6.1 Management and oversight of CFI awards
The recipient institution is responsible for the timely implementation of each CFI-funded project and for the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure over its useful life. It must ensure that funds are properly managed and that it complies with CFI guidelines and requirements. The CFI, for its part, monitors awards to ensure that projects are implemented properly, and funding is spent appropriately so that expected outcomes can be achieved. The CFI also provides guidelines to assist institutions with the implementation of their projects and with the administration of the funding received. Both the CFI and institutions perform various oversight activities.
The CFI has adopted a risk-based approach for its oversight of funded projects. This risk-based approach underpins many of the guidelines included in section 6 of this guide (e.g., financial reporting frequency, pre-approval of infrastructure changes). In addition, the nature and extent of the CFI’s oversight activities are tailored to the risks facing each institution and project. We also encourage institutions to follow a risk-based approach for the management of their portfolios of CFI-funded projects. The risks associated with CFI-funded projects vary greatly from one project to the next. By tailoring the nature and extent of its management and oversight practices to the risks of each project, institutions can benefit from more effective and efficient mechanisms. Finally, project-related risks identified from a CFI perspective and from an institutional perspective may be similar or may differ significantly. Continued collaboration between the CFI and the institution to discuss project-related risks is critical to ensuring successful and timely project implementation.
To assist with the identification of project-related risks and to establish an appropriate level of oversight for each project, the CFI has developed a Tool for Risk Assessment and Management (TRAAM). This tool has two components: the CFI’s risk assessment and a summary of the CFI’s oversight activities commensurate with the identified project-related risks. Oversight activities may include: project implementation meetings, financial reporting, project status reports, site visits, contribution audits and other ad hoc activities. These activities are tailored to each project to help ensure that the risks identified are managed adequately. TRAAM is a CFI tool and may differ in scope and extent from the risk assessment performed by institutions.
The CFI works collaboratively with each institution in the management of project-related risks. We incorporate input from institutions about their management and oversight activities into TRAAM; this may influence our risk assessment and level of oversight activities. As such, we may share with institutions the TRAAM report for each project where the CFI contribution is $1 million or more and for other projects deemed to be other than low risk. Over the course of each project, the CFI risk assessment will be revisited annually, or more frequently based on need. We will also modify our oversight activities to reflect any changes in risks for the project.
Effective institutional management and oversight of CFI-funded projects requires that appropriate policies, practices, processes and controls be in place. These are the responsibility of the institution and are neither described nor prescribed in this guide. Institutions will develop their own management and oversight activities for CFI projects, tailored to the complexity and scale of each project. The CFI does not expect institutions to automatically adopt the standard CFI guidelines for its own management and oversight activities. As an example, we may ask that an institution submit an annual financial report for a given project to monitor whether the project is being implemented on a timely basis, but an institution may want to review quarterly internal financial and progress reports if the implementation of the project is complex.
In our management of the projects we fund, we also encourage the institution to consider how a given project integrates with its portfolio of projects. This consideration may lead to improved decision making, optimal implementation and efficiencies, and enhanced sustainability of the infrastructure