Updates - 2022

Table of Contents

Update on the TAGFA

The Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) was launched in April 2020. Some revisions were made and took effect on April 1, 2022: these can be viewed under the summary of changes.

As of April 1, 2022 the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program has also adopted the TAGFA: all active CCI grants are now being administered using this Guide.

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Financial Monitoring Framework

As part of the Tri-Agency Financial Administrative Renewal Initiative, NSERC and SSHRC, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), have revised their existing Financial Monitoring Framework (“the Framework”). The revised Framework uses a risk-based approach to strike a balance between the prudent management of public funds and the ongoing development of partner relationships with organizations that administer grant funds on behalf of the Agencies. It is specifically designed to align with the principles-based Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) and to streamline monitoring and reporting requirements. The revised Framework applies to all administering organizations that receive agency funding (i.e. universities, colleges, and a range of not-for-profit organizations).

The monitoring process will focus on key internal controls related to the administration of agency funds and will also include an overall assessment of each organization’s financial health using information that can be extracted from audited financial statements. Organizations that have participated in past monitoring exercises with the agencies will notice that the internal control questionnaire has been significantly streamlined. The following nine key internal controls are now part of the monitoring process:

  1. Roles and responsibilities regarding the administration and oversight of Agency funds are documented and communicated.
  2. Internal policies and/or procedures integrate the Agency's financial management guidelines and requirements for the administration of Agency funds.
  3. The financial system has an adequate chart of accounts to support the administration of individual grants and awards, including separate accounts for each grant and award.
  4. Supporting evidence is maintained to document expenses as per Agency's guidelines.
  5. Signing authorities regarding the use of funds are in accordance with Agency's guidelines.
  6. A process exists to ensure that a countersignature is obtained for a payment from which the recipient or delegate may or appears to personally benefit (e.g. travel, hospitality).
  7. A process exists to determine that expenditures charged to the grant or award account are in compliance with Agency's guidelines and requirements.
  8. A process exists to provide recipients with financial information related to their individual grant and award accounts for decision-making and review purposes.
  9. Annual statements of accounts are certified by the fund recipient and the organization's Business Officer (BO).

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2022-2023 Timeline

Figure 1 – 2022-2023 Timeline

Figure 1

Figure 1 - Text version
  • June 2022 - Launch of pilot
  • July 2022 - Pilot organizations submit information on internal controls and FVA
  • July-August 2022 - Assess overall financial risk and develop monitoring plan and schedule for each pilot organization
  • September to December 2022 - Conduct financial monitoring reviews for pilot organizations
  • January to March 2023 - Collect FVA information from administering organizations; Schedule 2023-2024 monitoring reviews
  • April 2023 - Implement revised Framework

Throughout the pilot period:

  • Solicit feedback from the pilot organizations and others
  • Refine the framework and monitoring tools

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Piloting the Framework

The NSERC-SSHRC pilot of the Framework officially launched in June 2022. A small representative group of administering organizations were invited to participate in the pilot of the revised Framework based on several criteria including size, geographic location, type of organization and official language.

As a result, NSERC and SSHRC are pleased to announce that the following administering organizations have been confirmed to participate in the pilot:

  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • McGill University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Université de Moncton
  • Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
  • Université du Québec à Montréal
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of New Brunswick
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • York University

The revised Framework is scheduled to be launched in the spring 2023.

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Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) 2022 Annual Conference

Representatives from NSERC and SSHRC participated at the CARA 2022 Annual Conference that was held in Ottawa, ON from May 29 to June 1, 2022.

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