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Public Agency Secretariat

The Public Agency Secretariat (PAS) is the Government of Alberta's centrally-located resource on public agencies.

The PAS collaborates with departments and public agencies to promote a consistent approach to public agency governance, recruitment and compensation.

The PAS has three primary functions:

  • providing assistance, tools and advice to government departments and public agencies to help boards follow best practices in public agency governance;
  • supporting an open and transparent recruitment process for public appointments; and
  • developing and implementing consistent compensation frameworks for designated public agencies.

The PAS provides information to Albertans to increase public awareness about the role of public agencies and the value of serving on a board. The PAS also provides advice, tools and templates to promote best practices in agency governance across government.

Public Agency Definition

Generally, a public agency is a board, commission, tribunal or other organization:

  • established by government but not part of a government department;
  • that has been given responsibility to perform a public function;
  • that is accountable to government;
  • that has some degree of autonomy from government; and
  • for which the government holds the primary power of appointment.

There are two types of public agencies in Alberta: those that meet the criteria of the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act (APAGA) and those that fall outside the scope of APAGA (non-APAGA public agencies).

For further information on which public agencies meet this criteria, please see sections 1(1)(i), 1(4) and 1(5) of APAGA.

Non-APAGA public agencies are governed by establishing legislation and are encouraged to follow good governance and appointment practices as outlined in the Public Agencies Governance Framework. The criteria outlined above apply to many non-APAGA public agencies, with the exception that government often does not hold the primary power of appointment.

The Government of Alberta uses the terms “public agency” and “agencies, boards and commissions” (ABCs) interchangeably.

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Last updated:  September 24, 2014