FAQ for Contributions Program funding recipients 2017-18

Note:  Should there exist any discrepancy between this FAQ and your contribution agreement, the contribution agreement will have precedence.

1. What are the key dates I need to remember under my contribution agreement?

Your contribution agreement contains action items that must be accomplished by certain dates. They are listed here, along with other key dates:

Date Required Action
The “Effective Date” of your contribution agreement.

April 1 of the first Fiscal Year specified in section 4.3 of your contribution agreement, or the date at which both you as the Recipient and the OPC have signed the agreement, whichever date is latest.

IMPORTANT: The start or effective date of your contribution agreement is the earliest date at of which you may begin incurring eligible costs for your project.

November 14, 2017 The latest date on which you must provide the OPC with your first progress report.
January 31, 2018 The date on or before which you must inform the OPC in writing of any potential under-spending for your project.
February 14, 2018 The latest date on which you must provide the OPC with your second progress report.
March 31, 2018

This date is important for three reasons:

  1. IMPORTANT: It is the completion date for your OPC funded project—i.e. the day on or before which your project must be completed and delivered to the OPC.
  2. It is also the last day on which you may incur eligible costs for your project.
  3. Finally, it is the final date on which you must provide the OPC with a written estimate of the costs you expect to include in your final claim for payment.
April 15, 2018 The latest date which you can submit your written final claim for payment.
April 30, 2018 The date on which you must post your project on the web for the public to see and provide the OPC with the URL linking to your project.

2. What am I supposed to provide to the OPC on the completion date?

You must provide the OPC with the following materials:

  • The completed project
  • A 250 word summary of the project (in either English or French)
  • At a minimum, you are required to provide a written estimate of your anticipated final claim for payment. Alternatively, you may also submit your final claim for payment at this time.

3. What is the difference between the Project Completion Date and the Revised Deliverables Date?

The Project Completion Date – March 31 – is when you must submit your final, completed deliverable(s) to the OPC.  On this day, your project is finished, for the purposes of invoicing the OPC.

Upon review of your deliverable(s), the OPC may see that something has not been completed to our satisfaction.  This is where the Revised Deliverables Date comes into consideration.  The OPC may return your deliverable(s) to you, asking that you rework or improve them, and the Revised Deliverables Date – June 30 – is the last date on which you may submit these revised deliverables to us.

The Revised Deliverables Date of June 30 IS NOT additional time given to you from the outset, to complete your projects upon submission of a “preliminary” deliverable on March 31.  Your deliverable(s) – in final and complete form – must absolutely be submitted to us on the Project Completion Date of March 31.  The Revised Deliverables Date of June 30 is simply there to give both you and the OPC a contractual framework within which to operate, should we ask you to improve your deliverables after the Project Completion Date.

If your deliverable(s) are submitted to us after the Completion Date of March 31, they will be deemed late and you will be considered to be in default of your contribution agreement.

4. How do I invoice for a payment?

 When you submit a claim for payment you must include the following:

  • An invoice for payment of the amount to be paid by OPC for eligible costs incurred during the period covered by your contribution agreement
  • A duly filled out Schedule C—Project Expenditures Report, which summarizes your actual expenses on the project
  • The project’s general ledger, which provides a detailed, itemized and reconciled statement of all eligible costs incurred during the period being claimed
  • A report of the work completed during the period of the claim
  • Any other material as required and deemed necessary by OPC to issue your payment

5. What constitutes an eligible cost?

An eligible cost means the reasonable costs directly related to the performance of your project. Schedule B of your agreement sets out the eligible costs and lists non-eligible costs as well. Note that claimed indirect administrative expenses should be limited to no more than 15% of the total actual project costs, as per the amount awarded to you by the OPC under your Agreement.

6. What constitutes a “material change” to the project?

“Material change” means a change of any aspect of the estimated total scope of the project, the nature of the project, the estimated eligible costs, the project financing, the legal status of the recipient, or the key project personnel.

IMPORTANT: As a recipient of a contribution, you are obligated under paragraph 5 of your agreement to ensure that no material changes are made to your project without the prior written consent of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Communicate with the OPC prior to making any material changes, so that an amendment to your agreement may be drafted and sent to you for signature.

7. What constitutes an event of default under my contribution agreement?

Your agreement sets out what an event of default is:

  • A material change made without the prior written consent of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
  • The contribution agreement, or any document delivered to the OPC under it or in connection with it, is at any time incorrect in any material respect.
  • The Recipient submits false or misleading information submitted to the OPC or makes a false or misleading representation or warranty under the agreement.
  • The Recipient fails to satisfy a material term, condition, or undertaking of the agreement.
  • The Recipient is late in submitting a deliverable.
  • The Recipient submits deliverables that the OPC deems incomplete or unsatisfactory as per the terms of the agreement.

Your agreement also sets out the remedies that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner may exercise if an event of default has occurred.

8. What are “progress reports” and why do I have to submit them?

Section 10 of your contribution agreement states that you must provide the OPC with at least two progress reports annually on your project; the dates by which you are to submit your progress reports are also set out in this section. We need these progress reports to ensure that your project is on time, that it is unfolding as planned, and that the funds allocated to it will be spent. The template for the progress reports is available on our web site.  

9. What guidelines must I abide by in carrying out my project?

As applicable, you must conduct your research in accordance with the ethics and integrity principles set out in the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct Of Research and the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.

10. Do I retain intellectual property rights arising from my project?

Yes. Intellectual property rights arising from a Contributions Program project are vested in the recipient. However, your contribution agreement also provides that you grant to the OPC the licensed rights to produce, publish, translate, reproduce, adapt, broadcast or use at no cost, some or all works subject to such intellectual property rights.

11. Suppose my project spans two fiscal years, and in the first year I spend (and therefore invoice the OPC) less on the project than I had budgeted for; can I make up the lapsed funds by invoicing the OPC more in the second year of the project?

No. The OPC cannot carry forward lapsed funds under the Contributions Program from one fiscal year to the next. Because of this, if your project comes under budget and you lapse funds in Year 1 of the project, you will be required to assume the costs of those lapsed funds in Year 2. Refer to section 4 of your agreement for the details pertaining to the annual disbursements for your project.

For more information on your contribution agreement, contact François Cadieux, Senior Research Analyst (Program Manager), at 819-994-6010 or contrib@priv.gc.ca.

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