Research accountability
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Research Accountability. Evolution of accountability. Corporate scandals (eg. Enron in 2000) Financial crises Implementation of new acts, policies, and auditing standards. University of Calgary. Tri-Council Agency investigating a case of suspected research fraud

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Research Accountability

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Research Accountability

Evolution of accountability

Corporate scandals (eg. Enron in 2000)

Financial crises

Implementation of new acts, policies, and auditing standards

University of Calgary

  • Tri-Council Agency investigating a case of suspected research fraud

  • PI allegedly misused NSERC funds:

    • Purchases seemed ‘inconsistent’ with grant proposals (computers, monitors, Smartphone, aluminum wheels, home entertainment gear, televisions, etc…. $150K

  • Press got hold of Tri-Council report and allegations

  • Press published photos and name of PI

Expense Reimbursement Claims

Expense Claims - Proper Documentation

  • Original receipts are required

    • Meals

      • Itemized receipts from restaurants + names of participants + justification

    • Flights – boarding passes, ticket, proof of payment

    • Rail travel – ticket stub

    • Accommodations – detailed statement of guest charges

    • Taxis – fare and purpose should be clearly indicated on receipt

    • Non-travel expenses – clearly indicate purpose on receipt

    • Expenses must be claimed within current year

Expense Claims - Proper Documentation (cont)

  • Business class (U of T GTFM)

    • Request approval from the Department Head prior to making arrangements; attach correspondence

    • Justification

      • Medical conditions with special requirements

      • Duration of flight exceeds 6 hours

      • Special deal – business class is the lower fare

    • Rail travel exceeds 4 hours

    • NSERC/CIHR do not support business class travel

Expense Claims - Proper Documentation (cont)

What if some expenses are covered by another institute?

“Where original receipts are not available due to shared funding arrangements, then a copy of the reimbursement cheque from the other funding source should accompany the request for reimbursement from the University” (GTFM)

Expense Claims – Proper Documentation (cont)

  • Entertainment:

    • Costs must be reasonable

      • Standard – hotel dining room

    • Must clearly document the business purpose

    • Guests should be limited to individuals who can contribute directly to the business purpose

      • Must be paid by most senior employee in attendance

    • Entertaining fellow employees is notreimbursable, except in special/unusual circumstances

      • Justified examples include promotion, recognition, retirement

      • Must clearly document business purpose

      • One-up approval is required in advance

What’s New?

New Directives

Ontario Government

Open, fair, and transparent financial practices at the University

Compliance is mandatory

1. Expense Reimbusement Claims(effective January 1, 2012)

  • Per diem for meals can no longer be claimed from:

    • PI fund centres (operating accounts)

    • Any grant funded by any agency or ministry of the Ontario Government

    • Original receipts must be submitted for all meal expenses to be claimed from operating accounts or grants funded by the Ontario Government

    • Moving away from claiming per diems


Expense Claims (continued)

  • Alcohol – still allowable from PI funds centres, but with moderate use and price point

    • “responsible and prudent use of public funds should be considered when requesting reimbursement for alcohol”

    • 1 bottle of moderately priced wine for a group of 4 people


2. Procurement(currently in effect)

  • Contracting consulting services

    • Must obtain 3 quotes

    • Cannot reimburse consultants’ expenses

Procurement (cont)

  • Contracting licensed professional services

    • ONLY – lawyers, engineers, architects, land surveyors, pharmacists, nurses, medical doctors, accountants, veterinarians, dentists

    • Must use sole source form

  • Contact business officer before engaging consultants or licensed professionals


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