Position Profile


Job Title:  Grant Advisor

Work Unit:  Municipal Assessment and Grants Division, Grants and Education Property Tax Branch, Grant Program Delivery Unit

Ministry:   Alberta Municipal Affairs

Competition Number:  1043169

Date:  June 2017
 

Purpose

 

The Grant Advisor is responsible for assisting with the delivery of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) operating and Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) programs. The Grant Advisor reviews MSI operating spending plans and ACP applications, determines eligibility, prepares funding recommendations for ministerial acceptance, and assists with the reporting and compliance process for specific grant agreements. The Grant Advisor provides assistance in preparing information and advice on grant programs and policies to Alberta municipalities and other affected stakeholders, specifically providing information to respond to public and stakeholder information requests about the MSI and ACP application and reporting deadlines, application procedures, amendment processes, and eligible project costs. The Grant Advisor assists in preparing recommendations on and implementing new grant programs and changes to existing grant programs. The Grant Advisor assists with research on grant programs and issues, and may assist in representing the Unit on various departmental committees or working teams.

The Grant Advisor works in the context of the provincial government's goals, guidelines and policies, the department's policies, business plan, budget, and accountability guidelines, the Municipal Government Act, and the Municipal Affairs Grants Regulation. Within this framework, the Grant Advisor supports the unit in reviewing and making recommended changes to existing grant programs and proposals for new grant initiatives to help local governments maintain healthy communities. Related responsibilities include helping to identify potential MSI and ACP policy issues, participate in research projects, and provide information to municipal officials.

Responsibilities and Activities

  1.

Provide information and advice to stakeholders on the MSI program.

The Grant Advisor will:

  • Provide information and advice to municipalities, municipal associations, affected professionals, industry representatives/consultants, the public, and management regarding the MSI operating or ACP programs within the context of provincial policies, legislation, and regulations, and the department's policies.
  • Liaise with key stakeholders and provide verbal and/or written information and advice on the MSI operating or ACP programs. This may include conversations or meetings with affected parties to clarify issues and/or explain the requirements and intent of the MSI or ACP programs. At times, stakeholders may encounter specific or unique problems in understanding or meeting a program requirement. Routine or procedural inquiries are normally dealt with by the Grant Advisor, but complex and policy related inquiries are forwarded to senior staff or management for resolution.
  • Prepare correspondence, briefing notes, and reports to respond to questions about the MSI or ACP programs for the Minister, or less frequently for other Ministers, MLAs, or the Premier. Preparing this material may require communicating with stakeholders to ensure that all the necessary information is provided, and the message is clear and consistent.
  • Work with the grant program team to assist with monitoring issues that involve pressures to change the MSI operating or ACP programs, and be accountable to advise the Manager, Regional Grant Programs about any significant problems (actual or perceived), any major increase in stakeholder concerns, or any major shift in stakeholder positions related to these issues on a timely basis.

End Results:

  • Stakeholder understanding of and compliance with grant program conditions.
  • Liaison with and establishment of strong relationships with key stakeholders result in improved working relationships between the province and municipalities.
  • Identification and resolution of grant-related problems.
     
  2.

Assist with the delivery of the MSI operating and ACP program, including application review, evaluation, and approval processes.

The Grant Advisor will:

  • Communicate with grant applicants, assess written materials received from applicants, prepare written reports for management, while in consideration of government and departmental policies, the department's business plan and accountability requirements, and such factors as known municipal needs and priorities, known approaches to local governance and service delivery, and provincial-municipal relations.
  • In collaboration with the grant program teams, review and assess individual project applications and requests for project amendments with reference to the department's policies and make recommendations to management and to the Minister regarding the application or request.
  • Review and evaluate reports and other documentation provided by grant recipients regarding the use of grant funds. When reports and requests are complex, the matter would be passed to the Grant Advisors (PS4) or management.
  • Using template documents, prepare briefing notes, summaries, draft agreements, and correspondence related to grant applications, amendment requests, and reports.
  • Assist with the creation, update and documentation of business processes and address system implications.
  • Contribute to the annual program evaluation and related updates or changes made to program guidelines and forms.

End Results:

  • Well prepared recommendations that are based on careful consideration and evaluation of each grant application based on policies and guidelines, assurance that the requirements and expectations set out in program guidelines are satisfied, and appropriate and timely responses are provided to applicants.
  • Ensures that the provincial-municipal partnership supporting key municipal infrastructure and regional projects is highlighted.
     
  3.

Assist in preparing recommendations on new grant programs, on changes to existing grant programs including the MSI and subsequent implementation of programs or program changes.

