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:
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 Deputy Clerk, and the Chief Executive 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 Deputy 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 Saskatchewan Legislative Library furthers the parliamentary process in Saskatchewan by providing confidential, non-partisan leading edge information services to the Legislative Assembly, developing and maintaining the legislative and research collection, and ensuring the collection’s present and future accessibility to parliamentarians, the public service, and the people of Saskatchewan.
The Library has statutory provincial responsibility as the permanent depository of Saskatchewan government publications. All Saskatchewan government agencies are required to deposit copies of their publications with the Legislative Library.
The Legislative Library is the oldest library in the province. The collection dates back to 1876. The Library’s name was “North-West Government Library” prior to the establishment of the Province of Saskatchewan.
The collection specializes in legislative and government publications, public policy, current affairs, news media, politics and Saskatchewan history. It contains many items that might not be available elsewhere.
The Library is open to the public and is a regular stop on the Legislative Building tour.
Office of the Legislative Librarian
The Office of the Legislative Librarian is responsible for library administration, leadership, and management.
Reference and Circulation Services
Reference and Circulation Services deliver library services to clients including research assistance, personalized library services, client orientations, and lending materials.
Support Services operates library acquisitions, cataloguing, library catalogue software, collection management, and the Saskatchewan Government Publications deposit program.
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.
Parliamentary Education and Heritage
The Parliamentary Education and Heritage branch provides a warm welcome for visitors to the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. Parliamentary Education and Heritage 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 provides advisory, information, and communication services which support the Legislative Assembly’s proceedings. The division is led by the Deputy Clerk. The division provides parliamentary expertise, research, and advice regarding the Assembly’s rules, procedures, and practices, as well as procedural educational materials. The division also produces official records of the Legislative Assembly’s work.
The Procedural Services branch provides support to the Assembly in the form of official records, procedural advice and committee support, and broadcast expertise.
The team produces several time-sensitive Assembly documents, such as the Votes and Proceedings and the Order Paper. The branch is also responsible for creating the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, which is the permanent official record of the Assembly’s proceedings.
Procedural Services supports the standing committees of the Legislative Assembly with procedural advice and research on public policy issues. Procedural Services employees write committee reports, organize public hearings, and maintain committee records. They also undertake projects to improve parliamentary processes such as procedural education, procedural operations, and table research.
Finally, Procedural Services produces and broadcasts the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly and committees. The Broadcast team also maintains and supports the audio and video equipment for the Chamber, committee room, and mobile broadcast.
Hansard and Communications Services
The Parliamentary Publications branch produces the Debates and Proceedings (Hansard), which is the verbatim record of the Assembly’s debates. The Hansard team also creates speaker and subject indexes.
The branch also provides corporate communications services, such as managing the Assembly’s website, social media channels, member photography, and various reports, as well as setting and maintaining organizational communication standards.
Member and Corporate Services
This division is predicated on client-centered service delivery and is comprised of four separate branches: Financial Services, Member Services, Human Resources, and Information Technology Services. This division is responsible for the provision of internal support functions to the LAS, as well as the payment of MLA indemnity, allowances and expenses (travel and living, accommodation, telephone and related); MLA and constituency assistant payroll and benefit administration; constituency office procurement and furnishings; and caucus payments. The division also provides support to the LAS on records management, and corporate planning and development. In addition, Member and Corporate Services provides human resource management and financial, administrative and purchasing services to the offices of 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 LAS. This includes budgeting, forecasting and appropriation control functions for revenue and expenditures and maintaining adequate internal control systems. This area also regulates the purchasing function of the LAS and records and monitors fixed asset purchases for the LAS and for Members. In addition, this branch assists the Offices of the Ombudsman and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner, Advocate for Children and Youth, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar with their accounts payable, budgeting, forecasting, purchasing requirements and financial statements.
The Member Services branch is responsible for coordination of all service elements to the Members of the Legislative Assembly. This includes administration of Members’ expense provision payments for travel, telephone, and related constituency services and constituency assistants’ expenses, Member relations, and coordination of all payroll services for the Members of the Legislative Assembly, LAS, caucus offices, constituency offices and legislative officers.
The Human Resource Services branch is responsible for administering all components of human resource service delivery (e.g. policy development, organizational development, workforce planning, learning and development, performance management, employee relations and administration of employee benefits). Upon request, the Human Resources branch will provide support in relation to Human Resource issues to Members of the Legislative Assembly, Caucus and the offices of the Officers of the Legislative Assembly.
Information and Technology Services
The Information Technology Services (ITS) team is responsible for information technology and information services for the LAS, the Officers, and Members. This support includes providing and maintaining network infrastructure, supporting desktop and mobile devices, and providing application software and internet services.