FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 19, 2013
OTTAWA - Parliament is one step closer to having a full legislative overhaul of MPs’ expenses disclosure system after Peter Julian’s Motion calling for an independent review and oversight passed in the House of Commons unanimously.
“The Conservative government now has a clear direction from Parliament and must cooperate to create an arms-length, more open, accountable and transparent MPs’ expenses system. Our motion calls for a fundamental review which would go well beyond just greater disclosure”, said Julian.
The NDP motion requires that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs conduct open and public hearings with an aim to replace the Board of Internal Economy with an independent oversight body. The motion aims at creating an independent review of MPs’ expenses and oversight system that would eliminate the systemic risk of conflict of interest. Hearings are expected to begin next fall.
“These are much needed changes and the Conservative government must respect the will of the House. I am very happy that Parliament has echoed the wishes and support of Canadians to take positive, genuine steps in building public trust and confidence in our democratic institutions.”
The motion reads as follows:
That, in order to bring full transparency and accountability to House of Commons spending, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to:
(a) conduct open and public hearings with a view to replace the Board of Internal Economy with an independent oversight body;
(b) invite the Auditor General, the Clerk and the Chief Financial Officer of the House of Commons to participate fully in these hearings;
(c) study the practices of provincial and territorial legislatures, as well as other jurisdictions and Westminster-style Parliaments in order to compare and contrast their administrative oversight;
(d) propose modifications to the Parliament of Canada Act, the Financial Administration Act, the Auditor General Act and any other acts as deemed necessary;
(e) propose any necessary modifications to the administrative policies and practices of the House of Commons; and
(f) report its findings to the House no later than December 2, 2013 in order to have any proposed changes to expense disclosure and reporting in place for the beginning of the next fiscal year.
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