Advisory Group Terms of Reference
1.1 Mission Statement
- IM/IT Governance Structure
- Industry Canada
3.1 Industry Canada Roles and Responsibilities
3.2 Other Federal Departments' Secretariats, Social Development Canada (SDC) and JSC
3.3 Federal Government Participation on the IM/IT
- IM/IT Advisory Group
4.1 Roles and Responsibilities
4.3 IM/IT Advisory Group Co-Chairs
- Conflict of Interest
- Changes to the Terms
The Information Management/Information Technology
(IM/IT) program of the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) is a joint
federal government/voluntary sector program which will help strengthen
the technological capacity of voluntary organizations to achieve their
specific mission and mandate.
1.1 Mission Statement
The mission of the IM/IT program for the Voluntary
Sector is to implement the five component strategy recommended by the
IM/IT Joint Table to help strengthen voluntary organizations with the
knowledge and technological capacity they need to achieve their specific
mission and mandate.
- Increase the funding available to voluntary
organizations for investing in technology by establishing a dialogue
with funders of the sector in order to change their funding policies
and practices to include technology investments.
- Help voluntary organizations make more efficient
and effective use of technology by linking existing community-based
networks together, providing a central access point to the networks,
and providing access to discounted pricing for IT investment through
a virtual technology store.
- Strengthen the capacity of voluntary organizations
to communicate and network by developing a portal.
- Increase the cost-effectiveness of grant-seeking
and grant-giving processes by developing a web-based interactive funding
- Increase the awareness of voluntary organizations
of the benefits of information management and information technology
for the achievement of their mission.
2.0 IM/IT Governance
Industry Canada has governance of the IM/IT
program. The Program will seek guidance and advice on an as needed basis
from an Advisory Group composed of voluntary sector and federal government
This Advisory Group will bring with it: expertise
in a variety of areas, public support and credibility, knowledge of
the voluntary sector and its needs, knowledge of the machinery of government,
influence to attract financial and material resources, preservation
of the democratic process, and an objective point of view. Alternatively,
the staff of Industry Canada/IM/IT Secretariat bring: thorough knowledge
of the program and experience in policy development, program management,
full-time commitment, knowledge of the voluntary sector through VolNet,
and expertise in their area of work.
Delivery of the five component strategy will
be done through several implementation teams selected through a competitive
process. These implementation teams will eventually take ownership of
the projects on behalf of the voluntary sector.
The roll-out of the IM/IT strategy will
be done in collaboration with the Secretariats of the other Joint
Tables, SDC, the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and other voluntary
3.0 Industry Canada
3.1 Industry Canada Roles
Industry Canada is responsible for the implementation
of the strategy recommended by the IM/IT Joint Table. As its major partner,
Industry Canada will seek the advice of the IM/IT Advisory Group on
an as needed basis in aspects of policy development, program planning,
implementation, evaluation and monitoring. Industry Canada will inform
the IM/IT Advisory Group of its activities on a regular basis. The IM/IT
Secretariat Manager will seek advice from the IM/IT Advisory Group.
Industry Canada will also consult with SDC, the JSC structure and the
other concerned federal departments' secretariats about the best method
of delivering the IM/IT strategy. Ultimate authority for the implementation
of any recommendations or advice rests with Industry Canada.
3.2 Other Federal
Departments Secretariats, SDC and JSC
Other Departments' Secretariats of the
VSI and SDC meet with Industry Canada on a regular basis to be
updated on the progress of the IM/IT program, exchange ideas and
information about their respective secretariats and how, on some
fronts, we can all work together. JSC is also updated regularly
through SDC. Every effort will be made to facilitate the collaboration
and sharing of information between the various secretariats involved
in the VSI, SDC and the JSC.
3.3 Federal Government
Participation on the IM/IT Advisory Group
The Director General of Programs, Information
Highway Applications Branch (IHAB) at Industry Canada will participate
on the IM/IT Advisory Group as will the Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat.
In addition, the IM/IT Advisory Group will be composed of a number of
voluntary sector and federal government representatives. The federal
government representatives will come from the other secretariats involved
in the VSI.
4.0 IM/IT Advisory Group
4.1 Roles and Responsibilities
The IM/IT Advisory Group will advise and guide
the IM/IT Secretariat at Industry Canada within the framework of the
strategy's mission and goals as they have been accepted by the Government.
The IM/IT Advisory Group will also work within
the framework of the following program principles:
- that the initiative be designed by working
in partnership with other sectors; that it should build on existing
structures, networks and programs, and that responsibilities and benefits
should be shared;
- that the initiative serve to help with the
stability and sustainability of the voluntary sector;
- that the initiative should put organization
and management ahead of technology - recognize that technology should
serve - not determine - the needs of voluntary organizations;
- that a fair and transparent mechanism be
identified to assist with the implementation of the program;
- that the initiative be implemented to create
the greatest impact upon the sector, keeping in mind the specific
needs of a variety of communities of interest; and
- that the products of the initiative must
meet the common look and feel of accessibility guidelines.
