April 25, 2012                  HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMISSION             No. 34

The Management Commission met at 5:30 p.m. in the House of Assembly Chamber.

MR. SPEAKER (Wiseman): Good afternoon.

We are about to start the meeting of the House of Assembly Management Commission.

My name is Ross Wiseman, the Chairperson of the Commission. I will ask members to introduce themselves, starting on the end.

Mr. Parsons, if you would, please.

MR. K. PARSONS: Kevin Parsons, MHA for Cape St. Francis.

MS BURKE: Joan Burke, MHA, St. George's Stephenville East.

MR. KENNEDY: Jerome Kennedy, MHA, Carbonear Harbour Grace.

MS MICHAEL: Lorraine Michael, MHA, Signal Hill Quidi Vidi.

MR. BALL: Dwight Ball, MHA, Humber Valley.

MS JONES: Yvonne Jones, MHA, Cartwright L'Anse au Clair.

MR. SPEAKER: We have sitting with us today...

MS KEEFE: Marie Keefe, Clerk's Office.

MS LAMBE: Marlene Lambe, Chief Financial Officer.

CLERK: Bill MacKenzie, Clerk.

MR. VERGE: Wade Verge, MHA, Lewisporte District.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much.

Just by way of housekeeping, my microphone will remain on during the meeting but I would ask members to identify themselves so their microphones can be activated when you want to speak.

Everybody has a copy of the agenda that was circulated with the material. There are six tabs in the material that was distributed. Before we start, under Tab 3 I have another paper that I am going to ask the Commission whether it wants to consider, it falls under that same heading of Letters of Appeal.

We received a letter of appeal from the Member for St. Barbe on April 24 with respect to a recent claim that is beyond the sixty-day time frame. It is being tabled at this Commission meeting, rather than some future one, because it is a time sensitive issue in that if we do not deal with it today there will be some difficulty in processing it because of a requirement to have all of last year's transactions completed within thirty days of the end of the fiscal year, which will actually be in the next few days. I would entertain a motion to add that item to the agenda under Tab 3; I will entertain such a motion.

MS MICHAEL: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by Ms Michael and seconded by Mr. Ball.

All those in favour of the motion?

We will add that as the sixth item under Tab 3, and I will ask Marie if she would distribute a copy of that note for when we get to that item on the agenda.

Under Tab 1, the first item we are dealing with is the minutes from the last meeting which was dated on January 25. You have the minutes; I will entertain a motion to accept them as circulated.

Moved by Mr. Kennedy; seconded by Ms Michael.

Are there any questions or issues arising of the minutes?

On motion, minutes adopted as circulated.

MR. SPEAKER: Under that same tab, there are a number of areas where there is some discretion that have been provided to both the Speaker and to the Clerk in dealing with financial matters in between meetings of the Commission.

The first item we will talk about today is under section 18. Under the Members' Resources and Allowances Rules, it talks about the maximum allowances for the constituency office accommodations. This issue has come up in a number of other Commission meetings. It is an issue that we run into periodically when we go to tender for space for MHAs, and the tenders come in above that allowance. The rules provide discretion for the Speaker to give permission to award the tenders. Here are six tenders that we have awarded based on the lowest tender received, but all of them exceed the allowance. We have approved them, and the leases have proceeded to actually engage and sign off the leases.

You might recall, this issue has come up a couple of times in the past and members have asked to have it reviewed after we had some more clear experience. With a few exceptions, after the election obviously there is a bit of change that occurs, new members coming in and changes in accommodations; plus, some of the leases we had in place the first time have now since expired and they are up for renewal. We now have some very current experience. I have asked officials if they would now do a summary of where we are currently. It will not impact this year's Budget, there is enough money within the allowance to cover off the money that we have. So, it will not be a Budget issue for us in this fiscal year we are about to start, but it is an issue that we need to be conscious of as we move forward in terms of rightsizing, for the want of a better term, what those allowances might be if our experience has shown it is inadequate. At the next Commission meeting we may have a summary of that for further discussion.

Mr. Kennedy.

MR. KENNEDY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes, when I noticed that the maximum allowance is $7,000, I think this reflects the discussion we had earlier. It does not make sense to have a number that it is always like we are going above it, because to the public it seems that they are allowed $7,000 and yet look at $16,000. That is the first point. I think it is important that the number reflect the reality of the situation. I think if we cannot change it ourselves, it is certainly something that could be brought to the compensation committee or the judge who is going to be reviewing that committee, just to make sure that it is sensible and reasonable.

