For the purpose of basic compensation, an incumbent Member is considered to be a Member throughout the election period, up to and including the day immediately preceding general voting day as per section 9 of the Members’ Remuneration and Pensions Act. For the 42nd provincial general election, a Member’s basic compensation therefore continued until October 23, 2020, after which they move to transitional assistance.
Members’ Transitional Assistance
For all non-returning Members, the Members’ transitional assistance provides the equivalent of basic compensation and benefits (excluding pension contributions and group life insurance) for up to fifteen (15) months, starting on the general voting day, being October 24, 2020.
Visit the Transitional Assistance page for more information.
Members’ Pension Plan
Participation in the Members’ Pension Plan is mandatory for all Members under the age of 71. All contributions are held and administered by the B.C. Pension Corporation on behalf of Members and the Legislative Assembly.
A pre-retirement seminar will be arranged for those Members not seeking re-election. The dates will be communicated to Members to their private Legislative Assembly email account. Representatives from the Office of the Clerk, Financial Services, Human Resources, and the B.C. Pension Corporation will provide an overview of Members’ pension benefits via Zoom videoconference. In addition, Members may contact the B.C. Pension Corporation staff directly at MLAPP@pensionsbc.ca to review their pension status and for further information on the Member’s Pension Plan and post-retirement benefits.
Capital City Living Allowance
The Capital City Living Allowance will be paid to the end of November 2020 for Members not seeking re-election. Members who rent accommodation in the Victoria area must provide their landlord sufficient lease termination notice to avoid any additional expense.
Members’ Travel Expense Allowance
The Members’ Travel Expense Allowance is paid on a quarterly basis. Amounts issued in Quarter 2 (July 1 to September 30) that overlap with the election period will be recovered.
Constituency Office Allowance
Constituency office allowances will be paid to the end of November 2020 for Members not seeking re-election.
Members will not be reimbursed for Member-related travel costs incurred after the date of dissolution (for the 42nd provincial general election, effective September 21, 2020). Members not seeking re-election, however, will be reimbursed for one final return trip between Victoria and their constituency to clean out their Victoria office and/or accommodation. For the 42nd provincial general election, this trip should occur on or before November 30, 2020.
Members’ Travel Card
The Bank of Montreal Corporate Travel MasterCard is deactivated on the date of dissolution (for the 42nd provincial general election, the card was deactivated on September 21, 2020). The Speaker and Members with government business travel (i.e., Members of the Executive Council), should use personal credit cards and retain receipts for reimbursement of valid expenses by government during the election period. Members not seeking re-election must pay off all balances and destroy their travel card.
Members’ Private Legislative Assembly Email Account
Members will continue to have access to their private Legislative Assembly email account for administrative and wind-down purposes. The Information Technology Department will arrange for closure of all Members’ private email accounts supported by the Legislative Assembly to coincide with office closure date. For the 42nd provincial general election, this is no later than November 30, 2020.
Prior to the disabling of Legislative Assembly network account access, Members should review the information stored in email and ensure that it is retained or disposed of in accordance with the guidelines for disposing of Members’ records (see Data Management and Equipment Disposal). Emails may be deleted, transferred to another account, transferred to the archives (subject to an agreement with the Legislative Library), or stored for a specified period of time and then deleted or transferred to the archives. To request the deletion or transfer of email data, please complete an Account Deletion Request Form available on the Constituency Office Portal.
Mobile Communication Devices and iPads
Members have the option of keeping their iPad and/or smartphone and moving the device to a personal contract. Should Members decide to keep the device and or/number but change carriers, the Member is liable for any charges related to prematurely ending the contract with the original carrier. Members must notify the Information Technology Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-401-6323 of their intention before making any arrangements with the contract supplier.
Members wishing to return their Legislative Assembly-issued iPad and/or smartphone should return the device(s) along with their computer equipment to their constituency office. The Legislative Assembly’s external service provider will sanitize, inventory and ready equipment for shipment back to the Information Technology Department (ITD). ITD will provide instructions on resetting mobile devices and wiping data prior to drop off. Upon request, the Information Technology Service Desk (contact information above) will work with Members remotely to copy personal information (i.e., contact information, photos) to a personal cloud storage account (e.g., Apple iCloud or Google Docs). For personal information stored on PCs or Macs, ITD will assist in moving data to cloud storage or offload the data to a removable hard drive. ITD is available to provide recommendations on removable drives; however, the Member is responsible for purchasing the device. Members will also have the option to transfer their mobile phone number to a personal device.
