Accessing Government Funding in Canada - Page 6: Know Your Environment
By Sharon Monahan. President, The Business Guide Inc. | May 1, 1999
All government departments have political masters, i.e. Ministers. This means that there are political considerations involved with much of the decision making that takes place. Don't misinterpret my meaning here. I am not referring to political interference. I can quite honestly say that in my years of experience within the public sector I saw no evidence of political interference. I am referring to legitimate political considerations such as:
- each constituency being treated equitably with regard to budgetary allocations,
- elected officials being involved and informed as to what is happening in their riding,
- the potential for controversy involved with any funding decision.
Always remember you are dealing with bureaucrats and as in any bureaucracy, the wheels can only turn so fast. There are usually several individuals involved with making funding decisions. This is done to protect the public purse. What ever you do, don't let this frustrate you or if it does, don't take it out on the person with whom you are dealing. Public servants have had a rough ride over the last several years. It has become politically popular to downsize and to ask those remaining to do more with less. Most haven't had a salary increment in years and despite the public perception, most civil servants are hardworking, conscientious individuals. The bottom line here is treat them, as you should anyone, with dignity and respect. It will make the whole application process a lot less painful and hopefully more fruitful.
That's it for this month's installment and indeed for this series of articles. I hope I have shed some light on the machinations of the public sector and perhaps I have helped some of you obtain the financing you require. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors and if I can be of assistance in the future, you know where to reach me. I would also like to thank Canadaone for providing me with the opportunity to share my experiences with you.