Grant and Contribution Program to support Awareness, Research and Training in Space Science and Technology

Audit Report

Project # 04/05 01-02

Prepared by the
Audit, Evaluation and Review Directorate

March 2005

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The objective of this audit project was to assess the degree to which current systems, procedures and resources relative to all aspects of managing the Grant and Contribution Program to Support Awareness, Research and Training in Space Science and Technology (G&C Program) are efficient, effective and economical.

The G&C Program approved by the Treasury Board (TB) has 11 components. Because various directorates and branches are responsible for program delivery, it is important that relationships between Canadian Space Agency (CSA) stakeholders be maintained through the G&C Program Coordinating Committee.

Our audit revealed that, a majority of directorates keeps administrative files that provide a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the Policy on Transfer Payments of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

On the other hand, some directorates should pay a special attention to the way administrative files are maintained.

The following are the main recommendations resulting from this audit of the management framework of the Program.

  • Ensure compliance with payment procedures stipulated in grant and contribution agreements for various program components (reports, invoices, etc);
  • Audit accounts in accordance with the associated policy;
  • Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing payments, by corroborating information on application forms with required supporting documents;
  • Be sure to use evaluation criteria, as approved by the Treasury Board (TB), when assessing applications for grants and contributions;
  • Periodically review risks identified in the Risk-Based Audit Framework (RBAF). Also ensure that mitigation measures associated with the risks are still relevant;
  • Set up a data-collection system in order to measure program performance regularly; analyse results to determine whether they correspond to expected results in accordance with the Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF); and make adjustments to the program delivery management framework accordingly.

Given the emphasis on results, the last recommendation is particularly important because it is CSA's only way of being accountable for the merits of a program; in other words, whether the program serves the public interest effectively, especially when the time comes to submit a request for program renewal to the TB or when a program review is done by the federal government.

This internal audit was carried out in accordance with the TBS Policy on Internal Audit and the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. In our professional opinion, the audit procedures followed and evidence gathered were sufficient and appropriate and support the accuracy of the conclusions in this report. The conclusions are based on a review of the situations in question using established audit criteria. The conclusions only apply to the entity examined.

Description of Mandate

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Audit Project Rationale

This Audit Project is part of the 2004-2005 Audit Plan, which was approved by the Audit Committee. The inclusion of this audit in the annual plan complies with the RBAF appended to the TB submission. The RBAF states that an audit of the program, including audits of both the grants and contributions components, as well as a review of the risk management plan will be conducted in the second year of the Program.

1.2 Audit Objective

The objective of this Audit Project is to assess the degree to which current systems, procedures and resources relative to all aspects of Program management are efficient, effective and economical.

Appendix A provides more specific information on the audit objectives and criteria that were used.

1.3 Scope

The Audit Project covered expenses incurred under the Program during the 2004-2005 fiscal year. If expenses had not yet been incurred in 2004-2005 for some program components, we reviewed the expenses incurred in 2003-2004 for these components.

1.4 Methodology

This Audit Project was carried out in accordance with the TBS Policy on Internal Audit and the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, which require that audit objectives supported by audit criteria be established.

According to the audit standards, the audit mission must be carried out in a structured manner that includes the following:

  • A planning and preliminary review phase
  • An actual audit phase
  • A report and results disclosure phase

Various audit procedures were used, particularly interviews with staff and reviews and analyses of documents, records and reports.

1.5 Description of the G&C Program

The G&C Program, consisting of 10 program components, was approved by the TB on September 24, 2002 and will remain in effect until 2007-2008. Grants with a maximum value of $3 million and contributions with a maximum value of $ 2 million per fiscal year will be allocated under the Program.

The TB approved an amendment to the G&C Program on August 31, 2004. The amendment allowed for the addition of a new program component called Space Awareness and Learning Grants Program.

The following branches and directorates deliver the G&C Program to Support Awareness, Research and Training in Space Science and Technology (S&T):

  • Space Technology Branch
  • Space Science Branch
  • Communications and Public Affairs Directorate
  • Canadian Astronaut Office, and,
  • External Relations Directorate

Appendix B lists the actual expenses of grants and contributions for fiscal year 2003-2004 as well as grants and contributions commitments for the 2004-2005 fiscal year.

Audit Findings

2.0 Communications and Public Affairs Directorate

During the audit period, the Communications and Public Affairs Directorate allocated contributions under the Youth Space Awareness Contributions Program. This component of the G&C Program supports projects, initiatives and events designed to reach Canadian youth across Canada and to increase their awareness of space activities by providing them with formal and informal opportunities to learn about space science and technology in Canada. Another objective of this component is to promote their participation in science and technology activities by exposing them to the Canadian Space Program.

Grants were also allocated this year under a new component of the G&C Program, approved by the Treasury Board on August 31, 2004. The objectives of this component of the G&C Program are the same as those for the contributions component, except that they are intended for students and teachers, while the Contributions Program targets non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

2.1 Youth Space Awareness Contributions Program

Our audit revealed that a special attention should be paid to the administrative files kept for each recipient in order to provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

In fact, we noted that improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Payment Requests

The TBS Policy on Transfer Payments stipulates that departments must develop policies and procedures to ensure:

  • That contributions are paid and that the achievement of performance objectives set out in a contribution agreement or the payment of contributions to reimburse eligible costs or expenses incurred by a recipient are taken into consideration;
  • That the recipient complied with conditions in a contribution agreement and is entitled to the payment before the department issues payment under the agreement.

Our review of some of the most recent files found that the contribution agreements that had been drawn up did include a clause concerning payment request procedures, written as follows:

  • The Minister shall pay the contribution towards incurred eligible costs based on detailed requests, which are:
    • Certified by the recipient's duly authorized manager; and
    • Include explanations of all costs included and submitted in accordance with the major objectives and criteria listed in Appendix A.

As for requests for payment upon submission of final reports, the relevant clause stipulates the following:

  • Within 30 calendar days following the date of completion, the recipient shall submit to the Minister a final project report, along with the following:
    • A final financial statement for the project;
    • A detailed report of all eligible costs that were incurred and paid for during the project;
    • Certification by the recipient's duly authorized manager that the eligible costs indicated in the detailed report:
      • Were incurred and paid for; and
      • Are associated with the project, as described in Appendix A;
    • A cheque made out to the Receiver General for Canada to reimburse any advance payment by the Minister that exceeds the amount to which the recipient is entitled under this agreement.
  • Upon approval of the final report, the Minister shall pay the balance of the contribution to the recipient. The Minister is not required to pay the balance if the final report or accompanying document is submitted later than 30 calendar days following the completion date and the reasons for the delay are not deemed satisfactory by the Minister.

