Strategic objectives Key performance indicators Targets 2009-2010 results
Be an efficient and innovative administrator Special Examination Report by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) No significant deficiencies reported The OAG provided a clean opinion: there is reasonable assurance that during the period covered by the examination there were no significant deficiencies in Telefilm’s systems and practices.
  Strategic Review No reallocation No reallocations were necessary as programs delivered by Telefilm are aligned with the priorities of Canadians.
  Management Expense Ratio (MER) Maintain a low management expense percentage
  • MER across all programs (including CTF programs under Telefilm management) is down 15% year-over-year, to 6.1%
  • The CFFF ratio rose from 8.2% to 9.7%
  • The CNMF ratio dropped from 16.6% to 11.9%
  • The CTF ratio fell to 2.4% from 2.7%
Be transparent and accountable Refine established performance indicators Optimize operational efficiency by monitoring financial and operational indicators Most of the operational and financial indicators have been met.
Better serve clients Client satisfaction Maintain or increase client satisfaction level in comparison with 2005-2006 survey Telefilm’s national client survey reports a slight increase in clients’ overall satisfaction scores – 7.2 out of 10 in 2009-2010 compared to 6.97 out of 10 in 2005-2006.

Telefilm has embraced modern management approaches and techniques such as risk management to improve organizational effectiveness. The findings of ongoing risk assessments have generated several important initiatives in the areas of: governance, human resources management, compliance with policies and procedures, organizational performance, program delivery, ethics and communications. Risk assessments and actions taken are always aligned with Telefilm’s strategic objectives.


An Efficient
and Innovative Administrator

For fiscal year 2009-2010, Telefilm assessed its objective “to be an efficient and innovative administrator” through three items: a special examination from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), a strategic review directed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and an analysis of the management expense ratio (MER) for programs managed by Telefilm.

1. Special Examination Report

The OAG did not identify any significant deficiencies in Telefilm’s systems and practices, and noted good management practices, but did identify some areas for improvement. Telefilm is proud of the results of its first special examination and intends to move ahead with responses to the OAG recommendations.

Special Examination Report 2010

The Financial Administration Act (FAA) stipulates that Telefilm shall cause financial and management control and information systems and management practice to be maintained. Such systems and practices shall be kept and maintained in such manner as will provide reasonable assurance that its assets are safeguarded and controlled, that its financial, human, and physical resources are managed economically and efficiently, and that its operations are carried out effectively. The FAA requires Telefilm to have a special examination of its systems and practices carried out at least once every 10 years, conducted by the OAG. The Auditor General has the responsibility to express an opinion on whether there is reasonable assurance that during the period covered by the examination—from May 2009 to January 2010—there were no significant deficiencies in Telefilm’s systems and practices.

Key systems and practices examined Findings and recommendations
Corporate governance
  • Telefilm had a governance structure and systems that enable it to discharge its responsibilities. Telefilm has sound governance practices through the Board, its committees, their assigned responsibilities and relations with senior management.
  • To improve its values and ethics practices, the OAG recommends that Telefilm should implement a mechanism to inform the Board of Directors of internal and external complaints, including those having to do with the disclosure of wrongdoing.
Strategic planning, performance measurement and reporting
  • Telefilm has an appropriate strategic planning process. OAG suggested that the new corporate plan include information about the allocation of financial, human and material resources, and make a link between the strategies and the resources allocated for the planning period.
  • OAG noted that management is aware of major risks, but recommended that Telefilm implement a more integrated risk review, evaluation and monitoring process and report on it to Board members.
  • Telefilm has processes for measuring performance and reporting on it; key performance indicators that were measured were defined in the strategic plan, and management reported periodically on these.
Funding of audiovisual productions
  • Telefilm deals with funding projects consistently and objectively through guidelines, policies and procedures. Improvements could be made to documentation in the management information system and to the quality assurance process.
  • All applications had been evaluated in a manner consistent with current guidelines, policies and procedures. Telefilm analysts and managers were very knowledgeable about their market. For feature film and new media projects, the Sineweb management information system could be used more efficiently.
  • OAG recommended that Telefilm strictly follow procedures for the Sineweb system to improve operating efficiency, and complete the development and implementation of the quality assurance framework.
Information technology
  • OAG noted that strategic planning for information technology and the operational plan for IT reflect Telefilm’s needs and strategic orientation. Activities related to the management of information provide a high quality service.
Human resource management
  • Telefilm has a stringent staffing policy, but should ensure that letters of offer clearly set out the conditions of employment and reflect the provisions of policies in force.
  • Telefilm provided learning and training opportunities related to strategic objectives, and made an effort to integrate human resources planning into operational planning.
  • The performance evaluation process should be applied consistently within Telefilm and the results documented. Performance bonuses awarded should be justified and documented properly.

