DCS - Dispute -CO4 Supervisor Operations Positions at YLP

09 January 2017

The PSA has lodged a Notification of Dispute in the SA Industrial Relations Commission in relation to the selection process used by DCS for CO4 Supervisor Operations positions at YLP.

On 27 September 2016 DCS initially advertised one Supervisor Operations position at YLP. The initial selection process appears to have been conducted appropriately however DCS then decided to promote a further two applicants to CO4 without conducting any further merit based selection process. DCS quoted at the time a policy which allowed further appointments from the original applicants, that met the required benchmark, within three months.

Following a number of complaints from members about the conduct of the selection process the PSA wrote to DCS seeking a copy of the policy it was relying upon to promote an additional two applicants within three months of the initial selection process. DCS were unable to provide any policy but stated it is standard government practice to fill a position from a recent (within 3 months) full merit based selection process with a further recommended applicant when the duties of the position are very similar.

The PSA subsequently reviewed a number of industrial instruments including the Public Sector Act, the Public Sector Regulations and the SA Government Good Practice Guide to Recruitment. These industrial instruments did not support the filling of further positions within three months without advertising the additional (new) positions and conducting a further merit-based selection process. An exception is if a pool of applicants is established however the pool needs to be advertised from the onset so that all potential applicants are aware that a pool will be created and may be used for further appointments.

The PSA contends that natural justice and procedural fairness must be applied to any administrative decision including the promotion of employees. By not advertising all of the positions or the establishment of a pool potential applicants may have been disadvantaged.

The PSA has sought the assistance of the SA Industrial Relations Commission to resolve this matter. The matter has been listed for a voluntary conference on Thursday 9 February 2017.

The PSA will keep members informed of the outcome.