January 31, 2012
TO: Executive Council
Alternated Regional Vice Presidents
RE: CRA Staffing Recourse
Disclosure of Information Related to the Placed Candidate
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The National Office of the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) has recently been asked to provide some guidance on the Union’s role with respect to placed candidates during an Independent Third Party Review (ITPR) Process. More specifically, we have been asked what advice local Union representatives should provide to placed candidates who have been asked to disclose information concerning them within the context of a staffing process.
During a typical ITPR process, it is commonplace that relevant information related to one or more placed candidates may be requested by the Applicant or the representative of the Applicant. While UTE is confident that relevant information related to placed candidates may be legally and properly disclosed pursuant to the consistent use provisions of the Privacy Act, the CRA has relied on that same Act to refuse disclosure of information related to placed candidates. Regrettably, the CRA, in unilaterally creating its own ITPR Guidelines, has chosen to prohibit an ITPR Reviewer to order disclosure. Instead, the CRA has delegated the authority concerning disclosure to the hiring manager who normally undertakes to ask the placed candidates if they agree to the release of what the CRA considers to be personal and private information. From time to time, placed candidates seek the advice of local Union representatives on the matter.
At the outset, it is important to note that UTE has made a policy decision that where we provide support and/or representation to an Applicant (Requestor) during the ITPR process, we will not represent placed candidates during the process. We will, however, explain the process to the placed candidates and direct them to the local Human Resources Officer and/or hiring manager to ensure that their concerns and interests are addressed. With respect to the matter of disclosure, local representatives should explain that there is a potential for a conflict of interest if we were to provide advice to both parties on the matter. Moreover, the decision is a personal one for the placed candidate who may be adversely affected by the outcome of the ITPR. Finally, local representatives should emphasize that the request for disclosure should not be taken personally and is intended only so that an Applicant and/or his/her representative may ensure that candidates have been treated in a consistent manner and that the hiring manager has not acted arbitrarily.
Should you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to contact the undersigned.
D. Shane O’Brien
Senior Labour Relations Officer