Source: Special Examination Report-2010, Office of the Auditor General of Canada

2. Strategic review

The strategic review found that programs delivered by Telefilm are aligned with the priorities of Canadians. The Government of Canada confirmed in its 2010 Budget that spending reallocations were not necessary.

Strategic review

Federal organizations that receive appropriations from Parliament are required to conduct a strategic review every four years as part of their normal planning process. Such reviews are directed by the Treasury Board. The strategic review assesses whether programs are: achieving their intended results; effectively managed; and appropriately aligned with the priorities of Canadians and with federal responsibilities.

This comprehensive review was undertaken by Telefilm for the first time in fiscal 2009-2010. This exercise will help Telefilm bring about improvements in its management practices.

3. Management expense ratio (MER) for programs managed by Telefilm

a) All programs
  • MER reflects the percentage of administrative expenses required to deliver programs that Telefilm is responsible for managing. This ratio measures the operating and administrative expenses (Schedule D of the Financial Statements) net of amortization, against Telefilm’s total assistance expenses, including the funding programs managed on behalf of the Canadian Television Fund (CTF).
  • The current all-program MER stands at 6.1% and the year-over-year decrease (15%) is explained by both a decrease in Telefilm’s operating and administrative expenses and an increase in its program assistance expenses (including the CTF funding programs).
b) By program
  • The Canada Feature Film Fund (CFFF) MER went up from 8.2% to 9.7%. This increase is mainly due to additional work required by Telefilm’s shared services areas—departments such as Communications, Strategic planning and project development, Legal, Information performance and risk, Compliance and collection.
  • The MER for the Canada New Media Fund (CNMF) in its final year of operation decreased to 11.9%. The drop was mostly related to lower labour inputs to deliver the fund, such as project financing and business relations, as it was being phased out. No MER will be presented for the CNMF in the next annual report.
  • The MER for the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) fell to 2.4% from 2.7%. This favourable performance was achieved by controlling administrative costs (which applies to all funds) combined with an assistance expenses increase of $41M year-over-year. CTF MER is expected to rise to 2.9% for the next fiscal year, because new digital media programs will be delivered for 2010-2011 in addition to former CTF programs.

Management expense ratio

Management expense ratio (MER) is a universal indicator of the resources utilized compared to the dollars managed per program. As an indicator, it can serve in certain circumstances to assess cost effectiveness in delivery of the programs.

Telefilm applied standard MER calculations to the Canada Feature Film Fund (CFFF), the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and the Canada New Media Fund (CNMF). Since all of these funds are subject to different guidelines, budgets and agreements, MER should only be judged as a trend indicator by fund over time. For disclosure purposes, Telefilm performs formal cost accounting on all these funds using the same method for each.

Assistance expenses for the CFFF and the CNMF are presented respectively in Schedules A and B. Details of costs of main programs are disclosed in Schedule E of the Financial Statements. Since Telefilm is managing program funding on behalf of the CTF under a Services Agreement, CTF assistance expenses are not disclosed and do not form part of Telefilm’s Financial Statements.

