18.1Governance and the Legislative Assembly Management Committee
The Legislative Assembly’s statutory framework for management and administration supports parliamentary activity, the evolving program and service requirements of Members, and accountability to British Columbians for public expenditures.
In 1987, the Assembly adopted legislation to create a Board of Internal Economy. Chaired by the Speaker, with representatives from all recognized caucuses, the Board was empowered to establish financial and administrative policies and oversee services for Members.
The establishment of the Board was accompanied by the consolidation of the Legislative Assembly’s financial and administrative services — which had been provided by the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary — under the authority of the Board, resulting in the delivery of such services by the Assembly itself.
The Legislative Assembly Management Committee oversees and sets policies for the Legislative Assembly and its Members, premises, services and employees.
The Legislative Assembly adopted the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 258) in 1992, reinforcing the Board’s powers and duties in a new all-party parliamentary management committee chaired by the Speaker.
The Act provides the Legislative Assembly Management Committee with jurisdiction to oversee the financial and administrative operations of the Legislative Assembly, and sets administrative policies affecting the Assembly and its Members, premises, services and employees. The powers and duties of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee are set out in section 3 of the Act, which provides that the Committee has the legal authority to make policies, regulate the use of resources, and generally deal with any matters necessary for the efficient and effective operation and management of the Legislative Assembly, including the provision of the requisite administrative and 410 financial support to Members in the discharge of their parliamentary and constituency responsibilities.
Pursuant to section 5 of the Act, reports of the Auditor General on the Legislative Assembly are referred to the Legislative Assembly Management Committee for consideration.
At the time of writing, many changes to Legislative Assembly management and governance were underway. The impact of these changes may result in adaptations to the number of permanent officer positions, the structure of executive management positions and other organizational and administrative aspects of Legislative Assembly administration.
18.2Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
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 is also the head of the Legislative Assembly administration and is responsible for its overall direction and management. Subject to any direction of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee, 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. The Speaker also serves as Chair of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. Further information on the Speaker is outlined in Chapter 4 (The Speaker).
18.3Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
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 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.
A list of Clerks of the Legislative Assembly is provided in Appendix I.
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, like other permanent officers of the Legislative Assembly, is appointed under the provincial Constitution Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 66, s. 39), which provides, in part, that “The appointment of all permanent officers of the Legislative Assembly must be made by resolution of the Legislative Assembly….” 411 In an intersessional period, appointment must be made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, which must subsequently be ratified by the Legislative Assembly at its next Session.
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is the Legislative Assembly’s senior permanent officer and the chief procedural and administrative adviser to the Speaker and all Members.
The provincial Constitution Act also lists some of the Clerk’s administrative and procedural duties, including:
- the endorsement of every Act assented to by the Lieutenant Governor (s. 5);
- the custody of all original Acts enacted by the Legislature (s. 6);
- receiving resignations from Members “if there is no Speaker, if the Speaker is absent from British Columbia or if the member in question is the Speaker” (s. 33);
- receiving reports in the absence of the Speaker from the Chief Electoral Officer regarding by-elections or under the Recall and Initiative Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 398), and assuming the duties and powers of the Speaker for the issue and delivery to the Chief Electoral Officer of a warrant for the issue of a writ for a by-election “if there is no Speaker, if the Speaker is absent from British Columbia or if the member in question is the Speaker” (s. 35);
- accounting for fees collected under the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Orders (s. 49); and
- taking an affidavit from a witness who is “not required to be orally examined before a committee” (s. 55, which also provides that this function may be carried out by other persons authorized to take affidavits for use in the Supreme Court).
Under the Act (s. 24), a Member must not vote or sit until they have taken an oath of allegiance “before the Lieutenant Governor, or some other person authorized by the Lieutenant Governor to administer the oath….” This role has traditionally been assigned to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly by the Lieutenant Governor.
The acts that establish the nine independent statutory officer positions in British Columbia also prescribe that it is the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly who administers their oath of office upon appointment.
A number of the responsibilities of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly are also included in the Standing Orders.
STANDING ORDER 92
The Clerk of the House is responsible for the safe-keeping of all the papers and records of the House, and has the direction and control over all the officers and clerks employed in the offices, subject to such orders as he or she may from time to time receive from the Speaker or the House.