The Grant Advisor will:

  • Assist with consultation processes with the appropriate stakeholders. This usually includes other units in the department and the municipal associations (particularly the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties), other provincial departments (particularly Transportation, Alberta Environment and Parks, Health), elected officials, municipal administrators, and/or other stakeholders to obtain feedback. Support unit staff with interpreting, clarifying, and helping weigh the feedback from the affected stakeholders.
  • Conduct background research and contribute to analysis to help to develop briefing materials, options and recommendations on proposed program changes or new grant initiatives for review by senior management, and usually the Minister.
  • Assist program delivery staff and other units in the department, like Communications in developing implementation and communication plans for approved grant initiatives.
  • Assist with the implementation of new grant programs or initiatives and the implementation of modifications to existing grant programs as required. This typically involves helping to prepare program forms and program guidelines including clarifying the interpretation of guidelines; defining business system requirements and/or coordinating with other units in the department or with other departments.
  • Helping to make presentations regarding programs, guidelines and policies, or their modifications, to internal staff and management, as well as to outside stakeholders such as municipal associations, municipal officials, and/or other stakeholder groups.

End Results:

  • Practical and useful grant programs that are flexible and responsive to the needs of municipalities.
  • Responsive grant programs result in improved working relationships between the province and municipalities.
     
  4.

Conduct research on grant programs and issues.

The Grant Advisor will:

  • Assist with investigations or reviews of grant-related program or policy issues to address effectiveness, responsiveness, and/or accountability issues. Municipal grant programs exist in the context of provincial / municipal relations, and questions from municipalities and suggestions for changes to programs are frequent.
  • Participate and provide input into studies of grant take-up, program impacts, the potential benefits of new options or initiatives, compliance problems, or other significant policy or program issues. This could also include following up on grant requests received from municipalities, educational institutions, professional associations, and other stakeholders that are outside of any existing grant programs.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of policies and procedures to carry out studies, investigations and reviews of program effectiveness, compliance issues, problem grants, or other program issues. For instance, this may involve gathering and analyzing information collected from various municipalities, researching the policies of other grant programs, checking the legislative requirements, and reviewing the Minister's responsibilities under the Municipal Affairs Grants Regulation.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of mechanisms such as grants information workshops and regional sessions to obtain client feedback regarding existing grant programs, individual grants and/or other initiatives. An example of this is the municipal feedback initiative, which involves site visits to municipalities and meetings with municipal officials to review the project or projects the municipality completed with funding from provincial grant programs. This position would participate in site visits and support program staff by helping to record any specific suggestions for improvement etc. and then reporting this information to management.
  • Help to carry out reviews of grant requests that do not meet the requirements of the current MSI operating or ACP program guidelines. This includes reviews of grant requests, requests to amend project descriptions after funding is approved, and requests to extend deadlines. At times municipalities request approval to amend project descriptions or extend the completion date of their projects due to unforeseen problems, unexpectedly high costs, or delays in obtaining materials or services. The Grant Advisor works independently or with the Grant Compliance team to review the documentation, obtain further details if required, and draft recommendations and/or amended documentation for the appropriate level of approval.

End Results:

  • Up-to-date policies and procedures that contribute to compliance with government accountability requirements as well as improved responsiveness to municipal and other stakeholder needs, including special needs.
  • An ongoing program of site visits is maintained, which provides a mechanism to monitor compliance with grant agreements.
     
  5.

Provide assistance in representing the Branch or Unit on committees and/or multi-disciplinary project teams.

The Grant Advisor will:

  • Assist with issues with provincial or municipal implications, and contribute to the activities of other units, other departments, municipal associations, professional groups, and/or other organizations where this participation contributes to the achievement of departmental objectives and/or to the improvement of relations with municipalities.
  • Attend organization, committee, and other meetings on behalf of the branch or unit where issues affect provincial/municipal financial relations. Help with providing key messages and effectively represent the position of the branch or unit, and monitor and report on significant initiatives that affect departmental and/or municipal interests.
  • Grant Advisors will have opportunities to attend municipal zone meetings and the municipal association conferences, such as the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties conventions, for this purpose.
  • Help review and help prepare comments on other units' or departments' proposed grant initiatives for management.
  • Help support important initiatives led by other units, departments, or organizations so that the unit's input is credible, useful, and supported by the appropriate background research and analysis where necessary.

End Results:

  • Organizational contribution to a strong coordinated provincial approach.
     
  6.

Contribute to the mandate and goals of the Grants and Education Property Tax Branch.

The Grant Advisor:

  • Assist with the preparation of briefing materials and correspondence to ensure ministry representatives have appropriate input for decision-making.
  • Work collaboratively with division staff to ensure coordination and integration of divisional policies, processes and standards.
  • Aid in representing the branch, division and ministry perspectives and objectives on various departmental committees and/or project teams which address issues with provincial or municipal implications.
  • Contribute to the activities in other units, branches, other departments, municipal associations, professional groups, and/or other organizations where this participation contributes to the achievement of departmental objectives and/or to the improvement of relations with municipalities.
  • Assist in the research and development of materials that support the division's business and operational planning and annual reporting processes.

End Results:

  • Improved relations with municipalities.
  • Participation in such project teams and committees results in an organizational contribution to a strong coordinated provincial approach.

