Big Changes for CEDP

Last year, Newfoundland and Labrador’s heritage sector was abuzz with all things CEDP: a government commissioned assessment, a sectoral roundtable, recommendations to the Minister. Then, nothing ... or so it seemed.

It's time we filled you in on what’s been happening behind the scenes.

In short, plenty.

In December, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (TCR) established a CEDP working group. Chaired by the Director of Heritage with membership from TCR, MANL, ANLA and AHI, the group was tasked with revamping the goals, structure and mechanics of CEDP including recommendations for eligibility guidelines, a revised funding formula for operational grants, priorities for project grants and recommendations for program administration.

It was a huge undertaking - one that required a balance between the needs of the province (clear program goals, increased accountability, measurable results and, at least for now, no substantial increase in the funding pot) and the needs of the sector (stable operational funding and a recognition of the wide range of mandates and capacities of its member organizations). The result? Significant changes to CEDP, especially when it comes to operational grants. In a nutshell, here are the proposed changes:

Multi-Year Funding

Beginning in 2013/14, operational grants will be provided on a three-year basis. Horray! Multi-year funding was one of the key recommendations made by the sector during AHI's 2011 CEDP roundtable. We're excited to see that it looks like it will finally become a reality.  As always, funding will be conditional on annual provincial allocation of funds and program compliance.

Funding Streams

Based on the model currently under consideration, all CEDP applicants will be assessed and placed in one of three streams. Placement will be based solely on an applicant’s demonstrated ability to meet the minimum standards for a particular stream. Achievement of standards will be based on an assessment of requested documents (for example, an organization’s mission statement, collections management policy, strategic plan, etc.) and an organization’s answers to a questionnaire.

Now, here’s the important part.

Operational funding increases with each successive stream. Simply put, an organization placed in stream III will be eligible for more operational support than an organization placed in stream I. As with the current model, funding will be calculated as a percentage of the applicant’s annual operating budget. However, under the proposed revisions, the higher the stream, the larger the eligible percentage. It's hoped that the promise of increased funding will encourage organizations to improve their standards of operation and strive to meet best practices. 

It's important to note that the eligible percentages for each stream have not yet ben identified. During consultations, one CEDP committee member asked "What happens if all applicants achieve stream III?" And that's a good question, especially given government's recent insistence that there will be no increase to program funding in the foreseeable future. Will this mean that the eligible percentage of operational costs for stream III will not exceed the current level and that streams I and II will be eligible for less? It's something AHI will be keeping our eyes on. 

Compliance

Applicants will be given three years to achieve these standards. Applicants who do not meet the minimum standards for Steam I by 2016 will no longer be eligible for CEDP funding for the next three years. Applicants may re-apply for admission, or seek reclassification to a higher stream in 2020.

Seeking Input

The minimum standards for each stream are still in development. And that’s where we need your help.  MANL's AGM in Trinity on October 13 included a discussion of appropriate standards, but we know that not everyone was able to attend. If you have suggestions and/or concerns, please get in touch in one of the following ways:

CEDP funding is essential to the operations of heritage organizations throughout this province. We encourage you to take the time and effort to review the proposed changes and provide your feedback. Your concerns can only be considered if you voice them.