STANDING ORDER 93
The Clerk of the House shall place on the Speaker’s Table every morning, previous to the meeting of the House, the order of the proceedings for the day.
Under Standing Order 92, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is responsible for the safekeeping of Legislative Assembly papers and records, and has direction and control over all the Assembly’s Officers and Clerks, subject to orders from the Speaker or the Assembly. The Clerk (or, in the Clerk’s absence, the Deputy Clerk or a Clerk Assistant) presides over the election of the Speaker (Standing Order 11), outlined in detail in Chapter 4 (The Speaker). Standing Order 93 provides that the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is responsible for the preparation and printing of the order of the proceedings for the day. In this regard, the Orders of the Day (Order Paper) outline the business which the Assembly may consider, and the Votes and Proceedings, which later form the Journals, are the official record of Assembly proceedings and decisions.
18.3.1Completion of Assembly Business at the Close of a Session
STANDING ORDER 96
It is the duty of the officers of this House to complete and finish the work remaining at the close of the Session.
After a Session is completed upon prorogation or dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, the Office of the Clerk is responsible for the security and correlation of documents and papers tabled in the Assembly during the Session and the completion of all work relative to the Journals. This rule was first put in place when Assembly officials were, in the main, employed for the Session only. Today, many Assembly officials and employees work full-time and, although the workload is heavier in a sitting period, it remains substantial even during recesses, and is best described as ongoing rather than sessional.
The Table Officers of the Legislative Assembly undertake procedural and administrative duties to support Chamber operations, some of which are specified by the Standing Orders. Their duties include acting as impartial procedural advisers to the Speaker and to Members; assisting any Member on questions of order or proceedings of the Legislative Assembly and its committees; and advising on any other matter relating to the duties and responsibilities of a Member.413
Clerks who are designated as Table Officers may be appointed as permanent officers by resolution of the Legislative Assembly, or may otherwise be designated as a Table Officer without permanent officer status, by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.
18.4.1Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees
The Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees is a role that combines two distinct areas of responsibility. The position is responsible for providing procedural advice and services to the Speaker and other Presiding Officers, Members, parliamentary committees and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. The incumbent also has Table duties in the Legislative Assembly and in Committees of the Whole, and is responsible at the executive management level for a number of Legislative Assembly departments. The second element of the position, Clerk of Committees, was established pursuant to Practice Recommendation 4, which accompanied the committee report containing the 1985 amendments to the Standing Orders. The Clerk of Committees serves as the Assembly’s Chief Committee Clerk. The Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees is a permanent officer, appointed by the Legislative Assembly.
STANDING ORDER 94
It shall be the duty of the Law Clerk of the House to:
(1) Revise before third reading all amendments made by any Committee.
(2) Report to the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Standing Orders and Private Bills:
(a) Any provisions in Private Bills which are at variance with general Acts on the subjects to which said Bills relate; or with the usual provisions of Private Acts on similar subjects;
(b) Any provisions of special attention;
(c) Any provisions that do not appear to have been contemplated in the petition for the Bill;
(d) And generally to facilitate the work of the Committee.
(3) To revise, print, and put marginal notes upon all Bills, and be generally responsible for the correctness of all Bills in their various states as provided in Standing Orders 87 and 88.
(4) To see that the annual volume of Statutes is prepared and printed.
The Law Clerk is responsible for providing legal and procedural advice and services to the Speaker and other Presiding Officers, Members, parliamentary committees, the 414 Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Assembly departments. The Law Clerk reviews and, on occasion, assists with drafting Private Members’ bills; reviews public bills once introduced; drafts motions to amend bills; and ensures that bills are correctly printed (or reprinted with any amendments adopted in a Committee of the Whole). The Law Clerk serves as a Table Officer.
Standing Order 94 provides for a number of duties of the Law Clerk which complement Standing Orders 87 and 88. Standing Order 94(1) and (3) provide authority to revise, for form, clarity or accuracy, any amendments made in committee before third reading; to revise, print and put marginal notes upon all bills; and to be responsible for the correctness of all bills at their various stages of consideration by the Assembly. In practice, marginal notes have been replaced by explanatory notes, and are included during the drafting of the bill. The annual Statutes of British Columbia are prepared by the Office of Legislative Counsel within the Government of British Columbia, and are published by the Queen’s Printer.
