Toren Barnes: Real Property Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada

Toren Barnes: Real Property Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada

By: Toren Barnes | P3 Co-op Advisory Officer
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This article was originally published in the Arts Co-op Connect Newsletter in Summer 2012.

Innovation and government might not be two words that one usually expects to find in the same sentence. However, while working with a dynamic group within the Federal Government, to be part of a team that is helping to facilitate innovative solutions for the Real Property Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). PWGSC’s Public-Private Partnership Development and Advisory Services, National Center of Expertise (P3 NCOE) provides consultative and advisory services for office accomodation projects for the federal government, as well as infrastructure projects for other federal government departments.

As a P3 Co-op Advisory Officer, I assisted the team within the areas of project management, drafting reports and supporting business processes, with an overall goal of helping to facilitate informed decision making. I was Interested in the P3 NCOE, as it is a small group with a unique combination of a strategic business components, policy development and actual delivery of projects. As an emerging group that was established in 2007, this co-op opportunity presented the chance to contribute to the development of the P3 NCOE’s business lines, mandates, roles and responsibilities.

With the immense amount of new knowledge learned throughout my co-op workterm, it is unfortunate that I can only touch on a few of the highlights here. Since the start of my workterm, I have learned projects management skills and an understanding of how projects are delivered while adhering to the policies and procedures of the federal government. This co-op workterm offered me the opportunity to further hone my writing skills in a professional capacity while developing professional documents including a 50-page draft for a project worth $975 million. I have also gained insight into the “machinery of government” with regards to the procedures for infrastructure and project approvals process, including Treasury Board submissions and other government operations.

Although my co-op workterm has been a steep learning curve, it has provided me with the opportunity to explore a career within the public service sector. I finished my workterm with an offer to remain a casual teremployee while continuing my studies and because of this, I truly believe that this opportunity was instrumental in launching the next chapter of my career.


Beyond the Article

Posted on May 02, 2012