Alberta To Crack Down on Expense Claims
In the wake of the scandal involving the travel expenses of a former health executive, the Alberta government says it's going to take steps to ensure greater openness and accountability when it comes to expense claims.
“Premier Redford has been clear in her commitment to greater openness and transparency across government. We intend to deliver on the premier’s promise,” said Don Scott, the associate minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation.
Though no clear plan was outlined, Scott did say he would be working with the privacy commissioner to review the practices of other jurisdictions.
Scott says he will also be looking into the hiring practices of the Alberta government and health services.“Recent events have called into question the rigor behind hiring practices at Alberta Health Services and the government,” he said. He goes on to say he will have current hiring practices evaluate current hiring practices and make recommendations on how to improve those practices.
“Albertans expect accountability on how their tax dollars are used, and the premier has said the expenses of public officials must be held to the highest possible level of scrutiny,” said Scott. “These actions will ensure the government delivers on this commitment.”
Just last month, controversy broke out after documents show Allaudin Merali, an Alberta health care executive had racked up $346,208 in various expenses over three years.
Those expenses included expensive meals and upgrades to his car while Merali worked as chief financial officer for the Capital Health Region from 2005 to 2008. He has since resigned from his position and will not be receiving any severance.