BOIE
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 111
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:20
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I am pleased to be here today to present to you the 2018-19 year-end financial report, and to obtain your approval to include the operational budget carry forward in the 2019-20 supplementary estimates.
This financial report has been prepared using the expenditure basis of accounting, consistent to the Public Accounts of Canada that will be published in the fall. It provides the final authorities and expenditures for 2018-19, along with comparative information from the previous fiscal year.
Parliament provides the House with authorities to enable it to support members according to the normal parliamentary calendar. The authorities for 2018-19, totalling $506 million, are $6.7 million or 1.3 % lower than the authorities for 2017-18.
The most significant changes are the $25-million decrease for members' pension plans, and the $10.6-million increase for continued investments in our LTVP project.
In 2018-19, expenditures totalled $487 million, compared with $490 million in 2017-18. That decrease of $3 million, or 0.6 %, is consistent with a decrease in authorities for 2018-19.
The expenditures are also presented by type of cost. Compared with previous years, salaries and benefits increased by $1.8 million. This is due to the one-time adjustment of $25 million made in 2017-18, as directed by the actuarial report of the pension plans for the members of Parliament.
This reduction was offset by significant investments made in staffing in support of major initiatives, such as the food modernization and optimization of services, the House officer expenditure disclosure, digital strategies to modernize the delivery of parliamentary information and the long-term vision plan.
Other factors that also contributed to the increase in personnel costs are the cost-of-living increase for House administration, along with increasing staffing action for members' staff.
In addition, expenditures related to rentals and licences decreased compared with 2017-18. That decrease is mainly attributed to changes associated with payment periods owing to the renewal of various licences to meet the terms of our agreements.
In addition, the decrease related to repairs and maintenance in 2018-19, compared with the 2017-18 expenditures, is mainly attributed to investments made in 2017-18 in security measures and resources.
Moreover, 2018-19 revenues increased modestly over the previous year's revenues. In total, our revenues increased by $1.8 million owing to services provided to federal government departments and organizations, and other parliamentary institutions, based on our cost-recovery system.
Finally, the report also provides comparisons of the utilization of our authorities between the two fiscal years. This does show a slight increase of 0.7% over the previous year.
It's important to note that the House of Commons promotes the efficient use of resources, and continuously strives to minimize requests for incremental funding, whenever possible. For example, the surpluses generated by the delay in the move to the West Block were reallocated to offset costs associated with other initiatives, such as our retroactive payment for the economic increase of House administration staff.
As mentioned, our authorities for 2018-19 were $506 million, while expenditures amounted to $487 million. This leaves us with a surplus of $19 million. This amount will correspond to the lapse that will be reported in the public accounts this fall.
Note that the surplus reflects the fact that the authorities received are intended to support 338 members. Due to the fact that by-elections were held in five constituencies during the past year, there were fewer MPs, and therefore less support was required, resulting in reduced spending overall.
This surplus represents 5.5% of the 2018-19 main estimates voted authorities. The House of Commons typically follows the government's practice of carrying forward any lapsed funds, up to a maximum of 5% of our voted main estimates. I'm seeking your approval today to include in our 2019-20 supplementary estimates a carry-forward of $17.4 million, representing that 5% of our last year's voted main estimates.
Mr. Speaker, this concludes my presentation.
I am ready to answer your questions.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:26
We play a support role in parliamentary precinct extension and renovation projects. Funding for those projects comes from Public Services and Procurement Canada. We support them, and they refund us for some of those projects, as well as for the tasks we carry out.
Our other services are provided by our information technology group, which manages the computer platform used by our parliamentary precinct partners. We collect their contributions—
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:26
It was budgeted, and we have agreements to recover those contributions.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:27
I think our collective agreements expired in 2017 or 2018. We are currently negotiating their renewal, and they could in fact reflect the normal cost of life increase, thereby influencing our future funding request.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:27
It will be public once the negotiations are completed.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:27
This report will be published at the end of the day.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:28
To address your first question, the transfer costs are the transfers of money that we pay to fund the activities of the various associations that Parliament is a member of. It's very specific to those particular items.
As for what we call the “election-related costs”, there are transition pieces here. The coming year is one in which various activities are reduced, because we're in election mode. Others increase, because of those transfers, and onboarding. We keep track of those very specifically. We don't have specific funding for that.