During our review of the files, we found that:

  • Financial statements were usually included with final claims. However, expenses listed in the final claims were not always the same as those listed and considered eligible in the original application.
  • Detailed lists of all eligible expenses incurred were not included in all of the files. In these cases, it was therefore not possible to establish a relationship between authorized eligible costs per expense category and the claimed costs.
  • A few files did not contain certifications by duly authorized managers to the effect that the costs had been incurred and paid for and were associated with the project, as described in Appendix A. In cases where certifications were included, they did not comply with the agreement.
Audit of Claims

The Guide on Grants and Contributions and Other Transfer Payments states that:

  • Under section 34 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), no payment shall be made unless a person with properly delegated authority certifies that the recipient is eligible for or entitled to the payment. In the case of grants, the officer authorizing the payment under section 34 shall be certain that the correct amount is being allocated to the right person.

    In the case of contributions, the officer authorizing the payment shall be certain that the reimbursement requested by the recipient is based on eligible expenses or costs that were actually paid for in accordance with the conditions of a valid agreement. To ensure that this is indeed the case, the officer should review vouchers included with the claim for reimbursement. (There is no provision in the Policy on Transfer Payments to prevent a project officer from requesting documented proof, such as receipts, pay slips and cancelled cheques from a bank, in support of a reimbursement claim).

  • The acceptance of expenses is a matter of credibility and proof. As a general rule, when costs pass the eligibility test described above and the officer is satisfied that the costs were actually incurred for the activities indicated in the agreement, reimbursement can be made. Statistical sampling methods based on a risk-management approach can be used to audit reimbursement claims. The audit scope should be based on criteria such as the risk profile of the recipients, experience of employees administering the program, and the sensitivity or materiality of the reimbursement claims.

We noticed that once payment claims (intermediate or final) were received, the person in charge of managing the program examines expenses and/or cheques in the following regards:

Concerning the audit of expenses to determine whether they had been paid for, we found that only copies of the front sides of cheques had been obtained. When we reviewed these copies, we found that the cheques had not yet been cashed because there was no additional coding stamped by the bank on the front sides of the cheques.

In regard to supporting vouchers for expenses claimed, as mentioned above, vouchers should be examined on a sample basis. In the review of the files, it was found that most of the time, proof in support of all expenses had been requested, whether the expenses amounted to $5 or $15,000. In some cases, this resulted in a large number of vouchers in the file. The photocopying of all of these documents (by the recipient) and the resulting review by the person responsible for the CSA file, consumed a lot of time for everyone concerned. The use of a sample-based auditing method, in which, for example, the highest amounts or amounts requiring special attention because of their nature would be selected, would help to reduce the amount of time devoted to verifying claims while still ensuring that payment claims are justified.

Advance Payments

The section of the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments dealing with cash management policy and advance payments of contributions stipulates that:

  • Transfer payments should not be paid to recipients in advance of need;
  • Payments should be timed to correspond as closely as practicable to recipients' cash flow requirements;
  • Departments must base any provision for advance payment of a contribution on prudent cash management principles, ie, the amount of each advance should be limited to the immediate cash requirements based on a monthly cash flow forecast from the recipient; and
  • Where instalment payments and advance payments are necessary to meet program objectives, departments must be guided by the provisions of Appendix B of the Policy on Transfer Payments so as not to exceed the frequency of eligible advance payments.

Our review of the files found that advance payments had been made in some cases. In administrative files, besides a written request from the recipient providing reasons for the advance payment request, there were no documents, such as monthly forecasts of encashments and disbursements, to justify the immediate cash requirements. The CSA was also not the only entity contributing to the project in some cases.

According to the Guide on Grants, Contributions and Other Transfer Payments, it is the applicant's responsibility to clearly prove that the advance payments are essential to carrying out the agreement. To provide clear proof, the applicant usually produces a detailed cash flow forecast for the term of the agreement.

In order to comply with the above-mentioned TBS policy, documents stating immediate cash requirements based on the recipient's monthly cash flow forecast as well as a brief cash flow analysis should be included in recipients' administrative files.

Assessment Sheet

The TBS Policy on Transfer Payments states that departments shall develop policies and procedures in order to ensure that the predetermined assessment criteria for applications according to grant categories and the criteria for contributions are made public and implemented consistently.

During our audit, we found that the assessment criteria, as set out in the terms and conditions of this component of the G&C Program, had been made public, given the fact that they are posted at all times on the CSA Internet site. On the other hand, one of the criteria that had to be assessed, ie, "transferability of the project to other non-profit organizations or educational institutions offering formal or informal learning opportunities" did not figure as one of the criteria to be assessed on the official assessment sheet.

Recommendations
Communications and public affairs directorate
  1. Ensure compliance with terms and conditions stipulated in contribution agreements that pertain to the documents to be submitted with payment claims.
  2. Implement the use of a sample-based audit method for the auditing of claims and ensure that the encashment of cheques is audited, as it should be.
  3. When advance payments are made, be sure to keep in the file not only the qualitative rationale, but also documents stating immediate cash requirements in accordance with the recipient's monthly cash flow estimates for the term of the agreement, as well as a brief analysis of these cash flow requirements.
  4. Include the criterion concerning" transferability of the project to other non-profit organizations or educational institutions offering formal or informal learning opportunities" in the project assessment sheet.

2.2 Space Awareness and Learning Grants Program

During the fiscal year, grants were awarded to students and teachers to pay costs associated with a conference held in Vancouver in October 2004. Our audit revealed that a special attention should be paid to the administrative files kept for each recipient in order to provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

In fact, we noted that improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Verification of recipient eligibility

The TBS Policy on Transfer Payments states that departments shall develop policies and procedures to ensure that ongoing criteria with respect to recipient eligibility and qualification for grants are verified, usually before payment is made, including payment of an instalment. However, the fact that a grant was not submitted for verification does not mean that verification after payment of the grant cannot be carried out.

Our audit revealed that the verification of recipient eligibility, ie, verifying whether students were registered in educational institutions operating in Canada, as the case may be, was not carried out through corroboration of the information on application forms with that in supporting documents, such as a notice of confirmation of enrolment in an educational institution or a student's academic transcript. The fact that the student checked off the appropriate box on the form was not sufficient for the purposes of verifying recipient eligibility.

Moreover, our review of 41 files for grants awarded for the purposes of this conference found that three recipients were not studying in Canada. In fact, one of them was going to school in Alsace, France, and two in the United States. These three recipients were therefore ineligible for the Program. A properly conducted verification of recipient eligibility would have detected this state of affairs early on in the process of reviewing applications for assistance.

Basis of payment and time of paymentt

According to the terms and conditions of this component of the G&C Program, grants will be based on cash requirements associated with participation in the approved event and will be paid to recipients before the event.

In this case, the 41 grants for the purposes of this conference were paid in November, which was after the event and in violation of the above-mentioned terms and conditions.

If, after studying the request, it is felt that there is an actual cash requirement to be met in order to encourage the recipient to participate in the event, it is essential that the payment be made before the event.

Eligible costs

The objective of this component of the G&C Program is to subsidize the participation of students and teachers in educational events. In that regard, the following concerning eligible costs are set out in the Program terms and conditions.

  • Eligible costs shall be accurately determined for each proposal and shall cover the following expenses associated with participation in the event:
    • Cost of transportation to the event site;
    • Accommodation costs while participating in the event;
    • Meal allowances (determined according to government rules) while participating in the event;
    • Registration fees and expenses associated with acquiring and developing material for the event.

