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Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, last spring I had the honour of tabling the audit of the Senate's statement of financial position, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers as of March 31, 2009. The audit prepared the foundation for an audit of our financial statement, which was conducted for the first time ever this year. The first annual external audit of the Senate's complete financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2010, was conducted by KPMG, which has been retained on a three-year contract through a competitive process.

Honourable senators, I am pleased to report that the resulting opinion was that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position, results of operations and cash flows of the Senate of Canada. These financial statements presented by the Clerk and the Director of Finance fulfill the requirements in the Senate Administrative Rules that, "The Clerk of the Senate shall prepare and lay before the Senate annually a statement of the accounts of the Senate."

While the financial statements are presented in a format recommended by the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada's accounting standards, the Senate actually chose to use generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector as the basis for the financial statements. Generally accepted accounting principles are felt to be more acceptable to the general public, as they are prepared by an independent party, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and respect rigorous corporate standards.

KPMG praised the Senate Administration for the culture of diligence that has been established in its financial processes, noting that their audit went extraordinarily well for a first-ever audit of financial statements.

The auditors did not find any errors during the audit that required them to recommend any adjustments to the financial information they reviewed, nor were there any unadjusted differences that might suggest control deficiencies. In fact, the auditors did not need to prepare a management letter to our Clerk, as they did not uncover any control deficiencies that would require them to recommend corrective actions to our financial controls.

I invite all honourable senators to join me in thanking the Clerk, the Director of Finance and the finance team for their excellent work in producing the Senate's first-ever financial statements.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!