WINNIPEG, MB. - The Manitoba government is introducing changes to the public sector compensation disclosure act that would better inform Manitobans on how their tax dollars are spent, Minister Cameron Friesen announced.
“The proactive disclosure of government information benefits all Manitobans,” said Friesen. “These amendments would ensure our government is accountable to taxpayers by proactively informing them about how their money is spent. The proposed changes would also reduce financial reporting costs within government and costs for many not-for-profit organizations.”
The public sector compensation disclosure amendment act would increase the threshold for disclosing annual compensation to members of the civil service to $75,000 from $50,000. The $50,000 threshold has been in place since 1996, when the original act came into force and has become out of date. The proposed increase would ensure the relevancy of the reporting is in keeping with the original intent of the act. The same reporting limits would apply to individuals who hold a specified public office.
The amended legislation would also require disclosure of any employment contract or secondment agreement entered into by a technical officer within 60 days of signing the contract. Severance paid to a technical officer would have to be disclosed 60 days after being paid.
Under the amended act, Friesen noted publicly funded, not-for-profit bodies outside the government reporting entity (GRE) would not have to audit their compensation disclosure but would have to provide it upon request to the public. This would reduce the financial burden of reporting for not-for-profits and allow these organizations to focus on their mandate.
“These steps would lead to less red tape and greater efficiency within government,” said Jonathan Alward, Manitoba’s director of provincial affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “No different than in small businesses, red tape drives up costs within government and non-profit organizations, so this new legislation should lead to important savings, while improving access to information and keeping the government accountable to the taxpayers.”
There would be a new requirement for public sector bodies within the GRE to include compensation statements online. The Manitoba government would post the disclosure statements on a central website that would include all reports from public-sector bodies within the government reporting entity.
The proposed amendment act would to come into force on Jan. 1, 2019.
Government of Manitoba