Inside Politics

Calling all people with integrity!

Yes, you do have to have integrity to be the integrity commissioner, according to the job description recently posted by the federal government.

Ottawa is on the hunt for a new Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to replace Christiane Ouimet, who left the job abruptly in October 2010. Personal and professional integrity are among the criteria listed in the personal suitability section of the job requirements and so are discretion, sound judgment and superior interpersonal skills.

The integrity commissioner's office was set up in 2007 as a mechanism for public servants, or members of the public, to make complaints about alleged wrongdoing within the federal public service. It's meant to protect whistleblowers.

Ouimet left the job shortly before a scathing report on her and her office was released in December by Sheila Fraser, who was auditor general at the time. Among the complaints were that Ouimet found no cases of wrongdoing in the 228 cases brought to her office and that Ouimet acted inappropriately with staff. She quit after serving three years of her seven-year contract and got a departure package worth $534,100.

Besides integrity, the integrity commissioner should have a university degree in a relevant field of study such as law, ethics or public administration or an acceptable combo of education and job training or experience. Then there are the other typical requirements - management experience, decision-making experience, consulting with stakeholders, knowledge of the parliamentary system, good communication skills.

Unlike the job posting for another commissioner the government is hiring (a new RCMP commissioner), this one says proficiency in French and English is essential. For the RCMP job, the ideal candidate "should" be proficient in both languages.

But one thing the two positions do have in common? Resumes for both should be sent to the same woman: Lynda Naveda. It appears the same consulting company has been hired to conduct both searches.

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