The committee met at 11:35 a.m.
[Mr. Speaker in the chair.]
Mr. Speaker: Before we approve the agenda, I just want to say thank you to Sonia. I understand this is her last meeting as a member of this committee. She, I believe, joined this committee in 2017. Since then, she has made absolutely thoughtful, very passionate, wonderful contributions to this whole process.
Sonia, I want to say, on behalf of the committee, thank you so much, and don't go too far. My door is always open, and we still would like to see you a regular basis.
S. Furstenau: Thank you so much, Mr. Chair. It's been a real privilege to be on this committee and to be House Leader for five years. I'm ready to take one of my leader hats off now, and it will be on the very best head possible, which will be Adam Olsen, the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. I know that he will bring enormous energy, wisdom and insight into his role on this committee.
I will miss being part of this — working with all of you, with Artour and Kate. It's been a very fascinating and not dull five years. I'm really proud of the work that I've been able to be a part of with this committee.
Thank you so much.
Approval of Agenda and Minutes
Mr. Speaker: Thank you.
Okay, the first item on the agenda is approval of the draft agenda as it was circulated.
Any changes to the agenda? None.
May I have a motion to approve the agenda as circulated.
A Voice: So moved.
Mr. Speaker: The agenda is approved.
The next item is review and approval of the draft minutes of the June 29 meeting of the committee.
Any changes to the minutes of June 29?
If not, may I have the motion to approve the minutes.
A Voice: So moved.
Mr. Speaker: The next item on the agenda is the update from the Clerk.
K. Ryan-Lloyd (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly): Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. Good morning, committee members.
I'll begin with an introduction of our colleague Brent Lee, who's joining the Legislative Assembly Management Committee this morning. Brent is our director of information technology, and he is here to help the committee through any questions they may have with respect to agenda item 4, a number of capital reallocations.
I'd also like to thank members for making themselves available to attend this short meeting to help enable consideration of those time-sensitive requests for reallocation of capital dollars as recommended by the subcommittee on finance and audit.
We only have two brief matters to update you on this morning. I'll just mention at the outset our budget planning for the '23-24 fiscal year is now underway. A significant amount of work, of course, goes into this process each fall. Similar to last year, our approach will be based, with respect to caucus member engagement, through a series of caucus engagement meetings. I've reached out to each of the caucus chairs recently and hope to schedule these meetings in the coming weeks.
The meetings will ensure that my colleagues and I receive input and feedback from a member and caucus perspective to help guide our '23-24 budget planning. The engagement will help ensure that our service capacity, resources and key investments align with members' needs and expectations as well as caucus priorities. Thank you in advance to the caucus chairs for helping to facilitate those meetings in the weeks ahead.
I wanted to take a brief moment this morning to recognize our summer tour program and the hard work of the parliamentary education office. The team is a very busy these days delivering creative and innovative visitor programs this summer. Those of you who have been in Victoria, on the precinct, recently will have seen that once again, it is a very busy summer season, with thousands of visitors, following much quieter summers in the last two years.
Our regular summer programs are fully back up and running. In the month of July, the parliamentary education office offered more than 500 tours to more than 13,000 visitors, just to give you a sense of the scale.
The parliamentary gift shop is doing brisk business. The team has also implemented an indoor scavenger hunt and new travelling family-friendly plays and performances on the grounds of the Legislature.
I wanted to congratulate the department on their recent recognition with the Tripadvisor 2022 Travelers' Choice award, recognizing excellence with respect to positive reviews and ratings from visitors worldwide. It puts them in the top 10 percent of attractions around the world that we're always ensuring a very positive and welcoming experience to all the visitors on our grounds.
Thank you for that brief opportunity, Mr. Speaker. That concludes my update today.
Mr. Speaker: Any discussions or questions for Kate? None.
Let's move to item 4, capital budget reallocation requests. We have three requests before us today.
I'll ask the staff to walk us through it, the first one first.
Capital Budget Request
for Server Room and Library Vault
Upgrade and Fire Suppression
K. Ryan-Lloyd (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly): Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'll speak to each of these items separately.
I very much, again, appreciate the opportunity to bring forward to the committee this morning three requests for capital reallocation. Each of the three requests has been approved by the subcommittee on finance and audit and has been recommended to your committee for approval.
The first is focused on reallocating capital dollars to support fire suppression efforts. The second request reallocates capital to two IT projects for accounting purposes. The final request reallocates a portion of a centralized contingency to space-planning activities for the assembly administration.
The first of the three requests — I'll call that request 4(a), the two fire suppression projects. I'll note that those materials, in item 4(a), were approved by the subcommittee in May. The request reallocates capital from within the capital planning and development budget to deliver on necessary building improvements within the main server room for the Legislative Assembly as well as the Legislative Library vault to address environmental controls and fire suppression. This work is important and addresses internal audit findings and will be planned in a manner that minimizes any disruption to business operations.
Would the committee like to discuss the first requests with respect to the fire suppression projects? Then we can proceed to the subsequent requests.
Mr. Speaker: Any questions, any comments?
Kate, I can't see everybody on my phone screen. If somebody raises their hand…. Please advise me if somebody wants to ask a question. Otherwise, I will assume there were no questions asked.
K. Ryan-Lloyd (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly): I do not see any indication, Mr. Speaker, of any questions.
There is a recommendation with respect to this.
Artour, are you able to bring up the motion for consideration of this particular item?
