Terms and Conditions: Contributions

The following terms and conditions apply to financial contributions made under the Department of Justice’s (“the Department”) Aboriginal Justice Strategy (“AJS”) Fund, which will subsequently be referred to as the “Fund”.  These terms and conditions are draft in accordance with Treasury Board’s Policy on Transfer Payments dated October 2008.

1. Authority

The Department of Justice Act provides the Minister the legislative authority to manage programs relevant to the administration of justice. The Cabinet Committee for Social Affairs approved the Aboriginal Justice Strategy in November 2006. The Program continues to be earmarked in the Department’s reference level.

2. Description of the AJS

2.1. Objectives of the Aboriginal Justice Strategy (AJS)

The AJS enables Aboriginal communities to have increased involvement in the local administration of justice and, as such, provides timely and effective alternatives to mainstream justice processes in appropriate circumstances. AJS programs are also aimed at reducing the rates of victimization, crime and incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities operating AJS programs, and helping the mainstream justice system become more responsive and sensitive to the needs and culture of Aboriginal communities. All requests for funding/financial assistance must be consistent with the overall objectives of the AJS.

The overall objectives of the Strategy are:

  • to contribute to a decrease in the rate of victimization, crime and incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities operating AJS programs;
  • to assist Aboriginal people to assume greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities;
  • to provide better and more timely information about community justice programs funded by the AJS; and
  • to reflect and include Aboriginal values within the justice system.

2.2. Objectives of the Funding Components

Community-Based Justice Fund

The Community-Based Justice Fund provides support to community-based justice programs, which are cost-shared with provincial and territorial governments. The objectives of the Community-Based Justice Fund component are:

  • to help reduce the rates of crime and incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities with cost-shared programs;
  • to allow Aboriginal people the opportunity to assume greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities; and,
  • to foster improved responsiveness, fairness, inclusiveness, and effectiveness of the justice system with respect to justice and its administration so as to meet the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people in the areas of appropriate models for:
    1. diversion;
    2. development of pre-sentencing options;
    3. sentencing alternatives (circles);
    4. use of Justices of the Peace;
    5. family and civil mediation; and,
    6. additional community justice services such as victims support or offender-reintegration services which support the overall goals of the AJS or, where affiliated with a successful program under any of the above.

Capacity- Building Fund

The Capacity Building Fund is designed to support capacity-building efforts in Aboriginal communities, particularly as they relate to building increased knowledge and skills for the establishment and management of community-based justice programs. The objectives of the Capacity-Building Fund Component are:

  • to support the training and/or developmental needs of Aboriginal communities that currently do not have community-based justice programs;
  • to supplement the on-going training needs of current community-based justice programs where the cost-shared budget does not adequately meet these needs, including  supporting  evaluation activities, data collection, sharing of best practices and useful models;
  • to support activities targeted at improved community reporting in AJS communities and the development of data management systems;
  • to support the development of new justice programs, paying particular attention to:
    • the current geographic/regional imbalance in programming;
    • the commitment to develop new programs in the under-represented program models, such as dispute resolution for civil and family/child welfare; and,
  • to support one-time or annual events and initiatives (as opposed to on-going projects and programs) that build bridges, trust and partnerships between the mainstream justice system and Aboriginal communities.

2.3 Alignment with Departmental and Government Objectives

The AJS is clearly aligned with federal roles and responsibilities as the policy mandate and responsibilities of the Minister of Justice include Aboriginal justice, while the day-to-day administration of justice is the responsibility of the provinces and territories. The AJS is delivered in a manner consistent with this constitutional division of powers, as this federally-coordinated program supports the establishment and delivery of Aboriginal community justice programming.

The objectives of the AJS are consistent with the priorities of the Department and align with the Department’s strategic outcome to “create a fair, relevant and accessible justice system that reflects Canadian values”.

2.4 Expected Results, Performance Measures and Indicators for Monitoring and Reporting

The expected results of the AJS are to continue providing access to community-based justice programs for Aboriginal people. Performance indicators include the number of AJS community-based justice programs.

The effectiveness of the AJS will be monitored on an ongoing basis, in cooperation with the provinces and territories. A formal evaluation will also be carried out.

3. Eligibility Criteria

3.1 Eligible Recipients

Community-Based Justice Fund

Any of the following may be eligible for contribution funding under the Community-Based Justice Fund:

  1. First Nations, bands, Tribal Councils, local, regional and national Aboriginal organizations;

  2. regional/municipal governments including their agencies and institutions;

  3. non-profit community organizations, societies, and associations which have voluntarily associated themselves for a non-profit purpose; and,

  4. provincial and territorial governments (in the case of flow-through agreements).

Capacity-Building Fund

Any of the following may be eligible for contribution funding under the Capacity-Building Fund:

  1. First Nations, bands, Tribal Councils, local, regional and national Aboriginal organizations;

  2. regional/municipal governments including their agencies and institutions;

  3. non-profit community organizations, societies, and associations which have voluntarily associated themselves for a non-profit purpose;

  4. provincial and territorial governments;

  5. individuals; and,

  6. for-profit corporations, as long as these corporations will not make a profit on the work performed.

