3.4 Financial Sustainability

3.4 Financial Sustainability #

3.4.1 - The repository shall have short- and long-term business planning processes in place to sustain the repository over time. #

Response #

OCUL business planning is supported on an annual and multi-year basis. Annual operating budgets are developed and approved in the context of three-year forecast budgeting.

Scholars Portal #

OCUL developed Scholars Portal with funding support received from the Ontario Innovation Trust in 2001-02. The OIT-funded development project was completed in December 2005.

From January 2006, OCUL members assumed full responsibility for sustainability of Scholars Portal. The OCUL directors receive semi-annual reports on Scholars Portal and are responsible for approving all substantive and strategic directions. Regular business and financial planning ensures the continued viability of OCUL’s preservation operations. The Scholars Portal Sustainability Budget is the annual operating budget, covering all revenue sources and expenses. The main expense areas are staffing, hardware, software, and operating overhead. The budget includes allocations to special restricted funds which support technology refreshment, new initiatives, and an operating reserve.

OCUL budget planning, approval and monitoring cycle #

At each Spring Directors meeting:

  • Early budget planning for the following fiscal year takes place.
  • Focused discussion on strategic priorities, funding sources, challenges and opportunities and new initiatives

At each Fall Directors meeting:

Budget approval for the following fiscal year based on the following:

  • Spring Directors meeting discussion
  • Current year variance and year-end projections
  • Updated forecasts, and
  • Any new information that has been identified

Three-year budget forecast is presented each year on a rolling basis. Revisions are made annually at the Fall Directors meeting. Budget documentation will be:

  • Annual combined budget for all funds managed and flowed by OCUL, along with balance sheet, individual budgets, variance report, year-end statement and administrative cost tracking.
  • Three-year combined budget for OCUL and SP
  • Monthly variance analysis reports are reviewed by the OCUL Executive Director and posted on the OCUL Directors website

Responsibility #

  • OCUL Executive Director
  • OCUL Directors
  • SP Director

Documents #

  1. OCUL/SP Financial Plans (available on request)
  2. OCUL Directors Meeting Final Reports (digests available online, full reports on request)

Response #

OCUL is an affiliate of the Council of Ontario Universities, a not-for-profit organization, and adheres to the Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Scholars Portal is a service operated by OCUL.

The University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) is the service provider for Scholars Portal and is responsible on behalf of OCUL for supporting services which include but are not limited to mounting, providing access to, maintaining, supporting and archival of resources. The substantial and material portion of financial transactions for Scholars Portal are subject to audit by University of Toronto’s external auditor.

Responsibility #

  • OCUL Executive Director
  • SP Director

Documents #

  1. OCUL/SP Financial Statements (available on request)

3.4.3 - The repository shall have an ongoing commitment to analyze and report on risk, benefit, investment, and expenditure (including assets, licenses, and liabilities). #

Response #

Comprehensive, systematic risk assessment is essential to the long-term security and reliability of SP and its archived information. In a financial context, risk assessment helps the repository identify and evaluate threats that could disrupt normal operations or impair its ability to meet its Mandatory Responsibilities and contractual obligations. SP began formally documenting and analyzing risks in the fall of 2011. The participants included key personnel from SP, OCUL, and the University of Toronto Libraries.

Please see the Risk Analysis and Management Strategies document for details. This document identifies threats, assesses their probability and potential impact, and provides an overview of the repository’s risk-minimization and prevention strategies.

Risks #

The chief risks associated with risk analysis are (1) failure to review and update the analysis in a timely and consistent manner and (2) failure to acknowledge and analyze foreseeable risks. To minimize the first risk, SP has monitoring commitments in place (see Monitoring Commitments below). To minimize the second risk, SP uses a comprehensive typology of threats as a model for identifying foreseeable and relevant risks (described in the Risk Analysis and Management Strategies document). This model includes financial and organizational risks such as loss of funding, or changes in organizational priorities.

Monitoring Commitments #

The repository will assess its risk analysis on a regular basis, according to the Review Cycle for Documentation Policy, or whenever there are major changes to its operating environment such as significant staffing level changes, changes in mandate, or funding disruptions.

Responsibility #

  • Digital Preservation Librarian
  • OCUL Executive Director
  • OCUL Library Directors

Documents #

  1. Risk Analysis and Management Strategies
  2. Critical Processes and OAIS Mandatory Responsibilities