Evaluation of the First Nations Infrastructure Fund - Follow-up Report Status Update as of December 31, 2014

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of December 31, 2014

Regional Operations

Evaluation of the First Nations Infrastructure Fund
Approval Date: 02-06-2014
Project Recommendations Action Plan Expected
Completion Date
Program Response
1. It is recommended that the Community Infrastructure Branch examine the feasibility of integrating the call for FNIF project proposals into the Department's Annual Capital Planning process. The Community Infrastructure Branch is integrating the call for FNIF project proposals into the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program Annual Capital Planning Process. April 2014

Status: Completed – Closed

Update/Rationale:
As of 30/06/2014: There is no longer a "call for FNIF proposals", as the FNIF is fully integrated into the First Nation Infrastructure Investment Plan (FNIIP) process. First Nations worked with their Regional Offices to place FNIF eligible projects on their 2014-2015 FNIIPs for consideration.

First Nations seeking FNIF funding for large-scope, multi-stakeholder projects that do not fit within the community FNIIP process may apply directly to Headquarters for funding. Additionally, Regional Offices may forward such projects to Headquarters for consideration. As a transitory measure, the Innovation and Major Policy Transformation Directorate has worked with Regional Offices to identify projects for funding in 2014-2015.

In 2015-2016, a FNIF Committee at Headquarters will review and select projects for funding in coordination with the timelines established in the FNIIP.

Amendments have been made to the Integrated Capital Management System that better allow us to track FNIF eligible projects, both funded and unfunded. This allows the program to create a repository of projects, and to link projects to the strategic outcomes of the FNIF for reporting purposes.

AES: Recommend to close. Closed.

2. It is recommended that the Community Infrastructure Branch expand existing management and oversight documents to ensure funded projects include: (a) identification of O&M funding sources that adequately meet the life-cycle cost of the asset, (b) identification of necessary training requirements, (c) disaster mitigation infrastructure design elements, and (d) an expanded eligible recipients list to allow for more flexible partnerships with the private sector, academia and Aboriginal organizations.

The Community Infrastructure Branch is expanding program oversight to ensure that funded projects include:

a) Identification of O&M funding sources is included in the project proposal. CIB will develop guidance for Regional Offices to work with First Nations to ensure that identified sources adequately meet the life-cycle cost of the asset before funding is approved;

Fall 2014-
Winter 2015

Status: Completed – Closed

Update/Rationale:
As of 28/10/2014:
a) Reforms of the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program (CFMP) planning process have been initiated in order to better identify O&M funding sources. Specifically, as part of an improved First Nations Infrastructure Investment Planning (FNIIP) process, First Nations are now required to include the intended use of all formula-based funding requested from AANDC. Further, a letter was sent by AANDC to all First Nations to remind them of their responsibility to use formula-based funding to address asset deficiencies, in particular those critical to protecting the health and safety of their residents.

b) Identification of necessary training related to the asset is included in the project proposal. CIB will develop guidance to support Regional Offices to work with First Nations to identify required training;

b) The improved FNIIP process described under 2 a) provides First Nations with an opportunity to identify their training needs and requirements.

c) Program management documents will require that FNIF project designs include a requirement to take disaster mitigation measures into account. CIB is currently updating the Management Control Framework for the Capital and Facilities Maintenance Program with program and project level guidance regarding disaster mitigation;

c) The program will expand existing management and oversight documents to include disaster mitigation infrastructure design elements, with a refined Structural Mitigation Program Funding Framework (along with targeted Funding for Infrastructure Investments in First Nations) and the Structural Mitigation Ranking Tool.  A regional working group has been established to finalize the framework and tool, and to establish eligibility criteria for the targeted funding.

d) Community Infrastructure Branch is expanding the categories of eligible recipients to reflect that of the Capital and Facilities Maintenance Program. The terms and conditions of the Capital and Facilities Maintenance Program and the First Nation Infrastructure Fund have also been consolidated.

d) Complete.  Revised Terms and Conditions for FNIF signed by Minister on September 16, 2014.

AES: Good progress to date. Recommend to close. Closed.

3. It is recommended that the Community Infrastructure Branch engage the Professional and Institutional Development Directorate to (a) identify practical ways for PID to support community planning projects funded under the Planning and Skills Development category, and (b) to develop a strategy to align the Department's community planning and support activities. The Community Infrastructure Branch is working with PID to develop a strategy to align the Department's community planning and support activities.

Fall 2014

Revised completion date: September 2015

Update/Rationale: Underway

As of 31/12/2014:

Discussions with PID are expected to conclude Q1 FY 2015-16.

AES: Revised completion date.

4. It is recommended that the Community Infrastructure Branch review the program's tendering policy and regional best practices to ensure an effective and consistent national approach. The Community Infrastructure Branch is reviewing the program's tendering policy and regional best practices to ensure a consistent national approach and comparability to practices off-reserve.

Fall 2014

Revised completion date: September 2015

Update/Rationale: Underway

As of 31/12/2014:

In consultation with regional offices and a third party expert in the field, the Community Infrastructure Branch has produced a revised draft tendering policy, a draft policy framework, and new draft procurement guidance documents (i.e., a procurement management manual, a construction project management manual, a project risk management manual, and a tendering policy training manual and road map). Finalisation and publishing of these new guideline documents that encompass a complete overhaul/replacement of existing tendering policy and guidance is scheduled for Q4 in 2015-16.

AES: Revised completion date.

5. It is recommended that the Community Infrastructure Branch engage ecoENERGY in order to identify a strategy for sharing completed feasibility studies to support potential FNIF-funded energy projects and ensure information is accessible to regional front-line officers. The Community Infrastructure Branch will engage with the Climate Change Division's ecoENERGY in order to identify how best to use the information received from the technical and strategic advisory services they contracted and access and/or share feasibility studies to support potential FNIF-funded energy projects and ensure information is shared to regional front-line officers. Fall 2014

Update/Rationale: Completed – Close

As of 31/12/2014:

CIB engaged NAO and LED in October 2014 to determine synergies with existing programs and for proposed projects. CIB is currently working with NAO to renew their ecoEnergy for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program and has provided recommendations on their proposed Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity (northern REACH), which will include considerations for south of 60 off-grid communities. NAO has agreed to provide CIB with existing studies to help in the assessment of potential FNIF funded projects.  CIB has also worked with Audit and Evaluation on positioning departmental support for renewable energy. 

Recommended for closure.

AES: Recommend to close.

 
 
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