Our review of the amounts of grants allocated to recipients for the purposes of the conference in Vancouver revealed that in the case of recipients from the same province (eg, Ontario), the grants varied between $695 and $1,600.

A more detailed review of approved eligible costs revealed that meal allowances varied considerably from one recipient to another, depending on the amounts requested. Those who requested less, received less, while those who requested more, received more, as long as requests did not exceed the TB meal allowance rate. It therefore appears that there were inequities between recipients from the same region.

The same was true for hotel expenses. Some recipients had the cost of single occupancy of a room deemed as eligible costs, while others were only allowed the cost of double occupancy of a room. Prices varied accordingly between single occupancy ($300) and double occupancy ($600).

To ensure that all recipients are treated equitably and to avoid spending considerable time studying eligible costs for each application, it would have been easier to determine a lump-sum grant for applicants, depending on their province of residence. All applicants living in the same province would therefore have been awarded the same size of grant.

By using this practice, the Program Manager could have assessed the eligible costs overall for applicants from three or four regions of Canada rather than conducting a separate study of the eligible costs for each of the 41 applications for assistance.

Recommendations
Communications and public affairs directorate
  1. Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing a payment, by corroborating information on the application form with required supporting documents.
  2. Be sure to issue grant payments, as stated in the terms and conditions of this Program component, before events are held.
  3. Review the method of assessing applications for assistance in order to make optimum use of time allocated to reviewing eligible costs and in order to be equitable.

2.3 Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF)

See Section 7.0 of this Report.

2.4 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF)

See Section 8.0 of this Report.

3.0 Space Technology Branch

During the year, the Space Technology Branch, together with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), awarded postgraduate study and research scholarship supplements, as stipulated in Appendix 1 of the G&C Program. One of the objectives of these scholarships is to promote advanced research in space science and technology and to encourage postgraduate students and postdoctorate research fellowship recipients to continue their research work in CSA facilities and/or the facilities of associated organizations.

This year, the Agency in partnership with the NSERC also awarded grants under the Research Partnership Support Program. The objective of this program is to promote advanced research in space science and technology that is of particular interest to industry and has a high potential for application, and to encourage co-operation in research and development (R&D) among aerospace firms and universities.

Moreover, as set out in the three-year agreement ending on March 31, 2005, the third payment of a $100,000-per-year grant was issued to GEOIDE under the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (NCE). This program is one of the programs expiring on March 31, 2005.

3.1 CSA Supplements to NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships and to Postdoctoral Fellowships

We generally found that the administrative files kept by recipients provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

On the other hand, improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Verification of recipient eligibility

Our audit revealed that the verification of recipient eligibility, ie, verifying whether applicants were Canadian citizens or permanent residents when they applied for supplements, was not carried out through corroboration of the information on application forms with that in supporting documents, such as Social Insurance Numbers (SINs ). The sole fact that a student checked the appropriate box on the form was not sufficient for the purposes of verifying recipient eligibility and therefore violated the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments as well as the Program terms and conditions.

The Program manager told us that applicants had been asked to provide SINs in order to be paid the supplements. However, they were asked to provide SINs in order to meet Central Accounting requirements and not for the purposes of verifying recipient eligibility. She nonetheless assured us that they would ask for SINs before they issued payments in the future and that they would conduct recipient eligibility verification at the same time.

When verifying applicant eligibility by asking applicants to provide SINs , the Program manager will also have to make sure that SINs do not start with the number 9 because, based on information obtained from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), SINs beginning with 9 are given to people who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents.

Terms and conditions

Section 9 in Appendix 1 of the Treasury Board decision states that the CSA shall contact the NSERC to confirm the payment of supplements for a second year. The same holds true for the first payment.

The Program manager told us that the NSERC had not been notified when the supplements were paid to the students, but that confirmation should indeed be sent to the NSERC to keep them informed because the program is a joint program and because it is necessary to comply with Program terms and conditions.

Recommendations
Space Technology Branch
  1. Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing a payment, by corroborating information on application forms with required supporting documents.
  2. Be sure to contact the NSERC to confirm that supplements have been paid.

3.2 CSA-NSERC Research Partnership Support Program

After reviewing one of the two files for which expenses were made this year, we found that the administrative file that was kept provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

3.3 GEOIDE - Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

For several years, the CSA has been paying $100,000 annually to GEOIDE under the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program, which is one of the CSA's G&C programs expiring on March 31, 2005.

The CSA had renewed its agreement with GEOIDE for a three-year period ending on March 31, 2005. The last payment associated with this grant agreement was made in January 2005.

In our audit of this program, we determined whether management had implemented the recommendations made in the Audit Report of March 2002. In the follow-up of the recommendations in March 2004, it was found that management had still not implemented the proposed recommendations.

The main recommendations for which no action has been taken are the following:

  • In administrative files, keep documents concerning budgets for funded projects and progress made in those projects.
  • Ensure that the cost structure for funded projects complies with the structure approved by the Treasury Board.

Our audit revealed that the $100,000 payment made in January 2005 had not been accompanied by supporting documents. In fact, the payment was made upon submission of an invoice that was not accompanied by the following required documents as per the agreement:

  • An activities report clearly describing the subsidized research activities;
  • A work plan covering implementation of the research activities;
  • A budget outlining projected eligible costs for the coming fiscal year; and
  • A report on progress achieved in the previous fiscal year.

The grant had also been paid in a single instalment in January 2005, whereas the agreement stipulated that an initial claim corresponding to 50% of the grant would be submitted no later than 30 days after the start of the fiscal year and that the balance would be paid within 30 days of acceptance by the Minister of an update of eligible costs submitted by the recipient.

Our audit revealed that, in fact, no eligible costs had been submitted with the initial payment request and that the recipient had not submitted an update of eligible costs at a later date.

The Program manager submitted to us a document entitled Documentation on GEOIDE Research Projects, prepared by Sinetix Inc in November 2004. This document was intended to be a supporting document for the $100,000 payment made in the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

We examined the document in question and submitted several questions and comments to the Program manager. However, these questions have still not been answered.

Recommendations
Space technology branch
  • Be sure to keep required supporting vouchers in the administrative file as per the grant agreement.

3.4 Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF)

See Section 7.0 of this Report.

3.5 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF)

See Section 8.0 of this Report.

4.0 Space Science Branch

During the year, the Space Science Branch awarded grants under several components of the G&C Program, as follows.

  • Supplements to postgraduate study and research scholarships were awarded jointly with the NSERC. One of the objectives of these scholarships is to promote advanced research in space science and technology and to encourage postgraduate students and postdoctorate research fellowship recipients to continue their research work in CSA facilities and/or the facilities of associated organizations.
  • Funds were paid to universities under the Support for Industrial Research Chairs component of the G&C Program, the objective of which is to help universities use current strengths to achieve the critical mass required to conduct large-scale research in areas of science and engineering of particular interest to industry and the Canadian Space Program.
  • Funds were also paid to universities under the Space Science Enhancement Program, the objective of which is to maximize scientific spinoffs in Canada through the funding of space science-related projects and activities in areas such as the initial study of instruments and data analysis.
  • This year for the first time, grants were also awarded to universities under the program component CSA Support to Scientific and Technical Space Conferences. The objectives of these grants are to promote the dissemination through events, seminars and workshops of knowledge of space science and technology among sector stakeholders. Knowledge could likewise be transferred to specialized audiences and/or forums that have an impact on other areas of activity.

