Administrative reform is a force that is seen as unavoidable and imperative to governments everywhere. Although, many countries try to mask the need for reform by hiding behind past policy and program achievements, eventually every government begins to feel rising pressure both internally and externally and therefore attempts to undertake drastic administrative reform. Canada is no exception, as seen in multiple attempts at reform to the Canadian public service. Canada has been listed among the world’s leaders in administrative reform and one eager to experiment and innovate in public administration (Caiden, Halley & Maltais, 1995). One of Canada’s boldest attempts in recent years is Public Service 2000 (PS2000), which attempted to change the way people in the public service saw themselves and their work through a number of initiatives focused on fostering an overall change of culture in the Canadian public service. The founders of PS2000 wanted to help equip public servants for the challenges they were expected to face in the 21st century (Caiden, Halley & Maltais, 1995). Although, many critics labeled PS2000 as failing in its fundamental objectives, a few initiatives of PS2000 have had a lasting and positive impact on the way the public service administers their programs and policies. This paper will argue that PS2000 had a positive impact on the functioning of the Canadian public service, focusing specifically on the repositioning of common service agencies from controllers to providers, the new tools in resource management and the increased focus on service to the public.
Public Service 2000 began as a collection of renewal initiatives aimed at letting managers manage and shifting authority back to ministers and departments, away from central agencies (Stillborn, 1998). A central agency is “any organization that has a substantial amount of continuing, legitimate authority to direct and intervene in the activities of departments” (Barker, 2008 p.327). In the