Members should ensure that any information stored on Legislative Assembly-issued devices is reviewed and deleted, consistent with the guidelines for disposing of Members’ records (see Data Management and Equipment Disposal).
Services on the Legislative Precinct
The Legislative Library, the Parliamentary Dining Room, and the Parliamentary Gift Shop continue their operations during the election period. Members must settle their accounts with the Parliamentary Dining Room and the Parliamentary Gift Shop. All Legislative Library books and other material must be returned.
Parking on the Legislative Precinct
Members retain their parking spot on the Legislative Precinct during the election period.
On the day of dissolution, Members not seeking re-election should provide their Constituency Assistants with written notice that their employment will be ending. For the 42nd provincial general election, the last day of pay must be no later than November 30, 2020. A template is available to Members by contacting email@example.com. Payroll Services must also be notified in writing (a copy of the letter to the Constituency Assistant should be provided). Extended health and dental benefits cease on the last day of pay, and group life insurance ceases on the last day of the month in which the final pay was received.
If the Member does not provide sufficient notice, they will be required to pay severance in accordance with employment standards, employment contracts, or collective agreements (where applicable). All severance payments must be funded from the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds.
Staff of Members of the Government Caucus are covered by a collective agreement. Notice and termination letters must follow the terms of that agreement.
It is important for Members to provide copies of the appropriate letters to Payroll Services in a timely manner to ensure that pay adjustments are made prior to termination of employment. For the 42nd provincial general election, termination letters should have been received by Payroll Services at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than September 30, 2020.
Most Constituency Assistants will not be eligible for severance as their contracts are fixed term or their collective agreement has a layoff provision related to an election. Human Resource Operations is available to assist Members in determining the appropriate level of severance payment for their staff. All severance payments must be funded from the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds.
Payments to Staff
Members are reminded that all salary-related payments to staff must be made through Payroll Services to ensure that appropriate deductions for income tax, CPP, and employment insurance are made, and to ensure proper reporting and remitting to the Canada Revenue Agency. All payments must be funded from the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds.
Any questions related to payments to staff should be referred to Payroll Services. Information regarding potential tax implications of any payment is also available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website by clicking here.
Post-Election Employment by Another Member
Staff of Members of the Government Caucus may be employed by another Member of that Caucus post-election, in accordance with the terms of the collective agreement. Otherwise, no guarantee of continued employment can be given to constituency office staff, as new Members will be responsible for hiring their own staff.
Traditionally, Members have been given approximately six weeks to close their constituency office(s). Due to the unexpected timing of the 42nd provincial general election, the ongoing provincial state of emergency, and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, an extended time period has been put in place. Members have until November 30, 2020 to close their constituency office(s).
Constituency Office Lease
Constituency office leases are between a Member and the landlord; therefore, it is important for Members to review the terms of their lease agreement with respect to the termination provisions. For the 42nd provincial general election, Members not seeking re-election should notify their landlord in writing as soon as possible that they will be terminating the lease on or before November 30, 2020. Members not seeking re-election may wish to survey local candidates regarding their interest in maintaining the same constituency office. This could reduce the amount of work required to close the office.
Constituency Office Signage
Members not seeking re-election are responsible for the removal of all constituency office signage. Any costs related to signage removal are to be paid for using the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds.
Termination of Contracts and Services
Members should terminate all contracts and services for their constituency office(s) and arrange final billing and payment before their office closure date; or for services up to closing date, arrange for the final billing to be sent to Financial Services for payment. Services paid by the constituency office may include newspaper and other subscriptions, janitorial, security alarm monitoring, bottled water delivery, utilities (not included in the lease), additional mobile communication device contracts, and television services (cable, TELUS, or satellite).
Members should notify WorkSafeBC of their change in status as an employer and arrange for Payroll Services to make the final payroll assessment payment. The WorkSafeBC Employer Service Centre can be contacted Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 604-244-6181 (Lower Mainland) or 1-888-922-2768 (toll-free). Payment will be made using the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds.
