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Government to ensure greater transparency for Albertans through expanded ‘sunshine’ list

Today the government introduced Bill 5, the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act, to increase transparency by addressing the disclosure of compensation paid to a wide variety of public sector employees, appointees, physicians and other health practitioners.

This proposed legislation would require compensation disclosure for certain employees who work for:

  • Agencies, boards and commissions
  • Public post-secondary institutions
  • Offices of the Legislature
  • Health service entities

Bill 5 will result in salary disclosure primarily for those earning more than $125,000 per year, putting the focus on higher-income earners and managers.

It also moves compensation disclosure for Government of Alberta employees, currently a Treasury Board directive, into legislation.  The threshold remains the same, at $104,754.

The legislation will empower government to bring in regulations disclosing fee-for-service and other payments to physicians and other medical practitioners. Municipalities and school boards will be enabled, but not required, to disclose compensation paid to employees.

“This government has committed to increasing transparency and we are keeping our promise. This legislation will allow Alberta taxpayers to see where their dollars are spent. We are also committed to working closely with those affected by this legislation to support compliance.”

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

Parties impacted by this legislation will be consulted to help determine how to implement the act as the regulations are drafted.

The legislation will include a provision to allow individual exemptions for safety reasons.

Exemptions for entities can be addressed through the regulations.

Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act – Summary

Employees of public sector bodies

(Includes agencies, boards and commissions governed by the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act, like Alberta Health Services and post-secondary institutions, and independent offices of the Legislature) as well as employees of Covenant Health and other entities identified in the regulations

Disclose names and compensation for employees whose earnings are over the $125,000 threshold.


All remuneration, including severance, is included in the threshold calculation. The threshold calculation does not include employer pension contributions.


If the threshold is met, all remuneration, including severance, will be disclosed. Employer pension contributions will also be disclosed.

Board members

(Includes governing boards of agencies, boards and commissions, Alberta Health Services, post-secondary institutions, Covenant Health and other entities identified in the regulations.)

Disclose names and all compensation. No threshold requirement. All remuneration, including severance, will be disclosed. Employer pension contributions will also be disclosed.

Government of Alberta employees

Rules from the existing Treasury Board Directive are moved into the act.


Disclose names and compensation for those employees whose base salary OR severance is greater than $104,754. The threshold calculation does not include anything other than base salary or severance.


If the threshold is met, all remuneration, including severance, will be disclosed. Employer pension contributions will also be disclosed.


Employment and severance contracts will continue to be disclosed.

Physicians and other health service providers

Regulations will require disclosure of fee-for-service payments.


Regulations will also require disclosure for other types of payments made by the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Medical Association and other health-care entities such as Covenant Health.

Municipalities and school boards

Enabled, but not required to disclose the names and compensation paid to employees.


Can create own rules around threshold amounts, etc.


(Note: School boards are already required by the School Act to disclose the compensation paid to board members, superintendents and secretary treasurers.


Municipalities are already required by the Municipal Government Act to disclose the salaries of councillors, the chief administrative officer and designated officers of the municipality.)

Additional details about the act:

  • Thresholds will be adjusted annually for inflation.
  • Individual exemptions due to safety concerns will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the minister responsible for the act. Exemptions for all or part of an entity may also be made through the regulations.
  • The act would come into force upon Royal Assent. The first disclosure under the act for Government of Alberta employees and public sector bodies will be June 30, 2016.
  • Alberta Justice and Solicitor General will consult with public sector bodies, health-care practitioners and other entities on how best to implement the act through regulations, which will be created once consultations are complete.
  • The independent offices of the Legislature are:
    • Legislative Assembly Office
    • Office of the Auditor General
    • Office of the Ombudsman          
    • Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
    • Office of the Ethics Commissioner
    • Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
    • Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
    • Office of the Public Interest Commissioner

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