The certification procedure involves inserting amendments into bills, certifying as to their correctness, and communicating with the Office of Legislative Counsel at all stages. All bills, after being certified, are required to be returned after printing to the Office of the Clerk to be maintained as part of the Legislative Assembly’s permanent records.
Standing Order 94(2) outlines the duties of the Law Clerk regarding private bills. The Law Clerk is responsible for reporting to the Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills (the Committee’s previous name is reflected in the Standing Order) any provision in a private bill at variance with general acts or with the usual provisions of private acts on similar subjects, any provisions requiring special attention, and provisions that do not appear to have been contemplated in the petition for the bill. The procedures for private bills are detailed in Chapter 16 (Private Bills).
STANDING ORDER 95
(1) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be responsible for the safe-keeping of the Mace, furniture, moveable property and fittings of the House.
(2) The Sergeant-at-Arms has the direction and control over all messengers, pages and other employees, subject to such orders as he or she may receive from the Speaker or the House.
(3) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall preserve order in the galleries, corridors, lobbies and precincts.
Under the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act (s. 4), subject to any direction of the Committee, the Speaker is responsible for the provision of security within the Legislative Precinct and the management of the use of the Precinct by Members, staff and the public.
The Sergeant-at-Arms is a permanent officer of the Legislative Assembly who is responsible for the administration of security and facility services on the Legislative Precinct. Some of the duties of the Sergeant-at-Arms, including those pertaining to the maintenance of order in the Legislative Assembly, are outlined in Standing Orders 19, 20, 24 and 95.
The general duties of the Sergeant-at-Arms relating to proceedings of the Legislative Assembly include accompanying the Speaker at the opening and closing of each sitting with the Mace; maintaining order and effecting security in the galleries and immediate environs of the Chamber; keeping lobbies and passages clear, as directed by the Speaker; and taking into custody such person or persons as may be ordered by the Assembly or the Speaker.
Under the direction of the Speaker, the Sergeant-at-Arms controls entrances to the Chamber and Speaker’s Corridor; regulates the admission of authorized persons to the Press Gallery and public galleries; enforces the prohibition of unauthorized individuals seeking admission to the Chamber or the Speaker’s Corridor; and oversees the distribution of the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings, bills and other material as directed by the Speaker or the Legislative Assembly.
As an extension of the duty to preserve order, the Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for safety and security matters throughout the Legislative Precinct and grounds. By longstanding agreement, this function includes areas occupied by both the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council. The Sergeant-at-Arms maintains a close liaison with local police forces and other security agencies, and ensures effective coordination when assistance is required to deal with security incidents.
18.6Legislative Assembly Departments
The Legislative Assembly employs individuals across a number of administrative departments to provide professional non-partisan services to support the institution and its Members in a variety of operational areas, including procedural advice, strategic management, administration, security and information services. The operations of these departments are overseen at an executive management level by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, the Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Executive Financial Officer. The day-to-day operations of each department are managed by a director or equivalent.416
The Legislative Assembly employs individuals across a number of administrative departments to provide professional non-partisan services to support the institution and its Members in a variety of operational areas.
18.6.1Capital Planning and Development
The Capital Planning and Development department oversees the planning and execution of capital facility projects in support of the Legislative Assembly’s long-term capital plan and the related planning and work. This includes support to ensure the safety and security of Members, staff and the public while on the Legislative Precinct, and to ensure the long-term maintenance, restoration and rehabilitation of the Parliament Buildings and other Precinct infrastructure. The department also provides oversight, training and support to the Legislative Assembly departments in the areas of procurement, contract management and business continuity planning.
18.6.2Digital Information Office
The Digital Information Office is responsible for the Legislative Assembly’s digital information strategy, optimizing strategic management and use of the Assembly’s information assets. The Office oversees development, implementation, monitoring and continuous improvement of an information governance program, achieving organizational compliance with all legislative, regulatory and policy directives. Through project management, the Office supports all Assembly departments in the development and delivery of innovative information products and services and effective information management systems, maximizing use of, access to and value of Assembly information.
