Audit on the Participant Funding Program
Management Response - May 2006

Introduction

ItemRecommendationAction PlanResponsible ManagerAction Date
1The Business Improvement Unit, in consultation with the Manager, Participant Funding Program, develops a process to provide evidence to the Funding Review Committee that applications have received an initial review by the Manager, Participant Funding Program or some other responsible officer.A project to improve file management for the Participant Funding Program has been included in the priorities of the Business Improvement Unit for 2006-2007. There are two objectives to this initiative. The first is to develop a check list or other suitable tool that will provide Funding Review Committees assurance that applications are complete, they have been assessed against the Program's eligibility criteria and issues concerning outstanding application requirements have been resolved. The second objective is to develop comprehensive file maintenance procedures addressing topics such as file initiation, documents to be included in the files, storage, duplicate files, and file close-off process.Manager Business Improvement Unit

Director, Advisory and Support Programs
September 2006
2The evidence noted in 1 above should also include an indication as to the status of advance payments provided to the recipients for other projects or for previous phases of the project for which funds are being requested.
3A project to improve general file management for the Participant Funding Program should be included in this year's priorities of the Business Improvement Unit.
4It is recommended that before finalizing the agreement's signing, the Manager, Participant Funding Program, should review the agreement with the recipient to ensure a common interpretation and understanding of the terms and conditions, particularly the obligations of the recipient.The Director, Advisory and Support Programs will offer prospective recipients the opportunity to review the agreements with the Manager, Participant Funding Program. This instruction, to offer a discussion, will be included in the file maintenance procedures developed per the previous recommendations.Director, Advisory and Support ProgramsJune 2006
5For second time recipients, the discussions noted in 4 above should include the recipients' past performance and expected improvements.
6The draft Guide for Agency Staff and Funding Review Committee Members dated October 3, 2003, to be updated, finalized and distributed.The guide will be updated, finalized and distributed by November 2006.Director, Advisory and Support ProgramsNovember 2006
7In view of the shortfalls in file management and due diligence noted in this report, it is recommended that the Director, Advisory and Support Programs, in consultation with the Director, Finance and Administration review the requirement for additional staff and if any are required, those costs should be recovered from the program as part of the 20 per cent.A review of the resource requirements for the program staff, as well as for finance staff, will be undertaken once file maintenance, quality control, and follow-up initiatives and procedures have been developed. It is expected that this should be determined by September 2006. In the meantime, an individual has been assigned to the PFP Manager, to assist with file maintenance and certain follow-up initiatives. The Program will be staffed to its full level.Director, Advisory and Support Programs

Director, Finance and Administration
September 2006
8The Director, Advisory and Support Programs assess the survey data provided by the applicants and provide a report to the President.

A report on the survey data collected as part of the application process will be developed and included in the Agency's Departmental Performance Report, this fall. The survey tools identified in the Agency's RMAF/RBAF will be updated and implemented by November 2006.

The Director, Advisory and Support Programs will develop and consider a number of options for measuring program performance for this activity as outlined in the Agency's Program Activity Architecture. Those options will include interviews as recommended.

Director, Advisory and Support ProgramsNovember 2006
9The Director, Advisory and Support Programs in consultation with the Director, Finance and Administration review the survey tools identified in the program's RMAF/RBAF to ensure that they are meaningful, revised if necessary and implemented as soon as possible.
10The Director, Advisory and Support Programs implement structured post panel/comprehensive study interviews with a few review panel and comprehensive study members to assess broader program performance.
11Funding Review Committee Reports be consistent and follow the structure contained in the example in the attached Appendix D.Funding Review Committee Reports will be structured per the example in the appendix D attached to the Audit Report.Manager, Participant Funding ProgramDone
12The words "incorporated under the laws of…" be removed from agreements between the Agency and individual persons.New agreements with individuals will be modified accordingly.Manager, Participant Funding ProgramDone
13Evidence should be included in the files confirming that the person signing an application or agreement has received signing authority from the person or organization on whose behalf he/she is signing.Action on this recommendation will be included in the initial review process and file maintenance procedures noted in recommendations 1, 2, and 3.Manager, Participant Funding ProgramSeptember 2006
14The Director, Finance and Administration and Director, Advisory and Support Programs implement quality assurance programs for sections 34 and 33 of the FAA as outlined in the draft Treasury Board Directive on Account Verification that will replace the May 11, 1998 TB policy.The Director, Finance and Administration and Director, Advisory and Support Programs will be (have been) tasked to work together in consultation with the Business Improvement Unit to develop appropriate processes and procedures in accordance with the Treasury Board Directive on Account Verification. In the meantime, program and finance supervisors will immediately implement an interim ad hoc process to ensure reasonable quality control with respect to account verification.Director, Advisory and Support Programs

