Expense Policies and Practices in the Offices of the Speaker, Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms

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  www.bcauditor.comAn independent audit report OVERSIGHT OF CONTRACTED RESIDENTIAL SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN CARE September 2019   EXPENSE POLICIES AND PRACTICES IN THE OFFICES OF THE SPEAKER, CLERK AND SERGEANT-AT-ARMS  623 Fort Street Victoria, British Columbia Canada V8W 1G1P: 250.419.6100 F: 250.387.1230 The Ofce of the Auditor General of British Columbia would like to acknowledge with respect that we conduct our work on Coast Salish territories. Primarily, this is on the Lkwungen-speaking people’s (Esquimalt and Songhees) traditional lands, now known as Victoria, and the W ̱SÁNEĆ people’s (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) traditional lands, now known as Saanich. CONTENTS Auditor General’s comments 3 Report highlights 6 Summary of recommendations 7  Response from Legislative Assembly of British Columbia 8 About the audit 12 Background 12 What is the role of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia? 12 What is the role of the Auditor General of B.C.? 15 Speaker’s reports 16 Audit scope 18 Audit method 18 Audit objective and conclusion 19 Audit objective 19 Audit criteria summary 19 Audit conclusion 19 Key findings and recommendations 20 Policies and expenses 20 Policies were inadequate or not followed 20 Policy violations not reported 29 Audit quality assurance 30 Appendix A: Complete audit criteria 31 Appendix B: Summary of testing 32 Te Honourable Darryl Plecas Speaker o he Legislaive Assembly Province o Briish Columbia Parliamen Buildings  Vicoria, Briish Columbia  V󰀸V 󰀱X󰀴Dear Mr. Speaker:I have he honour o ransmi o you he repor,  Expense Policies and Pracices in he Offices o he Speaker, Clerk and Sergean-a- Arms.  We conduced his audi under he auhoriy o secion 󰀱󰀱 (󰀸) o he  Audior General Ac   and secion 󰀵 o he  Legislaive  Assembly Managemen Commitee    Ac   and in accordance wih he sandards or assurance engagemens se ou by he Charered Proessional Accounans o Canada (CPA) in he CPA Canada Handbook – Canadian Sandard on Assurance Engagemens (CSAE) 󰀳󰀰󰀰󰀱 and Value-or-money Audiing in he Public Secor PS 󰀵󰀴󰀰󰀰.Carol Bellringer, FCPA, FCA  Audior General  Vicoria, B.C. Sepember 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀹  3 Auditor General of British Columbia |September 2019 | Expense Policies and Practices in the Offices of the Speaker, Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms  AUDITOR GENERAL’S COMMENTS 󰁨󰁥󰁲󰁥 󰁨󰁡󰁳 󰁢󰁥󰁥󰁮 much public discussion abou he effeciveness o he adminisraion o he Legislaive Assembly o Briish Columbia over he las nine monhs. Troughou his period, my office has been acively working o assis he Legislaive Assembly wih relevan assurance and advice.  Afer he Speaker o he Legislaive Assembly released his repor in  January 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀹 alleging misconduc o he Clerk and Sergean-a-Arms, he Legislaive Assembly Managemen Commitee (LAMC) endorsed our proposal o commence a perormance audi. While LAMC acknowledged ha my office could design he audi as we saw fi, hey had a paricular ineres in knowing more abou he deailed expenses claimed by he Clerk, he Sergean-a-Arms and he Speaker. Tis perormance audi repor looks a wheher expenses o hose hree offices were governed  by policy. Tis is he firs in a series o our repors on he Legislaive Assembly.  We have been brieed on many aspecs o oher work ha is ongoing,  we coninue o monior progress, and we are designing addiional perormance audi work o respond o any urher requess o LAMC and o address risks ha we believe would benefi rom such an audi. Oher areas we will look a in upcoming repors include purchasing cards, compensaion and benefis, capial asse managemen, and overall governance a he Legislaive Assembly. We decided o break our work ino smaller, more manageable pieces and publish our findings hrough a series o repors. Tis allows us o keep legislaors and he public inormed o our findings as our work progresses. Also, improvemens are being inroduced on a regular basis and our uure audi plans will ake hose improvemens ino accoun. We noed hroughou he public discussion ha he role o audi was  widely misundersood. I is disinc rom he role o managemen and he C󰁡󰁲󰁯󰁬 B󰁥󰁬󰁬󰁲󰁩󰁮󰁧󰁥󰁲, FCPA, FCA  Audior General  4 Auditor General of British Columbia |September 2019 | Expense Policies and Practices in the Offices of the Speaker, Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms role o an oversigh body. Te perormance audi work ha we are doing is differen rom a financial saemen audi, and is differen rom oher  work ha has already been perormed or is in progress. In addiion o our audis, ormer Chie Jusice Beverley McLachlin compleed a repor, an RCMP invesigaion is in progress, an invesigaion under he  Police Ac   has commenced, and a workplace review is anicipaed o sar soon. Te McLachlin repor ocused on wheher here was misconduc, while our audi is ocused on wheher expenses were governed by policy. For expenses o he offices o he Clerk and Sergean-a-Arms, he McLachlin repor looked a wheher such expenses were o a personal naure. O noe, he McLachlin repor concluded ha he ou-o-province business rips made by he Clerk and Sergean-a-Arms did no consiue misconduc.Te RCMP is invesigaing possible criminal maters, and my office is no involved in his work. We also don’ anicipae being involved in he invesigaion under he  Police Ac   or he workplace review a he Legislaive Assembly. Furhermore, i is imporan o noe ha his audi  would no be considered a orensic audi, alhough ha descripion has requenly been repored in he media. Forensic audis are generally perormed by specialiss in suppor o civil or criminal cour proceedings.Upon he suspensions o he ormer Clerk and he Sergean-a-Arms, we pu our financial saemen audi work on hold. In my view, LAMC should now have enough inormaion o complee is oversigh o he 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀸 and 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀹 financial saemens, which would enable us o complee ha audi  work. In he uure, LAMC may wish o consider wha ypes o audis  would be mos useul o i󲀔financial saemen audis are one, audiing or compliance wih cerain policies migh be anoher. In his audi, we ound a number o weaknesses and gaps in he expense policy ramework, and where policies were in place, hey weren’ always ollowed. We ound ha ravel expenses were requenly made wihou clear documenaion o suppor he purpose o ravel, some expenses  were made wihou appropriae approval, and purchases o iems such as clohing and gifs were made in he absence o policy o guide hose ransacions. AUDITOR GENERAL’S COMMENTS
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