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Letter from the Clerk

Photo of Audrey O'Brien, Clerk of the House of Commons

The first half of this Report to Canadians focuses on the work of Members of Parliament, specifically on their roles in the Chamber, in committees, in caucus, in constituencies and in representing Canadians abroad. The contributions of Members to Canadians, to our country and to democracy are numerous and substantial. After serving for over 30 years at the House of Commons, I continue to be impressed by their dedication and respect for the institution of Parliament.

As the Clerk of the House of Commons, I lead the House Administration in fulfilling its mandate to provide Members with the services, infrastructure and advice they need to carry out their work. At the beginning of each Parliament, we table the Strategic Outlook which outlines the long-term objectives for the House of Commons as an institution and identifies the major initiatives that the House Administration will undertake to achieve these objectives. The pages that follow complete our annual reporting cycle to the public by reporting on the accomplishments that we have made over the past year.

I feel privileged to lead what is a very unique organization. As the senior permanent official of the House of Commons, I report to the Speaker, who chairs the Board of Internal Economy, of which I am the secretary. Along with the Clerks- at-the-Table, one of my primary responsibilities is to advise the Speaker and all Members on the interpretation of parliamentary rules, precedents and practices. When the House is sitting, my role is to be in the Chamber the majority of the time that the Speaker is present. As a result, I am well acquainted with the daily business of the House.

In my role as senior administrator of the House Administration, I participate in developing strategy and in reviewing the House Administration's performance, while making decisions and putting forward recommendations to the Board of Internal Economy. My management team and I deal with a variety of matters on a daily basis, ranging from ensuring security and maintaining infrastructure to promoting strong stewardship and engaging our workforce. One of the elements that makes the House Administration so unique is the variety of our workforce. Their days are spent providing Members with essential services and sought-after counsel and advice. Evidence of the pride they take in their work is the high number of employees we recognize each year with long service awards-for 20, 25, 30, 35 and even 40 years of service.

This past year the House Administration continued to participate in the work necessary to renovate the buildings of the Parliamentary Precinct and preserve these important heritage assets and national symbols of Canada. We also prioritized the continuing improvement of Parliament's information technology and information management systems. In addition, we published the new edition of the book House of Commons Procedure and Practice through which the House Administration contributed, from a procedural and administrative perspective, to parliamentary democracy in Canada. These are just a few of the accomplishments that are described over the following pages.

I am proud to present this report on the House Administration's accomplishments over the past year. This is a welcome opportunity to provide Canadians with detailed information on our work.

Signature of Audrey O'Brien

Audrey O'Brien
Clerk of the House of Commons

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