Constituency Office Assets (Excluding computer and telephone/fax equipment)
All Members not seeking re-election must make a complete list of the inventory of constituency office assets such as furniture and equipment as soon as possible following dissolution. For the 42nd provincial general election, all Members not seeking re-election should complete this inventory no later than October 31, 2020. This inventory list should be sent to Financial Services at email@example.com. If the incoming Member is in agreement to assume the existing office space, no disposal of assets is required. The incoming Member will be responsible for the assets assumed, until such time the assumed assets are replaced and/or disposed. Over time, constituency office furniture may have deteriorated to the extent that there is no residual value. Please direct any questions on the disposal of assets to Financial Services at the email address above or 250-356-8586.
The Constituency Office Assets Inventory Form is available on the Constituency Office Portal.
If the incoming Member is not likely to require the existing constituency office assets, disposal can proceed as follows:
- Non-computer assets may be advertised for local sale in an arm’s length transaction. The Member, the Member’s relatives, constituency office staff, and the relatives of constituency office staff, are not eligible to purchase these assets.
- Sale proceeds are to be forwarded to Financial Services by a cheque made out to “Legislative Assembly of British Columbia”. Particulars of assets sold, and the amounts received, should be forwarded to Financial Services on the constituency office assets inventory listing (available on the Constituency Office Portal).
- Unsold assets may be donated locally to a registered charity, not-for-profit organization, or a school.
- Any disposal costs incurred must be paid for using the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds.
Constituency Office Computer Equipment
All computer equipment and related devices (peripheral equipment and storage devices) must be returned to the constituency office. The Information Technology Department will arrange for shipment of all equipment from the constituency office to the Legislative Precinct. As soon as Members know their office will be closing, they should contact the Information Technology Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-401-6323 to obtain assistance in facilitating the return of Assembly equipment and devices.
For security purposes, all hard drives will be cleared of data prior to disposal. The Information Technology Department will coordinate the secure delivery of all returned equipment and will follow established disposal and destruction security protocols.
Stand-Alone Fax Machines
Any stand-alone fax machines (other than the Ricoh machines, noted above), as well as the original owner’s manual and any unopened ink or toner cartridges, should be left at the constituency office. The Information Technology Department will coordinate with an external service provider for the erasure and shipment of equipment to the Legislative Precinct.
The Information Technology Department will make arrangements for the removal and transport of telephone equipment. For the 42nd provincial general election, phone lines for Members not seeking reelection will be cancelled no later than November 30, 2020.
Constituency Office Records
Financial records have a retention period of seven years. Financial records should be appropriately labeled and boxed for storage, and shipped to Financial Services at the address noted below. Any questions regarding financial records should be referred to Financial Services.
Financial records include the following (where applicable):
- A full print out of the general ledger from the date the constituency office opened until it was closed.
- A financial system back-up or spreadsheet copies on a flash drive with a label identifying the type of computer accounting system used (e.g., Sage, Excel spreadsheet, QuickBooks, etc.).
- The box with the accounting software CD, manual and license ID, along with a notation of all user IDs and passwords.
- All bank statements, cancelled cheques, supplier invoices, bank reconciliations.
- Expense claims for in-constituency travel.
- Contracts and agreements.
- If a manual system was being maintained, please include all other manual journals (e.g., cash disbursements) and reports (e.g., trial balance).
Financial records should be clearly labelled and shipped to:
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
614 Government Street
Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
Internal & External Audit
Constituency offices may be the subject of an internal audit, or an external audit by the Office of the Auditor General, to confirm compliance with all Legislative Assembly policies and procedures. Any questions regarding internal or external audits should be addressed to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, the Clerk Assistant, Parliamentary Services, the Executive Financial Officer, or the Member’s Caucus Chair.
It is the Member’s responsibility to ensure the privacy and protection of all sensitive information. Correspondence that is active or relates to unresolved issues for a constituent should be segregated. It is recommended that the office send a letter to all constituents with active files informing them of any change as a result of the election. Constituents should be given the following options:
- To have the file sent to them.
- To have the file released to the new Member.
- To have the file destroyed.
- To have the file sent to storage without further action or resolution.
Any active correspondence files released for transfer to the new Member should be segregated prior to the office closing.
