Page 27 – memo subject: Services Contract
“4. Contractors should not start working prior to contract award”
JN: What does contract award mean?
SM: “When the agreement is signed by the contractor and the Senate.”
JN: So can’t start work until then / SM: Yes.
Page 6 – Amendment request for Services Contract – amending maximum amount to $13,560
Dated December 20, 2010 with end date of December 31, 2010
Page 10 – Title “Gerald Donohue Duties” signed by Mike Duffy dated December 20, 2010 (same as amended services contract)
Duties read: “To monitor media and brief the Senator on emerging and current issues of special interest… write and edit speeches, brief remarks, press release… plus other such duties as may arise from time to time.”
Page 1 – statement of account, or the invoice. Same end date of the contract (December 31, 2010) – including HST $13,560.
Page 3 – invoice by Donohue bearing the same date for “Consulting and Editorial Services.”
Tab 6 – Government of Canada cheque – January 10, 2011 – for $13,560
JN: I asked you a series of questions about services. I asked you about some things that did not appear on the request for services contract itself (i.e. gifts, fitness training.) The answer you gave was that if the request for services contract mentioned these things you wouldn’t have approved it.
JN: Your same answer would apply to all these contracts / SM: Yes.
JN: If it was photographic services/work? // SM: I would seek more info, if it related to Senate business.
JN: If it was for Senate business, would you approve it? // SM: I would need to see whole set of information … I would need more information.
JN: What if it says it was for photographic services for “Barbara Bush, 8x10, mounted” // SM: I would bring it to higher level, seek more info from office.
JN: What if it was for photographic services for “enlargement – lady, man and child” // SM: I have never seen this kind of request in my memory. Usually seek more info. Wouldn’t be in related to the type of services contract I approve.
SM: Most of the research was speech writing, editing, of that nature.
And court is now on a lunch break
Tab 5, page 24 – November 19, 2010 – Makhlouf to Mercer
“I need more clarifications or details of “Editorial Services” and “Writing services, including speeches”
Tab 5, page 23 – Mercer to Makhlouf
“We didn’t elaborate on the details… because that was exactly what we had indicated on his last contract. We didn’t think there would be any need to elaborate. Essentially the editorial services consist of review and editing of speeches… (e-mail continues).
Makhlouf to Mercer
“I will proceed with Mr. Donohue’s services contract…”
Crown moves on to 2011/12 fiscal year – Tab 7/Tab 8
Summary for that year: $24k contract to Donohue, who issued $2k monthly invoices
Crown asks Makhlouf if anything in the all those contracts suggests that money would be given to a third-party, Makhlouf says no.
Page 40 – services contract – Ottawa ICF c/o Gerald Donohue – April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012 (entire fiscal year). Contract maximum monthly rate of $2,000 = $24,000. Dated March 9, 2011.
JM notes that description of Services is more fulsome.
Page 38 – shows funds Committed: $24,000
JN notes that in this year there were monthly invoices, rather than one invoice for the whole year.
SM: When agreement is concluded, everything related to payment and invoices is handled by Finance Directorate.
Bayne starting off cross-examination of Sonia Makhlouf, Senate Human Resources Officer
Makhlouf says she's aware of Senate Administrative Rules, but when it comes to interpreting it she goes to her manager. SM only familiar and refers to Chapter 3 to ensure work is parliamentary-related. When it comes to other chapters she refers to her manager
Senate Administrative Rules – familiar only with Chapter 3. For other chapters, I would refer to my manager.I am aware generally – I am not the decision maker. I always refer to my manager and director.
DB: those rules provide broad discretion over work performed… who they hire…?
M: Yes, I understand that Senators have full discretion”
DB: What’s your understand you employed of parliamentary business?
SM: The requirements of my job until 2011 is the work to be rendered is parliamentary-work-related guidelines. It was research, editing, speeches, clerical assistance. It’s limited to the guidelines. My work is limited to that.
SM: It was a 1988 decision of the Internal Economy.
DB: So it wasn’t the SAR, foundational guidelines?
SM: It was the internal economy decision.
DB tells SM: Please don’t take my line of questions personally.
If there are problems in Senate Administration, you didn’t create them. You were just doing your job.
DB now going through the guidelines that SM says she used in deciding whether to approve contracts
Document: IV Guidelines for Senators’ Research Expenditures. Thursday, April 28, 1988. 36th Report of Internal Economy. [Tabled as exhibit 10]
1988 Internal Economy report: “The purpose of the research allowance is to provide funds to assist Senators in carrying out their duties in relation to their Senate responsibilities.”
Total office budget – incl research – during Duffy years was $150k … research/consulting budget was around $70K. SM not aware Duffy ever exceeded his research and staffing budget.
1988 Internal Economy report: Senators have "full discretion" on choosing "public policy topics, studies they wish to pursue."
DB asks if fitness of elderly, PEI issues are Senate responsibilities
1988 Internal Economy report: “While the monies allocated must be expended on Senate related activities, Senators should have full discretion in selecting the public policy topics and studies they wish to pursue and these funds may be utilized for other matters such as preparation of speeches, draft replies to correspondence, clerical assistance or other related matters according to the needs of the individual Senator.”
DB: That’s very broad, that completely open-ended, isn’t it?