Edmonton

Alison Redford says accusations on FOIP request misleading

Premier Alison Redford denies being involved in the decision to not release her former chief of staff's severance pay information and says, “anyone who suggests otherwise is flat-out misleading Albertans.”

Premier says she does not interfere with the Freedom of Information process

Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she wants to ensure her government strikes a balance between the public’s right to know and the protection of personal privacy. Her statement came after reports that she denied access to information about the severance pay of her former chief of staff. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

Premier Alison Redford denies being involved in the decision to not release her former chief of staff's severance pay information and says, “anyone who suggests otherwise is flat-out misleading Albertans.”

Redford says she respects Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) process and that she does not interfere with it.

"Today, questions are being raised around employment and severance contracts for current and previous government employees," she said in a release.

"Let me be perfectly clear. These contracts are covered under Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy law, and no politician is involved in decisions on their release, including me."

The premier released the statement iterating her compliance with the process after Global News said the government refused to release information about the severance pay of Redford’s former chief of staff Stephen Carter.

Global request denied

Global News said Wednesday the Alberta government denied their formal FOIP request for information. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner reviewed the case and ruled that the public has a right to know the amount of Carter's severance pay.

Wildrose opposition leader Danielle Smith said Thursday the premier was “flouting the law” by denying the information request.

“This is Premier Redford ignoring the rule of law in order to cover up what must be a large taxpayer-funded payout to her friend and PC campaign manager,” said Smith.

Redford says she instructed Don Scott, the associate minister of accountability, transparency and transformation, to replace the current disclosure in the Government of Alberta’s annual report with a policy that expands the proactive disclosure of salary and severance information for senior government employees.

“I have further instructed Minister Scott to work closely with Alberta’s Public Service Commissioner to ensure we strike the right balance between the public’s right to know and the protection of personal privacy in the new public salary disclosure system," she said.

The work to be expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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