Director, Finance and Administration
September 2006
15The entire Funding Review Committee report and recommendations be placed in the project's main files maintained by the Manager, Participant Funding Program.This recommendation has been implemented.Manager, Participant Funding ProgramDone
16The Director, Advisory and Support Programs and the Director, Finance and Administration implement a file quality control process as outlined in the recommendation 14 above.The management response for recommendation 14 applies for this recommendation as well.Director, Finance and Administration

Director, Advisory and Support Programs
September 2006
17Advance payments be provided based on adequate justification of need by recipients in addition to the production of a cash flow statement and a work plan as required in section 4.02 of the contribution agreement.This provision is already contained in the application instructions but will be reemphasized in communications with recipients before finalizing signing of the agreement per recommendation 4 above.Director, Advisory and Support ProgramsDone
18The Director, Advisory and Support Programs and Director, Finance and Administration, implement a process to monitor and report on advance payments.Procedures to monitor and report on advance payments have been instituted and will be revised for further improvement.Director, Advisory and Support Programs

Director, Finance and Administration
September 2006
19It is recommended that as soon as the President approves the recommendations of the Funding Review Committee, a copy of that report be forwarded to finance for commitment.This recommendation has been implemented.Manager, Participant Funding ProgramDone
20The Director, Advisory and Support Programs and Director, Finance and Administration, implement procedures to ensure that account verification is conducted consistent with the requirements of the Financial Administration Act and with Treasury Board policy and procedures.The Director, Advisory and Support Programs and Director, Finance and Administration, will provide training to their staffs on their responsibilities with regard to section 34 of the Financial Administration Act. The quality control procedures that will be developed in response to recommendation 14 above will provide management assurance that section 34 is being applied.Director, Advisory and Support Programs

Director, Finance and Administration
September 2006
21

The Director, Advisory and Support Programs in consultation with the Director, Finance and Administration, review Appendix A of the generic contribution agreement and re-assess the requirement to include budgeted expenses that are individually detailed as opposed to a more aggregated budget to allow more flexibility.

Alternatively if it is decided to continue the practice of detailing budget expenses then it is recommended that;

A review as to the feasibility of amending the agreement will be undertaken. In the meantime, the Manager, Participant Funding Program, has been instructed to reinforce with recipients during discussions before finalizing signing of the agreements that payment of individual budgeted eligible expenses will not be approved if they exceed the level identified in the agreement.Director, Finance and Administration

Director, Advisory and Support Programs
September 2006
22Section 34 and 33 officers ensure that payments are authorized only if they are consistent with the detailed budgets
23The section 34 officer verify that invoices are adjusted to ensure payment of only GST charges for which no input tax credit or other rebate is provided to the recipient.This recommendation has been implemented and follow-up measures will be instituted to ensure effective implementation.Manager, Participant Funding ProgramDone
24The Director, Advisory and Support Programs in consultation with the Director, Finance and Administration, develop and implement project and individual recipient file close-off procedures.Program and finance file close-off procedures will be addressed as part of the broader file maintenance procedures that will be developed by the Business Improvement Unit in consultation with the Director, Finance and Administration as outlined in the management response for recommendation 3.Manager Business Improvement Unit

Director, Finance and Administration

Director, Advisory and Support Programs
September 2006
25The Internal Audit Committee consider including a recipient audit in its plans for 2006-2007.The focus for the upcoming months will be to address the above recommendations put forth. Once most of these recommendations are addressed, management will be in a position to further evaluate the need to conduct a recipient audit and if so define its scope.Director, Advisory and Support Programs

Director, Finance and Administration
March 2007