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Audits and Evaluations

Audit of the National Archival Development Program

Audit Report
June 2010

1.0 Program Description

1.1 Background

National Archival Development Program

The National Archival Development Program (NADP) was created in 2006, by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), to provide financial assistance to the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) and related organizations to increase their capacity to preserve and make accessible unique archival materials about Canada and Canadians.

This program covers a period of five years ending March 31, 2011, and replaces previous grant and contribution programs administered by the National Archives of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada) since 1989.

The objectives of the NADP are to increase:

  1. access to Canada's archival heritage through the national catalogue;

  2. awareness and use of Canada's archives;

  3. the representation of Aboriginal peoples and under-represented ethnocultural groups in Canada's archives;

  4. the capacity of archival networks to undertake strategic and development activities;

  5. the capacity of archival institutions to preserve Canada's archival heritage.

Canadian Council of Archives

The Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1988. Its mission is to preserve and provide access to Canadian documentary heritage by serving as the central coordinating body of the Canadian archival system. The CCA is mainly funded through three different federal contribution programs, including the NADP, which allows it to provide leadership and services supporting the development of archival institutions and organizations across Canada.

Council members include one representative from each of the ten provincial councils and three territorial councils, the elected Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, three other directors of the Board, a representative of each of the three national professional archival associations, one representative from the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists and one representative from LAC. The CCA is headed by a Board of Directors and is supported by a Secretariat with seven full-time equivalents (FTEs), headed by an Executive Director.

NADP Management

Through the NADP, LAC has established a contribution agreement with the CCA to serve as a third party delivering contributions to archival institutions and organizations.

The CCA administers the NADP on behalf of LAC by:

  • reviewing the project proposals of applicants;

  • validating the legal status of recipients;

  • issuing contribution agreements to recipients;

  • maintaining the files of recipients;

  • paying recipients;

  • reviewing the interim and final activity reports submitted by recipients;

  • maintaining management and financial information.

In addition, the CCA issues budgets and status reports to LAC in relation to NADP activities. LAC approves strategic approaches to achieving NADP objectives, sets priorities annually, and approves program criteria and guidelines to be used by the CCA in adjudication. LAC also assesses the progress toward program objectives annually. In August 2008, the Programs Branch took over the responsibility of the NADP from the Strategic Office.

NADP Application Process and Applicant Eligibility

Applicants for funding must fall into one of the following four categories:

  • the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA);

  • provincial or territorial archives councils or equivalents;

  • national, provincial, territorial or regional archival associations;

  • Canadian archival institutions that are accessible to the public and that are members of a provincial or territorial archives council.

NADP applications are reviewed competitively once a year. The CCA communicates the financial amount available for each province and territory. Project proposals are subject to a pre-selection review by the provincial or territorial archives councils. As a result, the archives councils present the best projects to the CCA, in terms of how well they meet the budget and criteria established by the CCA and NADP objectives. A written justification (including a rating grid) must also be signed by a representative of the provincial or territorial archives council.

The pre-selected projects are then presented to the CCA national jury, which reviews the information and vets the selection to ensure that NADP objectives are met. In addition, project applications made by provincial or territorial archives councils are forwarded directly to the Secretariat office and adjudicated by the national jury. The CCA jury decisions are formally documented. Very few applications are rejected by the CCA jury each year.

1.2 Financial Data

According to the contribution agreements covering the years ending March 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009, NADP financial assistance is available under the following three streams:

Streams 2008-2009 2007-2008 2006-2007
($000) ($000) ($000)
1. Archival projects undertaken by ultimate recipients $1,140 $1,140 $1,140
2. Third-party administration of funding for archival projects by the CCA 185 185 185
3. Development of archival capacity undertaken by the CCA 385 385 385
Total $1,710 $1,710 $1,710

The eligible expenses for all recipients (including the CCA) cover wages and employment- related costs for staff, fees for professional services, the lease or purchase of equipment and supplies, transportation of archival materials, and travel. In addition, the CCA is allowed to claim rent for premises and insurance.

Since 1989, the level of funding for the previous contribution programs administered by LAC has remained stable at approximately $1.7 million annually.

The value and number of projects funded through the NADP were as follows for the three years ending March 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009:

  2008-2009 2007-2008 2006-2007
(Estimated) (Actual) (Actual)
  ($000) ($000) ($000)
NADP contributions $1,081 $1,121 $1,066
Contributions paid by partners 1,222 957 584
In-kind contributions assumed by partners 273 1,194 761
Total value of projects $2,576 $3,272 $2,411
Number of projects funded through the NADP 102 118 93

Ninety-three percent of the 311 projects funded by the NADP from April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2009 received less than $25,000 by project. Projects that received contributions of less than $10,000 represented sixty-six percent of all projects funded in 2008-2009. Only two projects have received more than $50,000 in the past three years.

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