The question I would have though is that it says the lowest proposal submitted. Are in any of these cases there was only one proposal?

MR. SPEAKER: I would ask one of the officials, maybe they could speak to that piece. I am not certain.

CLERK: I am not certain of it, but the Transportation and Works accommodations branch handles this for us under the Public Tender Act. If it was only one it would still be in compliance with the Public Tender Act, but the House staff are not involved with it, we have Transportation and Works handle it. I do not know the specifics but it was always the lowest because it was a public tender.

MR. SPEAKER: Ms Michael.

MS MICHAEL: I am wondering, if it is not too much work for you, that when the officials are putting the report together, maybe that could be part of the report.

MR. SPEAKER: Mr. Kennedy.

MR. KENNEDY: The point, Mr. Speaker, I wanted to make is that sometimes we have now had four or five years with the Green recommendations; sometimes the Green recommendations obviously, the spirit and intent of the act and of the report was to ensure accountability for public taxpayer money, but over the last four years, having sat on the Commission now for a couple of years, there are a lot of situations, for example, where we are costing more money than we should be. I am sure some of these issues will come up with the judge hearing the compensation review.

What jumps out at me in this particular case because I know that in my district, when we opened up a constituency office, we went over the amount, but I am sure that we could have negotiated a lesser amount than was brought in, in the tender. Now, the whole spirit and intent of Green is to ensure accountability, as is the Public Tender Act, but it is worth discussion at some point: is the Public Tender Act well, we know that the legislation is coming before this House at some point in this session, so it might be worthwhile to keep in mind as we move through that discussion. That is why I asked if there is only one proposal, because if there is only one proposal, is the tendering act really benefiting you at that point, or are we better off to say to someone: Go look for accommodations.

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, the question the Commission would have to ask itself, as soon as it makes the decision to use the Public Tender Act as a mechanism to acquire the space, then the Public Tender Act and whatever provisions it provides, we will have to use that as the viable really, we would be guided by that, and we would be saddled with the good and the bad associated with it. If you are suggesting that maybe the Commission may want to evaluate whether or not the Public Tender Act, after it is revised, will serve our interests well


MR. SPEAKER: and should we consider doing it another way, versus using the Public Tender Act for this (inaudible).

MR. KENNEDY: Yes, Mr. Speaker. To keep in mind, when we are debating the new act I forget the name. It is Bill 1, the Procurement Act; when we are debating the Procurement Act, keep in mind what we have encountered here. Obviously, we are trying to ensure fairness, but also, we are trying to protect the taxpayer's dollar, and we do not want to be spending any more. If you can get a space for $10,000, well, you do not want to be spending $12,000 or $14,000 but it is just something to keep in mind when we are debating that particular act.

MR. SPEAKER: It is a good point.

Mr. MacKenzie.

CLERK: Just to remind, particularly the new members of the Commission, when this act first came in, in June 2007, the Public Tender Act was not a requirement for constituency office space. You could just get three proposals, which would necessarily involve some negotiation. The Commission, a couple of years later, added this requirement to use the Public Tender Act, but Green did not have it in the original version of this act.

MR. SPEAKER: To speak to your point, Mr. Kennedy, the legislation itself does not dictate that we use the Public Tender Act. The Commission had made a conscious decision to do that at some past date and so therefore it could make a conscious decision to do something different if it wishes.

MR. KENNEDY: No, I am not suggesting that, Mr. Speaker. What I am suggesting is that if you have three bids, then the Public Tender Act will work, but if you get one bid and that is why I was asking if we have one bid here; do we know how many bids we have had? So it might be a piece of information that would be available at some point.

MR. SPEAKER: We will put together that summary for a future discussion.

The next item under this same tab deals with, again, financial matters and delegated authority to the Speaker. You might recall earlier, after we approved the Budget for the House of Assembly for this fiscal year starting April 1, 2012, the Clerk had e-mailed members of the Committee with respect to some proposed adjustments that we would make to the Budget. We were proposing a series of expense categories that we would reduce from what we had originally voted on and allocated. Members responded confirming their support for that recommendation, and as a result of that, the Budget that we had initially asked for was reduced by that amended amount.

There was authority given to the Speaker to follow that process. What we are doing here now is following our legislation and reporting back to the Commission at the next meeting that such an action was taken with your endorsement. This is an update.

