Posting of Executive expense accounts
August 1, 2012
Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced today that it will post records of paid expense accounts for the CEO, and the Executive Vice-Presidents and Senior Vice-Presidents that report directly to the CEO. All Executive expenses will be summarized and posted on an AHS web page later this month.
Earlier this year AHS received a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Act for records related to expense claims by Allaudin Merali from January 2005 to August 2008, while he was Executive Vice-President and CFO with the former Capital Health Region.
The documents requested under the FOIPP were released to the applicant on July 27th.
Mr Merali, formerly AHS Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is leaving AHS effective immediately.
“Mr. Merali’s responsibilities in previous roles in health care included developing relationships with external partners, businesses and service providers and acting as an official representative in numerous meetings and functions. This included hosting events as well as representing the organization locally, nationally and internationally. These were an integral and necessary part of his duties,” said Acting CEO Chris Mazurkewich, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.
“However, after reviewing the records, we are concerned, and Mr. Merali agrees, that they will detract from his ability to act as AHS’ Chief Financial Officer, and that AHS will be put into a position where its commitment to uphold the highest standards of accountability and public confidence in Alberta Health Services could be left open to doubt,” said Mazurkewich.
“We must achieve the most comprehensive standards of transparency in Canada, but we must also meet the test of public confidence,” said Mazurkewich. “We must demonstrate in both policy and action the ways in which Alberta Health Services ensures that public expectations are met.”
The reimbursed expenses of Dr. Eagle and his EVP and SVP direct reports will be updated quarterly.
AHS has asked the Auditor General to review its current policies and practices, and provide direction and advice on if and how current policies and practices can be improved.
“We have requested an assessment of whether AHS policies are consistent with best practices expected of public sector organizations in Canada, and whether there is compliance with these policies,” said Mazurkewich. “We welcome any recommendations that will improve our systems and processes and underscore our commitment to transparency.”