Proactive Disclosure

Financial Reports

As part of its commitment to transparency, efficiency and accountability, the Senate of Canada adopted a new disclosure model effective July 1, 2016. This model provides more details and uniformity in the quarterly disclosure of senators’ expenses and supplements the information available in Public Accounts. The proactive disclosure reports are published within 60 days of the end of the quarter.

The disclosed expenses include expenditures and contracts of Senators’, Senate House Officers’ and Independent Senator Group Facilitator, Senior Officers of the Senate Administration, and Senate Administration contracts worth over $10,000.

The 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 and benefits),
  • Hospitality Expenses,
  • Living Expenses in the Parliamentary District,
  • Travel Expenses, and
  • Contract(s) Awarded.
Senators living outside of the Parliamentary District have access to the living expenses budget. Also, all Senators are entitled to meal allowances when they sit passed 7pm.

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 and Independent Senator Group Facilitator are provided an additional budget to cover expenses required to fulfill their duties.

For the fiscal period starting April 1, 2017, the budget of the Senate House Officers’ and Independent Senator Group Facilitator have been consolidated with the Senators office budget. As a result for Senators who are also House Officers or Independent Senator Group Facilitator, the Office Expenses, Hospitality Expenses and all Contract(s) Awarded will be disclosed under the Senate House Officers and Facilitator tab. However, please note that the Living Expenses and Travel Expenses under the travel point system continue to be disclosed under the Senators tab.

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. These senior officers form the Executive Committee which 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:

  • Hospitality Expenses,
  • Travel Expenses (including conference fees)
  • Contract(s) Awarded.
Expenses for travel, hospitality and contracts awarded are displayed using a model similar to the one used for senators.

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.