Saskatchewan Posts Ministerial Travel Expenses Online

The Saskatchewan government has finally fulfilled a promise made earlier this year by publicly posting the summer travel expenses of all its cabinet ministers and their staff on its website. Announcing the move, Premier Brad Wall Premier Brad Wall stated that “I hope we’re getting value for the money” and “that’s a constant review that we do to make sure that missions we go on, that trips we go on, are cost effective.”

According to the remarks by NDP Opposition House Leader, MLA Warren McCall, “we’re glad to see this step forward in terms of what it means for accountability.” McCall stated that “we’re also reminded that the government was forced to take this step, was kind of dragged here kicking and screaming,” referring to the travel expense controversy in the spring. The promise by the provincial government to post the expenses of not only its ministers but also their staff was made after it was revealed in the spring that a staff member traveling with then-Social Services Minister June Draude claimed $3,600 for a car service in London. McCall stressed that “this is the point of accountability” because the “governments have to demonstrate accountability, not just say, “Trust us” to the people.”

Although the information has always been available through Freedom of Information requests, it has now been voluntarily uploaded to website. Wall stated that “the government also needed to report staff and officials that were along for trips.” The Premier doesn’t think the government will start posting those receipts, adding that the province is moving towards a per diem system instead.

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