Should a Member not return to the Legislative Assembly after the provincial general election, policies in this section of the guide will provide guidance on the following: closure of the constituency and legislative offices, transitional assistance for Members, provisions for Members staff and other information in the post-election period. This section provides further details on these items and other details for consideration by Members during this time.
Records from Members and constituency and legislative offices need to be segregated, including financial records separated from non-financial items, such as correspondence and routed to the appropriate office for storage. Financial records are to be forwarded to Financial Services where they will be stored with key financial records for a period of seven years.
For the purpose of basic compensation (as per section 9 of the Members' Remuneration and Pensions Act), the Member is considered to be a Member throughout the election period. Therefore, a Member’s basic compensation will continue until the day prior to general voting day, after which they move to transitional assistance.
Members’ Transitional Assistance
For all Members not returning, the Members’ transitional assistance provides the equivalent to basic compensation and benefits (excluding pension contributions and group life insurance) for up to fifteen (15) months.
For more information related to Members’ transitional assistance and career retraining, please refer to Appendix A — Transitional Assistance.
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 BC Pension Corporation on behalf of the Members and the Legislative Assembly.
For further information on the Members’ Pension Plan, please see Appendix B — Pension Facts — Terminating Employment for Members of the Legislative Assembly.
Capital City Living Allowance
The Capital City Living Allowance will be paid to the end of June 2017 for Members not returning. Members who rent accommodation in the Victoria area must provide their landlords sufficient lease termination notice to avoid additional costs.
As in-constituency travel allowances for Members are paid quarterly mid-quarter (e.g. approximately May 15 for the April to June quarter), amounts for non-returning Members will be paid the day before the writ is issued, for the period of April 1, 2017 to April 10, 2017.
Constituency Office Allowance
Constituency office allowances will continue during the election period. For Members not returning, this payment will end on June 30, 2017.
Out of Constituency Travel
Members will not be reimbursed for Member related travel costs incurred effective the date the writ is issued. Members who sought election but are not returning, however, will be reimbursed for one final return trip between Victoria and their constituency to clean out their Victoria office and/or accommodation. This trip should occur on or before June 30, 2017.
Members’ Travel Card
The Bank of Montreal Corporate MasterCard will be deactivated, effective April 11, 2017 (issuance of the writ). The Speaker, or Members with valid government business travel (e.g. member of Cabinet), should use personal credit cards and retain receipts for reimbursement of expenses. Travel cards must be returned to Financial Services.
iPads and Mobile Communication Devices
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 Help Desk at 778-401-6323 or by e‐mail at email@example.com of their intention before making any arrangements with the contract supplier.
Members wishing to return their iPad and/or smartphone should return the device(s) along with the computer equipment to ensure all data is cleared prior to disposal. Upon request, the Information Technology Branch can provide Members with a copy of any personal information stored on their devices (i.e., contact information, photos) and/or the option to transfer the phone number to a personal device.
Members not returning who haven’t previously notified their constituency assistants in writing that their employment will be ending must do so as soon as possible. The last day of pay must be no later than June 30, 2017. A copy of this letter must be provided to Payroll Services as soon as possible. It is important for Members to send copies of the appropriate letters to Payroll Services in a timely manner to ensure that pay adjustments are made prior to termination. Extended health and dental benefits cease on the last day of pay, and group life insurance and MSP cease the last day of the month.
If the Member has not provided sufficient notice, they will be required to pay severance in accordance with employment standards, employment contracts, and union agreements (where applicable). The calculation of severance is based on the term of service and the age of the staff member. Human Resources is available to assist Members in determining the appropriate level of severance payment for constituency staff. Any severance payments must be funded from the Member’s available constituency office funds.
Staff of Members of the Official Opposition Caucus are covered by a collective agreement. Notice and termination letters must follow the terms of that agreement, and some staff may exercise their collective agreement rights post-election.
Please see Appendix G — Sample Letter to Payroll Services for Member not Re-Elected.
Payments to Staff
Members are reminded that ALL salary related payments to staff must be made through Payroll Services so appropriate deductions for Income Tax, CPP, and Employment Insurance can be made. All payments must be funded from the Member’s available constituency office 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 at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4130/README.html.
Employment by another Member
Staff of Members of the Official Opposition are covered by a collective agreement and may be employed by another Member post-election. Otherwise, no guarantee of continued employment can be given to constituency office staff, as new Members are responsible for hiring their own staff.
Executive Financial Officer
Members have approximately six weeks to close their constituency office(s). For Members not returning, the six weeks begins on general voting day, May 9, 2017. Offices should be closed by June 30, 2017.
Constituency Office Lease
Constituency office leases are between a Member and the landlord; therefore, it is important that Members review the terms of their lease agreement with respect to the termination provisions. If Members have not already done so, they should notify their landlord (in writing) as soon as possible to exercise termination of their lease on June 30, 2017.
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 provided 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 Financial Services to make the final payroll assessment payment. WorkSafeBC’s Employer Service Centre can be contacted by phone, or in writing.
WorkSafeBC Assessment Department
PO Box 5350, Stn. Terminal
Vancouver, BC V6B 5L5
Constituency Office Signage
Members not returning are responsible for the removal of all constituency office signage. Any fees related to the signage removal shall be paid for using the Member’s available constituency office funds.
