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Results: 1 - 15 of 18
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Are there any questions?
Are there any comments?
Is everybody okay with the recommendation as stated in our report? Very good, we'll go ahead with it.
Item 9 is the Joint Interparliamentary Council report on parliamentary associations' activities and expenditures for 2020-21. The first one, at tab 9, is the annual report on the activities and expenditures of parliamentary associations for 2020-21. The co-chairs of the Joint Interparliamentary Council have sent a letter noting that the JIC has adopted this report and is submitting it to the board for your information. The form is similar to that of reports from previous years, but due to the moratorium on travel that was in effect all of last year, it instead focuses on the virtual activities of associations.
If there are any questions about the report itself, the clerk of the JIC is available today, or we could invite the House co-chair Mr. Stanton to appear at subsequent meetings. Are there any questions?
The next report for this committee is the annual report, at tab 10. You have before you a letter from the chair of the Liaison Committee, Ms. Sgro, who wishes to inform the board that the Liaison Committee recently adopted and presented to the House its latest annual report on committee activities and expenditures for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Ms. Sgro submitted a copy of the report to the board and has indicated that she would be available to meet with us at a future date if the board desires.
Pursuant to Standing Order 121(4), the Board of Internal Economy shall cause to be tabled in the House an annual comprehensive financial report, outlining the individual expenditures of each committee.
The established practice since 2014 has been for the Liaison Committee's annual report to be approved by the board and tabled by the Speaker in order to comply with the requirements of the standing order. Consequently, if all members are in agreement, I will submit the report as attached to the House as the board's report, pursuant to the standing order. Are there any questions or comments about the report or the process? I see none.
Does everyone agree that I submit the report to the House? I see that you do.
That is great. We will take a two‑minute break before moving in camera and continuing with item 11.
Mr. Holland, go ahead.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
I have no questions. For last year, it's very clear. For this year, I don't think we had any activities. Our activities on Parliament Hill were suspended as of March 13.
I just want to know where there are any expenditures by parliamentary associations for this financial year, and to what an extent our costs were reduced.
Jeremy LeBlanc
View Jeremy LeBlanc Profile
Jeremy LeBlanc
2020-11-19 11:38
Thank you, Mr. Julian.
Yes, indeed, there has been a moratorium on association activities and travel since March, which means that expenditures for activities are essentially zero. With the income from membership fees, that is to say the dues that members must pay to belong to those associations, the account balance is even negative, in the sense that more came in than went out.
However, from the envelope for the Joint Interparliamentary Council, or JIC, we have to pay fees to the international associations. To belong to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, or APF, we have to pay annual fees. Those contributions are ongoing. Expenditures of about $400,000 have already been made to cover a part of those fees, which normally amount to about $1.4 million each year.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
This summer, the board approved—and it was part of a package related to former Bill C-58 and the financial disclosure—an additional staff position that was associated with helping to process travel expenses for the associations. At that time, my predecessor in this role, Mr. Strahl, had expressed some reservations about that because, obviously, international travel was grounded at the time. Given that this has obviously continued to persist and probably will for some time to come, has the hiring for that position gone ahead, or is it delayed because there actually hasn't been a need for travel?
Jeremy LeBlanc
View Jeremy LeBlanc Profile
Jeremy LeBlanc
2020-11-19 11:40
Yes, we did staff that position, because there is a fair amount of preparatory work that is required in order to have us set-up to properly disclose, so all kinds of systems testing, processes to develop, templates of reports to be validated, and training to be given to various staff members. The resource that was hired has been occupied in doing that, even though there haven't been activities ongoing at the time.
View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
Related to that, is the funding envelope for the interparliamentary associations approved as part of the annual budgeting process? This is something I'm not sure of. That is? Okay.
I believe this would be at our next meeting for 2021, so it will be part of the discussions at that meeting. Is that right? Okay.
There is one last thing I wanted to touch on. Later on our agenda we have an item regarding Ms. Ratansi. I understand she's been the president of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Is she still the president of that, or what's the situation there?
Jeremy LeBlanc
View Jeremy LeBlanc Profile
Jeremy LeBlanc
2020-11-19 11:41
She is still the president of the Canadian Branch of the CPA, yes.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Order. Welcome, everyone.
