The Capital Regional District's new sewage treatment boss hasn't even started his job yet, but his lucrative contract has attracted controversy.
Albert Sweetnam, an engineer and former top executive at Ontario Power Generation, was hired in July at an eyebrow-raising annual salary of $290,000. That makes him one of the highest paid public servants in the province. Then the Times Colonist revealed he was set to receive a one-year bonus payment if he finished his five-year contract.
Below is Sweetnam's full contract, obtained using the Freedom of Information legislation.
Sweetnam was hired by the CRD's civilian commission of experts, who are managing day-to-day operations of the project, as a condition of the provincial and federal government funding for the $783-million project.
Some other highlights:
- A two-week "orientation period" before his Sept. 9 start date, in which Sweetnam is paid $1,318 per day, plus expenses.
- A six-month "ancillary liaison" job after the five-year contract, to provide advice about the sewage project once complete, at a prorated version of his full salary (so, $145,000 for six months).
- Full CRD health and benefits, as well as five weeks holiday and one week for time-off-in-lieu.
- Relocation expenses, including up to one months' gross salary ($24,166) and three months rent of "furnished accommodation."
- A confidentiality agreement, as well as ban on consulting work without the CRD's permission.
- 12 months severance pay, if fired without cause, plus a prorated version of his bonus and six-month liaison pay.
- No severance if fired with cause, but he's still entitled to a prorated six-month liaison payment, depending on how long he was employed.
- Sweetnam is allowed to quit with three months notice.
Here's the contract: