Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais

Appendix B—Files recommended for review by the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais

Province: Quebec

Appointment date: 17 January 2012

For the period from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2013

Total amount of items referred to the Internal Economy Committee
(including applicable taxes)

Findings—staff travel

We found instances of travel expenses incurred by a staff member and approved by the Senator that were not for parliamentary business.

1. A member of the Senator’s staff filed claims for same-day round trips starting from and returning to Ottawa, to assist or accompany the Senator on parliamentary business. The employee claimed mileage and per diem expenses. The claims were signed by the employee and the Senator. Two such claims were filed in the 2011–12 fiscal year and 10 in the 2012–13 fiscal year. For most of the trips, we did not have sufficient information to confirm that the travel had taken place as stated in the claims. In some instances, telecommunications records suggested that the employee did not return to Ottawa the same day. Instead, the telecommunications records showed that the employee was in the Montréal area early in the morning on the day after the event.

2. The employee stated that, although he works in Ottawa, he frequently stays in the Montréal area, particularly when the Senate is not sitting. He also stated that the travel claims were prepared on the basis of the principle that employees who work in Ottawa indicate Ottawa as the travel departure point and final destination. We asked the Senator to provide us with documents to support the travel claims. The Senator did not provide such documentation. According to the Senators’ Travel Policy, employees cannot be reimbursed for travel to their workplace in Ottawa.

3. On the basis of the information that was available to us, we determined that the employee submitted travel claims that did not reflect the distance actually travelled. The total travel costs were $3,538.

4. To determine the extent of this practice, we reviewed expense claims for travel incurred by the Senator’s staff after the period of the audit. We found similar expense claims for seven trips in the 2013–14 fiscal year, and seven trips in the 2014–15 fiscal year.

The Senator’s comments


Appendix B—Files recommended for review by the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Senate of Canada—Senators’ Expenses