DB asks if the audit identified that lack of contracts is a problem
SM: That’s why they did a policy
DB reading “Senate policies should be updated to provide clearer guidance and criteria for what constitutes a consulting services…”
DB Do you agree that there is a need for clearer guidelines?
DB asking if SM agrees “Senate policies should be updated to provide clearer guidance and criteria for consulting services and personnel services contracts” and “Senate should strengthen its contracting practices ensuring all… contracts have a written contract in place.”
DB: And that existing guidelines need replacement?
Bayne continuing on Internal Audit saying that contracts weren't in place before work
“Based upon the results of our testing, we noted no written contract was in place for 1 of 10 instances”
Audit: “We observed 9 of 10 files where contracts were signed after the start of the work term of a Senator.”
SM: “We didn't have a policy prior to November 2011, it was always a general guideline.”
DB: Before November 2011, we didn’t have a policy.
DB: So this takes us back to the 1988 document
DB: Can you explain the difference between policy and guidelines?
SM: Guidelines are like procedures to follow. If there’s any non-compliance – for example if services is prior to contract – we still can go ahead and issue payment
DB: So guideline is not as serious – a guideline infringement vs. policy infringement
DB: Do policy infringement ranks higher than guideline infringement
Bayne asking SM about interview she gave to the RCMP on September 6, 2013
DB: What level of detail you required in application of services contract? You wanted 1) the name of the contractor – individual or corporate; 2) statement of the nature of services; 3) maximum amount of the contract; 4) mode of payment – monthly or lump sum; 5) signature by Senator (SM says of the signature: “that’s the most important part”).
DB says all 105 senators “don’t have to give much detail here” – just the five things. SM: Yes.
DB: you in HR don’t do any oversight or drill down or investigating the person?
SM: No, we don’t have an investigation role in this.
DB: You don’t investigate the services?
DB: if things all line up, there’s a pretty automatic approval?
DB: For most services contract, you require nothing but a brief description?
SM: “It’s a brief description” – “until, as I mentioned, the procedure changed”
Summary: Until 2011, Makhlouf says, to her knowledge, there is no oversight for who did the work on contracts or for the value for money. These issues were left up to Senator's discretion
DB: It is the truth that -- and not just for Duffy’s contracts -- you saw this from other contracts, descriptions as brief as two to three lines?
DB: The description of services, until 2011, was brief?
DB And that’s perfectly acceptable?
DB Duffy’s request for services, with this little detail, you saw often? You approved them and that was appropriate.
DB quoting RCMP statement. SM says she didn’t have any problems with Duffy’s contracts. Nothing about Duffy's contracts stood out as unusual from other senators. If she had questions, Duffy's office co-operated.
On contract requests Makhlouf said she received ones that are more complete and ones that are less complete. SM: “For me,” Duffy was "like any other Senator"
DB: Does HR follow-up with oversight of how that contract is performed?
DB: After getting the signature, HR does nothing to oversee the contract.
SM: Yes, that’s right
DB you told the officers that beyond the initial contract approval, there’s no effective oversight by HR. / SM: No