The Financial Services department supports Members, their constituency offices and Legislative Assembly departments through the provision of advice and services on budgets; financial management, planning, policies and reporting; accounting; risk management; internal controls and processes; administrative procedures and invoice and allowance processing, including for Members’ constituency offices; and public disclosure of Members’ compensation and expenses.417
STANDING ORDER 120
The debates of the Legislative Assembly in the House and all Committees of the House shall be recorded by means of magnetic-tape recorders or other suitable recording devices in accordance with the following rules:
(1) The magnetic-tape record of the said debates shall be under the control and custody of the Speaker and no duplicate or copy of the magnetic-tape record shall be made without the express authority of the Speaker.
(2) The public use, employment, publication, transmission, or broadcast outside of the House of the magnetic-tape record of the said debates, or any portion thereof, is prohibited without the express authority of the Speaker.
(3) Any person who, without the express authority of the Speaker, offends against sections 1 and 2 of this Order may be considered in contempt of the House.
(4) When any question arises in the House as to the words spoken by a Member in its said debates of the House and all Committees of the House, the Speaker may use the magnetic-tape record as evidence of the actual words spoken by that Member.
(5) An official report, substantially verbatim, of the said debates in the House and Committee of the Whole shall be prepared under the supervision of the Speaker and a copy thereof shall be distributed:
(a) without charge to every Member, and
(b) to any other person at a charge to be fixed by Order in Council.
(6) A Member may make no alterations, additions or deletions to the report which would in any way tend to change the context of that which has been spoken.
The “Official Report of Debates” (also commonly called “Hansard,” after the family printing firm which published the debates of the U.K. House of Commons in the 19th century) is a transcript of speeches by Members during proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, and not necessarily of all the business transacted by the Assembly. A distinct Official Report of Debates is produced for each sitting of the Legislative Assembly.
The Official Report of Debates is distinct from the “Official Record of Proceedings” — which contains the minutes of Assembly proceedings, matters considered, and decisions taken, but without Members’ comments or reasons cited in speeches — prepared by 418 the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and issued under the authority of the Speaker in the Assembly’s Votes and Proceedings, which are published as the Journals at the conclusion of a Session.
The Legislative Assembly initially did not provide for an Official Report of Debates, although debates were covered in newspapers. In April 1970, the Assembly amended the Standing Orders to authorize the recording and reporting of its debates (see B.C. Journals, April 3, 1970, pp. 238-9).
Standing Order 120 provides that the Official Report of Debates is the “substantially verbatim” report of all speakers in Assembly debates. The report omits repetitions and redundancies, and corrects obvious mistakes (which would likely remain present in television and audio broadcasts), using the established practice of the U.K. House of Commons and other parliamentary jurisdictions. Erskine May notes:
The Official Report is a full report, in the first person, of all speakers alike, a full report being defined as one “which, though not strictly verbatim, is substantially the verbatim report, with repetitions and redundancies omitted and with obvious mistakes corrected, but which on the other hand leaves out nothing that adds to the meaning of the speech or illustrates the argument.” (25th ed., §7.19, p. 151; see also House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 3rd ed., p. 270).
Hansard Services publishes official reports and broadcasts of Legislative Assembly and parliamentary committee proceedings. In 1970, the first Official Report of Debates was published when a limited report of House debates was prepared. It became a full report in 1972 when the debates of the Committee of Supply and Committees of the Whole were included.
In 1991, live television coverage of all proceedings in the Chamber began. Webcasting services were introduced in 2003 for Chamber proceedings. In 2005, television and live streaming of proceedings in the Douglas Fir Committee Room were added for concurrent proceedings of the Legislative Assembly designated to take place in Section A. At the same time, webstreaming was extended to audio webcasts of the public proceedings of parliamentary committees. Proceedings of Section C of the Committee of Supply in the Birch Committee Room have been broadcast since Section C was first created in 2012.
Live and archived webcasts are available on each parliamentary committee’s web page on the Legislative Assembly’s website for all public meetings, whether they are held on the Legislative Precinct or in any other community to which a committee may travel.
Hansard Services produces the live television broadcast of Legislative Assembly sittings. The daily Oral Question Period and other proceedings are rebroadcast in the evening after adjournment. The audio of parliamentary committees is broadcast on the legislative television channel. Additionally, these broadcasts are streamed as live and 419 on-demand webcasts. All Hansard Services products are available on the Legislative Assembly’s website.
