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Senator Anne Cools poses in her office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in this March 29, 2001 fle photo.Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

An independent senator from Ontario wants the Senate to ask journalists to identify sources who leaked details about the auditor general's recent expenses probe.

Anne Cools says senators should "gently" approach reporters to explain how they knew the contents of the Senate spending report before it was publicly released.

Cools made the comments at a Senate committee looking into how details of auditor general Michael Ferguson's report were given to journalists before many senators were able to look at the document.

The Canadian Press was among the outlets that reported on details of the audit before its public release.

The Senate's rules committee is looking into who received copies of the report, how many copies were circulating, and who had access to the document before it was tabled in the Senate.

The report found some senators didn't believe they had to be publicly accountable for their spending and identified two current and seven retired senators whose spending warranted a review by the RCMP.