4.1 CSA Supplements to NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships and to Postdoctoral Fellowships

We generally found that the administrative files kept for each recipient provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

On the other hand, improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Verification of recipient eligibility

Our audit revealed that the verification of recipient eligibility, ie, verifying whether applicants were Canadian citizens or permanent residents when they applied for supplements, had not been carried out through corroboration of the information on application forms with that in supporting documents, such as Social Insurance Numbers (SINs ). The sole fact that a student checked the appropriate box on the form was not sufficient for the purposes of verifying recipient eligibility and therefore violated the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments as well as the G&C Program, Appendix 1, terms and conditions.

The Program manager told us that applicants had been asked to provide SINs in order to meet Central Accounting requirements for payment purposes. He nonetheless assured us that they would ask for SINs before they issued payments in the future and that they would conduct recipient eligibility verification at the same time.

When verifying applicant eligibility by asking applicants to provide SINs , the Program manager will also have to make sure that SINs do not start with the number 9 because, based on information obtained from HRSDC, SINs beginning with 9 are given to people who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents.

Terms and conditions

Section 9 in Appendix 1 of the Treasury Board decision states that the CSA shall contact the NSERC to confirm the payment of supplements for a second year. The same holds true for the first payment.

The Program manager told us that the NSERC had not been notified when the supplements were paid to the students, but that confirmation should indeed be sent to the NSERC to keep them informed because the program is a joint program and because it is necessary to comply with Program terms and conditions.

Recommendations
Space science branch
  • i) Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing a payment, by corroborating information on application forms with required supporting documents.
  • ii) Be sure to contact the NSERC to confirm that supplements have been paid.

4.2 CSA Support to NSERC Industrial Research Chairs

We generally found that the administrative files kept for each recipient provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

On the other hand, improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Terms and conditions

The Program terms and conditions state that during the process to select and approve industrial chair recipients, the recommendation and report drawn up by the NSERC Committee should be submitted to the CSA for review before a new grant is approved.

These documents were not in the file.

The Program terms and conditions also state that after an application is reviewed, the CSA should notify the NSERC of its decision to select a project and the amount of the grant that will be awarded.

There was no information in that regard in the file.

Recommendations
Space science branch
  • Be sure to include in the recipient's administrative file the recommendation and the report drawn up by the NSERC Committee and to notify the NSERC of decisions made by the CSA after applications are studied and include this information in the administrative file.

4.3 Space Science Enhancement Program

We generally found that the administrative files kept for each recipient provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

On the other hand, improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Terms and conditions

The Program terms and conditions state, as part of the procedures for issuing payments of funds under this component of the Program, that the program manager and the scientific adviser shall determine progress made towards achievement of objectives set out in the original submission based on the assessment criteria in the terms and conditions. They also state that each recipient shall be notified in writing of the results of the annual assessment.

Our audit revealed that, in fact, the recipient had not been notified in writing of the results of the annual assessment. The program manager told us that he believed that if the payment had been made, it was implicit that the assessment had been positive.

The assessment of progress made in achieving the set objectives was not carried out with Program terms and conditions taken into consideration, as stated above.

Recommendations
Space science branch

In order to comply with approved Program terms and conditions:

  1. Be sure to include in the recipient's administrative file a copy of the document sent to the recipient to confirm the results of the annual assessment.
  2. Conduct an annual assessment of project progress based on set objectives in the original submission and on assessment criteria set out in the Program terms and conditions.

4.4 CSA Support to Scientific and Technical Space Conferences

Our audit revealed that a special attention should be paid to the administrative files kept for each recipient in order to provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

In fact, we noted that improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Submission of applications

Our review of five applications approved in 2004-2005 revealed that submitted grant applications did not include supporting letters from competent authorities in the sponsoring organizations, as required in the Program terms and conditions. In fact, on the analysis form used to ensure compliance with eligibility criteria, the box stating that supporting letters from sponsoring organizations had been looked at had been checked off. However, the letters were not in the administrative file.

Assessment of applications

Our audit revealed that when applications were assessed, the criterion "relevance of financial resources allocated to the event" had not been looked at because it was not included in the standard form used to assess applications. This criterion is one that is supposed to be assessed in accordance with Program terms and conditions.

In several cases that were examined, the CSA, after conducting its assessment of the applications, decided to award a grant that was less than the amount initially requested without bothering to find out which organization would provide the amount not subsidized by the CSA. A more in-depth financial analysis should be carried out to determine whether recipients have the financial capacity to complete projects.

We also found that in most cases that were reviewed, the checklist used to verify eligibility criteria was neither dated nor signed.

Costs eligibility

Our review of the five files found that two of them included costs that were not included on the list of eligible costs, as stated in the Program terms and conditions.

In fact, the administrative expenses as well as the visitor's conference registration fees and accommodation expenses were not included in the eligible costs. The eligible costs related to travel expenses are the ones of guest speakers and not of visitors.

Recommendations
Space science branch
  1. In the administrative file, be sure to keep supporting letters from competent authorities in sponsoring organizations that were submitted with the grant application.
  2. When assessing applications, be sure to assess the relevance of financial resources allocated to the event.
  3. When assessing applications, pay special attention to submitted expenses to ensure they are included in eligible costs stated in the Program terms and conditions.

4.5 Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF)

See Section 7.0 of this Report.

4.6 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF)

See Section 8.0 of this Report.

5.0 Canadian Astronaut Office (CAO)

During the year, the Canadian Astronaut Office awarded four $6,000 scholarships under the Grant Program for Aerospace Medicine Elective Award.

The CSA and the NASA agreed to offer scholarships to Canadian medical students and residents training in aerospace medicine in the Johnson Space Center Aerospace Medicine Clerkship Program and at the Kennedy Space Center Biomedical Office.

The objective of this component of the G&C Program is to provide training opportunities for medical students and residents in the area of clinical, operational and research activities associated with space medicine, particularly activities related to Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

The expected main result of this program is the creation of a pool of Canadian physicians with specialized knowledge in various disciplines of space medicine.

5.1 Aerospace Medicine Elective Award

We generally found that the administrative files kept for each recipient provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

On the other hand, improvements could be made to the following components of the current program management framework.

Verification of recipient eligibility

Our audit revealed that the verification of recipient eligibility, ie, verifying whether applicants were Canadian citizens or permanent residents when they applied for grants, was not carried out through corroboration of the information on application forms with that in supporting documents, such as Social Insurance Numbers (SINs ). The sole fact that a student checked the appropriate box on the form was not sufficient for the purposes of verifying recipient eligibility, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

The Program manager told us that applicants had been asked to provide SINs for payment purposes in order to meet Central Accounting requirements and not for the purposes of verifying recipient eligibility. She nonetheless assured us that they would ask for SINs before they issued payments in the future and that they would conduct recipient eligibility verification at the same time.

