Managing your Legislative Office

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Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are provided with office space, equipment, services, and supplies to support their work at the Parliament Buildings. This section contains information on setting up and managing a legislative office, including telecommunications equipment and other services.

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For more information related to legislative offices, contact Financial Services at 250-356-8586.

Inside Buildings



Office Accommodation and Equipment

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The Speaker's Office assists in the allocation of space within the Parliament Buildings. Furniture and equipment are supplied to Members and their staff from Legislative Facilities Services.

The Information Technology Branch arranges for telephone and fax lines, and supplies a multi-function printer unit. Requests for service should be coordinated through caucus staff and the costs are covered by centralized funds overseen by the Speaker. Specialized equipment may be purchased with caucus funds at the discretion of the caucus chair. All items remain the property of the Legislative Assembly.



Stationery and Supplies

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Personalized letterhead, memo paper, envelopes and similar stationery items are provided to each Member from centralized funds under the control of the Speaker. The maximum quantity paid for by the Legislative Assembly is 3,000 units per fiscal period (April - March) for letterhead, envelopes, and MLA business cards. The cost for all orders in excess of this limit must be paid for with constituency funds. The standard supplies provided from centralized funding include:

  • Personalized letterhead printed on standard 8.5 x 11 bond paper
  • Personalized standard size legal envelopes
  • Business Cards (Member)
  • Business Cards (Constituency Asst.)
    • Maximum order 500 per fiscal year
    • Established format
    • English, second, or third languages

The established format for stationery includes MLA name; riding name; constituency address and phone numbers; email and web addresses; and Parliament Buildings address and phone numbers. Members that hold paid executive caucus positions may also include the position title on the stationery. Paid positions include:

  • Speaker
  • Deputy Speaker
  • Assistant Deputy Speaker
  • Party Whip
  • Deputy Party Whip
  • Caucus Chair
  • Opposition or Recognized Party Leader
  • Opposition or Recognized House Leader
  • Deputy Chair Committee of the Whole

The cost of any orders that do not conform to the established format will be charged against the constituency office allowance.

Business cards can include a second or third language on the back of the card. Languages will be limited to the common languages provided by Queen’s Printer. Any special orders must be paid for with constituency funds.

Political affiliation or any related statements are not permitted on any print order paid for with public funds, including constituency funds.

Generic office supplies, which meet Queen’s Printer standards, are provided from the centralized funds and are available through the Sergeant-at-Arms supply office. Orders should be coordinated through caucus staff.

STATIONERY – ORDERING GUIDELINES

  • All print requisitions for MLA stationery must be sent to Financial Services for approval. Any cost for requisitions that have not been approved or signed off will be the responsibility of the constituency office.

  • A separate Queen’s Printer requisition form is required for each print order. Multiple orders on the same form will be returned to the originator for resubmission.

  • Samples are required for all requisitions including unaltered reprints. Forms will be held until samples are provided.

  • The request of “proofs” is essential to ensure accuracy. Once the proof is confirmed by the originator, the order is finalized. If an error is detected after print, it is the responsibility of the constituency office to cover the cost of corrected reprints.

  • If a proof is continually corrected due to the error of the person ordering, the additional charges added by Queen’s Printer will be charged to the constituency office.

  • Queen’s Printer will notify Financial Services when or if there is a request for an alteration not previously approved (an example would be requesting additional information that does not conform to the established standards after the original requisition has been signed). The requisition will not be processed.

  • Political affiliation or any related statements are not allowed on any print order paid for with public funds. This includes items such as unpaid caucus assigned positions, websites, or emails that include a party identifier, party colors, logos, or social media accounts.

STATIONERY PRODUCTS

Standard stationery includes 8.5" x 11" bond paper in white or cream, size 9 or 10 envelopes in white or cream, and note card stock and appropriate envelopes in white or cream. Any orders for a different card stock, different sized paper, or different coloured paper will be paid for from constituency funds if it does not fall within the generic supply list.

Generic office supplies which meet Queen’s Printer standards are available through the Sergeant-at-Arms supply office. Orders should be coordinated through caucus staff.

Orders for ministry stationery or any other government executive position is separate and is not covered by the Legislative Assembly. Contact the appropriate ministry for details.

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY VISUAL IDENTITY

In terms of graphic images for communications purposes, electronic Legislative Assembly Crests are available on the Assembly Intranet site under Shared Documents. A new visual identity program will be established in conjuntion with the 41st Parliament.



