A former clerk of the Senate, Gordon Barnhart, gives a harsh assessment of how senators handled expense claims based on what he experienced.

Barnhart, who was clerk from 1989 to 1994, was also Saskatchewan's Lieutenant-Governor between 2006 and 2012.

He spoke to CBC's Rosemary Barton Wednesday, sharing his observations of how Senators treated expense claims.

He said changes to the rules for expense claims were long overdue.

Barnhart cited a particular example of how Senators used to handle trips from Ottawa back to their home constituencies.

According to Barnhart, it was easy for a Senator to get permission to take an indirect route home.

"You could go from Ottawa on your way to Saskatoon, but through Brussels," he said. "That counted as one of the trips, even though you had really gone to Europe."

The complete interview can be seen in the attached player.