Preparing for a Tri-Agency Financial Monitoring Review - For Researchers

Financial Monitoring Review

The Tri-Agency, National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Council (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), have confirmed that they will undertake a financial monitoring review of the University of Alberta during the months of November and December, 2016. 

Purpose of Financial Monitoring Review

The purpose of the monitoring review by the Tri-Agency is to confirm that the University of Alberta fulfills its research grant funds management responsibilities as set out in the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.

The review is also used to assess our internal control framework.

Importance of the Financial Monitoring Review

Positive findings from the review can provide comfort to all of our research sponsors that their dollars are being safeguarded. Negative findings from the review could result in funding from the Tri-Agency being suspended or withdrawn.

What Researchers Can Expect during a Monitoring Review

Reviewers from the Tri-Agency may contact researchers via telephone or email to discuss expenditures they have sampled.

RSO will be asked  to provide supporting documentation for a sample of researcher expenditures. Samples will come from the most recent completed fiscal year (April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016). RSO may need to contact researchers for additional information.

The Tri-Agency will verify that expenditures are:

  • Eligible - The Tri-Agency provides specific guidelines on acceptable use of grant funds. Where guidelines are not provided, University of Alberta policies and procedures apply. Examples of ineligible expenditures include alcohol and first-class travel.
  • Compliant - Reviewers ensure that all expenses have adequate supporting documentation as required by the Tri-Agency and University of Alberta guidelines.
What to Expect in a Telephone Interview

In the telephone interview, researchers may be asked of their roles and responsibilities. The reviewer may ask about the researcher’s familiarity with the Tri-Council Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.

Researchers might also be asked about the process for reviewing and approving expenditures or how new or emerging ethics requirements are approached during research.