AHS Board member resigns following release of CFO
Published Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:30AM MDT Last Updated Thursday, August 2, 2012 7:43PM MDT
A member of Alberta Health Services’ board has resigned following the news that the organization’s CFO is leaving, after a number of past expenses were revealed.
Health Minister Fred Horne announced Thursday morning that Sheila Weatherill had resigned.
The news comes one day after AHS officials confirmed CFO Allaudin Merali has stepped down.
Merali's resignation came after the organization received a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) act earlier this year, for records of expense claims for Merali, from his days as VP and CFO of the former Capital Health Region.
The documents, relating to 146 expense claims, dated between January 2005 and August 2008 and totaling $346,208 were released on July 27, 2012. On Wednesday, they were posted publicly.
According to the released documents, Merali expensed a variety of goods and services – from smaller expenses such as parking meters, a bottle of water, and a slice of pizza, to pricey dinners at high-end restaurants (some with bills totaling more than $3,000), alcohol, and stays at international hotels.
The acting CEO told media Wednesday the decision to release Merali was made in consultation with AHS’ President and CEO Dr. Chris Eagle, who is currently on vacation.
Weatherill signed off on many of Merali’s expense claims. She previously served as Capital Health’s President and Chief Executive Officer in Edmonton from 1996 until 2008.
Officials said when AHS was created; the Board of Directors re-vamped existing policies, and requested new ones pertaining to travel, hospitality and hosting, and conflict of interest.
The Auditor General to review the organizations policies and practices in the wake of this incident, and announced plans to make expense records of the CEO, Executive Vice-Presidents and Senior Vice-Presidents – all of whom report to the CEO.
The expenses will be posted on the AHS website, and are to be updated quarterly.