61

 

 

First Session, 48th General Assembly

65 Elizabeth II, 2016

BILL 61

AN ACT TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WITH TRANSPARENCY REGARDING PUBLIC SECTOR COMPENSATION

Received and Read the First Time.................................................................................................

Second Reading.................................................................................................................................

Committee..........................................................................................................................................

Third Reading.....................................................................................................................................

Royal Assent......................................................................................................................................

HONOURABLE CATHY BENNETT

Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This Bill would require the disclosure of compensation information for employees of government and public bodies whose total compensation is greater than the prescribed threshold.

A BILL

AN ACT TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WITH TRANSPARENCY REGARDING PUBLIC SECTOR COMPENSATION

Analysis


1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Disclosure by government

4. Disclosure by public body

5. Total compensation amount rounded

6. No disclosure required

7. Exemptions - employees

8. Exemption - category of employees

9. Disclosure re: exemptions

10. Powers of minister

11. Audit by comptroller general

12. Regulations


Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act.

Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "chief executive officer" means the person responsible for the day to day operation of a public body;

(b) "employee", unless otherwise indicated, means an individual who is, or was, employed by the public sector during the year;

(c) "government" means a department created under the Executive Council Act or a branch of the executive government of the province;

(d) "leave payout" means the amount paid to an employee for accumulated, unused leave;

(e) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

(f) "public body" means an entity designated in the regulations as a public body;

(g) "public sector" means government or a public body;

(h) "threshold" means the amount prescribed in the regulations; and

(i) "total compensation" means the total amount of compensation paid in a year to an employee, but does not include leave payout or an amount paid in lieu of notice upon termination of employment.

Disclosure by government

3. Before July 1 of each year the minister shall disclose the following information with respect to each employee of government whose total compensation during the previous year was greater than the threshold:

(a) the name of the employee;

(b) the title of the position the employee held on December 31 of the previous year, or where the employee discontinued employment with government during the year, the title of the position the employee held at the time he or she discontinued employment;

(c) the department in which the employee was employed on December 31 of the previous year, or, where the employee discontinued employment with government during the year, the department in which the employee was employed at the time he or she discontinued employment; and

(d) the amount of total compensation paid to the employee.

Disclosure by public body

4. (1) Before July 1 of each year the chief executive officer shall disclose to the minister and the public, in the form and manner determined by the minister, the following information with respect to each employee of the public body whose total compensation during the previous year was greater than the threshold:

(a) the name of the employee;

(b) the title of the position the employee held on December 31 of the previous year, or where the employee discontinued employment with the public body during the year, the title of the position the employee held at the time he or she discontinued employment; and

(c) the amount of total compensation paid to the employee.

(2) The minister may, on application by a public body, extend the deadline for disclosure by a public body.

Total compensation amount rounded

5. The total compensation amounts referred to in paragraphs 3(d) and 4(c) shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of one hundred dollars.

No disclosure required

6. Where a public body does not have employees whose total compensation was greater than the threshold during the previous year, the chief executive officer shall advise the public and the minister in the form and manner determined by the minister.

Exemptions - employees

7. (1) The deputy minister of a department or the chief executive officer of a public body may exempt information from being disclosed regarding an employee where

(a) a written application is submitted in the time period prescribed in the regulations, by, or on behalf of, the employee to

(i) the deputy minister of the department where the employee is employed, or

(ii) the chief executive officer of the public body where the employee is employed; and

(b) the deputy minister of the department or the chief executive officer of the public body is of the opinion that disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or mental or physical health of the employee.

(2) Where an employee is dissatisfied with the decision of the deputy minister or chief executive officer under subsection (1) he or she may appeal the decision to the President of Treasury Board.

(3) The President of Treasury Board may exempt information from being disclosed regarding an employee where

(a) the employee submits the appeal in the time prescribed in the regulations; and

(b) the President of Treasury Board is of the opinion that disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or mental or physical health of the employee.

Exemption - category of employees

8. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may exempt information from being disclosed regarding a category of employees where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is of the opinion that disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or mental or physical health of those employees.

(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may prescribe in the regulations other grounds to exempt information from being disclosed regarding a category of employees.

Disclosure re: exemptions

9. (1) Where information is exempted from disclosure under this Act

(a) the minister shall disclose to the public that information has been exempted with respect to employees of government; and

(b) the chief executive officer of the public body shall disclose to the minister and the public that information has been exempted with respect to employees of the public body.

(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may prescribe in regulations the information to be included in the disclosure under subsection (1).

Powers of minister

10. The minister may

(a) establish a process for correcting disclosure under this Act;

(b) aggregate or republish all or part of the information disclosed under this Act;

(c) require a public body to provide information to determine whether the public body is complying with this Act; and

(d) make public the failure of a public body to comply with this Act.

Audit by comptroller general

11. (1) The minister may direct the comptroller general to audit the records of a public body to determine whether the public body is complying with this Act.

(2) A public body shall permit the comptroller general to review the records of the public body.

Regulations

12. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing the threshold;

(b) designating entities as public bodies under this Act;

(c) prescribing the specific categories of compensation for which amounts shall be specifically identified in the total compensation amount referred to in paragraphs 3(d) and 4(c);

(d) prescribing the time within which an application and appeal shall be submitted under section 7;

(e) prescribing the time within which a decision under section 7 shall be communicated to the employee who filed the application or appeal;

(f) prescribing the grounds on which the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may exempt information from being disclosed regarding a category of employees;

(g) prescribing the information to be included in a disclosure under subsection 9(2);

(h) re-defining or further defining a word or expression defined in this Act;

(i) defining a word or expression used but not defined in this Act; and

(j) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.