The next item is in a similar vein and deals with the appointment of the auditor, in that there is a default provision. Should the Audit Committee not appoint an auditor, then the Auditor General automatically becomes the auditor, which has been the practice in recent years in any event. So in the absence of that decision to the contrary, this is a default position. I am providing an update to the Commission that has in fact been actioned and done.

The next item, again, is an update where the delegated authority to the Clerk to authorize expenditures of items under $500 dealing with constituency offices. As you can see, there are six different expenditure items here, all under $500, where the Clerk had authorized the purchase of office equipment and furnishings for MHA offices with his delegated authority. We are reporting back to the Commission here.

The next item on the agenda is Tab 2. This deals with Short-Term Accommodations. Members may recall a recent meeting of the Commission; in January there was a motion made that we would make a provision for MHAs who are inside the Capital region to access this allowance to rent accommodations in the Capital region should they have meetings with their constituencies. What we have here now is the wording that reflects that motion. Under the actions required, you are seeing the proposed amendment to section 20(7) of the Members' Resources and Allowance Rules that we would make. That would need to be gazetted. We would refer it to the Office of the Legislative Council for their concurrence. They would then gazette it; then it would come into effect and give effect to the decision that we made. That is the wording that we are proposing.

I will entertain a motion to accept the wording as recommended.

Moved by Ms Michael; seconded by Mr. Ball.

All those in favour?

Motion carried.

The next item is in Tab 3. I remind members this is where we just added the sixth item on this Tab. Those minutes have been distributed. I think they have. Thank you.

The first item of appeal is for the Member for Conception Bay East Bell Island. As the note would indicate that the claims themselves have been reviewed and that they are deemed by the officials to be in line with those expenses that are reimbursed, so this is an eligible expense. The reason it was denied was because the member had missed the sixty-day deadline to make the submission.

Mr. Kennedy.

MR. KENNEDY: My comments are in general, not in relation to any particular claim here. A concern I have, as I remember reading the Green Report and there were discussions of the members of the Internal Economy Division or Commission, whatever they were called at the time, not going through the claims and not paying as much as attention as they should. One of the concerns that I have here, and obviously it is not as much with a $45 claim, but I know a couple of the claims we have here today are fairly large, $3,300 and $4,300. I just want to make sure, Mr. Speaker, that the process is such that the claims are being vetted through the Members' Services Division, or whatever it is called, that they are ensuring that the claims are valid, that the eyes are on those claims, and that is there an expectation on us to review the claims. Because if we are only rubber stamping, which is essentially what we are doing here, then is there really any need for that to be brought here to us, or is that something that the Speaker can deal with, knowing that the staff of the House have gone through it?

My preference, Mr. Speaker, having regard to the way things have evolved in the past, if someone is putting a claim before the House and you are asking me to approve it, even though I am only approving the sixty days it is outside the sixty days my preference would be to see what the claim is about, especially when you get to $3,000 and $4,000 claims. Because, Mr. Speaker, if something arises a couple of years from now, then I do not want to be accused of not having exercised due diligence or being prudent in reviewing the claim and simply rubber stamping. I do not think what occurred back in Green can occur here because of the staff at the House going through that, but I think it is important that the public know that we are not simply here rubber stamping these claims, the claims have been gone through, they have been approved, and it is really, as I would say as a lawyer, it is on a technicality that it is before us. I just want to make sure of that, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Any other comments?

Mr. Ball.

MR. BALL: Mr. Speaker, I have to support that. Quite frankly, it depends on how high those claims go. We get some here that could be $45, $50, $65, whatever they are, but now we are beginning to see claims that in the thousands of dollars here, simply because they are not within the sixty-day range. I know the staff, for instance here in the office, are fantastic. We keep getting claims that go back and forth on the fax machine all the time to make sure that they are right, so it is important for all MHAs that they do the due diligence and make sure that those timelines are important. Not being able to see the claim is important to me. As a matter of fact, I would just as soon that we not even deal with it at the Management Commission level, if we do not see the claims, and leave it to the auditor.

MS JONES: Or at least outline what the expenditure is for.

MR. SPEAKER: Ms Jones.

MS JONES: I would support what my colleagues are saying, but I think at the very minimum, when they are writing asking us to approve this, they should at least be telling what the expenditure is for. Because right now it just outlines a dollar figure and we have really no breakdown or no idea where that money is being directed to.

MR. SPEAKER: Ms Michael.

MS MICHAEL: Thank you.

