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The CFI is committed to the principle of public accountability. As a result, it places great importance on evaluating the impact of its investments in research infrastructure. It also recognizes its responsibility to deliver programs that focus on Canada's needs and that enable its researchers to compete in the global, knowledge-based economy.
The CFI has a signed funding agreement with the Government of Canada on investments and disbursements, and must operate within this framework. As an arm’s length, independent corporation, the CFI reports to a Board of Directors.
The CFI has many forms of accountability and operates in a highly transparent manner. The CFI has undertaken formal evaluations of its programs to assess their impact and to help determine the benefits they are producing for Canadians.
To ensure that the institutions that receive infrastructure support are providing the best possible results for the benefit of Canadians, the CFI requires that they be accountable in a number of ways. Institutions are requested to develop and periodically update strategic research plans and priorities to reflect the changing environment which are made public. We also request project progress reports on the results of each project for a period of at least five years. And as part of an overall commitment to highlight CFI investment in their region, institutions are asked to submit communication plans.
The CFI conducts monitoring visits at recipient institutions to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of policies, processes and controls that are in place for the management of funded projects. The CFI also conducts audits to ensure that the funding received by an institution for a given project has been used in accordance with agreed upon terms and conditions of the Award agreement, and with applicable policies and guidelines. A risk-based audit approach is used for the selection of projects to be audited. All projects with a CFI contribution exceeding $10 million are automatically subject to an audit.
The Minister of Industry tables the Annual Report in Parliament and it is widely distributed by the CFI each year. The CFI also makes regular appearances and submissions to the Standing Committees on National Finance and on Industry, Science and Technology, and has a process in place to provide briefings to Members of Parliament, Senators, and senior Government officials.