Staff from Premier Dalton McGuinty's office acted in violation of access to information rules and intentionally delayed the release of thousands of pages of expense claims filed by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. executives, the opposition parties charged Wednesday.

"This appears to be political interference of the highest order, with direct connection right back to the premier's office," NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in the legislature.

"Clearly, (McGuinty) and his office were desperately, desperately trying to manage their way out of yet another expense scandal."

The allegations of interference by the premier's office first came from Kelly McDougald, the fired head of Ontario Lottery and Gaming, in a notice of claim for her $8.4 million wrongful dismissal suit against the government and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

"The Minister (Duncan) advised . . . that the government could not delay the release of the records any further," McDougald alleged in the 18-page legal document.

The notice of claim contains allegations yet to be proven in court. The Ontario government has said it will dispute the claim.

The government and political staff are not supposed to interfere in requests filed under the province's access to information law, said Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

"It certainly paints a very disturbing picture about the role of the finance minister and the deputy chief of staff to the premier in intervening in the FOI process," said Hudak.

McGuinty repeatedly refused Wednesday to deny his office interfered in the access-to-information requests, and said only that the Liberals had broadened the number of agencies the legislation applies to.

The premier joked when reporters expressed frustration that he would not give a direct answer.

"That's what I do," said McGuinty about evading the questions.

"I think what I keep saying is we keep improving things and doing a better job."

Horwath said the premier's credibility has been harmed by the way the government handled the release of the OLG expense claims and its reaction to the allegations made in McDougald's notice of claim, which was made public Tuesday.

"It's quite clear from the documents from Ms. McDougald . . . that the premiers' office and the minister's office made every effort possible to hold back the information," she said.

"It's really obvious that although the premier talks about transparency and accountability, what comes out of his actions is exactly the opposite."

Horwath said there were a lot of questions around the extent to which the government interfered in not only the timing of the release, but with the documents that were released, and said she's still not sure everything from OLG has been made public.

McDougald's notice of claim also accused Duncan of firing her because she refused his order to fire the lottery corporation's chief financial officer -- and any other executive of her choosing -- to serve as scapegoats for the "unacceptable" expense claims at OLG.

"It looks like a government that was anxious to find political pawns to take the fall, a couple of bureaucrats so the minister wouldn't get bumped," said Hudak.

McGuinty said his government would introduce legislation to keep a closer eye on expenses filed by about 300 top executives at 22 of Ontario's 615 arms-length agencies, boards and commissions by having them approved by the province's integrity commissioner.

"Management is now reviewing expenses, but what we want to do is ensure that the managers, or the reviewers, are now going to have their expenses reviewed," said McGuinty.

The government wants to make sure it isn't stung by even more expense abuses after the OLG scandal and similar problems at eHealth Ontario, which also came under fire for awarding $16 million in untendered contracts to consultants.

EHealth's CEO, Sarah Kramer, was paid $317,000 in severance when she left her post at the height of the scandal, but the government refused to pay one-year's salary to McDougald to leave her $400,000 a year job at OLG, which resulted in the multi-million-dollar lawsuit.