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The policy context of the NADP is particularly relevant, as it directly shapes the program's goals, activities, and expected impacts. The historical relationship between the LAC and CCA is described below.
The CCA, responsible for administering the NADP, was founded in 1985 to support the development of an archival system in Canada (CCA, 2008a). Currently, more than 800 archival organizations across Canada are CCA members (CCA, 2008b). The LAC (formerly National Archives) provided the CCA Secretariat when it was first created, and funded operations and projects.
To further the goal of developing a national archival system, in 1989 the federal government authorized the National Archives to provide transfer payments to the CCA and the Canadian archival community for $1.8 million annually. This included $400,000 for supporting core operations of the CCA, and $1.4 million for contributions to the archival community projects on a cost-share basis. This funding has varied slightly over the years, and currently LAC contributes $1.71 million annually to the CCA (LAC, 2005).
The Grants and Contributions program's Terms and Conditions were updated in 1989 and 1991. Recent official program documents identify that the Terms and Conditions remained virtually unchanged during that period, and that they needed to be updated for compliance with TB policy. In particular, specified selection criteria for projects, activities, and objectives needed to be more clearly identified. An audit conducted in 2002-2003 identified an increased need for accountability in the program (LAC, 2003). The 2004 evaluation of the program showed that the archival community was highly dependent on CCA funding through the Grants and Contributions Program, and that there should be emphasis on raising awareness, engaging decision makers, training, and exploring partnerships. The evaluation also suggested that there could be a shift away from projects that focus on backlog reduction, that roles and responsibilities should be clarified, and that there was support for streamlining the adjudication process (LAC, 2004a).
To address issues identified in the audit and evaluation, the outdated Terms and Conditions, the shifting priorities in the archival community, and its new mandate, the LAC developed and implemented the NADP in 2006.