Scott Andrews releases MP expenses to public
A rookie MP who believes his constituents have a right to know how their member spends their hard earned tax dollars, has placed his expenses on his website for all to see.
From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, Scott Andrews wracked up a total of $249,051 in expenses related to his role as Member of Parliament.
This information is currently available on his website, www.scottandrews.ca
“I believe it is necessary to be open and accountable to you,” Andrews wrote in a mail-out to his constituents. “For this reason, I have taken the opportunity to make all my expenditures available on my website.”
Andrews was elected MP for the Riding of Avalon on Oct. 14, 2008.
“ The rules of constituency spending at the House of Commons have been very specific, with an elaborate process for scrutinizing the submission of claims,” he explained.
“However, I fully understand that constituents demand more, and I am quite pleased to provide details of my spending,” he added.
A link on Andrews’ website leads directly to the House of Commons public disclosure statements. Details of constituency spending for the fiscal year 2008-09 are posted.
Andrews’ decision to provide open access to his MP-related expenses has met with nothing but approval from visitors to his Facebook account.
Neil Congdon commented, “A good example for the rest of the MP’s.”
Caren Lynn Sweetapple added to the discussion, “Finally, an MP that actually knows what accountability means.”
Fred Harris called Andrews’ decision an “absolutely required example. It may put us on track to healing the riff between our leaders and the electorate.”
The Avalon MP’s expenditures are presented in two categories, Member’s Office Budget and Goods and Services Provided by the House.
Member’s Office Budget consists of staff and other expenses, travel, advertising and office lease. The House of Commons budget allocation for Andrews’ expenditures in this category was $142,583.
Goods and Services Provided by the House consist of travel, telephone, printing, office supplies, constituency office furniture and equipment improvement fund and other expenses. The House of Commons budget allocation for Andrews’ expenditures in this category was $106,468.
A detailed breakdown of expenses is available on Andrews’ website.
In his mail-out to constituents, Andrews claimed to present “ just the facts.” He stressed his concern for “accountability and transparency when public funds are involved” and his promise “to listen to his constituents.”
Sandwiched between the two statements is his revelation that Prime Minister Stephen
“I fully understand that constituents demand more, and I am quite pleased
to provide details of my spending.”
– MP Scott Andrews
Harper “spent more than a billion dollars on three days of meetings. That’s more,” Andrews reminded readers, “ than any other international summit, more than the entire Olympics, and more than five weeks of the World Cup in South Africa.”
Debate has been ongoing on the role of the Auditor General concerning MP spending at the House of Commons.
Andrews assured his constituents, in an attempt to meet their expectations, that he has “no problem supporting additional measures that fulfil their demand for openness and accountability.” Timely expenditure updates will be posted to Andrews’ website as they become available. The figures for the fiscal year 2009-10 will be made public upon release by the House of Commons.
“I’ve taken this action because I want to focus all my attention on helping constituents with everyday issues they face in their lives and their communities. I do not want to be distracted from that role and, therefore, make my expenditures open for review by those I serve.”
The 64-page document, The House of Commons Individual Member’s Expenditures for the Fiscal Year 2008-2009, includes detailed expenses by all other MP’s, as well.
MP Scott Andrews