While the NDP government has released the rules for applying a sunshine list to agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs), it has failed to update the government sunshine list since forming government as well as the list of political staff salaries and contracts for the past six months, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
“The NDP government is content to use sunshine as a disinfectant for ABCs, yet Albertans are getting less transparency than ever from government departments, particularly when it comes to disclosing the contracts for the ever growing list of political staffers,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy and Accountability Minister Jason Nixon said. “Albertans deserve better. This government has developed bad habits, blurred ethical lines, and the only way to ensure it isn't doing the same with its political staff is for it to update the list.”
The NDP government has added 24 political staff in the premier's, ministers' and deputy ministers' offices without disclosing contracts.
Nixon highlighted the addition of many former NDP ministerial chiefs of staff into the growing office under John Heaney, the Premier’s Deputy Minister for Policy Coordination.
“The NDP government pretends that it wants Albertans to have a right to know who is making substantial sums of money on the public dime,” Nixon said. “But then it hides the salaries of political staff. I urge the NDP to immediately update the political staff salaries and contracts list, and to update the government’s sunshine list which has not been updated since December 2014.”
The Public Service Compensation Disclosure Policy that governs the existing sunshine list continues to apply despite the unanimous passage last fall of the government’s Bill 5, the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act.