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Minutes from the Senate internal economy committee - May 28/2013

Minutes from the Senate internal economy committee - May 28/2013

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Published by Andrew Thomson
Senators hold a public meeting to reconsider their report on Mike Duffy's expenses.
Senators hold a public meeting to reconsider their report on Mike Duffy's expenses.

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Published by: Andrew Thomson on May 29, 2013
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CIBA 50193 UNREVISED
NON-RÉVISÉ 1940- 1
THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON INTERNAL ECONOMY, BUDGETSAND ADMINISTRATIONEVIDENCEOTTAWA, Tuesday, May 28, 2013The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration met this day at 6:40
p.m. to consider matters related to the Hon. Mike Duffy’s Living Allowances in the NCR.
Senator David Tkachuk
 
(Chair 
) in the chair.
 
The Chair:
I see quorum. Honourable senators, I will call the meeting to order. I will start by astatement.On May 21, the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Claude Carignan,asked that the twenty-second report of Internal Economy be not now adopted but that it bereferred back to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration forfurther consideration and report.In making that reference, Senator Carignan stated that as far as the study of this report isconcerned, given the facts that have been brought to our attention over the last few days,particularly with regard to the Ottawa living expense claims Senator Duffy was submitting when hewas also submitting claims for expenses incurred during the election campaign, there wereallegations of double billing. That job leading up to the twenty-second report was to see if SenatorDuffy had claimed expenses for living in the National Capital Region that he should not have,pocketing taxpayer money he was not entitled to. Our one and only task at the time was to get themoney returned.The
Senate Administrative Rules
state that the Standing Committee on Internal Economy,Budgets and Administration shall be authorized to consider on its own initiative all financial andadministrative matters concerning the Senate's internal administration and subject to the
Senate Administrative Rules
to act on all financial and administrative matters concerning the internaladministration of the Senate and to interpret and determine the propriety of any use of Senateresources.Colleagues, I think it is important to note that upon this report being referred back to us and inlight of the additional information, we directed the clerk to do a review of the information it had on
 
CIBA 50193 UNREVISED
NON-RÉVISÉ 1940- 2
hand that relates to these new claims and all claims of a similar nature by Senator Duffy. They didthat, and the clerk will report their findings.Before he does, I want to state that it is highly unusual to hold a public meeting of thecommittee on matters such as that before us and, colleagues, as you are all aware, these are seriousmatters.I will try to be a fair and reasonable chairman, and I hope that we conduct ourselves in a waythat means business. We have business here to do. Senator Furey.
Senator Furey:
Thank you. I do not see Senator Duffy in the room. For the record, has SenatorDuffy been notified of the time and place of this meeting and has there been response from him orhis solicitor?
The Chair:
Yes. I will ask our legal counsel to give the details of that. Yes, he was, but I will havehim be more precise.
Michel Patrice, Deputy Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel:
Yesterday I spoke to his legalcounsel to inform him of the meeting taking place tonight after the Senate rises, and there wasfurther communication late this afternoon asking confirmation in terms of where the meeting willtake place.
Senator Furey:
What was your last comment, Michel?
Mr. Patrice:
There was further communication this afternoon. Senator Duffy wrote to the chairand the chair referred the email to the clerk of the committee, and the clerk of the committeereplied to Senator Duffy's email.
Senator Furey:
The communication was requesting the time and place of the meeting thisevening?
Mr. Patrice:
That is right. It was in relation to the time and place and what was the agenda othe meeting today and all of that. The report of the steering committee was provided to SenatorDuffy.
Senator Furey:
Do we have a record of the response to Senator Duffy?
Mr. Patrice:
Yes, we would have a record of the response.
The Chair:
I would like to repeat again that this is a highly unusual process, but it was SenatorDuffy who has publicly asked for a public forum, and we are providing it here today, if he wants it.
 
CIBA 50193 UNREVISED
NON-RÉVISÉ 1940- 3
I will start by going through the report of the steering committee of Internal Economy, whichyou have before you, to establish the agenda. I think you all have it there, the fourth report,Tuesday, May 28, and I will go through it one, two, three and make sure we all agree that this iswhat we want to do.Item number 1, that a summary of issues relating to Senator Duffy's travel claims prepared bythe Clerk of the Senate be reviewed by the committee. All agreed?
Hon. Senators:
Agreed.
The Chair:
Two, that the committee consider additional wording for the twenty-second reportin light of new information. Agreed?
Hon. Senators:
Agreed.
The Chair:
All agreed. And that Internal Economy report to the Senate. Agreed?
Hon. Senators:
Agreed.
The Chair:
All agreed. I will call on the clerk now to give his report.(French follows --
Mr. O'Brien:
Honorables sénateurs, mon but est de présenter un rapport sur
les demandes … )
 
(après anglais …
give his report.)
Gary O'Brien, greffier principal, Services législatifs, Sénat du Canada :
Honorables sénateurs,mon but est de présenter un rapport sur les demandes de remboursement de dépassements dusénateur Duffy, plus précisément en ce qui concerne les indemnités quotidiennes réclamées etremboursées.À la suite de la parution récente des articles dans les médias, des questions ont été soulevéesrelativement à l'utilisation des fonds du Sénat au cours de la période électorale 2011. D'autresanalyses et examens sont nécessaires pour vérifier ces allégations et pour déterminer s'il existed'autres sujets de préoccupation.(Mr. O'Brien: Deloitte reviewed cellular telephone and Senate travel card ...)(anglais suit)(Following French)

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