Scope

 
  • Three teams in the Grant Program Delivery Unit receive and respond to grant-related inquiries from residents, administrations or councils from any municipality in Alberta (approximately 353 in number).
  • The Grant Advisor works within the context of a five-person team that is managed by the Manager, Regional Grant Programs.
  • The position participates in the development, review and modification of the grant programs administered by the Grant Program Delivery Unit of the Grants and Education Property Tax Branch. These include the MSI, Alberta Community Partnership, Federal Gas Tax Fund, and including Municipal Disaster Assistance Program.
  • Municipal Affairs grant programs, guidelines and policies affect all Alberta municipalities and municipal associations, some post-secondary institutions, some professional organizations, some non-profit organizations, and most Alberta taxpayers.
  • The Grant Advisor communicates with elected and appointed municipal officials, with provincial government departments and agencies, with municipal organizations such as the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, the Local Government Administration Association, and the Alberta Rural Municipal Administrators Association, with consultants, with non-profit groups, and with a diverse range of other grant applicant groups.
  • The Grant Advisor must respond or help to respond to a high number of requests for verbal or written information pertaining to MSI grants or broader grant-related policies and issues. Some requests are very sensitive, and many have short turnaround times.
  • Program delivery staff are required to work with diverse work teams to build consensus and implement any program changes.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 
  • Working knowledge of grant programs, policies, procedures, and processing.
  • Working knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, Internet access and manipulation, and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Working knowledge of statistical and research techniques.
  • Working knowledge of the department's accountability policies and practices.
  • Working knowledge of survey tools and program evaluation.
  • Working knowledge of the Municipal Affairs Grants Regulation and the relevant portions of the Government Organization Act and the Municipal Government Act.
  • Working knowledge of database reporting tools.
  • Working knowledge of divisional and departmental goals and objectives, including business plan objectives.
  • Working knowledge of municipal operations and administration, including infrastructure management practices.
  • Working knowledge of provincial government and municipal practices, procedures, trends and issues.
  • Working knowledge with other provincial legislation and regulations affecting municipalities.
  • Working knowledge of different conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation processes.

Organizational: work independently or in a team, manage time, and prioritize tasks to address multiple assignments in an efficient and timely manner.

Advisory: provide advice and clarification on new or existing grant programs and the policies and philosophy underlying them to stakeholders with varying ranges of knowledge and background.

Communication: employ strong listening, verbal, written, and public presentation skills to convey/collect information on a variety of grant program issues, in a manner that is concise, clear and easily understood by the audience.

Analytical and Issues Comprehension: using innovative and creative thinking work to resolve problems, prepare strategies, identify, quantify and qualify impacts to deal with issues.

Collaboration and Consultation: help to develop consultation processes to obtain information from stakeholders and document the information collected.

Flexibility: Ability to cope with pressure in a demanding, high volume and often unpredictable working environment.

Judgement and Problem-Solving: aptitude to identify issues and develop a position; act independently if appropriate.

Qualifications:

  • This position requires a University graduation in a related field such as Public Administration, Political Science, Business Administration etc, plus two years of progressively responsible experience in a related professional role.
  • Directly related experience may be considered an equivalency on the basis of one year of experience for one year of education.

Contacts

 
  • Manager - this position reports to the Manager, Regional Grant Programs. The purpose of this contact is for direct management and supervision of activities.
  • Team members - this position will interact with other team members to achieve the goals and objectives of the team, unit, and branch.
  • Other Ministry Staff - various levels of other staff in Alberta Municipal Affairs, including Senior Managers, professional staff, administrative staff, and Communications staff. The Grant Advisor will relay grant program information to or consult with on initiatives or issues that impact grant programs in order to gain a better understanding of matters that should be considered when making grant funding recommendations, helping to implement changes to existing grant programs or helping to develop new grant programs. The Grant Advisor may also be asked to help support important initiatives/projects led by other units so that the unit's input is credible, useful, and supported by the appropriate background research and analysis where necessary. The purpose of these contacts is to achieve the goals and objectives of the team, the unit, the branch and the ministry.
  • Municipal administration staff - this position will interact with municipal staffs that are responsible for the submission of grant project applications. These contacts will generally be able to respond to questions about ministry grant programs, collect municipal feedback, obtain clarifying information provided in a grant application, or to obtain missing or outstanding information required to process an application.
  • Municipal Associations such as the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, the Local Government Administration Association, and the Alberta Rural Municipal Administrators Association - assist in communicating information to association members about existing or new grant programs and help to gather feedback about these programs by attending conferences as a delegate or participating as a trade show representative.
  • Other Provincial Ministries - relay grant program information or seek information about other Government of Alberta municipal grant programs in order to respond to stakeholder information requests or gain a better understanding of how other provincial grant programs may affect the delivery of existing grant programs or recommendations on specific grant funding requests.

Supervision Exercised

  N/A

 

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