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April 14, 2014                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMISSION                No. 45


The Management Commission met at approximately 5:45 p.m. in the House of Assembly Chamber.


MR. SPEAKER (Wiseman): Good evening.


Welcome, everyone, to the House of Assembly Management Commission meeting.  My name is Ross Wiseman.  I am the Speaker of the House of Assembly, but here today I am the Chair of the Management Commission.


Before we get started I will ask members to introduce themselves, starting with Mr. Ball.


MR. BALL: Dwight Ball, District of Humber Valley.


MR. A. PARSONS: Andrew Parsons, MHA, Burgeo – La Poile.


MR. VERGE: Wade Verge, Lewisporte district.


MR. POLLARD: Kevin Pollard, MHA for the District of Baie Verte – Springdale.


MR. KING: Darin King, MHA for Grand Bank, and Government House Leader.


MS SHEA: Joan Shea, MHA, St. George's – Stephenville East.


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


MR. SPEAKER: At the table with me today would be…


CLERK: Sandra Barnes, Clerk.


MS KEEFE: Marie Keefe, Clerk's Office.


MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, folks. 


The package of information that you have for today's meeting includes four different tabs – five different tabs rather; I am sorry.  The first item on the agenda today is the minutes of the meeting held on March 13, 2014.  You have had an opportunity to review them; I will entertain a motion to accept them as circulated. 


Moved by Mr. Pollard; seconded by Mr. Parsons.

You have had a chance to review them.  Are there any comments or suggestions or questions? 


All those in favour of the motion?




MR. SPEAKER: Against?


Motion carried.


On motion, minutes adopted as circulated.


MR. SPEAKER: The second item on the agenda is for information purposes.  This is a report from the Audit Committee and it is a letter addressed to the House, dated March 18, and signed by Mr. Pollard who is the Chair of the Audit Committee.  This is a report that is in compliance with the House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity and Administration Act.  These are the reports of the activity of the Audit Committee for the period of January 23, 2013 to March 18, 2014.  They are submitting a copy of the report to the Management Commission.


The next Tab 3, there are two letters of appeal that are here from members.  These letters of appeal, each of them are covered by the same administrative direction in that these were claims that were submitted and the items being claimed for reimbursement are eligible for reimbursement.  The reason that they are here, though, is that the members have submitted those claims beyond the sixty-day submission deadline. 


The first one we have is from the Member for the District of Bay of Islands, and his claim is for $54.97.  As I said, the items that are claimed are eligible expenses for reimbursement, but require the approval of the Commission before Corporate Services can process it after the sixty-day deadline.


Is there a motion to accept the appeal as submitted?


MR. A. PARSONS: So moved.


MR. SPEAKER: Moved by Mr. Parsons; seconded by Ms Michael.


All those in favour, ‘aye'.




MR. SPEAKER: Motion carried.


The second item under this tab is the same thing; it is a letter of appeal, this time from the Member for the District of Mount Pearl South and, again, this is an amount of $181.48.  The expenses being claimed are eligible under the rules; however, because of the sixty-day submission deadline, Corporate Services will need the approval of the Commission in order to process and pay the claim.


I will entertain a motion to accept the appeal as submitted.


Moved by Mr. Parsons; seconded by Mr. Pollard.


All those in favour, ‘aye'.




MR. SPEAKER: All those against, ‘nay'.


Motion carried.


The next item on the agenda is throughout the year there are a number of operational costs that occur, and sometimes if there are transfers from one budget category to another there are areas where the regulations will require the Commission, and only the Commission, to approve those types of transfers from one budget allocation category to another.  There are other sections of the Transfer of Funds Policy that was established in 2008 that provides, for administrative purposes, allows the Clerk or the designate to approve transfer of money from one budget heading to another to provide for the smooth and efficient operation of the day-to-day operations of the House and its various expense categories and various areas of operation.


What we have here is a report that summarizes the transfer of what took place over the course of this past fiscal year – the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.  There would have been thirty-five transfers that would have been approved by the Clerk of the House or the designate.  This summarizes those transfers.  As you can see as you go through them, these are areas where, for example, the first one we had – and we will not go through them all unless there are some questions with respect to some of them, but to illustrate the nature of the type of transfers.


The first one would be a transfer from a particular accounting number in the Legislative Library where under Employee Benefits there was an amount transferred out of that expense category into the Transportation and Communication category, and this amount was $100 in total.  So there are a number of these that follow that same pattern.  We had some changes in the composition of the various caucuses this time in this past fiscal year, and there were periods of time where we had individuals sitting as independents, and as a result of that we transferred some money to members' caucuses and members' resources to facilitate the allocations under our formula for those.  That is the second one.


I will not go through them all unless there are some very specific questions you might have about them.  Like I said, this is for your information purposes and does not require the Commission to make a decision.


Are there any questions about any of these transfers?


Okay, thank you.


The final item on the agenda for today is a briefing note that gives you an explanation.  You might recall, earlier in the last Commission meeting we made some recommendations for some changes to some of the allowances made under the Members' Resources and Allowances Rules. 


As a result of that decision of the Commission, there was a notice of motion to the House of Assembly.  There was a motion that was debated in the House that approved and ratified the decisions of this Commission with respect to adjustments in – I think there were six districts all together in their allocations.


In the process though of preparing, there was a motion itself that reflected the decision of the Commission and the recommendation on to the House.  There was also a schedule that was attached to that motion, Schedule A.  Unfortunately, as Schedule A was being prepared an error was made, in that there was an adjustment in the allowances for the District of Labrador West.  That was a decision of the Commission, and the decision as ratified by the House.  However, the schedule inadvertently recorded it as Lake Melville and not Labrador West. 


We need, as a Commission, obviously, to formalize the amendment or the change to the schedule to reflect the original decision of the Commission.  The Commission is now being asked to make a decision to endorse the – as a part of this note, you see the change would be to change lines twenty-five and twenty-six to reflect the following that you see.  Labrador West on line twenty-five would be changed to reflect $6,600, and Lake Melville on line twenty-six would be adjusted to reflect $8,000. 


We need a motion from the Commission to endorse the schedule as circulated here.  We will bring that back to the House to be embedded in the schedule that will form a part of our regulation. 


I will entertain a motion to make that adjustment. 


Moved by Mr. Parsons; seconded by Ms Shea.


Are there any questions?


All those in favour of the motion?




MR. SPEAKER: Against?


Motion carried.


Thank you.


This was a short meeting of the Commission.  I thank you for making your time available to do it. 


The brevity and the reason we did not hold off and include some of this in some of the agenda items for the next meeting, is that a couple of items on the appeal were time sensitive because of the year-end transactions that needed to be concluded by today. 


I thank you for your time.  We will be scheduling another meeting of the Commission some time after the Easter recess, some time during May.


Thank you very much.


On motion, meeting adjourned.