I don't want everybody to think that we will have only 25-minute meetings from now on. This will not be the norm. This is not a precedent.
In light of what's happened, we will end at about one o'clock. We'll try to make it as quick as possible.
If it's okay, with your unanimous consent, we'll go straight to item three. Do we have your consent?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Hon. Anthony Rota: Perfect.
We'll start with Madame Labrecque-Riel.
To the witnesses, I just want to remind you that we are under time constraints. We would ask you to be as concise as possible. We have to end at one o'clock, unfortunately.
As I'm sure you have a lot of details, I'll stop and let you start.
Colette Labrecque-Riel
View Colette Labrecque-Riel Profile
Colette Labrecque-Riel
2019-12-12 12:37
Mr. Chair, members of the Board of Internal Economy, good afternoon.
I am here to present a funding request for a minor reorganization I've undertaken at the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate.
Some time ago, I decided to do an analysis of the workload of my team and discovered that the working conditions were not optimal. The IIA directorate, international and interparliamentary affairs, is a joint Senate and House directorate. I have Senate employees and House employees on my team. We deliver services for parliamentary associations, Speakers' exchanges, protocol and conferences. We currently have 54 FTE employees—12 Senate and 42 House.
We did an analysis in terms of the working conditions. I felt obliged to present a reorganization restructuring.
The analysis on which I based my recommendation showed that we had too many competing operational needs. Overtime was on the rise, sick leave usage was high, and we had low usage of annual leave. There was also a very high turnover rate.
I therefore initiated a minor reorganization of my team. We have reassigned internal resources, and we need one more employee to respond to operational needs and pressure. As I said earlier, we serve both the Senate and the House. I've included the numbers. The Senate share of the cost is 30%, and the House share is 70%.
Essentially, here is the bottom line for the House of Commons for this additional FTE. It was piloted on my team, and I have found very encouraging results since April: Overtime is down; sick leave is down; annual leave is up in terms of their ability to take it.
So that is the request before you—the approval of one FTE.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I imagine the hiring has brought down overtime, as you said. Reduced overtime means reduced costs. Does that help somewhat?
Colette Labrecque-Riel
View Colette Labrecque-Riel Profile
Colette Labrecque-Riel
2019-12-12 12:39
Yes, I expect it will. Cost reduction was one of my main objectives. We will see cost recovery, especially when it comes to international conferences. As you know, the Joint Interparliamentary Council comes here from time to time to seek funding approval for major international conferences. On average, these conferences cost more than $1 million. For these conferences, an amount is always set aside for overtime. My objective is to reduce this amount. After one or two conferences, I will already have recovered the funds to cover this individual's salary.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I support this additional funding, which is around $96,000. The most striking argument that prompts me to support this request is that employees worked almost 3,000 hours of overtime, but only managed to get 200 hours of annual leave. That means there's a problem. People are increasingly required to work overtime. We can see here that they were unable to take their annual leave. As a result, more and more sick leave hours are being used.
We manage financial resources here, sure, but we also manage human resources. It seems there is a work overload here. The responsible thing for us to do is add a few more human resources to balance things out a little more in this area.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Ms. Labrecque-Riel, I'd like to congratulate you for your high-quality brief. When I looked it over to prepare for the meeting, I found that your needs were well documented. I saw that you took care to stay within your financial and performance parameters, and that you were also sensitive to the conditions of those working on your teams.
Could you explain to us what impact a new managerial position will have on reducing employee overtime?
Colette Labrecque-Riel
View Colette Labrecque-Riel Profile
Colette Labrecque-Riel
2019-12-12 12:42
Basically, adding a manager would allow the entire management team to keep a closer eye on the workload of the directorate's 54 employees—55 if you accept our request. I have a team whose workload is increasing. If no one is monitoring that and a manager cannot reassign the work, people do overtime. Managers are unable to monitor the work and redistribute the workload. Having another manager meant that we could do that monitoring and redistribution. As I said earlier, the pilot project has been going since April, and we've already seen very tangible results.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you. You will have our support. I very much agree with your request.
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