Nova Scotia’s Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act kicks into effect on midnight Saturday, March 31st.
The Act requires reporting the name and amount of compensation for people working for public sector bodies who earn $100,000 or more each year. The information must be disclosed in an audited statement, and must be posted to a publicly-accessible website.
According to Finance Minister Graham Steele, “The purpose of this legislation is to expand reporting of compensation to people who work for public sector bodies. This will make it much easier for taxpayers to see where their money is going, and to judge for themselves whether the compensation is reasonable.”
Let’s hope it is fully interpreted and that we see the same type of disclosure that other provinces provide:
Name; base salary; performance bonuses; any low-interest loans; expense allowances; transportation assistance (car leases or allowances and if gas, parking, maintenance, and insurance are provided); pension top ups; life insurance premiums paid; memberships in various clubs, organizations and professional associations; and any additional forms of compensation.
If the base salary doesn’t reach the $100,000 threshold, but the total compensation package (with perks, benefits and bonuses) exceeds $100,000, will that be reported?
Will consultants be included in the compensation covered by the Act or is this a loophole?
This transparency will allow citizens to understand the cost of our current health care administrative structure in supporting 10 Presidents and CEOs, 72 vice presidents and 162 directors.
Why is it important to know how every penny of our health care budget is spent? Because of stories like this: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20120329/ohip-patient-spinal-surgery-hajinian-120329/
Here’s a woman who has spent years in extreme pain. Because of silly, narrow interpretation of rules, the system will penalize her to the point of destroying her life, negatively impacting the lives of her daughters and end up costing the system not just hundreds of thousands but probably millions of dollars in care over the next 20 years. It’s asinine.
And this is only one person’s story.
In the meantime, Ontario spends $110 million a year on health care consultants. Many of whom are double-dippers: executives who retired and returned to their old jobs collecting both a pension and fees for service. Quebec is spending $1 billion a year on health care management. Nova Scotia is spending in excess of $50 million for administrators. If these sums were directed to the sick and injured, how much good could be done? How much suffering could be averted?
Monday, April 2, 2012 – I haven’t found where any of the health authorities have met the deadline to comply with the Act. Why should we care? It’s important to know what our system costs because real lives are affected. It’s not for the prurient thrill, it’s because we are so often told we can’t afford certain treatments, therapies, drugs or services. Here’s a case where a family with an autistic son is being denied citizenship.
This family is wealthy enough to be able to pay for his care wherever they live. But how many other times and how many other situations are families told by someone who gets a $75,000 car allowance or other such perk that we/the system can’t afford something? We should know and have a say in who and what we can afford.