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Alberta’s new salary and severance disclosure will lead country

The Redford government has implemented a new public service compensation disclosure policy to improve accountability and transparency. 

Compensation, including salary, benefit and severance amounts for government employees with base salaries above $100,000 will now be publicly disclosed.  Where applicable, an employee’s contract and termination agreement will also be posted.  

“Building off our creation of Canada’s most transparent expense disclosure policy, this compensation disclosure is another significant step in support of Premier Redford’s commitment to responsible change and demonstrates our accountability to Alberta taxpayers. We continue to take concrete steps to proactively and routinely disclose information that is of public interest.” 

- Don Scott, Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation

“This has been a priority policy and accountability issue for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) over the last few years. The guidelines presented today are a big win for taxpayers and the Alberta supporters of the CTF. This just what the CTF asked for. Alberta’s new sunshine list is now the gold-standard example for other jurisdictions to follow.”

- Derek Fildebrandt, CTF Alberta Director

The disclosure system will be online at alberta.ca, similar to the expense disclosure data portal. Compensation disclosure for 2012 and 2013 will be posted on the new portal by January 31st, 2014. Going forward, compensation disclosure for the previous calendar year will be posted online in June and December. All information will be generated directly from government financial systems.

Agencies, boards and commissions will be expected to adopt a similar policy for their organizations.

Today’s announcement keeps the commitment made in October, when Premier Redford directed Associate Minister Scott to have a proactive salary and severance disclosure policy in place by the end of 2013. 

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Backgrounder

Public Service Compensation Disclosure Policy

  1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to improve accountability and transparency and enhance confidence in the use of public funds through routine disclosure of public service salary, benefit and severance information.

  1. Interpretation

In this policy:

  • “Base Salary” means the amount of compensation received by an employee in exchange for the performance of their prescribed duties.
  • “Cash Benefits” means the total amount of direct cash compensation received by an employee.
  • “Compensation” means the amount or value of cash and non-cash benefits, and base salary received by an employee.
  • “Non Cash Benefits” means the total amount or value of indirect and non-cash compensation received by an employee.
  • “Severance” means compensation paid to an employee in respect of termination of employment.
  • “Threshold amount” means the base salary above which an employee’s compensation and severance will be disclosed.  For 2012 and 2013 this amount is set at $100,000. For subsequent years, the threshold is to be adjusted the annual change in the Consumer Price Index.
  • “Year” means the calendar year from January 1 to December 31.
  1. Principles

Disclosure of public service salary, benefit and severance information:

  • Demonstrates commitment to enhanced transparency and accountability in government and to taxpayers;
  • Promotes compensation fairness and integrity in government;
  • Balances disclosure of information that is of public interest with protection of personal privacy.
  1. Application and Scope

The policy applies to

  • Deputy Ministers
  • Senior Officials appointed by an Order in Council and paid directly by the Government of Alberta;
  • Political staff appointed under the Executive Assistant Order and
  • Employees as defined under the Public Service Act;

who receive more than the threshold amount of base salary or severance payment above $100,000 in a year and are employees of:

  • The Offices of Ministers and Associate Ministers; and
  • Government of Alberta departments established under section 2 of the Government Organization Act.

Agencies, Boards and Commissions of the Government of Alberta will be expected to develop an equivalent policy for their organizations.

The policy will be applied to all employees active on or after April 23, 2012.

  1. Public Disclosure

  • The Government of Alberta will make available to the public:
    • the amount of compensation provided in the previous year for each disclosed employee;
    • the amount of severance paid to each disclosed employee;
    • the salary range for each disclosed employee; and
    • where applicable the employee’s employment contract and termination agreement.
  • Disclosed information will be posted to a web portal accessible through the main Government of Alberta website (www.alberta.ca).
  • Information will be released semi-annually no later than June 30 and December 31.
  • Salary, benefit and severance information shall be generated directly from government systems to demonstrate integrity and authenticity of disclosed information.
  1. Disclosure Requirements

Disclosed information must, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Employee name as shown in payroll records;
  • The position title last held by the employee in the calendar year;
  • The office or department of the employee;
  • The amount of base salary, cash benefits, non-cash benefits, and severance paid to the employee in the previous year;
  • The salary range of the employee; and
  • Where applicable the employee’s employment contract and termination agreement.
  1. Interpretive Bulletins or Guidelines

The Office of the Controller may issue interpretive bulletins or guidelines respecting this policy.

An interpretive bulletin or guideline will be issued regarding protection of privacy and what personal information will be released or severed under this policy.

  1. Authority

This policy will be brought into effect by a Treasury Board Directive.


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