4.1.2 Work of the IM/IT
The IM/IT Advisory Group will:
- provide advice and guidance to the IM/IT
Secretariat on an as needed basis;
- ensure continuity and understanding of the
underlying rationale and logic behind the strategy;
- guide the evaluation of, and improvement
to, the projects;
- facilitate partnerships between IM/IT and
other key groups involved with and/or interested in supporting the
- review applications and make recommendations
to the IM/IT Secretariat on the most advantageous options for the
- evaluate proposals received from organizations
that want to become Implementation teams and submit its recommendation
to the Program.
4.1.3 Time Commitment
The work of the IM/IT Advisory Group will be
conducted mainly through conference calls, electronic communications
(e-mail) and some face-to-face meetings. It is expected that the IM/IT
Advisory Group will meet initially to enable members to meet personally
and could meet once annually thereafter. It is expected that, during
the selection of organizations that will become the Implementation Teams
for each deliverable, a monthly conference call will be held. After
this period, conference calls will only be on an as needed basis.
4.1.4 Decision Making
and Recommendation Process
The IM/IT Advisory Group shall provide advice/guidance
through discussions. The advice and recommendations will be presented
to the IM/IT Program. Members of the Advisory Group will be kept informed
of processes and decisions on an ongoing basis.
4.1.5 Support to the
IM/IT Advisory Group
The IM/IT Secretariat will ensure the members
receive copies of the applications of organizations that want to become
Implementation Teams for review purposes and will keep the IM/IT Advisory
Group updated on the implementation of the strategy. The Secretariat
will organize the annual meetings and the conference calls.
4.1.6 Policy on Expenses
Incurred by IM/IT Advisory Group Members
IM/IT Advisory Group Members are volunteers.
Members will be reimbursed for travel expenses related to work done
as an IM/IT Advisory Group member. All expenses must be pre-approved
by the Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat.
of the IM/IT Advisory Group
The IM/IT Advisory Group will include members,
two Co-Chairs, and the Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat. There will
be no alternate members.
The IM/IT membership may include:
- approximately 15 individuals, with representatives
from the federal government and voluntary sector, generally at senior
levels, to be determined by the IM/IT Secretariat;
- some individuals of the IM/IT Joint Table
interested in continuing with this project;
- strong representation from the voluntary
sector (e.g. staff and volunteers; national, regional and/or local
- individuals who are chosen with respect to
their depth of knowledge of and contacts in the voluntary sector and
their skills and qualifications;
- Francophone members from both inside and
- individuals who are chosen due to their expertise
in the technical field;
- the Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat at Industry
The IM/IT Advisory Group will exist until the
end of the program set for March 2005. It is understood that members
will remain on the Advisory Group until that time. In the event of a
resignation, the IM/IT Secretariat may replace the member depending
on the status of the implementation at that time and whether there is
a need for a replacement.
4.3 IM/IT Advisory Group
The IM/IT Advisory Group Co-Chairs will be
chosen by Industry Canada in consultation with the Advisory Group members.
The Co-Chairs will be representatives from the voluntary sector and
the federal government respectively. The term of office of the Co-Chairs
will be for the duration of the program. If due to unforeseen circumstances,
a Co-Chair needs to step down, a replacement will be chosen by the same
4.3.2 Roles and Responsibilities
The IM/IT Advisory Group Co-Chairs are:
- responsible for presiding over the IM/IT
Advisory Group meetings;
- responsible for giving advice to Industry
Canada through the Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat;
- responsible for ensuring that members follow
conflict of interest guidelines.
From time to time, members of the IM/IT Advisory
Group may discuss or review confidential or sensitive issues/documents.
When providing guidance to the Government, members should note that
confidentiality and privacy provisions apply. Members are not permitted
to divulge any information to a third party without the prior consent
of the Government. Any inquiries from third parties about the Advisory
Group matters should be referred to Industry Canada.
Members should also note that, under the Access
to Information and Privacy Act, subsection 19 (2), it is prohibited
to disclose personal information. Personal information is defined in
section 3 of the Privacy Act as information about an identifiable individual
that is recorded in any form.
6.0 Conflict of Interest
The IM/IT Advisory Group members are required
to divulge in writing, to Industry Canada, any situations of potential
or real conflict of interest. Conflict of interest situations may arise,
for instance, in the event that the member is participating in the review
of applications for the IM/IT program. Members of the IM/IT Advisory
Group will be allowed to submit proposals to the IM/IT program, however
if they were involved in the development of an application or have any
vested interest in an application, they will not be permitted to participate
in the evaluation process of the related competition.
7.0 Changes to the Terms
These terms of reference may be amended at
any meeting of the IM/IT Advisory Group by consensus. All amendments
are subject to approval by Industry Canada.