When verifying applicant eligibility by asking applicants to provide SINs , the Program manager will also have to make sure that SINs do not start with the number 9 because, based on information obtained from HRSDC, SINs beginning with 9 are given to people who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents.

Commitment of funds

Pursuant to section 32 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), the CSA Policy on Commitment states that in order to establish a commitment, a written internal requisition must be completed and authorized by the manager responsible for the budget. Finance officers then have the responsibility to establish the commitment. For these purposes, it is recommended that they use the Internal Requisition for Goods and Services form.

As for the commitment of $24,000 for scholarships awarded in 2004-2005, we found that the funds had been committed by a person who had not been delegated financial authority for that purpose.

Recommendations
Canadian astronaut office
  1. Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing a payment, by corroborating information on the application form with required supporting documents.
  2. Be sure to commit funds as stipulated in the CSA Policy on Commitment.

5.2 Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF)

See Section 7.0 of this Report.

5.3 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF)

See Section 8.0 of this Report.

6.0 External Relations Directorate

During the year, the External Relations Directorate awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Canadian Foundation for the International Space University (CFISU) and the sum of $75,000 to the International Space University (ISU) under the CSA Support to the International Space University component of the G&C Program.

The objectives of this G&C Program component are to provide support for the yearly operations of the ISU and CFISU, provide young Canadians with international and multidisciplinary training opportunities to learn about space through the ISU Summer Session Program, and encourage young Canadians to pursue careers in the space industry.

A second component of the G&C Program was used this year. It involved a $5,000 grant awarded to an organization in connection with the CSA Support to Scientific and Technical Space Conferences component of the G&C Program.

6.1 CSA Support to the International Space University

We generally found that the administrative files kept for each recipient provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

6.2 CSA support to Scientific and Technical Space Conferences

We generally found that the administrative files that were kept provided a satisfactory audit trail, as required in the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments.

On the other hand, improvements could be made to the following component of the current program management framework.

Assessment Sheet

The TBS Policy on Transfer Payments states that departments shall develop policies and procedures in order to ensure that the predetermined assessment criteria for applications according to grant categories and the criteria for contributions are made public and implemented consistently.

During our audit, as stated in the section of this Report concerning grants awarded under this G&C Program component by the Space Science Branch, we found that the assessment sheet that was used did not contain a criterion concerning the appropriateness of the amount of financial resources allocated to the event, whereas this criterion was included in the criteria to be assessed under the terms and conditions of this G&C Program component.

Together with the Space Science Branch, which provides these types of grants, it would be important to review the criteria on the assessment sheet in order to ensure they comply with the terms and conditions approved for this G&C Program component.

Recommendations
External relations directorate
  1. Review criteria on the assessment sheet to ensure they comply with criteria approved by the Treasury Board.

6.3 Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF)

See Section 7.0 of this Report.

6.4 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF)

See Section 8.0 of this Report.

7.0 Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF)

The TBS Policy on Transfer Payments stipulates the following:

  • Treasury Board submissions for program approval of terms and conditions for […] contributions should include […] a risk-based framework for audit of recipients of contributions;
  • Departments must develop a risk-based audit framework for the audit of contributions; and
  • It is government policy to manage transfer payments in a manner sensitive to risks, complexity, accountability for results and economical use of resources.

According to the RBAF Guide, these requirements are achieved by developing an RBAF.

In September 2002, the Risk-Based Audit Framework (RBAF) included with the TB submission was approved. It was each directorate's responsibility at the time to implement identified mitigation measures in order to offset risks associated with G&C Program components that affect them.

Despite the fact that risk management plans had not been followed with absolute rigour, we generally found in our discussions with persons responsible for the G&C Program in various branches and directorates that several risk mitigation measures had been implemented during the management of the Program.

Together with persons responsible for various G&C Program components, we reviewed the implementation of each mitigation measure listed in the RBAF and found the following.

Communications and Public Affairs Branch

  • We are satisfied that most of the mitigation measures have been implemented. Their implementation has helped to reduce the identified risks to an acceptable level.

Space Technology Branch

  • We are satisfied that many of the mitigation measures have been implemented. Their implementation has helped to reduce the identified risks to an acceptable level. Moreover, some mitigation measures listed in the Partnerships Section should be reviewed to determine whether they are still relevant and, if necessary, they should be implemented. If they are not found to be relevant, they should be changed accordingly.

Space Science Branch

  • We found that some mitigation measures had been implemented. Their implementation has helped to reduce some identified risks to an acceptable level. We also found that many measures still remain to be implemented.

Canadian Astronaut Office

  • We are satisfied that most mitigation measures have been implemented. Their implementation has helped to reduce some identified risks to an acceptable level.

External Relations Directorate

  • The risk management plan has not been implemented.
Recommendations
External relations directorate
  1. Implement the RBAF.
All branches and directorates
  1. Regularly review risks and mitigation measures identified in the RBAF.
  2. Ensure that all mitigation measures identified in the RBAF are relevant and change them, if necessary.

8.0 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF)

The TBS Policy on Transfer Payments stipulates that "Treasury Board submissions for program approval of terms and conditions for […] contributions should include […] a results-based accountability framework including: performance indicators, expected results and outcomes, methods for reporting on performance, and evaluation criteria to be used in the assessment of the effectiveness of the transfer payments. In addition, the TBS Evaluation Policy states that: "managers have a responsibility to monitor the performance of policies, programs and initiatives […] to make sound decisions and to report on performance".

In September 2002, the Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) included with the TB submission was approved. At the time, each branch and directorate was to set up data-collection systems to monitor progress made in achieving expected results (output, and immediate, intermediate and final results) identified in the RMAF during all phases of the program.

We generally found in our review that expectations set out in the RMAF had not been measured.

We also found in our discussions with persons responsible for various components of the G&C Program that short-term expectations were generally realistic, relevant and easily measurable. However, longer-term objectives, although realistic and relevant, were more difficult to measure because they usually affected a population that was larger than the number of direct recipients.

Our review revealed the following, in particular.

Communications and Public Affairs Directorate

  • An Oracle database was set up to collect information on contributions that had been paid and to retrieve various reports of results, as needed. To date, grants are not included in this database. Moreover, although this database is available, it is not used to produce performance reports to measure results, as set out in the RMAF. Instead, it is used to retrieve reports of results required at the end of the fiscal year.

Space Technology Branch

  • No data-collection system has been set up to assess performance. In the case of some expectations, information required to measure performance is available, but has not been measured for the time being.

Space Science Branch

  • No data-collection system has been set up to assess performance.

Canadian Astronaut Office

  • No data-collection system has been set up to assess performance. CAO management told us that identified expectations for short-term results could be easily measured by means of a survey that would be sent to recipients. However, longer-term expectations were more difficult to measure because they affected Canadian space medicine in general. No database for that purpose is currently maintained at the CSA. Special attention should therefore be given to these expectations in order to determine whether they are still relevant and how the results can be measured.

