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Former AHS CFO cost taxpayers $1.3M for 7 months work

CALGARY, AB (July 3, 2014): A $1.3 million tab for only 7 months of work from former Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) Chief Financial Officer and acting CEO Duncan Campbell, is a tough pill for Alberta taxpayers to swallow, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today.

Campbell was brought onto AHS in April 2013 after the government sole-sourced a $300,000 executive search contract to find a replacement for former CFO, Alaudin Merali. AHS paid $13,320 to cover the cost of relocating Campbell to Alberta from his home in British Columbia.

After Chris Eagle stepped down as AHS CEO in October 2013, Campbell was appointed acting CEO; a position he held for less than a month. Upon his dismissal from the acting-CEO role in November, Campbell was quietly granted a paid leave of absence until March 2014, despite officials saying he would return to his position as CFO. Campbell’s total compensation during his 7-month term as an AHS exec was $474,000. 

“This type of reckless spending comes directly from years of chaotic leadership from this PC government, pouring more and more money away from patients and the front lines and into classes of upper managers and executives,” Forsyth said.  “For the Health Minister to allow this type of contract to be drawn up for Merali’s replacement, under his watch, is astounding.”

In lieu of severance, Campbell was awarded a $500,000 untendered contract for an AHS project in partnership with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Details of this project have not been made public. Campbell was also paid another $43,000 in re-location expenses.

Forsyth said Albertans deserve answers as to why Campbell was given a paid leave of absence for no work only to make a soft landing with CIHI.

“Albertans are tired of seeing two classes in our health care system where executives get special perks and benefits while our front-line workers are left scrambling,” Forsyth said. “No Albertan I’ve heard of gets paid their full salary while not doing the work.”

Timeline:

August 2012 – AHS sole-sources executive search contract to find replacement for AHS CFO after Merali is fired.

COST:  $300,000

January 2013 - AHS announces Duncan Campbell will be joining as new CFO.

April 2013 – Campbell begins work with AHS.  AHS pays out relocation expenses as per Campbell’s contract.

COST: $13,320

October 2013 - Appointed acting CEO.

November 2013 - Removed as acting CEO. Paid leave of absence until March 2014.

COST: $474,000 

March 2014 - Takes independent contract to work on a CIHI project. Leaves AHS.

COST: $500,000 contract
$43,000 in re-location costs

Total: $1,330,320