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Improving public agency efficiency and governance

Legislation introduced today proposes to dissolve 14 agencies to ensure public agencies, boards and commissions remain relevant and serve Albertans interests.

The ongoing review of agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs) is to make certain that they are transparent, accountable and using public dollars effectively and efficiently.

The review found 19 agencies that are either no longer operating or whose work can be done more effectively elsewhere. This is in addition to the 26 agencies identified for consolidation or dissolution in Budget 2016.

“There are a number of agencies that are no longer relevant and it is not prudent to keep those in place. We are combining others to achieve additional efficiencies. We are continuing to look at all agencies and will ensure they serve the public interest and make life better for Albertans.”

Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board, Minister of Finance

The Agencies, Boards and Commissions Review Statutes Amendment Act (2017), proposes to repeal or amend nine pieces of legislation to dissolve 14 public agencies. Five additional agencies being dissolved do not require legislative changes.

The proposed changes are part of the three-phase review of ABCs that started in late 2015.

The review asked ministers to consider agencies’ roles and mandates, board membership and governance, and identify areas of duplication and potential efficiencies.

Phase 1

The first phase of the review, which looked at 135 agencies governed by the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act (APAGA), resulted in a decision to amalgamate or dissolve 56 agencies. Thirteen of these agencies would be dissolved under The Agencies, Boards and Commissions Review Statutes Amendment Act (2017).

Phase 2

The second phase of the review focused on 140 agencies not under APAGA, including professional regulatory and advisory bodies.

This phase confirmed that most agencies continue to play an important role in serving Albertans, including ensuring public safety, hearing appeals and providing advice.

Several agencies are undergoing further review to ensure alignment with significant ministry initiatives, broader systems reviews or legislative reviews.

One agency would be dissolved through The Agencies, Boards and Commissions Review Statutes Amendment Act (2017).

Phase 3

The third phase is focused on executive compensation, roles and mandates, and governance excellence in public post-secondary institutions.

Achievements

The Alberta government has made significant improvements to public agencies over the past two years, through:

  • Effective use of public dollars – including cutting salaries and eliminating bonuses and perks for the highest paid executives of agencies, boards and commissions.
  • Further accountability and transparency – with public agencies required to publicly post salaries and employment and severance contracts of senior executives and all board members.
  • Increased diversity of appointed board members – by providing the opportunity for all Albertans to apply for vacancies on the boards.alberta.ca website. Board appointments are now based on merit, not on political connections.

Backgrounder: Agencies to be dissolved

Fourteen agencies proposed to be dissolved by The Agencies, Boards and Commissions Review Statutes Amendment Act (2017)

  • Responsible ministry: Advanced Education (3)
    • Access Advisory Council
    • Alberta Heritage Scholarship Act Committees
    • Student Finance Board
  • Responsible ministry: Community and Social Services (9)
    • Nine Family and Community Engagement Councils:
      • Calgary Region
      • Central Region
      • Edmonton Region
      • North Central-East Region
      • North Central-West Region
      • Northeast Region
      • Northwest Region
      • South Region 
      • West Region
  • Responsible ministry: Agriculture and Forestry (1)
    • Agriculture Operation Practices Act Practice Review Committee
  • Responsible ministry: Economic Development and Trade (1)
    • Alberta Economic Development Authority

Five agencies being dissolved through other means

  • Responsible ministry: Health (1)
    • Alberta Expert Review Panel for Blood Borne Viral Infections in Health Care Workers
  • Responsible ministry: Environment and Parks (1)
    • Reclamation Criteria Advisory Committee
  •  Responsible ministry: Economic Development and Trade (2)
    • Alberta Innovation Council
    • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Expert Council
  • Responsible ministry: Transportation (1)
    • Strategic Transportation Advisory Council

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