In addition to external consultants, the government has in-house special advisors.
Duncan Fisher, for example, earned $363,532 in 2013-2014 as a special advisor to the deputy minister of health, out-earning the deputy minister himself ($219,773).
Fisher was transferred from social services, where he had briefly served as deputy minister from November 2007 to July 2008. A Leader-Post report stated he was moved after he “evidently locked horns” with his minister. The transfer to health was a homecoming – three years earlier he worked in the same ministry at an annual salary of $121,637.
In Justice, Randy Koroluk is paid a salary of $94,150 as witness protection program director. The Public Accounts for 2013-2014 state he received $385,826 for providing unspecified goods and services to the justice ministry. He received $375,029 the previous year, 2012-2013, as well, under Corrections, Policing and Public Safety.
When contacted by a Consultant Watch researcher, a ministry spokesperson said the additional payment to Koroluk was related to witness protection, and asked that the information be handled with discretion. Following publication of this article, a spokesperson further stated it was payment for witness protection goods.
Consultancies may potentially offer a path to senior ministerial appointments without the fuss and public profile of an official Order in Council; people described as senior advisors or deputy ministers may not show up on lists of salaried employees, but can be found in Public Accounts as freelance consulting businesses.