External Relations Directorate

  • No data-collection system has been set up to assess performance. The director, External Relations told us that identified expectations for short-term results could be easily measured because the information for that purpose is either, already in the administrative files that had been kept or is still available from the Canadian Foundation for the International Space University (CFISU). However, the director told us that no data-collection system for longer-term expectations had been set up owing to a lack of time and resources.
Recommendations
All branches and directorates
  1. Set up a data-collection system in order to regularly measure program performance and study results to determine whether they correspond to expected results in the RMAF and make any necessary adjustments to the management framework for program delivery.
  2. Review longer-term expectations to determine whether they are still relevant and make changes to them, if required.

9.0 CSA Policy on Account Verification

The objective of the CSA Policy on Account Verification is to ensure that accounts to be paid or settled are verified in a manner that is cost-effective and efficient and complies with control requirements.

Owing to the highly political and sensitive nature of grants and contributions and out of concern for public opinion, they have been accorded a high level of risk.

Under this policy, operations that are considered high-risk operations are excluded from the sampled populations and are examined in full in the payment stage. Consequently, payments of grants and contributions should be verified in their entirety.

During the account verification process, the Accounting Services clerks are responsible for the following: carrying out verifications pursuant to section 33 of the FAA by implementing the sampling plan; providing information on errors and required corrective measures so that payments comply with section 33 requirements; providing follow-up for finance clerks in organizational units; and keeping statistics on discovered errors.

In order to properly verify accounts, the verification process should include a matching of payment claims with payment claim supporting documents (contribution agreement and/or grant letter). Submitted agreements should also be verified to determine whether clauses relating to payment terms and conditions have been complied with and whether deliverables have been received, as the case may be (eg, progress report).

It is therefore the responsibility of the Accounting Services to set up necessary procedures for carrying out these verifications. If additional documents have to be obtained from the finance clerks of organizational units or if administrative files kept in those units have to be verified, it is the duty of the Accounting Services to carry out these verifications. In other words, when verifying accounts, the Accounting Services clerks must ensure that section 34 of the FAA has been done, as required. The Accounting Services should also keep track of stages involved in these verifications.

When we examined payment claims, we could not be sure that accounts had been verified in accordance with the policy. According to the clerks in the Accounting Services, payment requests were not systematically corroborated with vouchers if the said vouchers were not included with the payment requests. Payment was issued in all cases just the same.

We also found a case in the Space Science Branch where the Accounting Services had issued a payment although the payment claim had not even been signed pursuant to section 34 of the FAA.

Recommendations
Corporate management, accounting services
  • Be sure to verify accounts in accordance with the associated policy.

Appendix A - Audit Objectives and Criteria

The overall objective of this Audit Project was to assess the degree to which existing systems, procedures and resources in all aspects of the G&C Program management are effective, efficient and economical.

The specific objectives were the following:

Objective #1: Make sure that existing policies, procedures and control mechanisms ensure that eligibility and assessment criteria, approval procedures and payment methods are in compliance with the terms and conditions of each Program component.

  • Criterion 1.1: Procedures in effect help ensure that various phases of the program (promotion, eligibility verifications, approvals of proposals, payment verifications, etc) are carried out in compliance with the terms and conditions of Program components.
  • Criterion 1.2: Standard program application forms are used.
  • Criterion 1.3: Applications submitted to the Program are assessed according to criteria set out in the terms and conditions.
  • Criterion 1.4: Review committees include experts in the areas covered by the assessment criteria for various Program components.

Objective #2:Make sure that the program is managed with reasonable due diligence and in accordance with applicable acts and policies (particularly sections 32, 33 and 34 of the FAA and the TBS Policy on Transfer Payments).

  • Criterion 2.1: Responsibilities are properly distributed among officers responsible for managing the program.
  • Criterion 2.2: The program is carried out according to TBS financial management and transfer payment policies.
  • Criterion 2.3: Approval authority is delegated only with appropriate control methods and distribution of responsibilities.
  • Criterion 2.4: Staff recruitment and training strategies in effect ensure that there is reasonable due diligence in carrying out the program and delivering services to clients.
  • Criterion 2.5: Existing procedures ensure effective co-operation between CSA sectors in order to carry out the program.

Objective #3: Make sure that contribution agreements and grant letters comply with program terms and conditions and that contribution agreement conditions are complied with.

  • Criterion 3.1: Contribution agreements between the CSA and recipients and CSA grant letters to recipients correctly reflect the terms and conditions of Program components.
  • Criterion 3.2: Operations and financial monitoring practices comply with reasonable due diligence principles.
  • Criterion 3.3: Recipients are given specific deadlines for submitting progress reports, expenditure statements or carrying out other validation activities.
  • Criterion 3.4: Claimed expenses are eligible under agreements, have been paid and comply with authorized funding.

Objective #4: Obtain assurances that the existing risk management plan is efficient.

  • Criterion 4.1: Risk management procedures make it possible to carry out the following properly:
    • Identify external and internal events and factors that may compromise implementation of the Program;
    • Measure the probability of an event occurring;
    • Assess consequences for the Program if an unfavourable event occurs;
    • Determine measures to be implemented to mitigate identified risks.
  • Criterion 4.2: Procedures set up to monitor risks help Program managers assess the effectiveness of response and assessment plans, recognize unanticipated changes and handle new risks using appropriate measures.
  • Criterion 4.3: Staff assigned to manage and administer Program components have the required knowledge and competencies to handle risks.

Objective #5: Obtain assurances that the result-based management and accountability framework (RMAF) is efficient.

  • Criterion 5.1: A results-based management and accountability framework (RMAF) complying with TBS program performance monitoring and assessment policies has been set up.
  • Criterion 5.2: Performance measurement indicators are appropriate and help managers monitor progress towards achievement of results.
  • Criterion 5.3: Existing data-collection systems are efficient.
  • Criterion 5.4: Actual data on the performance of Program components are used to make adjustments to Program delivery.