3.2 Eligible Initiatives or Activities

Community-Based Justice Fund

Initiatives or activities that support the Community-Based Justice Fund can fall at any point along the justice continuum, including but not limited to, prevention, pre-charge, post-charge and reintegration. To be eligible for funding, all initiatives or activities must have a clear link to the objectives of the AJS.

Initiatives or activities that are eligible for funding under the Community-Based Justice Fund include, but are not limited to:

  • Prevention or reintegration;
  • Diversion;
  • Dispute resolution or mediation;
  • Sentencing options;
  • Support to victims;
  • Public awareness.

Capacity-Building Fund

Initiatives or activities that are eligible for funding under the Capacity-Building Fund include those that:

  • support the training and/or developmental needs of Aboriginal communities that currently do not have AJS community-based justice programs;
  • supplement the on-going training needs of AJS community-based justice programs;
  • support activities that improve reporting and/or the development of data collection systems in communities that have AJS programs;
  • support the development of new Aboriginal community-based justice programs, paying particular attention to current geographic/regional imbalance in programming.
  • support one-time or annual events and initiatives (as opposed to on-going projects and programs) that build bridges, trust and partnerships with the justice system and Aboriginal communities.

Based on Departmental priorities and resources, emphasis may be placed on certain eligible initiatives or activities over others.

3.3 Eligible Expenditures

Funds may be used only for expenditures directly related to the activities of the project/program identified in either the original budgetary submission or a subsequent budget approved by the Department. When required, the recipient must budget for audits of financial statements.

Eligible expenditures include:

  1. fees and disbursements;

  2. salaries and Employee Benefit Plans;

  3. honoraria;

  4. liability insurance;

  5. fees for professional services;

  6. rent, utilities, maintenance of offices and other buildings, and taxes;

  7. office equipment and minor capital acquisitions net of disposal (Less than $5,000 per acquisition);

  8. insurance on buildings, equipment and materials and fidelity bonds;

  9. supplies and materials, shipping charges, stationery, postage, printing, licenses and other fees;

  10. culturally relevant expenditures, including, but not limited to, gifts, community feasts, and ceremonial meals;

  11. travel and living expenses related to AJS projects;

  12. training;

  13. computer services, library expenses, research costs and collection and analysis of statistics;

  14. advertising the availability of AJS project services;

  15. continuing legal education, training and professional development for staff; and,

  16. administration costs (should be limited to no more than 20% of the total value of the funding agreement).

The following expenditures are ineligible:

  1. costs or debts incurred prior to the effective date of the agreement, unless agreed to by the parties;

  2. capital costs such as buildings, land and vehicles; and,

  3. most other major capital costs that are more than $5,000 per acquisition.

4. Contracting Procedures

Unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Department, the recipient shall use a competitive process when procuring goods and services in relation to the administration of the initiatives or activities in the funding agreement when the value (including GST/HST) of the goods or services is $25,000 or more.

5. Funding Applications and Assessment Criteria

5.1 Where appropriate, applications for funding should include:

  1. name, address, telephone, facsimile number and e-mail address of the applicant's authorized representative(s), and legal status;

  2. background history of the applicant including its mandate and a description of the programs and services it provides;

  3. indication of any previous financial support received from the Department including the amount, the purpose of the funded activity/initiative and the results achieved;

  4. demonstrated links to the objectives of the AJS;

  5. detailed project/program description including title, identified need, goals and objectives, identification of the target groups (beneficiaries), anticipated impacts, results (service or product) and deliverables, and demonstrated community support;

  6. detailed project/program budget including: amount requested from the Department, other proposed sources of revenue including in-kind support (if applicable) and a detailed list of proposed expenditures;

  7. plan for evaluating the project/program at the community level, including performance indicators;

  8. any disclosure of  the involvement of prospective recipients who are subject to the Post-employment Measures of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, and the Parliament of Canada Act.

  9. how the project/program will acknowledge the contribution of the Department; and,

  10. any additional material deemed relevant, as requested by the Department.

5.2. Criteria Used to Assess Funding Applications

In reviewing and recommending applications under the Community-Based Justice Fund and the Capacity-Building Fund, the Department will take into consideration the following factors, where appropriate:

  1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and criminal law will apply;

  2. The applicant has demonstrated that the goals, objectives and anticipated results outlined in their application can be met;

  3. The applicant has demonstrated that their application links to the objectives of the AJS; and the specific objectives of the component from which it is requesting funding;

  4. The costs of the application reflect the specific circumstances of the community, including remoteness, available infrastructure, etc.;

  5. The applicant has demonstrated how their project/program links to other programs and services in the community;

  6. The project/program is distinctive from on-going implementation of a governance agreement; and,

  7. The applicant has provided all additional material deemed relevant and requested by the Department.

6. Funding Formula

Contribution funding will be determined based on: an assessment of recipient need, previous performance, capacity to achieve results, and previous experience with funding agreement management. For the cost-shared Community-Based Justice Fund, where appropriate, assessments will be conducted in collaboration with the respective provincial or territorial government. Additionally, federal AJS funding has a maximum predetermined level per province and territory.

