Renewal Initiative Overview

UBC is one of twelve institutions engaging in the pilot phase of the Renewal of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide (TAFAG) initiative.

Background and Pilot

The Tri-Agency (SSHRC/NSERC/CIHR) is looking to streamline and simplify the administration and use of grant funds by creating a ‘principles-based’ guide that promotes efficiencies, reduces administrative burden and provides greater flexibility to administering institutions and grant recipients in ensuring the appropriate accountability and use of grant funds.

This principles-based guide will foster a balance between control and flexibility, and it will also take into consideration existing administering institutions’ policies, processes and internal controls.

UBC is piloting the Guide's renewal process to ensure that any issues that may or can arise through our operations are identified and addressed, so that when full implementation occurs, we will have a smooth transition. This is also timely because of the administrative systems project - changes to the Guide can help drive implementation of necessary requirements for our adoption of Workday.

Timelines


 

Who will be impacted by this pilot?

Any researcher and any unit that has Tri-Agency funding will be impacted. The impacts are expected to be minimal, as there are no major differences between UBC's policies and Tri-Agency's existing Financial Administration Guide.

When does this pilot begin and end?

The pilot began on December 1, 2018. In Fall 2019, further consultation will be conducted with pilot and non-pilot institutions with the launch of the final TAFAG expected by April 2020.

Who else is piloting the new TAFAG draft?

There are 12 Institutions in total that will be piloting the new TAFAG - the list of participating institutions is available here.

  1. Brock University
  2. Cape Breton University
  3. Dalhousie University
  4. Hospital for Sick Children
  5. Université Laval
  6. McMaster University
  7. University of Alberta
  8. University of British Columbia
  9. Université du Québec à Montréal
10. University of Waterloo
11.Western University
12. York University

What opportunities are there for me to provide feedback?

Feedback from all members of the research community (including grant holders, administrators and finance managers) is welcome to be directed to tri-agency.renewal@finance.ubc.ca

Operational Changes

Rather than applying one set of guidelines for Tri-Agency funds and another for the University's general operations, the same set of guidelines will generally be used for both.

Where gaps exist between the existing TAFAG and UBC policies, the less strict of the two will be applied during the pilot phase - with the exception of alcoholic expenses (which are strictly forbidden by Tri Agencies).

During the pilot phase, institutions that are not piloting the new TAFAG draft will remain subject to the existing TAFAG, while the 12 that are piloting the new TAFAG draft (including UBC) will follow their own institutional policy. It is expected that when funds are sent to co-investigators outside of UBC, their local policies will apply (including the existing TAFAG, if they are not a pilot institution).

Will UBC policies become stricter than what was allowed by Tri-Agency?

At this time, there are no plans to make UBC's existing policies more strict.

Will there be further changes to TAFAG?

During the pilot phase, the new TAFAG draft will be a living document and will be subject to change as issues are identified or changes are deemed necessary.

After the pilot phase, the resulting Guide will still be subject to change as the research environment evolves, but the changes will not be as great or expected to be as frequent.

Contacts and Help Desk

Research Finance will be operating a help desk e-mail inbox during the pilot phase - you can reach them at: tri-agency.renewal@finance.ubc.ca.

You can also call Jean Chang, Senior Manager of Research Compliance and Training, Research Finance at 604-827-0033 or Evelyn Miguel, Associate Director, Research Finance at 604-822-3275.

For UBC Okanagan, please contact Gerald Levac, Finance Manager or call 250-807-9037 ext. 79034.