Although Members may make no substantive changes in the Official Report of Debates, they are encouraged to advise Hansard Services if they believe they have been inaccurately reported. For this reason, a preliminary draft transcript called the Blues is produced for each sitting. The Blues are posted on the Legislative Assembly’s website on an ongoing basis throughout a sitting, with the complete Blues typically available online approximately one hour after adjournment. A Member’s proposed corrections should be forwarded to Hansard Services no later than the day following the debate, so that publication deadlines may be met.
In 2018, Hansard Services discontinued print publication of transcripts. The Official Report of Debates is now produced in a digitally certified Portable Document Format (PDF) and published online in an archival format to ensure long-term preservation. When corrections to the Report are required, the PDF is recertified and republished. For reference, a schedule of all corrections is embedded in the document as an attachment to the PDF.
It is of benefit, for the accuracy of the Report, that Hansard Services receive proper names, titles, technical terms and quotations referred to in Members’ speeches. In particular, Hansard Services endeavours to accurately represent Indigenous words and phrases when these are spoken in the Legislative Assembly and appreciates the assistance of Members in identifying the correct language. Information on the use of a language other than English in debate is outlined in Chapter 6 (Order and Decorum).
18.6.5Human Resource Operations
The Human Resource Operations department provides human resource and payroll services to meet the needs of and support the Legislative Assembly’s people resources. The department’s core functions are the administration of payroll and benefits, including for Members and their legislative and constituency office staff; human resources advisory services; recruitment and staffing; and employee safety, health and wellness. Human Resources Operations may provide general assistance and training to Members and their staff on administrative policies and budgets for Members’ legislative and constituency offices, and caucuses, although Members manage human resources within recognized caucuses and within their constituency offices.
The Information Technology department provides reliable and secure information technology and support services to Members, their legislative and constituency office staff, and Legislative Assembly employees, and ensures ready online accessibility of Assembly information for citizens. The department provides support for computer, network, wireless and telecommunications matters. This includes a Help Desk to serve as a primary point of contact for any issues with computer hardware and software, 420 as well as network connectivity; network services, including email and document storage; and web support for the Legislative Assembly’s public website, the Intranet and other web-based resources, such as the Constituency Office Portal. The department also provides support for technology-related projects, which may include identifying and installing software and hardware.
18.6.7Legislative Assembly Protective Services
The Legislative Assembly Protective Services provide a safe, secure and accessible environment for Members, staff and the public within the Legislative Precinct 24 hours a day. This enables the Assembly, parliamentary committees and Members to effectively and safely conduct their business without interference or interruption. The Legislative Assembly Protective Services administer access card security passes for the Parliament Buildings; provide first aid services; conduct emergency preparedness exercises and are responsible for the Legislative Assembly’s emergency response plans; and control parking on the Legislative Precinct. They also provide advice and assist with security matters concerning Members’ constituency offices.
18.6.8Legislative Facility Services
The Legislative Facility Services department ensures timely, cost-effective maintenance and professional building services to upkeep the Parliament Buildings and other Precinct infrastructure to ultimately support the effective work of the Legislative Assembly, its committees and Members. Building maintenance services provided by the department include janitorial, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, and moving services. Grounds maintenance services are also provided, including oversight of the floral and botanical arrangements throughout the Legislative Precinct.
STANDING ORDER 116
The Legislative Librarian shall maintain a catalogue of the Library and shall file an annual report to the House, through the Speaker, as soon as practicable after the opening of each Session.
STANDING ORDER 117
No person shall be admitted to the Library during a Sitting of the House, except the Lieutenant-Governor, the Members of the Executive Council and Legislative Assembly and their personally introduced guests, the Officers of the House and such other persons as may receive written permission from the Speaker.
STANDING ORDER 118
During a Session of Parliament no books belonging to the Library shall be taken out of the building, except by the authority of the Speaker, or upon receipt given by a Member of the House.
STANDING ORDER 119
The management and control of the Legislative Library shall rest with the Speaker.
