This article examines the distribution of federal public servants across Canada and asks the question "Does the distribution of the federal public service across Canada matter in the formulation of federal policies related to municipalities?" The article takes a two-part approach. First, it examines the history of and commentary on decentralization and de-concentration of the federal public service. It then proceeds to examine the data on the distribution of federal employment over time and uses regression analysis to explain the variations in the relative federal employee presence across local areas and through time. Analysis of initiatives to reform the way in which the public service operates and of the data regarding the location of public servants across the country suggest that broad political, economic and regional factors influence the size and distribution of federal employment across the country, perhaps more than any conscious intent about improving the responsiveness of the federal public service to local conditions. At present, the "knowledge functions" of the federal government are concentrated in the National Capital Region. It is an open question whether this will serve the federal government and Canadians well in the future.

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Journal Canadian Public Administration
Graham, K, & Swimmer, G. (Gene). (2009). The "ottawa syndrome": The localization of federal public servants in Canada. Canadian Public Administration, 52(3), 417–437. doi:10.1111/j.1754-7121.2009.00090.x