06/05/2015 14:28 EDT | Updated 06/05/2016 01:12 EDT

NewsAlert: RCMP to get Senate referrals today; audit flags $977K in spending

OTTAWA - The Senate is sending the expense files on nine senators to the RCMP later today amid the reverberations of an explosive forensic audit that flags nearly $977,000 in questionable spending.The Canadian Press has learned that in all, auditor general Michael Ferguson's report identifies $976,627 in questionable spending among 30 current and retired senators.Of those, the Senate will be recommending that the Mounties do a criminal review on the spending of nine senators — two of them still sitting, the other seven retired.Just five senators account for about $546,000 of the spending Ferguson identifies in the audit, which was delivered to the Senate on Thursday and is to be released publicly next week.The audit, which reportedly cost nearly $21 million to conduct, reviewed more than 80,000 transactions worth about $180 million.More Coming