Appendix B - G&C Expenditures by Branch/Directorate

Branch/Directorate Actual Committed Actual
2003-2004 2004-2005 at February 2005
Communications
- Youth Space Awareness Contributions (Appendix IX) $196,000 $191,294 $20,488
- Space Awareness and Education Grants (new component)   $49,973 $49,973
Total Communications $196,000 $241,267 $70,461
Space Technology
- GEOIDE - Networks of Centres of Excellence $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
- CSA/Networks of Centres of Excellence Joint Program $200,000    
- Supplements to NSERC Scholarships (Appendix I) $129,988 $239,933 $223,266
- CSA/NSERC Research Partnership Support Program (Appendix III) $75,800 $71,800  
Total Space Technology $505,788 $411,733 $323,266
Space Science
- Supplements to NSERC Scholarships (Appendix I) $60,433 $51,068 $26,767
- NSERC Industrial Research Chairs (Appendix IV) $150,000 $105,000 $30,000
- Space Science Enhancement Program (Appendix VII) $301,761 $370,000 $270,000
- Support to Space Conferences (Appendix VIII)   $41,875 $41,875
Total Space Science $512,194 $567,943 $368,642
Canadian Astronaut Office
- Aerospace Medicine Elective Award (Appendix VI) $20,000 $24,000 $24,000
Total Canadian Astronaut Office $20,000 $24,000 $24,000
External Relations
- Support to International Space University (Appendix X) $175,000 $175,000 $175,000
- Support to Space Conferences (Appendix VIII)   $5,000 $5,000
Total External Relations $175,000 $180,000 $180,000
Total $1,408,982 $1,424,943 $966,369

Appendix C - Management Action Plan

Ref. Recommendation Identified responsibility Action plan details Schedule
Organization Duty
2.0 Communications and public affairs branch
2.1 Contribution for youth space awareness

i) Ensure compliance with terms and conditions stipulated in contribution agreements that pertain to the documents to be submitted with payment claims.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning

Organizations were asked to submit letters certifying that expenses had been incurred and paid as of March/April 2004.Organizations are now asked to provide signed letters using wording taken directly from the agreements.

Began on March 31, 2005 for payment claims.

ii) Implement the use of a sample-based audit method to the auditing of claims and ensure that the encashment of cheques is audited, as it should be.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning

Invoices were required in the past; respecting the council of CSA finance experts. This practice will be replaced instead by requesting random cancelled cheques and invoices as proof of payment associated with expenditures that draw our attention due to their nature or value.

Began on March 31, 2005 for payment claims.

iii) When advance payments are made, be sure to keep in the file not only the qualitative rationale, but also documents stating immediate cash requirements in accordance with the recipient's monthly cash flow estimates for the term of the agreement, as well as a brief analysis of the cash flow requirements.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning

As per the recommendations of CSA Legal Council during the development of the formal contributions agreements, a written request for advance payments detailing the need for the advanced funds - as per the project roll out described in the contributions agreement, was requested. All future requests for advance payments will include more detailed budget lines as justification for the need for immediate funding.

Will begin with the next round of contribution agreements - April 2005

iv) Include the criterion concerning "transferability of the project to other non-profit organizations or educational institutions offering formal or informal learning opportunities" in the project assessment sheet.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning.

Has been adjusted for evaluations during the April 2005 session.

April 2005

2.0 Communications and public affairs directorate
2.2 Grants supporting space awareness and education

i) Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing a payment, by corroborating information on the application form with required supporting documents.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning

Changes were made to the subsidy application form to ensure that applicants meet eligibility requirements approved by Treasury Board. Students and educators are now required to provide proof that they are currently enrolled or employed at the academic institution they indicate on their form. This proof may be in the form of letters from professors or employers, transcripts for students or pay stubs for educators.

In place as of April 2005

ii) Be sure to issue grant payments, as stated in the terms and conditions of this Program component, before events are held.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning

All future subsidies will be paid in advance of the event, upon acceptance of the application.

In place as of April 2005

iii) Review the method of assessing applications for assistance in order to make optimum use of time allocated to reviewing eligible costs and in order to be equitable.

Communications Directorate

Com. officer space awareness and learning

Changes were made to the subsidy application form and evaluation form during the audit process and will be reflected in the next series of subsidy applications. Applicants no longer must provide detailed cost breakdown for their learning opportunity. In order to create an equitable field of support, the level of funding for a particular conference will be determined based on Treasury Board guidelines with respect to meals, and hotels, the cost of the conference registration, and an average cost of airfare to the location of the learning opportunity.

In place as of April 2005

3.0 Space technology branch
3.1 Supplements to CSA scholarships

i) Be sure to verify recipient eligibility, normally before issuing payments, by corroborating information on application forms with that in required supporting documents.

Space Technology Branch

Director technology management & application

Accoring to the procedure, all eligibility criteria, except for citizenship are verified before sending the letter of offer to candidates.

The procedure was modified. The manager now does the verification of the SIN in order to ensure that it does not start by a "9", confirming that the candidate is in fact a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, and so, before recommending the payment of the supplement.

May 2005

ii) Be sure to contact the NSERC to confirm that supplements have been paid.

Space Technology Branch

Director technology management & application

A report confirming payments done in 2003 and 2004 will be sent to.

The procedure now indicates clearly that the manager must inform NSERC when payments are made.

June 2005

3.0 Space technology branch
3.2 GEOIDE - Networks of centres of excellence (NCE)

Be sure to keep required supporting vouchers in the administrative file as per the grant agreement.

Space Technology Branch

Director technology management & application

A review of GEOIDE file will be undertaken in order to ensure that all required justifying documentation is included in the file. A final report will be submitted in July 2005.

July 2005

4.0 Space science branch
4.1 CSA supplements to scholarships

i) Be sure to check recipient eligibility, normally before issuing payments, by corroborating information on the application form with that in required supporting documents.

Space Science

Director General

Ask for the Social Insurance Numbers (SINs ) of applicants selected for scholarships before issuing payment (a photocopy of the Social Insurance Card will be required for this verification).

Sept. 2005

ii) Be sure to contact the NSERC to confirm payment of grants.

Space Science

Director General

We will include contacting the NSERC in our procedures.

Sept 30

4.0 Space science branch
4.2 CSA support for NSERC industrial research chairs

i) Be sure to include in the recipient's administrative file the recommendation as well as the report drafted by the NSERC Committee. Notify the NSERC of CSA decisions after the applications are studied and include this information in the administrative file.

Space Science

Director General

1) We will ask the NSERC for a copy of the Evaluation Committee's report and include it in the recipient's file.

Effective immediately

2) We will include in the administrative file the correspondence regarding the notification of the decisions to the NSERC.

Effective immediately

4.0 Space science branch
4.3 Space science enhancement program

In order to comply with the approved terms and conditions of the Program:

i) Be sure to include in the recipient's administrative file a copy of the document sent to the recipient to confirm the results of the annual evaluation.

Space Science

Director General

We will include the notification sent to the recipient in the administrative file.

Effective immediately

ii) Carry out an annual assessment of progress made in the project based on objectives set out in the original submission and in accordance with assessment criteria stated in the Program terms and conditions.

Space Science

Director General

Before issuing payments, the Program Manager will conduct an annual assessment of progress made in the project based on criteria stated in the Program terms and conditions.

Effective immediately

4.0 Space science branch
4.4 Program supporting space conferences

i) Be sure to keep in the administrative file letters of support from competent authorities in sponsoring organizations that were submitted with grant applications.

Space Science

Director General

In the future, letters of support from competent authorities in sponsoring organizations will be kept in recipients' administrative files.

Effective immediately

ii) When assessing applications, assess the relevance of allocating financial resources to the event.

Space Science

Director General

In cases where we recommend a grant that is less than the amount requested, we will require that the applicant indicate how he or she can still hold the event. In all cases, the relevance of allocating financial resources to the event will be reviewed and this assessment criterion will be included with the assessed criteria.

Effective immediately

iii) When assessing applications, pay special attention to submitted expenses in order to make sure they are part of the eligible costs stated in the Program terms and conditions.

