September 19, 2007
Public hearings held on Bills 1 and 2
Edmonton—The Standing Committee on Government Services will listen to what Albertans have to say at a September 27 public hearing in Edmonton on issues surrounding Bill 1, Lobbyists Act and Bill 2, Conflicts of Interest Amendment Act, 2007.
“There are many issues, particularly with Bill 1, that Albertans want to discuss,” said >Harvey Cenaiko, MLA for Calgary-Buffalo and Chair of the Standing Committee on Government Services. “One of the primary reasons this committee exists is to facilitate open dialogue with Albertan on issues of interest, and that is what we intend to do.”
The public hearing in Edmonton is scheduled to take place at the Legislature Annex (4th Floor, 9718 – 107 Street) on September 27 beginning at 9 a.m.
People are asked to contact the Committee Clerk before the end of the day on September 21 if they wish to make a presentation. The length of the hearings will be determined by the number of scheduled presentations.
The Standing Committee on Government Services is one of four all-party committees established by the Assembly this spring. Among other responsibilities this 11-Member committee is holding a public hearing into issues surrounding Bill 1, Lobbyists Act and Bill 2, Conflicts of Interest Amendment At, 2007.
Bill 1: Lobbyists Act
This Bill provides for the establishment of a publicly accessible lobbyist registry containing information regarding paid lobbyists and their activities.
The Bill would prohibit lobbying on a certain issue while providing paid advice on the same issue to the government or a prescribed provincial entity at the same time. Additionally, the Bill would require the government to release contract information to the public.
Bill 2: Conflicts of Interest Amendment Act, 2007
This Bill proposes amendments to the Conflicts of Interest Act, includinglengthening the cooling-off period for former Ministers from six months to one year and increasing the fines if the rules are violated. The cooling-off period is the period during which former Ministers are restricted in what employment they can accept.
The Bill would also impose a six-month cooling-off period for political staff members in the Office of the Premier and Ministers’ offices, Deputy Ministers and other public servants to be determined by regulation. It would also prohibit MLAs from using inside information to benefit anyone’s private interests or from using their influence to sway government decisions to benefit any person improperly.
Information about the committee and can be found at www.assembly.ab.ca/governmentservices A list of the scheduled presentations will be posted on the committee website by September 24, 2007.