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Monday, November 02, 2009

mla public disclosure statements should be available online.

In a media release this morning, the Office of the Ethics Commissioner announced that it has released updated copies public disclosure statements from MLAs. The statements are currently available to be viewed by the public at the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly on the 8th Floor of the Legislature Annex. Under the Conflicts of Interest Act, the Clerk may charge reproduction costs for providing copies of the statements.

These disclosures play an important role in determining the integrity of the decisions made by our elected officials. It would be a positive move for Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson, in his role as an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly, to have these statements published on the internet to allow all Albertans to have access to them.

This kind of change would fit into a number of the categories discussed by participants at ChangeCamp Edmonton and I will be writing Commissioner Wilkinson with these recommendations.


Jeff S. said...

It's amazing that when documents such as this take lots of work to publish in paper form they aren't put into an electronic form.

I mean, I love tromping down to the Legislative Library (and other offices) on my lunch break as much as the next guy, but...

The more chances people have to get involved in government, the more likely they are to get involved in government.

Alexander Muir said...

I strongly agree with you here. Given the ongoing changes to our information environment there is less and less excuse for our governments not to take such steps. The information is already public, it should be made available in a useful and timely way.

Anonymous said...

Someone should take it upon themselves to get this info, digitize it, and then purposefully alter it so that a handful of the "best" MLAs are listed as the worst, and vice-versa. Surely as the false word spreads that certain fiscally disciplined MLAs are spending too much, they will pressure government to have the real information revealed in a proper online manner.

Anonymous said...

Comment by Linda Pushor

Dave you are absolutely correct here.

The information was available online last year, and I know because I printed it.

Speaker Kowalski got quite peeved about some elected members asking questions of government MLA's about ag insurance payments to them.

If you are up to doing some 'Hansard Diving' you will find him pondering having this information not available because of the questions. It should be in the early part of the spring 2009 session, though I am not positive about the timing, just that it happened and should be in Hansard.

David Sands said...

This is Legislature business, not Government business, but a headsup to a few, you may be confusing MLA disclosure statements with other documents. The disclosure statements typically list where MLAs have fiscal interests, property etc. They serve to clarify potential conflicts of interest. (So, maybe a little more boring that some of you might expect. Or not.)
- David Sands, Government of Alberta

daveberta said...

Linda - are you sure that you are not referring to the debate around Bill 203 and municipal election disclosures?

David - I was referring the Legislative business, as this falls under the Clerk's office and the Office of the Ethics Commissioner.

Anonymous said...

Brian Dell said...

You can't just walk into the Annex. You have to call the Parliamentary Counsel Office on the 8th floor @ 780-422-4837 first and make an appointment so security will have your name on the list in advance of your arrival.