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 December 31, 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. Upon dissolution, Members should have provided written notice of lease termination to their landlord, which should be terminated no later than December 31, 2020.
Constituency Office Signage
Members not returning 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 Financial 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 returning must make a complete list of the inventory of constituency office assets such as furniture and equipment as soon as possible following the election. For the 42nd provincial general election, this should be no later than November 30, 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.
Members should contact Financial Services prior to the disposal of any constituency office assets. 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 December 31, 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
Information Technology Service Desk