NDP proposes independent oversight for MP expenses

Official opposition tables motion to increase transparency and replace the BOIE with independent body

OTTAWA – NDP Caucus Chair Peter Julian (Burnaby – New Westminster) has tabled a motion to bring full transparency and accountability to the House of Commons.

“This motion would create an independent body charged with ensuring accountability and transparency in Parliament. New Democrats are proposing that MPs no longer be in charge of policing themselves,” said Julian. “This would not only increase transparency but also increase accountability beyond simple disclosure.”

The NDP has been working on these issues for over a year and have brought forward similar proposals on MP pensions and MP salaries.

“We hope the Conservatives and the Liberals will look at this proposal seriously. It’s time to have a serious debate about this issue – we need to move beyond stunts and political games,” said Julian.

The motion reads as follows:

That, in order to bring full transparency and accountability to House of Commons spending, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to:

(a) conduct open and public hearings with a view to replace the Board of Internal Economy with an independent oversight body;

(b) invite the Auditor General, the Clerk and the Chief Financial Officer of the House of Commons to participate fully in these hearings;

(c) study the practices of provincial and territorial legislatures, as well as other jurisdictions and Westminster-style Parliaments in order to compare and contrast their administrative oversight;

(d) propose modifications to the Parliament of Canada Act, the Financial Administration Act, the Auditor General Act and any other acts as deemed necessary;

(e) propose any necessary modifications to the administrative policies and practices of the House of Commons; and

(f) report its findings to the House no later than December 2, 2013 in order to have any proposed changes to expense disclosure and reporting in place for the beginning of the next fiscal year.