Commissioner Releases Review of Government’s Disclosure of Travel and Expenses Policy

June 30, 2015

A review of the Government of Alberta’s “Public Disclosure of Travel and Expenses Policy” has been released by Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton with 25 recommendations.

When the policy was announced the government said it would ask the Commissioner to review the policy after one year of implementation to ensure it was employing best practices.  The first disclosures under the new policy were released in December 2012.

“I welcome the opportunity to provide analysis and comment on programs that relate to Alberta’s access and privacy laws,” said Clayton. “This policy is a positive step for Alberta, and compares well against similar initiatives in other jurisdictions. Nonetheless, we have made a number of recommendations to further enhance the proactive disclosure of travel and expenses information.”

Based upon 11 best practice principles adapted from various standards for open government data initiatives, the recommendations promote transparency and accountability in the public sector.

An overarching recommendation in the review was mandating proactive disclosure requirements for certain types of information in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Currently, the practice of releasing government’s travel and expenses information is operationally mandated through policy rather than by legislation.