Legislative Assembly of Alberta

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Branches of the Legislative Assembly Office (LAO)

The LAO, under the authority of the Speaker, provides nonpartisan, procedural, administrative and educational services to the Members of the Legislative Assembly and the public. These services include:

Office of the Clerk

The Clerk is the chief executive officer of the Legislative Assembly and has authority and responsibility equivalent to that of a deputy minister of a government department. Under the direction of the Speaker the Clerk has both procedural and managerial responsibilities and oversees the delivery of nonpartisan services to Members of the Legislative Assembly and their staff. » more

Communications Services

Communications Services provides strategic planning, consulting and design expertise to the LAO’s internal and external audiences. Communications Services’ responsibilities include:

  • supporting the organizational goals of the LAO and the mandates of all-party committees
  • delivering professional writing, design and web services in the creation of promotional and educational materials
  • co-ordinating social media and media relations and maintaining internal and external websites for the Legislative Assembly
  • assisting with planning, execution and documentation in support of special events

Broadcast Services

Broadcasting Services oversees the accurate and high-quality broadcast production of the House proceedings and soon, of selected committees. Additional responsibilities of Broadcast Services include:

  • managing the communication of information affecting the LAO’s broadcasts, video streams and other video-specific media deliverables
  • developing guidelines and procedures for broadcast operations, both to ensure consistency with contract staff as well as to enhance operations as we move towards fulfilling our mandate of having LAO-owned equipment and in-house staffing to support the production and distribution of video for House and soon-to-be committee proceedings. This includes branding protocols, camera operations and live production protocols
  • the provision of professional video editing capabilities for pre and post production work in support of the Legislative Assembly
  • assisting with the co-ordination of remote broadcasts involving external media

The Daily Routine, including Oral Question Period, is broadcast live on CTV Two beginning at 1:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday during session.

As well, audio and video of House proceedings and audio of committee proceedings is streamed live and can be accessed through Assembly Online. (link to assembly online) These proceedings are archived and available following the end of each sitting day or after each committee meeting for the duration of the current Legislature.

Parliamentary Counsel

The office of Parliamentary Counsel is comprised of the Law Clerk and Director of Interparliamentary Relations, who heads the branch, Senior Parliamentary Counsel and Director of House Services, lawyers and staff. The branch provides legal advice to the Speaker, Members, committees and the LAO on a broad range of legal issues, including contract law, employment law and leasing. The office is also responsible for:

  • providing legal assistance to Members in the performance of their duties
  • serving as corporate counsel to the LAO in executing contracts and other legal agreements
  • defending and asserting the rights, privileges and immunities of Members and the Assembly
  • assisting Members with administering oaths and using their ex officio notarial powers
  • serving as counsel to the committees of the Assembly, including Members’ Services, Legislative Offices, Private Bills and the Legislative Policy Committees
  • aiding Members with the drafting of private Members’ Bills and amendments to all types of Bills as well as providing advice on private Bills
  • approving petitions prior to their presentation in the Assembly
  • preparing official copies of the Bills enacted by the Legislature

In addition, some members of the office serve as Table Officers, providing legal and procedural advice in the Assembly.

Interparliamentary Relations

Interparliamentary Relations is responsible for organizing Alberta´s participation in various parliamentary associations and organizations and managing relations between the Assembly and other Canadian and international parliaments. Responsibilities include:

  • co-ordinating the Legislative Assembly´s participation in conferences, seminars and exchanges of a parliamentary nature in Canada and abroad; and
  • organizing programs for incoming parliamentarians and legislators from around the world.

House Services

House Services oversees House and committee proceedings and is responsible for the provision of procedural advice to the Speaker and Members. In addition, the branch is responsible for the production of various House and committee documents and records, including the official report of the debates of the Assembly and its committees, also known as Alberta Hansard as well as the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings and the Journals.

