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BILI Committee Meeting

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Meeting No. 5
Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament met at 12:01 p.m. this day, in Room 362, East Block, the Joint Chair, Sharon Carstairs, presiding.


Members of the Committee present representing the Senate: The Honourable Senators Hon. Sharon Carstairs, Hon. Stephen Greene, Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer and Hon. Terrance Richard Stratton.


Members of the Committee present representing the House of Commons: Gérard Asselin, Hon. Mauril Bélanger, Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Ray Boughen, Peter Braid, Peter Goldring, Ed Holder, Carol Hughes, Hon. Gurbax S. Malhi, Louis Plamondon and Greg Rickford.


Acting Members from the House of Commons present: David Christopherson for Carol Hughes.


In attendance: Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament: Denis Robert, Joint Clerk of the Committee. Library of Parliament: Élise Hurtubise-Loranger, Analyst; François Côté, Analyst.


Witnesses: Privy Council Office: Roberta Santi, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Machinery of Government; Karl Salgo, Director of Strategic Policy, Machinery of Government. Office of the Auditor General of Canada: Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada; Douglas Timmins, Assistant Auditor General.

The Committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Committee business.

It was agreed, — That the Committee would not meet on Thursday, April 30, 2009, but that the following two meetings would be scheduled:

Thursday, May 7, 2009 - Study of the Main Estimates with the Parliamentary Librarian, William Young;

Thursday, May 14, 2009 - Study of the Parliamentary Budget Officer with Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer, for one hour; followed by William Young, Parliamentary Librarian, for the second hour of the meeting.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(4)(a) and the motion adopted by the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament on Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the Committee resumed its study on the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Roberta Santi made a statement and, with Karl Salgo, answered questions.

The Joint Chair, Sharon Carstairs, raised the issue of the notice of motion given by Gurbax Malhi at the Thursday, April 2, 2009 meeting of the Committee as follows:

That, in the interest of ensuring accountability and transparency in government spending, as well as adequate and informed parliamentary oversight of government expenditures, we therefore regret the budgetary shortfalls faced by the Parliamentary Budget Office and urge the government to increase the budget of the Parliamentary Budget Officer to previously committed funding levels, and to do so without reducing the existing resources of the Library of Parliament


Peter Braid moved, — That the notice of motion be referred to the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure for its consideration.

Debate arose thereon.


By unanimous consent, the motion was withdrawn.


On motion of Carol Hughes, it was agreed, — That consideration of the notice of motion of Gurbax Malhi, as well as all other recommendations and decisions with respect to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, be deferred until such time as the Committee has completed its meetings with witnesses and begun working on the draft report of the Committee.


Sheila Fraser made a statement and answered questions.


At 1:46 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.


Carmen DePape
Joint Clerk of the Committee

2009/06/08 5:50 p.m.