Maple Ridge Media / Editorial Services / April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010 (spans full fiscal year)
Page 11 - This one specifies $200 per hour (not lump sum) – total cost is “TBD”. (There are three lines for signatures because services can be split with two or three signatures)
JM: The failure to identify a total cost is a problem? SM: Yes it’s missing.
May 28, 2009 email from Marie-Chantal Theriault (SM’s colleague) to Melanie Vos (Duffy’s assistant)
“As for Mr. Donohue, while I understand your rationale for not issuing a maximum cost for services, we still do require a maximum amount. We cannot proceed without this basic and essential information”
June 10, 2009 – Vos (Duffy’s assistant) “he had said that he understands, but still finds it difficult to put a limit on services as we are not sure of our next year … we pencil in Spry Consulting, 3k … Eastern $3k … Maple Ridge $20k”
Back to Page 10 – bottom of the page, stamp $20,000
JM: So it was OK and was approved?
SM: Probably, yes, I don’t recall the exact situation. If it says “funds committed” the funds have been reserved and committed.
Page 15: “Certification document, corporate contractor”
SM: In order to pay the invoice, we need them to sign a certification document
"Certification by a corporate contractor” – section (iv) No person … with the Senate is a full-time employee of the Senate…
JM: I asked earlier about volunteers… does this provision address that?
JM: This tells this contractor that this prohibits giving payment to Senate staff?
Key takeaway from before the morning break is the Crown going through the Donohue contracts -- which state "editorial services" -- and whether paying volunteers, personal trainer, and make up services would have been OK (Makhlouf says no). If the contract itself stated "make up", "trainer", "volunteers" - the contract wouldn't have been approved.
Crown doing through, in detail, the contract from 2009/10 – in summary: Donohue contract was initially $20k, but he didn’t have enough $ in his account so Duffy cancels another contract in July so there will be enough money for Donohue’s contract. In October Duffy’s running out of money in his office budget, so drops Donohue contract down from $20k to $10k. In March, three weeks before fiscal year is up and because Duffy says he has money left over in his account, Duffy ups Donohue’s contract amount back to $14k.
Tab 3, Page 15 “Certification document, corporate contractor”
SM: Every person has to read the conflict of interest… if there’s anyone else receiving money under this contract should read the conflict of interest.
Tab 3, Page 26, T1204 form
SM: This form is required by finance, so at the end of the year they can issue a paperwork for tax purposes. I can’t give you more details on this; finance can give you more.
JM: This request began on May 20, 2009 and “takes a bit bit of a journey” – so we’ll go through it.
Page 22 e-mail:
Theriault e-mail to Vos - July 13, 2009
“Finance has advised me that they cannot complete your Request for Services Contract for Mr. Gerald Donohue … because the maximum amount indicated ($20,000) is greater than the balance of the Senator’s budget for Services Contracts ($13,373). The Senator must therefore submit a new request…”
SM: Before we finalize the request we have to know how much money is available
Vos then asks how so little money left.
SM says she can’t analyze numbers because it’s not her area of expertise.
Page 17/18 – amendment of contracts
Vos: “He has decided the following: ‘Let’s drop Spry Consulting; and replace that 10K with Maple Ridge Media. Their services are the priority.”
SM to Vos: “We need a letter signed by the Senator confirming that the contract will not submits any invoices as of July 16… and return money to budget”
Page 16 – July 29 memo from Duffy saying “no longer need the services of Spry Consulting… Return funds allocated to general budget”
Page 9 – October 2, 2009 – memo from Duffy to Sonia Makhlouf
“It’s has been brought to my attention recently that my general office budget has depleted quite significantly. After talking to Donohue … I would like to reduce their allotted maximum amount of their contract $20k down to $10k and return the $10k to my general office budget.”
Page 5 – March 9, 2010 – Donohue fax to Senate – “2009-10” invoice sent
Page 8 – the next day, March 10, 2010 – Duffy to Senate HR/Finance – “formally request that the budget allocation for Maple Ridge Media Inc. be increased from the current $10k to $14k. … I was under the impression that I was out of funds for the current fiscal year. As it turns out we have a small surplus that can be used.”
JM: If at the end of a fiscal year, if $ left over, would $ roll over to the next fiscal year?
Page 3 – Finance asks Donohue to sign amended contract
Page 1 – March 29, 2010 – invoice from Donohue, received on April 9, 2010 for $13,996.50 including tax.
Tab 4 – Government of Canada cheque payable for $13,996.50
Crown talking about contracts from 2010-2011. Went through it in detail, pretty dry. How Duffy wanted the contact to be backdated
Page 31 – November 2, 2010 memo from Melanie Mercer (formerly Ms. Voss) to Makhlouf
“Our contractor, Gerald Donohue, was having some health issues and we were unsure if the company was even going to continue existing. However, things have settled down (he’s brought in additional staff) and we would official like to continue our services contract with Mr. Donohue and his company Ottawa ICF. … We have backdated the duration of services to the beginning of the 2010 fiscal year.”
Page 25 – November 5, 2010 email Makhlouf to Mercer
“As mentioned before, request for services contract should be sent prior to the starting of the services”
“Our procedures are clear and contracts should not be backdated (especially in this case: several months.)”