Other responsibilities include:

  • ensuring that all administrative, financial and support services are available for the effective operation of standing and special committees of the Assembly
  • providing nonpartisan research and issue analysis as directed and in support of the mandates of the committees of the Assembly
  • processing items to be placed on notice on the Order Paper, including Bills, Motions, Written Questions, Motions for Returns and Motions Other than Government Motions

Human Resource Services

Human Resource Services (HRS) provides customized programs and services as well as expert advice to Members, caucuses, constituency offices and LAO branches. HRS is committed to developing and delivering multi-disciplinary human resource strategies that balance the LAO’s people and processes and best support the Legislative Assembly. These services include:

  • development and implementation of multidisciplinary human resource strategies to meet operational objectives
  • leadership and advice on human resources-related issues such as organizational design and planning, recruitment, talent management and development, employee relations, health and wellness, disability management, Member remuneration and staff compensation and classification
  • management of the integrated in-house payroll and HR systems; and ensuring an efficient transition of staff and MLAs at general elections, by-elections and cabinet shuffles

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS) provides all technology services to the Speaker, Members, caucuses, constituency offices and LAO branches. ITS focuses on introducing the latest in technology to best serve the needs of the stakeholders.

Services include:

  • acquiring, deploying and maintaining all hardware and software
  • procuring, contract negotiating and supporting mobile devices
  • co-ordinating and delivering IT training
  • supporting all network infrastructure, including network servers, cabling and wireless facilities
  • enforcing policies and guidelines to provide a secure IT environment
  • providing consultation services to analyze business needs and deploy the best technology solution
  • developing and deploying applications on multiple platforms, including desktop and web
  • supporting enterprise applications with a focus on workflow and integrating with the business processes
  • supporting audiovisual and multimedia applications, including streaming of House and committee proceedings
  • co-ordinating all Member telecommunications services
  • supporting audiovisual and multimedia technology throughout the LAO, including the Chamber and committee rooms. The technology focuses on recording all proceedings for Hansard transcription, audio/video conferencing to support remote participation in meetings, web streaming and archiving and presentation tools.

Financial Management and Administrative Services

Financial Management and Administrative Services (FMAS) supports the Speaker, Members and the LAO by providing financial management and administrative services.

Financial Management services include budget preparation, processing of claims, expenses and allowances (Members, caucuses and branches), transaction compliance review and accounting, preparation of monthly reports for Members and branches, preparation of financial statements and co-ordination of the financial statement audit.

Administrative services include furniture, equipment and supplies procurement, constituency office services (leasing, set-up, moves, et cetera) and property management co-ordination for LAO offices and caucuses. In addition, FMAS is also responsible for:

  • administering the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act as it pertains to the LAO and providing advice and assistance in access and privacy matters for Members and the LAO
  • managing the development and implementation of an information and records management program for the Legislative Assembly and providing advice and support on information records management issues to Members of the Assembly and staff
  • providing risk management and insurance coverage, advice and claims co-ordination services to Members and LAO branches

Visitor, Ceremonial and Security Services (VCSS)

Visitor, Ceremonial and Security Services (VCSS) is responsible for a broad range of services to both Members of the Legislative Assembly and the public. In support of the mandate of the LAO VCSS engages the public to become involved in the parliamentary process through participation in tours of the building, educational programs and special events. As well, VCSS manages all security for the Legislature Chamber and constituency offices. The branch is also the principal adviser to the LAO on matters of ceremony, security and protocol.

In addition, VCSS advises MLAs, constituency staff and LAO employees on security matters, liaises with external intelligence, public safety and security organizations and is responsible for:

  • directing the LAO security access card program
  • overseeing the Page program
  • taking attendance of Members in the House
  • providing the care and custody of the Mace
  • the furniture and fittings of the Assembly
  • directing the operation of the Visitor Centre and offering services to the public, including guided tours, educational programs, special events and gallery bookings

Library Services

Library Services provides nonpartisan, confidential and timely information, news and reference services to Members and their constituency and caucus staff as well as the LAO. Applying both a traditional approach and the latest technology, Library Services is also responsible for:

  • compiling and delivering a customized daily electronic news  service to Members
  • responding to Members’ information needs through subscription databases and e-books as well as an electronic government documents repository and network; collecting and providing access to information on social, economic, environmental and other public policy issues
  • collecting and providing access to information on public policy matters in areas such as health, law, science, business, environment, energy, social issues and education
  • preserving and chronicling information about Alberta’s history and parliamentary heritage, including data about Members and electoral divisions
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