Block named as Conservative public services and procurement critic

EAST CENTRAL — Humboldt’s MP will serve as the official opposition’s critic for the department responsible for paying the federal government's employees, managing its real estate portfolio and performing its accounting functions.

Kelly Block will be the Conservative shadow minister for public services and procurement. She will be pitted against minister Anita Anand, who’s a member of the governing Liberals.

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Block said it was an honour to be named to the position.

“I want to thank Andrew Scheer for the opportunity to serve our caucus and our Party in this role,” she said in a statement. “Our Conservative team is united, experienced and focused. We will work tirelessly to hold the Prime Minister and the Liberal government to account.”

One of the major files under the ministry of public services and procurement is the Phoenix pay system. The payroll processing system, launched in early 2016, has seen major problems. More than half of the federal government’s 290,000 public servants have experienced problems getting paid, according to a Senate report on the issue.

“Instead of realizing $70 million in annual savings by centralizing pay operations, the government will incur approximately $2.2 billion in unplanned expenditures,” the July 2018 report said.

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