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The House of Commons: Report to Canadians 2014

Report to Canadians 2014

Year in Review

As Speaker of the House of Commons, I am proud to present the Report to Canadians 2014.

This report provides highlights of the work done by Members of Parliament and their major accomplishments during the 2013–2014 fiscal year. It also focuses on the role the House Administration plays in supporting the daily activities of Members and the institution.

It is truly an honour for me to carry out the role of Speaker, which involves ensuring the orderly flow of business in the House and making sure parliamentary rules and traditions are observed. In addition to presiding over House proceedings, I also chair the Board of Internal Economy, which is responsible for establishing and implementing the by-laws, policies and guidelines that govern the use of the funds, goods, services and premises made available to Members and House Officers to carry out their parliamentary functions.

The Report to Canadians is updated annually and is a companion piece to the Strategic Outlook, a document that the House Administration is tasked with preparing at the beginning of each Parliament. Tabled in September 2012, the Strategic Outlook for the 41st Parliament presents the plans and priorities we have established to meet our core strategic objectives.

For Canadians, this report is also a window into the inner workings of the House of Commons, the duties  of Members and the responsibilities of the House Administration. In the Members’ Snapshot section, for example, you will find interesting statistics on Canada’s 308 elected representatives, while the Members’ Activities section highlights how Members fulfilled their responsibilities in the Chamber, in committees and on the world stage. More information on the Administration’s strategic objectives can be found in the Performance Review section and expenditure details are provided in the Financial Review section.

The House of Commons strives to be as open and transparent as possible in everything it does. In 2013–2014, the Board of Internal Economy implemented a number of measures to provide Canadians with more information about its role and Members’ expenditures. In particular, the Board published the minutes of the meetings it held during the 41st Parliament to ensure easier access to this information, which was previously only tabled in the House. In October 2013, the Board also announced that more details will be disclosed when reporting on Members’ expenses. The reports will also be published more frequently, moving to a quarterly cycle starting in 2014–2015. As part of these efforts, the Board also made available to the public the Members’ Allowances and Services Manual and thePublic Registry of Designated Travellers.

In 2012, the Board of Internal Economy set a goal to reduce House spending by 6.9% by 2014–2015. I am pleased to report that Members and the House Administration have met our cost-reduction targets for 2013–2014 and are well on the way to achieving the $30.3 million overall budget reduction next year. This active stewardship reflects our ongoing commitment to carry out our work in the most fiscally responsible manner possible.

The House Administration, meanwhile, is preparing to meet the challenges that 2014–2015 will bring, including getting ready to welcome the 30 additional Members who will join Parliament in 2015.

On behalf of all Members and the House Administration, I encourage you to take a look at this overview of the work done in the House. I would also like to assure you that we will continue to serve Canadians well and ensure the sound management of this important institution.

Andrew Scheer, M.P.
Speaker of the House of Commons

Learn more about the Speaker and his role in the House of Commons

Photo of Andrew Scheer, M.P. Speaker of the House of Commons

Year in Review

The Report to Canadians aims to help Canadians learn more about the daily work and achievements of the House of Commons.

As Clerk of the House of Commons, my role includes advising the Speaker and Members of Parliament on the interpretation of parliamentary rules, precedents and practices in a discreet and impartial manner. In addition to my duties in the Chamber, I oversee the management of the House Administration. I am supported in this task by the Clerk’s Management Group (CMG), which is made up of representatives of all service areas of the House of Commons. This experienced team—with its expertise in the areas of parliamentary procedure, information technology, security, facilities, human resources, finance, and law—is responsible for making recommendations to the Speaker and the Board of Internal Economy regarding the House Administration.

CMG members, House Administration employees and I are proud to serve the Parliament of Canada. We are all committed to a common set of values, which motivates us to provide Members with quality advice and services. Those values include professional excellence, respect for the democratic process and a commitment to balancing continuity and change.

Over the past year, the House Administration implemented a number of initiatives including the publication of a comprehensive procedural reference document containing the rulings and decisions of former Speaker Peter Milliken—a major undertaking of which the Administration is very proud. The Administration also provided significant support with regard to the enhanced disclosure measures announced by the Board of Internal Economy in addition to making considerable headway on a number of ongoing, large-scale projects.

I encourage you to pay particular attention to the Performance Review section of this report, which provides relevant information on the House Administration’s activities and describes the major projects that were undertaken to meet the strategic objectives set out in the Strategic Outlook for the 41st Parliament.

I feel honoured and privileged to be part of such a dedicated team as the House Administration. I am extremely proud to present to you this report, which provides a glimpse into the work that was done over the last year to support Canada’s Members of Parliament.

Audrey O’Brien
Clerk of the House of Commons

Learn more about how the Clerk supports Members’ parliamentary activities

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