Swann Calls for Independent Appointment Commission

EDMONTON, AB (June 18, 2015): Dr. David Swann called the government today to set up an independent public appointments commission to review candidates for senior roles in the Alberta public service.

“There is a clear need for an independent body to review major appointments to ensure the individuals selected are qualified, ethical, and the best candidates for the job,” says Swann.

Today in Question Period, Swann called on the government to adopt a commission system modeled after Ontario’s Public Service Secretariat. Adopting such a model has been supported in the past by Government House Leader Brian Mason and is supported at the federal level by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.

“Alberta Liberals are bringing forward this common sense policy suggestion to improve accountability in public appointments,” says Swann. “This would be a positive step for Alberta and we hope the government will adopt it.”

Swann’s comments come as CBC has revealed that former Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson claimed $450,000 in honoraria during his time as board chair of Capital Health. The claims included 14 hours claimed under only “MLA”.

“That Mr. Wilkinson was appointed Ethics Commissioner following this kind of activity damages the confidence of all Albertans in how our senior public servants are chosen.

“It is time we created an independent and public process to oversee how these individuals are selected.”