OTTAWA - The federal Liberals were warned months ago that the design of their vaunted infrastructure program could leave the government with little ability to spend money quickly if provinces and cities took their time with projects.

An internal analysis of the Liberal infrastructure program -- a cornerstone of the government's economic agenda -- suggested that the Liberals were giving up control over how quickly money could be spent in exchange for providing provinces and territories with as much flexibility as possible in the first phase of the program.

The documents, released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, were delivered to Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi in May ahead of a meeting with auditor general Michael Ferguson.

A report this week from the parliamentary budget watchdog found that infrastructure money budgeted for this fiscal year was flowing more slowly than anticipated.

The department told Sohi that, among other oversight measures, it planned to step up informal contacts with provinces and territories to catch problems.

A spokeswoman says the department has not had to substantially alter how it delivers funds to provinces and territories and that officials haven't found any significant risks with projects that could impact the delivery of funds.