SM: I do not proceed with request and inform with Senator’s office it’s not parliamentary services and would not proceed with the request
JM: Had it said in the description of services “$500 for volunteer”
SM: I would not proceed with it. I would speak to Senator’s office and seek clarifications.
JM: Are gifts to volunteer OK?
SM: Not to my knowledge, no
JM: What if it says “gift for volunteer”
SM: “No we don’t proceed with this request” … we only pay staff members for salaries, we don’t proceed with payment for gifts.
JM: What if it said “payment for staff member”?
SM: No, staff members are already paid a salary
JM: If description of services said “for no services rendered”
SM: I approve request for services to be rendered for research, for speech writing, for admin services. We don’t approve request for gifts or other matters.
JM: If description of services said “physical fitness training”
SM: “No we don’t proceed with this request … as it’s not parliamentary work”
Now talking about 2009/2010 fiscal year - $20,000 contract to Donohue’s company
Page 10 – new contract for 2009/2010 fiscal year - May 20, 2009 ($20,000 contract)
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?
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