REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS // Analysis of the Full-Time President Pilot (FTPP)

The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) was established in 1967 to represent Canada’s Foreign Service (FS) community in its collective bargaining with the Government of Canada, and to provide professional development opportunities to the FS cadre.

In the intervening 50-year period, the structure and operation of PAFSO remained largely unchanged until the launch of the Full Time Presidency Pilot in February 2019. Currently, the Association is comprised of a 15-member Executive Committee (EXCOM), comprised of at least two members from each of five FS professional streams: Political and Economic; Trade; Immigration; Management/Consular; and International Assistance. PAFSO’s President serves in a full-time capacity under the terms of the pilot and is elected from among the 15-member EXCOM. The elected members are supported by a full-time paid Executive Director, who is supported in her daily work by an office staff of seven.

Background to the Full-Time Presidency Pilot (FTPP)
In response to a number of issues including:

  • calls for modernization of the association, escalating daily demands on the volunteer President and other key EXCOM members;
  • a growing need to clarify and separate the relationship between the President’s PAFSO-related duties, and those performed for the employer;
  • the increasing number and complexity of files impacting the FS membership; the need to more proactively manage PAFSO’s relationship with GAC, IRCC and Treasury Board (TBS) management;
  • the need for more active engagement with leaders of other federal public service unions; and
  • the membership’s desire for enhanced communication and advocacy to protect Canada’s Foreign Service.

PAFSO engaged McConnell Human Resources Consulting in 2018 to conduct an analysis of the feasibility of establishing the presidency as a full-time paid position. After conducting an organizational review, researching current practices among comparable public sector unions, interviewing key PAFSO staff, EXCOM members, and past office-holders, and conducting a survey of the broad membership, the consultants recommended that the full-time presidency be launched on a pilot basis for two years. They also recommended that the main deliverable of the FTPP be the Association’s first-ever Strategic Review and Strategic Plan.

In October 2018, PAFSO’s Annual General Meeting approved the EXCOM’s proposal for a two-year pilot, which was to conclude with a comprehensive evaluation and a membership-wide vote on permanency in October 2020. However, the COVID-19 crisis delayed the launch of the evaluation, and in October 2020, members voted to extend the FTPP for an additional year, subject to the evaluation.

The preparation of the final recommendations on the continuation of the Full-Time Paid Presidency shall be managed by the EXCOM’s Governance Committee. However, PAFSO seeks assistance in conducting an impartial evaluation of the current pilot.

Substance of the Evaluation
The evaluation shall involve:

  • an assessment of the effectiveness of the FTPP against the established mandate and terms of reference for the position;
  • an assessment of the structural changes, including amendments to the PAFSO Constitution, required to establish a permanent full-time paid position;
  • an evaluation of the current service agreement for the President; and
  • an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in switching to the full-time model vs other options.

The final commissioned report shall include a full written report and a presentation to PAFSO’s Executive Committee.

This report shall include, but may not be limited to, the following items:

  • an executive summary;
  • comprehensive results of the assessments; and
  • recommended next steps (with supporting rationales and timelines for implementation).

This report will be provided to EXCOM members for their review no later than seven (7) days prior to the presentation of report findings to the Executive Committee. This presentation shall occur at a mutually agreed upon date and time.

The presentation shall include, but will not be limited to, the following:

  • a summary of the key results of the analysis;
  • highlights of key findings;
  • a description of possible concrete “next steps”; and
  • an oral Q&A opportunity for EXCOM members.

Unless otherwise mutually agreed, upon joint signing of the report’s terms of reference, the aforementioned written report will be delivered no later than forty-five (45) days after the signing of a contract between PAFSO and the chosen service provider. Work is expected to begin in January 2021.

Compensation and Terms
Project bids responding to this Request for Proposals must be received by PAFSO no later than 4:00pm (EST) on Friday, December 18, 2020. Prior to submitting a bid, further information may be obtained by contacting Pamela Isfeld, President, at The lowest or any bid will not necessarily be accepted. PAFSO reserves the right to award any portion of this bid. Bids should be delivered by email to The final contracted cost shall be payable in full upon successful delivery of the final report and presentation to PAFSO’s Executive Committee. PAFSO will not provide any compensation for preparation of a bid.

Please note that neither PAFSO members or staff, nor the spouses or family of current Executive Committee members or staff, are eligible for this contract.

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