Inactive correspondence files have a five-year retention period, and should be boxed separately from financial records and labeled appropriately.
Members are required to arrange for four months of mail forwarding with Canada Post. The fee for this service is approximately $170 and should be paid for out of the Member’s available constituency office allowance funds. After the office closes, all mail should be forwarded to the following address:
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
614 Government Street
Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
Financial Services250-356-8586 email@example.com
Information Technology Service Desk778-401-6323 firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for legislative office closure for Members not seeking re-election is November 30, 2020. Wherever possible, legislative offices should be closed at the earliest possible date to enable office space for the new Parliament to be organized. Any questions regarding the closure of a legislative office should be referred to Legislative Facility Services.
Legislative Office Assets
All furnishings, computers, and office equipment are the property of the Legislative Assembly and should remain in place. For the 42nd provincial general election, Members’ personal effects should be collected as soon as possible, and by no later than November 30, 2020.
Surjit Dhanota, Legislative Facility Manager250-952-8137 email@example.com
Records from Members’ constituency and legislative offices are to be segregated (financial separated from correspondence and other non-financial records), boxed, and labeled.
Financial records are to be forwarded to Financial Services where they will be securely stored together with the constituency office records (see “Constituency Office Records” section above). Financial Services will make arrangements for the storage of financial records and the eventual destruction after seven years.
Non‐financial records may be transferred to the Legislative Library. The Legislative Library will accept all non-financial records from a Member, including personal, political, and non‐financial constituency records. All records will be kept for five years, but will not form part of the Library’s main collection. Selected records will be added to the Library’s permanent archive of MLA papers, subject to agreement between the Member and the Legislative Library. Assistance with the transfer of non‐financial records prior to your office closure deadline should be referred to the Legislative Library.
The Digital Information Office (DIO) can advise and support Members, constituency offices and caucuses on the day-to-day management of information and is available to support Members and staff in developing effective practices when creating, receiving, organizing, securing, retrieving, transmitting, storing and disposing of electronic and physical records. The DIO also supports policy development and training in related areas, including the protection of privacy, confidentiality, and vital records.
The Information Technology Department supports Members and their staff with data management and computer equipment disposal in legislative and constituency offices.
Prior to the disabling of Legislative Assembly network account access, Members and their staff should review the information stored in their ShareFile(s) and ensure that it is retained or disposed of in accordance with the guidelines in this Guide for disposing of Members’ records. ShareFile documents may then be deleted, transferred to another account, transferred to the archives (subject to an agreement with the Legislative Library), or stored for a specified period of time, and then deleted or transferred to the archives. To request the deletion or transfer of ShareFile data, please complete an Account Deletion Request Form available on the Constituency Office Portal.
Members may have information that is stored outside of the infrastructure maintained by the Information Technology Department. Members should ensure that any information stored with cloud services (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) is reviewed and retained or disposed of in accordance with guidelines in this Guide for disposing of Members’ records.
Data Backup and Storage
The Information Technology Department uses a combination of daily, weekly, and monthly data backups to ensure that lost data can be restored, if required. As a result, notwithstanding computer hard drive destruction and equipment disposal, email and data information for Members who are not seeking re-election and their staff will be retained on backup storage files in accordance with the Legislative Assembly’s Backup Deletion Policy.
For Members not returning and their staff, end of life PC or Mac hard drives are removed and shredded, to destroy any data. Equipment being re-deployed will receive a low-level format of the hard drive in accordance with best practices for the destruction of data. Email and files stored on network drives are retained in accordance with the data backup policy outlined above. At the request of the Member, the email and data files of their staff can be transferred to another user if required.
Items that ought to be returned by Members not seeking re-election include:
- Office keys, access cards and fobs (including to the Parliament Buildings).
- Calling cards for phone or mobile communication devices, including prepaid long distance calling cards (with user ID and password).
- iPads and mobile communication devices (where the Member has opted to return the devices).
- PCs, Macs, and computer peripheral devices, including monitors, keyboards, mice, cameras, and docking stations.
- Prepaid tickets or passes, such as B.C. Ferries assured loading (with user ID and password), Helijet, Harbour Air, Transit, etc.
- Library books and other material (former Members can receive a library card and have use of the Legislative Library, including signing material out, and mail out of materials).