HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMISSION MINUTES
The fifteenth meeting of the House of Assembly Management Commission was held in the Red Room, Province House, on Thursday, December 19, 2013, at 1:30 a.m.
Present were the following members of the Commission: Ms Margaret Miller, Hon. Andrew Younger, Hon. Labi Kousoulis, Mr Lloyd Hines, Hon. Dave Wilson, Hon. Chris d’Entremont, Mr Gordon D. Hebb, Q.C., counsel to the Commission, Mr Neil Ferguson (Chief Clerk) and Hon. Kevin Murphy, Chair. Also present was Annette M. Boucher, Q.C., Assistant Clerk and Deborah Lusby, Director of Administration, Office of the Speaker.
1) Minutes of the May 30 and August 14, 2013, meetings
It was moved by Hon. Andrew Younger and seconded by Hon. Chris d’Entremont that the May 30 and August 14, 2013, minutes be approved as circulated.
2) Appointments to House of Assembly Audit Committee
The members were reminded that clause 15(2)(a) of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act requires the Commission to select two of its members to be members of the Commission’s Audit Committee at least one of whom may not be a member of the Government party.
It was moved by Lloyd Hines and seconded by Hon. Andrew Younger that pursuant to Section 15 of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act the House of Assembly Management Commission hereby appoints members Hon. Labi Kousoulis and Hon. Chris d’Entremont as members of the Audit Committee for a term commencing December 19, 2013, and continuing until such time as their appointments are revoked by the Commission.
3) Appointment of the Auditor for the House of Assembly Management Commission
Mr Ferguson informed the Commission that the Audit Committee would normally make a recommendation to the Commission regarding the appointment of an auditor. However since the October 8 Provincial election this meeting was the first opportunity for the Commission to select its members to serve on the Audit Committee and therefore the Audit Committee has been unable to meet prior to this Commission meeting or to prepare a recommendation for the Commission.
So as to ensure that the audit process was not delayed the Commission desires to appoint an auditor subject to the recommendation of the Audit Committee.
It was moved by Hon. Andrew Younger and seconded by Hon. Chris d’Entremont that subject to the recommendation of the Audit Committee of the House of Assembly Management Commission, the Nova Scotia Auditor General be appointed as the auditor of the accounts of the House of Assembly for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, pursuant to Section 22 of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act.
4) Approval of new franking and travel allowances
Mr Hebb circulated a document title d “Proposed F & T amount after Election 2013”. He indicated the changes noted in the document were necessary as a result of redistribution and the change s to the names and sizes of constituencies. The amount s proposed were an attempt to have as little change as possible in the total budget.
Mr Hines inquired as to whether consideration has been given to reflect the significant increase in the geography of certain constituencies. Mr Hebb responded that this was not considered but rather the existing “categories” were retained and the changes were the movement of the constituencies into the existing categories.
Hon. Younger noted that the proposal had been reviewed and agreed to by the three caucuses in advance of this meeting. He also noted that we are currently in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, and we need to deal with the currently existing budget and the new redistributed constituencies. He noted that the Commission has the ability to look into the future and make decisions for the next fiscal year regarding franking and travel.
It was moved by Hon. Younger and seconded by Hon. Chris d’Entremont that Section 42 of the House of Assembly Management Commission Reguations be amended as follows:
(a) striking out subclauses 2(a)(i) to (iii) and substituting the following subclauses:
(ii) Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley,
(iii) Cumberland South,
(iv) Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie,
(vi) Queens-Shelburne, and
(vii) Victoria-The Lakes,
(b) striking out subclauses (2)(b)(i) to (iv) and substituting the following subclauses:
(i) Clare-Digby, and
(c) striking out subclauses (2)(c)(i) to (iii) and substituting the following subclauses:
(ii) Cape Breton-Richmond, and
(iii) Hants East,
(d) striking out subclauses (2)(d)(i) to (vi) and substituting the following subclauses:
(ii) Chester-St. Margaret’s,
(iii) Cumberland North,
(iv) Eastern Shore,
(v) Hants West,
(vi) Kings West,
(vii) Lunenburg West,
(viii) Pictou East,
(ix) Pictou West, and
(x) Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg,
5) Approval of House of Assembly 2012-13 Financial Statement
Ms Lusby informed the Commission that the Audit Committee was recommending the approval of the Financial Statement s that were circulated by the Commission.
It was moved by Hon. Younger and seconded by Mr Hines that whereas pursuant to clause 18(1)(d) of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act the Audit Committee of the House of Assembly Management Commission at its meeting of August 28, 2013, recommended that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Financial Statements, March 31, 2013, be approved by the House of Assembly Management Commission;
Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Financial Statements, March 31, 2013, be approved as presented.
6) 2013-14 Quarter 1 and 2 Financial Review
Ms Lusby referred to the “spreadsheet” that was circulated to the members of the Commission – she noted that there was nothing of significance to report and this item was being presented for information purposes only.
Pursuant to clause 9 (1)(a) of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act, the Commission went into an “in camera” session from 1:48 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. to discuss personal matters.
As required by subsection 9(2) the substance of the decision made by the Commission during the “in camera” meeting is that House of Assembly staff not entitled to a salary increase as that given to all public servants effective April 1, 5 2013, on the basis of being “red circled,” be granted a 1.5% salary increase effective April 1, 2013.
The meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.
These minutes were approved by the Management Commission on February 27, 2014.