The Legislative Library provides library, information, research and reference services to Members, staff and officials. Created in 1863 to serve the Legislature of the Colony of Vancouver Island, it became the Legislative Library of British Columbia when the province joined Canada in 1871. The Library is housed in a 1915 addition to the Parliament Buildings, widely considered one of the most beautiful parts of the Legislative Precinct, with its unique architectural grandeur. The Legislative Library Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 260) provides for management and staff and for the acquisition of collection materials. Government officials, private researchers and the public may use the Library, although access and services for external users are limited when the Assembly is sitting. The Legislative Library also provides archival records storage for Members’ personal, political and constituency records.
Until the mid-1980s, jurisdiction for the Library was shared between the Speaker and the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary, with the former in charge when the Legislative Assembly was sitting and the latter during non-sitting periods. In 1985, the Library became a dedicated Assembly service. Standing Orders 116 to 119, adopted in 1985 as part of a number of Standing Order amendments, instruct the Legislative Librarian to maintain a catalogue and submit an annual report to the Speaker for presentation to the Assembly (Standing Order 116), restrict the Library’s use during Assembly sittings (Standing Orders 117 and 118), and vest its management and control with the Speaker (Standing Order 119).
The Library houses an estimated 400,000 print documents, with an extensive collection of B.C. government publications dating back to Confederation. The collection has a complete set of B.C. parliamentary publications since 1851, historical newspapers and magazines, and books on Canadian and B.C. history, politics, economics, law and parliamentary procedure.
The Library has made digital services a strategic priority, with Internet-based search tools to connect Members, staff and Assembly officials with information on an around-the-clock basis, and provides access to digital products not freely accessible elsewhere as well as comprehensive parliamentary and policy information. The Library catalogue is available online as a searchable database containing records of most items in its holdings. Commercial databases are licensed to access current and historical B.C. statutes and 422 regulations, regional and national papers, and scholarly journals. Other digital services include emailed articles from community newspapers, historical election results and B.C. political information. Digitization partnerships with university and other provincial libraries provide cost-effective access to parliamentary publications for Assembly users as well as schools and external researchers.
18.6.10Office of the Clerk
The Office of the Clerk supports the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly in carrying out assigned procedural and administrative duties. The Office provides procedural and administrative advice for Presiding Officers and Members, records Assembly decisions for each sitting, assists with the certification and presentation of bills for Royal Assent, and manages and retains parliamentary records, including all petitions and documents presented in the Legislative Assembly. The Office of the Clerk oversees the preparation of the Orders of the Day and the Votes and Proceedings as well as the Journals. The Office also assists with protocol arrangements for legislative functions and ceremonies and parliamentary visits.
18.6.11Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms
The Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms supports the Sergeant-at-Arms in carrying out duties pertaining to proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, including maintaining custody of bills prior to their introduction, and the distribution of legislative documents in the Chamber. When the Legislative Assembly is sitting, the Office provides services to Members through Chamber Attendants in the Chamber, as well as through Corridor Attendants and Gallery Attendants in the Chamber’s environs. The Office also provides services for meeting room bookings and reservations of gallery tickets for Members’ guests for Oral Question Period.
18.6.12Parliamentary Committees Office
The Parliamentary Committees Office supports the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees in providing procedural, operational, communications and research services to the Speaker, other Presiding Officers and Members to support the deliberative processes and general operations of the Assembly and its parliamentary committees — i.e., select standing and special committees. Each parliamentary committee is assigned a Clerk, who serves as the committee’s principal coordinator and adviser regarding parliamentary procedure, committee operations and public consultation processes. Each parliamentary committee is assisted by a Researcher, who prepares any necessary backgrounders, briefing notes and summaries of evidence for inquiries.423
18.6.13Parliamentary Dining Room
The Parliamentary Dining Room serves Members, staff and the public. It is open weekdays for breakfast and lunch and remains open until the Legislative Assembly’s adjournment on sitting days. Visitors are welcome, with the presentation of valid photo identification at the entrance to the Parliament Buildings, although public access is limited between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on days when the Legislative Assembly is sitting.
18.6.14Parliamentary Education Office
The Parliamentary Education Office provides Members, students and educators, and the public with parliamentary education and outreach services and resources. The department manages educational programs, including the B.C. Legislative Internship Program and the B.C. Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy. The department also oversees the Parliamentary Tour Office and the Parliamentary Gift Shop, and provides programs and tools to promote understanding of the work of the Assembly, the role of Members, parliamentary democracy, and the history and significance of the Parliament Buildings.