I'm not sure if you can see it, Mr. Speaker, but there is a motion that perhaps one of the members may wish to read aloud.
Mr. Speaker: Yes, I can see that.
The motion is that the capital budget reallocation request for the server room and library vault upgrade and fire suppression project be approved as presented.
A. Sogomonian (Clerk Assistant, Parliamentary Services): Mr. Speaker, to help you out, I think Jagrup has moved the motion.
Mr. Speaker: Okay. All right.
K. Ryan-Lloyd (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly): Yes, it has been seconded.
Mr. Speaker: All right. The next item, Kate.
Capital Budget Request
for Information Technology
K. Ryan-Lloyd (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly): Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'll continue, then, with Item 4(b), the IT capital budget reallocation.
The materials supporting agenda item 4(b) outline the request for two IT projects. Neither of these requests is a result of project overruns, but I'll describe them in a bit more detail.
First, the network Wi-Fi upgrade project is requiring a reallocation from the centralized contingency. Supply chain challenges caused equipment budgeted for last year to not arrive until this fiscal year, contributing to the underspend last fiscal. Because last year's scope needs to come from this year's budget, we require additional capital dollars to undertake what was planned this year to continue to reduce our technical debt and the corresponding business interruption. That's the first element of item 4(b).
The second project in the decision note is the constituency office network replacement project, which is approximately one-third complete and still on schedule to be fully completed this fiscal. Some of the classification of professional services has been changed from operating to capital to enable these costs to be amortized over the life of the equipment.
Based upon the thresholds established in policy, the reallocation for both projects requires this committee's approval, and both reallocations can be captured, with your support, within the overall Vote 1 capital budget.
Mr. Speaker: Any discussion or questions. No.
Artour, may I have the motion, please, on the screen?
The motion is that the capital budget reallocation request for the information technology projects be approved as presented.
May I have a mover.
A Voice: So moved.
Mr. Speaker: Seconder? Seconded.
Mr. Speaker: The next request, Kate, please.
Capital Budget Request
for Space Planning
K. Ryan-Lloyd (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly): The final budget reallocation request, item 4(c), addresses a space planning need for a project that's underway. In conjunction with my colleagues on our leadership team, the final capital reallocation request before you concerns work that we envision undertaking, given both internal and external factors that we anticipate impacting our use of space within the Legislative Assembly administration in the coming years.
A space modernization plan and space standards are being prepared as part of a project to address changing work models, growth pressures and space limitations across the assembly administration. To implement actions from the space modernization plan, we anticipate using pathfinder projects, similar to a pilot project, to carefully modernize administration space in the coming years.
A centralized contingency was established in the past budget, outside of the work in the major capital infrastructure security enhancement programs. This request before you looks to allocate funds of $150,000 to this space planning project. If we are able to undertake this work now, it allows us to prepare and optimize the administration's limited space in advance of decisions related to internal factors such as the future of the armouries project and external factors such as future growth of our organization.
We anticipate funding to be primarily focused on configurable furniture that can be portable, modular, moved to address evolving business needs and minimize any sunk costs. Lessons learned from these initial pathfinder projects can help inform future space planning lessons for other precinct departments and other parts of the larger organization.
My colleagues and I are happy to answer any questions you may have on this request.
Mr. Speaker: Any question, any discussion.
If not, let's have the motion on the screen, Artour, please.
The motion reads that the capital budget reallocation request for the space planning project be approved as presented.
May I have a motion, as presented — Garry.
It's been seconded.
Mr. Speaker: Let's move on to item 5 on the agenda, which is 2022-23 quarter 1 financial update.
Quarterly Financial Statements
M. Burke: Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is the quarter 1 report for the period to June 30, 2022. This includes three months of actual results and nine months of projections, with any adjustments for recent changes.
As you'll see at the top of page 1 there, the operating expenses are currently projecting a small underspend of $70,000 on a budget of $92 million. The capital expenditures are currently projecting an underspend of $300,000 on a budget of $9.5 million.
If you look at the bottom of page 1, you'll see the operating expenses are divided into three areas. The first one is members services, which is essentially tracking to budget. There is a slight variance as a result of the new compensation structure impacting the internship program. The second area is the caucus, and that's currently projected to be fully spent. The third area is the administration, which is currently forecasting a $95,000 underspend, mainly driven by staff vacancies.
If we turn to page 2, we can see the detail of the departments line by line. We use the traffic light system, where amber indicates over budget but by less than 5 percent, and red is over budget but by more than 5 percent.
The specific details are on page 3. The one item I wanted to note was the legislative facilities services, which is currently projecting an overspend of $50,000 as a result of the space-planning project.
Turning to the final page there, the capital expenditures are currently forecasting an underspend of $300,000 on a $9.5 million budget. It's mainly as a result of the various projects within the CPD and the IT areas, combining for $252,000. The other area is the Sergeant-at-Arms, which has a $52,000 savings as a result of the purchase of a digital system in the prior fiscal year.
I'm happy to take any questions.
Mr. Speaker: Any questions, any discussion for Mike?
Okay. If not, then this quarter 1 financial update will be posted on the Legislative Assembly website shortly.
All right, then let's move on to item 6, which is any other business.
Is there any other business? No.
If not, then a motion to adjourn.
A Voice: I'll move.
Mr. Speaker: Moved and seconded.
The committee adjourned at 11:52 a.m.
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