As part of its commitment to transparency, efficiency and accountability, the Senate of Canada adopted a new disclosure model that started collecting data on July 1, 2016. This new model provides more detail and uniformity in the quarterly disclosure of senators’ expenses and supplements the information available in Public Accounts.
The disclosed expenses include senators’ expenditures and contracts, Senate House Officers’ expenditures and contracts, Senior Officers of the Senate Administration expenditures and contracts, and Senate Administration contracts worth over $10,000.
The quarterly Reports are published within 60 days of the end of the quarter on the main parliamentary web site under the section Current Business.
The new model does not include expenses incurred while on committee or parliamentary association business. Expenses related to travel taken by parliamentary associations are tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate shortly after each visit. Expenses related to committees are reported annually at the end of the fiscal year and tabled in the Senate.
Parliament, through the Parliament of Canada Act and appropriation acts, provides resources to the Senate. The Senate allocates resources to senators — like office space, furnishings and equipment — and gives senators budgets so they can employ staff, hire contractors and purchase office supplies. The Senate also reimburses senators for travel, accommodation and related expenses incurred while carrying out their parliamentary functions.
The Senate Administrative Rules and other policies govern senators in their use of Senate resources. Senate resources are to be used by senators for the sole purpose of carrying out their parliamentary functions. Senators are accountable for their decisions and actions related to the use of these resources. To help senators fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities, the Senate has rules and policies that govern what expenditures can be reimbursed, and a robust financial management framework to ensure that only legitimate and reasonable expenses are paid. All claims for goods and services must be supported by receipts. Senate resources may not be used for partisan matters that are non-parliamentary in nature such as nomination campaigns or election campaigns.
Parliamentary functions are defined in the Senate Administrative Rules as “duties and activities related to the position of a senator, wherever performed, including public and official business and partisan matters, but excluding activities related to the election of a member of the House of Commons during an election under the Canada Elections Act; or the private business interests of a senator or a member of a senator’s family or household.”
The senators’ expenditures report is divided into five sections:
Office Expenses (excluding salary),
Living Expenses in the National Capital Region,
Expenditures are disclosed in the quarter during which they have been processed and paid by the Senate Administration, which is not necessarily the same quarter in which the senator incurred the expense.
House Officers are provided an additional budget to cover expenses required to fulfill their duties. Their expenditures report contains the same categories as senators’ expenditures, with the exception of living expenses in the National Capital Region. The Living Expenses Budget is only available to senators who meet the requirements.
The House Officers’ expenditures report is divided into four sections:
Office Expenses (excluding salary),
In order to function efficiently and to serve the Senate well in its commitment to the modern and effective management of its internal affairs, the Senate needs administrative and procedural support. This is provided by senior officers of the Senate Administration: the Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments and Chief Legislative Services Officer, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel and Chief Parliamentary Precinct Services Officer, and the Chief Corporate Services Officer and Clerk of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
This Executive Committee is supported in its work by the Senate Administration, the Senate’s corporate body. The Senate Administration provides services that allow senators to accomplish their work, for example, by offering support in procedure, security, financial administration, human resources, communications, building maintenance, asset management and computer resources.
The expenses disclosed under this category reflect those incurred by the senior officers in their capacity as members of the Executive Committee of the Senate Administration.
The expenditures are divided into three categories of expenses:
Travel (including conference fees)
Expenses for travel, hospitality and contracts will be displayed using a model similar to the one used for senators’ expenses.
The Senate Administration discloses contracts worth over $10,000, contract amendments with values over $10,000 and amendments that modify the initial value of a contract to make it worth over $10,000. All contracts are consistent with the Senate Procurement Policy.