CPA Canada honours sound public sector financial management

Innovation and leadership were in the spotlight tonight as Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) presented its annual Awards of Excellence in Public Sector Financial Management.

TORONTO, May 12, 2016 – Innovation and leadership were in the spotlight as Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) presented its annual Awards of Excellence in Public Sector Financial Management.

Two innovation awards were handed out last night at the Ottawa event with one going to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for its new Financial Guarantee Program. Statistics Canada was the other winner with its Financial and Administrative Process Review and Automation team being honoured.

Susanne Robertson, CPA, CA, Chief Financial Officer of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), received the Financial Leadership (CFO) award.

"The awards are an affirmation that we have valued leaders and programs in the field of public sector financial management," says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “Raising awareness about outstanding innovation and leadership helps to strengthen the management of public finances in this country.”

2016 Innovation award

The Innovation award honours ground-breaking work that has made a significant contribution to financial management within the Government of Canada.

The CNSC’s Financial Guarantee Program requires all licensees for radiation devices, nuclear substances and Class II nuclear facilities to have sufficient funds to safely terminate activities in the event of a default (such as failure to comply to licence requirements or bankruptcy).  Without the guarantee program, funding and coordinating decommissioning activities fell to the CNSC; financial exposure was pegged at $60 million.

When it became clear that complying with the new guarantee program was administratively and financially prohibitive for industry, CNSC aggressively explored innovative approaches to find a workable model and developed a financial instrument that is in effect a hybrid between traditional insurance policies and surety bonds.

Turning to the Statistics Canada team, it was recognized for an aggressive initiative that transformed the delivery of the agency’s corporate services.

The project made delivery of financial and other corporate services more strategic and maintained operational support for programs at a reduced cost. The entire initiative was based on the principles of simplicity, reliability, responsiveness, accountability and efficiency.

2016 Financial Leadership (CFO) award

The Financial Leadership (CFO) award honours individuals who exhibit excellence and/or leadership in accounting, management and strategy within the Government of Canada.

Robertson’s legacy at the CMHR is synonymous with effective financial management. She played a major role in the development of all aspects of the CMHR and the care and due diligence that Robertson exhibits on a day-to-day basis is credited with ensuring the museum’s financial viability.

After less than three years in operation, CMHC now has nearly 200 employees and over 200 volunteers. It has won 27 local, national and international awards for digital media, design accessibility, interactive exhibits, engineering and more. It was also named one of the top five “coolest new attractions in the world” by New York’s Travel + Leisure magazine.

Background

The annual Awards of Excellence in Public Sector Financial Management, for eight years now, have promoted and encouraged a commitment to quality, enhancement and leadership. The awards are the only national program in Canada to recognize outstanding financial management leaders and initiatives within the federal public service.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy of the United Kingdom is the Platinum sponsor of the awards and was a founding partner in the program.

For more information on the awards and winners, visit: cpacanada.ca/PSFMawards