a complete failure or raises serious issues with respect to core traditional public service values such as accountability, neutrality, fairness and responsiveness. According to a report by Fraser Institute: Canada has started and completed approximately 60 transportation P3 projects (both domestically and shared with the United States) The report also measures the use of P3s internationally and within Canada, placing Canada in the 6th highest transportation based P3 projects. (Fraser Institute, 2013). However, politicians and public servants are often too willing to establish a P3 arrangement and do not end up negotiating deals that serve the ‘public interest.’ In short, P3 arrangements can be a useful tool for governments, but politicians must ensure that they are negotiated out of a position of strength, not weakness; risk must truly be shared amongst the partners; such arrangements must save the taxpayers money; and finally, it is crucial that they ultimately serve the public interest.
UNIT 8 One of Weber’s key characteristics of his ideal-type bureaucracy was the need to provide officials with full-time employment so as to ensure their loyalty and commitment to the organization in question. In the context of the public sector, the gradual adoption of the bureaucratic form gave rise to what is known as the traditional public service bargain between public servants and their political masters: in return for providing the executive, irrespective of which political party happened to be in power, with loyal service in the form of fearless, impartial advice, public servants would be granted security of tenure and retain their anonymity. This ability to be non-partisan – in effect to speak truth to power – is understood as political neutrality and has been a central value in our political system. In other words, this bargain is about some of the traditional values that have characterized the public service and how they have evolved. Other traditional public sector values include accountability (for process); efficiency and effectiveness; representativeness; responsiveness; fairness and equity and integrity. For over a century, these traditional public sector values underpinned the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians and the system worked very well. However, this historic bargain between public servants and politicians eventually deteriorated. (1) This breakdown was manifested in several ways: first, politicians came to distrust the advice emanating from the bureaucracy and sought alternative sources of policy advice from academics, political parties and think tanks; ministers became less willing to accept full responsibility for administrative errors in their departments (the 1991 Al-Mashat affair was a landmark case in that regard) and are more willing to identify and publicly blame public servants; and finally, with various downsizing initiatives in government over the past two or three decades, public servants are nervous about their job security.
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