News / Edmonton

Alberta beefing up, harmonizing code of conduct rules for boards, agencies

Alberta is beefing up and harmonizing codes of conduct for those who work at its 136 core agencies. Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci speaks about the Government of Alberta's 2016-17 year-end financial results, in Edmonton on Thursday, June 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta is beefing up and harmonizing codes of conduct for those who work at its 136 core agencies. Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci speaks about the Government of Alberta's 2016-17 year-end financial results, in Edmonton on Thursday, June 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Alberta is beefing up and harmonizing codes of conduct for those who work at its 136 core agencies.

"We're putting in a consistent set of rules across all agencies, boards, and commissions that we believe are necessary to show the integrity of the work that everyone does," said Finance Minister Joe Ceci Wednesday as he introduced the proposed changes to the Conflicts of Interest Act.

Ceci said the boards have codes of conduct, but improvements and legal teeth are needed.

"What we don't see across those codes of conduct is consistency," he said.

Under the proposed changes, the boards would have to bring in codes of conduct restricting employees and board members from accepting gifts and curtailing anything that personally benefit, or could appear to personally benefit, that employee.

There will be additional requirements for CEOs, including restrictions on holding stock and a 12-month cooling off period after leaving a public agency.

The rules would apply to bodies where all the board members, or a controlling majority, are selected by the province.

They include Alberta Health Services, post-secondary institutions, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and the Alberta Securities Commission.

The changes are part of an ongoing government review of all agencies, boards and commissions to ensure the hiring process is fair and taxpayers are getting value for money.

The province has already streamlined the overall number of boards from 301 to 263.

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