Members might remember that about two meetings ago I brought up this issue and I did suggest that we could ask MHAs that we should actually, not could, but we should ask MHAs to actually put in their letter the reasons; some do it voluntarily and some do not. I agree with all the other speakers on this one. I do know and I think it is important to point out for people who do not have it in front of them that we do have a Briefing Note and the Briefing Note does indicate the officials who have prepared the Briefing Note. For example, this one is prepared by Bobbi Russell and approved by William MacKenzie, and it is also signed by the Speaker. We certainly have a document which says clearly to us that the process has been done very carefully and all people who are responsible are named in the briefing note.

When we had the discussion before, that was what sort of calmed me down. I still think there is no reason why we cannot, and I think we should, ask members to have in their letter the reason for the request. Legally, I would say that the Briefing Note signed identifying the people responsible and signed by the Speaker, to me, settles my mind with regard to responsibility, but I still think it would be good for us to know the reason.

MR. SPEAKER: I had a discussion earlier today about this very issue actually. It grows out of section 7 of the act where the rules are in the they are not under the act but the rules and regulations growing out of the act, which is in the back of the binders you would have with the act in it. There is a piece of work that we need to do on that particular section that involves some consultation and some discussion.

If I could bring your attention to the first item that we are dealing with here, under page 3 of the first note that we are dealing with. On the top of the page where it refers to Options, there is one and two. If a claim is submitted in a normal course of business and it falls within the regular timelines, officials in Corporate Services do the review and determine whether it is in accordance with the regulations governing payment. If it is, they pay it automatically without any reference to anybody else.

The only reason we get it here is because it went beyond the sixty days to submit. Really, in a normal course we do not evaluate claims in any event as a Commission. The true reason for it being here has to do with the sixty days, not whether or not the claims are appropriately in keeping with what is provided for in the eligible expenses.

Under the Options, one and two, we are being asked here to approve the payment of the expenses or not to approve the payment of the expenses. The question really to the Commission should be whether or not we agree with allowing the claim to be processed after the sixty-day deadline. Our referral to the Commission has nothing to do with the eligibility of the expenses. It has more to do with whether we are prepared to allow it to proceed and be processed after the sixty-day deadline.

If I could make a suggestion for your consideration, we would ask in future that this Options area would change to say that the Commission has the choice to allow the officials to process the claim, as they ordinarily would, and ignore the sixty-day timeline, or not to allow them to proceed and process the claim.

Ms Burke.

MS BURKE: Once we strike the Review Commission to look at the compensation and the reviews, maybe this can be looked at. If this is an eligible expense that is coming in, it is coming in as an eligible expense. That is it. The sixty days are bringing it to another level. It has nothing to do with the eligibility. We rarely talk about something here that is not eligible. If someone is looking for something different, I think the rules are so clear we do not do it all. What would happen in the public service if somebody put in their claim ninety days or 100 days after it was incurred? It would be processed within that fiscal year.

I really do not like looking at claims that are coming in the thousands of dollars because it makes you feel uncomfortable that there is something happening, although I know the safeguards are here and I am not suggesting that something is coming in here that is not eligible. Maybe we should ask the Commission, when it is struck and active, to look at that particular rule.

If this is just coming up here, I do not know what authority we even have to not approve something that is eligible. I know, yes, the sixty days puts it there. If somebody is entitled to claim their mileage and they drove from point A to point B and they are entitled to their mileage, what are we saying? No, you cannot get it.

MR. SPEAKER: As I understand some of the logic that may have been and I am not sure anyone understands clearly why it was worded the way it was it would appear the only rationale that may exist for that recommendation in the first place had to do with the fact that members' statements now are published on-line so people can monitor the progress of the expenditures. In theory, if you did not have a time limit on it, a member could have eleven months of statements being posted on-line saying we have not spent any money at all, only to find on the twelfth month you had a huge amount being expended or recorded in that month.

I am reaching now for an answer, because there is no other apparent reason for having the sixty-day requirement in there, because you are right; if you are in a line department of government, you would not have that restriction.

MS BURKE: My further comment to that is, if it is published online, and you put in your claim every thirty days or sixty days or once a year, it is out there, it is accessible here it is. So, if people are that picky, they are going to ask: Why did you not claim something this month. I mean, if you follow someone through the fiscal year, either they are going to put in claims at some point, or it is going to be zero. Anyway, my suggestion is just, the rules are the rules for now, but maybe that is a rule we could ask to be looked at to see if there is any logic that is making sense, or is this just something that is wasted it is setting up a process and the action is not affected.

