During my Senate campaign in 2012, I spoke about the need for improved accountability to make the Senate more effective. Transparency is an important component of accountability, and it’s what Canadians and Albertans deserve and expect. Although the Senate publishes aggregate quarterly expense reports for senators, more needs to be done to help Albertans understand the work that is being done on their behalf. For this reason, I asked my staff to prepare detailed quarterly reports that I could post online.

The Senate’s current accounting procedures and systems do not easily lend themselves to this type of reporting, so I have created a format that I hope makes the information easy to understand. I will continue to refine my approach and work with the staff in Senate Administration to ensure that all public disclosures simply and clearly provide necessary and relevant information to taxpayers.

Finally, a note regarding travel. Although Ottawa is where I do part of my job, perhaps the most important part is done back home in Alberta. As an elected senator, I feel a special obligation to remain engaged with Albertans, and I view regular trips home as supporting my responsibility to represent their interests in Ottawa. That means travelling 6678 km round-trip when Parliament is in session. Distance is an important consideration when evaluating the expenses of senators living far from Ottawa. I make an effort to reduce travel costs where possible and my office uses Air Canada flight passes that offer travel cost predictability and reduce the cost of flights by as much as 50%. To view the Senate’s Travel Policy, please click here (PDF).

To view my official quarterly expenditure reports from the Senate, please click here.

As noted in the Senate’s Quarterly Expenditure Reports, there could be timing discrepancies due to the date claims are processed. Although I have tried to minimize this to the greatest extent possible, the amounts in my reports and the Senate’s report may not exactly align. The detailed expense report for each quarter is posted by the last day of the month following the end of that quarter (e.g., the report for June to August will be posted by September 30th). This allows time for expenses submitted at the end of the quarter to be processed by the Senate Administration before being publicly disclosed.

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