Looking at how we offset the surplus that may be created as a result of the incremental cost of the reduction of some activities, as I just mentioned, we do have a significant carry-forward that's going to remain. We will make sure to earmark part of that to cover some of these items, such as transition support and the onboarding program that we all know are part of that transition from the election.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:30
The Parliamentary Protective Service is an independent entity that has its own sources of funding. Its activities and the expenditures associated with its services or the collective agreements it applies stopped appearing in our authorities when the service was created in 2015.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:30
The Parliamentary Protective Service has its own budget, which is approved by the Speakers of both houses. We do not manage that budget, as the service reports to the Speakers of both houses.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-30 11:31
It would be up to the Parliamentary Protective Service managers to submit that request for funding to pay for those agreements.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-02 11:50
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am here to present the findings of the House Administration's review on the use of House resources by a former member. The review focused on the member's secondary residence and related expenses from 2012 to 2016, while he was still a member.
On January 23, 2019, the Speaker received a letter from a member asking the House Administration to review the use of House Resources by the former member.
The current policies allow the members whose constituency is not located in the national capital region to designate a primary residence in the constituency or in the national capital region, and establish a secondary residence additional to their primary residence. Expenses for the secondary residence may be charged under the travel status expense account. This allows members to defray some of their additional costs of maintaining that secondary residence.
Furthermore, in the current policy, a primary residence is defined as a residence ordinarily occupied by the member, available for the member's occupancy at all times, and its main purpose cannot be to generate income. The current policy also provides criteria to help determine which residency to declare as primary. That is, members must consider various criteria such as which residence they will declare on their income tax returns, in which province they vote, have a health card, a driver's licence and register their vehicle, and what living arrangements they will have for their spouse and dependants.
Although the current policy has been in effect since May 2016, the former member's secondary residence expenses were reviewed while considering the board policies and bylaws that were in effect during the period of 2012 to 2016, which is the period in question when he was a member. Prior to April 2013, the applicable bylaws and policies defined that primary residence as a residence other than a seasonal or recreational dwelling. They did not specify that members had to provide supporting documentation showing their primary residence was their ordinary place of residence or was available for their use at all times. Once having met the requirements outlined by the bylaws, it remained the members' discretion to decide the location of their primary residence.
In June 2015 the board approved several changes to that policy relating to secondary residence and per diem expenses. These changes modernized the residency policy by revising the definition of a primary and secondary residence. They required that members provide that supporting documentation clarifying ownership or rental of their residence. They required that members declare at the start of every parliamentary session any changes and which one of the residences is the primary residence and which one was a secondary residence, and allowed members to claim those secondary expenses only if they maintained a primary residence that meets the definitions that are in the policies.
Finally, at its meeting in 2016 the board approved the criteria to help determine which residency members would declare as their primary residence.
The House administration has reviewed this matter and can report that the former member claimed secondary residence and per diem expenses while in the national capital region, and claimed expenses for travel between Ottawa and his constituency during that same period. The House administration has reviewed all the relevant proof of the primary and secondary residences that supported the expenses claimed by the former member and is satisfied that they all met the requirements that were in effect during that period of time.
The board, however, does have the exclusive authority to determine whether the use of the House resources by the member is or was proper.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my presentation.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-05-02 12:00
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am presenting the findings of the House Administration's review on the use of House resources with respect to a member's designated website.
On January 29, 2019, the Speaker received a letter from a member asking that the House Administration look into the matter.
The Members By-law specifies that funds, goods and services provided by the House of Commons may only be used for carrying out members' parliamentary functions. It also states that the activities related to the solicitation of memberships of political parties and activities related to meetings of electoral district associations are not deemed to be parliamentary functions; therefore, House resources cannot be used for these purposes.
Under the current board policy, members must designate one website as their official site, and only that website, whether it is paid for through the member's office budget or not, must be compliant with the conditions set out in the Members’ Allowances and Services Manual. It may also be linked to the Parliament of Canada website and it may also be used in their advertising ten percenters and their householders.
The House administration has reviewed this matter and can report that as part of the administration's periodic review, the member's designated website was evaluated a total of five times between July 2016 and January 2019, and the House administration identified restricted content on the member's website on three separate occasions during this period.
At its most recent review, in January 2019, two pages which contained content related to solicitation of memberships of a political party and an invitation to nomination meetings were identified. The House administration has not contacted the member since the last evaluation; however, these two pages have since been taken down. The member has not claimed or charged any expenses related to his website posting to his member's office budget since the last general election in 2015. There is a letter addressed to the Speaker. The member has affirmed that these expenses were incurred by his member's district riding association, which is not restricted under the board's currently policies.
Since the House administration first identified restricted content on the member's website in June 2017, there have been several ten percenters and householders all featuring the designated websites that were produced and distributed to the member's constituency. The content of these documents was all found to be compliant with the board's current policies related to printed materials; however, the House administration is unable to confirm whether the member's designated website featured restricted content while the website appeared in these documents.