Space Sciences

Director General

We will make sure that submitted, approved costs are compatible with eligible costs stated in the Program terms and conditions.

Effective immediately

5.0 Canadian astronaut office
5.1 Aerospace medicine internships

i) Be sure to check recipient eligibility, normally before issuing payments, by corroborating information on the application form with that in required supporting documents.

Canadian Astronaut Office

Project officer

Immediately following the selection of grant recipients by the selection committee, recipient eligibility will be checked using Social Insurance Numbers (SINs ) or other relevant documents. Prior to any public announcement or issuing of payment, the Program Manager will give the Director, Canadian Astronaut Office (CAO), the following information: names of successful applicants, confirmation that they have met eligibility requirements, and the method used to check applicant eligibility.

May 2005

ii) Be sure to commit funds, as set out in the CSA Policy on Commitment Control.

Canadian Astronaut Office

Project officer

Funds will be committed according to the CSA Policy on Commitment Control and using Internal Requisition for Goods and Services forms. The internal requisition will be authorized by the manager responsible for the budget.

June 2005

6.0 External relations directorate
6.2 Program supporting space conferences

i) Review assessment criteria on the assessment sheet to make sure they comply with criteria approved by the Treasury Board.

External Relations Directorate

Industrial Policy Manager

The External Relations Directorate (ERD) will conduct an evaluation of their needs for using this program component. Considering that it is the first time this component is used by the Directorate in 2005-2006, it will be necessary to evaluation recurrence.

If the use of this component is recurrent, ERD intends to meet with Space Science Directorate (which uses this program component) to evaluate the possibility of using the same set of evaluation criteria, in compliance with the terms and conditions of the TB for this program component.

December 2005

7.0 Risk-Based Audit Framework (RBAF)

i) Implement the RBAF.

External Relations Directorate

ERD - Industrial Policy Manager

ERD will put in place an ad-hoc committee of at least 2 persons in order to implement the RBAF to ensure that risks due to internal factors are mitigated (human resources, program governance, information and management systems). The committee will meet twice a year for the implementation and review of risks.

October 2005 April 2006

ii) Regularly review risks and mitigation measures identified in the RBAF.

All branches and directorates

CAO - Project officer

Comm - Com. officer space awareness and learning

Space Tech - Director technology management & application

Space Science - Director General

ERD - Industrial Policy Manager

Each year, following the selection of grant recipients, the program manager will review the program risks and response plan in the Risk Based Audit Framework (RBAF) and will modify the RBAF as needed to ensure that all risks have been identified and that risk mitigation responses are appropriate.

Ongoing - annually starting in May 2005

We will review risks associated with the G&C once per year, prior to the September 15th deadline for proposals.

September 2005

The Space Technology Directorate will review annually the risks and mitigation measures.

March 2006

We will review annually the risks as well as the mitigation measures identified in the RBAF and modify them if required in order to ensure their implementation during the course of the program.

March 2006

The committee will review, twice a year risks and mitigation measures.

October 2005

The committee members will participate in activities of the CSA G&C committee.

April 2006

iii) Ensure that all mitigation measures outlined in the RBAF are appropriate and change them, if necessary.

All branches and directorates

CAO - Project officer

Comm - Com. officer space awareness and learning

Space Tech - Director technology management & application

Space Science - Director General

ERD - Industrial Policy Manger

Idem

Ongoing - annually starting in May 2005

We will implement any necessary measures on an annual basis, following the evaluation of risks

September 2005

An update of the RBAF will be done in regard to the program components offered by the Space Technology Directorate.

September 2005

The RBAF will be reviewed in order to ensure that mitigation measures identified are relevant and modifications will be done if required.

October 2005

The committee will review twice per year the risks and mitigation measures.

October 2005

The committee members will participate in activities of the CSA G&C committee.

April 2006

8.0 Results-based management and accountability framework (RMAF)

i) Set up a data-collection system in order to regularly measure program performance, analyse results to determine whether they correspond to expected results based on the RMAF, and make adjustments to the program delivery management framework accordingly, if necessary.

All branches and directorates

CAO - Project officer

Following completion of the Aerospace Medicine Elective, recipients will be surveyed every one to two years, for a period of up to five years, for the purpose of measuring the performance of the program with respect to the planned outcomes listed in the Results-based management and accountability framework (RMAF). A clause will be added to the tems and conditions requiring the recipients to inform the program manager of changes in coordinates if they have moved, or of recent participation in aerospace medicine activities relevant to the planned outcomes. On an annual basis, feedback from recipients and survey results will be reviewed and program delivery will be modified as required.

Ongoing - annually starting in May 2005

Comm - Com. officer space awareness and learning

All subsidy requests will be inputted into the ORACLE database and reports will be generated based on RMAF guidelines in early April of each year, at the beginning of the new fiscal year.

April 2006

Space Tech - Director technology management & application

The implementation of the RMAF is part of the tasks planned for 2005-2006. The effort that will be put in this activity will be in proportion of funds that will be allocated the several program components.

March 2006

Space Science - Director General

A data collection system will be set up. Yearly, following survey results received from beneficiaries, we will analyse responses in relation with output / outcomes as per the RMAF. We will adjust the management framework related to the delivery of the program if necessary.

March 2006

ERD - Industrial Policy Manger

As mentioned during the audit, the data collection for output (short term objectives) is not a problem as documents are available in the administrative files. As for the long term data collection (Immediate and intermediary outcome), a committee of two persons will be assigned to the set up of a data collection system (a table will be developed for inquiry purposes)

December 2005

ii) Review longer-term expectations to determine whether they are still relevant and change them, if required.

All branches and directorates

CAO - Project officer

The long-term objectives were revised in the TB Submission done in the fall of 2004 where modifications to the G&C Program were requested. We are still awaiting the TB Decision.

Awaiting for the TB Decision

Comm - Com. officer space awareness and learning

Long-term objectives will be reviewed before the September 2005 proposal period based on current realities. If any modifications are necessary they will be submitted to CSA's Internal Audit and Evaluation Directorate for approval before going to Treasury Board.

Sept. 2005

Space Tech - Director technology management & application

A review of the long-term expectations will be done in order to determine if they are still relevant and if it is possible to set up a data collection system for a reasonable cost.

November 2005

Space Science - Director General

The long-term objectives will be reviewed in order to determine if they are still relevant and if they reflect the objectives of the program. If modifications are required, they will be submitted to the Audit, Evaluation and Review Directorate for advice.

October 2005

ERD - Industrial Policy Manger

A committee of two persons will be set up to review the long-term expectations.

December 2005

9.0 CSA Account verification policy

Be sure to verify accounts in accordance with the associated policy.

Corporate Management, Accounting Services

Manager accounting financial reporting and policies

The verification procedures will be defined in the Account Verification Policy regarding the justifying documentation to obtain, the verification of clauses related to payment conditions and the documentation process of the steps conducted during the account verification. Appendix A will be revised to re-evaluate the categories of operations and risks associated with them in relation to the nature of the program and the amounts of the payments.

August 2005