Office Mail

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Members are permitted to send an unlimited amount of personally addressed mail to support their legislative and constituency responsibilities. The cost of postage is paid from centralized funds overseen by the Speaker. The intent of this service is to permit Members to correspond with their constituents and other individuals. Please note that bulk mailings are a communications expense paid for by the constituency office.



Courier Services

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The Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for the receipt and dispatch of courier items, as well as security screening of incoming courier items at the Legislative Assembly. Members and staff can telephone 250-356-8236 for assistance. Deliveries must be dropped off at the courier office in the back of the building located at 431 Menzies Street. Courier employees are not permitted to make deliveries or pick up items within the Parliament Buildings.



Telecommunications

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TELEPHONES AND FAX EQUIPMENT

Land-line telephones and facsimile equipment equivalent to government standards are provided in the Parliament Buildings. The cost of both the equipment and usage is paid from centralized funds overseen by the Speaker.

Members have access to PROVNET, a toll-free long distance system within British Columbia. Requests for or changes to service should be coordinated through caucus staff.

MOBILE DEVICES AND ACCESSORIES

The Legislative Assembly will provide each Member with the option of an iPad, a smartphone and its included accessories. Please see the Telecommunications section in Managing your Constituency Office for more details.



Data Management and Equipment Disposal

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The Information Technology (IT) Branch supports Members and their staff with legislative office data management and the disposal of computer hardware and hard drives following a hardware failure.

There are two types of data, email and data files (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint and images). The following tables outline where these files can exist.

Email Files
Assembly email server
Assembly backup storage
PC/Notebook
iPad
Smartphones
Data Files
Assembly email server
Assembly central data storage
Assembly backup storage
PC/Notebook
iPad
Smartphones

 

Email and data files stored on Assembly servers are backed up by the IT Branch via the email server, central data storage or backup storage, using a combination of daily, weekly and monthly data backups to ensure that lost data can be restored, if required. PC notebook, iPad and smartphone use local storage and backups are managed by the user.

Daily and weekly backups allow the restoration of a file from any day in the previous 10 weeks. Monthly backup files are kept for 13 months and then they are deleted.

DATA BACKUP AND RESTORATION

For the period beyond the 10 weeks covered by the daily and weekly backups, files can only be recovered if they existed when the monthly backup was run on the first weekend following the end of the month. The IT Branch is unable to recover any file deleted more than 13 months ago, although Members or their staff may be able to access such files if they remain in an email or network drive.

HARDWARE FAILURE

Members and their staff should contact the IT Branch for support regarding hardware issues in legislative offices. In the case of a hard drive issue, the IT Branch will have the computer repaired. The IT Branch will remove the hard drive, insert a new hard drive, re-image the computer and return it to the user. The serial number of the old hard drive is recorded, and the old hard drive is then sent to the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms for appropriate disposal in a secure manner.

DISPOSAL OF OLD EQUIPMENT

Smartphones and iPads that are broken beyond repair or are no longer required are sent to BC Government Asset Investment Recovery Branch (AIR) in Victoria where the devices are shredded and the remaining debris is recycled.

PCs and notebook computers that are at the end of their useful life have their hard drives removed and shredded thus destroying any data on them. The PCs and notebooks are sent to AIR where the devices are sold to the public.

USE OF EMAIL ACCOUNTS

All Legislative Assembly business should be conducted using the members or staff Legislative Assembly email account. The use of personal email accounts for official business is not recommended.

USE OF CLOUD STORAGE

The use of Cloud Storage solutions such as iCIoud, DropBox and OneDrive is not permitted for the storage of Legislative Assembly emails and data files due to security concerns, including the risk that the data will be stored outside of Canada. Data stored in another jurisdiction may be subject to that country’s legislation. This may impact a Member’s ability to protect the integrity, security and privacy of the data being posted or collected. However, these services can be used to backup photographs stored on Legislative Assembly tablets and mobile phones.



Caucus Staff and Legislative Support Staff

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Each caucus determines the number of staff to be hired, their classifications, salaries, and other terms and conditions of employment. The costs are charged to the global caucus budget, which is under the control of the caucus chair. This budget cannot be exceeded and is based on a formula established each year by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC).

The same conditions apply to Independent Members.

Last Updated: March 14, 2017