Capital commission head retires and returns to work

In 2009, Ray Parks retired as the chief executive officer of the government agency responsible for managing Crown-owned properties in the capital region. But for the past two years he's been doing the same job, for the same pay, while collecting his public service pension - an arrangement allowed by that retirement plan.

In an interview with Public Eye, provincial capital commission chair Bill Wellburn explained the 32-year veteran bureaucrat had decided to hang-up his stirrups after maxing out his pension plan.

"I was going to go do other things because I could," said Mr. Parks, giving the commission nine months notice.

But the board asked if he could stay on until a new chief executive executive officer had been hired. Mr. Parks agreed and the commission arranged to continue paying him $10,000 a month via an "executive leadership services" contract with his company BIM Consulting Ltd.

Mr. Parks confirmed that's when he also started collecting his "modest" public service pension. Under the rules of that retirement plan, such double-dipping is allowed. Mr. Parks could even be re-employed by the commission and continue receiving his pension pay - so long as he waited a 30 days between retiring and going back to work.

Indeed, the fact he isn't an employee means the commission doesn't have to pay benefits - providing the taxpayers with good value for money, according to Mr. Wellburn. Which perhaps explains why the board has no immediate plans to replace him.

"When the time comes where we have to do a CEO search, the cost of the search and the market compensation we'll have to pay to get the right candidate tells me it's going to cost a lot more money. Being a taxpayer myself, I think we're getting good value per dollar," the chair said.

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