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Government watchdogs better paid than senior bureaucrats

Following David Loukidelis' job-jumping example, provincial watchdogs may go easy on the government they're meant to monitor in hopes of gaining a “potentially more lucrative job in government afterwards,” Bill Tieleman suggests in his Tyee column today.

In Loukidelis' case it is unclear whether his job change will result in a raise.

In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, as information and privacy commissioner, Loukidelis earned $251,683 in salary plus almost $14,000 for travel.

The person he replaces as deputy attorney general, Allan Seckel, earned slightly less with “salary and other compensation” totaling $244,970. The compensation figure would include his base salary plus any bonuses, retroactive pay, car allowances, vacation pay or benefits received during the year. Seckel was also reimbursed $37,000 for travel.

A spokesperson with the Attorney General's ministry said he didn't know what Loukidelis' new salary will be, though it will be printed in next year's public accounts. The maximum for deputy ministers is just over $299,000, he said, though he noted that like cabinet ministers they are subject to a 10 percent hold back in years when the province runs a deficit.

A call to a spokesperson in the premier's office went unreturned by posting time.

All but one out of 43 deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers made less than $250,000 last year, according to the 2008-2009 public accounts.

But several independent officers of the legislature, including ombudsperson Kim Carter, auditor general John Doyle, representative for children and youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and former police complaints commissioner Dirk Ryneveld made over $250,000 last year.

Tieleman pointed out that as an order-in-council appointee, serving at the cabinet's discretion, Loukidelis can be dismissed without cause at any time. It's also worth noting that in his previous job legislated term limits would have meant his time as commissioner would have been up within the next two years.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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