee, either as a full participant or in an advisory capacity with no vote in the final hiring decision.
  10. 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.

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Guidelines

  1. 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 faxed or e-mailed 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.
  2. An applicant must appeal in writing to the Deputy Minister of Finance. The written appeal should be addressed to: 
                                    Deputy Minister c/o Staffing Appeals Administrator
                                    Department of Finance Box 1320 Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
                                    Fax: 867‐873‐0414 or
                                    Email: staffing_appeals@gov.nt.ca
  3. Appeals must be filed within the prescribed time limits noted above and must identify the procedural error that occurred during the competition that adversely affected the applicant’s opportunity to be appointed.
  4. To be accepted, the written notice of appeal must be received by the Deputy Minister of Finance within the established timeframes.  If the written notice of appeal is faxed or e-mailed, the date on the fax or e-mail will be considered the date of receipt.  If the written notice of appeal is delivered by hand, the date received stamp will be considered the date of receipt.
  5. 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 lay-off, unless the appellant is a lay-off;
    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; or
    9. an appointment to a position as an Executive Manager, Assistant Deputy Minister, Associate Deputy Minister, teacher or principal.
  6. The Staffing Review Officer cannot award a job to an appellant if it is determined that a procedural error occurred in the competition process.  They may only direct that the competition be restarted at the point at which the error occurred.
  7. The Staffing Review Officer may give the appellant or their representative an opportunity to be heard.
  8. The Staffing Review Officer’s decision is rendered final.

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Procedures

  1. An appeal application or a letter is submitted within the specified timeframe by an unsuccesul applicant on the competition.      

Pre-Hearing

  1. Upon receipt of the application for appeal(s), the Deputy Minister of Finance delegate informs the applicable Human Resource Representative of the receipt of an appeal.
  2. Within four days of its receipt by the Deputy Minister of Finance, 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 of Finance delegate.  The delegate will advise the appellant and the applicable Human Resource Representative.  The appointment of the proposed appointee can be finalized.
  4. If it is determined that the appeal is to proceed, the applicable Human Resource Representative will be advised and will be required to prepare a competition package and provide it to the Deputy Minister of Finance delegate who forwards it to the Staffing Review Officer.  
  5. The competition package must be provided to the Deputy Minister of Finance 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 those with appeal rights has lapsed before beginning the hearing process.

Hearing

  1. In conducting a hearing, the Staffing Review Officer shall review the competition package and shall review relevant legislation, regulations, policies, directives and procedural guidelines to determine whether an error was made.
  2. The Staffing Review Officer may give the appellant(s) or their 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.
  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 their decision, and provides it to the Deputy Minister’s delegate.
  5. The Deputy Minister’s delegate provides a copy of the report to the appellant and the applicable Human Resource Representative. The Human Resource Representative notifies the proposed appointee and the Selection Committee members of the decision.
  6. If the decision is to grant the appeal, the Human Resource Representative follows the Staffing Review Officers direction contained in the report regarding redoing the competition from the point at which the error occurred.
  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, Strategic Human Resources in writing.
  8. The Director, 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

Public Service Act
Section 17.(2), Appeal of Minister’s Decision

 

Staffing Appeal Regulations

 

Access to Information & Protection of Privacy Act
Section 23, Personal Privacy of Third Party

 

Affirmative Action Policy

 

Staffing Appeals Webpage

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