The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) monitors all grants to ensure that OTF funding is used for the purposes for which it was approved. Close monitoring and prudent decision-making concerning the use of OTF’s funds by grantees enhances the Foundation’s accountability for, and ensures the appropriate use of, public funds. As a steward of public funds, OTF rescinds grants and recovers grant funds under specific circumstances.
This policy defines OTF’s approach to the circumstances or conditions for rescinding a grant or a portion of a grant and recovering grant funds.
OTF may rescind a grant or a portion of a grant and recover grant funds when the grantee is in violation of OTF Policies or the Grant Contract, or where the grantee indicates they no longer need the grant or a portion of the grant, or cannot complete the activities of the grant.
3.1 OTF will rescind a grant in the following circumstances:
- A grantee fails to observe OTF’s policies, program guidelines or the Grant Contract, including OTF’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and Eligibility Policy
- A grantee uses OTF grant funds for purposes that are contrary to OTF’s policies, program guidelines or the Grant Contract unless revisions have been approved in writing
- A grantee fails to show satisfactory progress in achieving the grant’s outcomes
- The grant is not completed within the timelines specified in the Grant Contract, unless a revised timeline has been approved in writing
- Circumstances prevail that seriously jeopardize the successful completion of the grant or management of grant funds, including changes within the management or operations of the grantee
- Grant funds have been misappropriated, spent in bad faith or otherwise fraudulently employed
- At the request of a grantee
- A grantee no longer requires the grant funds, or a portion thereof
3.2 Fraud and misappropriation
In cases of fraud or misappropriation, OTF reserves the right to pursue the matter to the full extent of the law.
3.3 Recovery of funds
OTF requires the repayment of previously released grant payments in cases of unauthorized spending of OTF funds.
Unauthorized spending occurs when:
- OTF funds have been spent on activities not included in the approved grant budget and/or Grant Contract
- OTF funds have been reallocated without prior authorization
- OTF funds have been misappropriated, spent in bad faith or otherwise fraudulently employed
In alignment with the OTF Reallocation of Funds Policy, OTF requires the return of any surplus funds remaining at the end of the grant. In alignment with the Payment Release for Grantees Policy, OTF will retain any portion of the “holdback” which has not been spent appropriately by the time of the final report.
In instances where the return of funds is requested but the grantee does not comply, based on the amount to be recovered and other circumstances, OTF will make all reasonable efforts to recover the funds, including auditing the grant and/or taking legal action.
Grantees who have entered a repayment agreement with the Foundation will be unable to access any further funding until all monies have been repaid.
3.4 Multiple active grants
In the case of an organization with multiple active grants when a grant is rescinded at the initiation of the Foundation, all other grants will be subject to review by a member of the OTF Leadership Team. OTF reserves the right to consider the circumstances leading to a rescind as a violation or breech of any and all Grant Contracts and Letters of Agreement between the Foundation and the grantee.
3.5 Consideration of future grants
When assessing organizations, OTF considers the past performance of any previous grants to the applicant organization.
The circumstances around a rescinded grant – including the failure to return funds upon request – will be taken into account should the organization attempt to reapply directly or indirectly for OTF funding. OTF reserves the right to decline the registration of organizations or to refuse access to a new application when these circumstances arise, until the organization has sufficiently addressed OTF concerns to the satisfaction of the Foundation.
3.6 Parameters of Implementation / Responsibility for Compliance
The Board, in whole and at the Executive Committee, reserves the role of approving grant rescinds where there is a reputational risk and delegates the approval of other rescinds as follows.
- The Vice Presidents of Community Investments and Provincial Programs are responsible for approving rescinds where there is a low reputational risk and the value to be rescinded and/or recovered is up to and including $100,000
- The CEO is responsible for approving rescinds where there is a low reputational risk and the value to be rescinded and/or recovered is above $100,000.
Rescind: Reducing the amount of an approved grant and cancelling or reducing future payments of an approved grant or portion of a grant.
Recovery: Collecting from grantees or past grantees the repayment in whole or in part of previously released grant payments.
Fraud: An intentional false representation of any fact pertaining to the use of OTF funding or the initiative carried out under an OTF grant.
Reputational Risk: A risk of harm resulting from damages to the good name or standing of the Foundation.
Surplus Funds: An amount of funding that is unspent after the specified grant result(s) have been met.
Accountability; Grant Contract; Monitoring; Recover; Recovery; Rescind; Fraud; Reputational Risk
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