I will ask Monsieur Dufresne to provide some options for consideration for the board.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-04-11 12:10
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I'm here today to seek the board's approval on policy changes that we hope continue to contribute to support members in operating their constituency offices.
Our consultations with the members indicated that some current policies are unclear to them and could be more effective in providing that necessary support to manage their constituency offices. During our consultations, members expressed the need for increased support in vacating, moving, occupying and managing their constituency offices.
Specifically with these proposed policy changes, we aim to increase flexibility for members who are moving offices, ensure a smooth transition for office moves at the time of an election, clarify constituency office-related policies, and provide tools and support for the preparation of their office leases.
After reviewing all the information that has been compiled, the administration proposes certain changes regarding constituency offices.
Our first proposal is to allow more time for newly elected members to make decisions about their office locations. Members do feel pressure to select a new office very quickly after an election, and they find that the current four-month window for deciding where their office is going to be is not enough time to find that suitable office. We propose extending the period of centrally paid moves, following the election, to one full year in order to provide that additional flexibility.
Our second proposal is to align the winding-up period of both the parliamentary and the constituency offices to 21 days.
This is based on previous decisions of the Board of Internal Economy regarding the allocation of constituency office leases to the House of Commons Administration and on recent decisions of the board to allow members of Parliament to retain their employees up to 14 days after a general election, to better support members when closing and vacating their offices.
The administration should be allowed to propose that resigning members and members who are not re-elected vacate their parliamentary and constituency offices no later than 21 calendar days after the date of their resignation or the date of the general election. This would allow newly elected MPs to access offices earlier, without imposing an undue burden on MPs who have to vacate offices.
Additionally, we propose to provide additional support to members in selecting the appropriate office space. Members are encouraged to choose an existing office space that is already set up as an office to be used for that purpose. We propose to assist members in choosing a suitable office location by listing elements that an existing office should contain, such as a reception area, security measures and network capabilities.
To further help members choose that suitable location, we also encourage members to use a professional appraiser. This is a flat-fee service, and it would provide an estimate of an office space and its market value, and evaluate whether it's compliant with the necessary office elements previously mentioned.
Additionally, some office spaces chosen may require extensive renovations, creating long-term pressure on the member's budget. We propose that a priority be, before initiating the renovations, that the member be required to negotiate with their landlord and see whether these kinds of renovations really should be part of leasehold improvements, which are typically paid for by the landlord, although there are renovation expenses that are not covered by the landlord, and these would be charged to the member's office budget in the fiscal in which they are incurred. This would reduce the long-term pressure on the member's budget.
We are also proposing to amend the timelines for completing renovations.
Members of Parliament can currently undertake renovations at any time. As a result, there may be situations where MPs undertake renovations just before a general election. If they are not re-elected, the return on investment is not necessarily advantageous.
Our proposal is to limit the completion of renovation work to no later than three years after the date of a general election, or 12 months before the expiry of the lease. This would protect MPs from excessive use of resources that would not be available to them.
Next, we propose providing members additional mandatory and recommended clauses for inclusion in their constituency office leases. The proposed clauses allow members to terminate their constituency office lease in the case of landlord wrongdoing. They allow the House administration to be notified of any changes to leases, which will allow support to members in managing their lease and ensure the constituency office meets new accessibility and occupational health and safety standards.
Both the members and the House of Commons will benefit from the additional protection these clauses will afford.
Members who encounter difficulty including these necessary clauses in the given lease will need to consult the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel for further guidance.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my presentation on this topic. We're ready to answer any questions.
Daniel Paquette
View Daniel Paquette Profile
Daniel Paquette
2019-04-11 12:16
One of the objectives we're trying to help with here is to provide guidance to members so they are up and running as soon possible. Clearly, if you are not going to be assuming an existing office, you need to find something that is ready for you to move into quickly, that is already an office space and has the basic elements that you need. Minor renovations could be needed to fit your functionality. That's the first step we're hoping members will take, and then be operational as quickly as possible.
After that, clearly it's not always possible, depending on the scenarios, the constituency and finding those offices. The ability to do renovations is there. We want to make sure they are reasonable. We've had situations where members have had to incur significant renovations, and are paying for those over the term of the Parliament. It does tax their office budgets. Then they are limited in being able to do other things.
The guidance will be to talk to us so we can assist you. We have created some additional capacity within my team to provide that. There are experts in this field to help make sure that we do find the right office with you, and that it's up and running quickly.
Results: 1 - 15 of 111 | Page: 1 of 8

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data