Constituency Office Assets (excluding computers and telephone/fax equipment)
All Members must make a complete list of the inventory of assets before the writ is issued. The inventory list should be sent to Financial Services.
Please see Appendix D — Member Constituency Office Assets Inventory Form for a sample of the inventory form.
Members should contact Financial Services prior to the disposal of any constituency office assets after which 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 deposited into the constituency office bank account. Particulars of assets sold and the amounts received should also be forwarded to Financial Services on the constituency office assets inventory listing (see Appendix D);
- Unsold assets may be donated locally to a registered charity, not-for-profit organization, or a school; and,
- Any disposal costs incurred must be paid for using the Member’s available constituency office funds.
Constituency Office Computer Equipment
All computer equipment and related devices (e.g. CDs/DVDs/flash drives) must be returned to the Legislative Assembly. As soon as Members know their office is closing, they should contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 778-401-6323, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist in facilitating return of the equipment indicated above.
For security purposes, all hard drives will be cleared of data prior to disposal. The Information Technology Branch will coordinate the delivery of all returned equipment, and will follow established disposal and destruction security protocols.
Ricoh Multi-function Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax
Ricoh staff will contact each constituency office to arrange the return of leased equipment as required.
Stand-alone Fax Machines
Any stand-alone fax machines other than the Ricoh noted above, should be returned to the Information Technology Branch along with the other computer equipment to allow for the memory within the machine to be erased for security purposes. Please include the original owner's manual, and any unopened ink or toner cartridges.
Members’ Private Email Accounts
The Information Technology Branch will arrange for closure of all Members’ private email accounts supported by the Legislative Assembly to coincide with office closure dates.
Constituency Office Telephone Equipment
The Information Technology Branch will make arrangements for the removal and transport of telephone equipment. Phone lines for Members not returning will be cancelled by no later than June 30, 2017.
Constituency Office Records
Financial records have a retention period of seven years, and should be appropriately labeled and boxed for storage.
Financial records include the following:
- a full print out of the general ledger from the date the constituency office opened until the date 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 and along with a notation of all user IDs and passwords;
- all bank statements; cancelled cheques; supplier invoices; and bank reconciliations;
- expense claims for in-constituency travel;
- contracts and agreements; and,
- if a manual system is 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 BC
614 Government Street
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
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. Please ensure that financial records are well documented, and all payments are supported by receipts. Questions should be addressed to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, the Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees, or the Executive Financial Officer, or the Member’s Caucus Chair.
It is the responsibility of the Member 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 release letter to all constituents with active files informing them of the change as a result of the election. Constituents should be given the following options: (1) to have the file sent to them; (2) to have the file released to the new Member; (3) to have the file destroyed; or (4) 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 $160 and should be paid for out of the Member’s available constituency office funds. After the office closes, all mail should be forwarded to:
Legislative Assembly of BC
614 Government Street
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Closure of Constituency Office Bank Account
Once all final bills are paid, the Member’s constituency office bank account must be closed. A bank draft payable to the Legislative Assembly of BC for the balance in the account, along with a copy of the final bank statement (or print-out obtained at the bank when you close the account), must be provided to Financial Services. A list of any accounts still payable on the last day (e.g. WorkSafeBC or expected invoices from suppliers) should be included with the bank draft.
Executive Financial Officer
Legislative Office Closure
The deadline for legislative office closure is June 30, 2017. If possible, legislative offices should be closed at the earliest possible date to enable office space for the new Legislative Assembly to be organized.
Any questions or concerns regarding the closure of a legislative office should be directed to the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Legislative Office Assets
All furnishings, computers, and office equipment are the property of the Legislative Assembly and should remain in place. Member's personal effects should be collected as soon as possible, and no later than June 30, 2017.
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 stored together with the constituency office records. 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, in cooperation with Government Records Service, offers all Members storage for non-government records, which includes personal, political, and non-financial constituency records, for up to five years after the date of retirement from the Legislative Assembly. After this, records will be transferred to the Legislative Library for permanent retention or destruction subject to agreement between the Member and the Legislative Library. Selected records may be kept for longer than five years, subject to agreement between the Member and the Legislative Library. Assistance with the transfer of non-financial records should be referred to the Legislative Library.
Executive Financial Officer
Director, Legislative Library
The Information Technology (IT) Branch supports Members and their staff with data management and computer equipment disposal in legislative and constituency offices.
Data Backup and Storage
The IT Branch uses a combination of daily, weekly and monthly data backups to ensure that lost data can be restored, if required. 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. 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 for 13 months following the removal of the Member’s or staff person’s account.
For Members not seeking re-election and their staff, PC or notebook hard drives are removed and shredded thus destroying any data on them. 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 to be returned include:
- Office keys, access cards and fobs (including Parliament Buildings and precinct);
- Calling cards for phone or mobile communicate devices including prepaid long distance calling cards (with user ID and password);
- iPads, mobile communication devices (where the Member has opted to return the devices);
- Member’s Travel Card;
- Prepaid tickets or passes such as BC Ferries assured loading (with user ID and password), Helijet, Harbour Air, Transit, TReO, etc; and,
- Legislative Library books, electronic equipment and all media material (former Members will receive a library card and have use of the library, including signing material out, and mail out of materials).
A checklist has been provided for Members and staff to use to ensure that all required activities are completed. Please see Appendix E — Member Constituency Office Checklist for a copy of the template.
May 11, 2017