MR. SPEAKER: Your point is well taken; everybody's point is well taken in terms of the need to evaluate the process here. I think, when you talk about having the compensation review process considered because I think that is under the regulations; we may, as a Commission, have authority ourselves to change that without reference to because it is an administrative piece.

MS BURKE: Right, but my comment is strictly that if we have a Commission set up and there is something we do not like, we may have the authority, but I would still rather see it floated through that independent process and to come back and give us that opinion, because I do not want to get back into the history of us making decisions. I think the Commission is there for a reason, and I know we may have the authority to do it; I would rather see it at least be evaluated at a different level.

MR. SPEAKER: A fair point; we will ensure that is part of that process, then.

Now, in terms of the issues before us today, the points are well made as to how we move forward. Is there a comfort level moving forward with the ones we have on the agenda today in the fashion that we have normally done them, or we could, as we make the motions to approve each of these, our motion could and it will not change how it gets processed our motion could be that we would, as a Commission, agree to waive the sixty-day time limit and have officials adjudicate and process the claims as they normally would, ignoring the sixty-day limitation for these particular claims here. Our motion could read like that which, Mr. Kennedy, would address the issue that you raise.

We are not adjudicating on the expenditures; we are not making any comment at all, nor are we approving the claim's eligibility. We are approving it to be processed and ignoring the limitation of sixty days. Given some of the amounts on some of these, would that give everybody a greater comfort? I am seeing some nodding of heads, and if that is the case, then I will entertain a motion that we would approve we will do these one at a time but the motion will read that we approve, in the instance here for the Member for Conception Bay East Bell Island, that we are going to approve this claim. We are going to waive the sixty-day period and allow officials to process the claim as submitted.

Then we will move on to the next item and it is the same issue, different MHA, this time the District of Grand Falls-Windsor Green Bay South. We have the same issue. A review has been done; this is a claim that was submitted beyond the sixty-day deadline and we are being asked to allow officials to proceed and process this claim, ignoring the sixty-day time limit. I will entertain a motion to that effect.

Moved by Ms Michael; seconded by Mr. Parsons.

We have the next one in the same category from the Member for St. Barbe. We have a letter from the Member for St. Barbe dated March 30 asking to have his claim processed beyond the sixty-day period. This would have been one of the ones we talked about earlier in terms of the dollar figures being different then we historically see here. I will entertain a motion to again allow this claim to be processed, ignoring the sixty-day time limit.

Mr. Parsons; seconded by Ms. Jones.

Then we have another one from the Member for the District of St. John's Centre, the same issue: not processed because it did not meet the sixty-day time limit. I will entertain a motion to

Mr. Ball; seconded by Ms Michael.

All those in favour?

I should ask the question for the last two as well.

Everybody in favour of the last two motions?

Now we are into the fifth one, which is the Member for Terra Nova, the same issue in that the claims were made beyond the sixty-day time limit. I will entertain a motion to approve processing of this claim.

Mr. Ball, seconder Mr. Kennedy.

All those in favour?

Then the one that was tabled earlier today, again from the Member for St. Barbe, the same issue; it is outside of the sixty-day time limit, and I will entertain a motion that we will allow this claim to be processed outside of the sixty-day time limit.

A motion to that effect; Ms. Jones, seconded by Ms Michael.

All those in favour?

MR. KENNEDY: Can I make a final comment?

MR. SPEAKER: Mr. Kennedy, yes.

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. Speaker, perhaps also if I could suggest, because we are all I have been guilty of this in the past, too, but perhaps a reminder to MHAs that the sixty-day time frame is especially important. When we see the size of some of these claims today, that really causes me concern. That is just a suggestion that a letter be written.

MR. SPEAKER: I will undertake to write a memo to MHAs advising them I will make reference to the requirements of the act and reminding them to be a little more diligent in how they complete them. Before we leave this tab and this agenda item, and speak to Ms Burke's suggestion, the reference that we should probably make here is there is a section 7 of the Rules that deals with this whole piece. Maybe that whole section 7 under the Rules section would require some evaluation as to how we actually apply or make some potential changes to that rule to further reflect some discussion we have here today.

The other issue with respect to this one, we are into the new fiscal year as of April 1, and this same section of the Rules, section 7(2) requires all transactions related to a fiscal year to be concluded within thirty days of the fiscal year, which is next week. There is a processing time here. Normally, minutes of these meetings are distributed for forty-eight hours for members to comment before we action them. In this instance here, if we wait those forty-eight hours, we will not get the cheques processed and written by the end of the year and then we are not in compliance.