7. Total Canadian Government Funding and Stacking Limits

When reviewing proposals, Departmental officials will ensure that contributions made under the Fund will not cover expenses already covered through another federal funding program or strategy. When applying for funding, applicants will be required to indicate what, if any, other funds a project is expected to receive.  Total government assistance (TGA) (federal, provincial and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) will not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures. This stacking limit must be respected when funding is provided. In the event that the actual TGA to a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, it will be necessary for the Department to adjust its level of funding (and seek reimbursement, if necessary) so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.  The Department will require all potential recipients to disclose all sources of funding.

Community-Based Justice Fund

Total federal AJS funding for the Community-Based Justice Fund will be limited to a maximum of 50% of eligible expenditures for all programs in each province and territory over the mandate of the AJS. Memorandums of Understanding or other such administrative arrangements will be negotiated between the federal and the respective provincial/territorial governments to recognize new and existing provincial/territorial expenditures. Recognition of existing provincial/territorial expenditures may include goods or services in-kind.

Capacity-Building Fund

The federal government may cover up to 100% of the eligible expenditures for the Capacity-Building Fund.

8. Maximum Amount Payable

Contributions under the Community-Based Justice Fund shall not exceed $500,000 per year, per funding agreement.

Contributions under the Capacity-Building Fund shall not exceed $100,000 per year, per funding agreement.

A recipient may receive funding from the Community-Based Justice Fund and the Capacity-Building Fund in any given year and may be approved for more than one contribution under either fund, as long as the funding is provided for different initiatives or activities and there is no duplication of expenditures associated with the project already covered through another federally-funded program or initiative. Total grant and contribution funding to any one eligible recipient shall not exceed $2,500,000 per year.

9. Basis of Payments

Payments to recipients will be made, as appropriate, based on claimed expenditures, or through advance payments based on cash-flow forecast in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments (October 1, 2008), and section 6.4 (Cash Management) in the Directive on Transfer Payments 

Progress payments will be provided to recipients on the basis of written claims supported by substantiating documentation, as may be required by the Department.

For advance payments, an initial payment will be made to recipients based on cash-flow forecast for a specific period. Where appropriate, subsequent advance payments will be calculated by taking the cash-flow forecast amount for the next period minus any excess amount the recipient has on hand from previous payments.

The Department may withhold a portion of the contribution (based on risk level), not exceeding 20% of the total contribution until after the recipient’s final reports have been received and approved. Final payment will be made following receipt and approval of the final claim and any other required final deliverables.

Any interest earned by a recipient on advance payments paid by Canada shall be accounted for by the recipient. The interest may be retained by the recipient and used by it to defray program funding costs to meet AJS objectives, as outlined in section 2, and as related to Eligible Expenditures, as outlined in section 3.3.

Where appropriate, payments may be based on pre-determined amounts as per Appendix K of the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments.

10. Repayments

A provision for repayment is to be included in the funding agreement covering the contribution, in the event a recipient receives more funding than anticipated from other sources. Where a recipient has failed to provide an accounting or has not used the contribution for authorized purposes, a demand for an accounting or repayment may be issued pursuant to sections 76(1)(b) and (c) respectively of the Financial Administration Act.

The Department will negotiate specific terms of repayment to suit the particular capacities and concerns of recipients within the context of the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments. The Department is accountable for ensuring that reasonable recoveries are made.

11. Monitoring and Reporting Mechanisms

The Department will review and assess all reports (financial and activity) for compliance with the objectives, priorities and terms and conditions of the AJS.

The Department will monitor to ensure that recipients fulfil all conditions of the funding agreement. Payments will be made to recipients in accordance with the terms and conditions of the AJS and the funding agreement.

Recipients will be required to submit financial statements that include revenues received and expenditures incurred, as well as any other required final reports and/or deliverables. The Department will review the statements and reports to ensure that spending was aligned with the approved budget and expected results have been achieved, prior to the issuance of final payment.

To ensure proper scrutiny of the disbursement of public funds, the Department will carry out site audits (as necessary) in accordance with paragraph 6.5 of the Directive on Transfer Payments. Audits (when deemed necessary) will ensure that recipients have complied with the terms and conditions of the AJS and the funding agreement. As part of the process of selecting recipients for site audits, projects/programs will be reviewed against established Departmental criteria.

Reports on evaluations, audits and other reviews related to funding agreements may be made available to the public.

12. Official Languages

All materials and services for applicants and recipients are available in the official language of their choice. The program will ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to support the development of official language minority communities in Canada, as well as to promote the full recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society.

Applicants will be required to provide information on whether the project/activity will lead to services being provided in both official languages and the impact the project/activity may have on official language minority communities. Recipients receiving funding will be required to respect the spirit and intent of Canada’s Official Languages Act when providing services to the public as part of a funding agreement.

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