Financial Management System Certification
Any First Nation seeking to demonstrate financial management capacity can request a financial management systems Certificate from the FNFMB under FNFMB’s Certification licensing agreement.
First Nations scheduled to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) and intending to become a borrowing member of the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) must obtain a Financial Management System Certificate, a First Nation must have a Financial Administration Law (FAL) or Laws that meet FNFMB standards (click here to see FAL Approval Services).
The Financial Management System Standards (FMS) are comprised of the essential processes and procedures that facilitate compliance with the Financial Administration Law and provide the requisite design and implementation requirements of sound financial practices for the operation, management, reporting and monitoring of financial management system of a First Nation government.
The FMS deal with the same sections as the FAL but provides greater depth on how to implement process and procedures to meet the requisite standards. The FNFMB has supplemented the FMS with sample policies and procedures.
The basis of the Financial Management System Certification is the B2 – Financial Management System Standards which include core standards required to implement the requirements of a FAL that meets FNFMB standards.
Steps for Financial Management System Certification
- First Nations wishing to participate in the FMA borrowing program must request to be added to the FMA. This is done by sending a Band Council Resolution (BCR) to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
- Click here to download a template sample BCR requesting to be scheduled to FMA.
- The First Nation should understand their objectives of implementing the Financial Management System Standards.
- The FNFMB website will be the key portal to information related to FMS implementation matters.
- Upon request, FNFMB can arrange a presentation to First Nation leadership to introduce the Financial Management System standards and concepts.
- To establish administrative efficiency, it is recommended the First Nation identify a primary contact (internal champion) or a working group that FNFMB can coordinate with. Typically this has been the First Nations Controller, Director of Finance, or a consultant working with the First Nation on financial management system implementation matters.
- It is recommended that the First Nation leadership review the Standards. If requested, FNFMB would be pleased to provide with any of the orientation or with questions regarding these matters.
• Click here to download B2 Financial Management System Standards
- Cost to implement and maintain a Financial Management System will depend on several factors including the size and complexity of the First Nations’ activities and whether the First Nations chooses to use the samples and templates made available by FNFMB.
- FNFMB has an annual capacity development funding program that provides funding to First Nations to defray all or some of the costs associated with System implementation. The funding is on a first come, first served basis and requires Chief and Council to agree by way of Band Council Resolution (BCR) to commit to an implementation work plan established in collaboration with FNFMB.
- Eligible costs reimbursed under this program are generally limited to legal and consulting work associated with system implementation. This capacity funding is not intended to cover First Nation salaries or operational overhead.
- To request capacity funding from FNFMB, submit the completed documents
• Click here to download the Template 2 – BCR – FNFMB Funding
- It is recommended that a First Nation use a project schedule (e.g. Gantt chart) to detail the start and finish dates and to monitor progress of what policies and procedures need to be implemented to meet the FMS Standards.
- FNFMB has developed a self-assessment tool that can assist in identifying the gaps in existing policies and procedures. It is recommended that the self-assessment be completed first, to assist in focusing the project schedule or work plan to only those financial management areas that need to be established or improved.
- To initiate an informal review the FNFMB must have received a duly signed Template 3 – Letter of Cooperation for FMS Certification. The letter of Cooperation is non-binding but signifies Chief and Council’s support to move forward with the process and identifies key First Nation personnel in the process.
- An informal review request can be sent by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and should clearly state that the First Nation is requesting an informal Financial Management Systems Review and must identify the First Nation key personnel for the request and their contact information. FNFMB will contact the First Nation to discuss the scope of the review and the anticipated time period.
- The informal review will usually be limited to a review of the First Nations completed work plan and self-assessment but may include a on site visit and review by FNFMB if requested and agreed to by FNFMB.
- FNFMB will communicate the results of the informal Review including identification of areas not in compliance and make appropriate recommendations to bring the First Nations system standards into compliance.
A First Nation must have a Compliance Approval of their Financial Administration Law or Laws before a Financial Management Certificate will be issued. Click here for steps to develop a FAL.
A formal request is made by submitting a Band Council Resolution (BCR) requesting a Financial Management System Review. Contact email@example.com to request a template.
The procedures and submission requirements mentioned above can also be found in the following document.
- FNFMB will conduct an onsite Operational review of the First Nations Financial Management System against FNFMB standards.
- FNFMB will send a Letter of Notification to the First Nation informing them of the FNFMB decision to issue or not issue a Certificate.
- The letter of notification will be accompanied with a Review Report that will detail observations and findings in making the determination to issue or not issue a Certificate.
- First Nations that pass the Financial Management Standards will be issued a Financial Management Certificate.