The Legislative Assembly Service (LAS) provides the administration and support services required for the operation of the Legislative Assembly. The LAS was formally established in 2005 by The Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, which has since been updated as The Legislative Assembly Act, 2007. It is overseen by the Speaker and consists of the Clerks at the Table, the Legislative Library, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, and several central and support services.
The Legislative Assembly Service (LAS) is organized into four divisions which are overseen by the Clerk:
- Legislative Library
- Parliamentary Counsel and Precinct
- Parliamentary Support
- Member and Corporate Services
The Clerk, in his direction and leadership of the Legislative Assembly Service, is assisted by an Executive team comprised of the heads of the LAS’s divisions: the Legislative Librarian, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, the Principal Clerk, and the Executive Director of Member and Corporate Services.
Office of the Clerk
The Clerk is the chief permanent Officer of the Legislative Assembly. The Clerk is responsible to the Speaker for the administrative and other support services required for the operation of the Legislative Assembly and the support of its Members.
As the permanent head of the Legislative Assembly Service, the Clerk is responsible for its strategic direction and financial planning. The Clerk provides Members with expert, impartial, and confidential procedural advice on all aspects of parliamentary proceedings, privilege, rules, items of business, and practices of the Assembly.
The Clerk is responsible for the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly and its committees. During sittings of the Assembly, the Clerk ensures that all forms of business pass through each of the required procedural steps. The Office of the Clerk prepares, processes, and maintains all legislative records and documents of the Assembly.
The Office of the Clerk also provides support to the Board of Internal Economy. Duties include advising the Speaker on all Board matters and implementing the Board’s Directives through the Legislative Assembly Service.
The Clerk is supported in his various roles by the Office of the Clerk. This includes the Principal Clerk, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, the Administrative and Chamber Services Coordinator, the Manager of Interparliamentary Relations and Protocol, and the Legislative Pages.
The Legislative Library’s purpose is to foster Saskatchewan’s parliamentary process by providing confidential, non-partisan, leading-edge information services to the Legislative Assembly, to develop and maintain the legislative and research collection, and to ensure that the collection remains accessible to parliamentarians, the public service, and the people of Saskatchewan. The Library collection dates back to 1876 and has a special emphasis on government, politics, current events, and history and contains many items that may not be available elsewhere. The Library is open to the public and is a regular stop on the Legislative Building tour.
The Legislative Library Division is headed by the Legislative Librarian and is comprised of three branches: Members’ Services, Reference and Circulation Services, and Support Services. Library Members’ Services works one-on-one with Members and legislative officials to design personalized information services that are delivered on an ongoing basis. Reference and Circulation Services provide traditional library services to all library clients, responding to requests for information, teaching clients how to find information on their own, and lending materials. The Support Services branch manages the Saskatchewan Government Publications deposit program and library catalogue software, as well as acquiring, processing, and cataloguing library materials.
The Library submits an annual report to the Legislative Assembly pursuant to section 80(3) of The Legislative Assembly Act, 2007, and in accordance with the Rules and Procedures of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.
Parliamentary Counsel and Precinct
This division is comprised of three branches:
Law Clerk & Parliamentary Counsel
The Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel provides confidential legal services to Members of the Legislative Assembly. The legal services are non-partisan and are independent from the legal advice provided to Executive Government Cabinet by the Ministry of Justice. The Law Clerk provides services to Members that include interpreting statutes, drafting legislation (Bills and House amendments), and acting as legal counsel to legislative committees. The Parliamentary Counsel also provides legal services of a general nature, strategic legal advice and legal opinions to the Speaker, the Clerk, the Officers, the Board of Internal Economy, and the branches of the Legislative Assembly Service.
The Visitor Services branch provides a warm welcome for visitors to the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. Visitor Services employees conduct tours of the Legislative Building in both official languages, deliver educational programs, coordinate school visits with MLAs, facilitate parliamentary programs for members of the public service, and protocol tours. The branch is also responsible for developing educational materials and coordinating special events and programs.
Sergeant-at-Arms Office (Security Services)
The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for the security of the Assembly. The Sergeant–at–Arms is the chief security officer charged with the overall security of the Legislative Building including the Members, all visitors and employees in the building, and the grounds immediately surrounding the building. This branch conducts investigations, provides security advice, and enforces security policy and procedures.
The Parliamentary Support division brings together the branches that directly support the proceedings of the Assembly. The division is led by the Principal Clerk and is made up of the Committees branch, Communications and Technology Services, Journals, and Parliamentary Publications.
The Committees branch is responsible for providing committee support to the standing committees of the Legislative Assembly including procedural advice, research on public policy issues, and the management of administrative and operational committee records. Committee support employees write committee reports, organize public hearings, maintain committee records, and prepare minutes, agendas, and schedules.
Communications and Technology Services
The Communication and Technology Services (CTS) branch is responsible for two functions. The first is information technology and information services for the Legislative Assembly Service, the Officers, and Members. This support includes providing and maintaining network infrastructure, supporting desktop and mobile devices, and providing application software and internet services. CTS’s second function is broadcast services, which includes producing and broadcasting the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly and committees, as well as maintaining and supporting the audio and video equipment for the Chamber, committee room, and mobile broadcast.
The Journals unit is responsible for producing several time-sensitive official documents, such as the Votes and Proceedings, and the Order Paper. They also create the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, which is the permanent official record of the Assembly’s proceedings.
The Parliamentary Publications branch produces the Debates and Proceedings (Hansard), which is the verbatim record of the Assembly’s proceedings, debates, and actions. Parliamentary Publications is also responsible for the Legislative Assembly Service’s corporate communications, which includes managing the Assembly’s website and social media content and the LAS’s intranet site, as well as setting and maintaining organizational communication standards.
Member and Corporate Services
This division is centered on service delivery and includes Financial Services, Member Services, and Human Resources. This division administers the payment of MLA salaries, allowances, expenses, and benefits. Additionally, the division provides human resource management and financial, administrative, and purchasing services to the Legislative Assembly Service, and to the Officers of the Legislative Assembly.
The Financial Services branch is responsible for providing financial and administrative services to the Legislative Assembly, its Members and the branches of the Legislative Assembly Service. This includes budgeting, forecasting, appropriation control, and internal control systems. The branch records and monitors asset purchases for the LAS and for Members. Financial Services also assists many of the Officers with their accounts payable, budgeting, forecasting and purchasing requirements and financial statements.
The Member Services branch administers Members’ payments for travel, telephone, and constituency expenses, and coordinates all payroll services for the Legislative Assembly Service, Members of the Legislative Assembly, caucus offices, constituency offices, and legislative Officers.
Human Resources is responsible for policy development, organizational development, workforce planning, employee learning and development, performance management, employee relations, and administration of employee benefits. Upon request, the Human Resources branch also provides support on human resource issues to Members of the Legislative Assembly, caucuses, and the Officers of the Legislative Assembly.