Research Administration and Accountability – Tri-Agency Recommendations
[message sent out on the FIS listserv - November 9, 2012]
Michael Di Grappa
Date: November 6, 2012
To: McGill Principal Investigators
Cc: Prof. Anthony Masi, Deans, Associate Deans of Research
Subject: Research Administration and Accountability – Tri-Agency Recommendations
In December 2011, McGill received the Final Report of the Tri-Agency Financial Monitoring Review. This report concluded that the University needs significant improvements in its framework and procedures for the management of grant funds in order to be compliant with Tri-Agency requirements. Weaknesses identified within the framework resulted in 11 findings and recommendations. McGill takes our responsibility to address these findings very seriously, and therefore we must be diligent in our responses. As a result, a significant amount of work and extensive consultation have taken place over the past year to address the Report findings. We have discussed and vetted proposed solutions with all levels of stakeholders at McGill as well as with sister Canadian institutions that have also been required to make adjustments to their operations.
As many of you know from experience, the global regulatory environment has changed significantly in recent years. The introduction of increased regulations and expectations on the part of granting agencies requires academic institutions worldwide to implement new processes to ensure compliance with audit findings. This is a major imposition on our already strained organization, and we are well aware that greater scrutiny from federal, provincial and international research funding agencies over spending and management of research funds will also increase the administrative burden on researchers.
While we are making every effort to provide solutions that will minimize the overall regulatory burden, these changes will nonetheless impact McGill’s research community. The attached appendix provides an overview of the solutions that will be implemented in the near future. Improved administrative and financial tools are being developed to assist researchers and administrators with these additional constraints. Researchers will be informed as new tools and processes are implemented, and all staff involved in supporting researchers will be invited to participate in the new Research Administration Network forum.
We are depending on your collaboration as we implement these required changes over the next few months. Communiqués from our teams will continue to keep you abreast of important changes as they occur. Thank you for your support and cooperation.
Vice Principal (Research and International Relations)
Michael Di Grappa
Vice Principal (Administration and Finance)