Note that for the 2008-2009 MER calculation, expenses related to Compliance and collection were presented separately from the cost of programs, as recovery fees. The 2008-2009 ratio has not been recalculated since those differences are immaterial.

Management expense ratio
  • 2009-2010
  • 2008-2009
Management expense ratio

Source: Telefilm database

Using resources, process and technology to be an efficient administrator

Telefilm is enhancing organizational efficiency by combining three key elements in its initiatives and projects as follow:

  • Committed and skilled employees;
  • Defined processes; and
  • Communications technology.
Telefilm’s human resources plan

This fiscal year, a new leadership model was implemented that integrates values, behaviours and competencies. The performance evaluation framework was also updated to reflect these new leadership competencies. These initiatives are important, because they help employees understand the nature and degree of change at Telefilm.

Electronic process management

Core management processes at Telefilm include program decision-making and contracting due diligence. This fiscal year, Telefilm took important steps to standardize and automate these processes. By breaking down core processes into well-defined major steps and applying IT tools, major improvements have been made to efficiency, productivity, compliance, traceability and security. The new system also enhances financial controls. All contracts are now signed through an electronic process that strengthens security over signatories.


Telefilm is making better use of its Intranet to improve efficiency in internal communications, and to explore new capabilities as a management and sharing tool. A collaboration software has been deployed to improve the way information is organized and shared across the organization. This software not only shares information in real time, it also provides secure and accessible archiving in a user-friendly fashion.

Buisiness continuity management plan

Telefilm’s buisiness continuity management plan aims to protect three core processes: contracting, payments and budget follow-up. As a result of continual testing and updating, the plan’s communications strategy has been substantially improved this fiscal year. It has been used by Telefilm to manage potential issues such as the Vancouver office during the Olympic Winter Games, and to help manage the H1N1 flu virus situation at all offices.


To be Transparent and Accountable

Telefilm’s performance can be assessed by its operational and financial indicators which are monitored throughout the year. These indicators have an important impact on both client services and the level of industry investments.

Telefilm wins financial reporting award

In December 2009, Telefilm earned the top award in its category for its 2007-2008 annual report.

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) honoured Telefilm with the Award of Excellence in Corporate Reporting for Small Federal Crown Corporations for the second time in three years. The quality of financial reporting is part of an overall focus on governance for Telefilm.

Now in its 59 th year, the CICA Corporate Reporting Awards is the only national awards program that recognizes excellence and best practices in corporate reporting.

Operational indicators

For purposes of benchmarking, the operational indicators are the same as they were last year. Telefilm monitors its services as follows:

Targets Results Findings
Response times for production funding decisions      
CFFF: Decision issued

Decision date planned

10 weeks

100% of the time

71% of the time

Target met

Target not met

CNMF: Decision issued 10 weeks 100% of the time Target met
CTF service levels: Response time indicators (in days) 14 targets to meet 10 targets met 71% of targets met
Project payment triggered ≤ 3 days 2 days Target met
Supplier payment triggered ≤ 20 days 17 days Target met
Critical IT system hours available ≥ 97.5% 99.6% Target met
Critical IT systems incident-free days ≥ 90% 93% Target met

Source: Telefilm database

Results for operational indicators

Funding decisions

Funding decisions for producers should be rendered either within 10 weeks or within an established timeframe during peak periods. Major improvements were made this fiscal year as Telefilm met two out of three targets.

CTF service level

Seventy-one percent of the targets were met, including the most important targets related to the broadcaster performance envelope. Two targets which have not yet been met are currently under review.

Payment processing (project and supplier)

The two targets related to the number of days required for triggering payments were both fulfilled.

IT systems

Operational performance was ahead of target with respect to system hours available and incident-free days.

Financial indicators

Financial indicators are an important way to measure compliance with established levels of funding from sources such as parliamentary appropriation and the CNMF Contribution Agreement. Telefilm uses the financial indicators below to ensure there are no lapsing funds or overages in the utilization of funding.

