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Advisory Group Terms of Reference

  1. Preamble
    1.1 Mission Statement
    1.2 Goals

  2. IM/IT Governance Structure

  3. 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 Advisory Group

  4. IM/IT Advisory Group
    4.1 Roles and Responsibilities
    4.1.1 Framework
    4.1.2 Work of the IM/IT Advisory Group
    4.1.3 Time Commitment
    4.1.4 Decision Making and Recommendation Process
    4.1.5 Support to the IM/IT Advisory Group
    4.1.6 Policy on Expenses Incurred by IM/IT Advisory Group Members

    4.2 Membership
    4.2.1 Structure of the IM/IT Advisory Group
    4.2.2 Composition
    4.2.3 Rotation/Replacement of Members

    4.3 IM/IT Advisory Group Co-Chairs
    4.3.1 Selection and Replacement
    4.3.2 Roles and Responsibilities

  5. Confidentiality and Privacy

  6. Conflict of Interest

  7. Changes to the Terms of Reference

1.0 Preamble

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.

1.2 Goals

  • 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 service.
  • 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 Structure

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 representatives.

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 sector bodies.



3.0 Industry Canada

3.1 Industry Canada Roles and Responsibilities

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

4.1.1 Framework

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 Advisory Group

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 voluntary sector;
  • review applications and make recommendations to the IM/IT Secretariat on the most advantageous options for the strategy;
  • 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.

4.2 Membership

4.2.1 Structure 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.

4.2.2 Composition

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 organizations);
  • 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 outside Quebec;
  • individuals who are chosen due to their expertise in the technical field;
  • the Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat at Industry Canada.
4.2.3 Rotation/Replacement of Members

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 Co-Chairs

4.3.1 Selection and Replacement

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 process.

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.


5.0 Confidentiality and Privacy

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 of Reference

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.

 

 
 
  
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Last Updated: 2019-08-19