In order to have these claims paid and to have it completed within the thirty-day time frame, we would need to have a motion by the Commission to allow us to waive the forty-eight hour time limit for the motions we just made with respect to Tab 5. It will allow officials then to start the processing of the cheques so it could be entered on the books before the end of the year. With that said, I would entertain a motion to that effect relative to Tab 3 and these letters of appeal.

Moved by Ms Michael; seconded by Ms Jones.

All those in favour?

Thank you.

Tab 4 is financial reporting. At each of our Commission meetings, we provide the financial reports for periods ending since our last meeting, and the most updated ones we have now reflect the figures as of December 31, 2011. In January, when we met, we had the figures from November I think it might have been. These show the summaries here of the various heads of expenditures for the operations of the House, together with the statutory offices. The Auditor General's one, as always, is reported separately. These reports are provided for your information and scrutiny.

Are there any comments or questions?

Tab 5, you recall, near the end of the fiscal year, March 31, there were some expenses that required transfers of money from some expense categories to others to ensure that we had enough money in those subheads to cover off the expenditures that were incurred. They required a concurrence by members of the Commission, so this would have been one of those circumstances where we had asked for your permission and concurrence to make these transfers. What you are seeing here now is a reflection this is the first meeting since that, and we are reporting back of the actions taken with your concurrence.

Are there any questions with respect to any of those items where these transfers occurred?

There being none, I will entertain a motion to accept the transfers as noted here.

Moved by Mr. Parsons; seconded by Ms Michael.

All those in favour?

Motion carried.

Under Tab 6, we have a similar circumstance where transfers were made from one expense category to another, but these would have been made administratively by officials in the day-to-day delegated authority that the Clerk would have for the day-to-day administration of the House, and with the responsibility of reporting it back to the Commission at the next meeting. What you are seeing here, again these are items that are transfers that were made at the end of the fiscal year to reconcile the balances in the accounts.

Are there any questions with respect to any of these transfers?

There being none, I will entertain a motion to accept them.

MS MICHAEL: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Ms Michael.

Seconded by Mr. Parsons.

Are there any questions with respect to any of them?

All those in favour of the motion?

Motion carried.

Ms Jones.

MS JONES: Can we just revert to Financial Reports under Tab 4?

MR. SPEAKER: Sure, Tab 4.

MS JONES: Yes, I just have a question under section 1.1.04.

MR. SPEAKER: 1.1.04 Administrative Support?

MS JONES: Yes, Members' Resources, 1.1.04.

MR. SPEAKER: I am sorry, 04. Okay.

MS JONES: Under the section there where you made notes with regard to the overruns, one of them talks about the "Projected overrun due to increased costs of furniture moving, storage and file shredding costs for outgoing Members".

Can you just explain what that is? Is that moving offices for one MHA to another, or was that moving stuff for MHAs who were leaving, retiring? Did we pay for a moving cost or something? That is what I am wondering.

MR. SPEAKER: We would not have paid for a moving cost, because the furniture of these offices would have been furnishings that would have been owned by the House. These are not the possessions of individual members.

The issue of moving, I will ask Ms Lambe if she can comment, but I suspect that it has to do with the relocation of those who are getting new offices.

MS LAMBE: Yes, you are correct, Mr. Speaker. There was actually one large amount there where we had to move the constituency office for the new member. It was in a different location than the outgoing member, so we had to move all of the furniture and equipment package to a new location. Where it was in Labrador, it was very expensive. Also, there was a fair amount of shredding costs for outgoing members. We pay for the shredding before anything is taken out of the Confederation Building. That is the main costs that were there. There were some other small items. Like if a new member took over the old member's office, we had to have new signs made up. There were a number of miscellaneous items under that category.

MS JONES: Okay. The other question I had was under note 5 there, "Revenues mainly related to repayment of excess constituency allowances."

MS LAMBE: Those are the members which were charged in court and went through the Comptroller General's Office. So the Comptroller General's Office is collecting those amounts for those members who were charged with the excess payments.


Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Are there any further questions?

There being no further questions, and that concludes the last item on our agenda under Tab 6. With that said, I will entertain a motion to adjourn.

MS MICHAEL: So moved.

MR. SPEAKER: So moved by Ms Michael.

All those in favour?

The meeting is now adjourned.

Thank you very much, folks.

On motion, meeting adjourned.