The Legislative Assembly Management Committee, the Speaker, and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly each play a significant governance role in the operations of the Legislative Assembly.
Legislative Assembly Management Committee
The Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC) was established in 1992 with the enactment of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act. The Act provides the Committee with its formal powers and duties relating to a variety of areas, including the Assembly’s administrative and financial policies, the review and approval of estimates of expenditure to operate the Legislative Assembly (Vote 1) and payments made to Members to support the performance of their duties.
Pursuant to section 5 of the Act, reports of the Auditor General on the Legislative Assembly are referred to LAMC for consideration.
The Committee is chaired by the Speaker and, as per the Act, the membership includes the following Members of the Legislative Assembly:
- The Government House Leader;
- The chair of the Government Caucus;
- A cabinet minister (recent practice has been to appoint the Government Whip);
- The Opposition House Leader;
- The chair of the Opposition Caucus;
- One Member appointed from each additional party by the Members of that party; and
- For each Member appointed from an additional party, one additional Government Member
The Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act states that an “additional party means a political party with two or more Members in the Legislative Assembly, but does not include the government party or the official opposition party.”
LAMC has two advisory subcommittees:
The Subcommittee on Administration and Operations is mandated is to assist and advise LAMC on administration, operational and policy matters within the Legislative Assembly that are not of a financial or risk management nature, such as strategic planning and performance measurement, accountability reporting, Member-related policies, Legislative Assembly related policies, and information technology and digitization. The subcommittee must receive and review information about these oversight areas and make appropriate recommendations to LAMC.
The Subcommittee on Finance and Audit is mandated to provide oversight for the financial, risk management, and audit functions within the Legislative Assembly including the review of the Legislative Assembly’s annual Vote 1 budget submission, review of quarterly financial updates, the appointment of an internal and an external auditor and the review of audit plans, reports and recommendations. The subcommittee must receive and review information about these oversight areas and make appropriate recommendations to LAMC.
In exceptional circumstances, Members may request an exception to Legislative Assembly policy provisions or a review of a decision made by staff. This can be done by writing to the Member’s Caucus Chair or the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, who will in turn put the Member’s request to one of two subcommittees of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee (the Subcommittee on Finance and Audit or the Subcommittee on Administration and Operations, depending on the nature of the request) at the earliest opportunity.
Role of the Speaker
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly fulfills procedural, representative, and administrative responsibilities on behalf of the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker presides over Assembly proceedings, enforcing and interpreting all rules and practices to preserve order and decorum. As the head of the legislative branch of government, the Speaker represents the Legislative Assembly in all relations with external organizations and individuals.
The Speaker oversees the Legislative Assembly Administration and is responsible for its overall direction and management. Subject to any direction of LAMC, the Speaker is responsible for oversight of the day-to-day administration of the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker may delegate powers and duties to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, who is responsible for the operational matters respecting the Assembly. As noted above, the Speaker also serves as Chair of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee.
Role of the Clerk
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is the Assembly’s senior permanent officer and the chief procedural and administrative adviser to the Speaker and all Members. The Clerk is the head of the Legislative Assembly Administration and manages the provision of impartial and non-partisan advice and services to the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly with respect to the proceedings of the Assembly, its parliamentary committees and its administrative and financial operations. The Clerk also manages the delivery of professional and procedural advice and support to the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. The Clerk is directly supported by the Clerk’s Leadership Group comprised of the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Chief Information Officer, the Clerk Assistant, Parliamentary Services, the Executive Financial Officer, and the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel. The Clerk also serves as the Secretary of the British Columbia Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.