Financial indicators ($M) Targets Results Findings
CFFF assistance expenses 85.3 99.2 Target met
CNMF assistance expenses 12.7 13.2 Target met
Administrative budget: maximum threshold 29.0 28.4 Target met

Source: Telefilm database

Results for financial indicators

Program assistance expenses

The CFFF and CNMF targets represent the minimum level of assistance expenses to avoid lapsing of funds.

The CFFF target has been met and overages were funded through recoveries.

The CNMF target was not met even though the level of assistance expenses was higher than the target. This was a special circumstance related to the closing of the CNMF. As a result, the Contribution Agreement was reduced by $1.3M as Canadian Heritage funded 86% of CNMF assistance expenses ($11.4M) and Telefilm’s accumulated recoveries from previous fiscal years ($1.8M) completed the assistance expenses funding.

Administrative budget: maximum threshold

The $29M administrative budget target, calculated on a modified cash basis, represented the maximum threshold. It cannot be compared to the operating and administrative expenses presented in Schedule D of the Financial Statements since these expenses are recorded on an accrual basis and include amortization.

Budget utilization was $28.4M, meeting the target. That figure also includes prepayment of $1.2M for next year’s administrative expenses as well as $0.6M transferred to programs, mainly CNMF.

CFFF internal audit report

During the course of the year, the Board approved an internal audit mandate on the management processes of CFFF’s main programs. This audit demonstrated a strong improvement in terms of process compliance and documenting decision trails since last year. The reorganization of program management activities, and separating the tasks of content analysis and contract management, in addition to progress in the quality control program, strongly contributed to the improvement of management processes as a whole.


Better Serve

Nationwide client survey

In 2009-2010 Telefilm conducted a comprehensive client survey research project. This project was built on the nationwide client surveys of 2005 and 2001; its scope was adapted, modernized and aligned with the new realities of the organization. One-on-one interviews with major clients and stakeholders were conducted and an in-depth online questionnaire was distributed to all of Telefilm’s clients.

According to Telefilm’s clients, the organization has appeared to improve steadily over the last decade or so. In 2001, clients rated Telefilm’s performance as an organization at 6.95 out of 10 6 , in 2005 this edged up to 6.97 7 , and in 2009, overall performance rose to 7.2 8 .

New to the most recent survey project is a section on client perception of Telefilm. The results indicate that positive views of Telefilm have grown over time and include such descriptions as “friendly”, “competent” and “knowledgeable”.

Telefilm’s regional offices were also an important component of this latest client assessment. The results were encouraging, with two-thirds of regional clients reporting satisfaction. Regional offices scored 7.6 out of a possible 10. Regional service elements also drew the highest satisfaction scores, such as:

  • Responding to queries on programs and services (7.4 out 10)
  • Client service (7.3 out of 10)
  • Professional expertise in business due diligence requirements (7.0 out of 10)

Findings from the 2009-2010 client satisfaction survey will help Telefilm, a forward-thinking organization, to develop its new corporate plan.


eTelefilm is a Web-based online service that lets clients submit applications online, follow up on application status, and keep track of project progress. Clients can also perform several functions related to project funding. eTelefilm: fast, secure and user friendly, eTelefilm is available anywhere.

Utilization of eTelefilm is growing rapidly. Almost 650 applications were submitted electronically in 2009-2010—an increase of about 50% over last year. This year, a fast-track process was implemented to accelerate adoption. The following chart demonstrates the adoption trend since inception in fiscal 2001-2002.

This fiscal year, eTelefilm has been revamped to make it simpler, and easier to navigate. Telefilm will make eTelefilm mandatory for some of its programs in the next fiscal year in order to standardize processes and improve efficiency.

eTelefilm subscriptions

eTelefilm subscriptions

Source: Telefilm database

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