The General Assessment supports the management of funding agreements that have been negotiated between Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and funding recipients.
Completed by AANDC staff, and then shared and discussed with recipients, the General Assessment provides an annual snapshot of the funding recipient's past performance. It also identifies strengths and emerging risks that may have an impact on how AANDC manages its transfer payments to the recipient.
The General Assessment Workbook is used to assess the following risk factors: governance, planning, financial management, program management and other considerations. Information about recipients is compared to a series of benchmarks that describe different risk levels and the recipient is assigned a risk level according to the following categories: "low", "medium" or "high".
AANDC uses the General Assessment Workbook tool to complete the General Assessment for all funding recipients, including new applicants, to support an equitable and consistent approach to managing funding agreements. This ensures that there is more transparency and accountability for both the recipient and the department.
The General Assessment supports increased flexibility by assessing the capacity of recipients to access a wider range of funding approaches, including multi-year funding agreements. It also allows for longer-term planning by identifying areas for improvement that the recipient and the department can then discuss and develop solutions together.
Targeting specific areas for improvement in this way also allows the department to identify areas where capacity development efforts can be made to support a recipient's own efforts to achieve greater autonomy in managing agreements.
Depending on the results of this General Assessment, AANDC may also adjust its reporting requirements for a recipient. This would allow the department to work more closely with the recipient with higher risk profiles. For example, a recipient with a lower risk profile may be required to submit fewer reports than a recipient with a higher risk profile.
The results of the General Assessment will potentially affect the duration of funding agreements, the frequency and type of departmental monitoring activities (and related reporting requirements), the flexibility of the funding arrangement and a recipient's eligibility for certain funding approaches.
The General Assessment is an evolving tool used by the department to arrive at measuring funding agreement management risks. It is one of the elements of the department's approach to implementing the Treasury Board Secretariat's Policy on Transfer Payments (PTP).
Version 1 of the General Assessment was used in the Fall 2010 for funding agreements entered into in 2011-2012. In the spirit of the PTP, AANDC worked with recipients to identify areas for improvement with the Version 1. As a result, for the 2012-2013 funding year, we will be using Version 2 of the General Assessment.
Version 2 of the General Assessment contains refinements to the scoring scale of the considerations; the weighting assigned to each risk factor (e.g., increase the importance attached to program management risk); and streamlining of the risk factors (e.g., from 5 to 4 in Part A).
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