The Office of the Official Opposition is calling for greater transparency with respect to the Legislative Administration Committee, more commonly known as LAC. This committee is responsible for the administration, operation, management, maintenance and control of the buildings and facilities connected with the Legislative Assembly. The committee is also responsible generally for all matters relating to the Legislative Assembly and its members, and usually meets behind closed doors.
“Traditionally, this committee is held behind closed doors, but there is nothing in the standing rules that dictates that practice,” said Roger Melanson, interim leader of the Official Opposition and member of the LAC committee. “People want to know what their elected officials are doing, and we must stay accountable to them. In an era of technology and communication, New Brunswickers want to be involved and informed about what is being done by their government.”
The Legislative Administration Committee covers a wide variety of issues. Mr. Melanson notes that some of what the committee considers would still need to be kept confidential, like matters relating to human resources.
“Due to the confidential nature of some of the files that come the LAC, such as human resource matters, some meetings will still need to be kept private,” says the MLA from Dieppe. “But many of the other issues we deal with could be made public. There is no reason why the discussions around a hybrid model for the Legislative Assembly should not be made public as it has a direct impact on the ability of government to do the work they were elected to do.”
“There needs to be a balance between protecting confidentiality and being transparent with the people of New Brunswick and a closed-door policy for everything that comes to LAC just doesn’t work,” concludes Mr. Melanson.