JN: Do you look at the services and if it’s something that Parliament will pay for?
JN: You look at max $ request, how do you assess?
SM: Usually I look at the length. For example, if it says only ‘research’ for one month, and the amount is $10k, here I have to ask more question. I ask the Senator to provide more info than this. If it says ‘research and speech writing’ for a period for 10 months, amount for $5k, I’ll approve the request. It depends on info as a whole.
JN: Do you have a general knowledge of what amounts is reasonable?
JN: do you expect that when Senator submits contract that it’s true.
SM: I expect it as services described
JN: If you see it as problematic what do you do?
SM: If it’s not clear or need more info, I’ll speak with senator’s office, or I’ll bring it to higher level in directorate?JN: What makes you speak with senator or go higher up?
SM: If it’s just missing info or more clarification, I request it from the senator and don’t bring it high up. If I don’t have this info, or if it’s something that’s red flag, I’ll bring it up.
JN: if it's completeness of the form you go to senator? SM: Yes. / JN: if it’s substance of the form, you elevate it up? Yes
JN: So what’s next? SM: I approve it and someone would prepare the agreement. Still in HR.
SM: If request for services seems OK, SM approves it and someone else in HR approves it. Then service agreement drawn up, and sent to contractor for signature. Contracts must specify max amount -- when request is approved finance has to approve that funds are available.
JN: Who’s responsible to make sure that the services agreed to were provided/complete?
SM: The Senator. The Senator signs off in the end.
Now starting to talk about contracts with Maple Ridge Media/Ottawa ICF (Gerald Donohue contracts)
Now looking at request for services contract. First contract $10K lump sum to Maple Ridge Media. Contract was for editorial, writing services
Page 9 – Melanie Vos (later changes name to Melanie Mercer), Duffy’s assistant – email from March 23, 2009. E-mail writes: “Here are three Request for Services Contract Forms…”
SM says she wouldn't have received Request for Services before this.
Page 7 – This is the Request for Services Contract, stamped March 25, 2009. Gerald Donohue, Maple Ridge Media; editorial services; with start and end date (Feb. 23, 2009 to March 31, 2009) – end of that fiscal year.
Page 8 – Not hourly or daily rate but lump sum of $10,000. Delegation of authority, must be signed by Senator.
JM: How did you validate? SM: The request was approved and services contract was prepared.
Re: The SEN-R8 number at the bottom) Each contract has a serial number like this. The last three numbers will change
Page 5 – it’s a Memorandum written by you, March 31, 2009, to Maple Ridge Media and Gerald Donohue.
JM: What the purpose of this memo?
SM: To read the services contract agreement, sign each page, and fill out T1204 form. (T1204 requested by finance for tax purposes). Sign the “Statement of Account” form; once signed bring it to finance. Conflict of Interest code – must read and raise issue with law clerk if there are any questions.
Page 4 - Fax from March 31, 2009. Statement of Account, filled out by Maple Ridge Media and faxed back.
Page 2 – invoice for $10,000 – dated March 18, 2009
JM: This pre-dates the services contract? / SM: Yes
Tab 2 – Gov’t of Canada cheque dated April 22, 2009 for $10,500.
Back to Tab 1 – Page 7: Says description of services: “editorial services and writing services”
JM: If it says to include “make up services” for Senator, would you have included that?
JM: Had it said in the description of services “make up services”
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)