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Role and Operation of the Office

The Office of the National Assembly is established under the Act respecting the National Assembly. It has managerial, regulatory and approval functions and carries out any other function assigned to it by the National Assembly.

More specifically, the Office

  • approves the budget estimates prepared by the President of the National Assembly;
  • prescribes the rules governing the Assembly’s expenditures;
  • adopts the Assembly’s administrative organization plan and fixes the maximum number of staff required to ensure the provision of services;
  • fixes recruitment and remuneration standards and scales for MNA and House Office staff as well as the total payroll budget necessary to remunerate such staff;
  • determines the allowances payable to MNAs for transportation, constituency office expenses and, where applicable, accommodation expenses while in Québec City;
  • determines the monies that may be allocated to political parties for research and support purposes;
  • determines, by regulation, the personnel and the financial resources to be allocated to parliamentary committees and subcommittees;
  • approves the organization and use of the Assembly’s premises, as well as the use of its equipment and services;
  • has a power of derogation, when exercising its regulatory power, and may make any regulation it deems necessary for the management of the Assembly;
  • fixes, by regulation, the conditions, rates and terms for the payment of defence costs and judicial costs arising out of proceedings brought against an MNA or a former MNA by a third person for
    • any act or omission in the performance of their duties of office; or
    • expenses incurred for counsel when the MNA or former MNA is summoned to appear at an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry or judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings in connection with their duties of office.

Operation of the Office

The members of the Office meet whenever conducting the business of the Office of the National Assembly requires it.

Five members (six for the duration of 42nd Legislature), including the Chair, constitute a quorum of the Office and decisions are made by a majority vote. In the event of a tie-vote, the Chair has a casting vote. Only members of the Office may take part in discussions, unless the Chair expressly gives a non-member the right to speak.

Meetings of the Office are held in camera. Nonetheless, since 2020, the following documents have been made available to the public within days of a meeting:

  • the orders of business;
  • the decisions and regulations made;
  • the documents relating to accountability.

Documents that include personal information or information which, if disclosed, could be prejudicial to the Assembly (for example: information relating to security, information protected by professional secrecy or financial information which, if disclosed, could hinder contract negotiations, cause the Assembly to suffer a loss or confer an advantage on a third party.

When circumstances require it, a meeting of the Office may be held by means allowing all participants to communicate remotely.

Office meetings have been paperless since June 2013.

Composition

The President of the National Assembly is the Chair of the Office. In addition to the Chair, the Office is composed of nine other MNAs. Vice-Presidents may take part, without the right to vote, in the proceedings of the Office.

Members

All members of the Office, except the Chair, are designated by MNAs in the following manner:

  • five from the Government party;
  • four from the Official Opposition party or, if several opposition parties exist,
    • three from the Official Opposition party and one from the party among the remaining opposition parties having obtained the greatest number of seats or, in the case of seat equality, from that having obtained the greatest number of valid votes.

Composition of the 42nd Legislature’s Office


For the duration of the 42nd Legislature, the Office of the National Assembly will be composed of 11 other MNAs designated in the following manner:

  • six from the Government party;
  • three from the Official Opposition party and one from each of the other opposition parties represented in the Assembly following the October 2018 election.

Substitute Members

Each party may designate the same number of MNAs as substitute members of the Office; a substitute member may act in the place of a member who is absent or unable to act.