After years of railing against secrecy in hiring top-level civil servants, the NDP overruled a move yesterday to open up the process, then wavered on future intentions.

 

The NDP had complained for years that the public Human Resources Committee only sees the final candidate to head government agencies, boards and commissions. The short list is pared down by cabinet in private.

 

Opposition parties had complained they had no way of knowing if the best candidate was being chosen.

 

Liberal MLA Michel Samson tabled a motion yesterday to make the short list public, but it was defeated by the NDP majority in the committee. They said only the assembly matters committee has the authority to make a move.

 

That group hasn’t sat in more than five years.

“They seem to have no intention of changing the system which they criticized for its lack of openness for years and years,” Samson said.

Samson also noted the government has a majority on all committees and can make any changes they wish.

When asked what his government’s stance was, Premier Darrell Dexter used noncommittal language similar to what former Premier Rodney MacDonald was criticized for.

“We’re willing to look at proposals for more openness and transparency,” Dexter said. “We think there is a process that needs some reflection on what works.”