More transparency for public agency sunshine list
Alberta’s public agencies are now required to publicly post employment and severance contracts of high-level executives.
Earlier this year, government cut salaries and eliminated perks and bonuses, like golf club memberships and private health-care access, for the highest-paid top executives of agencies, boards and commissions. These changes brought compensation of agency executives in line with Albertans’ expectations of public-sector salaries.
Today, government approved regulatory amendments that require agency executive contracts to also be posted online. This practical change brings further accountability and transparency to public agency compensation and allows Albertans to know exactly what is in executive contracts and where their money is going.
“Public agencies are responsible for many of the programs and services Albertans count on. Our government continues to make progress to improve transparency and accountability for Albertans and their tax dollars. This is one more way we are making sure ABC salaries serve the public interest.”
The contract disclosure requirements affect approximately 61 different executives this year. Severance information, including severance contracts, will be released twice per year. These new requirements are set out in amendments to the Public Sector Compensation Transparency General Regulation.
As a result of Budget 2016, several public agencies were either amalgamated or dissolved. A second regulation, the Public Sector Compensation Dissolved Public Sector Bodies Regulation, was also approved today. This regulation will result in the disclosure of compensation information related to these entities.
The updated sunshine list, including employment and severance contracts, will be posted publicly by June 30, 2017.
- As set out previously in the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act, information of employees of public-sector bodies whose earnings are over the threshold, and all board members, will be disclosed.
- Public-sector bodies are agencies, boards and commissions governed by the Alberta Public Agencies Governances Act (such as Alberta Health Services and post-secondary institutions) as well as independent offices of the legislature and Covenant Health.
- The threshold for employees is adjusted for inflation each year. This year, it is $126,375 for public-sector bodies.
- For the yearly disclosure in June, all remuneration, including severance, is included in the threshold calculation. The threshold does not include employer pension contributions.
- If the threshold is met, the person’s name and compensation is released. As a new disclosure requirement, designated executives under the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions Compensation Regulation, the CEO of Alberta Health Services and the CEO of the Alberta Electric System Operator now need to disclose their employment and severance contracts, provided the threshold amount is met.
- In addition, any severance contracts made during the first half of the calendar year will also be disclosed by Dec. 31, provided the severance amount meets the threshold.