PHOENIX FALLING

Phoenix business case doomed from start, experts say
2009 report that led to adoption of failing federal government pay system obtained by Radio-Canada

By Julie Ireton, CBC News Posted: Oct 04, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 04, 2017 5:00 AM ET

Former government executives Kevin Page, left, and Robert Shepherd say the current bureaucracy should learn lessons from the Phoenix fiasco as it crafts new procurement projects.

Former government executives Kevin Page, left, and Robert Shepherd say the current bureaucracy should learn lessons from the Phoenix fiasco as it crafts new procurement projects. (Julie Ireton, CBC)

“I think the lessons and the mess go hand in hand,” said Robert Shepherd, a former government executive and current professor at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, and a researcher of ethics and accountability within the federal government.

Shepherd said it’s not the first time the federal government has “made a mess” of large procurement contracts.

“One can go back to helicopters, to ships, to fighter jets, to large service contracts. Phoenix is just one in a long line.”

Cuts to the core of the public service over the past several decades are also to blame for a lack of key talent inside departments to draft recommendations and develop big projects, according to Shepherd.

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